Thursday, October 25, 2007

Teatro Luna --Bright, Bright Light

Teatro Luna was founded in June 2000 by Coya Paz and Tanya Saracho, with an original ensemble of ten women from diverse Latina/Hispana backgrounds. They came together because they realized that the stories and experiences of Latina/Hispana women were undervalued and underrepresented not only on the Chicago stage, but beyond. Many of them had similar experiences of being asked to perform stereotyped images of that were often one-dimensional and, at times, offensive: spicy sexpots, voiceless maids, pregnant gangbangers, timid "illegal" immigrants, etc. They were also concerned that the few parts written for Latina women often went to non-Latina actresses. They felt that they had to do something. Their answer was Teatro Luna, Chicago's first and only all-Latina theater.

En el Futuro, they plan to perform published pieces and original works by new and established Playwrights along with their own original works. Teatro Luna is constantly looking for new works written by Latinas/Hispanas or about Latina/Hispana women.

If you'd like to make a submission, send a copy of your script to Reading Series Director, Teatro Luna, 5215 N. Ravenswood, Suite #210, Chicago, IL 60640 or email her at
They look forward to nurturing la voz de la mujer Latina inside their artistic home, to giving Latina/Hispanas of all backgrounds an opportunity to tell their story.

In the meantime, a large percentage of their energia is spent on creating original pieces, developed by the ensemble. This has prompted the creation of the "Teatro Luna Developement Process." Poco a poco, the ensemble developed its own vocabulary and artistic vision which improves with every project. The ever changing process is described below. Ensemble members share stories, memories, ideas and thoughts with each other in a brainstorming session.

Members then bring in written stories, monologues, or more specific research to propose specific ideas for pieces.

During workshop/rehearsal, members divide into smaller groups (2-4 people) and experiment with adding movement, chorus, additional characters and other stylistic devices to the stories. The responsibility of these smaller groups is to find two or more dramatically different approaches to present the idea/story.

Versions of the story are "presented" or "pitched" to the rest of the ensemble, who critique and comment on the proposal. Often, different actresses will "try on" the same role to further expand and explore the possibilities of the subject and style of the piece.

Once the ensemble has chosen a "format", the scene is improvised several times (with the game of "character musical chairs" described above). The women who are watching write down character traits, story concept and themes, and any dialogue that stands out (at times particularly lively workshops have been videotaped).

5 The scenes are then scripted by an ensemble member and presented to the group in an "official" version.

6 Creating doesn't stop there. The rehearsal process remains open. Although actors work from the script in a relatively traditional manner, the entire process involves on-going discussion and collaboration from the ensemble. A couple of times, a finished scene or two were not finalized until a few hours before opening.

7 This is the "official" teatro luna process when developing original works, but they continue to refine and expand it to fit their needs, practicing our techniques in on-going workshops that include both established Teatro Luna members and newer Artistic Associates and Friends.


COYA PAZ (co-founder/co-Artistic Director) was raised in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia, and Brazil, and moved permanently to the United States in the late 1980's. She is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, where she also holds her MA. She has collaborated with Teatro Luna on all of our ensemble built projects (Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte/Let Me Tell You, The Maria Chronicles and S-E-X-Oh!) Additional Chicago acting credits include Impassioned Embraces, Etta Jenks, Death of a Salesman and Baby Boom En El Paraiso.

Directing credits include The Maria Chronicles and S-e-x-Oh! (with Tanya Saracho), The Drag King Rooftop Karaoke Hootchie Cootchie No Name Show and Musical Latin Extravaganza (with Michelle Campbell), Diane Herrera's The Dress and Marisabel Suarez's Three Days (part of Teatro Luna's Sólo Latinas Project). She has appeared in numerous independent film and performance projects, and enjoys singing in the shower. Coya is a contributor to the Oxford University Encyclopedia of Latino/as in the United States, and is committed to using performance as a strategy for social and individual change.

