2022 Latinx Theatre Commons Comedy Carnaval Announcement
The Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) announces the 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval, 9-11 June 2022 in Denver, Colorado. The convening is hosted by Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center… because the past two years have been so rough that we gotta ducking laugh 🦆
The 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval will highlight some of the best Latinx comedic talent in the country in a myriad of formats, including three full-length play readings, a late night of stand-up and solo performances, and three sketch comedy performances. The event has two goals: to introduce national theatre decision-makers to new comedy Latinx plays and talent, and to connect the local and national Latinx theatremaking communities.
“The 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval is a critically important platform to celebrate and uplift all that is joyful, fun, and humorous about the Latine experience. All too often, when the American theatre puts Latine voices on stage, trauma-based narratives prevail. While these works individually can invite rich dialogue about urgent issues facing our communities, the cumulative effect is a two-dimensional portrayal of Latine people that lacks agency or hope and reifies the status quo of white supremacy,” says Amelia Acosta Powell, LTC Comedy Carnaval Champion and impact producer at Actors Theatre of Louisville. “Comedy Carnaval is an intervention. Comedy Carnaval invites Latine artists and art-lovers to a revolutionary space of collective healing and communal nourishment through laughter and playfulness.”
Hold onto your cafecito! If you’re excited about diving into the healing power of humor while learning about the roots of comedy in Latinx/e performance; seeing the comedic talents of veteran and emerging Latinx theatremakers; making authentic connections with artists, scholars, and decision-makers; and laughing, all while drinking a cafecito, Comedy Carnaval is for you! In addition to the performances, the Carnaval will also include panel discussions, late-night parties, networking, and plenty of food, drink, and dancing. All Carnaval participants will also have the opportunity to experience theatre in Denver with tickets to see productions at Su Teatro and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts during the course of the event.
“Inside our deepest tragedies, a sly, slick and completely obnoxious belly laugh awaits to erupt, expunging the shackles of convention and acceptance. It is the resilience of resistance that tells us that we are survivors and any potential for our happiness is in our own hands. No one is better at ridiculing and exposing our internal contradictions, however we are even better at ridiculing and exposing the contradictions of the oppressor,” says Tony Garcia, artistic director of Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center. “Historically, our humor has been a sword to eviscerate and skewer the powerful. Our comedy has found its place in carpas, drag shows, and graffiti art painted on urban sidewalks and underpasses. It has been a tool for critical analysis, intellectual processing, and emotional release. We will come together to celebrate those who live to laugh and make us laugh for a living. They challenge us to find the edge and explore the potential of the unobvious. We will place them center stage where they will take us to a place where the irreverent is the spiritual. They strip away our pretensions and cause us to heal.”
All are welcome to apply, though artists, the local community, and artistic leaders and decision-makers will be prioritized for attendance to ensure opportunities for visibility and community building with our local and national Latinx theatre landscape. Attendance at the 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval is free, and we will have a limited amount of travel subsidies available. You must apply to be considered for attendance and travel subsidies.
To attend the 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval, read the participant application guidelines here and then apply here. The LTC is accepting applications for participants through Friday 22 April 2022 at 11:59 PM PDT. You will be notified of your status by Monday 9 May 2022. If you have additional questions, please email LTC Producer Jacqueline Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carnaval selection committee is pleased to announce the eleven projects that will be featured at Comedy Carnaval:
Exhaustion | Arroyo by Fran Astorga
Three friends escape into the Santa Cruz mountains in search of a place to swim and BBQ. They packed for the beach without realizing they had a treacherous hike down a ravine. Once at a waterhole, the consumption of some shrooms sets the stage for a heartfelt adventure between friends too tired to know how to rest.
La Carpa de la Frontera by CARPA San Diego
La Carpa De La Frontera is a site-specific, tent-like vaudeville touring show which can be taken into communities that are in most need of healing from the current pandemic situation. These performances address issues such as immigration, race, gender, human rights, accessibility, and culture in comedic form using the concept of the old carpa style used in Mexico during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. This unique touring troupe of performing artists focuses on social change, creating a show dealing with social and political issues through a comical platform that anyone can enjoy.
Are You There? by Cristina Fernandez
Cristina Fernandez is a performer, writer, and translator originally from Puerto Rico and currently living in Los Angeles. Are You There? is a stand-up comedy show that mixes video from the 2020 Los Angeles lockdown with live performance. The show pokes at modernity, motherhood, and existentialism. Are You There? shows us how far we've come and how much we're still seeking.
