Latinx Theatre Commons

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The Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) is a national movement launched in 2012, that promotes Latina/o/x equity in American theatre through convening, scholarship, advocacy, and art. The goals, activities, and methods of its actions are determined, championed, and carried out by the LTC's volunteer, self-organized Steering Committee of predominantly U.S.-based theatre-makers and scholars of Latina/o/x theatre, working together and with community partners around the country. [1] Abigail Vega, the LTC Producer and sole employee, was supported through the infrastructure provided by HowlRound: A Center for a Theatre Commons.[2][3]

Timeline[edit]

  • May 19, 2012: DC 8 Meeting. HowlRound hosts eight Latinx theatre-makers to discuss the state of Latinx theatre in the US, at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC. From this conversation, four initiatives are proposed with the aim of advancing the field of Latinx theatre: 1) a national festival of ten Latinx plays to be produced at the Los Angeles Theatre Center; 2) a biannual conference of new Latinx works hosted by DePaul University in Chicago; 3) Café Onda, an online platform for articles, blogs, and live-streaming of events related to Latinx theatre; and, 4) a national convening of Latinx theatre-makers. [4]
  • Summer 2012: First Steering Committee is formed with an additional fourteen Latinx theatre-makers from around the country, to plan the national convening.[5][6]
  • September 20, 2013: Café Onda is launched, an online platform hosted by HowlRound, which seeks to build connections among Latinx theatre-makers, promote dialogue and deeper understanding at large, address cultural misrepresentations, inspire greater participation in the American theatre field, and raise awareness for the body of Latinx dramatic production. #cafeonda[7]
  • October 31 - November 2, 2013: The Boston Convening is the “first large-scale formal gathering of the Latina/o theatre community since 1986.”[8] The Convening brought together artists, scholars, and advocates of Latinx theatre to Emerson College, but also engaged with Latinx theatre-makers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, and New York City via simultaneous video-conferencing, and around the country through live-streaming.[9]
  • November 10, 2013: LTC Facebook Group is launched, encouraging postings about Latinx theatre events, announcements, opportunities, and discussions about the field and its intersection with politics.[10]
  • November 6 – November 9, 2014: The LTC Second National Convening at the Los Angeles Theatre Center’s Encuentro 2014. The Convening brought together the artists participating in the 10 productions featured at the month-long festival of Latinx theatre from around the US, with theatre-makers, scholars, and advocates interested in Latinx theatre.[11][12][13] Additionally, throughout the Encuentro, which ran from October 12 through November 10, 2014, the LTC produced a series of nine Tertulias, public conversations with Festival and LA-based artists and scholars to contextualize and interrogate themes raised by the Encuentro.[14]
  • July 23 - 28, 2015: Carvival of New Latina/o Work, featured staged readings of eight full-length four 10-minute excerpts of new works by Latinx playwrights, at DePaul University in Chicago. The works selected displayed a range of themes and dramaturgical styles, exemplifying the diversity of Latinx theatre in the US. In addition to the readings, participants engaged in workshops and conversations throughout the weekend.[15][16]
  • October 30 - November 1, 2015: LTC Texas Regional Convening was the first of three regional LTC convenings dedicated to learning more about each region’s specific experiences, “because every community is different, it has its own identity and own kind of needs that can flourish if recognized and addressed (Octavio Solis).”[17] In addition to meeting and attending local productions and events[18], the Steering Committee also engaged in self-assessment, based on internal and external reviews of the LTC.[19]
  • April 15 - 17, 2016: LTC Pacific Northwest Regional Convening included theatre-makers from northern California, Portland, and Vancouver, BC, hosted by the University of Washington in Seattle. As with the Regional Convening in Dallas, local participants expressed a sense of isolation from Latinx theatre-making around the country, due to its geographic location. At this Convening, “the Steering Committee was charged with determining the criteria for selecting future projects, key factors like local support for each proposal, the feasibility of each project within the proposed timeline, and, finally, how each project fits into the overall goals of LTC.”[20][21][22]
  • September 2016-June 2019: El Fuego Initiative: Fueling the American Theatre with Latina/o Plays aims to support productions of each of the twelve playwrights featured at the 2015 Carnaval of New Latina/o Work. In an unprecedented fashion, eighteen theatre companies agreed to produce the playwrights’ works before they had been selected, demonstrating a commitment to championing Latinx playwrights and “a profound trust in the Carnaval selection process.”[23] As of March 2018, six playwrights have received productions with support from El Fuego, many of which have been documented through the IGNITED series on Café Onda[24]:
  • Parachute Men by Mando Alvarado at Teatro Vista, Chicago, IL, September 10-October 16, 2016[25]
  • El Payaso by Emilio Rodriguez at Milagro (aka Miracle Theatre), Portland, OR, January 12-21, 2017[27]
  • December 1 - 4, 2016: LTC New York Regional Convening, where participants moved among nine venues, including INTAR Theatre, Pregones Theatre, and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, to engage in creative workshops as well as conversations. The programming was oriented among three tracks: leadership, aesthetics, and identity. [31]
  • November 8 - 12, 2017: LTC International Convening was held during the Encuentro de las Américas International Theatre Festival, at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. This convening echoed the Encuentro Convening of 2015 but broadened its scope to include theatre-makers from Canada and Latin America. 260 participants witnessed fourteen productions and met in large and small groups to discuss the process, among other things, aesthetics, scholarship, and international collaboration.[32][33]
  • April 14, 2018: Fornés Institute Symposium, produced in partnership with Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, will gather Fornés’ students and collaborators, as well as scholars and more theatre-makers, to “celebrate her living legacy and collaboratively document her enduring impact.” [34]

