TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR DESTINOS - 4TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL LATINO THEATER FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 23-OCTOBER 17
**COVID POLICY: Vaccine Proof (card or phone photo of vax card and photo ID) and masking for the duration of all shows required.
Here at ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama, we've caught Destinos festival productions every year since its inception. Whether you're of Latinx descent or want to expand your multicultural horizons and catch world class productions, we highly recommend making time for some excellent theatre this month and next. Runs are short so book your tickets as soon as possible. Don't miss this!
I'll be out to review American Mariachion September 27th, AMAL on September 30th, Mal de Amores on October 8th, Y tu abuela on October 11th and Brujaja October 24th. Check back early and often for our original reviews, interviews, giveaways, entertainment news and more.
Written by Combat Hippies and Teo Castellanos
Directed by Teo Castellanos
1543 W. Division St., Chicago
AMAL examines the impact of war with equal parts humor and urgency. It explores the quest for meaning, purpose and identity sought through enlisting in the military and shares the unifying experiences of combatants and noncombatants as people of color.
Tough and tender, AMAL relays stories of veterans', refugees' and civilians' adjustment to life after war, placing Puerto Rico’s colonial status, cultural and military heritage center stage.
AMAL aborda el impacto de la guerra con humor y urgencia en partes iguales. Explora la búsqueda de significado, propósito y identidad a través del alistamiento en el ejército, y comparte las experiencias unifcadoras de combatientes y no combatientes que se identifican como personas de color. Doloroso y conmovedor, AMAL transmite historias de cómo los vetarnos, refugiados y civiles se adaptaron a la vida después de la guerra.
Esta compañia de teatro totalmente puertorriqueña coloca en el centro del escenario el status colonial, la herencia cultural y militar de Puerto Rico.
Watch the trailer for AMAL
Led by renowned theater artist and director Teo Castellanos, Combat Hippies is an ensemble of Puerto Rican military veteran performing artists based in Miami, Florida. The company focuses on works about combatants as people of color, and shares experiences of veterans' adjustments to live after war as well as that of civilians from war-torn countries.
AMAL is one of ten productions that are part of Destinos, 4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, September 23-October 17, at theaters and cultural destinations large and small throughout the city.
Performer and director Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez of Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, Mexico Cityblurs the line between fiction and reality in Tijuana, about a man from the city who takes a job at a sweatshop near the U.S. border. Tijuana makes it Chicago premiere September 23-26 at the National Museum of Mexican Art as part of Destinos-4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival.
Photo credit: Manuel G. Vicente courtesy Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol.
CHICAGO, August 30, 2021 - Tickets are now on sale for select performances during Destinos – 4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival,returning with live and hybrid performances, September 23-October 17, 2021.
Visit clata.orgfor tickets, show dates, times, locations and information about the artists. To receive first notice of all festival news, sign up for the Destinosweekly e-update, and follow the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), producer of the annual festival, at @latinotheater on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A late addition to the Destinos line-up is Chicago’s own Teatro Vista with Futurology presents: The Fifth World. This world premiere live listening party experience will offer Destinos audiences to be the first to hear the first two episodes of Teatro Vista’s new true crime, audio serial play, and what the company’s new co-artistic directors Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo are planning for the company’s 2021-22 season and beyond.
That brings the total number of Chicago productions in this year’s Destinosfestival to six, with American Mariachi, a Midwest Premiere about an all-women Mariachi band presented by Goodman Theatre; Brujaja, a World Premiere live/virtual production about an “accidental witch” by UrbanTheater Company; and, La Gran Tirana: Descarga dramática, a World Premiere play with music inspired by La Lupe, the Queen of Latin Soul, at Aguijón Theater.
Two local companies making their Destinos debut: Visión Latino Theatre Company with the World Premiere Y tú abuela, where is she?, about an interracial couple given the chance to choose the color of their unborn child, and Teatro Tariakuri with La manera como luces esta noche, an adults-only, Latino fairy tale.
