Mendoza [adaptation of Macbeth]

Carrillo, Juan 2016

Mendoza is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth. Antonio Zúñiga and Juan Carrillo created a new play by setting the story in the Mexican Revolution of the early 1900s and giving the characters Mexican names. The play performed by actors in the Los Colochos Teatro company and directed by Juan Carrillo premiered in 2012. The full video linked on this page is from a 2016 performance and available courtesy of Los Colochos Teatro via their YouTube channel. Read More

La tempestad (The Tempest)

Garcini, Salvador 2011

This 2011 Mexican production of The Tempest, a joint venture involving Mexico’s National University (UNAM), National Institute for the Fine Arts (INBA), and Metroploitan University of Mexico City (UAM), served, among other things, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the play’s first staging.

By having the stage, film, and television actor, Ignacio López-Tarso starring in the show, the play attracted even wider audiences than usual. Fittingly, his casting as Prospero was to a large extent due to the fact that López-Tarso made it his personal priority to play the lead once more, and for the last time, in an UNAM production of a Shakespeare play, after having performed as King Lear in the 1980s, so as to close his involvement with what he himself terms “the finest theatre made in Mexico”. This 86 year-old man is considered to be one of the country’s finest actors; despite his age, his experience and distinct voice made a striking Prospero. Read More

Otelo (Othello)

Ríos, Claudia 2009

Claudia Ríos’ Othello (Hispanicized as Otelo) premiered at Teatro Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, at the main National University Campus in Mexico City, on February 14th 2009. Like every other Shakespeare production at the National University (UNAM), the play attracted a widely diverse audience: students from all schools, academics, critics, and keen theatregoers. The cast included the well‐known actresses from Mexican cinema and TV Ana de la Reguera (Desdemona) and Cecilia Suárez (Emilia). Read More

Ur-Hamlet

Barba, Eugenio 2006

Ur-Hamlet is a multicultural project by Odin Teatret: a performance that brings together the Odin Teatret ensemble, a group of actor-dancers from Bali, Japan, Brazil, musicians from different parts of the world, and a long-term pedagogical project for young trainees from all over the world. Read More

Sueño de una noche de verano (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Faesler, Juliana 2009

An orchestra rehearsal frames the action of this multidisciplinary and contemporary approach to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a joint production of the theater, music and dance departments of the Coordinación de Difusión Cultural UNAM. The scenery is extremely simple: chairs and music stands rest on a printed grass carpet. Aligning the chairs turns the actors into spectators; a musical‐chairs disposition evokes childhood games. Objects acquire symbolic meaning; for instance, musical stands roll around to mirror how apparently and equally simple it is to displace affections or play a different instrument. Read More

Como te guste (As You Like It)

García Lozano, Mauricio 2002

Mexican Director Mauricio García Lozano created the company “El Teatro del Farfullero” in order to provide young actors with early opportunities at highly quality, professional stage work. As You Like It was their project for late 2001 and early 2002. Five panels as a backdrop compose the simple, monochromatic, glum, and metallic scenery at starting. When Rosalind and Celia abandon the palace, the panels twist in order to transform into curved ramps that recreate the Forest of Arden—a strangely lively place, darkly so. Read More

El vano afán del amor (Love’s Labor’s Lost)

Caballero, José 2000

Director José Caballero takes Love’s Labor’s Lost to the beach. The pier, a wide-open sky, a multifunctional scaffold, fishing nets and beach towels set up this seaside Navarre. The flamboyant beachwear completes the nostalgic picture of a popular vacation venue. The robes in the beginning make the King and his court look like monks, yet underneath they wear shorts, striped shirts and Panama hats. The ladies wear glamorous 1950’s swimsuits with dress robes and matching hats that mock the gowns associated with princesses. The rest of the characters wear fisherman’s clothes, a sailor’s uniform, turn-of-the-century male swimsuits; Don Armado looks like a conquistador. His page, Mote, resembles characters from very popular Mexican sitcoms. His songs are also influenced by the traditional music from the coast of the state of Guerrero. Read More

Hamlet P’urhépecha

Arvide, Juan Carlos 1990 | 2 Comments

The translation and performance of Hamlet in the P’urhepecha language—still used by the native pre-Columbian ethnic group of the same name from the mid-west of what is now Mexico—is a fascinating example of how Shakespeare’s works can find its place and meaning in a culture that is radically different from that which produced them. The works of William Shakespeare have been staged in Mexico since the early Nineteenth Century. For instance, Hamlet was first staged in 1821, the year Mexico finally became independent from Spain. However, even nowadays, Shakespearean productions in Mexico sometimes rely on translations made in Spain, forcing performers and audiences to deal with a specific variety of a shared language that is not entirely their own. Read More

Macbeth

Rodríguez, Jesusa 2002

In her production of Macbeth, director Jesusa Rodríguez—a prolific Mexican artist, playwright and activist—links the play with several debates and fears of our time. This performance, intense and daring from the onset—although also very uneven, often pointlessly strident—opens with the lines “Macbeth has murdered sleep”. Insomnia and nightmares will become a central theme throughout the production: we see Lady Macbeth taking sleep pills, while Macbeth turns on the T. V. during the night. Three maids, who are later revealed to be the Weird Sisters, clean the bedroom of the couple and polish Macbeth’s shoes frantically, as if they intended to leave everything spotlessly clean, echoing Lady Macbeth’s obsession. Read More

Ricardo 2 (Richard II)

Singer, Enrique 1996

In 1996 Director Enrique Singer—in charge of Teatro UNAM since 2008—brought a history play to the Mexican stage, which by then had seldom hosted any other but Richard III. The text is pared down to quite a short adaptation. The set is almost bare and dark. The floor’s uneven levels create a stairway with really large square platforms that, among other things, convey in visual terms the notion of subordination to the king, as well as the ascent and descent of rulers and politicians. Read More

Huapango

Lipkies, Ivan 2004

In this 2004 film, inspired by Othello, the classic from William Shakespeare, Ivan Lipkies takes the characters and places them in the Huasteca of Tamaulipas during the most important festival of the region. The story begins when young Julia, huapango national champion, announces her marriage to the distinguished and wealthy rancher Otilio, while Santiago, her dance partner, driven by jealousy and spite, decides to take revenge on the newlyweds. Read More