LI’s Teatro Yerbabruja Gets New Home

Artists from Teatro Yerbabruja performed at the opening of the company’s new space in Bay Shore. (Photo via Noticia)

A lover of all cultural aspects that enrich communities and their traditions, Margarita Espada founded the theater company Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja [in her native Puerto Rico] 31 years ago.

She developed it in the Long Island towns of Central Islip, Brentwood, and now in Bay Shore from their new space located at 17 Second Ave., also known as the Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery.

The concept of “crossroads” inspired the inauguration of the new venue, a former fire station in Suffolk County.

Why “crossroads”? “Because we have the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Teatro Yerbabruja and the Central Islip downtown festival, and we form the ‘Triangle of the Arts,’” said Espada, the company’s director.

The new cultural meeting point (…) officially became the company’s headquarters on April 5.

At the inauguration, members of the theater performed fragments of their work and showcased their talent for music, acting and poetry. (…)

“This project is very important for the community. Music and art are universal languages,” said one of the attendants, Bay Shore resident Steven Smith.

Three generations come together in the theater, dance, painting, music, audiovisual and social-related programs offered to anyone who wishes to get involved.

The “Triangle of the Arts,” as Espada calls it, is hopes to promote values by becoming a space for cultural connections and community building.

Espada’s first production was “Mataron a Helena” (“They Killed Helena”), in which she played the lead role.

“Crossroad,” a painting by Segundo Orellana (Photo via Noticia)

During her college years, she took part in every theater project she could and, in 2000, she moved permanently to New York. Teatro Yerbabruja was one of the things Espada packed in her luggage, and later established it on Long Island.

“This Teatro Yerbabruja space means expression, freedom, it is a chance to be yourself,” said Julián Soler, a musician associated with Yerbabruja.

The painting “Crossroad,” displayed at the opening of the new Bay Shore arts center was made by Segundo Orellana, whose own exhibit, “Latina,” is on display in Patchogue until April 21.

“This painting portrays Margarita and her broad vision to create ideas that converge in her theater,” said Orellana.

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