WITH WORKS FROM COLOMBIA, MEXICO, PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. AND CHICAGO DEBUTING THROUGHOUT THE CITY,
SEPTEMBER 28-NOVEMBER 9
A Lucha libre thrill ride at Goodman, a Visión Latino boxing drama, a tale of Mayan aunts at National Museum of Mexican Art, a new “ScandiMexican Tragedy”from Colectivo El Pozo+Akvavit, a Puerto Rican love triangle, Yosimar Reyes’s one-man show about growing up queer and Teatro Tarikuri’s Lotería a few 2023 Destinos Festivalhighlights
Destinos, 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Chicago’s annual citywide festival showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America, returns September 28-November 9, 2023.
Each fall, Destinos is a cultural high point of Chicago’s Latino Heritage Month, showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America.
The festival is produced by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), and is presented annually to drive Chicago’s vibrant Latino theater scene to a more prominent level locally, nationally and internationally.
Today, CLATA unveiled the 2023 Destinos line-up – 17 productions all new to Chicago debuting at theaters large and small all over the city, including four world premieres, two North American premieres, one U.S. premiere, and five Midwest premieres. Tickets to most productions go on sale Friday, August 18 at destinosfest.org.
“This year's Destinos offers un poquito de todo for everyone! We cannot wait to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our Latinidad through the many theater productions we'll see playing all over the city this fall. Being able to bring international and national productions to Chicago is exciting. But shining a spotlight on local Latine theater gems is an honor. Chicago’s Latine theater companies, after all, are the heart of Destinos,” said CLATA Executive Director Jorge Valdivia.
Destinosperformances, from new solo shows to large scale productions, do sell out, so mark your calendar for the ticket on-sale date, Friday, August 18.
Visit destinosfest.org for tickets and information. For first notice of festivalevents, follow Destinos on Facebook, Instagram and Threads at @latinotheater, and sign up for CLATA’s weekly e-newsletter.
Destinos, 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festivalwill present (top) Prieto featuring Yosimar Reyes at Chicago Shakespeare, (middle, from left) Yo No Estoy Loca starring Colombian star Marce Valencia at The Den, Peter Malmo, a “ScandiMexican tragedy” by Chicago’s Collectivo el Pozo and Akvavit Theatre at Raven, (bottom) Conchi León’s La Tia Mariela, from Mexico, at the National Museum of Mexican Art and Armonía, a love triangle drama from Puerto Rico Theatre Lab at The Den.
The 2023 Destinos Festival is bringing three exciting international productions from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Colombia to Chicago:
LaTía Mariela, written and directed by acclaimed Mexican theater artist Conchi León, is a tale about 12 Mayan aunts whose names all begin with “M.” Co-presented by CLATA and the National Museum of Mexican Art for three shows only: October 3-5. Opens Tuesday, October 3.
The North American premiere of Puerto Rico Theatre Lab’sArmonía, written by Ricardo André Lugo, directed by Edgardo Soto. This is a story of a passionate love triangle that entangles Vincent, and his ex-partners, Daniel and Lucía. One weekend only: October 19-22 at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park. Opens Thursday, October 19.
Yo No Estoy Loca via Teatro Petra in Colombia, a North American premiere written and directed by Fabio Rubiano, featuring theater, television and film actor Marce Valencia. Rubiano and Valencia are co-founders of Teatro Petra, one the most prestigious theater companies in Colombia. Performances are October 26-28 at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center in Hermosa. Opens Thursday, October 26.
U.S. productions, traveling from out-of-town for their Chicago debuts, include:
Taxilandia, a Midwest premiere written, directed and performed by Modesto Flako Jimenez, presented by ¡Oye! and Flako Studios, New York City. This one-man show, developed in Jimenez’s neighborhood, Bushwick, Brooklyn, was drawn from his nine years driving a taxi, documenting conversations with passengers, locals and immigrants to his neighborhood. Taxilandia runs October 12-14 at The Den Theatre. Opens Thursday October 12.
Acclaimed California-based artist and poet Yosimar Reyes takes audiences on a journey into his experience growing up queer in the ‘hood of East San Jose in his one-man show, Prieto.This Midwest premiere from Living Word Project in San Jose is co-presented by CLATA and Chicago Shakespeare Theater one weekend only, October 20-22. Opens Friday, October 20.
Chicago Latino companies, artists and shows participating in the
6th DestinosFestival are:
Destinos Spotlight Weekendkicks off this year’s festivalSeptember 28-30 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater with four nights of Chicago Latine artists performing four different genres: comedia, improv, musica and teatro fisico. The weekend kicks off with Vanessa Garcia’s sketch comedy revue La Carne Asada, Thursday, September 28; a comedy improv night Friday, September 29; Cabaret Parodia’sDramaticas: A Telenovela & Musical Revue, Saturday, September 30; and an all-Latine ScratchNight with Physical Theater Festival Chicago, Monday, October 2.
