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Teatro Línea de Sombra’s AMARILLO. Photo by Sophie Garca.
Major Latino theater companies from Latin America, the Caribbean and around the city will be showcased at DESTINOS (dĕ-stee-noce), the first Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, an ambitious month-long festival of ‘First voice’ plays and panels presented by Chicago Latino Theater Alliance, September 29 – October 29. Festival-goers will experience works by four international companies from Latin America and the Caribbean: Arte Boricua (Puerto Rico), Ludi Teatro (Cuba), Teatro Línea de Sombra (Mexico) and Vueltas Bravas Producciones (Colombia), in addition to offerings from both coasts: Felix Rojas (New York) and the homecoming of Chicago-founded Teatro Luna, who has spent the past two years building Teatro Luna West in LA. The festival will mark the U.S. debut of Ludi Teatro as well as the Chicago debuts of Arte Boricua, Felix Rojas, Teatro Línea de Sombra and Vueltas Bravas Producciones. Augmenting the festival will be works by Chicago’s own Latino theater companies Aguijón Theater, Teatro Vista, Urban Theater Company and Water People Theater.
“In Spanish, the word “destinos” has multiple meanings: destinies, destinations or fate,” says Myrna Salazar, executive director of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance. “We believe that theater transports people to a place that transcends boundaries, and towards a broader outlook on the world. Through this, the inaugural Chicago International Latino Theater Festival – DESTINOS, shares the belief in the power of theater to amplify first-voice Latino artists and to create a cross-cultural experience.”
The largest event will is co-presented by the Alliance and Chicago Shakespeare Theater — AMARILLO, a production by Teatro Línea de Sombra, one of Mexico’s most celebrated ensembles. Directed by Jorge A. Vargas, AMARILLO will be staged in Chicago Shakespeare’s soon-to-be-completed “Yard” stage as part of its World’s Stage series.
“We are thrilled to participate in this important new Festival that showcases both Chicago Latino theatermakers and international artists, examining the Latino experience from multiple perspectives and through a variety of theatrical genres and styles,” said Chicago Shakespeare Executive Director Criss Henderson. “Through our World’s Stage program, we strive to engage in a global artistic exchange to break down barriers that separate our cultures and communities. Now more than ever, these collaborations and conversations are vitally important.”
Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens and the National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th Street), will serve as additional partner venues throughout the Festival. In addition to the theater programming, the Chicago International Latino Theater Festival will feature free panel discussions with local and visiting artists addressing political and identity issues within the Latino community.
“The Chicago International Latino Theater Festival will give Latino artists and performers greater visibility,” said Martin R. Castro, founding board chair. “With the historic establishment of the Chicago Latino Theatre Alliance, and now this incredible festival, it is certain that we have enhanced Chicago’s standing as a world-class theater destination.”
Complete Festival programming and ticketing information will be announced in early August. For additional information, visit clata.org.