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María Alameda, a graduate in Education Sciences, is a screenwriter and actress in Teatrama, a theater project created by a group of mothers, fathers, teachers and students, which aims not only to entertain and educate children, but also to raise money funds and turn them into benefits for children.
An example that parents can not only do a lot for their own children but also for the children of others.
- How did the idea of forming a theater group of mothers and fathers from the school come up?
The idea was born three years ago, in the first year that the Ntra.Sra.de la Merced school was operating. We did not arrive in time to request many of the things that the City Council and the House of Culture offered for the different schools of Tres Cantos, so we decided to do a storytelling for the children, to celebrate the day of the book in a special way .
Coinciding with Andersen's anniversary we chose one of his stories The Tinder Box. It was about one person playing the storyteller and two or three more representing the main characters, practically speaking nothing. But as usually happens when you do something you like, things got animated and more and more characters intervened and more and more dialogue and soundtrack were introduced, and ... We ended up doing a play.
Two performances were made in the gymnasium of the school for the students and teachers of Early Childhood Education and the first cycle of Primary. We had a great time and we thought the topic had ended there, but no. Through a mother from school who saw us and who worked in the town hall, we received the offer to perform at the Miguel de Cervantes on the occasion of Children's Day, and we accepted it. The money that we were paid for that performance went to a home school run by the Mercedarian Sisters in Fuentes de Andalucía, Seville.
- What is the group's proposal with this work?
The ultimate goal of theater is always to amuse, entertain, but if it can also be educational, cultural, better than better. Each story has its moral, each story is a lesson. And if you add to that the possibility of making so much work profitable in some way, allocating the benefits of the performances to the children (both our children's school and that of other children), it gives it something special.
- What was the last job you have done?
This year, coinciding with Mozart's anniversary, we chose the work The magic Flute. We thought that once the work of adapting, rehearsing, and mounting was done, we could represent her to all the students and teachers of the school, in favor of an NGO. We chose SURYODAYA because I, in particular, already knew her, and because her work deserved our support.
As mothers, it is very gratifying to do something for children who are not as lucky as ours. Suryodaya collaborates in the maintenance of orphanages in Nepal and with the Maiti Nepal Foundation that for years has been fighting to eradicate the sex trafficking of minors, to rescue girls and young women from prostitution and reintegrate them into their families and communities. It cares for the sick with AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, takes in orphaned children, and a thousand other things that would need a separate article to be explained. The proposal was accepted by everyone and from then on things started to grow. We have the support and help of a lot of people who, upon learning about the project, offered to collaborate.
- In The magic Flute you are the protagonist of the play. Personally, have you already had any previous theatrical experience?
Not counting the improvisations that I do at home with my daughters, the truth is that my theatrical experience is more than limited. I was the witch of The Tinder Box and now Papageno, the talkative birdcatcher. And that's it. For now, because they say that it is never too late if happiness is good, I am going to take this artistic vein that I have just discovered very seriously.
We are a group of fans. Who else, who less, we are all making our debut in this theater, but we have a director who does her job very well, and not only manages to direct a group of volunteers (which is always difficult) but also ends up taking advantage of the work . Which is already a merit!
- In the case of mothers and fathers, the time factor is something to consider. How much time does the group spend on rehearsals, montages, etc.? Do you have time for everything?
Teatrama has as philosophy if you want you canBy this we do not mean that we put aside our obligations as mothers and fathers, but that we take time from wherever. At Teatrama we all learn from everyone and any sacrifice when it comes to organizing ourselves is worth it, because you breathe camaraderie, commitment, generosity, and good humor in rehearsals.
It is not easy to agree on 15 people, each with their children, their jobs, etc. But in the end, by each of us putting a little bit of our part, we managed to stay one day a week, for two hours, apart from after-hours rehearsals.
- Were there any difficulties or obstacles to carrying out the project? Do you need something?
Regarding the realization of the project we have not had any difficulties, on the contrary, we have found support especially on the part of the school and the Parents Association, by letting us carry out this project.
We have also had the support of family and friends, EVERYONE has done their best in an exceptional way and we are grateful for that. What if we need something? Well, you can imagine what a theater company that has just started would ask for and that is excited about the results! ... We would like to have some other sponsor, because so far for example, part of the costumes have been The Association of Parents of the school has paid since the costumes are left there so that everyone can use them.
We would need a theater, more actors, actresses, lighting and sound technicians ... in short, generous people who are willing to give part of their time for a good cause.
- Children see illusion and fantasy on stage. And you, what do you see from the stage?
The function is only the end result of a long process, the most attractive but only one more part, which also could not exist without the rest. For us the moment of representation is the culmination of a lot of work. No matter how many dress rehearsals you do, something is always missing: the audience.
Without an audience there is no theater! And having the children in front of them believing the character, laughing and participating in the show is the greatest satisfaction you can imagine. That is an adrenaline rush. Also so strong that when the function ends you are already wanting to represent again. It's funny how, even our children, stop seeing their mothers and fathers, and see the birdcatcher, the queen, the prince ...
- The 2006/2007 school year is over. And now, what are Teatrama's plans? Any new project?
Projects always, and many. But as the established actors say I don't want to talk about it until it's something for sure. Surely, for now, we have a performance in the Central Park of Tres Cantos, on the occasion of the celebration of Children's Day.
Apart from that, we shuffle many things: more representations of The Magic Flute, a specific play for Christmas, classical theater adapted for children, musicals, ... As you will see, we are still not clear on what we are going to embark on now, but we do know what Teatrama has only just begun and therefore, everything remains to be done.
Currently the Teatrama group is made up of: María Alameda, Mercedes Alonso, Mayte Aragón, Cristina Calvente, Cristina Cerro, José Mª Fernandez, Paloma González, Esther Iravedra, Susana López, Mª José Madorrán, Manuela Moreno, Nacho Navarrete, Carmen Peligro, Andrés Puerto, Prado Sánchez, Carmen Sangrador, Natalia Tirado and Manoli Ventura.
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