V-Day Austin Español is having auditions for Los Monólogos de la Vagina this Saturday, Oct. 4 at 1515 Grove Blvd from 2-5 p.m. Join them in their 9th season of bringing Eve Ensler’a Los Monólogos de la Vagina to Austin!! No experience necessary, but you do have to have the ganas to work in a team and raise awareness about violence against women and girls. Bring your friend, your sisters, la comadre and join the cause! See you there! All proceeds will be donated to SafePlace, the local non profit that helps survivors of violence.
The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance is performing a play based on the beloved children’s story Esperanza Rising at the B. Iden Payne Theatre. Performances are running until Oct. 12.
After tragedy strikes, Esperanza, a young, privileged girl in Mexico, is forced to flee to California where she works in a migrant labor camp during the Great Depression. Esperanza must overcome adversity and find unexpected inner strength. The play is adapted from Pam Muñoz Ryan’s award-winning book.
Performance times are Oct. 5, 11-12 at 2:00 p.m. and October 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. The B. Iden Payne Theatre is located on 300 E. 23rd St. in the F. Loren Winship Drama Building. Ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for UT faculty & staff, and $15 for students. They can be purchased, online at JoinTheDrama.org, at the Bass Concert Hall Box Office, at most H-E-B stores and all Texas Box Office outlets or at (512) 477-6060. For more information on Esperanza Rising, visit Texas Performing Arts online HERE.
Beginning May 22 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexcian American Cultural Center, the Austin Latino Theater Alliance (ALTA) will present Burundanga. Directed by renowned director Alejandro Pedemonte, Burudanga is the successful comedy by the Spanish playwright Jordi Galceran. The Austin run is scheduled for five weeks, ending on June 21. The cast for Burundanga in Austin is comprised by: Juan Cuspinera, Bárbara Garza, Daniela Camiro, Héctor Vera and Mario Ramírez.
Berta (Barbara Garza) is pregnant but she does not know if having the baby is the best thing to do. She has doubts about whether or not Manel (Juan Cuspinera ) is the man of her life. To clear all these doubts, Silvia (Daniela Camiro) convinces Berta to use Burundanga as the solution to her problem. Doing this, she will, once and for all, dispel any doubts she has about her boyfriend. What they don’t know, is that this will lead to a series of unexpected situations.
Burundanga is a play of entanglements in which everyday situations of social interest are satirized in a subtle way .
In complicity with everyday language and the common experiences of people , Jordi Galceran (writer of “The Gronholm Method” and “Cancun”, among other theatrical wonders) achieves a very light comedy in which Burundanga (known as scopolamine in Colombia) is an evidential catalyst that unchains a series of situations from which the characters of the story will not know how to escape.
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is located at 600 River Street. Shows will run from Thursdays to Saturdays and begin at 8 p.m. Early arrival is suggested. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for students and seniors. Advance tickets can be purchased online here. The show will be presented in Spanish with English surtitles and has a Classification of “R.”
A new installment in the series by the Austin Latino Theatre Aliance (ALTA) HABLA Teatro, “A Glimpse of the Texas-Mexico Border,” will be hosted on Mar. 29 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center through Teatro Chicano de Laredo.
ALTA was founded in 1998 and is an organization working to unite and support Latino and Hispanic theater groups in Austin by nurturing the development of new talents in theatre arts. According to ALTA, the aim of this current series is to promote the professional development of the artistic community in the city of Austin, through conferences, workshops and seminars with professionals and internationally recognized artists. The goal of Teatro Chicano de Laredo is portray the border life through theatre and bring up issues to bring forth social change in the Latino community.
The event will have a presentation of the romantic comedy, Isaura and the Virgin, which will be followed by a conversation with the producer, Carlos Nicolás Flores, and playwritght, Luis E. Flores. Isaura and the Virgin, is a story that follows a grieving mental health therapist who holds conservative world views and is very skeptical of change. These views have been formed by the pressures and traditions society. The event will have a presentation of the romantic comedy, Isaura and the Virgin, which will be followed by a conversation with the producer, Carlos Nicolás Flores, and playwritght, Luis E. Flores. Isaura and the Virgin, is a story that follows a grieving mental health therapist who holds conservative world views, which have been formed by the pressures and traditions of society, and is very skeptical of change.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre in the MACC located on 600 River Street. Admission is free and open to the public, but seating is limited so reservations are encouraged. For more information, visit ALTA’s website at . www.altateatro.com.
