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 Presents Sixth Annual Austin Latino New Play Festival
at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center February 25-27, 2016
Playwrights Andrew Valdez, Krysta Gonzales, Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, and Emilio Rodriguez Offer Latino Perspectives for the New Year
AUSTIN, Texas, Jan 9, 2016 — Teatro Vivo presents the sixth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) in collaboration with ScriptWorks February 25-27 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. The festival includes three evenings and one afternoon of staged readings of new Latino plays. General admission tickets for the festival are a donation-based or “pay what you wish.” A $40 reserved seat festival pass is available for those attending all three days or reserved seats may be purchased for $15 for each play. Furthermore, Teatro Vivo is offering a limited number of complimentary “social media” seats at the back of the theatre for those interested in live tweeting and posting to social media during the festival.
ALNPF is a theatre event that brings playwrights and audience members together in conversation surrounding new workshop productions that bring insight into the Latino experience. After each reading, the playwright participates in a talkback sessions with the audience. New this year is the addition of two theatre for youth pieces to be shown the
evening of Thursday Feb 25 and the afternoon of Saturday February 27, 2016. The productions have Latino roots and explore cross-cultural themes and modern dilemmas that surprise, challenge, engage, and push the dramatic envelope for audience members accustomed to one-way conversations at the theater.
Thursday, Feb 25 (8 p.m.): My Dad is a Pterodactyl by Andrew Valdez (Theatre for Youth piece)
Directed by Emily Aguilar Thomas
Synopsis: Renee’s father, an Air Force pilot, has recently died in the Iraq War, but is very much alive in his daughter’s mind through her imaginary pet Pterodactyl. Ana, Renee’s mother, has not informed Renee of her father’s death, but when Renee sneaks off to the local museum to visit the Pterodactyl exhibit and find her father, Ana must confront the truth and inform her daughter. Together, they learn to cope with their loss.
Playwright: Andrew A. Valdez is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. His most recent written works include The Rainbow Connection, which debuted at the Cohen New Works Festival, and Basilica,which was presented by Teatro Vivo.
Friday, Feb 26 (8 p.m.): Más Cara by Krysta Gonzales
Directed by Rudy Ramirez
Synopsis: A visceral text and movement conjuring of Latina archetypes and the women who embody them – past,present, and future.
Playwright: Krysta Gonzales is an actor/dancer/performance artist/writer originally from El Paso and Dallas. She earned her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing and is currently an active member of the Vortex Repertory Company and the Generic Ensemble Company (GenEnCo). She was most recently
onstage as Dunia in Teatro Vivo’s production of El Nogalar and her first play, Robin Hood: An Elegy, a devised collaboration with GenEnCo, premiered at the Vortex in August 2015.
Saturday, Feb 27 (3 p.m.): Primas by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce (Theatre for Youth piece)
Directed by Oscar Franco
Synopsis: Two teenaged Latina cousins, Araceli and Julie, have come to the US at different points in their young lives. Both girls work through the struggles of living on the hyphen known by many Mexican Americans, including their language, traditions, nationality, and identity. The play asks various questions including the following: What
does having a quinceañera mean to Mexican American girls given varied connections to their roots? How can anyone retrace their roots and remember and re-establish who they are? How might these primas influence one another to live on the hyphen with more courage, consciousness and grace?
Playwright: Roxanne Schroeder-Arce is a scholar, artist and pedagogue. She has taught theatre education in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Texas at Austin since 2010, and before that she taught at Emerson College and Fresno State. Roxanne’s research interests include culturally responsive theatre education and
Latino/a theatre for and with youth. She has published articles in journals such as Youth Theatre Journal, International Journal for Education and the Arts, Theatre Topics and Gestos. Roxanne’s bilingual plays Señora Tortuga, Legend of the Poinsettia, Sangre de un Ángel and Mariachi Girl are published by Dramatic Publishing and have been produced by various theatres and schools throughout the U.S. Roxanne also taught high school in Texas for several years and served as Artistic Director of Teatro Humanidad in Austin. As well as her playwriting, she is also a director and performer.
Saturday, Feb 27 (8 p.m.): Mamacita and the Negrito by Emilio Rodriguez
Directed by Estevan “Chuy” Zarate
Synopsis: When the street-savvy, intellectual Lorena runs into the irresistibly charming, barrio boy Ricky, romance and passion ignite almost instantly leading to one life-changing gift and a seemingly split-second decision. Nearly 20 years later that baby boy is on a mission to find closure in the “woman with red lips and a Spanish name” who never
said goodbye loud enough for him to hear it. Issues of colorism, culture, and identity overlap in this poetic piece about love and the ability to live fully “like if tomorrow were right now.”
Playwright: Emilio Rodriguez is a theatre artist nomad currently residing in Detroit. He is a graduate of UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts which makes him a proud “Anteater.” His most recent play, “Swimming While Drowning” was part of the Latino Theatre Commons’ Carnaval of New Work in Chicago and the Activate Midwest Festival at WMU (under the previous title “Spin”). That play led to a residency with UMS (2014-2015), a residency with Djerassi, an upcoming Mitten Lab Residency and an upcoming commission with Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon. Emilio currently teaches theatre with such companies as Matrix, Living Arts, and the Wharton.
