Official Blog of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Música de Balas

by Bette Benson (LACIS Social Media/Outreach Intern, BA, LACIS, Pol Sci, & Intl Stud ’15)

This Friday and Saturday the Latin American Theatre class will be presenting “Música de Balas” by Mexican playwright, Hugo Salcedo. Both shows will be at 7 p.m. at Memorial Union’s Play Circle. Tickets are free, but do need to be reserved, email in order to do so! At the time of this posting there were 20 spots left for Friday and 30 left for Saturday! Make sure to reserve your spot right away!

In Post-Brechtian style, Música de Balas denounces the current situation in Mexico, a country in the midst of a war provoked largely by the fight against drug trafficking. The number of casualties and deaths of this war, intensified by the government of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa in 2006 onwards, includes not only the narcos and their drug cartels, but also its own civilian population.
This play depicts some of the terrible episodes that this violence produces, with thousands of deaths each year, through a distancing and political awareness that encourages the audience to know and question these events. The performance invites spectators, through a poetic and nostalgic tone, to feel and experience the daily life of its characters, who become ghostly figures that roam through indeterminate spaces, exalting the esthetic fragmentation and, in turn, expressing human frailty.
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Nadia Salvat, UW senior majoring in Spanish and Psychology, spoke to me about her experience preparing for Música de Balas.

Have you been in any other plays? And if so, how was preparing for a Spanish Language play different? No, this is actually the first play I have ever participated in. So preparing for a Spanish language play, especially as my first experience with a theater production, was a very interesting and challenging journey.

What makes this play unique or especially interesting? I think the fact that this whole production was put on exclusively by students (graduate and undergraduate) and the professor Paola (Hernandez) is what makes this play unique and especially interesting. Also, since it was up to our interpretation, we did our best to incorporate current political issues, specifically the recent problems in Mexico.

What made you want to take a Latin American Theatre class? This is my last semester and I had room for more fun classes within my Spanish major. Last semester I had a class with Paola and she told us a bit about this class she teaches and it seemed interesting and I wanted to try something new, so I signed up! Plus, I really like Paola as a professor, so that helped in making my decision.

Can you talk a bit about how the class prepared for this play? The first half of the semester we read various plays in Spanish by authors from different Latin American countries and the second half of the semester we prepared the whole production (and I mean everything – directing, makeup, wardrobe, lights, sounds, etc). We as a class picked Música de balas – in fact, we voted out of the selection of plays we read in the first half of the semester.

Would you recommend this class for other students? Yes, I would definitely recommend this course for other students! You read a lot of phenomenal plays and learn more about the world of theatre.

Thanks Nadia!

Congratulations to all those involved with Música de Balas! Everyone here at LACIS is so proud of the work on campus that promotes the culture of Latin America, particularly when students are so involved!

¡Mucha mierda! 🙂