Please don’t assume that by immersing yourself in the five-episode podcast of Meme Garcia’s house of sueños that you are committing to hours of unbearable Zoom theatre. This is radio theatre! Garcia and company have created an aural tapestry of language that invites the deep-listening audience member into a world inhabited with haunted daughters, an absent (ghosting) father, and a treacherous landscape of family truths and lies. Sound familiar? The radio-theatre offers a delicious collision of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, American English, and distinctly Chicano Spanish, The story of this deceitful and “magically poetic” family is mapped onto the seminal tragedy of the English theatre, and creator’s Meme Garcia autobiography.
You must be an active listener: the magic is cast by voice actors Catherine Castellanos, Armando Durán, Sophie Franco, Angela Hernández, Andrew McGinn, and Caro Zeller. Critically, the poetics are lifted by the music and sound design of Coby Gray and Meghan Roche. But it is the listener who must navigate and eventually surrender to the collage of language, the ways of telling this story. This is NOT a “foreign language play” (it is insulting even to suggest so) It is also not Shakespeare (Shakespeare on the radio would be a non-starter for me, the language must be played to be clear). This is Meme Garcia’s tri-linguality at work; in short, there are many of ways of hearing this story. So, the challenging aurality of sueños is its key.
We’ve only got the first episode so far. New 20-minute chapters are released every Wednesday through February 17th. Garcia’s house of sueños will only be available for free streaming until March 17. Choose your favorite place for podcasts—Tunein, Spotify, what-have-you–and search out Seattle Shakespeare’s ROUGH MAGIC (a lovely nod to The Tempest in the podcast’s name, doncha think?). The released episodes will be there. Start with Act I. Check this space next week for updates on each week’s episode. !Nos vemos! See you next week. For Más información: www.seattleshakespeare.org.