On Thursday, October 29, GALA Hispanic Theatre in Columbia Heights will most likely become the first DC area theatre company to open its doors for indoor performances since the pandemic caused shutdowns in March.
The company begins its 45th season with the comedy El Perro del Hortelano (The Dog in the Manger) by Lope de Vega, the prolific 17th century playwright who is considered the “Spanish Shakespeare.” As was a requirement of comedies of the period, the play ends with three weddings. Writing in 2009, during an area wide Loving Lope Festival, DCTS writer Rosalind Lacy wrote: “That weightless, out-of-body feeling of lovers transcending class differences is dizzying. The master story teller and poet makes a familiar story unique with a dagger-sharp twist of cynicism beneath his eloquent verse.”
The first public performance will be a Community night, a GALA tradition, on Thursday, October 29. The play, performed in Spanish with English surtitles runs through November 22. Tickets available here.
GALA Hispanic Theatre is operating in accordance with all District of Columbia regulations for safe gatherings. In adherence to Phase II protocols, GALA has instituted safe start procedures, including a revamped HVAC system, rigorous cleaning procedures for all spaces, and no more than 50 tickets sold per performance (19 percent of house capacity) at this time. As the District moves to Phase III, more tickets could become available. GALA requires masks of all staff and patrons, who will have touchless temperature checks before entering the building.
Between October and late June, GALA plan an ambitious season of in-person performances for adults and children, readings and a film festival. Tickets are available.
In an interview with DCist, Rebecca Medrano, GALA’s co-founder and executive director said:“Today there are still too few theaters staging stories by Latinx writers with Latinx actors, and at the same time we are faced with a public health crisis that reveals the inequities faced by communities of color. So we affirm our commitment, continue the experiment, and renew our act of love and faith by taking the necessary steps to safely open our 45th season.”