Más Cara & the Futurx Festival


NOVEMBER 1-16, 2019 8PM

Presented by The VORTEX and Teatro Vivo

In her new bilingual play, Krysta Gonzales brings together archetypes of Latina womanhood to dance, bicker, share chisme, heal old wounds, and insist that being “too much” is what makes them just perfect. Our tias and madres blend with Coatlicue, Tonantzin (La Virgen of Guadalupe), and La Llorona.


Now based in Los Angeles, VORTEX Company member Krysta Gonzales has been working with The VORTEX since 2010, primarily as an actor and choreographer. Teatro Vivo nurtured the early development of Más Cara during the Austin Latino New Play Festival in 2016, and it was named as one of the Top 10 Unproduced Latinx Plays of 2017 by the 50 Playwrights Project, Over the past year, director Rudy Ramirez has workshopped the play with Avante Theatre Project in preparation for its debut production as the featured show of FuturX Festival 2019. Now, The VORTEX and Teatro Vivo partner to present the world premiere of Más Cara by Krysta Gonzales at The VORTEX for the first 3 weeks of November.


Florinda Bryant, Martinique Duchene-Phillips, Michael Galvan, Olivia Jimenez, Barbara Mojica, Eva McQuade, Lori Navarrete, and Malyssa Quiles.


Directed by Rudy Ramirez. Choreography by Mario Alberto Ramirez. Scenic Design by Alex Casillas. Lighting Design by Patrick Anthony. Costume Design by Aaron Kubacak. Prop Design by Cortney DeAngelo. Sound Design by Johann Mahler. Stage Management by Tamara L. Farley. Teresa Cruz, Assistant Director. Jesus Valles, Community Outreach.

Photo Credit: Errich Petersen


Más Cara is funded and supported is funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, Teatro Vivo, Bloomberg Philanthropies, a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet
by Maria Rocha
and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce
with music by Héctor Martínez-Morales
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
October 3-12, 2019

Thirteen-year old María is having trouble in school, so her Mom sends her to stay with her Coahuiltecan grandmother in Laredo. There, María is told the ancient story of young Yana Wana, who followed a revered deer to find water and save her people. Yana Wana’s story exposes and amazing and unknown ancestral connection to the bluebonnet that gives María a renewed sense of self and family pride. A beautiful and original play that illustrates the power of heritage and the value of one’s own story – especially one as ancient as the petroglyphs of Texas.

Public Performances:

Friday, October 4th 7PM (Austin, TX)

Saturday, October 5th 11AM; 2PM (Austin, TX)

Sunday, October 6th 11AM; 2PM (Austin, TX)

Friday, October 11th 7PM (Austin, TX)

Saturday, October 12th 11AM; 2PM (Austin, TX)

Wednesday, October 16th 7PM (San Marcos, TX)

Purchase Tickets Here!

Children under 12 year $5
Students 13 and older, veterans, elders $10
General Admission $15
Reserved Seating $20

Running time: approx. 50 min; no intermission

Performances October 4th-12th
Emma S. Barrientos
Mexican American Cultural Center
600 River Street, Austin, Texas 78701

Free parking at the theatre. Please be sure to get a parking pass from the attendant on duty when you arrive at the theatre.

Performances October 16th
Goodnight Auditorium
1301 TX-123
San Marcos, TX 78666


If you are interested in bringing your students to see this performances; please CLICK HERE for more information!


This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the San Marcos Arts Commission.

Swimming While Drowning

Teatro Vivo proudly presents Swimming While Drowning by Emilio Rodríguez, presented at the Emma S. Barrientos-Mexican American Cultural Center, directed by Alexis A. Arredondo.

Angelo and Mila are fifteen and homeless. Angelo is a dreamer, and Mila is a streetwise realist. But when they become roommates at a shelter for LGBTQ teens, they build a fragile bond that inspires them to reach for understanding and self-acceptance.  Emilio Rodriguez’s poetic coming-of- age story celebrates the healing power of hope, and the beautiful mystery of being a teenager.

