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Published On: Sun, Jan 3rd, 2016

We Are Surrounded By Pioneers –> How Bushwick Brooklyn Started Telling Our Stories

So Yoleros really happened familia.

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The HOLA Award… really happened.

A successful Indiegogo campaign with 91 funders raising $3,024 in 30 days… really happened.

Sold out shows, Merengue Tipico band, free buffet all happened (and with a sizeable Latino audience)

Get this.. it all happened in Brooklyn, not in DUMBO… but in BUSHWICK, Brooklyn. Can you dig it?

I am not really in a position to review this show, as I do not think I have the credentials to talk about things from a “theater perspective” but as a cultural ambassador… I will tell you this, we are surrounded by pioneers. People who are risk takers and are passionate enough about the work that they invest it themselves when the sponsors do not show up. People who tell untold stories and have a great following but go the extra mile to make sure our people fill those seats, that we take pride in the stories being told.

We are being displaced physically from so many places, we need to make sure we document our contributions.

I want you to know what happened… so you know that you need to show up… or we lose it all. Connect with these pioneers and fight to keep our culture where it belongs, in the communities we helped build.

I watched it and enjoyed it… it was bold, unpredictable yet familiar… the cast was simply brilliant.

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If you are not familiar with Yoleros… here is the breakdown.

Yoleros is an award-winning, original play created by the Teatrica Theater Company. The company was born in 2011 to continue the vibrant tradition of producing theater in Spanish in New York City. We seek to serve communities that lack access to cultural arts programs and to spread the importance and benefits of theater to often under-served Spanish-speaking audiences. We also seek to engage English-speakers in the tradition of Latino theater to deepen their understanding of the experiences of their close neighbors who often live across language barriers.

As part of this mission, Teatrica wrote and produced Yoleros, an imaginative and complex telling of the story of three immigrants seeking a better future, which is written entirely in Spanish and will be performed with live English subtitles. The first run of Yoleros received an award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA). This is a very important opportunity for us because our production will be the Obie Award-winning Bushwick Starr’s first Spanish language production. We’re also excited to perform in Bushwick where 70% of the population is Hispanic.

Here is more about the team that put all together…

Alex Vásquez Escaño is the writer of Yoleros. His work Bed for Two, received IATI Theater’s Abdon Villamizar Playwriting Workshop Award and was published in Máscaras Errantes: Antología de Dramaturgos Dominicanos en los Estados Unidos. Yoleros was published in 2014 in an anthology called Palabras Acentuadas.

For Vásquez Escaño, Yoleros is a metaphor for life: “We are all yoleros. We all, at some point of our lives, look for that new beginning. ” For Balmaceda, Yoleros “is very important, especially for those who decide to emigrate and leave their countries to find a new beginning.”

The play was directed by the very talented Martin Balmaceda.

The cast is made up of three talented young actors. Modesto Flako Jimenez, Mathia Vargas and Sully Bonnelly (ACE 2014 Award Winner) recreate the lives of people who risk it all since they have nothing to lose.

The Production Team:

Karina Paez……………………….Stage Manager

Dan Kent…………………………..Lighting Designer

Kevin Torres………………………Technical Assistant

Fabian Gonzalez………………… Supertitles

Nehprii Amenii……………………Scenic Designer/Puppet/Object Design and Construction

Joshua Langman…….. ………….Sound and Projection Design

Bettina Hoffmann ………..……….Videographer

José Luis Morales ………………..Costume Design

Gustavo Mirabile ………………….Photographer

Jayla Ortiz……………………………… Administration

Nick E Finn…………………………….. Social Media

Sofrito Media Group ……………………………. Social Amplification / Marketing

 

About Teatrica Productions

Yoleros is an award-winning, original play created by the Teatrica Theater Company. The company was born in 2011 to continue the vibrant tradition of producing theater in Spanish in New York City. We seek to serve communities that lack access to cultural arts programs and to spread the importance and benefits of theater to often underserved Spanish-speaking audiences. We also seek to engage English-speakers in the tradition of Latino theater to deepen their understanding of the experiences of their close neighbors who often live across language barriers.

About Brooklyn Gypsies

Brooklyn Gypsies is an eclectic artist collective made up of New Yorker’s both native and immigrant to our city. We present annual showcases of new work in theater, dance, poetry and film that spark dialogues on critical issues of immigration, economics, and urban survival. We curate a mix of established and emerging artists and give them a platform to explore complex issues in a stimulating environment. Brooklyn Gypsies is a playground to celebrate and share what is unique about Bushwick’s converging arts communities.

Press about Brooklyn Gypsies:

“Everyone laughed at the same time, shared the same silence, ate and drank the same dishes together afterward and celebrated what they had shared together. It was just happy.” -WNYU 89.1 FM

“Bushwick needs gatherings and platforms like Flo-etry night at The Bushwick Starr where people can meet and talk. Bushwick needs people like Flako to bring us closer and help us understand.” -Bushwick Daily

“The event spoke for itself. The night revived the notion that opening oneself to new people and experiences is part of living in New York City. So embrace.” -Brooklyn Exposed

“It has also joined with Modesto Jimenez, a poet and performer who has lived in the neighborhood since the early 1990s, for his Brooklyn Gypsies nights, which bring born-and-bred Bushwick artists together with recent arrivals.” – The New York Times

 

This will happen again… stay connected to the Brooklyn Gypsies and see what else they have in store by visiting their website at http://www.brooklyngypsies.org

We Are Surrounded By Pioneers –> How Bushwick Brooklyn Started Telling Our Stories