WHAT WE ARE
The Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC) is a movement made up of passionate, articulate, driven Latina/o theater artists, producers, and scholars from across the country. The LTC advocates for Latina/o theater as a vital, significant presence in the not-for-profit theater sector. Infrastructure for the LTC is provided by HowlRound: A Center for the Theater Commons.
We are a think tank, a lobbying network, and a resource for the field and for each other. We create and produce nationally recognized events and publish regular online content via Café Onda. All that we do seeks to celebrate our diverse connections, to honor our past with reflection, and to envision our future with optimism and enthusiasm.
HOW WE ARE ORGANIZED
We are a commons. We are a self-organized collective of Latina/o theatre practitionetrs have chosen to adopt a commons-based approach in our work. This means the LTC is committed to radical transparency, knowledge sharing, and making the aggregation and dissemination of that knowledge accessible to all. We foster emergent national leadership through an organic organizing method of activating our existing networks and expanding our circles of connection. We cultivate our collective wisdom through conscious conversation and conscientious community.
WHAT WE INTEND TO COMMUNICATE
We promote the breadth of Latina/o theater across the nation. Our work is many-faceted both in its ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as in its content and aesthetic. We therefore continually call into question and seek to explore how we and the entire theater-making community define Latinidad. We provide knowledge of the field—of the artists, the canon, and the current state of the art—to Latina/o and non-Latina/o theater-makers, educators, and organizations. We are the New Americans. The Latina/o experience is always at least bi-cultural. Latina/o theater makers create theatrical events from a bi-, tri-, or many-cultured point of view. In a nation that will soon be more ethnically mixed than not, Latina/o theater makers re-imagine the American dramatic narrative.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
A group of eight Latina/o theater-makers came together in May 2012 led by Karen Zacarias, under the auspices of HowlRound, and the idea for the Latina/o Theatre Commons was born. That group of eight partnered with HowlRound and other Latina/o theater communities from around the country and created a dedicated steering committee of over thirty practitioners who worked together to produce the Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening, which was held in October 2013 at Emerson College in Boston. The National Convening was an incredible experience for all involved, and the LTC self-determined to continue the collective going and began looking ahead to future projects.
The Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening (was) an extraordinary start to what we hope will be the first of many ongoing conversations about the vibrant, multifaceted and culturally diverse field of U.S. Latina/o theater at the start of the 21st century.
—Anne García-Romero, Assistant Professor of Theatre, University of Notre Dame
LTC INITIATIVES TO DATE
September 2013: Launch of Café Onda
The LTC launched Café Onda as an online gathering place featuring regular content by and for Latina/o theater-makers located on HowlRound. Rooted in a commons-based approach, Café Onda is a shared knowledge platform that features essays and promotes discourse within the Latina/o theater community. With its successful launch Café Onda is in the process of expanding—creating an editorial board that will work within the LTC to cocurate the direction of Café Onda with its contributors. Find all Café Onda content here. If you want to write something for Café Onda, review our guidelines and editorial policy here, and then email your pitch to email@example.com.
October 2013: Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening
The first large-scale formal gathering of the Latina/o theater community since 1986 took place last October 31-November 2 2013 at Emerson College in Boston, Massachussets. The LTC hosted a historical convening of 78 Latina/o actors, directors, producers, playwrights, designers, and scholars representing all regions of the United States. They gathered to explore the history, current challenges, opportunities, and visions for Latina/o theater-makers in the 21st century. Over the course of the convening, those gathered sought to advance the state of Latina/o theater-making through sharing artistic, organizing, and institutional wisdom. Strategies were identified to seed collaborations and strengthen the burgeoning network of Latina/o theater artists.
The convening brought together veteranos, emerging artists, and independent as well as organizationally affiliated practitioners and scholars, illuminating the diversity of the Latina/o experience from across the country. Participants served as delegates of their regions and communities, tracing their roots to many nations, some Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking, identifying on the queer spectrum, and embracing Native or African heritages as well.
The National Convening was made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For a full list of donors, please download the convening program below.
- Download the LTC National Convening press release in English | in Spanish.
- For the full convening program click here.
