Theater Week in the UPRM
Thursday, March 24, 2011
by: Eduardo J. Mestey Oyola
The University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez has always been a vehicle of art expression for the community. In accordance with this, from March 21 to March 26, the Campus’ own theater group, TeatRUM, celebrated their second Theater Week for the enjoyment of the university community. Three days of workshops and activities for the public took place in room CH 122 of the Chardón Building, a place affectionately called “El Teatrito” (The Small Theater).
Amongst the performing activities was the ever-popular Gulemberí@s, an improv presentation that pretends to teach newcomers to the theater scene the tools and techniques needed to portray themselves adequately in a theater presentation. Marian Martínez, a veteran of the theater group, was in charge of the week’s exercise.
The other activities ranged from a conference lead by Dr. Nelson Rivera to workshops lead by various integrants of the TeatRUM group. Through these activities the group pretends to create awareness of the performing arts on Campus, as well as to give those interested students the opportunity to develop their talents.
In talking with a few members of the theater group emotions towards the event ranged from satisfaction to utter discontent. One even said: “this one sucks!” According to her the reason for this expression is that in the previous Theater Week there were plays being presented to the public, a thing that is gravely missing in this year’s celebration.
Much of the problems facing the Theater Week have a lot to do with the climate that is affecting the University. Budget cuts, lack of availability of materials, the willingness of the administration to cooperate with the student groups, have all affected the way activities are carried out within the campus.
Nonetheless Theater Week is an initiative with much soul. Like the group itself, it has the purpose of showing a majorly technical school the importance and beauty behind the arts.
Along its 40 year run TeatRUM, then known as Club Dramático Colegial, has gifted the public in Mayagüez with different theatrical presentations. La Lorqueada, a most recent event, explored the works of celebrated Spanish poet and dramatist, Federico García Lorca.
TeatRUM has also been a defender of student rights and a denouncer of the marginalization suffered by the arts in the Campus. They have participated in various events in favor of the student struggle and have also lent their support and opinion through special performances in which they advocate for a better University by means of comedy and absurdity.
With their battle cry “Don’t let the arts die out in the UPRM!” TeatRUM wins a spot in the minds and hearts of everyone that comes to one of their presentations.