Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Presents Chicano Classic Comedy PETRA'S PECADO

Petra's Pecado is scheduled for six performances at the historic Guadalupe Theater from December 8 to 17.

By: Nov. 15, 2023

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Presents Chicano Classic Comedy PETRA'S PECADO The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Theater Arts Program will present the Chicano classic comedy Petra's Pecado written by Rupert Reyes and directed by Rodney Garza. Petra's Pecado is scheduled for six performances at the historic Guadalupe Theater from December 8 to 17.  Friday and Saturday showtimes are 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. 


In the rural town of Las Flores, Texas, Petra Dominguez's small tortilla factory is threatened by competitive businesswoman Tina Tamayo and her repeated underhanded and devious efforts to run her out of business. To boost morale, Petra takes advantage of a one-month free cable offer for the employee break room only to stumble onto an X-rated sight she feels she must seek confession for. When the priest hears Petra's confession, he sees an opportunity to combine her penance with a scheme to increase participation at the church. 


For her penance, Petra must direct the annual play commemorating the appearance of La Virgen de Guadalupe to Juan Diego. Having directed the play for years, Tina Tamayo hates the change and sees this as a personal cross she refuses to bear. Petra's inexperience, mixed with the loyalty of her senior citizen friends and Tina's mischief, leads to almost certain disaster. Through a series of "miracles" Petra and her friends begin to find strength in themselves and each other. Who will triumph in the end? 


“We, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, premiered Rupert Reyes' Petra's Pecado in the fall of 1995 to sold-out performances,” according to Jorge Piña, GCAC Theater Arts Program Director. “It was such a big hit for us and the community that we presented this comedy as ‘Back-By-Popular-Demand' the following March 1996 to 19 sold-out performances.” Petra's Pecado has now become a Chicano classic comedy that has been presented at numerous theater companies throughout the country and has a special meaning during the Christmas Holidays, especially during Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe on December 12th.  


Director Rodney Garza says of the show, “It feels like I'm returning to the GCAC for a family reunion. Not only do I get to work again with some of the original creatives from 1995-96, but I also get to work with long-time San Antonio friends who are new to this production. And as a bonus, I get to revisit with Rupert's wonderful characters from Las Flores, which have become like ‘familia' to me from the years of working on Petra's productions. I hope this reunion also extends to those audience members who have requested Petra's return.” 


Tickets for Petra's Pecado are $15 general admission and are available at or by calling 210-271-3151 ext 250. Patrons can also visit the Guadalupe Latino Bookstore, 1300 Guadalupe St., Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to purchase tickets. 


This event is sponsored by the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture, a generous grant from the National Latinx Theater Initiative. A reception honoring the playwright & director will follow the Sunday, December 10th performance and is sponsored by Trinity University. 


Rodney Garza is an actor, director, writer, designer, and teaching artist who resides in Moreno Valley, CA. Most recently seen as Viejo Antonio in the touring version of Crystal City 1969, he's collaborated with Cara Mia Theatre since 2005 and has done 24 productions for the company. His next acting project for Cara Mia, in collaboration with Soul Rep Theatre will be Jaime Chabaud's Yanga from January to February 2024 at the Latino Cultural Arts Center in Dallas. 


Garza was the original director of Petra's Pecado when it premiered at the Guadalupe Theater in 1995 to sell-out success. Since then, he has directed seven productions of Petra's Pecado around the state of Texas. Other productions which he has directed include Petra's Sueno, Zoot Suit, I am Joaquin, School of the Americas, I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges, La Victima, Latins Anonymous, Watsonville: Some Place Not Here, A Pueblo Christmas, and Los Duendes. 


He was also the founding artistic director of Teatro Humanidad Cansada (Austin), as well as a founding member of the sketch comedy troupes Chicano Inteligencia Agencia and Latino Comedy Project. On occasion, he dabbles in spoken word and was part of the politically poignant duo Peace Posse. He was the producer/host for a weekly bilingual radio program called “Pieces of Peace”/“Piezas de Paz.” 


Rupert Reyes is a playwright, actor, director, producer and founder of Teatro Vivo, Austin, Texas, with his partner, JoAnn Reyes. Reyes graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Theater with a certification in Theater Education. His interest in theater education and writing has not diminished as he continues to provide playwriting workshops in area elementary schools. His work in the summers of 2013 and 2015 led to original works based on Guatemalan folk tales performed by Guatemalan children.  


Reyes has co-written an original interpretation of the Cinderella story, Cenicienta with Caroline Reck of Glass Half Full Theater and ZACH Theater in Austin, Texas. This production garnered him a best new play award from the 2015 Critics Table Awards and recently was selected to represent Austin at the 2019 Sin Fronteras Festival, international convening of Theater for Youth, sponsored by Latinx Theater Commons and The University of Texas. It has been touring the United States for two years now. The tour included a residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 


Reyes has received recognition from Austin Community College as one of the Top 25 most influential people in Austin, the Mexican-American Cultural Center's Community Artists Award, The City of Austin's Partners in the Arts and Humanity Award, The University of Texas at Austin, Office of Community Engagement Office, Community Leadership Award and has received numerous nominations from both the Critics Table Awards and The B. Iden Payne awards in acting, writing, and producing.  


The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center was founded in 1980 as a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary organization. Located in the heart of San Antonio's westside, the Guadalupe is one of the largest community-based organizations in the US with the mission to cultivate, promote and preserve traditional and contemporary Chicano, Latino and Native American arts and culture through multidisciplinary programming.