PUENTE has presented staged readings of over 50 plays from around the world, from countries such as China, Japan, Chile, Kenya, Nigeria, Italy, Holland, Russia, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Mexico, USA, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, India, Cameroon, Syria, the Philippines, Indonesia and Barbados, as well as several plays with multicultural content by Canadian writers.
Many members of the immigrant community and from a wide variety of cultures have been included in WORLDPLAY as performers or as presenters, giving information about the play and its cultural background. For some of them, it was the first time they were able to see, on stage, an example of the valuable contributions their countries have made to world theatre.
A large number of these plays have never before been presented in Canada. Some of these were Letters for Tomas by Chilean Malucha Pinto, Happy New Century Dr. Freud by Mexican Sabina Berman, Boxcar by Mexican-American Silvia Gonzalez, Harvest by Manjula Padmanabathan from India, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom by Gillian Slovo and Victoria Brittain from England, and The Woman who Fell From the Sky by Victor Hugo Rascón Banda from Mexico.
Plays such as Letters for Tomas, The Dark Night of Marguerite de Roberval, Three Marias and a Rose, Pereira Declares, The Pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción, etc. were translated from the Spanish specially to be presented at WORLDPLAY.
We are lucky to have been in touch with two excellent translators from Japanese into English: Cody Poulton (Victoria) and Yoshi Yoshihara (Vancouver). It is thanks to them that we have been able to present 6 plays from Japan.
Because of WORLDPLAY, we have been in e-mail contact with writers from India, Japan, Chile, United States, England, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico, Singapour and more. All have been thrilled to have their plays presented in Canada.
PUENTE was able to send US $300 to the Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York gathered during a benefit performance of Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, a play about the people detained without charge at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
So far PUENTE has been able to produce and stage three WORLDPLAY plays, directed by Lina de Guevara: Letters for Tomas by Malucha Pinto, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Victor Hugo Rascón Banda, and The Pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción by Jaime Silva.
Members of our audiences have expressed that attending WORLDPLAY gives them a unique, special experience of theatre, not only because of the cultural diversity but also because of the particular style of performance a staged reading demands.
All participants in WORLDPLAY, actors, directors, managers, translators, musicians and presenters, are volunteers. PUENTE pays only the playwrights, who receive their royalties. Donations at the door contribute to the space rental costs. Thank you!
We can truly say WORLDPLAY is a community effort.
(Written by Lina de Guevara in 2009 as a program note for the Worldplay presentations).