A Theater on Wheels Ensemble Performance Challenging the Anti-Immigrant Hysteria & Driven by a Live Music Sound-bed. All with Tacos for Sale. Coming Soon to a Hungry Barrio Near You!
Our prime directives are that "Black Lives Matter" and "No Human Being Is illegal!"
We remind our audiences that people of color have never had equal justice and equal rights in the United States of Amnesia, which seduces you to embrace forgetting. Because of purposeful miseducation, we are seduced to embrace forgetting that "Freedom-Landia" has been founded on the near genocide of Indigenous people; the enslavement of African people to build a capitalist empire on stolen lands; and the appropriation of the Northern territories of Mexico from Texas to California to manifest imperial destiny. As socially conscious artists, we are here to remember, and speak our truths to the perverse abuse of power in GrinGoLandia!
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.
We engaged and activated the voices of other artists in the various communities we visited, and in Minneapolis for the Pangea World Theater May 2018 performances, our ArteFuturo Ensemble expanded to include Thomas LaBlanc, a Native American performance poet, Ifrah Mansur, a Muslim Somali performer and wordsmith, and a fierce seventeen-year old poet, DREAMER, and activist La Anjelica.
For our Living Arts of Tulsa debut in Oklahoma in May 2017, we engaged two amazing DREAMER poets Amairani Perez and Jordan Mazariegos, and a veteran African American poet Deborah Hunter and Latina writer Sally Ramirez.
Challenging the Anti-Immigrant Hysteria
We empowered DREAMERS and diverse immigrant voices across the country, and had 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 was transformed into an ever evolving scripted ritual each time, and spoke to the particular Immigration concerns of the city we performed 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 drove our Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras, and crossed economical, geographical, and racial borders with a re-purposed truck turned into a theater on wheels.
We challenged the dehumanization of immigrant communities.
We explored the human stories of a people fleeing economical and political persecution in search of the “American Dream!" Our theater without borders offered a parallel between Latin American 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 visited, 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. Ashé y Adelante y Si Se Puede!
Our touring ArteFuturo Ensemble included Spirit McIntyre, African American non-binary cellist, vocalist, poet, and performer José Fermin Ceballos, an Afro-Dominican singer, poet, guitarist, and accordionist José Torres-Tama, Latin American immigrant performance artist, poet, and catalyst
Other Featured artists in New Orleans included: Roberto "El Katrin" Carrillo, singer, guitarist, panpipes, and cajon Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa, poet and performer Nati "La Sirena" Jones, singer and performer Michael "La Bestia" Ward-Bergeman, accordionist and percussive instruments Kathy Randels, singer and performer & Darius & Diego Torres-Copeland, singers and performers & California Collaborators include: Diana Cervera, Maritxell Carrero, and Rose Simons
Premiere Documentary Filmmaker:Rodrigo Dorfman Film Documentation Crew: Tshombe Tshanti & Carlos Valladares Photo Documentation: Tshombe Tshanti, Orestes Montero-Cruz, &Owen Murphy Touring & Productions Manager: Alana Kolundzija Make-Up Artist: Princess Camerian & Marie Lovejoy Food: Tacos by Heidi Hickman, African American Chef
Our last pre-pandemic rides & performances took place at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans for the National Performance Network Annual Meeting and ROOTS Week in Arden, NC.
2018 Shows: New Orleans Museum of Art Friday, April 6 @ 7pm & Sunday, April 8 @ 2pm
Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis May 4 & 5 Pangea shows supported by an National Performance Network Artist Engagement Residency
The Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras was a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project and co-commissioned by Living Arts of Tulsa in partnership with Pangea World Theater and the NPN. Additional support came 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 national arts institutions that have invested in this radical theater on wheels, which began its development in 2013.
Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras Press Links & Reviews: