An Immense, Invigorating Mission

Teatro group MY LUCHA tackles race, gender, sexuality, and immigration

By Denise Ortiz
Published on LatinoLA: April 6, 2002

An Immense, Invigorating Mission

Where is the future of Chicano Theater headed these days? Well, take a look at one of the most exciting and revolutionary groups to come out of Los Angeles: MY LUCHA (Minds Yearning Lives United thru Community, History, & Arte).

This interdisciplinary collective is not only changing the face of professional Chicano theater, they?re breaking new ground as activists.

?When people say Chicano, they?re thinking East L.A.,? says executive director Coral Lopez. ?And they?re not wrong to think East L.A., because that?s where a lot of the Chicano movimiento history took place. But take a look at the shifting demographics in LA. We?re everywhere!?

A community that is experiencing the effects of the growing Latino population is South Central. It?s also a community with some of the lowest ranking schools in all of California. It?s no surprise then that it?s plagued by a number of social problems connected to institutional violence.

For these reasons, MY LUCHA intends to call South Central home. They intend to help Chicanos/ Latinos create positive representation. Just as important, they also intend to bridge differences between brown and black youth by educating them on shared histories of oppression.

They intend to accomplish these goals by interlocking all of its artistic programs with social programs like workshops, dialogues, or collaborations with social service agencies. They?ll also be training and educating youth for admission into higher education institutions and professional careers in the arts.

Needless to say, their vision is immense and invigorating.

?One of the challenges we?re going to face early on is people trying to pigeonhole us as ?community theater? because we?re so invested in the South Central community,? says artistic director Adelina Anthony.

?First, we?re doing more than theater, but, besides that, the work we?re producing is highly professional. We?re also giving a primarily heterosexual and male dominated teatro a new voice: young, muxerista, and queer.?

With this fierce group, sexism does not take a back seat to racism, and neither do homophobia and classism. They realize that much of their work ahead of them lies in how people perceive oppression. ?We shouldn?t rank oppressions to begin with. What good does it do to have a political Latina/o if the minute they open their mouth they?re saying joto this and jota that?? says Elizabeth Sevilla, one of six founding board members.

To raise funds for their future projects and put the word out into the community that they are seeking a physical space in South Central, the group is fundraising and launching off in a major way.

With the support of official sponsors like The Mayan Club, Power106 FM, Tentaciones, LatinoLA.com, and other community groups, MY LUCHA will present the West Coast premiere of ?Mastering Sex & Tortillas? on April 18th at The Mayan Club. This theatrical comedy show by Adelina Anthony tackles race, gender, sexuality, and immigration in a provocative and risqu? manner.

?If people want to get a taste of us, the April fundraiser is the place to be. It?s also the first step to getting involved with us, because if you can come out and laugh your head off? then you get where we?re coming from,? says Lopez.

For more information or reservations for the fundraiser, please email MYLUCHA2002@yahoo.com or call (323)993-8559.

About Denise Ortiz:
Denise Ortiz is an undergraduate at CSUN majoring in psychology and child development

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