Panama seeks to promote theater with new ideas

Teatro Anita Villaláz

Panamanian cultural creators and managers have sought to energize theater in Panama by building new spaces and holding short-lived festivals.

Although the dynamics have been fluctuating, with ups and downs, the theatrical scene presents a varied offer that invites spectators to formulate concerns about the development of culture in today's society.

That is why some filmmakers dare to assure that Panamanian theater is growing. Such is the case of theatrical director Aaron Zebede, who indicated to the El - Teatro website that the offer of cultural spaces in Panama is scarce, but that it is necessary to accompany the process towards the development of this art.

From this premise was born La Plaza Theater, a room of 180 seats located in Obarrio, which offers scenic performances for all tastes.

"The same producers were fighting the same four private rooms, because the biggest theaters in the city are much more difficult to guide," Zebede told to El - Teatro.

The most recognized spaces are the National Theater, located in the historic center of Panama City; the ABA Theater active since 2010; the Teatro En Círculo created in 1961; the Balboa Theater, one of the largest complexes in the country with capacity for 1145 people; and the Teatro La Quadra that works as an experimental place for creation and rehearsals. Among others are the Anita Villalaz Theater and the Theater Guild of Ancon.

The permeability of the traditional cultures of Central America and the United States, has made the spectators get closer to the theater when it comes to works by American authors or montages. Successes like “Mamma, Mia!” and “Rock of Ages” are the most remembered by the public.

Also the comedy has grabbed the best sellers in recent times, as "Cónyuges" and “Casado de día, soltero de noche.”

But the new bet is a project of artistic integration through the realization of different festivals, which bring together the guild in one place. The theatrical festival attracts the attention of the masses, and that is why events such as the First International Festival of Children's Theater 2017 (Festin) and the Festival of Panamanian Theater, aim at the future continuation of their editions.

The latter one is already in its fourth edition and is presented as part of the Summer Blue INAC 2017, until April 9 at the Teatro Anita Villaláz and Casa Góngora.

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