Four out-of-town productions round out the festival, including Amal, in which Miami’s Combat Hippies fuse spoken word with music to examine the impact of war; Tijuanavia México City’s Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, in a co-production with the National Museum of Mexican Art, about the true story of a man who abandoned his life in the city to work for minimum wage at the U.S. border; Santurce, Puerto Rico-based Agua, Sol y SerenowithCorazón de Papel, a powerful depiction of post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico told through contemporary puppetry, co-presented with the Segundo Ruis Bevis Cultural Center;and, Mal de Amores, about an old man who tells his love stories as a woman with a wonderful, powerful voice sings boleros, baladas and rancheras, from Casa de Teatro in the Dominican Republic.
The Chicago premiere of Corazón de Papel, a powerful depiction of post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico told through contemporary puppetry, by Agua, Sol y Sereno from Santurce, Puerto Rico, is one of the international productions that is part ofDestinos-4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival Performances are October 14-17 at Chopin Theatre. Photo credit: George Riveron.
Destinos is the signature program of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), a transformative cultural engine helping drive Chicago’s local Latino theater community to newfound prominence.
“After 18 months during which our stages went dark, Destinos, Chicago’s annual citywide international Latino theater festival, is back!” said Myrna Salazar, Executive Director, CLATA. “Please be sure to join us this fall. It’s been too long, and now more than ever, it’s time to come together to share the Latino experience as told by Latino artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America.”
Mal de Amores, about an old man who tells love stories as a woman sings boleros, baladas and rancheras, comes to Destinos-4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival via Casa de Teatro in the Dominican Republic. Photo credit: Pedro Bonilla.
To get things started, CLATA will host a Destinos 2021 Kick-Off Party at the National Museum of Mexican Art’s new Ray Castro Plaza on Monday, September 20, starting at 5:30 p.m. A live performance stage, VIP tents with complimentary food and drinks, live music by Mariachi Perla de México, and more will toast the launch of this year’s fourth Destinosfest, while celebrating Chicago’s Latino theater community’s contributions to the city’s cultural and economic landscapes. The National Museum of Mexican Art is located at 1852 W. 19th St. in Pilsen. The event will move indoors in the event of rain. Proof of vaccination and masks are required to attend.
Note: CLATA and its partner venues will adhere to all COVID-19 safety precaution protocols as mandated by the state of Illinois throughout the festival. Specific Covid policies for each venue will be shared with ticket buyers prior to their performances.
AMALby Miami’s Combat Hippies examines the impact of war with equal parts humor and urgency. AMAL makes it Chicago premiere September 30-October 3 at Chopin Theatre as part of Destinos-4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. Photo credit Romaine Maurice.
More about the shows
Visit clata.org to purchase tickets and learn more about the rich, diverse array of Latino-themed shows, panels and student performances on tap at marquee venues downtown, neighborhood theaters and cultural institutions throughout the city for four consecutive weeks this fall.
Use promo code CLATA25 to unlock this exclusive Destinos discount
Meet Lucha, who spends her days caring for her ailing mother, but longs to shake up her 1970s home life. When a forgotten record album sparks her mother’s memory, Lucha and her cousin strike upon a radical idea: to create an all-female mariachi band. Infused with live mariachi music, this “big-hearted, musical tug at the heartstrings” reveals how music and love can make just about anything possible (Denver Post). American Mariachi is written by José Cruz González, directed by Henry Godinez and features Chicago's Sones de México Ensemble. Presented in English with sprinkles of Spanish.
American Mariachi, courtesy Goodman Theatre
La manera como luces esta noche
3117 W. 63rd St. in Marquette Park
Opens Saturday, September 25 at 8 p.m.
Runs through October 17
Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 8 p.m., except Sunday, October 17 - 3 p.m. matinee
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a King whose precious daughter Beatriz needed to be betrothed. But the king’s wish is suddenly shattered by an invasion of a peculiar handmaiden/soldier. Ubaldo the welder falls in love with the princess, but being not of noble blood, seeks the help of a wizard to meet the princess. Hilarious entanglements ensue as Ubaldo discovers how to win the princess and not to be hanged in the process. This comedic fairy tale, for adults only, is written by Alejandro Licona and directed by Karla Galván. Presented in Spanish.
at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
3015 W. Division St. in Humboldt Park
Opens Saturday, October 9 at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Also Sunday, October 10 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
After living above her mother's botánica her whole life, Ifé, an accidental witch, finally finds her purpose by tapping into her ancestral power to fight the larger fight against oppression and wellness. Written by Melissa DuPrey and directed by Miranda González, Brujaja will be a hybrid experience pairing live theater, dance and drumming for in-person audiences with a theatrically filmed virtual stream for viewing at home. Presented in English with sprinkles of Spanish.
Futurology presents: The Fifth World
a World Premiere live listening party experience from Teatro Vista
at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Wicker Park
Opens Saturday, October 10 at 7 p.m.
Second show: Sunday, October 11at 4 p.m.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Sebastian Reyes arrives in the small desert town of Palomas, Arizona to make his name producing a true crime story about a missing child in the desert. His search fatefully entangles him in a horrifying myth as old as the world. The Fifth World chronicles a desperate need to find and connect with another human being when the future of the world depends on it. Destinos audiences will be the first to hear the first two episodes of this new serial audio play before its official premiere on October 28. In addition to the listening party, the new co-artistic directors of the company, Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo, will be announcing the new season of work for Teatro Vista along with the exciting future on the horizon for this 30-year company.
Y tú abuela, where is she?
Vision Latino Theatre Company
at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park
Opening: Monday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs through October 24: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets: $60 VIP Experience; $60 VIP Experience II; $35 Door; $30 Regular (online); $25 Group Tickets (5 or more); $10 Students
An interracial couple, Xavier and Adalina, are accepted into a program that allows them to modify the genes of their children before they are born. Excitement over the prospect of altering their offspring helps them forget the issues that plague their relationship, until they get stuck on one question: what color skin should the child have? As they navigate the answers, bigger problems are exposed and divine intervention may be needed for the entire family to survive. Y tú abuela, where is she? is written by Nelson Diaz-Marcano and directed by Xavier M. Custodio. Presented in English and Spanish.
La Gran Tirana: Descarga dramática
2707 N. Laramie in Belmont-Cragin
Opens Friday, October 15 at 8 p.m.
Runs through November 21
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m.
Tickets: $30 Regular; $15 students, teachers and seniors;
$10 for 60639 residents; Free on Sundays
This exciting new work is inspired by the incomparable Afro-Cuban legend Lupe Victoria Yolí Raymond, better known as La Lupe, the Queen of Latin Soul. This love letter to Caribbean rhythms and sounds explores the journey of Ana Morgana, an immigrant, a castoff, but, above all, an artist, who transcends her everyday reality by imagining herself a star: La Lupe. La Gran Tirana was conceived and is directed by Sándor Menéndez,written by Rey Andújar, and features Ana Santos Sanchez, Sándor Menéndez and pianist Adrian Ruiz. Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
Ana Santos Sanchez, courtesy Aguijón Theatre
National and international productions:
Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, México City
A co-presentation with the National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th St. in Pilsen
Opens Thursday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs through September-26: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.
Mixing video art and a sculptural stage environment with piercingly poetic text, Tijuanablurs the line between fiction and reality, using multimedia as mechanisms to link work and life and give voice to overlooked moments in social and political history. With movement and text, performer and director Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez depicts a man’s social experiment in which he mysteriously appears as a resident of a new neighborhood with a new sweatshop job and a secret history. Tijuana asks: What does democracy mean in Mexico today for some 50 million people living on the minimum wage? What do we expect from democracy today? What do we expect from politics beyond democracy? Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
Performer and director Lázaro Gabino Rodríguez of Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, Mexico City in Tijuana.
Photo credit: Manuel G. Vicente courtesy Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol.
Combat Hippies, Miami
Presented at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Wicker Park
Opens Thursday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs through October 3: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.
AMAL examines the impact of war with equal parts humor and urgency. It explores the quest for meaning, purpose and identity sought through enlisting in the military and shares the unifying experiences of combatants and noncombatants as people of color. Tough and tender, AMAL relays stories of how veterans, refugees and civilians adjusted to life after war, placing Puerto Rico’s colonial status, cultural and military heritage center stage. AMAL is written by Combat Hippies and Teo Castellanos and directed by Teo Castellanos. Presented in English.
Tough and tender, AMALby Miami’s Combat Hippies examines the impact of war with equal parts humor and urgency. Photo credit: Romaine Maurice.
Mal de Amores
Casa de Teatro, Dominican Republic
Presented at The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park
Opens Friday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs through October 10: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.
An old man tells his love stories as a woman with a wonderful, powerful voice sings boleros, baladas and rancheras. Mal de Amoresis a fusion of storytelling, song and two talented artists: Freddy Ginebra, whose true life experiences transform into beautiful stories, and Diomary Castillo, who takes audiences breath away with her energy and alluring voice. Mal de Amoresis written and directed by Ginebra. Presented in Spanish.
Mal de Amoresfeatures Freddy Ginebra (right, both photos) whose true life experiences transform into beautiful love stories, and Diomary Castillo (left), who takes audiences breath away with her energy and alluring voice. Photo credit: Pedro Bonilla
Corazón de Papel
Agua, Sol y Sereno, Santurce, Puerto Rico
A co-presentation with the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
Presented at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Wicker Park
Opens Thursday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs through October 17: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.
Corazón de Papelisa powerful new depiction of post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico told through contemporary puppetry. This 11-member, multigenerational Puerto Rican theater collective is internationally acclaimed for its deep social and human commitment and its dynamic brand of popular, experimental performances featuring colorful and iconic costumes, set pieces and “cabezudos,” or giant papier mâché heads. Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
Corazón de Papel by Puerto Rico'sAgua, Sol y Sereno is a powerful new depiction of Puerto Rico, post-Hurricane Maria, told through contemporary puppetry. Credit: George Riveron
CLATA is thrilled to return to a live, multi-week, international festival in 2021, and gratefully acknowledges generous support from The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Walder Foundation, The Arts Work Fund, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Illinois Humanities, The Shubert Foundation, a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Wintrust, Allstate, ComEd and Comcast/Xfinity.
About Destinos – the 4th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival
Now entering its fourth year, Destinos is the signature program of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), a transformative cultural engine helping drive the city’s local Latino theater community to a more prominent level.
“In Spanish, the word 'destinos' has multiple meanings: destinies, destinations or fate,” explains Myrna Salazar, Executive Director, Chicago Latino Theater Alliance. “Destinos showcases Latino theater artists from Chicago, across the U.S. and Latin America to present engaging and thought-provoking stories that transcend boundaries, amplify Latino voices, and diversify Chicago stages to encourage cross-cultural conversation.”
The first Destinos in 2017 ran five weeks, and presented 61 performances by 10 companies from Chicago, U.S. and Latin America. In 2018, the festival expanded to six weeks, with 81 performances by 14 companies, engaging approximately 10,000 people, including nearly 700 students who attended matinee performances and participated in post-show discussions with artists, directors and playwrights. Destinos returned in year three with six more weeks of highly attended, critically acclaimed local, national and international programs, with a special contingent of U.S. and international programmers brought in to view the work of Chicago’s top Latino companies. Last fall, CLATA responded to the pandemic by postponing the full festival and instead staged one of Chicago’s first outdoor public art events, Destinos al Aire, a one-night celebration of Latino theater, music and dance presented under the stars to a sold-out crowd at ChiTown Movies.
“Despite the 18-month ‘intermission’ we all just had, CLATA has remained very active behind the scenes, supporting our amazing community of Latino theater artists while planning a high-profile platform for their return to live theater this fall,” said Marty Castro, CLATA Board Chairperson and President and CEO of Casa Central. “So we are excited to announce that Destinos is back this September! We are ready to celebrate the joy and healing power of Latino theater with audiences who are hungry to reconnect with live art and the world around them.”
CLATA was founded in 2016 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization by Myrna Salazar and Chicago’s three most prominent Latino arts organizations: National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC), and Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA), with the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
CLATA’s goal is to create the country’s leading international Latino theater festival with an emphasis on showcasing Chicago Latino theater artists and companies. Additionally, CLATA provides local groups ongoing organizational, marketing and financial support, and works diligently to create a permanent home for Chicago’s Latino theater artists. Ultimately, CLATA strives to underscore Chicago’s reputation as one of the most exciting and culturally diverse theater cities in the world.