A witch wants to get rid of all numbers, but discovers math is a beautiful subject in El Baile De Los Números, aworld premiere production for families by Tomas Urtusastegui, directed by Karla Galvan. Presented September 30-October 8 by Teatro Tariakuri in Marquette Park, featuring the company’s Los Chilpayates Youth Ensemble. Opens Saturday, September 30.
Peter Malmo, a world premiere “ScandiMexican tragedy” by Raúl Dorantesand Mark Litwick, in a co-production from Colectivo El Pozo and Akvavit Theatre. This new play, inspired by Juan Rolfo’s classic novel "Pedro Páramo” and reset in wintery Wisconsin, runs October 6-29 at Raven Theatre. Opens Friday, October 6.
The American Dream, aworld premiere by Juan Ramirez Jr., about a Guatemalan immigrant held captive by her human coyote, presented by Subtext Studio Theatre at Madison Street Theater in Oak Park. Omar Vicente Fernandez, formerly with 16th Street Theatre, directs. Performances are October 5-29. Opens Saturday, October 7.
Goodman Theatre and the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) present Prism Movement Theatre (Dallas)’s Lucha Teotl. Pro wrestling bursts onto the stage in this high-octane, immersive, 90-minute thrill ride, written and directed by Christopher Llewyn Ramirez and Jeff Colangelo. Audiences will sit ringside as actors and luchadores in masks representing Aztec gods play out an exciting wrestling story about family, honor, tradition and redemption. This Midwest premiere runs September 29-October 29. Opens Monday, October 9.
Teatro Tariakuri in Marquette Park presents the world premiere of Lotería: Dichos, Proverbios, Albures, written by Tomas Urtusastegui, co-directed by Karla Galvan and Esteban Pantoja. Loteríare-imagines the game of Mexican lottery, using traditional expressions and proverbs instead of the usual iconic images. Performances are October 14-29. Opens Saturday, October 14.
Lace up your gloves for Visión Latino Theater’sThat Must Be The Entrance To Heaven, Franky D. Gonzalez’s play about four Latino prize fighters chasing their dreams of a world boxing title. Xavier M. Custodiodirects this Midwest premiere, a poetic collision of combat and cosmos, October 14-November 5 at UrbanTheater Company in Humboldt Park.Opens Wednesday, October 18.
Repertorio Latino Theater presents the world premiere of La Jom Atendaby Dio-genes Abreu, about the deep human relationship developed between a home attendant and her aging client. Performances are October 19-November 5 at Chess Live in Bridgeport. Opens Saturday, October 21.
Aguijón Theatre, Chicago’s oldest Latino theater, will present a Spanish-language production TBA at the National Museum of Mexican Art, November 7-9. Opens Tuesday, November 7.
Your itinerary for the 6th Destinos Festival (at press time, chronological order, showtimes and ticket prices are TBA):
Opening September 25-October 1
Destinos Spotlight Weekend
Co-presented by CLATA and Steppenwolf Theatre Company
At Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted St. in Lincoln Park
Thursday, September 28: La Carne Asada, a sketch comedy revue by Vanessa Garcia
Friday, September 29: Improv Night
Saturday, September 30: Dramaticas: A Telenovela & Musical
Monday, October 2: ScratchNight with Physical Theater FestivalChicago
English and Spanish
Destinos 2023 kicks off with four fun-filled nights of Chicago Latine artists performing four different genres: comedia, improv, música and teatro físico.
Destinos Spotlight Weekendstarts with Vanessa Garcia’s sketch comedy revue La Carne Asada, Thursday, September 28, followed by a nightdevoted to improv, Friday, September 29, Cabaret Parodia’sDramaticas: A Telenovela & Musical Revue on Saturday, September 30, culminating in an all-Latine ScratchNight with Physical Theater Festival Chicago, Monday, October 2.
El Baile De Los Números
By Tomas Urtusastegui, directed by Karla Galvan
Presented by Teatro Tariakuri, 3117 W. 63rd St. in Marquette Park
Opens Saturday, September 30
Runs through October 8, Saturdays and Sundays
In Spanish with English subtitles
A witch wants to get rid of all numbers, but has a change of heart when she learns that math is a beautiful subject in El Baile de los Números, a new production for family audiences featuring Teatro Tariakuri’s Los Chilpayates Youth Ensemble.
