27 June 2013

Stage Presence

© Brandon Queen, 2013
Appropriate for a long absence from the blogosphere stage, my return is marked by a piece on another of San Juan's Art Deco treasures: the Teatro Arriví.

Unfortunately, this theatre doesn't have a website anywhere online so all I can say about its productions is that they are relatively frequent and are occasionally the work of international troupes.

The original venue was a cinema, one of the first in Puerto Rico in fact. After successive decades of use and abandonment, today the structure stands refurbished and has established itself as an important part of the ever-gentrifying neighbourhood of Santurce.

The theatre's namesake is Francisco Arriví, a prolific writer and literary figure that has been called the father of Puerto Rican theatre. He was especially active in the forties and completed a number of works in English.

As I said, the lack of a website makes it difficult to speak about Teatro Arriví's productions, but each time I pass by there seems to be a new banner advertising a new show or theatre festival. In fact, it was one of the main venues during the recent international theatre festival. Aside from hosting the vibrant theatre scene in Puerto Rico, it's also a great example of what architectural restoration can achieve for cultural preservation and urban development, something the city's leaders will hopefully be attentive to in the coming years.