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Established in 1985 by Jeff Hurst and Cora Cardona, Teatro Dallas is a non-profit professional theatrical institution dedicated to the presentation of all styles of theater that reflect the varied cultural experiences of the Latino communities, through the works by classical and contemporary Latino playwrights. Besides its seasonal productions, the theater often represents the U.S. at international festivals, reaches out with classes for children and adults, preserves the tradition of Days of the Dead, and hosts the International Theater Festival, the first one of its kind in the Southwest. We recognize theater's power to foster understanding of both cultural differences and similarities, and it is our hope to promote a sense of community while celebrating our diverse traditions.
After realizing there was no theater aimed at Dallas' enormous Latino population, co-founders Cora Cardona and Jeff Hurst established Teatro Dallas in 1985. For the first season, the two organized Teatro Dallas' first Days of the Dead production, a pre-Columbian Latino tradition. Despite its importance in the Latino community, no such event was available to the Dallas community until Teatro Dallas' annual production. Over the past twenty-one years, Teatro Dallas has produced over 130 plays and commissioned over 20 original works. Teatro Dallas organized its annual Touring Program in 1987 and Children's Summer Theater Program in 1994, both designed to intrigue and educate underserved children. Through these programs, as well its acting classes and production, Teatro Dallas has served as a training ground for emerging Dallas theater artists, some of which have founded their own companies. In 1993, Teatro Dallas organized The International Theater Festival, the first one of its kind in the Southwest, and probably Teatro Dallas' most ambitious large-scale event. This major arts event attracts distinguished directors, actors, musicians, writers and artists from countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, China, Puerto Rico and Africa. In 2005, Teatro Dallas published its first collection of original plays entitled "From Horror and Mystery to the Exploited Farm Worker: Two Contrasting Plays." This book includes "Black Butterfly in Chloroform: The Life and Stories of Bernardo Couto Castillo" in English, and the monologue "Pizcas" in English and Spanish.
- Abigail Self
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