Deep Ellum is known for its murals, live music and galleries, and it’s worth noting it’s also home to the largest Latinx theatre in the state of Texas.
Cara Mía Theatre just celebrated 25 years of its work, which has made it become a cultural resource both locally and nationally.
The theatre creates plays about the Latino experience in the United States, something it has done since its beginning when co-founder Eliberto Gonzalez believed Chicano literature and its writers needed access to the general public.
“I think people are going to see stories about the issues that everyday people are dealing with and how it relates to larger dynamics, such as electoral politics… immigration reform … or the experience of youth who are crossing the border and creating a life here,” says David Lozano, Cara Mía’s executive artistic director. “People are going to see very human stories.”
One such story will be shared Nov. 26 through Dec. 18, with the production of Crystal City 1969, written by Lozano and Paul Treviño and directed by Lozano.
“Inspired by a little-known event in Texas history, Crystal City 1969 is based on the true story of Mexican-American students in south Texas who walked out of their school and into civil rights history. Crystal City became an example of American Democracy at its best,” according to Cara Mía’s website.
A scene from Crystal City 1969
During this run time, the theatre will have student leadership workshops, and Somos Tejas will be registering voters every night. This all fits in with the theatre company’s three pillars: engage people to uplift their communities through LatinX theatre, offer student experiences and spur community action.
In February, they’ll open a play they wrote about 17 years ago: To Die:Go In Leaves, by Frida Kahlo, a production inspired by Kahlo’s paintings and life story.
The final play of the season will be one primarily in Spanish (with English supertitles) and is a product of a collaboration with the Laboratorio de la Mascara (the Mask Laboratory).
“It’s about a teenager who experiences the arduous journey of crossing the border, and they’re struggling to find their place as a teenager in the United States,” Lozano says. “ It’s very abstract, it leaves a lot for interpretation: We had a workshop before as a trial run, people really enjoyed it because they had so many interpretations.”
Cara Mía may be a quarter of a century old, but it just started its second fall season as official residents of the Latino Cultural Center, where Teatro Dallas is also a resident theater. At the LCC, Cara Mía also has a strong focus on youth, offering classes and residencies at schools, museums and cultural and community centers, student matinees and youth nights at the theatre.
Cara Mía continues to share culture with Dallas, through its productions, community outreach and their constant work to encourage open conversation and thought.
Cara Mía Theatre performs at the Latino Cultural Center at 2600 Live Oak St.