What's summer in Washington without ethnic festivals? Next weekend, Aug. 16-18, Joseph Papp and Festival Latino en Nueva York will be in town at the Gala Hispanic Theatre, presenting "Verano '85 . . . A Weekend of Latino Stars."

"The originality in this mini-festival," says Hugo Medrano, coproducer of the events, "is that the performers are brought directly from Latin America."

The weekend begins with a performance Friday at 8 p.m. by Ecuadorian dancers Wilson Pico and Susana Reyes. . The program, titled "Los Materiales de la Ira y el Amor," interprets the social and human conditions of Latin Americans through contemporary and traditional dances.

Saturday night, at 8 in Spanish and 10 in English, Mexican actress Susana Alexander will perform a one-woman show called "Si Me Permiten Hablar/If You Allow Me to Speak." The presentation is based on works by women writers from 10 Hispanic countries drawing on themes from the Spanish conquest to the present.

The festival concludes at 8 p.m. with a musical performance of "Soles," featuring Argentine singer Marilina Ross, a concert based on poems and songs about the Argentine people.

All events take place at the Lansburgh Cultural Center, 420 Seventh St. NW, 628 2831.