The pulga, or flea market, may seem unworthy to many, as it is a place where people go to find the cheapest products, but it has been seen as a worthy setting to writers Omar Gallaga and Raul Garza, who made it the centerpiece of their upcoming comedy, Pulga Nation.
This is the first show Teatro Vivo will be presenting this year, as well as the first comedy performance they will be hosting with Mexcentrics. Live performances will take place March 7 to 9 at the Salvage Vanguard Theater.
Mexcentrics is a new project that Teatro Vivo has started by assembling a new team of performers, writers and technical artists who will be focusing on comedy.
“This is the first show of a new group of actors and writers,” Gallaga said. “Some of us have worked together before. Some of the actors that are in the show I’ve never even met before so we have auditions and I run into new actors.”
Gallaga and Garza are two of the new writers for Mexcentrics. Both previously worked for the Latino Comedy Project, or LCP, before coming to work with Teatro Vivo.
“I was with LCP for over 10 years and it was a big challenge to write for people that I don’t know yet, to people that I knew really well so I’m very curious to see how it turns out and we’re launching a whole new thing,” Gallaga said. “It’s sketch comedy; it’s a little bit more raw and a little bit more adult humor than most Teatro shows.”
The comedy show is set at the pulga, which is a place where many Latinos gather not just to find great bargains, but also to socialize and share their stories. Gallaga and Garza saw an opportunity to create a melting pot for many characters and stories, as well as a lot of laughs.
“When we hit on the location of a pulga, we thought we could tell all these stories in this location and have all these different characters that sort of crisscross,” Gallaga said. “It just seemed to be a really good setting that none of us had ever really written about before.”
The show is meant to be enjoyed by all cultures, and not just Latinos, according to Gallaga.
“It’s 99 percent English, and the Spanish that’s in the show is pretty bilingual,” Gallaga said. “It’s not just meant to be for Latino audiences. We hope other people will come too. It’s exciting to see how it turns out, how people respond to it, and whether people laugh—that’ll be the biggest factor to see whether people enjoy it.”
Starting March 7 and running through March 9, Teatro Vivo will be presenting the Mexentrics in Pulga Nation at the Salvage Vanguard Theatre located on 2803 Manor Rd. Performances will Thursdays through Saturdays, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., at the Salvage Vanguard Theater. Admission is $10. There will be an opening act by Shades of Brown, a Latino improv comedy group that has been performing together since 2010. The show is being advertised for adult audiences.
With a twist to the Christmas classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Teatro Vivo brings us the return of the adaptation Cuento Navideño: Bah Humbug in the Barrio! at the Long Center for Performing Arts from Dec. 6 to Dec. 16.
Written and directed by the founder of Teatro Vivo, Rupert Reyes, Cuento Navideño: Bah Humbug in the Barrio! brings the Dickens classic to life with a comedic Latin perspective as well as a feminine one.
“[A Christmas Carol] is still one of the most produced plays around Christmas time,” Reyes said. “In fact, so much that it’s kind of lost its luster.”
The idea to write such a play started while Reyes was very young, but it developed throughout the years of speaking with many different people.
“I wanted to make a play that would take a female focus, a feminine focus on life and stuff,” Reyes said. “What would happen if a woman did the same thing a man did, you know like Ebenezer Scrooge?”
In the play, Abuelita C., as she is known by her grandnephews and grandnieces, tells her story after she learns that her grandnephew is being bullied at school for being Latino and is being called derogatory terms such as “wetback” and “beaner.”
“Really, what she does is recount her own story, but as a fiction,” Reyes said. “She tells the story of this woman named Evangelina Cruz, which is actually her real name. They know her as Abuelita C., the ‘C’ being Cruz, and her real name is Evangelina Cruz and so she tells her story of this woman that becomes obsessed with being successful, obsessed with making lots of money, and forgets everything else in her life.”
A surprise visit from the ghost of her former business partner takes Evangelina on a ride to examine her choices closely. The script of the play follows A Christmas Carol very closely and the central theme of the play is still the same as the original.
“For me the central theme is unconditional love,” Reyes said. “We always say, why are we here? What is the meaning of life? And I think that it’s a very simple thing, that we here are struggling to try to learn unconditional love.”
According to Reyes, the Teatro Vivos plays are not targeting Latino audiences, but broader audiences. They also purposefully make their plays as inclusive as possible and those that have never been exposed to the Latino culture will encounter the culture through their plays.
“You’re going to gain insight,” Reyes said. “You’re going to hear Spanish, but you’re not going to be excluded from what is happening. Our plays really are for everybody.”
One of the primary goals Reyes has is to make sure the story is clear and for the audience experience to be unique. He wants all the elements to come together and to be understood.
