‘Anna in the Tropics’ first bilingual performance by Players

'Anna in the Tropics' is the first play in which the Players speak in both English and Spanish. — Caitlin Harbach/TRUMPET

Wartburg Players took the stage for the first time in Wartburg history performing a play in both English and Spanish.

During the play, performers switch off speaking in English and Spanish. The play will be performed completely in Spanish on Nov. 8.

Eight Wartburg students performed “Anna in the Tropics” Nov. 2-3 at McCaskey Lyceum with more performances on Nov. 8-10.

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“‘Anna in the Tropics’ is about a cigar factory in Tampa. They have hired a new reader. He is reading to them, Anna Karenina, the poet-story novel. The more they get into the romance of the novel, the more they realized that they are living the novel,” Dr. William Earl, the faculty adviser of Wartburg Players, said.

Earl said one of the reasons this play was chosen was that it is being taught in Spanish and English classes this semester. He said he taught the play in two of his classes last Winter Term to get the students prepared.

“The wonderful thing about this is, if you have any question about how to read a line, we can go to the Spanish version or the English version to find the answer,” Earl said.

Justin Cervantes plays Santiago, the owner of the factory, and said the different meanings in English and Spanish helps him understand his role better.

“In English I have to say ‘Is that what it is’ where in Spanish, the actual translation is ‘Are you sure there is nothing more?’ Knowing those words, I can use coloration in my English,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes said even though he understands and speaks Spanish, it is difficult for him to memorize in Spanish.

Mauricio Leon, from Costa Rica, speaks Spanish as his native-language, and said he sees more connection with the culture in the Spanish version.

“It is not only because of the language, but for me, I can see more cultural influences. When in English, I see it with completely different perspectives. There are some different feelings, although they are exactly the same thing,” Leon said.

Leon said he was glad to see openness to different cultures at Wartburg.

“This play is one of the openings for the from Wartburg Community to Hispanic culture. I was glad to participate in it. I am also glad to see that Americans students are also passionate to learn the Spanish script,” Leon said.

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