The Astoria Performing Arts Center has received a grant from Queens Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs to present four bilingual performances by the successful and popular children’s theater company Viva Stage. <
Viva Stage presents original plays and musicals, as well as adaptations of well-known works, such as Chekhov’s “The Marriage Proposal,” in Spanish and English for children of all ages. This touring company was created nine years ago by Executive Director/Producer/Writer Susana Crisan. The company consists of professional actors Fior Marte, Oscar Mory and Sonia Villar, and has performed in theaters, streets, parks, museums and schools.
Viva Stage’s productions are non-violent and geared to show the diversity of culture, the strengths and weaknesses of humans through the eyes of animals, plants or animated objects while delivering fun and entertainment.
APAC’s executive producer, Susan Scannell, said “I had wanted to bring children’s theater to the community since we started up. I also wanted to provide low-cost but really high-quality theater for the Spanish-speaking kids in the community. Then, almost a year ago, I read an article about Susana’s theater group and I contacted her. I went to see a performance that her group did in a library and got chills when I saw how the kids loved the show.”
Each actor says each line in Spanish and then in English right away. Not only is Viva Stage’s audience hearing a great play in their own language, but they are also learning another other language without trying.
“If parents speak only one language, they can still understand and enjoy the play with their child,” Scannell said. “I’m very excited to be able to present Viva Stage to Astoria and Long Island City, and I hope this is a beginning of a long relationship in the community.“
March 1 & 2 at 3 p.m.
“If Only I Could Be” / “Los Sueos Del Coquí”
A 60-minute bi-lingual musical fable centered around the tiny Coquí (a frog, the symbol of Puerto Rico) who wishes to be important and able to go beyond his native pond. Thanks to the help of a girl and an angel, Coquí becomes human. As a human he becomes rich and powerful, but wants to be even more important. In the end, through our Coquí, we learn the value, joy and importance of being who we are.
April 5 & 6 at 3 p.m.
“Where’s Teeny?” / “¿Dondé Esta Teeny?”
A 60-minute bilingual musical with lots of dancing about a girl who is unhappy because she must to her homework and help around the house — she feels she will be happier somewhere else. An angel arrives to help. Together they travel around the world to places like Texas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Africa, Asia and more. At each stop the girl is shown the best of each land by singing crickets, dancing pineapples, lions and dragons. Finally she ends up in a beautiful land where the sky is filled with many stars. She decides that this is where she belongs. To her surprise this wonderful place is her very own home in New York, and the stars are the lights of Manhattan.
Performances are held at The Astoria Performing Arts Center, 31-30 33rd St. in Astoria (between 31st Ave & Broadway).
All tickets are $2.
For information and reservations call: 718-278-5925 (English), 718-897-6858 (Spanish).