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    Fifth Hispanic Theater Festival Concludes after Successful Run
    Fernando Villalona to Reflect on His Life, Music at New York Dominican Get Together

    Fifth Hispanic Theater Festival Concludes after Successful Run
    Santo Domingo, Jun 22 2015

    The Dominican Commissioner of Culture in the United States concluded its extremely successful 5th Hispanic Theater Festival following the presentation of 25 plays over the course of one month.

    The event was held between May 14th and June 21st at the Commission’s Rafael Villalona Theater under the direction of renowned actor and theater director, Luis Felipe Rodríguez, with the coordination of actor Franklin Mateo and collaboration of actors Benjamín García, Arisleyda Lombert and Joanna Herrera, assistant director of the Commission.

    The V Festival was dedicated to Dominican actress Ana Hilda García, resident of Miami, creator of El Teatro Guiñol Dominican Children’s Theater, which she founded in 1977, making her one of the country’s artistic pioneers, having created the first ever puppet theater.

    This year, the Commissioner’s Hispanic Theater Festival opened with Divas of Spain, by Inma Heredia, which inaugurated the Commissioner’s remodeled Rafael Villalona Theater, a hall with 132 comfortable seats and modern sound and lighting systems, which aims to be one of the best off-off-Broadway theaters in Upper Manhattan.

    Carlos Sánchez, Dominican Cultural Commissioner, said this year the 5th Hispanic Theater Festival grew in quality and number of participating plays, “the majority of which performed to packed houses which demonstrates the community’s amazing enthusiasm for Spanish language theater.”

    “We inaugurated the V Festival for the first time in our own Commissioner’s Theater, with Espigas maduras, written by Dominican playwright Franklin Domínguez and directed by Luis Felipe Rodríguez,” said Sánchez. “And we concluded the Festival with the exceptional Triunfadela, written and directed by Nelda Castillo, starring Meriela Brito from the Ciervo Encantado Theater Group, which we brought directly from Havana, Cuba.”

    The Commissioner’s Hispanic Theater Festival is held annually under the auspices of the Dominican Commissioner of Culture in the United States, which is part of the Dominican Ministry of Culture. The purpose of the Festival is to create a space for cultural exchange for Spanish-speaking playwrights in the United States and Puerto Rico and to distribute the theater productions of these groups.

    The festival will award cash prizes in the following categories: Best Production $4,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 to third place winners. In addition to recognition plaques, cash prizes will be awarded for the first time in the categories of Best Director: $2,000; Best Actress, $1,000; Best Actor, $1,000 and the winner of the People’s Choice Award will be given a plaque or a trophy. In the coming days, said Sánchez, the nominees will be announced and the awards presentation will take place in a big celebration where all participants will be guests of honor.

    Out of the 25 plays performed, three participated out of competition: Espigas maduras, of the Commissioner’s Hispanic Theater Festival; Triunfadela, of Cuba’s El Ciervo Encantado group and Solo en la Extrañeza del Misterio Se Muere, from the Barraca Theater of Bogota, Colombia. Several plays participated in the Commissioner’s Hispanic Theater Festival from Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn in addition to other US states like Providence, Rhode Island, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Commissioner Sánchez congratulated the participating theater companies and thanked the public for the support it has given the Festival throughout the years.

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