July 11-21, 2019
Emma S. Barrientos – Mexican American Cultural Center
600 River St, Austin, TX 78701

Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm

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Emilio RodriguezEmilio Rodríguez began his theatrical career at the age of 2, performing one-kid adaptations of The Wizard of Oz in his parents’ living room using a broom, a funnel and his mama’s high heels. Since then, his plays have been performed in Texas, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, and Florida. Some of his career highlights include being part of the inaugural Carnaval Festival of Latinx Playwrights, being the inaugural Michigan playwright for the Mitten Lab, being the guest playwright for the Theatre Kalamazoo festival, and being part of the anthology Scenes for Latinx Actors: Voices of the New American Theatre.  In 2018, Emilio was awarded the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Foundation award for LGBT playwrights and the Kresge Artists in Detroit grant for playwriting. Earlier this year Emilio was invited to be a guest judge for the KCACTF Midwest Region playwrights. Of all his accomplishments, Emilio’s most memorable accolade is the time a cashier at Panera gave him a free meal because the cashier liked Emilio’s play Mamacita. Emilio was a featured playwright of Teatro Vivo’s 2016 Austin Latino New Play Festival.

This production is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

2019 LTC Theatre for Young Audiences Sin Fronteras Festival and Convening

Teatro Vivo, the Latinx Theatre Commons, and the University of Texas at Austin, proudly present the 2019 Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Sin Fronteras Festival and Convening. The Festival will share five TYA plays from the US and Latin America with children from throughout Central Texas, with daytime performances for schools, and additional performances open to the public. A concurrent LTC Convening will also gather artists, scholars, and educators from across the Americas to experience theatre with young people, and consider the needs and incredible capacities of our future audiences and theatre artists.

The festival and convening will take place at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.BuyPlayTix button


From L to R, top to bottom: Niños Que Fueron Grandes, Tomás and the Library Lady, Cenicienta, Epic Tales from the Land of Melanin, Coatlicue 2.0 “La Diosa Que Vino del Aire”


Niños Que Fueron GrandesLa Negra María Teatro (Santiago, Chile)
By La Negra María Teatro
Directed by Nicolás Valiente Blamey

We travel with four actors to recreate and imagine episodes of the childhoods of three Chilean teachers: Baldomero Lillo, Gabriela Mistral, and Manuel Rojas. Puppets and found-objects create the world of the play onstage before our eyes, making it easily accessible for English-speaking audiences. This production features original music. (Spanish)
Recommended age: 4 to 10

Cenicienta, Teatro Vivo and Glass Half Full Theatre (Austin, TX, USA)
by Caroline Reck and Rupert Reyes
Directed by Caroline Reck

Created in collaboration with Glass Half Full Theatre, Teatro Vivo, and ZACH Theatre, Cenicienta is an original bilingual stage adaptation of Cinderella. In this version, told through found-object puppetry, Cenicienta overcomes her stepfamily’s bullying on her own terms. Bilingual (English/Spanish)
Recommended age: 4 and up

Epic Tales from the Land of MelaninFEMelanin Collective, (Chicago, IL, USA)
Originally devised by Guadalís Del Carmen, Mariana Green, Brandi Lee, Maya Mackrandilal, Enid Muñoz, Alyssa Vera Ramos, Deanalís Resto, Ana Velazquez, and Teresa Zorić with FEMelanin
Directed by Alyssa Vera Ramos

Based on histories of real-life women of color and non-Eurocentric fairytales, Epic Tales from the Land of Melanin is an imaginative adventure tale of three young warrior-explorers taking on the world. Through audience participation, young audiences will help the heroes defeat evil forces while building community. Bilingual (English/Spanish)
Recommended age 12 and up

Coatlicue 2.0: La diosa que vino del aireCompañía TraZmallo Ixinti (México City, México)
by Daniel Loyola
Directed by Leonardo Villa

