Latino theater company celebrates 20 years

October 11, 2010 (CHICAGO)

ABC 7's Theresa Gutierrez took a look behind the curtain to preview their new performance called "26 Miles."

Teatro Vista is kicking off the milestone season for the Midwest premier of Tony Award winner Quiara Alegria Hudes' road trip.

An '83 Buick Regal may be an unlikely place to find out what family really means, but when Beatriz, a fiery Cuban mother with a warm heart, and her estranged 15-year-old Jewish daughter Olivia depart at midnight for a cross country road trip, neither is prepared for what lies ahead.

"It is a play that has to do about a mother and a daughter's journey and their ability to get to know each other, because they have been separated in the past. The mother is Cuban and the daughter is white," said Edward Torres, executive artistic director of Teatro Vista.

For 20 years, Teatro Vista has been in the forefront of the Latina theatre movement in the United States, building its reputation by sharing provocative Latino stories that reveal the power and frailty of our humanity.

"We have evolved into a global, multi-cultural company that deals with stories about Latinos here in the United States. What makes this group special is that it is a group of multi-cultural people that come together to tell stories that affect people," said Torres.

Teatro Vista was founded 20 years ago because there were no roles for Latinos. Now they have arrived and have been nominated for seven Jeff Awards.

"We started to be more of a voice for the community…then there was a time we could not get work in other companies. Now...those opportunities have been created," Torres said.

Today Teatro Vista is Chicago's largest non-profit equity Latino theater company producing full scale, Latino-oriented, theatrical productions in English. The company was recently in New York and won rave reviews for its work along with a number of other recognitions and awards.

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