Luis E. Mora Highlights Inequity With Spanish Language Broadway Translations

The first translation of this series is "For Forever/ Por Porsiempre" from Dear Evan Hansen.

By: Aug. 06, 2020
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Luis E. Mora Highlights Inequity With Spanish Language Broadway Translations

Actor and lyric translator Luis E. Mora (Naked Boys Singing, Pedro Pan, Opportunity) releases original translation of Dear Evan Hansen's "For Forever," originally performed by Ben Platt and written by Pasek & Paul, as a way to create Spanish language content for non-English speaking Broadway audiences.

"I worked as a Broadway show promoter at TKTS for a long time. So often I encountered guests who specifically requested shows available in their native languages. Being a Spanish speaking Colombian immigrant I sympathized with their request and knew that such opportunities were never available. Although there are some translations available at certain shows, these translations are limited to a brief plot description at the top of a scene. Imagine for a second that you are not fluent in English and the only information you get to the opening of A Chorus Line is:

Performers sing about wanting to get a job in the chorus of a Broadway musical

Is that as exciting? I'm guessing your answer is probably not."

Here are some facts about the Spanish speaking population that could be helpful in this conversation:

  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States of America. The US has the second largest Spanish speaking population in the world, following Mexico.

  • According to the latest census data, there are about 60 million Hispanic identified individuals in the US, making up about 18% of the total US population.

  • In NYC alone, Spanish is the dominant language in about 25% of households.

  • According to the latest diversity report by the Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC,) Latinx and Hispanic performers only take about 2% of available Actor's Equity (AEA) principal contracts. Yes, that includes Hamilton performers.

"I dream of a Broadway community that is truly inclusive and where my parents, along with other Spanish speaking families, can enjoy the theatre to its fullest extent. There are so many Spanish speaking performers in this industry who don't get as many chances as their counterparts and we are missing out on witnessing their magic. I would love to see us be a part of fully mounted Spanish speaking productions, not just tokenized, but claiming our space in the commercial world. Me creating and releasing these translations is just a small piece to this puzzle."

The first translation of this series is "For Forever/ Por Porsiempre" from Dear Evan Hansen. The series will feature new songs periodically and will feature guest performers that are current and future Spanish speaking Broadway stars.



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