- To watch the convening in the HowlRound TV archive or read about it, click here.
The four key issue areas that convening participants identified for the LTC to prioritize moving forward include: advocacy, art making, convening and networking, and scholarship. These will be explored more fully in the formal convening report authored by Brian Herrera, which will be published in Spring 2014.
UPCOMING LTC EVENTS
October-November 2014: LATC Encuentro—A National Latina/o Theatre Festival produced in association with the LTC
The Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) will produce a festival of ten Latina/o plays from ten Latina/o theater companies from around the country October 12-November 10, 2014. Alongside, the Encuentro the LTC will produce tertulia events—a series of social and scholarly gatherings, conversations, and opportunities to discuss aesthetics and art making. One weekend during the Festival will be a dedicated opportunity for Latina/o Theater makers from around the country to convene in Los Angeles around these issues. Find out more about plans for the Encuentro here.
August, 2015: Carnavál of New Latina/o Work
The Theatre School at DePaul University in collaboration with the Latino Theatre Commons will host a festival of new Latina/o theatrical work, spearheaded by Lisa Portes, Head of Directing at DePaul University. The festival will serve as a third national gathering which will continue to explore the progress of the Latina/o Theatre Commons and investigate new theatrical works. This gathering will be open to artists, scholars, and advocates from across the country. Find out more about plans for the Carnavál here.
The Maria Irene Fornes Center for the Advancement of Latina/o Theatre:
Within the next decade the Latina/o Theatre Commons intends to establish a Center for the advancement of our work in honor of Maria Irene Fornes, whose influence and mentorship gave birth to a generation of Latina/o writers and thinkers.
GET INVOLVED NATIONALLY
- Make your voice known through contributing to Café Onda. Details on how to submit a pitch can be found here.
- Interested in working on one of the future initiatives? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO WE ARE RIGHT NOW
Below are the members of the LTC Steering Committee 2.0, a committee that was re-iterated in January 2014. It is composed of former Steering Committee members, participants from the 2013 LTC National Convening in Boston who expressed interest in joining, and totally new members.
Abel Lopez | Gala Theatre
Abigail Vega | LTC Producer & Teatro Luna
Alex Meda | Teatro Luna
Amparo Garcia-Crow | Independent Artist
Anne Garcia-Romero | Playwright/Scholar, Notre Dame
Anthony Rodriguez | Aurora Theatre Company
Armando Huipe | REDCAT & LTA/LA
Beatriz Rizk | Teatro Avante/Scholar
Bernardo Solano | Playwright & California State Polytechnic University
Beto O’Byrne | Theatre Communications Group
Brian Herrera | Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University
Chantal Rodriguez | Los Angeles Theater Center/Scholar
Daniel Jaquez | Freelance Director
David Lozano | Cara Mia Theatre Company
Georgina Escobar | Playwright
Irma Mayorga | Playwright/Scholar, Dartmouth College
Jesus Reyes | East LA Rep
Jose Carrasquillo | Freelance Director
Jose Luis Valenzuela | Los Angeles Theater Center/Latino Theater Company/UCLA
Juliette Carrillo | Freelance Director
Karen Zacarias | Playwright
Kinan Valdez | El Teatro Campesino
Laurie Woolery | Director/Producer
Lisa Portes | Director, DePaul University
Marc David Pinate | Borderlands Theatre
Mario Ernesto Sanchez | Teatro Avante/Intnl Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami
Marisela Orta | Playwright
Marissa Chibas | Duende CalArts
Mark Valdez | Network of Ensemble Theaters
Olga Sanchez | Milagro
Regina Garcia | Scenic Designer
Rich Perez | Hope College & Chicago Dramatists
Rose Cano | eSe Teatro
Sandra Delgado | Teatro Vista, Collaboraction
Sandra Islas | Latino Producers Action Network
Teresa Marrero | TANTO/University of North Texas, Dallas
Tiffany Ana Lopez | LTA LA & UC Riverside, CA
Tiffany Vega | HI-ARTS
Tlaloc Rivas | Director, University of Iowa
Tony Garcia | Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
The first LTC Steering and Advisory Committees served from 2012-2013. Download the list of members here.