Telling Our Stories

Rebecca Medrano of GALA Hispanic Theatre
Portrait of an older woman with red hair wearing a lacy top outdoors.

Rebecca Medrano, co-founder and executive director of GALA Hispanic Theatre. Photo courtesy of GALA Hispanic Theatre

For more than 45 years, GALA (Grupo de Artistas LatinoAmericanos) Hispanic Theatre has been promoting and sharing Hispanic/Latinx arts and cultures with the Washington, DC, community. From their first play, La Fiaca by Argentine Ricardo Talesnik, to their current NEA-supported production, Revoltosa, an 1897 zarzuela adapted by contemporary Spanish playwright Paco Gámez, GALA has developed and produced works that explore the breadth of Hispanic/Latinx performing arts. In addition to their productions, GALA has a year-round bilingual education program, Paso Nuevo, for high school students to learn theater arts skills.

Co-Founder and Executive Director Rebecca Medrano credits the theater’s longevity to the fact that they’re learning something every day. “It was a crazy idea when it started. It is still crazy but worth doing, because I would have been bored doing anything else. I learned so much. Every day I learn from the young people. I learned from the community we serve. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity. And I think that's the joy of it. And that's really what's behind a lot of creativity, or what gets people to be creative, is the joy of creating.”

In her own words, here’s more from Medrano on the importance of GALA Hispanic Theatre to the DC community, the difficulties of running a culturally specific organization, and the importance of producing plays in Spanish.

Transcripts: English | Spanish