The Festival of Spanish Theatre of London, or FeSTeLõn as it is also known, is an independent initiative created in 2013 with the aim of generating a cultural exchange between Spanish theatre companies and a British based audience. Founded by Mariví Rodríguez Quiñones, a theatre lover and lecturer at King’s College London, in response to the lack of Spanish theatre being performed in the English capital.
Mariví and team FeSTeLõn have spent the last five years working with award winning Spanish theatre companies and inviting them to join the Festival's programme, which has grown year on year since its beginning. In order to ensure that the festival is accesible to all each play performed is accompanied by English surtitles so that those who are hard of hearing as well as people who do not understand Spanish are able to enjoy the productions.
As well as the work that happens onstage FeSTeLõn has also developed a number of projects offstage which take place alongside the plays throughout the two weeks of the festival. FeSTeLõn hosts a number of talks, workshops and lectures, given by theatre professionals and academics alike, in order to deepen the connection members of the public can have with the plays that are shown. All of these events have a english translator present to make sure that anyone who is interested is able to take part.
Furthermore, in this past year Mariví, the director and founder of FeSTeLõn, has also begun working with a local secondary school which has a high percentage of native spanish speakers who have found it difficult to integrate into their new surroundings. The work with the students is year round and involves Mariví helping the students to create plays relating to their own lives and to begin to express themselves aritstically. These students are also invited to see the plays included in FeSTeLõn's programme.
Why do we need your support?
Following the success of FeSTeLõn 2017 the team have been thinking of ways that we are able to broaden our work with the community, these would be:
· Reaching out and working with more secondary schools with a high percentage of Spanish speakers.
· Working to include the students’s finished plays in the FeSTeLõn programme and give them a professional space in which to perform.
· Introduce children’s theatre into the programme.
· Have a FeSTeLõn 'Off' day where smaller theatre companies of all nationalities are given the opportunity work with Spanish texts, create their own plays and perform them.
· Introduce a programme of workshops that runs year round.
However, following a loss of funding FeSTeLõn faces an uncertain future which leads us now to ask for your support so we are able to continue and expand on the work that FeSTeLõn does.