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!
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 performances, our ArteFuturo Ensemble included 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.
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. 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. We are here to remember!
The current touring ArteFuturo Ensemble includes Spirit McIntyre, cellist, vocalist, and poet José Fermin Ceballos, singer, poet, guitarist, and accordionist José Torres-Tama, performance artist and catalyst
Other Featured artists in New Orleans have 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 & Darius & Diego Torres-Copeland, singers and performers
Film Documentation Crew: Tshombe Tshanti & Carlos Valladares Premiere Documentary Filmmaker: Rodrigo Dorfman Photo Documentation: Orestes Montero-Cruz & Owen Murphy Touring & Productions Manager: Alana Kolundzija Make-Up Artist: Princess Camerian & Marie Lovejoy Food: Tacos by Heidi
Recent 2019 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 on 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
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 national arts institutions that have invested in this radical theater on wheels, which has been in development for six years since 2013.
Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras Press Links & Reviews: