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Various Venues Set The Stage for Theater in Vallarta

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June 22, 2015

At Puerto Vallarta's Centro Cultural Cuale, you'll find an array of events and classes for all ages, covering music, sculpture, painting, dance, theater, and more. (Photo credit: M.A. Gallardo,

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - In 1999, I saw a play for the first time in Puerto Vallarta. Retablo, Quién Como Dios ("Tableau, Who As God") was the title. Directed by Soledad Garcia and presented by her theater group "Aguila o Sol," it was presented at the Municipal Library Ciudades Hermanas (Sister Cities) located in Parque Hidalgo (this library later moved to Colonia Mojoneras.) Two important names in local theater were standouts in the cast: Veronica Muñiz and Wally Lobatto.

Formal and professional theater activity is hindered and slowed down without adequate spaces. But the performing arts have come a long way over the past 15 years in Puerto Vallarta. Theater infrastructure has grown to the delight of its creators, no matter what the formats, styles and preparation of local theater groups are.

By the year 2000 Puerto Vallarta had the Centro Cultural Cuale and the CECATUR as "formal" venues for the presentation of performances, considered by some as just improvisations, as back then the Cuale auditorium was in bad shape and it was not until 2003 that it was remodeled with a state and municipal budget, as well as money from the National Council for Culture and Arts (CONACULTA).

At about the same time in 2003, the Juan Luis Cifuentes Lemus auditorium of the Centro Universitario de la Costa was built. At the beginning, it presented plays, film festivals and even a classic ballet.

Another space that housed performing arts, approximately between 2003 and 2006, was called L’Opera. It was one of the first independent venues which did everything from present art films to provide spaces for painters, musicians and independent plays.

Performing Arts Options in Puerto Vallarta

Presently, Puerto Vallarta has the CECATUR auditorium, the Centro Cultural Cuale, The Palm, the Boutique theater, Stages, the Juan Luis Cifuentes Lemus auditorium and, in Nuevo Vallarta, the NV Stage and Forum recently opened. The Tercera Llamada theater also just opened its doors across from the Macroplaza in Pitillal. Each of these venues offers diverse stage options.

CECATUR Auditorium houses Cartelera Escenica, which presents different dance, theater and music performances every Friday.

Centro Cultural Cuale offers the works of the Municipal Theater Group, directed by Alberto Fabian, as well as plays by independent theater groups.

The Palm has cabaret shows in English with well known performers of this genre who are mainly from the United States.

The Boutique Theater presents plays and musicals in English, which they themselves produce.

Act II Stages, where plays and cabaret shows are performed in English during winter, and some in Spanish, particularly during the summer season.

Juan Luis Cifuentes Lemus Auditorium provides a space for special events which mainly involve the University community directly.

The NV Stage & Forum houses theatrical plays, dance and music performances in English.

Tercera Llamada is the newest place in town for independent theater groups with intimate productions.

Teatro Vallarta, an important space which underwent a transformation, is now Viva Tequila, an interactive museum project which offers shows. To this day Teatro Vallarta continues offering a space for performances, concerts and plays.

The Banderas Bay area is definitely going through a decisive moment regarding performing arts and within the next two years, the results and scope of this increase of activity, will be felt.

Original article