The biennial La Escena, Los Angeles’ first Hispanic classical theater festival, returns Sept. 12–18 with free performances at UCLA and that will be streamed online. 

The theater festival grew from the work of UCLA’s Diversifying the Classics, an initiative to raise awareness and appreciation of classical theater outside the traditional English-speaking canon. The festival will include performances, staged readings of new texts and other parallel activities supporting the creation of new adaptations and new versions of Spanish Golden Age works from both sides of the Atlantic. All pieces will be performed in English or with English captioning.

Performances at UCLA are free and open to the public the weekend of Sept. 16-18, with reservations required and available online.

This year's events will feature a kid-friendly puppet show, a concert featuring Renaissance and Baroque music, and two plays performed by award-winning Spanish companies Állatok and Nao d’Amores, captioned in English. Three new works will also receive staged readings as part of the sixth edition of Golden Tongues, a Diversifying the Classics initiative that updates Spanish Golden Age comedia – 16th and 17th century three-act plays. Golden Tongues commissions modern adaptations by L.A. playwrights from diverse backgrounds, in partnership with Los Angeles theater company Playwrights’ Arena.

The festival kicks off Monday, Sept. 12 with a reading from New York’s Red Bull Theater, streamed online, of 16th-century playwright Lope de Vega’s “The Capulets and the Montagues," which will be available to stream through Sunday, Sept, 18.