100 YEARS OF LATINO THEATER IN AMERICA
1900 In Ybor City and Tampa, Florida, Cuban mutual aid societies like El Centro Español de West Tampa, Círculo Cubano and other self-help civic organizations stage declamaciónes ( oratories) as well as stage productions as part of their efforts to reach out to the largely Cuban American communities of South Florida.
1902 In Ybor City, the Centro Austuriano is founded with a 1200-seat theater. The center will soon become a major venue, not just for local productions, but also for traveling stage productions from Latin America and Spain.
1911 In Los Angeles, California, the theater house “Teatro Hidalgo” is built. The Teatro attracts not only actors but stage technicians and directors from Southwest cities. Teatro Hidalgo will be the home to stage plays, vaudeville and revistas políticas ( political reviews) until 1934.
1912 The Teatro Zaragosa is opened in San Antonio, Texas. It will soon be staging dramas, comedies and variety shows featuring such talents as Juan B. Padilla, Concepción Guerrero, Adela amd Xochitl Hidalgo and others.
1914 Manuel V. Garcia relocates from Saltillo, Mexico to San Antonio, Texas. There, he founds his family’s traveling tent show, La Carpa García, which features a Mexican cowboy (charro) who balances on a high wire. The Carpa García will serve as an early platform for comic Pedro González González who will later become popular as a character actor in American television shows of the 1950s.
1915 El Teatro Carmen is opened in Tucson, Arizona, the first such theater in Tucson dedicated to staging Spanish language plays and variety shows. The Teatro Carmen will be the home of Spanish-language productions until 1922.
1915 “El Circo Cubano” a traveling tent show (carpa) and circus show, is founded in San Antonio. The show, which features acrobats, jugglers and high wire acts, travels throughout Texas often with the other major carpa show of the time, The Carpa García.
1916 At the Amsterdam Theater in New York City, Manuel Noriega begins performing on stage with singer María Conesa. A tireless impresario, Noriega will form his own theater company, the Compañia Dramática Española which performs stage productions at the
Leslie Theater and later the Amsterdam Opera House.
1919 In New York City, Manuel Noriega inaugurates “El Teatro Español,” which will feature plays by Spanish playwrights and zarzuelas until its demise in 1921.
1921 Spanish-born Romualdo Tirado signals promise when he produces and directs the independently produced movie, “De México a Los Angeles”( From Mexico to Los Angeles).
1921 The “Teatro Principal” is built in Los Angeles, California, reflecting the growing popularity of Spanish language theater. By 1924, there will be five major theater houses thriving in Los Angeles with many other smaller venues operating as well. The rise in the Spanish language is a direct result of the immigration to the United States of large numbers of Mexicans fleeing to the unrest of the Mexican Revolution during the previous decade.
1921 In San Antonio, Texas, actress and comedian Beatriz Escalona changes her name to Beatriz Noloesca, and begins to pioneer in comedic rendering of the peladitas (the underdog). Often ribald and daring, Noloesca is dubbed “La Chata Noloesca” because of her pugged nose. Within a short time she will develop as one of the most popular of Spanish language vaudeville comedians.
1922 In Los Angeles, Mexican expatriates, many displaced by the Mexican Revolution, begin to pen original plays for local audiences at the numerous theater houses that feature Spanish language productions. Among the leading playwrights are Eduardo Carrillo, Dalaberto González, Esteban Escalante and Gabriel Navarro.
1922 In New York, the Dayls and Apollo Theaters feature Spanish-language productions and stage shows until 1930.
1922 Puerto Rican nationalist playwright Gonzalo O’Neill’s first published work, “La Indiana Borinqueña” ( The Indians of Puerto Rico) showcases his fervent belief in Puerto Rican independence. In later years, he will continue to use his theatrical productions to lobby for Puerto Rican independence.
April 13, 1923 “Ramona” is performed for the first time in the amphitheater bowl in the city of Hemet, California. The play, written by Garnet Holme, is based on the novel by crusading human rights activist and author Helen Hunt Jackson. Meanwhile, the Spanish-language adaptation of the novel is penned by playwright Adalberto Elias González. “Los Amores de Ramona” (The Loves of Ramona) is an instant success and is soon being produced in Spanish language stage venues throughout the Southwest.
