Teatro Visión’s mission is to celebrate culture, nurture community, and inspire vision. For nearly 30 years, our art has moved people to feel, think, and act to create a better world. Because we remain committed to work infused by the voices and experiences of our community, our primary purpose is to encourage our audiences and program participants to take leadership to improve the quality of life in their communities.
Teatro Visión was founded in 1984 (as Teatro Huipil) by members of Women in Teatro, a statewide network of Chicano theaters. Based in San José, California, Teatro Visión has produced 55 plays — with performances in both English and Spanish — for an audience of more than 110,000 patrons. These works include the world premiere production of Silvia Gonzalez’s EL VAGON (Boxcar), which won the 2004 Repertorio Espanol’s NuestraVoces national playwriting competition, and the 2011 West Coast Premiere production of Rudolfo Anaya’s BLESS ME ULTIMA.
Over our first 25 years, Teatro Visión evolved from an all-volunteer, itinerant theater ensemble to the only Chicano theater company in California producing full seasons of professional productions in a 500-seat theater. Economic realities have significantly reduced the organization’s resources. But a streamlined programming model utilizing community engagement in the development of new work is allowing us to reconnect with our roots and better serve our audience.
Teatro Visión’s main stage productions amplify the voices of our community, create a dignified and empowering sense of identity, inspire action, build respect and understanding, and explore the social and psychological experiences of Latinos. We regularly provide free performances via partnerships with more than 100 local schools and organizations, as well as teatro training programs for artists, service providers, and educators. Our unique educational programming includes study guides, classes, and forums designed to engage students and strengthen their critical thinking, self-confidence, communication, and problem-solving skills. This, together with an open pricing structure and bilingual presentations, ensures that our work remains accessible to a broad and diverse community.
Teatro Visión chooses productions that examine and humanize the lives of new immigrants to America as well as Latinos struggling for a socioeconomic foothold in the United States. Our plays explore the systems that often hinder the advancement of the downtrodden and celebrate the Latino social, cultural, and familial structures that have such a strong and enriching effect on their lives and our nation. The high artistic quality of our work draws attention and respect to the lives of Americans across ethnic boundaries and instills a sense of cultural pride and self-reliance among Latinos. Beyond putting on a show, our work adds to the national dialogue and continues to provoke and inform debate on social issues. Teatro Visión is one of the stalwarts of theater in San José in producing provocative and artistically excellent work that is contributing the Latino perspective to the canon of American Theater.
Teatro Visión was honored in 2009 with the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. In 2010, Artistic Director Elisa Marina Alvarado received the James McKentee Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing her work in the arts and community organizing. And in 2012, Teatro received the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission Award for service to the community.
Current and Upcoming Opportunities