Chicago International Latino Theater Fest, Brings Blood, Passion, Transgender Issues To Chicago's Stages

Chicago International Latino Theater Fest, Brings Blood, Passion, Transgender Issues To Chicago's StagesFour wildly diverse live theater productions from Mexico, Argentina and Los Angeles - never before seen in Chicago - will all debut during week three of DESTINOS - the 2nd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, presented by CLATA, the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance:
?Mendoza (U.S. Premiere)

Los Colochos Teatro, via Mexico City, brings the U.S. premiere of Mendoza, a radical reimagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth, to The Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., in a co-presentation with CLATA. This riveting tale of ambition, blood and power runs October 3-7: Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25-$32/$20 students. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 443-3800. Please note: this production features a live chicken on stage.

This work is intended for mature audiences. Audiences 21 and over receive a free Corona Extra with their ticket.

Returning to camp one night, General Mendoza stumbles across a prophetic witch who claims that he will lead the army. Spurred into action by his wife, he begins a seemingly endless chain of grisly murders. This thrilling, fast-paced and blood-soaked ensemble production is inspired by the work of iconic Mexican writers like Juan Rulfo (Pedro Páramo) and Elena Garro, and interwoven with Mexican history-set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and evocative of the gruesome events that exploded into the world's consciousness with the 2014 Ayotzinapa massacre.

Mendoza is adapted by Antonio Zúñiga and Juan Carrillo, and directed by Carrillo. Los Colochos Teatro, a six-year-old company based in Mexico City, is comprised of professional performers committed to a quality, critical and national theater. Mendoza is presented in Spanish with English supertitles.

An American Odyssey (Midwest Premiere)

An American Odyssey, starring Culture Clash, L.A.'s award-winning Chicano kings of comedy, is a character study of real people and true stories from the shadows, borders and badlands of America. Insightful, darkly hilarious and full of heart, this timely co-presentation between CLATA and Victory Gardens Theater runs October 4-7 in the Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For tickets and information, visit or call (773) 871-3000.

For more than 30 years the dedicated performance trio Culture Clash - Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenz - has tirelessly scoured the jails, detention centers, churches, mosques and the streets to fully understand and dimensionalize the human drama and joy of those who exist in the margins of the mainstream. Culture Clash dives into gender, race and class with the skills of veteran ethnographers - yet this is no classroom but rather a pulsating living heater of our complex times.

Quiero Decir Te Amo / I Want to Say I Love You is a drama from Argentina's Humo Negro about a car accident and a chance encounter that leads to a series of love letters and an unexpected romance. This North American premiere, presented by CLATA as part of Steppenwolf's LookOut Series, runs October 4-7 at Steppenwolf's 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 335-1650.

A young woman falls in love with a man she sees in a random car accident. She begins to write him love letters, but his wife receives them and is inspired by them to write in her diary. Quiero Decir Te Amo is a play about two women who find romantic refuge in the written word. These women have to decide if this refuge is the world they want to live in, and if their "real world" is ready for love.

Quiero Decir Te Amo is written by playwright Mariano Tenconi Blanco, directed by Juan Parodi, and stars Jorgelina Balsa and Maria Nidia Casis. Humo Negro was born in San Martin de los Andes, Argentina and has grown to international renown. This production is presented in Spanish with English supertitles.

La Prietty Guoman / Pretty Woman via Teatro de la Ciudad Cabaret in Mexico City is a cabaret style narration of the life of an exuberant, brown, indigenous transgender woman who is a fan of the film Pretty Woman. La Prietty Guoman runs Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St. in Pilsen, in a co-presentation with CLATA. Tickets are $25/$20 students and seniors. For tickets and information, visit

Based on the story of a transgender woman, written and directed by César Enríquez, ?La Prietty Guoman explores the catharsis, discrimination and social intolerance that we all live in the struggle for our right to be different. A show that faces the wave of violence provoked by the discrimination brought to the stage with a playful voice, full of hilarity and bravery built from the dissidence of the cabaret and the sharp political humor that empowers minority groups to be seen and heard in these times.
César Enríquez is an actor, director and dramaturg, considered one of Mexico's leading cabaret artists. La Prietty Guoman is performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

DESTINOS - the 2nd Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, is the signature program of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), a transformative cultural engine helping drive the city's local Latino theater community to a more prominent level.

The second annual DESTINOS festival, running September 20-November 4, 2018, brings together top Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and around Latin America for seven weeks of shows, panels and student performances. This year's DESTINOS celebrates Latino theater artists and companies from the host city, Chicago, alongside artists from Dallas, Los Angeles, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Performances are staged in venues throughout the city, from Chicago's marquee live theaters, to intimate stages and cultural institutions in predominantly Latino neighborhoods.

Visit the DESTINOS website,, for the full festival schedule including free roundtable discussions that will address the current state of contemporary Latino theater, in a time when cross-cultural understanding has never been more important. Or, follow DESTINOS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to receive first notice of all festival events.

The second annual DESTINOS 2018 festival is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Field Foundation of Illinois, The Joyce Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Humanities, Southwest Airlines, Allstate, ComEd, Wintrust Bank, Corona Extra and Univision Chicago. For more information, visit or call (312) 631-3112.

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram