children’s theatre was like Yo la Llamo Rusita Rojas,
I’d go more often. Yo la Llamo Rusita Rojas (I
Call Her Rusita Rojas) by Cristina Ferrari is an
energetic adaptation of Charles Perrault’s Little Red
Riding Hood. With direction by Neher Jacqueline Briceño
(from Miami!), this play is part of Teatro de la Luna’s
Children’s Bilingual Theater Festival. In addition,
there are dance performances (“Kids on Stage!”) throughout
the day as well as activities for children, snacks and
drinks, and beautiful jewelry for sale as part of the
festival.at (703) 548-3092, or purchase them online.
at The Rosslyn Spectrum was lit up by three talented actors
Mario Alvarez (The Detective), Marcela Ferlito (Rusita
Rojas) and Anabel Marcano (The Wolf). The commitment of
these actors to the choreography and to telling the story
made them so successful in making the audience laugh.
Although most of the text is in Spanish and I only speak a
little, I stayed engaged the whole time because of the
energy and physicality. Ferlito had a huge contagious smile
on her face throughout the show, and she often switched from
speaking Spanish to English mid-sentence – very impressive!
the audience recognized which characters were onstage
because of the costumes (Rosita Bécker).
The Detective donned corduroy pants and a blazer with a
funny hat and big bow tie, the Wolf sported pants with
suspenders and a big belly, and of course Rusita Rojas had a
red cape. The upbeat music (Neher Jacqueline Briceño)
and sound (Cristina Rebull) helped the audience understand
when the characters were traveling through the woods (as
when Rusita Rojas was on her journey to Grandma’s house),
and offered great comedic assistance during the super cool
slow-mo fight scenes (personally, my favorite part). A
three-piece set on wheels offered a creative way for the
actors to change scenes, travel through space and time, and
interact with the audience.
performance was the world premiere, and now it’s ready to be
brought to schools and churches for great performances.
There was a lot of fun audience interaction, from clapping
and singing to a Q&A. The children were encouraged to
volunteer and come onstage to be questioned by the Detective
and offer answers about, among other things, what happened
to Rusita Rojas. A dozen children excitedly hopped out of
their chairs and ran to the stage, hands high in the air,
eager to participate. The moral of the story is, “We carry
our inner child in our hearts, because being a child is very
important.” What a positive lesson and reminder for the
adults in the audience, this one in particular.