Through dance, music, mask and clown technique, Coatlicue 2.0 is a solo creation story of how the Aztec world came to be. We learn about legendary Aztec figures, such as Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, and Coatlicue herself, the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the cosmos. Bilingual (Nahuatl/Spanish)
Recommended age 8 and up

Tomás and the Library LadyChildsplay (Tempe, AZ, USA)
Book, Music, and Lyrics by José Cruz González
Music Arranged and Performed by Adam Jacobson
Directed by David Saar

Based on the true story of Tomás Rivera and the book by Pat Mora, this play takes us on a journey with Tomás, the son of migrant farm workers. When Tomás meets the “Library Lady,” she recognizes his love of stories and encourages him to become a reader. This play explores literacy, migration, and self-esteem, all through music and storytelling. Bilingual (English/Spanish)
Recommended age 5 and up

Adapted from the book “Tomás and the Library Lady” by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colón. Published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  

This project is made possible with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, HowlRound Theatre Commons, Emerson College, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, Texas Performing Arts, Childrens Theatre Foundation of America, University of Texas Theatre and Dance, Center for Mexican American Studies, Texas Cultural Trust, Center for Educator Development in the Fine Arts, ZACH Theatre, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, The City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.screen shot 2019-01-18 at 1.42.53 am


Until Next Year! The 6th Annual Austin Latino New Play Festival Comes to a Close

The Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) was held this weekend at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, where play writers got to premiere their work to an audience and get their thoughts in the talkback session after the play. The plays My Dad is a Pterodactyl, Primas, Más Cara, and Mamacita and the Negrito were in this year’s festival written by Andrew Valdez, Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, Krysta Gonzeles, and Emilio Rodriguez, respectively.

At the sixth year the ALNPF, the Latino-focused plays were a more mature in terms of revision due to a public reading held earlier in the year. Producer Project Manager of the ALNPF Dolores Diaz says the festival is a sort of peek behind the curtains for the public. This rings true for the overall feel of the festival, both backstage and onstage. Backstage, the production crew for Mamacita and the Negrito are all laughs. While onstage is bare with just stools and a sheet stand, a typical view for rehearsals, is unusual for a premiere.

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The audience waiting for the showtime of Mamacita and the Negrito. (Photo Credits: Jordan Kasprzynski)

First-timer at the ALNPF was Krysta Gonzales, whose play Más Cara premiered Friday, found the experience to be nurturing. “I had one moment where I got some critical feedback and I wrote the same note that they {an audience member} had.”

In a time when people don’t just experience events like the Super Bowl or the Oscars with the people and TV around them, but with the people online as well, the incorporation of the “Social Media Seats” was created. These seats are designated in an area that will not distract from the rest of the audience and media approved by Teatro Vivo, where people got free tickets to sit in on the play and live-tweet the play and talkback sessions.

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The Austin Latino New Play Festival is hosted in collaboration with Teatro Vivo and Scriptworks. (Photo Credits: Jordan Kasprzynski)

“Maybe what sticks with you five minutes ago doesn’t stick a month ago…this is a way to check back,” says Diaz.


This new feature at the ALNPF is planning to grow after its inception, where Diaz hopes will create a conversation online through the designated hash tags that can go for as long as there is a discussion to be had on the topic.




Showtime: Austin Latino New Play Festival

As Teatro Vivo is preparing for its sixth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) in partnership with Script Works, many of our playwrights are also anxiously getting ready to present their stage readings that will take place from February 25 through February 27. Playwrights such as Andrew Valdez and Krysta Gonzales will debut their plays, My dad is an Pterodactyl and Mas Cara, which will both show important and distinct life lessons through different experiences in the Latino culture.

Meanwhile, Emilio Rodriguez also produced the stage production Mamacita and the Negrito that will introduce different cultural predicaments that can be seen within Latino communities and will help engage its audiences to give their own opinion about their experiences in relation to the stage readings.

We also want to further spotlight the hard work of Andrew Valdez who is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin and is hoping to capture the attention of his audience through his most recent stage production My Dad is a Pterodactyl that brings a different perspective into the challenges that families face when experiencing loss and grief.