1923 By the end of the year, Los Angeles has become the center for plays being written in Spanish that highlight the Mexican/Latino experience in the United States in contrast to Spanish dramas and zarzuelas that dominated the Spanish language stage in the previous decade.
1924 Mexican newspaperman turned playwright Guz Aguila is exiled from Mexico and lands in Los Angeles, California, where he turns his creativity to revistas politicas, a uniquely Mexican stage genre critiquing the political establishment through humor and satire. Among Aguila’s works are “Mexico Para Los Mexicanos!” (Mexico For the Mexicans!) and “Los Angeles Vacilador,” (Swinging Los Angeles).
1924 In Los Angeles, California, the “Teatro Capital” is constructed. It is another important venue for stage productions in Spanish.
1925 Romualdo Tirado rises to fame as an actor portraying the ubiquitous “pelado”(hapless one) of Spanish language stage in Los Angeles. The pelado is a character with origins in the carpa tent shows of the period who, while poor and clownish, makes insightful jabs at established societal norms. A prolific actor, director, movie producer and theater owner, Tirado would go on to a career in stage and cinema which included the movie he wrote Jaula de los Leones (translated as The Jaws of the Lion) in 1931.
1927 The “Teatro Mexico” theatrical house is constructed in Los Angeles. The theater venue will present plays featuring Mexican and Latino actors until 1933.
1928 “Bajo Una Sola Bandera” (Under Just One Flag), written by Puerto Rican nationalist Gonzalo O’Neill, is premiered at the Park Place Theater in New York City.
1930 With a massive economic depression in the United States, local authorities in Southwest cities begin to deport Spanish surnamed people to Mexico as part of a “repatriation” program. It is estimated that in the years between 1930 and 1935 more than 500,000 people will be deported, many of them American citizens of Mexican descent for whom Mexico is a foreign country. The impact of the depression on the lives of Mexicans is recorded in Los Angeles, California, by Don Catarino’s play, “Los Efectos de la Crisis,” (The Effects of the Crisis).
1936 In an effort to offset the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration creates the Federal Theater Project. Its only major outreach to the Latino community in the United States is to collaborate with the Centro Austriano of Tampa, Florida, in the staging of Spanish Zarzuelas, local revistas. During its tenure, the Federal Theater Project will be responsible for staging forty-two productions at the Centro Austuriano. Perhaps the most notable of these is El Mundo en la Mano (The World In His Hand); the Centro also staged a less successful Spanish language version of the Sinclair Lewis play, “It Can’t Happen Here.”
1937 “El Teatro Hispano,” one of the longest-running Spanish theaters in the United States, is founded in New York. The theater house will feature Spanish-language productions, geared to the diversity of national Latino origins in New York well into the 1950s.
1937 Puerto Rican playwright José Enamorado Cuesta’s play about the Spanish Civil War, “El Pueblo En Marcha,” is criticized by the New York Spanish press for its socialist views.
1938 Puerto Rican playwright Gonzalo O’Neill’s play “Amorios Borinqueños,” (Puerto Rican Episodes of Love) is performed at the Teatro Hispano in New York City.
1940 The Teatro Hispano of New York finds a sustaining audience in the growing Puerto Rican community of Spanish
1950 In New York, Edwin Janer’s theatrical company La Farándula Panamericana stages numerous productions of classical dramatic works as well as contemporary Spanish and Puerto Rican plays at the Master’s Auditorium and Belmont Theater.
1953 La Carreta (The Oxcart), a play about the Puerto Rican immigrant experience in New York, written by René Marquéz, has its New York premiere at the Church of San Sebastian. The play, directed by Roberto Rodriguez, captures quintessentially the Puerto Rican migrant experience to New York and soon becomes an enormously successful play in New York and in Puerto Rico. In 1970, Puerto Rican filmmaker José García will make a short film based on the play.
