Angelica Centeno’s Spanish class at The Storm King School traveled to New York City this month for some holiday sightseeing and a special performance at the Repertorio Español– the Spanish Theatre. The trip added extra fun that concluded a semester’s worth of work culminating in the students’ colorful and informative country posters and presentations. After a visit to Rockefeller Center to see its world-famous Christmas tree, the group saw the play, La Gringa, or The American, which tells the story of María Elena Garcia–a young woman of Puerto Rican heritage who returns to her country in search of her identity.
In Carmen Rivera’s show, María goes to visit her family in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holidays and arrives with plans to connect with her homeland. Despite her deep love for the country and her heritage, she realizes that Puerto Rico does not welcome her with open arms. The majority of the Puerto Ricans consider her an American–a gringa– and María feels betrayed. That’s when her uncle, Manolo, steps in to teach her that identity isn’t based on external definitions, but rather from the essence that has been in her heart all along.
The show, which is set during the holiday season, was the perfect way for the class to end a great semester of learning en Español.