GALA En Familia

Updated: Jul 15

Bringing you family-friendly online content with lectures, interviews, and a storytime series during the COVID-19 times.

Each week, we bring you new performances by and interviews with our artists through our website, e-newsletter, and social media platforms. For children, there are fun stories to delight and discover. All content is in Spanish! You can enjoy video clips and photographs from acclaimed productions on our social media accounts.

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GALA's Co-founder and Artistic Producing Director Hugo Medrano launches our digital strategy to continue to serve the community through high-quality online contents for both adults and children.

Poetry for the Soul

Company member Luz Nicolás recites La casada infiel (The Unfaithful Wife), a poem by Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. Listen to her conversation with Hugo Medrano as they discuss why she selected the poem, the themes she explored in interpreting the text, and Lorca’s role in Spain's cultural legacy. An intimate conversation between two artists!

Stories Of Exile, The Human Perspective Producing Artistic Director Hugo Medrano speaks with actor Horacio Peña, who provided a thoughtful portrait of the Spanish philosopher and writer Miguel de Unamuno last season in The Old Man, The Youth, and the Sea. These two accomplished artists, who once shared the stage in Argentina and Spain, engage in a lively exchange about the play that brought them together again and its exploration of a man forced into exile, a theme familiar to both.

From Spain To DC: Another Journey Begins A riveting monologue from Yerma by Federico García Lorca, performed by Helen Hayes award-winning Spanish actor Mabel del Pozo. An invigorating conversation between between GALA's Co-founder Hugo Medrano, del Pozo, and director José Luis Arellano, who received a Helen Hayes Award for Yerma. Enjoy the dialogue exploring themes in Lorca’s masterpiece that still ring true today.

Inspiring Women Today

Inés Domínguez del Corral overcomes travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19 to connect from Colombia in a conversation with Hugo Medrano. Domínguez initiates the chat with a moving interpretation of the song Alfonsina y el mar (the song pays homage to the beloved Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni). Medrano and Domínguez, a GALA company member and Paso Nuevo teaching artist, discuss Storni's contributions to feminist thought in the early 20th century, her life and death, and how the poet inspires her. Hear Inés reveal her favorite GALA show!

When Laughter Leads To Reflection

From Divorcees, Evangelists, and Vegetarians to La Foto - A Selfie Affair, GALA has staged many gems by playwright and director Gustavo Ott. With great gusto, his plays take audiences from rousing laughter to silent reflection as his characters deal with life-changing circumstances. Join the dynamic and fun conversation between GALA’s Producing Artistic Director Hugo Medrano and Ott about the playwright’s career, his writing style, and his relationship with GALA.

Acting, Music, and More... Versatility at its Best

Alex Iraheta shares an original monologue that reflects on hunger and the world around us from the perspective of a homeless person. In a dynamic conversation with Hugo Medrano, Alex touches on his early days as a member of the diverse musical group Nexo Social, which focused on social commentary; his time as an actor and performer with GALA’s bilingual children’s program, GALita; and now his days as budding playwright.

Language - From a Barrier Into a Bridge

Meet Mexican playwright Karen Zacarías, one of the most produced playwrights in the country. In a casual and candid conversation with GALA co-founder Hugo Medrano that touches on her artistic journey and career, Karen shares why she writes primarily in English and how her plays ---Los pecados de Sor Juana and Mariela en el desierto---found a home at GALA in Spanish.

A Life Of Community Service Through The Arts

Salvadoran playwright, poet, and activist Quique Avilés shares his poem Los niños quieren salir a jugar (Children Want To Play Outside). Like much of his poetry that deals with issues of social justice, the poem speaks to the violence and poverty affecting the lives of children in El Salvador, including the simple joy of playing outdoors. In a casual exchange of ideas with Hugo Medrano, GALA’s Producing Artistic Director, Quique talks about his artistic journey that began in his native country to Washington, where he founded Latinegro and Sol y Soul.

Multicultural Youth Fly High

Another school year has come to a close, reaching an important milestone in the lives of young people graduating from local high schools. Two of the graduates are Marcelina López and Jenny López, who are also concluding their participation as students in Paso Nuevo, GALA’s after-school training program for Latinx and multicultural youth. Through poems, they share their thoughts about the Class of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges they faced. Hear how Marcelina and Jenny grew stronger as they discovered and developed their talents, and grew hopeful about the future through Paso Nuevo.

From Los Andes to DC, Honoring the Bolivian Heritage

Bolivian artist and musician Carlos Arrien performs the song La humedad de tu espalda by Jesús Durán, and engages in a casual conversation with Hugo Medrano. Arrien reveals how playing popular Bolivian music after moving to the US connected him to his home country; how music group meetings taught him about the DC community and the socio-political landscape, which led him to creating art that reflected on social issues; and how he first performed at GALA in a production honoring Nobel Prize-winner poet Pablo Neruda.

