The Austin Latino Theater Alliance was born 14 years ago with the intention of uniting and supporting the different Latino and Hispanic theater groups in the community. Video by Moontower Cufrdas The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, Vande Shakespeare and the Law, panel at the U ALTA is a community of artists and volunteers who are firmly committed to fostering the development barabra new talents in the theater arts, promoting collaborative productions among local and international artists, and bringing the highest quality theater to the Austin and Texas audiences. Cuerdas Bxrbara is the story of a journey into adulthood by three brothers who receive a letter from their father, an internationally renowned wire artist, who is announcing his retirement from the show and invites them to see his last performance. The brothers, played by Alejandro Pedemonte, Chuy Velasquez, and Mario Zamora, reconnect on their journey with the holes left by their childhood, the ties that bind them together, and the imbalances of the daily life which weigh heavily on their experiences.
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He lives with his high school sweetheart and works for her brother. The play is a love letter to my friend Juan, an undocumented painter whom I met while working with undocumented immigrants in Mississippi after Katrina. Since my mother lives with me, we watch Univision news every day, and the stories we hear are heartbreaking. Mom grew up in Latin American poverty…pobreza…which is its own fucking thing. As a child, she was brutalized for taking a banana from the kitchen when she was hungry.
And she was always hungry. Her mother had a little shack where she sold sugarcane. She was a single mom before it was hip. Then Mom married dad and her life changed. Having grown up in a South American town, we knew everybody. The guy who owns the oil wells and the guy who lives in a windowless tin house but still grows a garden.
My parents helped the poor in my town so I was always immersed in their stories. There was an orphanage behind my house, and my guess was that these kids were orphaned because of poverty and not because their parents died. Poverty is crushing in Latin America. Yes, there are hungry people in the US. But I grew up around kids whose feet were misshapen because their shoes had never been removed. Their toes curled in. And they were hungry.
Some of them had never touched money. Through my mother, I connected to their dreams that grew like weeds through sidewalk cracks, and also to epic losses. When I complain about living in a studio apartment, Mom reminds me that there are large families living in the same-sized space. To her, even two people sharing a bed is abundance. Life is death. What humans do to survive. Living in a poverty-stricken country or area does.
A heartbreaking American story right now is the journey of The Dreamer. The story of The Dreamer interests me. Dreamers understand life and death.
They understand risk. Q: What else are you working on now? But a friend read it and said, fuck it, I want to produce this. Life is so fucking sad that I write funny. And I wrote a musical with my best friend Karl St. I signed up for Sex and Sexism with my favorite professor who was dying from a brain tumor. I was the only student in the class who knew. Since I was out of my fucking mind and partying every night with the Greeks in the class, I learned that they were plotting to use her cancer to get an A in the class.
I was getting an A the old-fashioned way. To honor the beautiful gifts that professor gave us during the last months of her life, and to document the horrible privileged garbage that made her suffer for it, I wrote CLASS.
Someone please develop us. Besides theater, I spend way too much time on Twitter. Q: What have been the defining moments of your journey as a playwright? I visit her at her nursing home and you should come with me… Telling Katori Hall in an undergrad class at Columbia that she was going to be famous. Graduating cum laude from Columbia after spending two years recovering at eating disorders centers. Eduardo helped me get fellowships, including one which mostly entailed papering for shows, filing, and picking up cigarette butts at the Cherry Lane.
Angelina Fiordellisi is a rock goddess. Another fellowship was from the Shubert Organization, then run by Gerald Schoenfeld. He made sure the NYPD inspected my apartment after a death threat came through my Venezuelan politics blog; he always asked if I was eating and sleeping. He was a pivotal influence in my life and such a heart. Fuck everyone who says mean things about him. I also wrote with some of the best playwrights who became friends. My production at the Cherry Lane was a highlight because a lot was donated: rehearsal space from a church, costumes from mom, set pieces from the Cherry Lane and from a cast member.