Organizing structure[edit]

The Latinx Theatre Commons operates as a commons, wherein resources are shared with all who care for the resources.

According to Indiana University's Digital Library of the Commons, "the commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest" (n.p.). Historically, the term commons is derived from the medieval English legal term for land that was designated by the lord of the manor for use by common folk for their own sustenance…The term was popularized as a shared resource term by ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968. (1) There are several types of commons in practice today: environmental commons;(2) digital commons;(3) and cultural, social, and intellectual commons.[35]

The work of the LTC is carried out by a volunteer Steering Committee of artists, scholars, and administrators from around the US who represent the complexity of the theatre field. Steering Committee members work on a variety of subcommittees to advance the LTC initiatives, such as those listed on the timeline, reflecting the tenets of advocacy, art making, convening, and scholarship. The Steering Committee is refreshed every six months with an influx of new members who join in the work. Steering Committee members rotating off often join the LTC Advisory Committee. Communication technologies facilitate the work among multiple participants simultaneously. At the hub of all the subcommittees is the LTC Producer, the sole employee supported through the infrastructure provided by HowlRound: A Center for a Theatre Commons.[36]

On June 10, 2017, at the Theatre Communications Group National Conference held in Portland, Oregon, the LTC received the Peter Zeisler Award. In the acceptance speech, LTC Producer Abigail Vega states: "By their very nature, commons challenge our transactional, market-based ideology and propose an alternative reality rooted in abundance and the greater good."[37]

In January 2017, the Latinx Theatre Commons adopted its current name in response to requests from the Steering Committee and community members at large and as an expression of its commitment to the principles of radical inclusion.[38]

Publications[edit]

