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Esperanto Theatre

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The Esperanto speakers who are currently in Lisbon for the World Esperanto Congress won't have to travel far to see the theatre (teatro in both Portuguese and Esperanto). It stands loud and proud in the centre of the city:


Theatre has been part of Esperanto culture since the language's early days. The first play put on in Esperanto dates all the way back to 1896, when some young Esperanto speakers in Smolensk  presented Unua brandfaristo (The First Distiller), a six-act comedy by Tolstoy. Esperanto theatre became truly international when seven participants from a range of countries put on a production of of  Molière's La edziĝo kontraŭvola (Le Mariage forcé, The Forced Marriage).

The fact that Esperanto actors live in different countries means that it's difficult to have regular practices, so productions aren't particularly common. Nonetheless, the World Congress has on several times hosted theatre productions in Esperanto:

And sometimes groups of Esperanto speakers who live nearby form theatre troupes, such as the group in Toulouse or when members of the British Esperanto Association put on a performance of La Graveco de la Fideliĝo (Oscar Wilde's The Importance of being Earnest) at Bloomsbury Theatre in 1987 for Esperanto's centenary:


It's not only Esperanto speakers who put on productions using the language though! In the revered World Congress in Reykjavík in 1977, the national theatre company learned a script in the language to entertain their visitors! And completing the circle, there have been people who don't speak Esperanto presenting plays about it in their own languages, such as the Dutch group House of Nouws giving several performances of La plej bona ideo por ĉiuj (The Best Idea for Everybody) during a week-long cultural festival in Den Bosch in 2018:


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