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April 04, 2023 - Alumni, Magazine


Compelling narratives have always demonstrated a remarkable ability to transcend traditional language barriers. Ensuring nothing is lost in translation is only possible through the thoughtful efforts of people like Anabel Dueñas — a multifaceted AMDA graduate with more than 20 years of teaching experience.

At AMDA, Anabel found an immersive and creative environment that instilled a new focus for her craft and the professional auditioning process. After completing her training, she returned to her home in Mexico City and began translating many of the musical theatre songs she was introduced to at AMDA. The efforts paid off, drawing the attention of local casting directors and landing her the leading role of Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Throughout her career, Anabel has introduced Mexican performing artists and enthusiastic audiences to the vast musical theatre repertoire. Translating and interpreting is no small feat — differences across cultures and limitations of language can compromise the integrity of the original work, muddling the underlying message. Anabel credits her gift as a storyteller who recognizes the importance of preserving the emotions of the source material to her experience in this work.

Anabel found success as a translator and Spanish-language voice-over artist for popular children’s shows including “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Peppa Pig,” “Masha and the Bear,” “The Little Big Club” and “My Little Pony.” Because of her broad experience and ability to interpret the emotional journey of challenging material, Anabel was approached to translate the song lyrics of Broadway’s The Prom for a Mexican production. Adapting The Prom — lauded for its heartfelt meditations on LGBTQ+ youth and comedic performances — requires nuance. Previous attempts to adapt it for Spanish-speaking audiences left production teams wanting more. Anabel met the challenge by preserving the emotional sentiments that originally resonated with English audiences. She hopes bringing this story to Mexico can help change minds and attitudes regarding its central themes and promote a greater atmosphere of acceptance long after the final curtain falls

By introducing new audiences to these powerful works, Anabel is amplifying the harmonious effects of theatre and inspiring the next generation of storytellers.