Teaching Intercultural Communicative Competence Through Theater
On December 20, the entire Upper School went to see the Repertorio Español’s production of La Gringa, directed by René Buch.
Founded in 1968, Repertorio Español has introduced works of Latin American, Spanish and Hispanic-American theater to students and New York theater-goers alike. Productions are performed in Spanish with an English translation bar raised above the stage.
Upper School students, thanks to the generosity of Horacio Herzberg, grandparent of a current sixth grade student and parent of alum David Herzberg ’89 P'22, were able to review their Spanish vocabulary while enjoying the comedy, La Gringa. Set in modern-day Puerto Rico, the play follows a young woman who is visiting her relatives for the first time. Born in New York, the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants has traveled back to Puerto Rico to learn more about her roots. What she discovers is a new type of alienation and struggle with identity that many other American-born children of immigrants face today.
“As a Spanish Department we aim to foster our students’ intercultural communicative competence by having them identify, compare, explain, analyze, and evaluate their own culture as well as other cultures. We were able to witness La Gringa discover her Puerto Rican culture through an innate curiosity and excitement. The journey helped her bridge the two worlds in which she was living. This is exactly what we hope to see in our students. We want to expand their own world view, develop a sensitivity toward alternative perspectives and cultural differences, and to expand their own identity as global citizens,” said Samara Spielberg, Head of the Spanish Department.
Special thanks again to Horacio Herzberg for supporting this excellent field trip.