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Latino Daily News

Saturday April 28, 2012

Chicago’s All Latina Theater Teatro Luna Sets Its Sights on the Coasts: Expands to LA and New York

Chicago’s All  Latina Theater Teatro Luna Sets Its Sights on the Coasts: Expands to LA and New York

Photo: Teatro Luna

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As Chicago’s all-Latina theater company approaches its 12th anniversary and launches its new community arts center Luna Central in Chicago, it is gearing up to take big steps toward expanding its national reach. Its upcoming world premiere of Los Angeles playwright Diane Rodriguez’s new play Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way is among the most notable opportunities that lie ahead for Teatro Luna to build its presence on the East and West Coasts. Obie award winner and TCG board member Diane Rodriguez mingles sassy comedy with a thought-provoking atypical immigration drama, illuminating timely, universal issues about identity and privilege. Luna brings its unique blend of humor and honesty to this hilarious and sharp exploration of the American Dream. Rodriguez, who will also direct the play, considers herself a mentor and champion of Teatro Luna, and has made a deep commitment to nurturing Teatro Luna’s relationship with the Los Angeles theater community.

“What excites me about working with the ladies of Teatro Luna,” Rodriguez says, “is that they have been working together for eleven years and have a vocabulary, a methodology and an audience.” Teatro Luna hopes Rodriguez’s excitement will be echoed by other LA theater professionals as it lays the groundwork for a Los Angeles world premiere of an original Teatro Luna devised project in February 2014.

Teatro Luna built its relationship with Rodriguez and other nationally-acclaimed artists with its groundbreaking LUNADAS reading series, providing a high-demand outlet for Latina playwrights to have their work developed. Though Teatro Luna is still seeking funding for artist travel accommodations, they find that opportunities for Latinas are so few that many are willing to cover their own transportation costs to access the rare resources Teatro Luna provides. The Luna ladies are deeply committed to creating a national network of support for female theater artists of color, and have been honored to work with Elaine Romero, Caridad Svich, Marisela Treviño Orta, and others as a result. Three to four of the upcoming LUNADAS staged readings will feature New York based playwrights, broadening its foundation on the East Coast and setting in motion plans for a 15th Anniversary world premiere in New York in Spring 2015.

In addition to this explosion of bicoastal expansion, Teatro Luna is launching TLTV - a video series featuring comedy, interviews, music, commentary on current events, and original performances broadcast on the web nationwide, in an effort to better engage their growing community and fans they meet all around the country while on tour with their original performances.

WHAT: Living Large in A Mini Kind of Way a new play presented by TEATRO LUNA

WHO: Written & Directed by Diane Rodriguez^ Featuring: Amanda DeLaGuardia, Miranda Gonzalez*, Sandra Marquez+, Madrid St. Angelo, and Isabel Quintero.

(*Denotes Ensemble Member of Teatro Luna ** Denotes Artistic Associate of Teatro Luna +Denotes member of Actors Equity ^Member of SDC)

WHERE: Viaduct Theater 3111 N. Western Avenue - Mainstage (not Teatro Luna’s home LUNA CENTRAL 3914 N. Clark)

WHEN: Previews May 6, 3:00 & 6:00 pm May 7, 7: 30 pm May 9, 7:30pm | Opens May 10, 2012 7:30 pm OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION TO FOLLOW Runs Thursdays - Saturdays 7:30 pm Sundays at 3 & 6 pm May 10 - June 17 2012

PRESS OPENING NIGHTS: MAY 10, 2012 & MAY 11, 2012

HOW MUCH: $12-$40 available online, over the phone, and at the door, visit www.teatroluna.org to purchase or call 773.819.5862

About Diane RodriguezImage

Playright & Director of Living Large In a Mini Kind of Way, Diane Rodriguez
Schooled in activist art, Diane Rodriguez is an acclaimed American theatre artist based in Los Angeles. She has directed and developed the new work of some of the most prominent new playwrights in the last fifteen years including Nilo Cruz, Lynn Nottage, and Migdalia Cruz, among many others.

With Luis Alfaro, Rodriguez co-wrote Los Vecinos: A Play for Neighbors and The Ballad of Ginger Esparza. For ten years, she was a resident artist and Director of the Latino Theatre Initiative at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Currently, she is Associate Producer and Director of New Play Production for the Center Theatre Group. In 2007, she won an Off-Broadway OBIE Award in performance (Best Ensemble). She was awarded a NEA/TCG Early Career Director Development Award in 1998, and in 2003 as well as 2007 she was awarded a TCG/NEA New Generations Mentorship grant. She received a Directors/Choreographers Foundation Award in 1997 to support the direction of her play Los Vecinos.
About Teatro Luna
Teatro Luna is Chicago’s only all-Latina theatre dedicated to creating original devised and single-author work by Latinas that honors Latina lives and showcases the talents of Latina/Hispana artists.

Founded in 2000, Teatro Luna is dedicated to expanding the range of Latina/Hispana roles visible on the Chicago stage and beyond. Some of our most well-known work includes: Generic Latina, The Maria Chronicles, S-E-X-Oh!, Lunatic(a)s, Machos, GL2010: Not Your Generic Latina, & Crossed (Immigrant = Mexican?). TL tours colleges/universities, festivals and venues across the country with a blend of ensemble-created performances, workshops, and lectures.

Central to its mission is Teatro Luna’s commitment to nurture Latina talent and develop new plays, and this is primarily served by our ambitious Luna Labs. Additionally, our education department offers unique year-round programs to both Adult Women of Color and Youth. Teatro Luna is the country’s only Pan-Latina Theatre Company to have a physical home. Come and spend some time with the Ladies of Luna at Luna Central: An Arts Center for New & Diverse Work - 3914. N Clark St.