Theater Preview: LATINO THEATER COMPANY (Fall 2020 Virtual Season)

Post image for Theater Preview: LATINO THEATER COMPANY (Fall 2020 Virtual Season)

by Nia Liat on August 12, 2020

in Theater-Los Angeles,Virtual

LATINO THEATER COMPANY
ANNOUNCES FALL 2020 SEASON

Beginning Tuesday August 18, 2020, and over the next five months, L.A.’s Latino Theater Company will offer virtual programming, which includes:

  • streaming archival footage of past, fully-staged hit productions
  • live online conversations with company members;
  • live streamed, “sneak-peek” readings of plays set for on-stage production in 2021 (or whenever theater is permitted to resume);
  • and live readings of new plays selected for the company’s annual Unmasking New Works play-reading series.

All events on the schedule below are free
and will take place at 7 pm PT / 10 pm ET at LATC.

Here is a description of past productions:

Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez, Sal Lopez and Evelina Fernández in Premeditation
Photo courtesy of Latino Theater Company

Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. But how many end in murder? Premeditation is a dark romantic comedy written by resident company playwright Evelina Fernández and directed by LTC artistic director José Luis Valenzuela.

Solitude. Photo courtesy Latino Theater Company

Archival footage of Solitude, also written by Fernández and directed by Valenzuela, was inspired by a collection of essays on Mexican thought and identity by Octavio Paz, Solitude explores love, death, destiny and family through a contemporary lens, accompanied by live music from cellist Semyon Kobialka.

Esperanza America and Sam Golzari in La Olla Photo by Grettel Cortes

Fernández and Valenzuela again team up for La Ollaadapted from the Roman comedy The Pot of Gold by Plautus and inspired by the Rumberas films of the golden age of Mexican Cinema. The Latino Theater Company incorporates its distinctive style of comedy, music, dance and imagery to explore one of the most basic aspects of human behavior — greed — as a bit player in a shady 1950s L.A. nightclub finds a pot full of cash.

Sal Lopez in This Is a Man's World. Photo courtesy Latino Theater Company

This is a Man’s World is Sal Lopez’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story. With his candid and intimate performance, music and memory swirl as he relives the lessons that shaped his life, from the scent of a pirul tree in Mexico to the thrill of young love to the effects of the Watts Riots and the birth of his son.

Lupe Ontiveros (on floor), Lucy Rodriguez, Sal Lopez and J. Ed Araiza in La Victima
Photo by Ed Krieger

La Victima was the first show ever produced by the Latino Theater Company, in 1985. Created by El Teatro De La Esperanza — a company that helped define Chicano theater and an entire generation of theater professionals — it’s a groundbreaking look, infused with humor, music and dance, at the history of Mexican-U.S. immigration from the intimate perspective of two families. Watch archival footage of the 2010 revival featuring the late Lupe Ontiveras (Selena, Desperate Housewives). A second revival of La Victima, in collaboration with students, will take place on the LATC stage in 2021.

Cheryl Umaña, Xavi Moreno, Gary Patent in The Mother of Henry. Photo by Andrew Vasquez

In Fernández’s The Mother of Henry, travel back to the working class melting pot of East LA of the 1960s where five diverse employees in the returns department at the iconic Boyle Heights Sears form a tight bond as they cope with upheaval in their personal lives, their community and the rapidly changing world around them during the course of one tumultuous and historic year – 1968.

The Latino Theater Company's Dementia. Photo by Christopher Ash

The innovative Dementia by Fernández, with direction by Valenzuela, tackles topics taboo in the Latino community, including homosexuality, AIDS, teen pregnancy and euthanasia — all through the Latino Theater Company’s uniquely styled lens.

Geoffrey Rivas, Olivia Cristina Delgado, Ella Saldaña North, Esperanza America in A Mexican Trilogy
Photo by Grettel Cortes Photography

A Mexican Trilogy. Part 1, Faith; Part 2, Hope; and Part 3, Charity, will stream the first three weeks in October. Travel with the Morales family through decades of the Mexican-American experience, from a remote mining town in Arizona during World War II, to the Phoenix family home during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, finally to Los Angeles following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005.

Nancy Ma in Home. Photo by Andrew Vasquez.

Home is writer/performer Nancy Ma’s coming-of-age tale about growing up sandwiched between two cultures. Desperately seeking approval from her Chinese Toisan immigrant family, Nancy journeys away from her home in New York City’s Chinatown in search of the American dream — only to learn that you can only find “home” when you accept where you come from.

