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Announcing the 2023 LTC Designer and Director Colaboratorio!

The Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) announces the 2023 LTC Designer and Director Colaboratorio, happening from 28 June - 2 July 2023 in Portland, OR. The event will be hosted by Northwest Children’s Theater, Portland State University, and World Stage Theatre.

Colaboratorio is a five-day series of learning opportunities designed to encourage authentic creative expressions and collaboration between Latinx designers and directors. This event will foster alternative communication models for production teams, challenging the typical director-driven model.

The event is co-championed by four theatre practitioners: Tara Houston (Ashland, OR), Daniel Jáquez (San Diego, CA), Dámaso Rodriguez (Portland, OR), and Pamela Rodríguez-Montero (Santa Cruz, CA). “The planning process has been a warm collaboration, pairing designers and directors in the decision-making process,” shared the co-champions. “While energizing and experimental, the team has also been able to hold the project to constraints which center its purpose and audience, showing the rewarding possibilities of working in decentralized spaces.”

The Intervention

Nine people at a table sorting through magazines and writing things on paper.

2018 LTC Carnaval hosted by The Theatre School at DePaul University. Photo by Joel Maisonet.

The Colaboratorio was first publicly announced in 2019 as part of upcoming programming for the LTC. The traditional model of a United States creative team seats the director at the top of a pyramid with roles of diminishing power, vision, voice, and importance expanding below. Colaboratorio challenges this model and seeks to establish methods for true collaboration between peers, resulting in stronger and richer design meetings, rehearsal rooms, tech rehearsals, and realized productions.

Through this work, we hope to develop tools that aid in the creation of a rehearsal room for a new American theatre devoid of unnecessary patriarchal and white supremacist hierarchy, instead centering true collaboration and diverse Latinx aesthetics. Typically, production teams develop and realize concepts before the rehearsal process begins, often without teams in the same place. We’re asking the following questions: What kind of vocabulary will encourage brave creative work that remains responsive to the rehearsal room? How can we efficiently create deep and meaningful relationships between directors and designers? Who is “in charge” of aesthetics? How do directing and design teams work as ensembles to support the play? What communication tools will help every member of the team be more effective in contributing to the shape of productions? How do we encourage and cultivate a sense of discovery and play in our work?

Who Can Participate?

Three people pinning collages up on a wall.

2018 LTC Carnaval hosted by The Theatre School at DePaul University. Photo by Joel Maisonet.

The intended participants for this convening are designers and directors who identify as Latinx and Latin American, especially those from historically excluded populations including Indigenous, Afro-Latine/x, Caribbean, and Asian-Latine/x.

Thirty-five participants will be accepted into the Colaboratorio. During their time in Portland, participants will be split into teams and have three days of uninterrupted work time at a Portland venue. All the teams will be working from the same script and their time in Portland will culminate in a day of presentations on learnings and the process. As a participant, the LTC will cover roundtrip airfare to Portland, OR, from any US city, housing, transportation in Portland to and from the venues, and shared meals.

During the five days in Portland, our goal is to document the learnings, discoveries, and ideas that transpire during our time together. This is a direct intervention on the historical lack of documentation on Latinx theatre and its creatives. Five individuals, scholars, and/or anyone interested in and capable of creating this documentation will be selected to join us in Portland. Each individual will be paired with a team that they will follow through their three-day journey of collaboration and brainstorming. The only current expectation is that the scholar/documentarian write or co-write a piece for HowlRound on the Colaboratorio and their specific team’s journey. We also hope to find different ways of sharing knowledge and to discuss this once we have a team.

At this time the LTC seeks participant applications for designers, directors, and scholars/documentarians. The designer and director application can be found here and the scholar/documentarian application can be found here. Applications will close on 22 January 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Have questions? Take a look at our FAQ sheet. There will also be the following one-hour info sessions. Please sign up at this link to receive the Zoom information.

Colaboratorio Info Session Dates:

Thursday 15 December 2022 at 3 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 5 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 6 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

Tuesday 10 January 2023 at 11 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 1 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 2 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

Wednesday 18 January 2023 at 1 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 3 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 4 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4)

For any additional questions, please contact LTC producer Jacqueline Flores at [email protected].

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