Destinos Spotlight Weekend Launches 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival This Thursday At Steppenwolf

Each fall, Destinos is a cultural high point of Chicago’s Latino Heritage Month, showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America.

By: Sep. 25, 2023
Destinos Spotlight Weekend Launches 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival This Thursday At Steppenwolf

Destinos, 6th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Chicago’s annual citywide festival showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America opens this Thursday, September 28 and runs through November 12, 2023.

Each fall, Destinos is a cultural high point of Chicago’s Latino Heritage Month, showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America. This year, the Destinos 2023 line-up includes 17 productions all new to Chicago debuting at theaters large and small throughout the city this fall, including four world premieres, one North American premiere, three U.S. premieres and five Midwest premieres. 

Following are eight new productions debuting during the first two weeks, ranging from one-night-only performances at Steppenwolf Theatre, to local productions launching multi-week runs on neighborhood storefront stages.

Small or large, Destinos performances do sell out, so Chicagoans and visitors alike are encouraged to get their tickets now to experience this diverse slate of shows playing on Chicago’s top stages throughout the fall.

Visit for tickets and information. For first notice of festival events, follow Destinos on Facebook, Instagram and Threads at @latinotheater, and sign up for CLATA’s weekly e-newsletter. 

Destinos is produced by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), and presented annually to drive Chicago’s vibrant Latino theater scene to a more prominent level locally, nationally and internationally.

Opening September 25-October 1
Destinos Spotlight Weekend
Co-presented by CLATA and Steppenwolf's Look Out Series
At Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, 1700 N. Halsted St. in Lincoln Park
September 28-October 1
Performed in English and Spanish
All shows approximately 70 minutes
Tickets: $25-$35

This year’s festival kicks off with Destinos Spotlight Weekend, four fun-filled nights of Chicago Latine artists performing four different genres: comedia, improv, música and teatro físico:

La Carne Asada 2 - The Seasoning
Presented by Vanessa Garcia Productions
Thursday, September 28 at 8 p.m.
Ages 18+

Stop by your tia Vanessa's carne asada filled with tortas, Spanish and punch lines. Everyone will be there: Your abuelita, your tio Pancho, el cutie de tu gym and el paletero. Osea, you'd be crazy if you weren't there amigis.

Ratas Gigantes!
Presented by Ratas de Dos Patas
Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m.
Ages 18+

Taking inspiration from the long running Latine TV show Sabado Gigante which was a mix of games, contests, and musical entertainment, Ratas de Dos Patas reimagines this classic show and turns it upside down by making it intersectional, feminist, and queer. Ratas Gigante! is filled with sketch, improv, audience participation, and, of course, amazing commercials all seen live. Ratas will take the audience on an incredible Gigante experience packed with laughter and nostalgic joy.

Ratas de Dos Patas are a Chicago based award winning all Latine sketch comedy and improv collective that brings audiences comedy, cultura, y corazón to elevate la comunidad.

Que Dramáticas: A Telenovela & Musical Revue
Presented by Cabaret Parodia
Saturday, September 30 at 8 p.m.
Ages 18+

A comedic musical drag parody presenting stories linked to popular telenovelas with multiple acts full of music and loads of drama. Founded in 2015 by Esteban Pantoja, Cabaret Parodia was born to expand Spanish speaking theater to the LGBTQIA+ community. Integrating top-notch Chicago Latine Drag, they present comedic musical parodies based on everyday stories. 

Scratch Night with Physical Theater Festival Chicago
Sunday, October 1 at 7 p.m.

This all-Latine Scratch Night, curated by Alice da Cunha and Raquel Torre, highlights original, contemporary, visual and physical theatre by different Chicago Latine artists.

Works include Divide & Conquer...Worker Bee's Unite! by WorkersTEATRO (Jasmin Cardenas, Isaura Martinez, Hermelinda Pruseño, Angelica Amaro, Patricia Cross and Senyah Haynes), The Audition/La Audición by Changosnakedog and Friends (Otto Anzures Dadda), Family Violence by Angel Khaytyan, Demons at the Bay by Daughter Boy (Camilla Frontain and Felipe Carrasco), The Break-up: Brainworms by Chio's Puppetry, created by Rocio "Chio" Cabrera and Owen O’Leary, and A Window with No Home by Isabella Diaz.


El Baile De Los Números
World Premiere
By Tomás Urtusastegui, directed by Karla Galván
Presented by Teatro Tariakuri, 3117 W. 63rd St. in Marquette Park
September 30-October 8
Press opening: Saturday, September 30 at 3 p.m.
Runs through October 8: Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles
60 minutes
All ages
Tickets: $25

A witch wants to get rid of all numbers, but has a change of heart when she learns that math is a beautiful subject in El Baile de los Números, a new production for family audiences featuring Teatro Tariakuri’s Los Chilpayates Youth Ensemble.

Teatro Tariakuri dance and theatre performing arts (TTPA) is a non-profit community arts organization established in Chicago in 2004 to offer children and adults from Chicago’s Marquette Park and surrounding communities affordable access to performing arts classes and professional artistic training opportunities.

Opening October 2-8

La Tía Mariela
U.S. Premiere
Presented by Sa’as Tun, Mérida, Yucátan, Mexico
Directed and Written by Conchi León
Featuring Montserrat Marañon, Maria Penella and Conchi León
Co-presented by CLATA and the National Museum of Mexican Art,
1852 W. 19th St. in Pilsen
One weekend only: October 3-5
Press opening: Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Shows Wednesday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, October 5 at 10 a.m. (student matinee)
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles
80 minutes
Ages 15+
Tickets: $25-$30

After not seeing each other for a while, three cousins are brought together by a phone call with terrible news: Tía Mariela has passed away. This play combines magical realism, the richness of oral tradition, embroidery and the dynamism and visual impact of regional music and dance of the Yucatán Peninsula. A dynamic production by Mexico's legendary Conchi León, La Tía Mariela is an explosive black comedy that is, simultaneously, a deep and introspective play about the feminine universe.

Peter Malmö

Peter Malmö
World Premiere
By Raúl Dorantes and Mark Litwicki, directed by Chad Eric Bergman
Co-presented by Colectivo El Pozo and Akvavit Theatre
At Raven Theatre Chicago, 6157 N. Clark St. in Uptown
October 5-October 29
Preview Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Press opening: Friday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Runs through October 29: Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.
Presented in English with Spanish subtitles
90 minutes
Ages 15+
Tickets: $20-$30

The reimagined story of Peter Malmö takes place in a small rundown town in rural Wisconsin, where Johnny arrives looking for his father. Johnny learns of his family’s and the town’s past, as he runs into former and new residents alike. Strap in for this “ScandiMexican tragedy,” a reinterpretation of Mexican writer Juan Rulfo’s otherwordly novel "Pedro Páramo,” that brings new light to Rolfo’s themes of death, desolation and rebirth.

Peter Malmö is presented in association with Colective el Pozo and Akvavit Theatre. Since its inception in 2009, Colectivo El Pozo has expanded theatrical opportunities for Chicago artists interested in developing Spanish- language theater within the broader scope of immigration. Akvavit Theatre is a Chicago company with a focus on Nordic and Scandinavian works.

The American Dream
World Premiere
By Juan Ramirez, Jr., directed by Omar Vicente Fernandez
Presented by Subtext Studio Theatre Company 
At Madison Street Theater, 1010 Madison St. in Oak Park
October 5-29
Previews: Thursday and Friday, October 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Press opening: Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Through October 29: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Presented in English with Spanish subtitles
Runs approximately 75 minutes
Ages 15+
Tickets: $22-$30

Corina is a Guatemalan immigrant who has smuggled her way across the border guided by her coyote Efren. Instead of finding freedom, she finds herself imprisoned by her human smuggler, who now holds her inside a safe house, awaiting final payment from her husband. Set in the last hour and twenty minutes, Corina begs for her freedom. But letting her go is against everything Efren stands for.

American Dream is written by Juan Ramirez, Jr. It was selected for the New American Voices Play Reading Series at The Landing Theatre in Houston, was part of the inaugural Broadway Bound Theatre Festival at the 14th Street Y, and was a semifinalist for Stage Left Theatre’s 2016 Downstage Left residency.

This world premiere is directed by Omar Vicente Fernandez, a Mexican American theater artist, born in Berwyn, a former staff member at 16th Street Theatre, and co-founder of Subtext Studio. In 2022, he joined forces with Dragonfly Theatre Company’s Jean Gottlieb to create Subtext Studio Theatre Company.

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