What's New?
CD Release Show

Help Wanted is only one week away! Here at Teatro, we reached out to the actors in Help Wanted and asked them 5 questions. Here's how Katia Cardenas responded.

Question 1: What is your favorite part of the Twin Cities?

"I love the rich arts community in the Twin Cities, and the passion people have for important, impactful creative work. I am proud to be a part of the theater and jazz communities specifically, and greatly value the relationships I’ve forged with artists in these fields."

Question 2: What is your favorite quote?

"'There is only two kinds of music, good and bad, I like the good kind.' Louis Armstrong"

Question 3: What is a destination you've always wanted to visit?

"Paris!"

Question 4: What do you hope for audiences to experience from Help Wanted?

"I hope to help audiences understand that immigration is a human issue, that affects real people with real stories and families and lives. I want them to feel the weight of this issue, that has not been resolved, since the play was written almost 20 years ago. I want them to feel the urgency and desperation of the people who are otherwise simply labeled “immigrants” or “illegals” and be curious about the lives and stories of people who come to America to make better lives for themselves—something that millions of other people have done for centuries."

Question 5: What are your current hopes and dreams?

"I am focused heavily on my music career, and hope to tour the world and share my voice. I hope to help the organizations with whom I work grow and strengthen to better serve their missions and the TC arts community."

Make sure to check out Help Wanted on March 23rd!

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Help Wanted is only two weeks away! Here at Teatro, we reached out to the actors in Help Wanted and asked them 5 questions. Here's how Marcos Lopez responded.

Question 1: What is your favorite part of the Twin Cities?

"My favorite part of the Twin Cities is the green grass of spring and the gold of fall."

Question 2: What is your favorite quote?

"My favorite quote is 'If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky.'-Vin Scully."

Question 3: What is a destination you've always wanted to visit?

"I've always wanted to visit the Sand Dunes of Uruguay!"

Question 4: What do you hope for audiences to experience from Help Wanted?

"I hope that audiences experience entertainment, education and empathy."

Question 5: What are your current hopes and dreams?

"Currently I hope for good will to all."

Check back next Friday to see our next actor's answers to these questions and make sure to come see Help Wanted on March 23rd!

 Teatro at Labor Plaza

Labor Plaza Class

Teatro started off the New Year right! This year started off with one of our Community classes in the beautiful Labor Plaza Apartment complex. We met every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:30-7 to play theater games, jam out to music and explore the participants’ stories. Thanks to leadership provided by our talented teacher, Stephanie Ruas, each class had lots of fun and brought excitement to each of the participants. We were also able to involve different community musicians like Robert Everest into this process. This entire experience capped off with a presentation for the entire building on Friday, January 19th. It was a blast!

A Night of Theater for Puerto Rico!

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Beliza Torres Narvaez’s “Resabios de Amargura or that bitter cabaret” and Javier Morillo’s “Broken English, Mother Tongue.”

The Benefit Performance for the Coalición de Boricuas en Minnesota, which used all funds to support continuing efforts for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico was a success. The Puerto Rican community of Minnesota rallied to help our island recover from the disaster of Hurricane Maria. Two local Puerto Rican artists performed their solo shows about the island and its relationship to the United States.

Beliza Torres Narváez is an Assistant Professor of Theater at Augsburg University, writer, actor and theater director. She writes and performs Resabios de Amargura or that bitter cabaret, a campy mixture of song, comedy, and social critique that follows the story of Lola Amapola, a singer-performer-TV diva-wannabe that loves her country Puerto Rico but feels attracted to afuera, or the outside. After realizing she cannot achieve her highest potential if she stays on her island, she leaves for the more promising and glamorous U.S mainland, but things don’t turn out quite as planned. Will she stay in the U.S.? Will she go back home? Is there a home to go back to?

Javier Morillo is a labor leader and activist, writer and storyteller. His solo show, Broken English, Mother Tongue, takes the audience on a ride across continents, languages, and cultures. He weaves personal stories of growing up on a US Army base in Puerto Rico with the history of the Island’s complicated relationship to the United States. This show was an audience favorite of the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Festival, winning an encore performance. The Pioneer Press said, “Morillo makes it all captivating, thanks to a lot of humor, affection and an assist from pop singer Ricky Martin,” while the Star Tribune wrote Morillo “shares personal stories about family and identity with wit and earnestness.” Note: the audience may be quizzed on its knowledge of Puerto Rican history—but don’t worry—like Puerto Rico, all answers are, well, complicated.

Thank you to all who attended!

 

Coco's Latinidad: An Immigrant Thanksgiving

A Live Radio Show...Latin Flair 'n the Air

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By Silvia Pontaza

From the heart of our capital at the Creative Arts School in downtown St. Paul, MN, Coco's Latinidad, a bilingual radio broadcast, occurred. Host Coco took us on a stroll through her barrio, where dogs bark Spanish lullabies and gatos meow “al son” Latino. They visited with the Gonzalez Family as they got ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. We embarked on a musical adventure with our eclectic musical guest, Alma Andina. Directed by Alberto Justiniano of Teatro Del Pueblo. 

Coco’s Latinidad, is loosely inspired by Minnesota Public Radio’s program, “A Prairie Home Companion,” and "Saturday Night Live". It's been created with the input and insight from the local Latino community. Teatro has conducted a series of informal interviews and story circles with Latino artists and community members. The story circles, led by playwright Silvia Pontaza, took place in community centers including El Centro Tyrone Guzman, Plaza Labor, Jane Addams School for Democracy, and highlighted voices from the local Latino community, as well as local immigrants and refugees.

"I brought my daughter and a friend to see the show.  I have always enjoyed your productions. We laughed a lot and had a great time."

Penumbra's My America

My America

What is your America? What do you hope it could be? My America is an invitation for Minnesotans to share how each of us experience our nation. Stories from across the state will be performed live on stage and broadcast across the radio to inspire a more loving, inclusive America. We invite you to claim your whole self–your history, your specificity, and your identity–in service of creating a diverse and beautiful portrait of our country. Written submissions from the public will be accepted online and reviewed by a panel of playwrights, authors, journalists, and activist artists. Finalists will work closely with our artists-in-residence to workshop their narratives as they prepare to take center stage and will receive a $200 cash prize. Penumbra will share these inspiring stories at Let’s Talk: My America in March 2018.

The deadline to submit your story is November 17, 2017.

Check it out here: https://penumbratheatre.org/myamerica/ 

 

Acting Classes with Teatro!

Elder Workshop

In collaboration with Saint Paul Public Library, Teatro brought free acting classes to the Hamline Midway Public Library. In this 4 class session each of the actors learned about theater and themselves. The final performance, which takes place November 8th, is a reflection of the lives of the actors and their stories. The performance will be held at the Hamline Midway Public Library Auditorium, 1558 W Minnehaha Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104, from 6:30-7:00 with a time after to talk with the cast. The performance is free. Teatro would like to thank the Hamline Midway Public Library for all of its support and enthusiasm as well as all of the actors who joined us through this workshop!

In the Heights: In collaboration with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts!

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Before  Hamilton, there was In the Heights, the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood-a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.

It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions to take with you and which to leave behind.

Teatro del Pueblo collaborated with the Ordway Performing Arts on this amazing show! Make sure to check out all of the pictures soon under our Past Shows!

Jorge Merced enlightened our Sederos Nuevos program to a new level!

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Workshop #2

Jorge Merced, the Associate Artistic Director at Pregones Theatre in New York City and a board member of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCAA) and is an active actor and theater director, joined Teatro del Pueblo and other guests to help better understand creativity and aging. With presentations in the morning that covered a comprehensive view of international approaches, the intricacies of working in different languages and creative business models for the sustainability of creative aging art programs. He also graced us with two different workshops. The first workshop was about curriculum and planning for an elders program with the second workshop using a more hands-on approach to what a class might feel like or what you might experience within the class. Check out the picture above to get a better feel for the workshops! If you’re interested in the work we do please contact us through the connect tab at the top!

Creating Coco’s: An Interview with Silvia Pontaza.

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Coco’s Latinidad live radio show will be returning by popular demand this November! Read more about the show from author, Silvia Pontaza!

