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Aurora stages world premiere of Spanish version of play

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Aurora Theatre is preparing to launch the world premiere of the Spanish-language version of “Barrio Hollywood.”

The production is part of the Aurora’s Spanish language theater initiative, Teatro del Sol. The main goal of the initiative is the preservation of Hispanic cultural heritage. About one in five Gwinnett residents are Hispanic, according the U.S. Census Bureau, and Teatro del Sol strives to develop programming to better serve this rapidly growing community.

The first production of the Teatro del Sol initiative was in 2004, when a bilingual cast performed “Life is a Dream/La Vida es Sueño” as part of the Aurora’s main stage season. The actors performed the play in English from Thursday through Saturday and in Spanish on Sunday evenings.

In 2005, the Aurora presented the Georgia premiere of “4 Guys Named Jose and una Mujer Named Maria,” which was written to be performed in both English and Spanish.

Three years later, the Aurora partnered with the Peruvian consulate to sponsor “Peru: Land of the InKas — A night of dance and music.”

“Continuing this series has been something I have given a great deal of consideration since our expansion to Lawrenceville,” Aurora Theatre Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez said. “I’m thrilled to have found a project and a playwright to reinvigorate Teatro del Sol.”

In “Barrio Hollywood,” Alex Moreno, a Mexican-American boxer, dreams of fighting his way out of poverty. When Alex is injured, the Morenos dreams are deferred in this gritty drama about biracial romance, family loyalty and the true pursuit of happiness.

The play, part of the Georgia Gwinnett College Lab Series, will be presented in Spanish with English supertitles.

For native Spanish speakers, it will be a rare opportunity to enjoy a live professional play. Those who do not speak the language can follow along with supertitles, just like when attending a foreign film. A detailed synopsis will also be offered to patrons who wish to read the story beforehand.

GGC Lab performances are held in the Aurora Studio, which gives audiences a very intimate experience with plays that resonate particularly with young adults.

“Barrio Hollywood,” by Elaine Romero, runs April 14 to May 1. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $15.

For more information, visit www.auroratheatre.com or call 678-226-6222.