Carlos Eduardo (Larry) Silberman Grinblat
This profile was prepared when Carlos Eduardo (Larry) Silberman Grinblat was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1994.
The New Idea
There is nothing new in the idea of utilizing theater to promote social reflection and change, nor in focusing on children's theater to this end. What distinguishes the work of dramatist Larry Silberman is his comprehensive vision and detailed plan to create a sustainable national theater program by fundamentally transforming children's theater as it exists in Mexico today. Larry notes that Mexican children's theater is now characterized by a weak financial base, declining government support, inadequate management and inappropriate productions. His recipe for change includes a profound underlying philosophy (and social critique), an effective and engaging principal technique utilizing "play," a world-class theater company of dedicated professionals, a new financial strategy, a new model for government sponsorship for children's theater, a proven training methodology, a track record of producing popular and award winning plays, two successful book publications and the beginnings of video production. Now set on establishing a physical institutional base for children's theater, the next step will be to provide appropriate training to all stakeholder groups involved with children's theater (theater companies, drama schools, school teachers and so on) as well as introducing the program's effective theater approach to other interested groups, such as nongovernmental organizations, the disabled and women's groups.