Teatro del Pueblo sat down with Silvia Pontaza, the playwright of Coco’s Latinidad, to learn about her inspiration for the show and get a glimpse of her creative process.

How did you come up with the idea for the show?

“We were trying to find a way to make art accessible to everybody in the Twin Cities. Being that a lot of immigrants face a lot of barriers to go to places to experience art and to connect with communities of artists and go to shows, theatre or music performances, etc. We chose radio because it’s very popular in our community and is very effective since our people listen to the radio at home, in their workplace during the day-to-day activities. It is also a good way to reach as many people as possible through radio waves plus we will go wherever they are whenever they are available. In Latin America radio in general is very popular, and immigrants, especially new immigrants, still listen to radio-novelas, soccer matches and the news through the radio. Coco’s Latinidad aims to promote local art in a way that is fun and entertaining.”

How has Coco’s Latinidad changed from its first shows in March to the latest shows this past June?

“The main concept is still the same: a variety radio show a la Prairie Home Companion. It’s a bilingual experience with a very Minnesota/local Latino air that we hope the audience will identify with. Each episode of Coco’s Latinidad has different stories, characters and guests. The June episode happened on Pride weekend, so we were excited to celebrate our true colors. We had the special performance of one of the most beloved queer artists in the Latinx community. La Coco Villeda in one of the shows.”

Coco’s Latinidad is bilingual show that switches between English and Spanish. Was writing as script in two languages challenging?

“It was challenging to make it equally entertaining in both languages but the reality is that not all Latinos speak Spanish, plus we want to be accessible to everyone.”

Coco’s Latinidad is a live show, but it is also broadcast on the radio. How did writing for a radio audience change your creative process and what have you learned through this process?

“If you read the drama, you will notice that it can also be performed on stage, so the creative process of writing a play or a radio drama can be very similar to writing for the stage, except when it is time to put it into action. Creating sound effects and depth in an imaginary space is when it becomes a whole different animal. The process of creating the ambience, the movement of the characters talking, coming and going, etc., all that jumps out of the pages of the script during the rehearsal process. We have learned to try different things, experiment with objects to see how they sound and to add new things to the script to make it more alive and exciting to the listener, which is our ultimate audience.”

Where do you find inspiration for the characters in your show?

“The inspiration comes from story circles where members of the community tell us stories about themes that are important to them for example family traditions, folktales, having to emigrate to a distant country, etc. The participants in the story circles know that they are contributing with their stories to the show and are excited to participate in the planning process.”

The sketches in Coco’s Latinidad are full of humor and sarcasm, but they often deal with heavy topics such as immigration and linguistic barriers. How do you find a balance between the seriousness of these topics and the comedic nature of the show?

“We are living in a time when it’s important to find a little humor in order to keep a good outlook of the problems we must talk about. I need humor in order to take things seriously. Humor is a powerful thing to me. Plus you don’t want to go to the theater or listen to the radio to get more depressed, right? But you don’t want to feel that you wasted your time either.”

What are you most excited about for Coco’s next shows coming in October?

“I am excited to blend our traditions of that time of the year, such as Day of the Dead, Dia de la Raza, Dia de los Santos. Plus we’ll be making a special program of War of the Worlds, which happened on Halloween in the 1930s.”

Dates: Friday, November 17, Saturday November 18 at 7:30pm, and November 18 at 2:00pm

Location: Creative Arts High School, 65 E Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55101

Tickets: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=81862 

Coco’s Latinidad is a live radio variety drama intended to provide Latino artists and community members an opportunity to create culturally appealing content to showcase their unique voices and talent. This live radio broadcast includes live music, drama, and humorous storytelling as well as a visual art exhibits of local artists. The content will fluctuate between Spanish and English, emphasizing on a bilingual experience.

Silvia has participated in many Teatro del Pueblo productions as an actor, writer, director, and resident teaching artist working with adults and children. She obtained her Theatre degree at Universidad de San Carlos’ in Guatemala City where she also emerged in radio, writing and producing children’s shows. Silvia has written several radio-novelas broadcast in Alabama, Iowa and South Carolina.

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Teatro del Pueblo

209 Page St. W.

St. Paul, MN 55107

(651) 224-8806

teatromn@gmail.com

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