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En el año 2013 Cleveland Public Theatre, lanza la agrupación Teatro Publico de Cleveland, compañía de teatro latino. El elenco se reunió luego de una serie de talleres de teatro gratuitos, abiertos a la comunidad, que se ofrecieron juntamente con Centro Cultural de Arte de Cleveland Julia de Burgos. El propósito del elenco es transmitir la riqueza de la diversidad cultural de la ciudad, y dar a conocer el punto de vista de los latinos de Cleveland, a través de lo cual se pone en práctica la misión primordial de CPT: elevar la conciencia y fomentar la compasión en nuestra comunidad a través de la actuación que rompe esquemas tradicionales y los programas transformativos de educación artística.
La fundación del Teatro Publico de Cleveland fue apoyada por el programa Engaging the Future de la Cleveland Foundation. La Cleveland Foundation también apoyó a CPT a establecer un fondo de capital de innovación, que brinda un cimiento importante para el Teatro Publico y otros esfuerzos para continuar envolviendo la rica diversidad de Cleveland en el teatro.
In 2013 Cleveland Public Theatre launched Teatro Publico de Cleveland, a local Latino theatre company. The ensemble was founded through a series of free public workshops, open to community and presented in partnership with Cleveland’s Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center. The purpose of this theatre ensemble is to share the rich diversity and perspectives of the Latino-Cleveland culture to fulfill CPT’s core mission: to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing education programs.
The founding of Teatro Publico de Cleveland was supported by the Cleveland Foundation’s Engaging the Future Program. The Cleveland Foundation also helped CPT establish an innovation capital fund, which is providing significant support for Teatro Publico and other efforts to engage the rich diversity of Cleveland through theatre.
Initiated by award-winning, nationally-acclaimed director Raymond Bobgan, Teatro Publico de Cleveland plays have a distinctive quality. Many Teatro Publico productions are developed through CPT’s unique play creation and ensemble building techniques, which give voice to the participants’ stories, dreams and creativity, and result in a strong sense of ownership of the culminating performance. These play creation techniques have been developed over years of work with professional actors, adults in recovery, youth and community groups. Teatro Publico is managed by Faye Hargate.
MOMENTUM & SUCCESS
Teatro Publico’s premiere show Cuando Cierras Your Eyes (2013) and subsequent original works, A Recipe para la Vida (2014), ¿Donde Está My Home? (2015) and ¡CELEBRANDO THREE YEARS! (2016) exceeded expectations with:
- Sold out performances – and added shows, totaling over 5,000 attendees.
- Audience development – A majority of audience members were first-time theatre goers.
- Community response – Teatro Publico’s productions were acclaimed by audiences and community leaders have praised the work as filling an important need in the community.
- Lasting engagement – The 32 member performance ensemble has quickly embedded itself in the CPT arts community, regularly attending theatre arts events and participating in community meetings.
Teatro Publico’s shorter works, Los Cabazudos, Yo Sueno of Home, Vuelo del Ocean, A Dream of Estrella del Norte, Mi Nombre Es and Mariel’s List, have been featured at CPT’s annual Pandemonium fundraiser and Station Hope, a social justice-based neighborhood event serving thousands of audience members from across Northeast Ohio.
In March of 2015, Teatro Publico produced the US premiere of Mi Muñequita by Gabriel Calderón. This was the company’s first all-Spanish language production. The following year, Teatro Publico premiered another work by Calderón, Uz, El Pueblo.
In April 2017, Teatro Publico performed their third Spanish language production: the US premiere of Fabio Rubiano Orjuela’s Labio de Liebre (The Lip of the Hare), in Spanish with English subtitles, which was made possible with the support of The City of Cleveland’s Cable Television Minority Arts and Education Fund.
“Our community came out and we loved it. Sharing together and connecting to the wider community was amazing. Everyone was looking around saying—wow, I can’t believe this hasn’t happened before!”
-Blanca Salva, founding member of Teatro Publico and Executive Assistant for Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone of Ward 15
Teatro Publico is an ensemble of actors and creators with a broad range of experience, from amateur to professionally trained artists. A majority of members can trace heritage to Puerto Rico, and there is representation from other countries of origin: Mexico, Uruguay, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia and Cuba, as well as diverse educational and economic backgrounds. Plays are performed in a mixture of Spanish and English.
“Teatro Publico is helping us to forge a Cleveland Latino identity. Its impact goes well beyond the walls of the theatre to support community change and growth, socially and economically.”
-Jason Estremera, President, Young Latino Network
In the creative process, participants engage in storytelling workshops expressing their stories, family memories and legends from native countries. Through this authentic collaboration, CPT artists and community members create an original play. The impact on the ensemble of artists has been immense.
“It changed my personality. It’s a very big freedom for me and takes me out of my normal element. I really feel like [Teatro Publico] is part of who I am now.”
-Letitia Lopez, founding member and non-profit executive director of Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Centers
“When the Uruguayan economy collapsed, I came to the US. I felt totally excluded from the arts community. I thought I could never be an artist here. When I came to Teatro Publico I felt like I was eighteen again, and I realized I can contribute as an artist in this country!”
-Dante Larzabal, founding member and landscaper who moved to Cleveland in 2006
COMMITMENT & FUTURE
Teatro Publico de Cleveland is a core program of CPT, born from a significant investment of Cleveland Public Theatre and support from the Cleveland Foundation’s Engaging the Future Program. Teatro Publico de Cleveland is an integral part of CPT’s 2017/2018 season, which will include the presentation of a series of original 10 minute plays, as well as En el Tiempo de las Mariposas (In the Time of the Butterflies), based on Julia Álvarez’s novel*.
“I’m blessed to be in [Teatro Publico]. I never thought in a million years I’d actually do something this big. We are just scratching the surface. Hopefully, this is something that will continue for years.”
-Alejandro Rivera, founding member and local photographer
*IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES. Copyright © 1994 by Julia Alvarez. Published in English by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and in Spanish by Plume/Penguin. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York, NY and Lamy, NM. All rights reserved.
For more information about Teatro Publico de Cleveland:
Director of Community Ensembles