About Teatro Vivo:
Teatro Vivo has produced more than 30 bilingual plays since JoAnn and Rupert Reyes founded the company in 2000. Teatro Vivo is proud to be a resident company with the Latino Arts Residency Program at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.
Contact Dolores Diaz at Teatro Vivo for more information, images, and playwright interviews: 956-763-0977 or email@example.com.
This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the arts is an investment
in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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! Opens Thursday December 3 !
Teatro Vivo Announces Austin Latino New Play Festival 2016 Call for Entries
Teatro Vivo is pleased to announce a call for applicants for their annual Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF) presented in collaboration with ScriptWorks to run February 25-27 2016. Participants are invited to submit original bilingual scripts that provide a window into the Latino/a community by the deadline of midnight Sunday November 1, 2015. Four scripts will be chosen for festival production. Selected plays will announced on or before midnight Friday, November 20.
New this year is the addition of one theater for youth piece to be shown the afternoon of Saturday February 27, 2016. Additionally, playwright work will receive a mid-process reading from January 4-5 and an opportunity to revise their work before the public reading during the February festival. Past guidelines remain: plays must be in line with Teatro Vivo mission statement, a work by a Latino/a playwright focused on the lives of Latino/s, utilize both English and Spanish, must be original, and must not have been produced or scheduled for production before or during 2016.
In its sixth year, the ALNPF provides an opportunity for playwrights to hear, see, and receive feedback on their original work. The festival format brings playwrights together to work with a dramaturg, director, and actors to bring a play to life as a staged reading in front of an audience. The rehearsal process for each staged reading is approximately one week.
Selected playwrights will be available and willing to collaborate with a dramaturg and director chosen by Teatro Vivo. Additionally, playwrights will be available to attend the midprocess reading of their play, the festival reading, and participate in a facilitated talk back with the audience immediately after the February reading. The staged readings are workshop-style presentations. After each reading, the playwright and director participate in talkback sessions with the audience. Visit teatrovivo.org for information.
About Teatro Vivo:
Teatro Vivo has produced more than 25 bilingual plays since JoAnn Reyes and Rupert Reyes founded the company in 2000. Teatro Vivo is proud to be a resident company with the Latino Arts Residency Program at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin TX
Contact Dolores Díaz at AustinLNPF@gmail.com for more information.
This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.
Austin Latino New Play Festival 2016 Call for Scripts
Submission Deadline Friday Nov 1, 2015
The 2016 Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF)
Feb 25-27, 2016 8 pm 3 nights and 1 afternoon, 4 new plays
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin, TX
The Austin Latino New Play Festival, produced annually by Teatro Vivo, brings together playwrights and audience members for staged readings of new works and rich conversation, each running just one night or afteroon. After each reading, the playwright and dramaturg participate in moderated talkback sessions with the audience.
What is the process for Austin Latino New Play Festival (ALNPF)? The ALNPF provides an opportunity for playwrights to hear, see, and receive feedback on their original work. The festival format brings together the playwright to work with a dramaturg, director, and actors to bring their play to life as a staged reading in front of an audience. The rehearsal process for each staged reading is approximately one week. New for the 2016 season is a reading opportunity mid process (Jan 4-5, 2015) that allows playwrights an opportunity to revise before the formal reading in February.
Teatro Mission Statement: Inspired by the power of theater to educate and entertain, Teatro Vivo produces and promotes Latino theater that provides a window into the Latino community and makes theater accessible to all audiences, especially those underserved in the arts.
ALNPF Script Guidelines:
* The script is in line with the Teatro Vivo mission statement.
* The script is a work by a Latino(a) playwright and/or focused on the lives of Latino(a)s.
* The script is an original work.
* The script utilizes both the English and Spanish language.
* Scripts cannot have been produced or scheduled for full production before or during 2016.
*** NEW*** Additionally, the 2016 festival will select one theater for young audiences to be performed the afternoon of February 27, 2016.
Selected Playwrights will …
*be available and willing to collaborate with the dramaturg and the director selected by Teatro Vivo in the months of January/February 2016.
*be available in person or via Skype to attend the reading of their play mid process Jan 4-5. The playwright is expected to attend the February festival reading Feb 25-27, and participate in a facilitated talk back with the audience immediately after the reading of their script. Playwrights are encouraged to attend all three festival readings.
*Playwrights will submit their script in a pdf file via email by Sunday November 1, 2015, by midnight, with the submission information requested below. Playwright information, including name, should not extend beyond the cover page of the script.
*Teatro Vivo will select scripts to be read in the play festival.
*No payment, fee, stipend, actual or implied will be paid to the playwrights. Selected playwrights incur their own travel expenses. Housing with Teatro Vivo company members may be available.
*Plays will be announced on or before midnight Friday, November 20, 2015.
In addition to script, please submit (in a separate MSWord doc): A brief biographical sketch and playwright background, email address, phone number, and home address. Include a brief response to two questions in 200 words or less: What areas of your script are you still eager to explore and develop? What are your goals for this play festival process?
