Review: ‘One Gold Coin’ (‘Una Moneda de Oro’) at InterAct Story Theatre

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Entertaining for children and parents alike, One Gold Coin – Una moneda de oro, is the current family-friendly presentation produced by InterAct Story Theatre.

According to their press release: One Gold Coin – Una moneda de oro tells the story of the wise old healer Dona Teresa who comes to the village of Regalo. She carries a gold coin that brings magic to everyone who holds it – but it must be given to one who truly needs it. Who will get the coin? And who does the coin’s magic help more? The one who keeps it or the one who gives it away?”

Left to Right: Elle Sullivan, Javier del Pilar, and Elicia Moran. Photo courtesy of InterAct Story Theatre.
Left to Right: Elle Sullivan, Javier del Pilar, and Elicia Moran. Photo courtesy of InterAct Story Theatre.

Written by InterAct founder Lenore Blank Kelner and directed by Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger, One Gold Coin fulfills InterAct Story Theatre’s mission to create theater for children that instructs as it entertains.

Originally written solely in English in 1999, the show was reconceived as a bilingual English/Spanish play for the large Latin American community that InterAct currently serves. “We were fortunate enough to have new musical arrangements by Cantaré (a musical group comprised of Cecilia Esquivel and Dani Cortaza) and a multilingual cast to enable us to give the show a Latin flair.”

The use of Spanish and English was effortlessly penned and executed and monolinguists will have no trouble understanding the storyline. Phrases such as “¡Está loca! You are crazy!” are often repeated in both languages allowing audience members of diverse backgrounds to come together to enjoy the same story.

The play is well acted by Javier De Pilar, Elicia Moran, and Elle Marie Sullivan, three capable and enthusiastic actors who take on a variety of roles, entertaining the children with their quick costume changes and portrayal of diverse characters including a thief, a healer and two magicians.

But there is a fourth actor in this interactive show: The audience! My children loved the opportunity to sing, clap, create drum rolls, and otherwise become part of the story. InterAct does a great job of allowing children to actively participate in the theater experience, with interactive crafts set up in the lobby before and after the show and a list of discussion questions in the program for parents to use as discussion starters after the show.

The lighting by Chris Campanella, set design by Brian Gillick, and costumes by Andrea Schewe impart the feel of a Central American village. Simple but colorful cloth buildings on wheels enabled the actors to move set pieces as the characters moved from one locale to the next.

One Gold Coin – Una moneda de oro is a delightful show and I would highly recommend it to parents looking for a fun and enriching weekend activity to share with their children.

In addition to their regular theater offerings, InterAct Story Theater is an arts-in-education organization that offers a variety of programs for students, teachers and families. Throughout the year, performers and “teaching artists” from InterAct travel to schools, libraries and community centers offering workshops, staff development and afterschool arts programs designed to blend arts education with direct educational objectives such as math, literacy and social skills.

Javier del Pilar and Elle Sullivan. Photo courtesy of InterAct Story Theatre.
Javier del Pilar and Elle Sullivan. Photo courtesy of InterAct Story Theatre.

To learn more about InterAct Story Theatre’s “Arts are for everyone and everyone learns through the arts” philosophy, or to inquire about their programs, go to their websiteor call (301) 879-9305.

Running Time: 50 minutes, with no intermission.

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One Gold Coin – Una moneda de oro plays Friday through Sunday through September 19, 2016, at InterAct Story Theatre performing at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center – 7995 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, MD. For tickets, purchase them online, or at the box office.

LINK: 

Preview: InterAct Story Theatre Presents ‘One Gold Coin’ (‘Una moneda de oro’) 9/9-18, 2016 At Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center by Rick Westerkamp.

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