bilingual theater workshop for area youth
Teatro Chirmol, a bilingual theater workshop for area youth, gives an authentic voice to the local Latino community, integrates Latino youth with university students, and provides community education about the assets and challenges of living biculturally in the Shenandoah Valley.
Teatro Chirmol, which began in 2002, derives its name from a type of salsa (chirmol) that combines seemingly incongruent flavors to make a tasty salsa that works well together.
Participants come from several Latin American countries and range in age from 14 to 25.
New Semester, New Theme
Each semester focuses on a different theme; last December the group presented the traditional Mexican nativity play, "La Pastorela." Spring semester provides opportunity for students to write their own material, which results in several shorter sketches, mimes and original work.
"Teatro Chirmol seeks to provide a space and place where as a community we can open up conversations about difficult topics and grow together in our understanding and appreciation for the wonderful diversity that exists in our community," said Deanna F. Durham, director of EMU's community learning center, which originated the program.
Grant funds have been provided by the Arts Council of the Valley and the Virginia State Commission for the Arts.