For Children and their Families - Leyendo con GALita, a 12-week series

(Videos available only through August 31, 2020)

Episode 1 - El día en que descubres quien eres (The Day You Find Out Who You Are)

Beautifully read by Melissa Strova-Valencia, Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that sometimes we all feel like outsiders, and yet how brave it is to go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and share our stories, others will happily meet us halfway.

Episode 2 - Wonder: Todos somos únicos (We Are All Unique)

With spare, powerful text and richly-imagined illustrations by R.J Palacio, the story reveals what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world - a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. Auggie’s story taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. Read by Tsaitami Duchicela, this insightful book is perfect to talk about empathy, difference, and kindness with young children.

Episode 3 - Francisca y la muerte (Francisca And Death)

This is a Cuban folktale about Francisca, an energetic abuelita who is always busy helping others in town! When Death goes looking for her, will she find her? Adapted by Onelio Jorge Cardoso and illustrated by Genaro Cantú, this charming story, as told by Catherine Nunez's sweet voice, is a love letter to all abuelitas and a reminder of how much they contribute to their communities.

Episode 4 - Soñadores (Dreamers)

Celebrate what immigrants carry with them when they leave their homes. This story about family is a reminder that we are all dreamers taking our own gifts wherever we roam. Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales, A beautiful and powerful book, it has a particular urgency today when the status of our "Dreamers” is uncertain. Chilean actor Karen Morales-Chacana reads this topical and timeless tale.

Episode 5 - ¿Dónde va a parar? (Where Do They Go?)

A beautifully crafted poem for children that gently addresses the emotional side of death. Written by best-selling novelist and children’s author Julia Álvarez, and illustrated by Vermont woodcut artist Sabra Field, ¿Dónde va a parar? helps answer difficult questions such as "When someone dies, where do they go?... where the wind goes when it blows." In Peter Pereyra’s sensitive and comforting voice, the poem becomes a meditation on loss.

Episode 6 - Escuchando con mi corazón: Un cuento de bondad y autocompasión (Listening with My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-compassion)

Listening to Karen Romero’s dulcet voice read this story is a reminder of the importance of being kind to oneself. This tale written by Gabi García and illustrated by Ying Hui Tan touches on the universal themes of friendship, empathy, and compassion. Activities included in the video!

Episode 7 - Lola

When Lola’s teacher asks her students to draw a picture of the place from which their families immigrated, they are all excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island -she left as a baby. In this story by Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz and illustrated by Leo Espinosa, Lola’s imagination, with the help of her family and friends and their memories, takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. In Guadalís del Carmen's dynamic voice, we see that as Lola draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, she understands the truth of her abuela’s words:“Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”

Episode 8 -¡Solo pregunta! Sé diferente, sé valiente, sé tú (Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be Yourself)

In this uplifting book, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities that kids (and people of all ages) have. Based on her experience as a child with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about the challenges children face –and the special powers they possess. In this tale, illustrated by Rafael López and brought to life by Eric Swartz's voice, kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other and encouraging readers to do the same. So when we meet someone who is different from us, but we’re not sure why, … ¡solo pregunta! (Just Ask!).

Episode 9 - Los deseos de Carmela (Carmela's Wishes)

Little Carmela wakes up on her birthday to a wish come true—she can finally join her brother as he runs the family errands! Across the neighborhood they traveled, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería. Arriving at the Laundromat, Carmela spots a lone dandelion growing through the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother asks Carmela to make a wish. What is Carmela’s wish? Listen to the soothing voice of Nayra Guevara read the story written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Find out Carmela's wish!

Episode 10 - Doña Flor

Doña Flor is a giant lady who lives in a tiny village where children use her flowers as trumpets and her leftover tortillas as rafts. When the villagers hear a terrifying noise coming from just beyond the edge of town, Flor sets off for the highest mesa to find the creature behind the scary noise. Find the excitement of the search and the mystery of Pat Mora’s story in Paz López's sweet, reassuring voice!

Episode 11 -La casa de algún día (The One Day House)

Wilson dreams of making life for his elderly neighbor, Gigi, more comfortable by repairing her house. When Gigi's house is selected for a community renovation project, the whole neighborhood comes together in a selfless act of community service and leadership. Mauricio Pita's dynamic voice captures the buzz of activity and excitement in this inspiring story written by Julia Durango and illustrated by Bianca Díaz. This video is no longer available due to publisher's permission restrictions.

Episode 12 -Mi papi tiene una moto (My Daddy Has A Motorcycle)

Daisy Ramona zooms through her neighborhood with papi on his motorcycle. She rejoices in seeing the people and places she’s always known but takes in how the community is rapidly changing. As the sunset glows purple-blue-gold behind them, Daisy knows the love she feels for this special place will always be there. In Solange Vázquez Quianes' tender voice, this heart felt story by award-winning author Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña, celebrates the love between a father and daughter and pays homage to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

We appreciate your commitment to GALA and are confident that you understand the adverse financial impact on GALA and our peers caused by the COVID-19 crisis. In these uncertain times, we need to help each other. That is why we ask you to help us continue to serve the community by making a gift to GALA of any size in order to support our efforts during this unexpected period. Thank you!



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