Tuesday October 17th 2017

“Crossed: How Going South Flipped Out Our Script”

Many Chicago audiences are unfamiliar with Teatro Luna and their work. This ensemble is now performing their 8th original play as the only all Latina Theatre Company in Chicago. They have had spot productions over the years, often when an affordable stage was made available as they are just at a point where they will have a home of their own. This is hard for a theater company, but this group of ladies shows their spunk by never giving up. Their stories are somewhat biographical as they take life’s experiences and transform them into a play, dealing with topics that have a great deal to do with the Hispanic population ( mostly involving women as they are writing the scripts from their own experiences and from their hearts). This year, they are planning a full season that will take on the themes of Immigration, Race and U.S. Border related wars. Just read the papers about how Arizona has the right to take someone off the street just for looking Mexican. Believe it or not, in our area, Aurora and Waukegan, the police can ask someone for their “papers” and if not produced, can call in INS. To the Hispanic community, this is unfair and unjust.

In their new production, “Crossed:How Going South Flipped out our script” the ensemble  works to explode the stereotypes of the “immigrant”. Their stories, join seven performers sharing their own stories as well as those taken from interviews, their families and friends and even the news from our own country. In Spring of this year, the Lunaticas ( the name they have chosen for themselves,) went South and from this experience using their own creativity, they developed this script. Here is where I want to tell you about how they work. They spend a great deal of time working an reworking their material and even after they open, they will continue to develop their stories. They are near perfectionists who want to get feedback from the audience and unlike other theater companies, they listen to what you say. Due to my previous statement, I must say that we have to call this a work in progress, which means that during their run at the Viaduct Theater ( thru December 18th), many changes will take place. I am sure that when they announce their new venue, their own home, part of the announcement will be that they will open with “Crossed” on a regular stage instead of the large, almost warehouse feeling at the Viaduct.

Something new has been added to this production, a male actor with all these lovely Latinas. Christopher Acevedo joins Sydney Charles,Kristina Colon,Melissa Duprey,Christina Igaraividez, and either Paula Ramirez or Abigail Vega ( who alternate performances). This cast made many contributions to the script penned by Liza Ann Acosta,Gaby Ortiz Flores, Miranda Gonzalez,Yolanda Nieves along with Ms Colon,Ms Igaraividez and Lauren Villegas. I am sure the discussions held in putting this all in place were a sight to see and something to truly learn from. Opening up about personal experiences and then putting out there for an audience is a difficult task, but these women have accepted ths challenge for 12 years, and I am thankful for their existence.

Directed by Miranda Gonzalez on a set by Dan Matthews and Choreography by Joel Valentin-Martinez, this is a smooth 90 minutes of movement ( some marvelous original music by William Kurk)through the trials and tribulations of being an immigrant. And why in Chicago do people think Immigrant equals Mexican? We are host to many nationalities, many who also prefer to use their native tongue, but for some reason, anyone who speaks Spanish is a Mexican- why not a Puerto Rican, a Spaniard, a Peruvian, a Colombian, a Cuban?- No they are Mexicans. The Lunaticas, once again take on the challenge of looking at living in America if you are an immigrant!

“Crossed” will continue at The Viaduct located at 3111 N. Western Avenue ( just south of Belmont) thru December 18th with performances on Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 and 6 p.m.

Tickets are $15,$20 and $25 general admission. The $25 seat is a premium, semi reserved seat. There is a bar and the beverages purchased at the bar cann be taken into the theater.

To order your tickets go to www.teatroluna.org

There is some street parking nearby, but NOT on Western and there is a lot on the corner of Western and Belmont ( southeast corner) that you can pay for when you enter the theater.

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