UW Today

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March 4, 2010

‘El Gesticulador’ (The Impostor) to be performed in Spanish at Ethnic Cultural Theatre

Students in the UW Spanish Play Production class will present El Gesticulador (The Impostor) March 13 and 14 at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre. The play, written in 1938 by Mexican dramatist Rodolfo Usigli, will be performed in Spanish.

El Gesticulador centers around Cesar Rubio, an unemployed professor who, in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, settles with his family in a small town in the north of Mexico. There, a professor from Harvard University confuses him for a missing revolutionary hero with the same name. Rubio claims to be the hero, telling the professor that he was disillusioned with the outcome of the revolution and had decided to retire from public life.

But when the story is published by the New York Times, Rubio gets more attention than he bargained for, and soon he’s running for governor of his state against a corrupt revolutionary general. The situation comes to a head when the two meet privately — each knowing a secret that the other does not want anyone else to know.

Originally published in the literary review El hijo pródigo in 1938, the play was not staged until 1947. Its debut was welcomed by the public, but drew hostility from the Mexican government, resulting in several performances being cancelled.

Curtain time for the UW production is 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 and are available through www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.