Theater Presents First Bilingual Play

Stories of El Rio gives actors chance to show their language skills


William Hernandez

Sophomore Davis Kirkland and sophomore Anna Reyero in the first CTHS bilingual play, Stories El Rio.

Abby Rojas, Editor

The auditorium goes dark and the curtain opens. The spotlight centers in on one person as the play begins. The audience listens intently as the actors deliver their lines with emotion and really begin to tell a story. Unlike regular shows, however, this play has attracted an audience that is here for more than just a good show. They’ve come to see Chisholm’s first ever bilingual show – The Stories of El Rio. 

Over the past few weeks, the theatre department has worked to bring together the show together, memorizing lines both in English and Spanish and working their movements until their performances Nov. 2 and 4. 

“I think that this show really helped show off different people’s skills,” senior Ethan Montelongo said. “I’m of Hispanic descent myself, so it was different because I finally got to show who I truly am because in this play I got to show my heritage and I was able to represent it.” 

Even with all of the actors’ hard work, putting on a bilingual play when it had never been done before was far from being an easy task.  

It wasn’t just some random play that we decided to do. This one really had meaning to it and was set around Mexican cultures and stories.”

— Luci Garcia

“The Spanish play was very different from one that was in complete English,” Ethan said. “Me and the other Spanish speakers had to read paragraphs where one paragraph would be in English and the next one would be in Spanish, and we had to remember not to say them in the wrong language because it was very tempting to do that.” 

However, actors said there were some advantages to putting on a play in two languages. 

” When we spoke to our director, he said that this bilingual show wasn’t really something that was done,” junior Luci Garcia said. “It really wasn’t a side of EMS that was shown very often because we did a lot of mainstream stories and plays and this one was very different. I think it’s good to be inclusive with different people of different backgrounds so that they could help represent their own culture.” 

Luci also enjoyed how the play was set to help represent different cultures. 

“It wasn’t just some random play that we decided to do,” Luci said. “This one really had meaning to it and was set around Mexican cultures and stories.” 

Although there were some obstacles, this play could be the first of more cultural additions to fine arts at CTHS. 

“I would definitely do something like this in the future,” Ethan said. “I think it would be great if we could try and also include other cultures as well to represent everybody so that maybe a student could see that play and think, ‘Hey, I’m not alone, they’re representing my culture as well.'”