Merida points the way to alternative theaters

The municipal cultural department helps the public find city's offbeat stages

A sign points to the Tapanco Cultural Center in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Photo: Sipse
A sign points to the Tapanco Cultural Center in Merida. Photo: Sipse

Merida, Yucatan — The city has many alternative theater spaces. But they’re not as conspicuous as, say, the monumental Teatro Peon Contreras.

Finding theater out of the mainstream is a little less hard to find starting this week.

The municipal cultural department is installing directional signs pointing to places such as ones in the indie Red Alterna collective.

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Agency director Irving Berlin Villafaña said the signs are on main thoroughfares near each forum.

More signs — 37 in all — will be installed throughout the year, at a cost of 170,000 pesos.

“Red Alterna asked us to design urban signage to indicate where the places are so that whoever is on the street or on a central avenue can know where the offbeat Tapanco is or for that matter, Teatro Pedrito, el foro Rubén Chacón or Créssida Danza.

He stressed that the initiative will benefit not only cultural spaces but the general public.

The number of alternative spaces in Merida has been increasing, so much so that now there are 33 galleries and 12 forums and independent theater groups, comprehensive cultural centers, individual museums driven by citizens.

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“This year everything must be finished,” said Berlin Villafaña. “The first group will be ready in four or five days.”

INAH, which protects the integrity of Mexico’s historic centers, is overseeing the work.

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