The Resistance Was Never So Funny
La Carpa Aztlan Presents: I Don’t Speak English Only, a Su Teatro classic, that predicted and challenged a dying monocultural world to “go ahead and die” rises from the past to offer hope and laughter. La Carpa imagines a future world where all diversity is prohibited and any expression of the other has been forced underground. The play with music is based on the Mexican “tent show” tradition which emerged during the 1920-30s in small towns across the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Carpas were viewed by the establishment as “lower class” entertainment, but the working-class audiences embraced and loved the performances presented in their communities. Some of Mexico’s greatest performers came out of the “carpa” tradition including the man whom Charlie Chaplin called “the world’s greatest comedian,” Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas.
The idea for Su Teatro’s Carpa was a result of the political events in the early 1990s including “English Only” legislation, police brutality cases, and banning of books in schools. Created collectively by actors in the Su Teatro company in 1994 (Debra Gallegos, Manuel Roybal Sr., Sherry Coca-Candelaria, Angela Manzanares, Jose Mercado and Robert Mares) along with guest artist Jose Guadalupe Saucedo and written by Anthony J. Garcia, La Carpa Aztlan Presents: I Don’t Speak English Only, has become one of the most memorable and comedic productions in Su Teatro’s repertoire. Filled with music and laughter, the play jumps between razor sharp political comedy and dramatic reminders of the cultural and economic schisms we face in our country.
Su Teatro’s Work Continues
For over 40 years, Su Teatro has been one of the many voices in the Southwest that has called for justice, equality, and self-determination. This season’s productions will continue to bring our audiences that message. Tony Garcia, Artistic Director and Playwright recently said, “Su Teatro has been persistent in our resistance to the loss of our culture, language and history. Each generation of artists performing with Su Teatro brings a renewed commitment to speaking truth to power.
Our new cast for La Carpa will bring new life to the play using their own unique perspectives to their roles. I’m excited to work with them in this production.”
Tickets are on sale now, prices are $20 general admission and $17 students and seniors, with special group rates available. Call (303) 296-0219 or www.suteatro.org.
La Carpa Aztlan Presents: I Don’t Speak English Only, written and directed by Anthony J. Garcia, will run October 12 through October 28, 2017. Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30, with one matinee performance on October 28th at 2pm.