1954 Director Roberto Rodríguez and actress Miriam Colón create El Nuevo Círculo Dramático. The group stages dramatic productions at the Teatro Arena in midtown Manhattan, New York throughout the fifties and early sixties.
1960 Following the Cuban Revolution, many exiled Cubans settle in Miami. Coming from upper and middle class backgrounds, the expatriates create theater companies which, in addition to standard works of the Latin American repertory also feature plays hearkening to memories of pre-revolutionary Cuba and attacking the regime of Fidel Castro.
1964 Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival begins to include Spanish versions of Shakespeare plays as part of its program.
1964 At San Jose State College, a drama arts major stages his first play, The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa. Luís Valdez will then move on to join, briefly, the San Francisco Mime Troupe before heading to Delano, California to work with farm labor organizer Cesar Chavez.
1965 In New York, an Off Broadway production of René Marquéz’ classic play about the Puerto Rican immigrant experience, La Carreta (The Oxcart) is performed starring Raul Julia and Miriam Colón.
1965 Luís Valdez, a recent theater arts major at San Jose State, joins the United Farm Workers Union and, along with Agustín Lira and Felipe Cantu, creates El Teatro Campesino, an agit-prop theater group that performs one-act plays to educate and politicize farm workers in the fields. Working together, Luis Valdez, Agustin Lira and Felipe Cantu create one-act plays such as “Las Dos Caras del Patroncito” (The Two Faces of the Boss). Within a short time, El Teatro Campesino will a spur a national movement of Chicano theater companies.
1965 In New York, The Teatro Cuatro is formed. The company, headed by Oscar Ciccone and Cecilia Vega, fuses the work of popular theater movements in Latin America with the experience of Puerto Ricans and other Latinos living in the United States.
March 17, 1966 César Chávez leads a “peregrinación” (pilgrimage) march from Delano to the California state capital in Sacramento to draw attention to farm worker demands on the Schenley and DiGiorgio grape growers. The march takes 25 days to travel 340 miles. Chávez gathers supporters along the way and arrives in Sacramento on April 11, Easter Sunday, to announce to the crowd of 10,000 supporters that the Shenley farm had signed with the union. This first victory will set the stage for future union contracts. (SEE DOCUMENTS: Plan De Delano) The Teatro Campesino performs throughout the march.
1967 Daniel Valdez joins his older brother Luís Valdez, Agustín Lira and Felipe Cantu in Delano, California. Within a short time he becomes an indispensable part of El Teatro Campesino. By 1970, Daniel is designing and performing the music for the group’s Actos and for such productions La Carpa De Los Rasquachis.
1967 The epic poem, “I Am Joaquín,” which defines a militant Chicano identity, is written by Rodolfo “Corky”
Gonzales. The poem will later be set to music and visuals by Luis and Daniel Valdez and Agustín Lira of El Teatro Campesino, with photographs by George Ballis. The film receives wide distribution throughout the Southwest and helps propel the Chicano Movement.
1967 Actress Miriam Colón creates The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. The company performs plays by leading Puerto Rican playwrights such as René Marquéz and José Luis González among others. Reaching out to the large Puerto Rican community of New York, the plays alternate productions in Spanish and in English. The PRTT will also feature works by contemporary Nuyorican ( New York Born Puerto Rican) authors such as Piri Thomas.
1968 The Teatro Chicano is founded in Los Angeles, California by Guadalupe Saavedra de Saavedra.
1968 El Teatro Campesino travels to Nancy, France, to participate in the Theatre Des Nations, an international festival of theater companies from around the world. There, the members of El Teatro Campesino meet members of a Mexico City theater company, Los Mascarones (The Masked Ones) headed by Mariano Leyba. The two groups find surprising similarities in their stage imagery (skeletons) and content (political struggle of the underdog). This meeting will set the stage for future collaborations including the 1973 television film production of Somos Uno (We Are One).
1969 In San Diego, California the Teatro Mestizo is formed.
1969 The Teatro Repertorio Español is founded in New York City. An outgrowth of exiled members of the Cuban
Sociedad Pro Arte, the group will soon specialize in staging classic works of Spanish language stage as well as contemporary dramatic works from Latin America. The company continues to tour throughout the United States to the present, working out of its home at the Gramercy Arts Theater.
1969 In Santa Barbara, California, students attending the University of California create a Chicano theater company which they call, “Mestizo.” Within a short time the group, led by Jorge Huerta, will morph into “Teatro de la Esperanza,” one of the most important, influential and long lived of Chicano theater companies. In the coming years they will perform numerous actos and plays, notably their original plays“La Victima” and “Guadalupe.”
1970 Luis Valdez pens “Notes On Chicano Theater,” in which he calls for a national Chicano theater that “performs with the same skill and prestige as the Ballet Folklórico de México.” The idea of a national Chicano theater company or companies finds wide acceptance among Chicanos.
1970 In Fresno, California, Agustín Lira, co-founder of the original El Teatro Campesino in 1965, creates his own teatro, El Teatro de la Tierra. In the next three years the group will expand and will come to include: Pablo Madrid, Josie Gold, Stephanie Gold, Viviana Chamberlain, Lionel Heredía, Natividad Cisneros, Ponce Ruíz, Mike Serna, Ernesto Saenz, Samuel Sanchez, Monica Sánchez, Kathy Meisel. Among the plays written by Augustín Lira performed by the group are: “Cruz,” “El Ratón,”and “Labor Camp 12.” In addition, the theater company also performs “Run, Chicano, Run” written by Mike Serna, “La Soldadera” written by Josie Gold, and “Tata Díos,” written by Ponce Ruíz.
1970 In Seattle, Washington the Teatro Del Piojo (The Theater of the Flea) is founded.
1970 Margarita Galban directs a television version of “Antigone” for KCET Television. The drama is broadcast as part of the AHORA! television series.
1971 Luís Valdez publishes Actos written by Luis Valdez and members of El Teatro Campesino which includes such plays as “Las Dos Caras del Patroncito,” “Los Vendidos,” and “No Saco Nada de la Escuela” which spurs material for the growth of Chicano theater companies throughout the Southwest.
1971 Inspired by the Second Annual Chicano Theater Festival, and Luís Valdez’s idea of a national Chicano theater company, the leaders of the many Chicano theater companies create a national network of teatros. The new umbrella organization is named TENAZ, standing for El Teatro Nacional de Aztlán.
1971 In Phoenix, Arizona, El Teatro de los Barrios is founded.
1971 In El Paso, Texas El Teatro de los Pobres is founded.
1971 In Denver, Colorado Su Teatro (Your Theater) is founded. Like many of the grass roots Chicano theater companies patterned after El Teatro Campesino, it will soon become affiliated with the umbrella organization, El Teatro Nacional de Aztlán (TENAZ) but unlike many others, it will become one of the longest running theater companies in the United States, continuing to stage productions into 2010.
1971 In San Deigo, California, El Teatro Chicana (an all-woman troupe) is founded by Delia Revelo and Felicitas Nuñez.
1971 In San Diego, California, El Teatro Mestizo performs “No Saco Nada de La Escuela” and “Soldado Razo,” both plays written by Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino at San Diego State College.
1972 El Teatro Espiritú de Aztlán is formed at California State University at Fullerton. The original company includes Cesar Flores, Manuel García, Rosie Campos, Eduardo Ríos, Pete Melendez Eva and Sylvia Chaidez, Linda Morales and Ed Burnetski.
1972 In San Jose, California El Teatro de La Gente is founded by Adrian Vargas.
1972 KCET-TV in Los Angeles California, broadcasts a half program of one act plays and poetry by dramatist Dorinda Moreno. The program, “Mujer En Pie de Lucha,” is produced by Jesús Treviño as part of his Acción Chicano television series.
1972 El Teatro Campesino begins touring with their production of La Carpa de Los Raschuachis. The play, jointly written by members of El Teatro Campesino, depicts the Mexican immigrant experience in the United States and combines music performances with stylized stage performances. It will have a profound effect in inspiring Chicano theater companies in the years to come.