I was able to pay the director and actors a little money. Just a little time and a lot of courage…heart. Two productions at the Planet Connections Festivity displayed the generosity of actors, the passion that theater artists bring to the work, often at theaters with no air conditioning in the middle of summer.
What came of that award was my play Infinity Pond, based on a talk I heard on surrogacy in India by a Harvard bio-ethicist. My play Infinity Pond brought me the most pleasurable adventures. To develop the play, we traveled with our casts so I fell in love with everyone. And with the backdrop of Palm Beach sunsets and the Rockies, it was serious love.
I still cry over it. I got an email asking if I was interested and I applied because there was a full-scholarship on the table. It was two years of hard work and more hard work. Musical theater writing is a skill-driven art.
It was a beautiful experience. We had a dream cast, we learned about the piece, and Karl turned me on Keyboard Cat because there was nothing to do in Holland. At the end, we cried so that was good. These are important facts to know. Besides writing plays, I also translate the plays of others. Translating The Cook, by Eduardo Machado, made me travel through the linguistic history of Cuban Spanish, and anyone who knows me can tell you that traveling through history is my favorite thing.
Leaving the now and becoming a detective. I learned and grew A LOT as an artist. The production was beautiful. Red Bank has epic sunrises and Two River is nice to artists. Great experience, all around.
For New York Madness, I wrote a play for my mother and Valentina Corbella, an actor and family friend who is over fifty years younger than mom. They played the same character at different ages. I wrote it so her lines were very basic and afterwards, she blessed the entire cast. It was an enchanted experience. I met Octavio Solis, and while it solidified my place as an outsider pretty much everywhere, I also fell in love with this idea of talking about injustice and theater. The fact that so few Latinos are produced in the American theater speaks to the alarming shortsightedness of decision-makers, given the Latinos writing plays.
We cannot think that because Lin-Manuel wrote two hit musicals and Quiara Hudes is produced around the country, Latinos have arrived. Q: Who have been your playwriting mentors and heroes? A: Austin Flint at Columbia taught me that every playwright should receive nice feedback or no feedback. He was epic in an unassuming way. Katori, Amy and I credit him with everything.
When he died, all I thought was: fuck, we need to do something so the world knows it was him and not anyone who came after him. Because people like him never get the credit and he deserves it.
It was Austin and not Columbia or Yale or any other institution. Though he loved his Alma Mater, Yale. Kelly Stuart taught me at Columbia. Kelly is a badass, capital B. The fact she teaches anywhere is a miracle. I fought her but I love her. She makes you read gorgeous, unproduced work and you write well under her. A bit of a magical unicorn who is also a photographer. I love her. Theresa Rebeck is a heart.
We wrote a LOST episode. Then, she would re-hire me. After the class ended, she sent me a copy of her book, signed with a nice message.
CUERDAS de Bárbara Colio en la Sala Arta&Desmayo
Originally, Austin Vida was formed as a promotional company in January by Brian Stubbs to help bring live Latin music to Austin and create cultural barbqra that seemed non-existent in the Live Music Capital of the World. Playground Superhero by Andrew Perry, Po The new Austin Vida online magazine launched in January with the goal of catering to young American-born Latinos, while still being accessible to people of all cultures and ages. The online, English-language publication covers the local Latino music scene as well as touring Latin music acts playing in Austin. Video Promo by Chris Eckert: The Geography of Proximity, Ariel Dance September 17 — 23, Defying Labels by Chris Open Sesame, a Bollywood pantomime b Through humorous and sometimes poignant reminiscences, the brothers realize that this journey, and their individual lives, has become a balancing act of love and resentment. Colio is one of the most celebrated contemporary Mexican playwrights and winner of the National Bellas Artes in Mexico. Shakespeare and the Law, panel at the U Not wanting the Vida brand to die, he passed along ownership rights to a young and motivated group of local Latinos, led by Ian Morales. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.