The Medrano's Legacy
- Written by Jose Sueiro
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What GALA Theatre Means to our Community
GALA Theatre is a local treasure. For close to 50 years Hugo & Rebecca Medrano have fulfilled their passion for bringing the performing arts to the Latino community of the Washington metropolitan area. Rebecca's ceaseless passion for organizing and Hugo's exquisite esthetic for the mise-en-scene have created a community masterpiece, the crown jewel of the creative arts for Spanish speaking Washington.
Struggling through the times of the pandemic, their love for the unique masterpiece which is GALA Theatre has energized them to plow on, move forward and attempt a 45th season at their showcase venue on 14th St. & Park Road. How they've managed to survive -and thrive- through thick and thin, through fundraising and health issues, through setbacks and knock downs is a marvel to behold and material for a magnificent biography. They began in a 'pocketbook' space on 18th St., moved downtown for short time and then to the Sacred Heart performing space on the 1600 block of Park Road before landing at the building they're in now with the perfect 250 seat, proscenium stage and full professional set up they manage as if it were a Broadway theatre. With their 'forever buddy', Abel Lopez who rounds out the triumvirate as a principal producer and director, they present the rich, high quality performing arts mixture of plays, movies, dance and flamenco and even a Three Kings event for children that keeps the space busy easily 275-300 days a year.
Rebecca is always on edge, creating new fundraising schemes and reaching out continually to friends, foundations, governments and anyone with the slightest possibility of donating to the arts. Hugo has a network of artists with whom he collaborates that ranges from Argentina and throughout Latin America to Spain and includes the major Hispanic arts centers across the country. His hard earned reputation for artistic integrity and superb acting and direction have won him awards and showered praise on the theatre. Both have spent a life well lived and given more than their fair share of culture, delight, happiness, pride and joy to a community that has been attending their events their entire lifetime.
They continue to enjoy life holding to their routine of summer vacations on the Outer Banks and will come home this summer ready to launch the most daunting, risky and daring season yet, and it has nothing to do with the shows -all top caliber- they'll be presenting, but the times we live in. When I view this lovely picture of the couple on the beach together, living happily and having survived Covid-19, I am filled with amazement, love and happiness at having known them and been their friend all these years.
- Subtitle: What GALA Theatre Means to our Community