Teatro Tariakuri dance and theatre performing arts (TTPA) is a non-profit community arts organization established in Chicago in 2004 to offer children and adults from Chicago’s Marquette Park and surrounding communities affordable access to performing arts classes and professional artistic training opportunities.teatrotariakuri.org
Opening October 2-8
Mexican theater artist Conchi León (left) is the writer and director of La Tia Mariela
La Tía Mariela
Directed and Written by Conchi León
Choreography by Oswaldo Ferrer
Co-presented by CLATA and the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. in Pilsen
One week only: October 3-5
Opens Tuesday, October 3
Renowned Mexican actor, director, dramaturg and playwright Conchi León, who won international fame with her play Mestiza Power, brings LaTía Mariela to Chicago. With Yucatan humor, audiences will laugh and cry throughout this saga about the pain and joy of 12 Mayan aunts whose names all begin with “M.”
Press play to screen and download a video trailer for La Tia Mariela.
By Raúl Dorantes and Mark Litwicki, directed by Chad Eric Bergman
Co-presented by Colectivo El Pozo and Akvavit Theatre, Chicago
At Raven Theatre Chicago, 6157 N. Clark St. in Uptown
October 5-October 29
Preview Thursday, October 5
Opens Friday, October 6
Through October 29
Presented in English with Spanish subtitles
Peter Malmo is a reinterpretation of Mexican writer Juan Rolfo’s classic novel "Pedro Páramo." Johnny, the protagonist, arrives in a small town in wintery Wisconsin in search of his father. While encountering the ghosts of former residents, Johnny discovers his father’s, his family’s and the town’s past. He also meets a newly arrived immigrant couple determined to revitalize their new hometown. Strap in for this “ScandiMexican Tragedy” that brings new light to Rolfo’s themes of death, desolation and rebirth.
Peter Malmo, written by Raúl Dorantes and Mark Litwicki, directed by Chad Eric Bergman, ispresented in association with Colective el Pozo and Akvavit Theatre. Since its inception in 2009, Colectivo El Pozo has expanded theatrical opportunities for Chicago artists interested in developing Spanish- language theater within the broader scope of immigration. facebook.com/ColectivoElPozo. Akvavit Theatre is a Chicago company with a focus on Nordic and Scandinavian works.
The American Dream
The American Dream
By Juan Ramirez, Jr., directed by Omar Vicente Fernandez
Presented by Subtext Studio Theatre Company
At Madison Street Theater, 1010 Madison St. in Oak Park
Preview: Thursday, October 5
Press Opening: Saturday, October 7
Through October 29
Presented in English with Spanish subtitles
Corina is a Guatemalan immigrant who has smuggled her way across the border guided by her coyote Efren. Instead of finding freedom, she finds herself imprisoned by her human smuggler, who now holds her inside a safe house, awaiting final payment from her husband. Set in the last hour and twenty minutes, Corina begs for her freedom. But letting her go is against everything Efren stands for.
American Dream is written by Juan Ramirez, Jr. It was selected for the New American Voices Play Reading Series at The Landing Theatre in Houston, was part of the inaugural Broadway Bound Theatre Festival at the 14th Street Y, and was a semifinalist for Stage Left Theatre’s 2016 Downstage Left residency.
This world premiere is directed by Omar Vicente Fernandez, a Mexican American theater artist, born in Berwyn, a former staff member at 16th Street Theatre, and co-founder of Subtext Studio. In 2022, he joined forces with Dragonfly Theatre Company’s Jean Gottlieb to create Subtext Studio Theatre Company.subtextstudiotc.org
Opening October 9-15
Goodman Theatre and the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) present Prism Movement Theatre (Dallas)’s Lucha Teotl
Written and directed by Christopher Llewyn Ramirez and Jeff Colangelo
At Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn in downtown Chicago
September 29-October 29
Previews September 29-October 8
Opens Monday, October 9
Runs through October 29
Presented in English and Spanish
Pro wrestling bursts onto the stage in this high-octane, immersive, 90-minute thrill ride, written and directed by Christopher Llewyn Ramirez and Jeff Colangelo. Audiences will sit ringside as actors and luchadores in masks representing Aztec gods play out an exciting wrestling story about family, honor, tradition and redemption.
Written, directed and performed by Modesto Flako Jimenez
Presented by ¡Oye! and Flako Studios, New York City
At The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park
One weekend only: October 12-14
Opens Thursday, October 12 at 8 p.m.
Presented in English and Spanish
Taxilandia, created by Dominican-born Modesto Flako Jimenez, immerses its audience in the flavors, sounds, sights, and dynamic history of a neighborhood confronting social stigmas and the realities of gentrification. Originally developed in Jimenez’s own neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, the piece was inspired and drawn from his nine years driving a taxicab and his documentation of conversations with passengers, residents, locals, and immigrants to the neighborhood.
Weaving a dramatic, performative ‘tapestry’ that interconnects generations, social classes, races, and cultures, Taxilandia complicates our notion of what it means to be a local, an immigrant, or a resident of a place, challenging us to answer: “What is my personal roadmap of home?”