Review: The Circus That Came from Mars | Teatro Dallas

The Art in 'Martian'

At Teatro Dallas, The Circus that Came from Mars is a visual treat for children of all ages, no matter how many languages you speak. Review in English and Spanish.

published Sunday, February 8, 2015

Photo: Leticia Alaniz
The Circus That Came From Mars at Teatro Dallas

Dallas — Written in 1950 by Alfredo Cardona Peña, The Circus that Came from Mars, a play for children and adults alike, transports the audience to a make belief world of images and magic of the circus. While the spoken words of the narrators (sort of ring leaders) in the Teatro Dallas production are in Spanish, and the cast is a blend of Latina/a and Anglo actors, neither of these categories matter. Although the way in which a bilingual person processes the performance experience may differ from the way in which a monolingual person who is anxious about ‘understanding it right’ might, once you let that go, it really doesn’t matter. An English-only spectator that prioritizes literality in theatrical language over the visual and aural possibilities of a poetic mise en scène will miss out on the pure joy of this piece designed for audiences who still believe in magic. As we all know, magic needs no words.

In the case of The Circus that Came from Mars, magic—literally as in circus magic acts—evokes a sense of awe and wonder. Opening with a marvelous classical musical piece with color circles dancing in mid-air, to Izzy May’s dancing hula hoops, to the minimal wonder of the midget elephants, to the admirable dexterity of illusionist Robert Moreno (previously seen in TD’s Santos: A Wondering Soul and The Masks of Sor Juana) children and adults alike—myself included—repeatedly gasped “How they do that?!” Kudos for the cast of wonderful young actors who train with Teatro Dallas! Professionals one and all –right down to the midget elephants!

Teatro Dallas is celebrating 30 years of bringing to North Texas quality theatrical programming for children and adults of all cultural backgrounds. As such, this cultural treasure deserves our continued support.


En Español:

Escrita en 1950 por Alfredo Cadona Peña, El circo que llegó de Martes, esta obra para niños y adultos transporta a los espectadores hacia al mundo imaginístico y mágico del circo. Mientras que los parlamentos de los Narradores, en el producción de Teatro Dallas, son articulados en español y el elenco refleja una mezcla de actores latinos y anglos, ninguna de estas categorías importa demasiado. La manera en la cual alguien bilingüe procesa la experiencia performativa puede ser muy diferente a la de una persona monolingüe ansioso de ‘entenderlo bien.’ Aquí apunto al espectador monolingüe en inglés que prioriza el aspecto literal del lenguaje teatral por encima de las posibilidades que brindan una puesta en escena altamente visual y aural, perderá la oportunidad de disfrutar de la pura alegría de esta obra diseñada para espectadores que todavía creen en la magia. Como todos sabemos, la magia no necesita de la palabra.

En el caso de El circo que llegó de Martes, la magia, me refiero literalmente a los actos de magia circenses, evocan asombro y maravilla. Empieza con un número musical clásico acompañado por círculos de luces que danzan en el espacio, a los aros de hula de Izzy May, a la maravilla de los elefantes enanos, a la destreza admirable del ilusionista Robert Moreno (previamente en Santos: A Wondering Soul and The Masks of Sor Juana) se escuchó susurros de ‘¿Cómo lo hizo?’ por igual partes de adultos y niños — claro que me incluyo en este grupo de maravillados. Aplausos para el elenco de actores juveniles que se han entrenado con Teatro Dallas, ¡todo son profesionales de primera categoría — hasta los elefantes enanos!

Este año Teatro Dallas celebra treinta años de brindarle al norte de Texas programación teatral para adultos y niños de cualquier antecedente cultural. Como tal, este tesoro cultural merece nuestro continuo apoyo.


» Teresa Marrero, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latina/o Theater, Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of North Texas Thanks For Reading

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The Art in 'Martian'
At Teatro Dallas, The Circus that Came from Mars is a visual treat for children of all ages, no matter how many languages you speak. Review in English and Spanish.
by Teresa Marrero

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