TANYA SARACHO (cofounder/co_Artistic Director) is a proud Co-Founder of TEATRO LUNA: Chicago's All-Latina Theater Ensemble and a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. She was born in Sinaloa, Mexico and moved to Texas in the late 80's. Saracho attended Boston University where three of her plays, Miss Norma and the Alligator, Maya Takes a Moonbath and La Dueña, received Premiers. Tanya has studied writing with Maria Irene Fornes (Latin Am. Writers Retreat), Derek Wolcott, Kate Snodgrass and Claudia Allen. In Chicago, La Dueña received a staged reading at the Tony-Award-winning, Victory Gardens Theatre. Also while in Chicago, her writing has been featured in all of Teatro Luna's ensemble-built works including Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, SOLO Latinas and S-E-X-Oh! Saracho's play Kita y Fernanda received a full production at Luna in early 2003, along with a reading at Repertorio Español while a finalist for the 2003 Nuestras Voces playwrighting competition. Other Awards include: The Ofner Prize given by the Goodman Theatre and Christopher B. Wolk Award at Abingdon Theatre in NYC (finalist).

Directing (and co-directing) credits include: The remount of Generic Latina, Piece of Ass for Estrogenfest and The Maria Chronicles for both the Goodman's Latino Theater Festival and the critically acclaimed full-length run at Teatro Luna, S-e-x-Oh!, Que Bonita Bandera and Three Days for SÓLO Latinas, and the upcoming Knowhatimean written by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval.

Chicago acting credits include: Sandra in Living Out with American Theatre Co./Teatro Vista, Vecina in Electricidad at the Goodman Theatre, The Angel in Angels in America, and Martirio in La Casa De Bernarda Alba with Aguijon Theater. In the winter of 2005, Saracho premiered her solo play To Red Stick at Chicago Dramatists, in Teatro Luna's critically acclaimed evening of solo work, SÓLO Latinas, which was later remounted in the 2005 Theatre-On-The-Lake Season. Tanya's voice can be heard around the country in many radio and television commercials.

DANA CRUZ (artistic ensemble) loves the ladies de Teatro Luna and is excited to team up with them. Recent Chicago credits include the Let the Eagle Fly at the Goodman's Latino Theater Festival, Maria Chronicles, and S-E-X-Oh! with Teatro Luna and Generic Latina with the touring company Teatro Luna... Anda, CityGirl & Game/Place/Show with the Neofuturists and Acts of Mercy by John Michael Garces with Flushpuppy Productions to name a few. She has performed professionally with companies in Chicago, New York and Boston and is currently teaching theater at Our Lady of Tepeyac High School and working as a massage therapist in Evanston, IL. She is an Aries. She hates talking about herself in the third person and is oh so excited to be marrying the T-man on June 2005.

MIRANDA GONZALEZ (artistic ensemble/touring director) is an original founding member of Luna. Teatro Luna credits include the original production of Generic Latina, Probadita, Mas Probadita, both the New York and Chicago mountings of Dejame Contarte, SOLO Latinas and S-E-X-Oh! She has appeared in numerous industrials and commercials in the midwest, as well as the dearly departed Joan Cusack television series What About Joan? where she played a recurring role. Miranda is a loan officer and mother by day, and a Lunatica by night.

suzette MAYOBRE(artistic ensemble) comes to us from the sunny state of Florida, where after a life of sun and fun, she decided to move to the bitter cold of Chicago! Fortunately, she met the wonderful ladies of Teatro Luna, who have made the transition easier and have provided her with numerous opportunities to nurture her art. Her roots in entertainment were planted while at the University of Miami, where she co-hosted a live, weekly morning show, worked at the university radio station, and produced a feature-length documentary entitled Last Night In Cuba, which she holds very dear to her heart. After receiving her degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Miami, she decided that she wanted to pursue her acting. She has worked on several commercials, industrials, voice overs, independent films and television, most recently as a guest reporter for Control, a Univision Network program. Her theater credits includes work with Teatro Luna, Teatro Vista, Salsation! and Eclipse Theatre among others.