1972 José Luís Ruíz produces a half version of Luis Valdez’s play, “Honest
Sancho’s Used Mexican Lot” for Los Angeles television station KNBC. The program is broadcast nationally garnering one of the highest audience ratings at the time.
1972 “Spotlight: El Teatro de la Tierra,” a half-hour television production featuring original works by El Teatro de la Tierra headed by Agustin Lira, airs over KCET in Los Angeles as part of the Accion Chicano series.
1973 Jesús Treviño produces a half-hour dramatic presentation featuring the Mexico City theater company, Los Mascarones , as part of his Acción Chicano television series on KCET in Los Angeles, California.
1973 The Fourth Annual Chicano Theater Festival is convened in San Jose, California. In attendance are the numerous theater companies that comprise the umbrella organization, The National Theater of Aztlán (TENAZ).
1973 Filmmaker Jesús Treviño convenes a joint stage production of El Teatro Campesino and the Mexico City theater company, Los Mascarones (The Masked Ones) in San Juan Bautista, California. In a week of intensive work, the two theater companies create a joint stage play, Somos Uno (We Are One) which is filmed by Treviño as a one hour film and later broadcast over KCET-TV in Los Angeles.
1973 Miguel Piñero’s searing prison drama Short Eyes, wins the New York Drama Critics award for Best American Play as well as an Obie Award.
1973 Luís Valdez publishes Pensamiento Serpentino, (Serpentine Thought) a philosophic poem that expounds a neo-Mayan spiritual philosophy. In it, Valdez explains the Mayan philosophy of En Lak Ech, (You Are My Other Self) which will permeate Chicano theater circles in the years to come.
1973 In Los Angeles, California Mexican American actress Carmen Zapata, Cuban-born stage director Margarita
Galban and Argentine-born set designer Estela Scarlata join forces and found the Bilingual Foundation for the Arts. In the ensuing decades the Bilingual Foundation for the Arts will draw from the richness of stage traditions in numerous Latin American countries brining classical plays in Spanish and English to Los Angeles’ Latino population.
1973 Estela Portillo Trambley’s play Day of the Swallows is produced.
1974 In Davis, California, a new university is created by Native Americans and Chicanos, Deganawidah Quetzalcoatl University (DQU). They create El Teatro de D.Q.U.
1974 In Crystal City, Texas the La Raza Unida political party consolidates the decisive electoral victories in the school board and city council elections of 1970. Chicanos for the first time are found on the school board, city council, the fire department, police force and as local judges. El Teatro Estudiantil is founded.
1974 In Douglas, Arizona, El Teatro Indio is founded.
1974 In Denver, Colorado, the Denver Symphony Orchestra performs Spanish composer Manuel DeFalla’s Three
Cornered Hat. The Chicano theater company, Su Teatro, under the direction of Alfredo Sandoval, is enlisted to perform as part of the production.
1974 El Teatro Amigos and El Teatro Del Pueblo are founded in Tucson, Arizona.
1974 El Teatro Hijos del Sol is created in Berkeley, California
1974 In Blythe, California, “la cuña de Aztlán,” (the cradle of Aztlán), Alfredo Figueroa creates La Escuela de la Nueva Raza, (The School of the New People) as part of the school, a teatro company is formed, El Teatro Escuela de la Raza Unida.
1974 Su Teatro produces La Familia Sin Fabiano, a play focusing on the effects of the death of the patriarch, Fabiano, of a Chicano family on the children and wife. The play, directed by Anthony J. Garcia, was the first full length play produced by Su Teatro, a Chicano teatro company that would become, next to El Teatro Campesino, the longest running Chicano theater company in the United States.
1974 El Teatro de la Esperanza premiers its original play, “Guadalupe,” based on true events of discrimination against Mexican Americans in the farming community of Guadalupe, California.
1974 In El Monte, California the El Teatro Urbano is created.
1974 In Mexico city, the yearly festival of the Teatro Nacional De Aztlán (TENAZ) is celebrated with performances at the pyramids of the sun and moon at Teotihuacan, an ancient indigenous site that was created thousands of years ago.
