Special Equity Jeff Award Honors Teatro Vista

Special Equity Jeff Award Honors Teatro Vista

Pictured (l-r) Founder Henry Godinez, Executive Director Ricardo Gutiérrez, and Founder Eddie Torres.

The Jeff Awards will honor Teatro Vista with the 2019 Special Equity Jeff Award at the annual Equity awards ceremony at Drury Lane Oakbrook on October 21. “Over the last three decades, Teatro Vista has theatrically depicted the human experience from its unique Latinx perspective,” said a statement from the Jeff Committee.

Teatro Vista was founded in 1989 by actors Henry Godinez and Eddie Torres, who were frustrated with the stereotypical roles Latinx people were commonly cast in. The pair were backstage at the old Goodman Theatre talking between scenes of the Restoration comedy “The Rover.” Torres had a small part as a “native” in that production. “There was Eddie, in a coconut bra and grass skirt.” Godinez remembers, “Eddie said, ‘there’s gotta be something better than this.’”

“Teatro Vista was founded to give an opportunity to actors, writers and designers to reflect voices that are seeking to be heard,” said Torres. The first production was at Pilsen Arts Center (now the National Museum of Mexican Art).

The company’s ensemble of actors, designers and playwrights have graced most of the stages in Chicago as well as theaters around the globe. Currently, several ensemble members are regulars on television series. Recently, they had a mega-success with Sandra Delgado’s hit “La Havana Madrid,” which told stories of Latino immigrants in Chicago through the prism of an actual 1960s nightclub at the corner of Belmont and Sheffield Avenues. It premiered to full houses at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, transferred for a summer run at Goodman Theater, followed by a remount with Collaboraction at The Den this past spring.

Teatro Vista ensemble members include Charín Álvarez, Max Arciniega, Desmín Borges, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Ramón Camín, Ivonne Coll, Laura Dahl, Sandra Delgado, Liza Fernández, Khanisha Foster, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Issac Gomez, Ricardo Gutiérrez, Erik Juárez, Jon Lyon, Sandra Márquez, Eddie Martinez, Salome Martinez, Joe Minoso, Ayssette Muñoz, Christina
Nieves, Marvin Quijada, Tommy Rivera-Vega, Gabriel Ruíz, Nate Santana, Cecilia Suarez and co-founder Edward Torres.

The 51 st Annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, October 21st, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. 
Advance purchase tickets, which include the ceremony and pre-/post-show parties, are $85 ($65 for members of Actors’ Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Stage Managers’ Association, IATSE, The Dramatists Guild of America, and the American Federation of Musicians). Tickets and more info are available at www.jeffawards.org. Tickets at the door, if available, will be an additional $10 per ticket. The evening is black tie optional, and the public is invited to attend.

About author

Jason Epperson

Jason is a producer, manager, and designer with 17 years of experience in Chicago, New York, and in the touring market. In 2015, he founded Lotus Theatricals - the publisher of Performink, and an independent commercial producing company - with Abigail Trabue.