maritza Cervantes (artistic ensemble) is a Mexican-American actress/musician/artist born and raised in Chicago. Past credits include: Al son..que me toques Lorca La Molecula Artistica: Nido del Mar, La Casa De Bernarda Alba, Aguijon Theatre, Polaroid Stories, En Mortem Flush Puppy Productions, and S-E-X-Oh! with Teatro Luna. Maritza is Co-founder of the acoustic/hip-hop/soul influenced musical outfit the LUNA BLUES MACHINE.

yadira CORREA (artistic ensemble) Crazy curly haired Puertorican who's acting credits include: Vagina Monologues, For Colored Girls/Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough, María Chronicles, Sketchbook and S-E-X-Oh!


November - December 2007 at the Chicago Dramatists Teatro Luna is doing WHAT???? This fall, presentamos A new play by Teatro Luna.

MACHOS: Be a Man?...
Men. Women. Women dressed as men. Teatro Luna, Chicago's All-Latina Theater Company, announces the world premiere of MACHOS, an interview based play about contemporary masculinities. In 2006, frustrated with boyfriends, brothers, and bosses, the company of Latina women set out to answer the question: what are men really thinking?

The result is MACHOS, a performance drawn from interviews with 50 men nationwide and performed by an all-Latina cast in drag. From a young man's relationship with his correctional officer father to man cheating on his wife with himself, to an epic confrontation between fraternity brothers, MACHOS presents a range of true-life stories with Teatro Luna's trademark humor and unique Latina point of view.

MACHOS follows the critically acclaimed shows S-E-X-OH and LUNATIC(A)S and moves beyond the everyday stereotypes of gender, offering a complex look at how 50 men (and eight Latina women) learned how to be men. As always, Teatro Luna is cheeky, straightforward, and willing to ask even the most hard hitting questions: exactly how did you learn to use a urinal? MACHOS is presented In English with a sprinkle of Spanish.

Developed and directed by Coya Paz . Created by El Teatro Luna. Coya Paz is the Co-Artistic Director of Teatro Luna, and was named one of UR Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2005 and one of GO NYC! Magazine's 100 Women We Love in 2007. She was the 2006-2007 Artist-In-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. Previous collaborations with Teatro Luna include Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, and S-e-x-Oh!

Chicago Dramatists 1105 W Chicago Ave Chicago, Il 60622 Previews: November 5, 6, 7 @ 7:00 pm Runs: November 8th 0 December 16th 2007 Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 7:30 pm & Sundays at 6:00 pm

For more information, please call 773-878-LUNA
or email us at:


Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore

A Sentence with the District
A compelling collection of essays based on the actual experience of a former at-risk youth who became an inspired teacher at his alma mater high school in the San Fernando Valley. The stories reveal a moving glimpse into LAUSD, the nation's second largest school district, which repeatedly fails students of color and those on the front lines -- classroom teachers. The author sheds insight from a first person point of view that others, including administrators, dare not mention. In its frank and passionate tone, the book raises key issues that underscore a dire need for change.

SATURDAY Oct. 27th at 1p.m.
Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore
10258 Foothill Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, California 91342

Celebrate with Amigas Latinas!


November 3, Saturday

¡Siempre Latina!
Gala Dinner

Garden Manor

4722 W. Armitage
Chicago, IL
$60 advance
$70 at door


1010 W. 18 Street Chicago, IL
312 563 0132

Early to Bed
5232 N. Sheridan Rd. Chicago, IL
773 271 1219

Lisa Alvarado


Anonymous said...

Why is Teatro Luna sexist? I thought we were about latina/o and chicana/o. How are they serving the entire community?

Lisa Alvarado said...

I'm not in agreement that Teatro Luna is sexist. I think that there is much to consider regarding how sexual identity is constructed v. what's 'natural.'

Anytime someone pushes the envelope and makes us ask questions about who we are and why we behave like we do, is at least for me, doing important work for the community-at- large.

MACHOS is based on interview with men who were clear that their real life revelations would be used for the piece.