The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: A Narrative Report by Brian Herrera. Boston: Emerson College, 2015.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Latinx Theatre Commons." HowlRound, https://howlround.com/latinx-theatre-commons.
  2. ^ “About.” HowlRound, https://howlround.com/about.
  3. ^ Gahlon, Jamie. “Latina/o Theatre Commons Producer: Abigail Vega.” HowlRound, 29 Apr. 2014, https://howlround.com/latinao-theatre-commons-producer-abigail-vega
  4. ^ García-Romero, Anne. "Latina/o Theatre Commons: Updating the US Narrative." HowlRound, 8 Aug. 2012, https://howlround.com/latinao-theatre-commons
  5. ^ García-Romero, Anne. "Latina/o Theatre Commons: Updating the US Narrative." HowlRound, 8 Aug. 2012, https://howlround.com/latinao-theatre-commons
  6. ^ Herrera, Brian Eugenio. The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: a narrative report. Edited by Jayne Benjulian and Jamie Gahlon, HowlRound, 2015. Pg. 2.
  7. ^ Rivas, Tlaloc. "Welcome to Café Onda!" HowlRound, 20 Sept. 2013, https://howlround.com/welcome-cafe-onda
  8. ^ "The Latina/o Theatre Commons National Convening at Emerson College in Boston—Thursday 31 October - Saturday 2 November 2013.” HowlRound.com. http://howlround.com/live-on-howlround-tv-the-latinao-theatre-commons-national-convening-boston—thurs-oct-31-sat-nov-2
  9. ^ Herrera, Brian Eugenio. The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening: a narrative report. Edited by Jayne Benjulian and Jamie Gahlon, HowlRound, 2015.
  10. ^ Sanchez Saltveit, Olga. "Olga Sanchez Saltveit created the group Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC)." Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Public Group, Facebook, 10 Nov. 2013, https://www.facebook.com/groups/471911836255863/permalink/471911839589196/
  11. ^ Huerta, Jorge. "Encuentro 2014: Moving Forward, Never Forgetting the Past." HowlRound, 2 Nov. 2014, https://howlround.com/encuentro-2014-moving-forward-never-forgetting-the-past
  12. ^ “Participate in The Latina/o Theatre Commons Second National Convening Nov. 6-9 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center's Encuentro 2014.” HowlRound, 17 Oct. 2014, https://howlround.com/participate-in-the-latinao-theatre-commons-second-national-convening-at-the-los-angeles-theatre.
  13. ^ "The Los Angeles Theatre Center Hosts Encuentro 2014." LatinoLA, 8 Sept. 2014, https://latinola.com/story.php?story=12941
  14. ^ “Video Archive: Encuentro 2014 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center-#CafeOnda-Saturday 18 October - Monday 10 November 2014.” HowlRound, 14 Oct. 2014, https://www.howlround.com/livestreaming-the-latinao-theatre-commons-encuentro-2014-cafeonda-los-angeles-sat-oct-18-mon-nov-10
  15. ^ Lopez, Tiffany Ana. "Showcase of the New American Theatre: Latina/o Theatre Commons Carnaval 2015." HowlRound, 8 Sept. 2015, https://howlround.com/showcase-of-the-new-american-theatre-latinao-theatre-commons-carnaval-2015
  16. ^ Reid, Kerry. "A Carnaval of Latino Writing in the Windy City." American Theatre, https://www.Americantheatre.org, 28 July 2015, https://www.americantheatre.org/2015/07/28/a-carnaval-of-Latino-writing-in-the-windy-city
  17. ^ Marrero, Teresa, and Amparo García-Crow. “Participate at the Latina/o Theatre Commons Dallas Convening October 30-November 1, 2015.” HowlRound, 5 Oct. 2015, https://howlround.com/participate-at-the-latinao-theatre-commons-dallas-convening-october-30-november-1-2015
  18. ^ Boffone, Trevor. “#LTCdallas: Challenges, Opportunities, and Reflections of the Texas Latina/o Theatre Community.” HowlRound, 2 Mar. 2016, https://howlround.com/ltcdallas-challenges-opportunities-and-reflections-of-the-texas-latinao-theatre-community
  19. ^ Marrero, Teresa. "The Latinx Theatre Commons: A Commons-Based Approach Movement." Theatre Topics, vol. 27, no. 1, Mar. 2017, doi:10.1353/tt.2017.0013
  20. ^ Marrero, Teresa. “The Latinx Theatre Commons: A Commons-Based Approach Movement.” Theatre Topics, vol. 27, no. 1, Mar. 2017, doi:10.1353/tt.2017.0013.
  21. ^ Avila, Elaine. “#LTCseattle: Flooring It with Espírito.” HowlRound, 14 May 2015, https://howlround.com/ltcseattle-flooring-it-with-esp-rito.
  22. ^ Martínez-Vázquez, Arlene. "#LTCseattle: Connecting past and present to build towards the future." HowlRound, 23 May 2016, https://howlround.com/ltcseattle-connecting-past-and-present-to-build-towards-the-future
  23. ^ Mayorga, Irma, and Olga Sanchez Saltveit. "Introducing Ignited: Communiques from the LTCs El Fuego initiative." HowlRound, 24 Oct. 2016, https://howlround.com/introducing-ignited-communiques-from-the-ltc-s-el-fuego-initiative
  24. ^ “El Fuego: Fueling the American Theatre with Latina/o Plays.” HowlRound, 11 Oct. 2016, https://howlround.com/el-fuego-fueling-the-american-theatre-with-latinao-plays
  25. ^ Lodewyck, Laura, and Ricardo Gutiérrez. “Ignited: Interview with Ricardo Gutiérrez.” HowlRound, 6 Aug. 2016, https://howlround.com/ignited-interview-with-ricardo-guti-rrez
  26. ^ “El Fuego: Fueling the American Theatre with Latina/o Plays.” HowlRound, 11 Oct. 2016, https://howlround.com/el-fuego-fueling-the-american-theatre-with-latinao-plays
  27. ^ Sanchez Saltveit, Olga. “Ignited: El Payaso in Flint.” HowlRound, 2 Feb. 2017, https://howlround.com/ignited-el-payaso-in-flint
  28. ^ “El Fuego: Fueling the American Theatre with Latina/o Plays.” HowlRound, 11 Oct. 2016, https://howlround.com/el-fuego-fueling-the-american-theatre-with-latinao-plays
  29. ^ McMahon, Marci R. “Ignited: Healing Activist Trauma in Su Teatro's Production of Milta Ortiz's Más.” HowlRound, 29 July 2017, https://howlround.com/ignited-healing-activist-trauma-in-su-teatro-s-production-of-milta-ortiz-s-m-s
  30. ^ McMahon, Marci R. “A Chicana Heroine Redirects El Movimiento.” HowlRound, 12 Oct. 2017, https://howlround.com/a-chicana-heroine-redirects-el-movimiento
  31. ^ Ávila, Elaine. "The LTC in NYC: Gathering Face-to-Face Power to Face the World." American Theatre, Americantheatre.org, 13 Dec. 2016, https://www.americantheatre.org/2016/12/13/the-ltc-in-nyc-gathering-face-to-face-power-to-face-the-world/
  32. ^ "2017 LTC International Convening / El Convivio Internacional LTC del 2017-Los Angeles." HowlRound, 2017, https://howlround.com/2017-ltc-international-convening-at-the-2017-latc-encuentro-de-las-americas-los-angeles
  33. ^ Della Gatta, Carla, and Marci R. McMahon. “Coming Full Circle: the 2017 LTC International Convening.” HowlRound, 21 Dec. 2017, https://howlround.com/coming-full-circle-the-2017-ltc-international-convening
  34. ^ "2018 LTC Fornés Institute Symposium." HowlRound, 2017, https://howlround.com/2018-ltc-forn-s-institute-symposium-princeton-nj
  35. ^ Marrero, Teresa. "The Latinx Theatre Commons: A Commons-Based Approach Movement." Theatre Topics, vol. 27, no. 1, Mar. 2017, doi:10.1353/tt.2017.0013
  36. ^ “About.” HowlRound, https://howlround.com/about.
  37. ^ "The Latinx Theatre Commons Peter Zeisler Memorial Award Acceptance Speech." HowlRound, https://howlround.com/peter-zeisler-memorial-award-acceptance-speech-the-latinx-theatre-commons.
  38. ^ "Toward Inclusivity: A message from the LTC." HowlRound, 18 Jan. 2017, https://howlround.com/toward-inclusivity-a-message-from-the-ltc.
  39. ^ Gahlon, Jamie, and Brian Herrera. “Hot off the Presses! The Latina/o Theatre Commons 2013 National Convening Book.” HowlRound, 12 Jan. 2015, https://howlround.com/hot-presses-latinao-theatre-commons-2013-national-convening-book