The Bay Area is a unique place. People from all different walks of life end up here, but one thing is clear: the Bay Area is an area rich with diversity and a vibrant cultural fabric. Sunday, September 24th was a big day for The UC Theatre – Panteón Rococó gave a killer show, but the night also notably marked our first bilingual announcement, as given by Concert Career Pathways participant turned Intern, Josh Sifuentes.
Sitting in the heart of a city that has a large Spanish speaking population we felt that doing the announcement in Spanish was an opportunity to cater to the community, give Josh a voice, and also embrace the diverse cultural fabric that is the Bay Area.
As Josh was working Backstage Hospitality, Youth Advisory Board member Bobby Kirwin was working as a Junior Stagehand and noticed how helpful Josh was in interpreting the language barrier between our English speaking staff and the tour staff, “I thought it’d be a good idea for Josh to do the announcement, especially in Spanish, because the crowd was Spanish speaking, and it just seemed to make sense!”
Reflecting on the experience, Josh claims it was, “the best experience I’ve ever had!”
“Even though Spanish is my first spoken language, I was very nervous; I’ve never got to announce something in front of hundreds of people! At first I was really nervous about how I’d do on stage and what I was going to say… but I had the most amazing time going up on stage and getting people excited for what they came for – Panteón Rococó. Once I got in front of the rowdy crowd with the mic in my hand, I was excited; it was a thrilling experience, and I can’t wait to do it again! This is one of the best experiences I will have, and a great story to tell in the future. Thank you Robyn [The UC Theatre’s Education Director] for asking me to do the announcement in a language that you don’t regularly use.”
Josh is 17 years old, a Berkeley High School senior, and part of the Berkeley High School technical theatre program. We’ve been lucky to have him as one of our Concert Career Pathways program participants, and he’s grown to become a part of our family. On reflecting on his time in the program, Josh claims, “what I’ve learned about myself is that there is way more to me than what I expected – I’m more open and confident now… I’m capable of learning more things that are challenging.”
The UC Theatre is a community-minded venue – a nonprofit situated in the heart of the East Bay with an education program that’s actively benefitting youth throughout the area. We’re proud of our first bilingual announcement, and we’re proud of Josh.