Furthermore, we also want to showcase Roxanne Schroeder-Acre who has years of experience teaching theater at different universities and colleges. She is currently getting ready to debut Primas, which is about bringing different struggles that many Mexican American women face when coming to the United States including the traditional and highly anticipated quineanera and its meaning to their cultural roots.

Each one of our dedicated and passionate playwrights will also get the opportunity to interact with their audiences through talk back sessions that will be held directly after each stage reading.

Because we are very passionate and excited to offer a hands on experience into the diverse cultures surrounding the Latino community, we are going to be offering donation-based admission tickets during the festival. Therefore, anyone with an adventurous mindset is welcome to join us and gain new ideas about a very rich culture.


Teatro Vivo’s La Pastorela Opening Night

On December 3, Teatro Vivo had their opening night for “La Pastorela,” a biblical comedy at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

Andie Flores, first-year actress at Teatro Vivo playing San Miguel, was a little nervous for opening night, but felt certain she was going to have


Andie Flores preparing backstage before warm-up and showtime. (Photo Credit: Alina Agha)

fun. On how she prepares before a play, Flores said “I try to remember why I wanted to do the play in the first place…whatever happens, I know I’m going to have fun, that’s a guarantee.”


The cast was all warmed up, doing their usual warm-up exercises in half costume and make-up. There was no chaos, the cast and crew were walking and talking around like it was a usual day at the stage. The crowd was full of friends and family, waiting in the Hispanic decorated lobby to be let into the auditorium, talking to JoAnn and other members of Teatro Vivo about their excitement to watch the play.


The cast of La Pastorela warming up before show time. (Photo Credits: Alina Agha)

Executive Director JoAnn Reyes was certainly not anxious about opening night. “Opening night is more about excitement and anticipation than anxiety. With live theatre anything can happen, of course. I focus on what will be magical in the moment more than what could possibly go wrong, because that list could be endless!” said Reyes.


Today is the “vino y chocolate” reception, where free desserts and wine will be served from 6-7:30pm. The play continues until December 20th, with December 10-17th tickets are on sale for “pay what you wish.” The remaining days are regular ticket prices, being $15 for general public, and $20 for reserved seating. Discounts are available for students, teachers and seniors at $12. You can click here to buy tickets.

Una Entrevista Sobre La Pastorela

I got the chance to pick the brains of Teatro Vivo Executive Director JoAnn Carreon Reyes and Luzbel actor Jesus I. Valles-Morales about their upcoming play La Pastorela, where they gave their insights and opinions about the play. La Pastorela opens December 3rd and runs until December 20th. To buy tickets, click here.

JoAnn Carreon Reyes

Why did you choose this play?

This more urban contemporary version of La Pastorela has been performed regularly over the last 20 years by various theatre artists. Long before the ESB Mexican American Cultural Center was built, it was performed in a warehouse on the current site of the center. It became a significant cultural event that unified the Chicano/Mexicano theatre artists, musicians and the community at large during the holiday season. This tradition continued in various forms by various companies over the years. Teatro Vivo last produced La Pastorela in 2005. We felt like it was an important tradition to continue as a holiday gift to the community.

Are there any changes you made to the original play in any way to portray the story in your own way? If so, what?

Certain structural elements remain over the  years to keep the thread of the Shepherds (pastores) traveling to Bethlehem and encountering Devils trying to stop them and Angels interceding on their behalf. It’s the classic good vs evil epic. Each time it was performed in past productions, some current event or social issue was often woven in to the story.One year the shepherds were homeless people and the Devils were political figures, Another year they were residents of neighorhoods slated for gentrification and the Devils were the real estate developers. This year the focus is the Shepherds as refugees from various countries bringing their plight to the forefront.

How are you making the play relatable to viewers who are not familiar of this Hispanic tradition? 

The play has a good mix of Spanish and English, making it easily understandable to all. The classic theme of good and evil crosses all cultures.

What do you want the audience to take from watching La Pastorela?

