By Dr. Jorge Huerta
University of California, San Diego
Twenty-five years! It is hard to believe that this wonderful company has actually been around that long. But they have. Creating, building communities, laughing at themselves as they made us laugh and cry with them. Su Teatro is truly unique in this country as a professional theatre company that is community-based, maintaining its own beautiful theater center. It is the third oldest Chicano Teatro in the country, and has produced more original works than any other teatro. From classes and workshops the company offers for children and adults, to the finely polished productions each season, Su Teatro is a model for any group that wants to follow the path that Chicano theatre paved long ago: to educate and entertain. And to do so with pride and dignity, content in the fact that have a truly loyal following.
I have seen the audience in the Teatro’s wonderful auditorium, as well as in its outdoor summer events. Through rain or shine, the audience was there, eager to see what the company has for them this time. Will it be a carpa or a melodrama? A children’s play or an adult drama about secrets few families wish to reveal? Or perhaps a multi-media event? With all their programming hanks to Artistic Director, Tony García’s global vision, the group brings live theatre, music and other performing and visual arts to its audiences, challenging them to demand only the bet. And they do. Which is why you are a part of this celebration today.
Contemporary Teatro Chicano began in 1965 as a movement of untrained, politically motivated young Chicanos and Chicanas, intent on spreading a sense of pride, history, and dignity among La Raza. From the first actos by El Teatro Campesino, to the many other themes and forms expressed by the many teatristas, playwrights and teatros throughout the U.S., Chicano theatre has served a real need in its communities. Su Teatro has taken that legacy and made it yours. Yours to saborear, yours to think about, yours to feel free to criticize, for you to only want the best for your community. que no? and Su Teatro is the best.
I do not have to tell you that Su Teatro is familia with and I salute the many members and supporters of your family on this, your collective twenty-fifth anniversary. I am honored to have watched this family as it grew, evolved, and became the dedicated group that it is. From the administrative and artistic staff to the volunteers, to the audiences, you deserve a great big abrazo for giving the country a national treasure. May Su Teatro live four times twenty five more years!