‘Latin American Spectacle’ comes to Hyde Square

A rehearsal of the “Latin American Spectacle” inside the Blessed Sacrament Church.   Courtesy Photo by Vanessa Aguirreche Snow

A rehearsal of the “Latin American Spectacle” inside the Blessed Sacrament Church.
Courtesy Photo by Vanessa Aguirreche Snow

The Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), Double Edge Theatre, and Charlestown Working Theater are teaming up to bring “Latin American Spectacle” to the Blessed Sacrament Campus this Memorial Day weekend on May 28 and May 29.

Double Edge Theatre’s “Latin American Spectacle” is an indoor/outdoor public performance based off its “Once a Blue Moon” production, which was conceived by Stacy Klein, Carlos Uriona, and Matthew Glassman.

Carlos Uriona of Double Edge Theatre, who was a street performer in Argentina before coming to the United States in 1996, said material for the story comes from “our lives and research” and that it addresses displacement of community, which he called a “universal subject.” He pointed to the high-priced developments in Boston and how neighborhood identities are being threatened as an example. Uriona said that the production will feature an array of Latin dancing and music.

Brenda Rodriguez-Andujar of HSTF said that it’s “wonderful” to see youths from the community interacting with the professionals from Double Edge, adding that they are role models the youth can learn from and work with. She said the youths have been working with Double Edge since February.

“We are immensely proud of them,” said Rodriguez-Andujar.

She said the performance will take place both outside and inside the Blessed Sacrament Church and there will be parade from the church building down Centre Street to Mozart Park.

Vanessa Aguirreche Snow said that the church building is “safe and secure” and it is the first time it will be opened to the public since it closed in 2004. She said that maintenance on the church has happened since the organization acquired the building.

HSTF finalized in February 2014 the purchase of the building from Church Square Partners, which is a partnership between the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) and New Atlantic Development. The purchase followed years of stalled redevelopment efforts that culminated in a controversial plan for high-end residential units. Rodriguez-Andujar said conversations continue over the future use of the church and the Memorial Day weekend event will generate more interest and ideas for the building.

The production is supported from the New England Foundation for the Arts, ArtPlace, the Boston Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, and the City of Boston.

“Latin American Special” is the official kick-off for HSTF’s summer series, ¡Viva! el Latin Quarter. The series offers which offers free programming four nights a week from June 21 through August 12. The series invites people to come together to enjoy free theater, Zumba, concerts, and movies in the neighborhood.

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