Audience is essential in my field of work. If Theatre did not have an audience in any capacity then it would completely cease to exist. With Theatre being arguably one of the most human of art forms it clearly causes some kind of emotional reaction when an audience witnesses people on stage (or anywhere for that matter, since site-specific theatre is a growing trend). Yet if I, as a Theatre artist, do not find ways for audiences to converse about a play or to inform them or do not allow them to see some aspect of themselves on stage in any manner, then my work is not being effective. I want to personalize the metaphor of Theatre functioning as a mirror where they can see themselves as well as the human experience on stage.
Earlier this year, I was able to share one of my dreams at a town-hall meeting which was facilitated by ALTA Chicago (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists). Below is an excerpt from the Facebook post describing what took place on that historic day:
“On January 11, 2014, approximately 45 Latino Theatre makers gathered at Victory Gardens Theatre in Lincoln Park to address the state of Latina/o theatre in the windy city. For about five hours, the cross-generational group shared experiences, addressed concerns, and identified strengths and weaknesses within the Chicago Latino Theatre community. Tamales and pan dulce were enjoyed by all, but most importantly, a community was strengthened and a passion was rejuvinated.
To conclude the Town Hall meeting, ALTA co-founders Tanya Saracho and Ricardo Gutierrez led the group through a closing ritual where each participant wrote down a dream of theirs on a piece of paper, read it aloud, and dropped in a “dream box.”
These are the dreams of Chicago Latina/o Theatre makers. These are the dreams of a life to come.”
In the dream box, I said I want “Chicago Latino Theatre-makers to paint the town rojo and to tell our stories from all walks of life. For Latinos to reimagine the American dramatic narrative.” which ultimately gives my multi-faceted identity as an artist, a strong tool to affect any audience.
For more information about ALTA Chicago, check out their official website here!