1974 El Teatro De La Tierra undergoes growth and moves to Fresno, California. It incorporates new members: Tomás (Sapo) Avilez, Paula Solomon, Denise Durán, Martha García, Nelly Sánchez, Nina Martínez, Daniel Enriquez, David Gómez, Patricia Wells Solorzano, Francisco Correa. The group tours with “Heroes and Legends,” a historical perspective on the Chicano experience through narrative and song.
1974 In San Jose, California, the Teatro de la Gente is formed.
1974 In Pasadena, California the Teatro de los Niños is formed.
1975 In San Diego, California the all-Chicana theater company El Teatro Laboral (formerly El Teatro Chicana, performs Salt of the Earth based on the events surrounding the Silver City miners strike of the 1950s.
1975 El Teatro Libertad is founded in Tucson, Arizona. It will continue to 1986.
1976 In Denver, Colorado, Su Teatro performs El Corrido de Auraria, a tribute to the local Chicano barrio with its original indigenous name (Auraria) which incorporates the song and action that would become the signature style of the group. Later the play will be retitled, “El Corrido Del Barrio.”
1976 PBS broadcasts a television adaptation of the Luís Valdez play, El Corrido.
1976 Arthur Girón’s play “Money” is produced in New York City.
1977 In Albuquerque, New Mexico La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque is founded.
1977 Founded in 1967 as the Latin American Art Group, the group undergoes a name change to the International Arts Relations (INTAR) and, under the direction of Max Ferra, the company offers plays in Spanish and English and workshops to develop new Latino writing talent.
1977 TENAZ convenes its annual Teatro festival in San Diego, California with the performance of “La Victima,” by El Teatro De La Esperanza.
1977 The Centro Cultural Cubana stages a production of a new play about the Latino immigrant experience in New York, El Super, (The Super), by Iván Acosta. The play will soon become a break-out hit in Latino communities.
1978 In Sacramento, California, the Teatro Espejo de Sacramento is formed.
1978 In San Jose, California, members of the Teatro de la Gente break away and create Teatro Huipil, a women’s theater company.
1978 Su Teatro stages Ludlow: El Grito De las Minas, an original play by Anthony García. The play, about the Ludlow, Colorado miners strike of 1914 and subsequent massacre of innocent men, woman and children, featured Teatro members Debra Gallegos and Yolanda Ortega.
1979 In New York, Leon Ichaso and Orlando Jimenez-Leal make a successful film adaptation.of Iván Acosta’s play, El Super( The Super).
1979 Luís Valdez ‘s play Zoot Suit is premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California. It is an instant hit, bringing Mexican American audiences to the theater that had never attended before. The play become a launching pad for actors such as Edward James Olmos, Lupe Ontiveros, Rose Portillo, Alma Martínez, Tony Plana, Sal López and others.
1980 Latina, written by Milcha Sánchez-Scott, opens at the Pilot Theater in Los Angeles, California. The play explores Latina identity as a Chicana struggles with her identity as she confronts women immigrants originating from different Latin American countries.
1981 In St. Paul, Minneapolis, the Teatro Latino de Minnesota is created. It will continue producing bilingual plays until the present.
1981 El Teatro Chicano is founded in Tucson, Arizona.
1981 El Teatro Raices performs their original production of Archie Bunker Goes to El Salvador in celebration of International Women’s Day in Chula Vista, California.
1981 In Chicago, Illinois, the Chicago Latino Theater Company is created.
1982 Nicolás Kanellos edits and publishes Mexican American Theater: Then and Now. The anthology includes studies on Mexican American theater as well as interviews with theater directors.
1982 In Oakland, California a production of all women’s poetry and drama Tongues of Fire is premiered. The tour de force production features the literary work of authors Lorna Dee Cervantes, Gloria Anzaldúa, Lucha Corpi, Ana Castillo and Sandra Cisneros among others.
1982 The 11th Annual TENAZ Chicano Theater festival is held in San Diego, California. Among the productions featured is Voz de la Mujer, a mixture of poetry, music and dance performed by five women active in the Teatro movmeent: Irene Burgos, Rosie Campos-Pantoja, Cara Hill de Castañón, Liz Robinson and Juanita Varags.
1982 Two Centuries of Hispanic Theater in the Southwest, also written by Nicolás Kanellos is published by Arte Público Press.
1983 Arte Público Press publishes a collection of plays by Chicano playwright Carlos Morton titled The Many Deaths of Danny Rosales and Other Plays.
1983 Sor Juana, written by Estela Portillo Trambley is produced.
1984 Teatro Huipil adapts Images of Deceit by Anita Quintanilla for a production in San Jose, California.
1984 On Cinco De Mayo, in San Francisco, California, Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siquenza, along with Marga Gómez, Monica Palacios and the late José Antonio Burciaga create a radical comedy group which they name Culture Clash. The group will become one of the leading and long standing of Latino comedy groups.
1985 Denver’s Su Teatro is invited to stage Intro to Chicano History:101 at the Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York City,
1985 In New York City, Arthur Girón’s autobiographical play, “Charlie Bacon and his Family” is produced.
1986 Luís Valdez’s play I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinking Badges is premiered at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
1986 In San Antonio, Los Actores de San Antonio is created.
1986 In San Jose, California, the Teatro Huipil changes its name to reflect an understanding of wanting to change
society through a vision of community unity, the new group is named Teatro Vision. It will continue as the leading Chicano/Latino theater in San Jose to the present.
1987 The motion picture La Bamba, written and directed by Luís Valdez becomes a worldwide hit. With music by the Chicano rock group Los Lobos, the film soon becomes the most successful Latino music film in history.
1988 The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center produces Severo and Judy Pérez’s play, Soldierboy under the direction of José Manuel Galván.
1988 The comedy trio Culture Clash, Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siquenza write their first full-length play, The Mission. They tour nationally with the play and have a long run in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Theater Center.
1989 Arte Público Press publishes, Un Cubiche en la Luna by Cuban playwright Iván Acosta. The book includes three plays by the author of the hit play El Super (The Super).
1989 In Denver, Colorado, Su Teatro is successful in finding a permanent home for the theater company and the El Centro Su Teatro is opened with a performance of their successful play, Intro To Chicano Studies: 101.
1989 Jorge Huerta’s collection of plays by Chicano writers, Necessary Theater: Six Plays About the Chicano Experience is published by Arte Público Press.
1990 The Los Angeles Theatre Center stages a productions of Culture Clash’s “Bowl of Beings.”
1990 Luís Valdez–Early Works: Actos, Bernabé and Pensamiento Serpentino is published.
1990 Puerto Rican playwright Edward Gallardo’s book Simpson Street and Other Plays is published by Arte Público Press. The book contains three ful length plays focusing on the experiences of working class Puerto Ricans in New York City.
1991 Luis Valdez adapts and directs La Pastorela (The Shepherd’s Play) for Great Performances, the show is broadcast nationally over PBS.
1991 Members of the Culture Clash comedy trio join forces with actor/director Cheech Marin and collaborate on a comedy pilot for Fox television. The pilot is produced but never aired.
1992 Cherri Moraga’s play Heroes and Saints debuts in San Francisco, California.
1992 Rodolfo Cortina’s anthology of plays by Cuban American playwrights, Cuban American Theater, is published. Among the playwrights featured are Julio Matas, José Cid Pérez, Leopoldo Hernández, José Sánchez Boudy, Celedonio González, Raul De Cárdenas and Matías Montes Huidobro.
1992 Zoot Suit and Other Plays by Luís Valdez is published by Arte Público Press.
1992 A television production of the Culture Clash play “Bowl of Beings” is broadcast nationally over PBS.
1992 Denise Chavez’s collection of plays by Chicana/Latina authors, Shattering the Myths, Plays by Hispanic Women is published by Arte Público Press.
1992 Johnny Tenorio and Other Plays by Carlos Morton is published.
1992 Following the Rodney King beating and subsequent Los Angeles riots, Culture Clash writes and performs “S.O.S. -Comedy for these Urgent Times.”
1993 Octavio Solis’s play, Prospect, is staged by the Teatro Campesino.
1993 Culture Clash produces and stars in their own television review of Latino humor for Fox syndication. Thirty shows will be taped and broadcast over two seasons, showcasing a new generation of Latino comedians.
1995 The members of the Culture Clash comedy trio travel to Miami, Florida and do research for their new original production Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami.
1996 Latins Anonymous, a collection of the dramatic works by the comedy group Latins Anonymous, is published by Arte Público Press.
1997 Rick Najera’s collection of plays, The Pain of the Macho and Other Plays is published.
1998 Culture Clash performs their original play “Bordertown,” about the San Diego/Tijuana border area.
1999 A theatrical adaptation of the Sandra Cisneros novel, The House on Mango Street, is produced by the Teatro
Vision in San Jose, California.
1999 Puro Teatro, A Latina Anthology, edited by Nancy Saporta Sternbach and Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez is published by the University of Arizona Press.
1999 Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez’s anthology, José, Can You See? Latinos On and Off Broadway is published by the
University of Wisconsin Press.
2000 Evelina Fernandez’s play Luminarias is made into a motion picture directed by José Luis Valenzuela, starring the playwright opposite Scott Bakula with Angela Moya, Marta Dubois and Dyana Orteli.
2000 Rancho Hollywood y Otras Obreas del Teatro Chicano by Carlos Morton is published by Arte Público Press.
2001 In Fresno, California, Augustín Lira and Patricia Soloranzano Wells, create “El Teatro Inmigrante.” The group, composed primarily of women, is created in response to the growing anti-immigrants sentiment in the United States.
2001 Herbert Siquenza, of the comedy trio Culture Clash, creates his own one-man show paying homage to the great Mexican comedian “Cantinflas.”
2002 The members of Culture Clash travel to Washington, D.C. where Richard Montoya’s original play, “Anthems: Culture Clash in the District,” focuses on the events of September 11th.
2003 The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California hosts the Culture Clash production of their original play “Chavez Ravine,” a play which focuses on the eviction of Mexican Americans from the Chavez Ravine neighborhood to make room for what would become Dodger stadium.
2005 Culture Clash member Herbert Siguenza’s tour de force, one-man show, Cantinflas, is staged at the Teatro
Vision in San Jose, California.
2006 Dan Guerrero’s autobiographical one-man show “Gaytino!” is staged at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Hollywood, California. The tour de force performance revisits Guerrero’s experiences growing up gay in a macho Latino culture and his life long friendship with his grade school friend, the late California artist Carlos Almaráz.
2006 Culture Clash’s play, “Water and Power” is staged at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California.
2008 Teatro Chicana, A Collective Memoir and Selected Plays, an anthology of essays be members of the all Chicana theater group, El Teatro de las Chicanas, is published by the University of Texas Press. The book, edited by Laura E. García, Sandra M. Gutiérrez and Felicitas Nuñez, chronicles the history of the all Chicana theater company that morphed from El Teatro de la Chicanas to El Teatro Laboral to El Teatro Raices.
2008 “El Teatro Inmigrante” based in Fresno, California, performs the classic one-act plays created by members of El Teatro Campesino “Honest Sancho’s Used Mexican Lot,” and “The Two Faces of the Boss.”
2009 Water and Power, written by Richard Montoya and performed by the comedy trio Culture Clash is staged at the Teatro Vision in San Jose, California.
2009 “La Mascara del Chivo” by Ramón Serrano and “Nothing to Declare” written by Raquel Valle Sentíes are two of nine plays developed in a Laredo, Texas theater workshop headed by Carlos Flores.
2010 The New Los Angeles Theater Center stages a reprisal of Evelina Fernandez’s play Dementia, directed by José Luis Valenzuela and starring Ralph Cole Jr., Danny De La Paz, Sal Lopez, Evelina Fernandez, Esperanza America Ibarra, Geoffrey Rivas and Lucy Rodriguez. The play receives critical reviews.