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The Bard in the Barrio

April 16, 2010 |  6:26 pm

Dear Readers: Your humble columnist is both a latinófilo and a lover of the English language and Shakespeare. Last year, I wrote about the ethnic diversity at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the presence of a strong cadre of Latino actors there.

So when I heard about a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" being staged last week at elementary school in South Central Los Angeles, I couldn't miss it. My visit to Nevin Avenue Elementary is the subject of my latest column, a little parable about language, hope and community reinvention. A few years back, the school was in such bad shape that the state took it over. Now it's thriving. Nine-year-old Salvador Medina, as Puck (pictured below), stole the show. You'd think it would be hard for a child so young to master a Shakespearean speech, but Salvador pulled it off.

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Several of the actors, students from grades two through five, later met Tom Hanks at the Shakespeare Center Los Angeles production of "Much Ado About Nothing."

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-- Hector Tobar

Photo Credits: The Shakespearites;  Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging 
  

 

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