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ARTS: Laredo Theater Guild holds ‘Frankenstein’ production in collaboration with TAMIU

ARTS: Laredo Theater Guild holds ‘Frankenstein’ production in collaboration with TAMIU

By George Espinoza
Bridge Staff Writer
Published Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023

Laredo Theater Guild International held its Frankenstein production for Fall 2023 at TAMIU’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts theater.

Director Marco Gonzalez brought his take on the classic Mary Shelley Frankenstein story on Oct. 6 to 8 and 12 to 15.

Dr. Frankenstein production
Neto Gonzalez | Bridge
Laredo Theater Guild International actors practice during a “Frankenstein” dress rehearsal on Oct. 3 in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts theater. Pictured at left, Dr. Frankenstein portrayed by Oscar O. Peña interacts with the Female Creature portrayed by Zoe Benavides.

“This fall slot is part of our Class-on-Stage series,” Gonzalez said. “So what that is, is that we pair up with local school districts. Depending on what students are reading as part of the curriculum we’ll do a play that is either based on a literary work or we’ll produce an actual literary work.”

LTGI chose Frankenstein as their class stage production. The Class-on-Stage series are interscholastic programs which work with local school districts every four years. The intent is to bring high-quality productions while enthusing high school students.

The director works with the cast.
Neto Gonzalez | Bridge
Laredo Theater Guild International actors listen to Director Marco Gonzalez, at front, just before a “Frankenstein” dress rehearsal on Oct. 3 in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts theater.

“It was really important to us that it be something that would just get kids excited,” Gonzalez said. “Let’s get high school students excited about literature and theater.”

The Class-on-Stage program production’s goal is not only to put on a successful show, but to attract students of all ages into the thespian world and the literature these shows originate from.

“First of all, I didn’t know we had a trap door,” actress Lisa Martinez said. “I don’t know if that’s a spoiler, but I think we utilize the really cool aspects of this theater. I think the audience is gonna really like that.”

dress rehearsal
Neto Gonzalez | Bridge
Actors practice during a “Frankenstein” dress rehearsal on Oct. 3 in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts theater.

Texas A&M International University’s theater and its features allowed the production to come alive, and give the audience an immersive experience.

“I think people assume this story is about ‘Oh, it’s alive’ and creation,” Martinez said. “I hope they can see the deeper message, which is that the creature wants to feel emotions … wants to feel loved … wants to feel human.”

Martinez said she hopes the message received by the audience is one of empathy for the monster who serves as the central viewpoint character, and is translated into the lives of the community, especially the students.

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