We believe theatre is a powerful way to educate and entertain. We want our audiences to leave with more than just a program, We want them to leave with a conversation that will continue into their homes and communities about their experience.

How do you feel about the cast and crew’s work with this play?


What is your favorite scene in La Pastorela?

The classic battle scene between Luzbel and San Miguel.


Jesus I. Valles-Morales

Character: Luzbel

How long have you been a part of Teatro Vivo? 

I have been working with Teatro Vivo since May of 2014, when I participated in the Austin New Latino Play Festival.

Tell me about the character you are playing, what qualities do you like about them?

Luzbel is The Devil and there’s something about playing something that people have feared for so long and in so many different cultures that feels powerful. There’s definitely something that is seductive about playing something with that much force. I also love getting to play with and explore the relationship between Luzbel and the messiah as these kind of brothers in conflict. I think Luzbel has some major daddy issues and I can vibe with that. Too much?

 What do you want the audience take from watching La Pastorela?

In these times? Ideally the audience will take with them a sense of generosity when it comes to whom they believe “deserves”refuge in this country. Safety and comfort are human necessities that all humans deserve regardless of nationality and legal status.

 What is your favorite scene in La Pastorela?

I don’t think I have a favorite scene but watching Jesus Garcia and Cesar Diaz reacting to things non-verbally is one of my favorite things about this show. Those two guys are so, so funny without ever having to utter a single word. 

Teatro Vivo’s La Pastorela: A Background of the Play

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Teatro Vivo cast practicing their lines before rehearsal. (Photo Credits: Jordan Kasprzynski)

Teatro Vivo will be performing the Mexican Christmas story La Pastorela for their Christmas show this year. Pastorela is a Mexican Christmas story from the shepherd’s perspective. Although the plot of the story revolves around religion, the story is filled with messages about life, mankind, and the battle of good versus evil with a comedic tone. Teatro Vivo’s rendition of the play infuses classic Mexican songs to modern hits with colorful costumes.

La Pastorela is a Mexican tradition of recreating the biblical passage where the shepherds follow the Star of Bethlehem to find the Child of Christ. The play includes characters such as The Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, baby Jesus, Shepherds Bato, Tubero, Tubal, Lucifer and Archangel San Gabriel.

The play begins with the shepherds hearing of the amazing abundance in Bethlehem, where they go to find the baby Jesus. However, they experience a series of changes in fortune and confront the Devil, who will do everything possible to prevent them from completing their mission. It is with the help from the Archangel San Gabriel’s intervention to defend the shepherds from Lucifer and continue on their journey. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, they find the baby Jesus and sing him a lullaby to help put the baby to rest. The play ends with the shepherds offering the baby Jesus with gifts and a dance of joy.

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Lucifer and his minions furious after learning about the coming of baby Jesus. (Photo Credits: Jordan Kasprzynski)

The word “Pastorela” derives from the Italian word “Pasttorella” which means “little shepherdess.” Pastorela has been a play since the 11th century, experiencing multiple changes in content and performance. In the 1400’s plays saw an increase in popularity due to Shakespeare’s work, so church plays, especially holiday plays like Pastorela, became popular shows. Although the play experienced a dip in popularity in the 1900’s, the tradition had seen a decline an interest, but is still continuing strong.

The play’s opening night is December 3rd and  is free to the public, courtesy of  the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican Cultural Center (ESB MACC). The production will run until December 20th at the ESB MACC. On December 4th 6pm-7:30pm, Teatro Vivo will be hosting a pre-play reception, named Vino y Chocolate, in the lobby gallery  with  deserts, appetizers and drinks. Tickets for this special event are $35 for both the reception and a reserved seat for the 8 pm show. Tickets are on sale now for all performances $12 seniors, students and teachers, $15 general admission and $20 reserved seating. Thursday December 10 and 17 are pay what you wish at the door only.

La Pastorela, a bilingual comedy for the whole familia!

La Pastorela, a bilingual comedy for the whole familia! Opens Thursday December 3 !