A new production of “Don Quixote” by a local theater group is embarking on a 40-day tour around Costa Rica. Along the way, it’ll be introducing a new education program to the country.
After debuting last week at San José’s Variedades Theater, Terruño Espressivo and TNT ensemble theater group of England are bringing the play to places as far as the Southern Zone and up to the Nicaraguan border. The wide-ranging tour will assist in promoting the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at harder-to-reach public schools.
An initiative begun in February 2008 by the Association of IB Schools of Costa Rica (Asobitico) plans to install the internationally recognized high school curriculum in 20 Costa Rican public schools over the next few years. The “Don Quixote” production hopes to advance the initiative by using the play as a way to introduce the specialized and highly regarded curriculum to more rural schools. Information about the production and the IB program will be available at the shows. All proceeds from the play will go toward the initiative.
Seven girls from the Palmares School, the first public school in Costa Rica to graduate students from the IB program (TT, March 12), helped with production of the play. They helped create scenery, helped organize the tour in communities and aided actors in preparing for their performances.
“They’re very close to what’s happening,” said Eduardo Mosheim, a producer with Terruño Espressivo.
The students will accompany the tour depending on their schedule. A rotation will allow students to work – and promote the IB program – on some dates while still allowing them time to return home for exams and other work. The tour was set to begin this week in the northwestern province of Guanacaste and will travel to the Caribbean slope at the end of July for performances at schools in Pococí and Cariari in the Limón province.
Alicia Méndez, one of the students helping on the set, said it’s a tough commitment. However, working with the cast and the production has been great, she said.
“I love it, because you meet a bunch of people and have a lot of experiences,” said Méndez, 16. “For example, yesterday I learned to hook up the sound. I’ve already learned a ton of things.”
Pablo Morales directs this version of the play based on the Miguel de Cervantes classic novel.