Paula Ramirez, Guadalís Del Carmen, and Ana Santos in Perfectamente Loca/Perfectly Insane by Magdalena Gómez at LTC Carnaval 2015 Credit: Michael Courier

With the 2018 Carnaval of New Latinx Work, a festival celebrating new works
by Latinx theater artists, Latinx Theatre Commons, founded in 2012, aims to
connect national audiences to the Chicago theater community. “In the midst
of the current administration’s virulent hostility towards the Latinx
community, promoting new Latinx stories and the artists who create them has
become all the more urgent,” Lisa Portes, LTC Carnaval Champion, or
organizer, and head of directing at the Theatre School at DePaul
University, said in a press release. “Carnaval 2018 aims to seed the
American Theatre with new Latinx stories and raise visibility of the
vibrant local and national Latinx theatre community.”

Carnaval 2018 will feature staged readings of six new plays by Latinx
playwrights, selected via a competitive pool of approximately 130 entries
following a national call for submissions. Each play will be developed by a
Latinx creative team. The first Carnaval was in 2015.

Actor and playwright Juan Francisco Villa, who is of Colombian heritage,
will participate in readings of Our Dear Dead Drug Lord and The Killing of a Gentleman Defender. “This is actually the first
time I get to play a Colombian character, and this is a [big] deal for me,”
he says. “It’s an honor, especially with the content both plays explore.”

Audiences will have the opportunity to attend the readings and meet Latinx
theater makers, including writers, directors, designers, critics, and
actors. Festival partners Urban Theater Company, Aguijón Theater, Teatro
Vista, and the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance will host workshops and
offer tours of their spaces that aim to further immerse audiences in the
Latinx theater community. The festival is free, but attendees must register
in advance.

The selected plays are as follows: My Father’s Keeper by Guadalís
del Carmen, directed by David Mendizábal; Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally by Noah Diaz, directed
by Denise Yvette Serna; Killing of a Gentleman Defender by Carlos
Murillo, directed by Michael John Garcés; Shoe by Marisela Treviño
Orta, directed by Ricardo Gutierrez; Milton, MI by Paz Pardo,
directed by Diane Rodriguez; and Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis
Scheer, directed by Rebecca Martínez.   v