La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin. Photo courtesy of Latino Theater Company

Closing out the season is LTC’s signature holiday pageant, La Virgen de GuadalupeDios Inantzinwhich has taken place annually since 2002 at Downtown L.A.’s beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Adapted for the stage by Fernández from the mid-16th century text The Nican Mopohua and performed in Spanish with English subtitles, La Virgen is the City of L.A.’s largest theatrical holiday production with over 100 actors, singers and indigenous Aztec dancers as well as children and seniors from the community.

Along with the Unmasking New Works Reading Series will be sneak-peek readings: SHE, a new coming-of-age drama by Los Angeles-based emerging playwright Marlow Wyattin; Sleep with the Angels, the newest play by Fernández; Just Like Us (based on Helen Thorpe’s bestselling book of the same name) by Karen Zacariás; August 29, a play named for the date in 1970, exactly 50 years ago, when Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar was killed while covering a large Chicano-led anti-war demonstration in East L.A. In the play, a university professor is writing a book on the life of Salazar — as she writes, those days from the late 1960s and early 1970s come to life, helping her recall the past and challenging her to renew her activism; and The Last Angry Brown Hat by Alfredo Ramos, four former members of the Brown Berets, a 1960s militant Chicano civil rights organization, reunite after the funeral of a pal. Together, they confront the dichotomy between their youthful anger and radicalism, and their current, more conformist lives filled with adult responsibilities.

Latino Theater Company Fall 2020 Virtual Season
Schedule At-A-Glance (all shows 7 pm PT / 10 pm ET at LATC)

• TuesdayAug. 18: Archival Video Presentation: Premeditation
• WednesdayAug. 19: Online Conversation – Premeditation

• TuesdayAug. 25: Archival Video Presentation – Solitude
• WednesdayAug. 26: Online Conversation – Solitude
• Thursday, August 27: Online Conversation – August 29
• FridayAug. 28: Online Reading – August 29

• TuesdaySept. 1: Archival Video Presentation – La Olla
• WednesdaySept. 2: Online Conversation – La Olla
• Thursday, Sept. 3: Online Conversation – The Last Angry Brown Hat
• FridaySept. 4: Online Reading – The Last Angry Brown Hat

• TuesdaySept. 8: Archival Video Presentation – This is a Man’s World
• WednesdaySept. 9: Online Conversation – This is a Man’s World
• ThursdaySept. 10: Online Conversation – She
• FridaySept. 11: Online Reading – She

• TuesdaySept. 15: Archival Video Presentation – La Victima
• WednesdaySept. 16: Online Conversation – La Victima
• ThursdaySept. 17: Online Conversation – Sleep with the Angels
• FridaySept. 18: Online Reading – Sleep with the Angels

• TuesdaySept. 22: Archival Video Presentation – Home
• WednesdaySept. 23: Online Conversation – Home
• ThursdaySept. 24: Online Conversation – Just Like Us
• FridaySept. 25: Online Reading – Just Like Us

• TuesdaySept. 29: Archival Video Presentation – The Mother of Henry
• WednesdaySept. 30: Online Conversation – The Mother of Henry
• ThursdayOct. 1: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #1, title TBA
• Friday, Oct. 2: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #1

• TuesdayOct. 6: Archival Video Presentation – A Mexican Trilogy Part 1: Faith
• WednesdayOct. 7: Online Conversation – A Mexican Trilogy Part 1: Faith

• ThursdayOct. 8: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #2, title TBA
• FridayOct. 9: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #2

• TuesdayOct. 13: Archival Video Presentation – A Mexican Trilogy Part 2: Hope
• WednesdayOct. 14: Online Conversation – A Mexican Trilogy Part 2: Hope
• ThursdayOct. 15: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #3, title TBA
• FridayOct. 16: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #3

• TuesdayOct. 20: Archival Video Presentation – A Mexican Trilogy Part 3: Charity
• WednesdayOct. 21: Online Conversation – A Mexican Trilogy Part 3: Charity
• ThursdayOct. 22: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #4, title TBA
• FridayOct. 23: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #4

• TuesdayOct. 27: Archival Video Presentation – Dementia
• WednesdayOct. 28: Online Conversation – Dementia
• ThursdayOct. 29: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #5, title TBA
• FridayOct. 30: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #5

• ThursdayNov. 5: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #6, title TBA
• FridayNov. 6 Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #6

• ThursdayNov. 12: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #7, title TBA
• FridayNov. 13: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #7

• ThursdayNov. 19: Online Conversation – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #8, title TBA
• FridayNov. 20: Online Reading – Unmasking New Works Reading Series – Script #8

• ThursdayDec. 10: Online Conversation – La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin
• FridayDec. 11: Archival Video Presentation – La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin

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