San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Bilingual-School Shows

THE British School ofCosta Rica’s latest productionwas dramatic proof that somefine young talent is emergingin the country to face the footlights.The April 28 productionof the award-winning “Hombresen Escabeche,” by CostaRican author Ana Istarú, was afunny and at times movingsatire of a young woman’sstruggle against machismo andemotional indifference.Cristina Robles, in the leadrole as Alicia, helped by herfour alter personae at differentstages of her odyssey to adulthood,described her experienceswith the men in her lifewith almost unbearable resilienceand optimistic belief inultimately finding a satisfactoryrelationship. They were all there: thefather who prefers his son; the disparagingmacho-in-the-making brother; the firstlover who gets what he wants; the philosopherwho gets too much and runs away;and other colorful male specimens whohave crossed her path.Produced by the Spanish department aspart of the International Baccalaureate curriculum,the show was presented effectivelywith a simple black-box set in the modernauditorium of the Humboldt School, inthe western San José district of Pavas. Thecast of mostly high-school students hadcomplete command of the stage, and werecompetent at delivering these still-relevantsocial issues with both comedic momentsand thought-provoking irony.In her portrayal of Alicia the universitystudent, Nadia Halum’s heart-wrenchingattempt to rouse her drunken, broken fatherto acknowledge her presence brought tearsto more than one audience member.Several of the actors have alreadyappeared in Little Theatre Group productions.The learning experiences and evolutionof this young group of keen dramatistspromises that future British School productionsin English or Spanish will be wellworth attending.

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