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Theatre department presents new production

Contributing Writer

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 14:11

Loyola’s Theatre Department kicked off their fall season with Tanya Saracho’s “El Nogalar,” on Nov. 28 in the Lower Depths Theatre.

Professor Laura Hope is directing this Mexican adaption of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.”

“I thought it was a fantastic play. I instantly fell in love with the script, as does everybody who reads it,” she said.

“El Nogalar” is a contemporary story of an upper-class Mexican family about to lose their orchard. Set in present-day northern Mexico, it charts the family’s experience as their lives are threatened by encroaching drug cartels, violence and economic upheaval.

“We also have a number of students who are native Spanish speakers and several students who have been taking Spanish for years; I wanted to give those students an opportunity to use this skill,” she said.

Some of the Loyola students playing major characters in “El Nogalar” are Leandra Garcia, Gabby Landry, Ryan Williams, Rachel Christian and Alina Gordillo.

“‘El Nogalar’ was supposed to have opened and closed by the end of September, but Hurricane Isaac kind of made that impossible,” Hope said.

Due to the storm, rehearsals began in mid-October and were in full swing until opening night on Nov. 28.

According to Hope, “The Cherry Orchard” differs from “El Nogalar” in many ways.

“Chekhov is writing during a Czarist Russia, where the government controls everything; whereas in “El Nogalar” the government has become irrelevant in Mexico. Although President Calderon has declared a war on the drug cartels, the cartels have more money than the president, therefore they have more power,” said Hope.

“El Nogalar” premiered on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. and shows until Dec. 2 in the Lower Depths Theatre.

Melanie Potter can be reached at

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