Escobar’s Hippo by Franky Gonzalez
A Colombian town along the Magdalena River plunges into chaos after a flatulent, destructive, easily offended, and sexually adventurous hippo comes to town and wreaks havoc. The crisis worsens when people begin transforming into hippos themselves, causing not only chaos but the beginnings of a revolution where humans are put to death by these new Hipposapiens. As this shifting of civilization unfolds, three friends try to figure out how to deal with the transforming population and solve the connection between the hippos and a notorious drug lord.
Marimacha by Darrel Alejandro Holnes
When an illicit pic outs the daughter of two conservative Afro-Panamanians on their way to a family wedding, the family must finally confront the elephant in the room and decide who gets to define love in and outside the family.
Stand-Up Comedy by Jess Martínez
She’s single, bilingual, and ready to mingle… Well, she’s single. Jess Martínez is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian who enjoys making audiences laugh as she genuinely tries to make sense of the world around her. She is the associate producer of Las Locas Comedy and assistant producer at the Moth StorySLAM Chicago.
The Invocation of Selena by Marilet Martinez & Jessi Realzola
The Invocation of Selena (TIOS) is a sketch comedy and cabaret-style show that explores how cultural icon Selena Quintanilla Pérez continues to inspire and motivate Latine people, particularly women and the LGBTQIA community. Through character monologues, drag, choreographed dance numbers, audience participation, moments of song, and more, TIOS celebrates cultural duality while examining when, why, and how we call on Santa Selena in our everyday lives. At the top of the show, Selena is literally invoked and, in this case, she is a larger-than-life drag queen who guides the cast on this journey to help them find their way in a society that desires to put them in a box. The show also uses biographical information about the artist as well as the 1997 Gregory Nava film Selena as source material to create characters and scenes that tease out our diaspora as Mexicans, Americans, Mexican Americans, pochos, Latines, queers… “and it's exhausting!"
La Egoista by Erlina Ortiz
La Egoista explores the story of Josefina, a rising stand-up comic who takes nothing seriously, and her conservative sister Betsaida, who is suddenly diagnosed with a chronic illness. This surreal one-act follows Josefina through her comedic sets as they unfold in conjunction with the deterioration of her sister's health. La Egoista uses comedy, puppets, magic, and memory to explore the cost of caregiving, the different ways we process grief, and how to find the balance between selfless and selfish. La Egoista was commissioned and developed at Live & In Color.
What Are You? by Milta Ortiz
In the ten-minute solo piece What Are You?, a young muxer finds herself in 1990s Oakland hip-hop culture. People assume she’s mixed: Black and Latina, and she begins to question what it means to be 100 percent Salvadoreña. Is the drum beat an ancestral call? But Mami grew up in El Salvador and has different ideas.
A Little Bit of Gay by Réal Vargas Alanis
Dive into the queer world with R. Réal Vargas Alanis. A Little Bit of Gay: A Standup Piece by a Homo leaves censorship and code-switching behind to tap into your inner chola and takes you on a journey to a barrio in Central California. Get a glimpse of the life of a homo navigating sugar daddies, queer hookup culture, and religion. Careful though—you might catch “the gay” after experiencing this piece… we can’t blame you though. Gay is cool. A Little Bit of Gay is slated to open during Pride Month. It would be homophobic of you not to support. #🌈 [Warning: This stand-up piece is not for the prudes—you will hear about the time they went to urgent care because they damaged their throat glock glockn’ on turkey necks.]
HOLY KIT KAT by Katie Ventura
HOLY KIT KAT is an emotional dramedy following a first-gen Chicana YouTuber coming to grips with Catholicism and generational curses of her Mexican lineage while being queer. Told in vignettes, we follow her as a teen and young adult trying to define who she is inside/out.
The 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval Selection Committee includes: Amelia Acosta Powell, Dr. Patrice Amon, Michele Apriña Leavy, Jacqueline Flores, Mica Garcia de Benavidez, Tony Garcia, Norma Medina, Richard Perez, Dr. Gina Sandi-Diaz, Dr. Daphnie Sicre, Eric Swartz, Andrew Valdez, and Lori Vega.