LOOKING FORWARD: Top 10 Shows We're Excited To See in 2017
Hannah Gomez is a Freelance Actor, and Outreach and Membership Co-Manager of ALTA. She enthusiastically endorses all the choices others have contributed to TCIP and so she adapted this assignment to be "10(+) Latinx-Inclusive Works to Look Forward to in 2017".
It is important to note that she wrote this in a British dialect so you know it's legit. These are not in any particular order!
* American Theater Co. - MEN ON BOATS
A genderfluid and inclusive cast of women and folx otherwise defined doing a Jaclyn Backhaus work (YOTMN still has my heart.) directed by THE Will Davis in the historic ATC space. A summary like this shouldn't be unique, but given the foot-dragging that some theaters are prone to in regards to not-secret best practice, this is an important and exciting work with top talent that is not to be missed.
* Anything Aguijon Theater
* & Colectivo El Pozo produce.
These companies don't follow traditional seasons so we don't know what they're doing until this spring and summer, but if you don't know who they are, you are already failing the Chicago theater community. Follow and favorite them on Facebook right now. Some of the best storytelling in all aspects is happening on these stages and your life will be changed. I do not exaggerate. The directing, the writing, the acting, the design puts all of your other favorite theaters to shame. Don't worry; both companies have supertitles if you are intimidated by Spanish (But also, why? Whhhhhyyyyy? WHYYYY are you intimidated by Spanish??? In a public statement, please write me why you are intimidated by Spanish, awards committees and theater critics. WHY?) Go like them on Facebook now. I'll wait. And I will ask you when I see you. And I WILL be loud about it.
* Teatro Vista - THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE BLOCK
Ike Holter is one of Chicago's most important writers. He is writing for the NOW and for the ALL to hear. No one else is writing characters like these with such humor, bravery, complexity, and vulnerability. This cast is on fire and we must all bear witness to what will happen on that stage. Also, La Havana Madrid will be equally exciting! Gender, race, and sexual identity inclusion always leads to better play
* Cor/Stage Left - WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
The team that these companies have assembled on and off stage and the history this company has for inclusive and relevant work and programming deserves our attendance and attention. I trust the talent they've assembled on all sides to make Fornes' work come to life.
* Victory Gardens - NATIVE GARDENS
I could not be more thrilled to see this work that will explore entitlement among other things. It's being done by a great theater with one of the most important overall seasons of the city. Karen Zacarias' work is also being produced at Vision Latino Theater Company with JUST LIKE US, which will surely be very different, but another valuable discussion on the privilege spectrum and the factors that affect it.
* UrbanTheater Company - LA GRINGA (Extension)
I missed this show's initial run, but we cannot miss this extension. UTC's current show explores Latinx identity when you're American born and raised and you visit the Latin American nationality abroad that you identify so
strongly with. It's extended for the talent and execution, of course. But also, this is a topic that is ongoing as identity becomes more complicated and those in the in-between still seek to identify themselves.
* Free Street Theater - NO HAY MAL: A New Solo Show from Storyteller Lily Be
This solo show is going to be the hottest solo show ticket in town so do. not. miss. it. For your social status, sure, but for your soul, more
importantly. Free Street lifts up the vital voices that you can no longer ethically ignore in favor of a higher cost theater ticket downtown.
* Second City - REVOLUCION
Miguel Lepe, Jr. and Vernon Mina (two talented
and reputable comedians in their own right) have been curating stand-up, sketch, storytellers, musicians and more for a show that I plan to see it in its next iteration. I hope in the new year, we can all come together to support comedy artists and vise versa as important things are being said on all sides and it's all theater, really. The things we can gain and exchange with our fellow artists can only empower us all. Our struggles and triumphs are not dissimilar! Support these folx!
* iO - HERALDO
Did you know there are improv teams in Spanish? And it's not just for Spanish-speaking audiences? TRUTH. And you can not know Spanish and go to and enjoy and understand a Spanish speaking show. What? YES. The comedy industry at large may have a LONG way to go regarding representation (Retire, Lorne Michaels.), but maybe if we start supporting talented and amazing groups like this, things will change dollar and laugher by dollar and laugher.