Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras Radical Outdoor Theater on Wheels
Empowering Diverse Immigrant Voices
Since 2009, I have been filming interviews to document our undocumented people under persecution, and their real-life stories inform the docu-theater process that drives some of the most gut-wrenching moments of the Taco Truck Theater performance. I have collected nearly one hundred personal stories of people living in the shadows in the cities of Houston, Tulsa, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Washington, DC.
For our May 2017 debut at Living Arts of Tulsa, we had the opportunity to work with two brilliant poets and Dream Act of Oklahoma (DAOK) activist leaders. Listen to Rich Fisher's National Public Radio interview on his Studio Tulsa program, which featured one of the DREAMERS whose insightful poetic stories informed our Oklahoma shows.
Our goal is to engage other artists in the various communities we visit, and in Minneapolis for the Pangea World Theater May 2018 shows, we are looking to work with a Muslim Somali spoken word poet, a Native American performer, and two DREAMERS.
Challenging the Anti-Immigrant Hysteria
We aim to empower DREAMERS and diverse immigrant voices across the country, and have them take the Taco Truck Theater stage to perform their personal truths, to reclaim their humanity, and challenge the anti-immigrant hysteria. With immigrant poets and diverse artists in each community, the performance is transformed into an evolving scripted ritual each time, and speaks to the particular Immigration concerns of the city we perform in.
Inspired by Luis Valdez & Teatro Campesino
Inspired by Luis Valdez’s legendaryTeatro Campesino shows on flatbed trucks in the 60s and 70s that brought attention to the plight of migrant workers in California with performances in parks and union halls, our ArteFuturo Ensemble rolls out the Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras to cross economic, geographic, and racial borders with a re-purposed truck turned theater. We challenge the dehumanization of immigrant communities.
We explore the human stories of a people fleeing economical and political persecution in search of the “American Dream!" Our theater without borders offers a parallel between Latina/no immigrants dehumanized as "illegal aliens" and the historical struggles of African Americans with a national crisis of police shootings of unarmed black civilians. Engaging a pop-up taco vendor in each community we visit, this radical dinner theater on wheels performance is driven by an eclectic live music sound-bed that will stir your soul, powerful visual rituals, moving stories, comedic improvisations, and poetic truths of a diverse and bilingual collective.
We proclaim that "No human being is illegal!" We align with the BLACK LIVES MATTER Movement to remember that people of color have never had equal justice and equal rights in the United States of Amnesia, which seduces you to embrace forgetting. We are here to remember.
The ArteFuturo Ensemble includes Monica “Spirit” McIntyre, cellist, vocalist, and poet Cristina “La Latina Siren" Maria Blanco, singer, writer, and performer Roberto "El Mex Andino" Carrillo, singer, guitarist, panipes and other indigenous instruments & featuring Darius & Diego Torres-Copeland, singers and performers
ERASURE OF IMMIGRANTS in the TRICENTENNIAL NARRATIVE& LEH'S 300 YEARS ANTHOLOGY
Also, our new production addresses the current tragic but systematic cultural ERASURE of LATINA/NO IMMIGRANTS in the Tricentennial celebrations--where they have become invisible in the official program narratives of the tourist industry. The people of New Orleans know that thousands of Latina/no immigrants have contributed to OUR REBIRTH and RECONSTRUCTION, and they face brutal deportations as they try to remain in a city they have helped to rebuild post-Hurricane Katrina. Now, our undocumented immigrant people are being ERASED by cultural organizations such as the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities,which has published its 300 Years Anthology with no mention of the current twelve year history of immigrants and their contributions to our rebuilding after the storm.
Latin Americans have all dealt with U.S. supported dictatorships that have disappeared our people in Chile, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the list goes on! It's DISGRACEFUL, UNACCEPTABLE, & BEYOND SHAMEFUL for the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities and its editors to publish an anthology that will be distributed throughout libraries across the country, and 100 years from now, their ERASURE of OUR immigrant people will live as the alternative facts and lies of our post-Katrina history.
Film Documentation Crew: Tshombe Tshanti & Carlos Valladares Documentary Filmmaker: Rodrigo Dorfman Photo Documentation: Orestes Montero-Cruz Make-Up Artist: Princess Camerian Food: Tacos by Heidi
Recent performances took place at the Art Garage & Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans.
2018 Shows: New Orleans Museum of Art on Friday, April 6 @ 7pm & Sunday, April 8 @ 2pm Pop-up Food vendor: Tacos by Heidi are available one hour before each show.
Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis May 4 & 5 Pangea shows supported by an National Performance Network Artist Engagement Residency
We want to bring our Teatro Sin Fronteras to a hungry barrio near you, and go where no Taco Truck Theater has gone before!
The Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project and co-commissioned by Living Arts of Tulsa in partnership with Pangea World Theater and the NPN. For more information: www.npnweb.org. Additional support has come from a 2017 NPN Community Fund, 2016 NPN Forth Fund, NFA 2016 from the National Association of Arts & Culture (NALAC), a 2016 NEFA Capacity Grant, 2015 MAP Fund Award, 2016 Platforms Fund, 2015 Alternate ROOTS' Partners In Action, and 2014 NET/TEN Exchange Grant.
We are deeply grateful to these many arts institutions that have invested in this radical theater on wheels, which has been in development for five years since 2013.
Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras Press Links & Reviews: