Breaking away from the tradition of performing fractured fairy tales, students in all levels of Spanish classes will present the soap opera “El Amor Esta En La Biblioteca” on April 29 at 12:30 p.m. and April 30 at noon in Evans Building Room 105.
“I thought it was more realistic (than the fairy tale-based plays), and it would keep more people’s interest,” said Spanish instructor and play director Andrea Bacorn. “Everybody loves a hammy soap opera. You can be sort of funny with it.”
In true soap opera fashion, the play is based on a ‘love triangle’, according to junior Sonia Bustos, who plays ‘Erica’.
“The play is about this guy named Alejandro, who is in love with Veronica, but Veronica is in love with John, her American boyfriend. They make fun of how he (John) talks (because he speaks broken Spanish),” Bustos said. “So Alejandro hires the Mafia guy to kill John.”
The play is a “work in progress-as always” and Bacorn said she has depended on the students a lot because they have taken a much more active part in its production this semester.
“I wrote the play, but they (the students) have changed it and they have added parts. That always happens,” Bacorn said.. “There’s a part where Katie wanted John to propose to her, so we just worked that out. She said, ‘I think he should propose to me’ or someone would say, ‘This isn’t working’ or ‘I don’t understand’, and the three chorus girls really developed their scenes.
“We’ve adapted it to these talented students,” she said.
Though the play is performed entirely in Spanish, it is done in a way that even those who speak very little Spanish can understand what is happening, according to freshman Amanda Hirsch, who plays ‘chica dos’.
“Anybody who didn’t even know Spanish could come in and watch it and understand it,” Hirsch said. “Ms. Bacorn told us to do a whole lot of movement with it, so even if you just have (Spanish) now, you can figure out what’s going on.”
The students who perform in the play also benefit from the opportunity to practice Spanish outside of the classroom.
“In a classroom you don’t ever speak Spanish (conversationally),” said junior Tom Johnson, who plays ‘Mafioso’. “In the classroom, you have to write in stuff, but in this, you actually get to speak it.”
“It helps me to understand the composition of Spanish. It’s conversational,” said senior Tasha Espinoza, who plays ‘chica tres’. “In Spanish one and two you learn vocabulary and Spanish three, which I will be in next semester, it’s going to help you learn sentence structure and verb conjugation.”
Freshman Joe Reagey, who plays ‘Juan Carlos’, said being in the play is a more enjoyable way to learn Spanish.
“I really enjoy this play because I don’t speak Spanish, and this is helping me comprehend Spanish. It also helps me in class and in lab,” Reagey said. “It helps me understand the structure of the language.”
Johnson said students who attend the play will enjoy it because it is satirical.
“It’s a really good way for people to get exposure, in a fun way, other than a classroom,” Hirsch said. “I wanted to engage myself in Spanish culture and this is one of the only ways you can.”
The play is open to everyone and traditionally has had a good turnout.