washington post

Hundreds of public school teachers in New York City have landed tickets to the hottest show on Broadway.


Some 400 teachers from schools in all five boroughs will attend Wednesday night’s performance of the sold-out, Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton.”


The teachers were selected by the city’s Department of Education and via a lottery held by Teach For America-New York, a nonprofit educational organization. Barclays is also involved in the performance for educators through a partnership with the organization and the Education Department.


The Broadway show’s organizers hope the musical’s message of diversity and inclusiveness will resonate with educators and their students. […]

washingtonpost.com
Opinion | Margarita Zavala: Will Americans let Trump destroy U.S.-Mexico relations?
Frankly, the United States is fortunate to have Mexico as a neighbor and partner.

Almost two months into the Trump Administration, the United States has a choice. Does it want to continue a strong partnership with Mexico? Or will it throw away years of a successful, peaceful, and mutually beneficial relationship due to the ignorance of its President? Normally this would not even be a question. But these are not normal times. When the American President can undo with a tweet what has taken us decades to build, Mexicans have to wonder whether the United States is a reliable partner and what the future of our relationship will look like.

President Trump insists on framing U.S.-Mexico relations in simplistic and disrespectful terms. In his view, it is a zero-sum game, with Mexicans “taking advantage” of their northern neighbors…Frankly, the United States is fortunate to have Mexico as a neighbor and partner. We are a peaceful, democratic, cooperative country with one of the largest economies in the world. We are eternally bound together by geography, by trade, by family, by culture, and by affinity.

We collaborate with the U.S. on everything from commerce to combating drug trafficking to the environment to counterterrorism. Just a few examples: Mexican engineers in Querétaro design jet engines for General Electric that are then built by workers in Ohio. Mexican officials helped thwart a plot by Iranian agents to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The largest attendance for an NFL game ever was in Mexico (Cowboys vs. Oilers), home to 23 million NFL fans, myself included. Nearly 2 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico (the largest community of U.S. expats in the world). We work together in every area imaginable, and we are both the richer for it.

The U.S. and Mexican economies are complementary. We do not compete with each other; we make each other more competitive in the global market. Mexico is the second-largest destination for U.S. exports and the single largest destination for exports from California, Arizona, and Texas. We buy more American goods than Japan, Germany, and the U.K. do combined. Fourteen million Mexican tourists came to the United States in 2015 and spent around $10 billion…Our bilateral partnership is not predicated on one side losing and the other side winning: Our economies are so integrated that each is weaker without the other.

Most Americans know that Mexican immigrants are not violent criminals. They know that they are brave and hard-working and make enormous contributions to the U.S. economy…Mexicans know that our differences are not with the American people, but with an American President who began his campaign with racist attacks against Mexican immigrants, whose cruel policies have entire communities living in fear, and who seems intent on making an enemy out of a friend.

I have met U.S. Presidents from both political parties, and I know that the American dream has much in common with the Mexican one. Mexicans believe in the strength of the family, the dignity conferred by hard work, and the worth inherent in every human being. Mexico would much rather be a partner to the United States than an adversary. We would rather tend bridges than build walls. But our alliance must be based on mutual respect. We will not accept a relationship based on threats and insults, contempt for our country, and cruelty toward our citizens. The United States is more prosperous, more secure, and more competitive for having Mexico as its partner. It is up to the United States to decide whether it wants to continue a strong partnership, or whether it will let one bad hombre destroy it.

Washington Post editorial by Margarita Zavala, a former Mexican congresswoman, former First Lady of Mexico, and the leading contender for the 2018 Mexican Presidential election.

thenameisginger  asked:

What would be your top 5 tips for an aspiring writer?

Vanessa: Top 5 tips: 

1. write

2. write

3. write

4. write

5. write!

Seriously, the most important thing you can do is to just do it – something as simple as a journal or regular letters to friends or loved ones. Get a good editor, someone who will be honest with you and push you. But above all, you have to write.

Love ‘Hamilton’? See the seeds from which it sprang: ‘In the Heights’ at GALA

‘Hamilton” may have made Lin-Manuel Miranda a mega­celebrity, but it was “In the Heights,” which opened on Broadway in 2008, that established him as a musical-theater composer. And, unlike “Hamilton,” “In the Heights” was autobiographical: Miranda grew up in the Manhattan neighborhoods of Inwood and Washington Heights in the 1990s.

In his dialogue as well as his songs rooted in salsa, hip-hop and Sondheim, Miranda brought to life those neighborhoods, where Latino immigrants squabbled and dreamed of better lives in an unruly mix of Spanish and English. To reach as broad an American audience as possible, Miranda tilted the ratio of Spanish to English words decidedly in the latter direction. But some audiences longed to see that reversed.

Some wanted it so much that unauthorized Spanish versions of the show started popping up across Latin America. Miranda finally approved a translation into Dominican Spanish, and that’s the script having its U.S. premiere as “In the Heights en Español” at GALA Hispanic Theatre. Shepherding the production is director Luis Salgado, who not only performed and served as assistant choreographer in the original production, but also grew up in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, the same town from which Miranda’s family hails.

“A lot of people in Latin America want to see ‘In the Heights’ because American musical theater has become very popular there,” Salgado says. “When I grew up in Puerto Rico, our teachers in dance school, in music school, loved American musicals, because they had grown up with the old films. But it has blown up now, thanks in part to YouTube, where anyone can see the dances and hear the music. When I went back to Puerto Rico, nine, 10 dance schools had sprung up since I was last there. Peru, Colombia, Mexico — it’s expanding everywhere.”

GALA theater has a standard practice of using surtitles in its shows, but “In the Heights en Español” will feature English surtitles for the Spanish dialogue and lyrics and Spanish surtitles for the English. Although most of the show is in Spanish, it will still be bilingual. After all, why would Nina’s father, who insists that she marry a Spanish speaker, object to Benny unless the young suitor spoke only English? Benny may be a model employee at the father’s taxi company, but that’s not enough.

“ ‘In the Heights’ brings out the reality that poverty and criminality don’t have to go hand in hand,” Salgado points out. “There are so many minority communities where people go to work every day and work hard with the knowledge that they don’t have enough money for their kids’ lunch money. That doesn’t mean you’re going to go out and steal from somebody. That assumption is offensive to all the poor people who are playing by the rules. This show was important for that reason. It doesn’t lack conflict, because theater can’t exist without conflict, but there are other conflicts than violence.”

[Source. See here for more from Luis Salgado.]

(I don’t usually editorialize here but there is some unfortunate phrasing in this article, even aside from the error of thinking Heights is more autobiographical than Hamilton. Unruly?)