“I’ve worked with a lot of directors and they try to pose their vision of the play, but I try to pretend that I’m the audience, and what is it that I’m seeing,” Reyes said. “I really try to put myself in that perspective—I am the audience’s eye.”
Teatro Vivo was founded in 2000 by Rupert Reyes and his wife, JoAnn Reyes, and is one of the only bilingual theatre companies in the state of Texas and it incorporates themes related to social issues.
“I founded Theatre Vivo because we wanted to keep doing theatre that sort of went to the common places, the non-traditional audience that I think will manage to be trapped into the theatre because they see their story, they see their faces, they see their familia [family] on the stage,” Reyes said.
In their almost 13 years, they have produced more than 24 full-length productions and have collaborated with several arts organizations. Locally, they have received numerous nominations and have done several theatre workshops for the under-served populations in the community.
“We’re not the only Latino theatre company, but we’re one of the few theatre companies that plays to such a broad audience,” Reyes said. “There are people that come in from West Austin; we have people that drive all the way from San Antonio and the Valley to see our plays because it’s a unique style of theatre—very unique bilingual theatre.”
Cuento Navideño: Bah Humbug in the Barrio! will take place at the Rollins Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts from Dec. 6 to 16. Times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Regular tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students. For further information and to buy tickets, visit the Teatro Vivo or the Long Center website.
The Austin Latino Theater Alliance (ALTA) and sponsor “El Taquito Sabor a Mexico” invite everyone to sit and watch their comedic play, enjoy the holiday spirit, and absorb the family filled aura where the community comes together to celebrate. With 14 years of Austin holiday tradition, ALTA presents their annual La Pastorela Christmas play where morals and family values are taught through humor and tradition. The classic La Pastorela brings a “novela” theme to their annual show titled La PastoreNovela.
This year’s play is a Latin “soap opera”comedy with a contemporary feel to the traditional Yuletide play. La PastoreNovela brings the original Yuletide traditions with the shepherd’s journey of evil and unfortunate encounters that keep them from having a peaceful destination. Writer Miguel A. Santana returns with a new witty play La PastoreNovela that focuses about a family who experiences misfortunes, sticky situations, and personality differences that they must overcome together. With the help of eleven actors, Director Alejandro Pedemonte, and writer Miguel A. Santana bring the community of Austin a family filled show. The cast includes well-known actors such as Mario Zamora, Karla Longnion, Diego Villarreal, Anjanette Gautier and Trini Martinez, and up-and-coming actors appearing with ALTA Mirta Marella, Barbara Mojica, Veronica Pomata, Juan Cuspinera, Monica Fossi and Alfonso Gutierrez. Check out their teaser below.
Shows will begin Nov. 30 and end Dec. 15. Performances will be held only Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. A special and one-time matinee is set on Saturday Dec. 8 at 4 p.m with the original evening showing at 8 p.m. La PastoreNovela production is located at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexico-American Culture Center (MACC), 600 River St. Austin, Tx 78702. Ticket prices for general admission are $18 but for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more people are $13. Tickets can be purchased through all branches of El Taquito, Sabor Mexico, Eventbrite, or ALTA or at the theater entrance. On Wednesday Dec. 12 ALTA and LupeARTE celebrate the Posada holiday tradition at 6 p.m. at the MACC. La PastoreNovela will start at it’s scheduled time 8 p.m. The ticket for this performance will be a food donation to benefit the Food Bank at El Buen Samaritano.
The Austin Latino Theater Alliance kicks off its 2012-2013 season with the presentation of the play Cuerdas (strings) written by Barbara Colio, and directed by Daniela Ruiz. Colio is one of the most celebrated contemporary Mexican playwrights and winner of the 2009 National Bellas Artes in Mexico.
Colio will be talking about her work as a playwright, the impact of Latin American realities in contemporary theater, and her play Cuerdas which will open in the USA for the first time here in Austin at Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (TheMACC) on September 12.
Colio will also be available to the media and the general public for “Habla Teatro,” a special conversation regarding her writing process and perspectives on contemporary Latin American dramaturgy. This special “master class” will be held at the MACC at 4 p.m. For details click here.
Read the official synopsis for Cuerdas below:
Cuerdas (Strings) 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. 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.
The MACC is located at 600 River St. Performances will take place in Spanish with English subtitles and will run for 2 hrs with a 15-minute intermission. General Admission $18, Students and seniors $13, groups over 10 people $13. Advance tickets for Cuerdas performances are available here.
Watch the trailer for Cuerdas below.