Submit to both: AustinLNPF@gmail.com CC:firstname.lastname@example.org
More info at www.teatrovivo.org
“What would you risk for the land you love?”
Directed by Rudy Ramirez.
Performed by Yesenia Yadira Herrington, Krysta Gonzales, Olivia Jimenez, Gricelda Silva, Jesus Valles
Eight Performances! Two Weeks!
THESE DATES ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE ON LINE – SATURDAY SEPT 19 8PM, SUNDAY SEPT. 20 2 PM AND 8 PM 30 SEATS WILL BE AVAILABLE 1 HOUR BEFORE SHOWTIME
THURSDAY = SAT SEPT 24 – 26 8 PM
SATURDAY 9/26 AND SUNDAY 9/27 Matinee @ 2PM
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center,
600 River Street Austin TX 78701
Free parking is available to audience members.
If you can not find tickets for a date that appears “sold out” or “sales ended”,please note only 75% of seats are sold on line – We reserve 30 seats for purchase 1 hour before performance time.
No Late Seating – Arrive at least 15 minutes before performance time
This modern bilingual adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard takes place on the beautiful but fading estate,Hacienda El Nogalar,(pecan orchard) now a hostage of the explosive drug wars prevalent in Northern Mexico. El Nogalar is the story of the Galvan family’s struggle to hold on to their homestead their precarious social status before it slips away. The play shadows the family’s housekeeper, Dunia, as she watches the family matriarch Maite and her daughters squander their money and risk losing everything to a localdrug cartel, La Maña. Despite the repeated warnings from the once humble but loyal worker in the estate’s pecan orchard, Guillermo Lopez, Maite ignores her dwindling fortune as stubbornly as she ignores La Maña. This poignant and moving story from playwright Tanya Saracho explores social class, family,identity and the choice between adapting to the changing world or getting left behind.
Mature topics. Recommended for ages 13 yrs and older. Parental discretion advised.
About the playwright:
Tanya Saracho was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México. She is a Chicago playwright who currently writes for Television (HBO’s “Looking,” “Girls,” and “Devious Maids.”). Named “Best New Playwright” by Chicago Magazine, Saracho has had plays produced at: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino “Luminarios” by Café magazine and given the first “Revolucionario” Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is currently in development with HBO and has commissions with the following theatres: Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, Two Rivers Theatre, Denver Theater Center, South Coast Rep. Tanya is also a successful Spanish Voice-Over artist and a SAG/AFTRA actress.
Verano en Vivo August 20 – 30 – 2015
Los Tequileros Aug. 20-23 First Weekend
Two Souls and a Promise and Crossing the Rio Aug 27-30 Second Weekend
All performances are Thurs – Sat 8 pm Sunday 2 pm
Teatro Vivo will present Verano en Vivo, an intimate 2-weekend bilingual showcase of compelling new works staged by Austin Latino theatre mainstays working alongside up-and-coming visionaries.
Hosted by the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, the company will stage Los Tequileros August 20th – 23rd, a featured drama written by Dolores J. Diaz and directed by Alexis Arredondo, followed on the second weekend, August 27th-30th by 2 Souls & a Promise and Crossing the Rio, two one-act comedies written by Teatro Vivo’s artistic director, Rupert Reyes and directed by up and coming Austin theatre and film artist, Rob Rowland . As Austin’s premier Latino theatre company, Teatro Vivo has crafted a unique theatre experience for this summer’s showcase. By combining the spontaneous energy of workshop-inspired performances with creative minimalist staging methods, the experience will highlight the vibrant characterization and provocative voices of these original scripts that delve into lost histories of the Prohibition era, star-crossed family legacies that float in a realm of magical realism, and the ever-evolving complexities of life and love on the border. The company’s mission to empower emerging voices in Austin’s theatre scene will resonate onstage as these compelling new works open our minds and refresh our imaginations in the midst of our mighty Texas summer.
Tickets at http://verano.bpt.me
$10 – students/seniors/teachers/artists
$15 regular general admission
$20 reserved seating
EACH Thursday is “pay what you wish” for everyone at the theater only a half hour before show time.
On May 14th, Basilica premiered to a packed house at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American Cultural Center in Austin, Texas. Written by Andrew Valdez, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Basilica focuses on one family’s version of the American Dream and presents the struggles inherent in crossing the Mexican-American border. Lupe and his wife, Juanita, have four children—Ana Sophia, Diego, and Julieta. Shifting between reality and dream-like sequences, Basilica captivatingly focuses on the consequences of Lupe’s gambling at the palenque, a rooster cockpit which allows different contenders to let their roosters battle one another for cash prizes. After “making a deal” with the devil at the Palenque and gaining funds from his prized rooster, Lupe begins to see that maybe the grass is not always greener on the other side. Basilica or The One With the Roosters teaches viewers about the value of family, consequences and loss, and the intimate struggle of what it takes to achieve one’s dreams—despite the cost. We wish Andrew the best of luck with this production and hope it continues to grow and prosper in the theatre community!