BROWN & OUT Returns to Boyle Heights Just in Time for Pride Month

By Steve Moyer
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After a hugely successful sold out run last year, CASA 0101 Theater is proud to present the fifth season ofBROWN & OUT FEST, A Festival of 11 World Premiere Short Plays and One Original Short Transgender Film Celebrating the LBGTQ LatinXperience.

This groundbreaking Festival coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, which ushered in the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement, the 50th Anniversary of the passing of Gay Icon Judy Garland and the celebration of the National LGBTQ Pride Month. Performances will be presented at CASA 0101 Theater, 2102 East First Street (at St. Louis Street), Boyle Heights, CA Thursdays – Sundays, from June 7 – July 7, 2019.

The themes of BROWN & OUT V delve into the politics, socio-economics, religious oppression and indigenous roots of the unique, but often oppressed, LGBTQ community.

Founding Artistic Director of CASA 0101 Theater, Josefina López said, “I first wrote my first gay-themed play, Food For The Dead, back in 1988, a satirical story of sexual liberation about a woman who is saying goodbye to her macho husband.  The play was initially presented at Luis Valdez’s El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, CA in 1988, and was later presented at Little CASA, our original home, here in Boyle Heights, CA in October 2003.  When I began teaching a playwriting class in January of 2008, there were two young gay Latino men in that class who told me about the double lives they led by day as hardworking immigrant sons, and by night, when they would go out to gay clubs, since their families weren’t openly accepting of their homosexual lifestyles. It was at that point, I realized there was a need for me to provide these young men with a comfortable space to be who they were, and to celebrate their authentic selves without shame as gay Latino men.”

Lopez continued, “We presented our first BROWN & OUT Play Festival at Little CASA in September 2011.  At that time, the 10-minute original short plays were created in writing classes I was leading.  Now, years later, with our 5th Anniversary of BROWN & OUT, plays are selected for production at the conclusion of a collective writing workshop.  Since 2008, LGBTQ themed plays and playwrights have graced our stages at Little CASA and CASA 0101 Theater.  Over 80 Latinx LGBTQ short plays, one-acts plays and full-length plays have appeared either in our BROWN & OUT Play Festivals or as fully mounted productions at our theaters, some of which have gone on to further fame and recognition outside of Boyle Heights at the New York International Fringe Festival and at the Dublin Fringe Festival.  It’s really personally fulfilling to me to provide opportunities and a space for all human beings to be who they truly are, living their own authentic lives, while at the same time expressing their inner creativity freely.”

Emmanuel Deleage, Executive Director of CASA 0101 Theater said, “BROWN & OUT V, comes on the heels our highly successful BROWN & OUTIV last year, which included writer Richard Villegas, who wrote the treatment for the hit television show, Vida, and writer Gilbert Salazar who just completed a full-length play, Angelito, which originally premiered as a 10-minute play in last year’s Festival.  Our BROWN & OUT Play Festival is proving to us that our audiences are hungry to see queer narratives on stage, which solidifies CASA 0101 Theater commitment to serving the LGBTQ community.”

BROWN & OUT V features the work of 12 writers, played by an ensemble of 11 actors, helmed by seven directors, two assistant directors and a bevy of designers and production personnel. The BROWN & OUT Play Festival’s mission is to present plays written by Latinx LGBTQ storytellers representing the diverse, ever-evolving culture, community and queer experiences.

The ensemble cast includes actors who self identify as Transsexual, Two-Spirit, Cis-Gender Gay and Bisexuals.

Performances will be presented for Five-Weeks, June 7 – July 7, 2019, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm., and Sundays at 4:00 pm.  Tickets are $30 for General Admission; $25 for Seniors; and $20 for Boyle Heights residents and Students.  In addition, 10% of tickets will be set aside at EACH performance for theatergoers to Pay-What-They-Can at the door; these tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis one hour prior to the show time for each performance.  There are also $65 VIP tickets available, which include early seating in the theatre and a Swag Bag with original artwork for BROWN AND OUT FEST created by the artist Roque.  Discounted Group Pricing for six or more guests are also available; please call the Box Office to inquire.

This show is not recommended for children.  The show contains strong adult language and mature themes.  Advance reservations are highly encouraged.  There will be Talkback Discussions following Sunday Matinee performances with the Playwrights and Cast Members.

Free Parking is available on several streets surrounding the theatre.  Free Parking is also available on Fridays and Saturdays only at the Boyle Heights City Hall Parking Lot located at 2130 East First Street (at Chicago Street) by entering the lot from Chicago Street; the lot is closed on Sundays.  Metro Gold Line train stations are located on First Street in Boyle Heights at both Soto Street, and at Boyle Street (Mariachi Plaza), within a short walking distance to the theater.  For tickets, please call the CASA 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail [email protected], or buy online at or
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Tacos Y Tacones is the first short film produced by Brown & Out Fest! We are so excited to present a film written and starring extraordinary trans women for our 5th season! Our excellent actors include: Lady Diana, Bamby Salcedo (Founder of the Los Angeles-based [email protected] Coalition), Maria Roman and Laura Figueroa. Watch this incredibly story come to life exclusively at Brown & Out Fest, running June 7th to July 7th. 📷: John Hubbard #lathtr #boyleheights #eastla #eastlos #eastlosangeles #lgbtq #lesbian #gay #bisexual #transgender #queer #latinx #brownandout #communidad #brownandoutfest #community #playwrights #latheatre #theatre #representationmatters #casa0101 #transvisibility #transfamily #tacones #tacos #shortfilm #spotlight #support #loveislove #tacosytacones

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Concurrently with the run of BROWN & OUT V, there will be an exhibition in the Jean Deleage Gallery, located in the lobby of CASA 0101 Theater, entitled:  A Visual Exhibition Inspired by Ngugi Wa Thiog’o’s Short Story:  UPRIGHT REVOLUTION, OR WHY HUMANS WALK UPRIGHT,curated by Jimmy Centeno.  The exhibit features 10 local and international artists interpreting UPRIGHT REVOLUTION with paintings, sculptures, woodcuts, linocuts and other media.  UPRIGHT REVOLUTION has been translated into 30 languages. Featured Artists include:  Mario Avila, Nolan Fansler, Victor Garcia, Yolanda Gonzalez, Mario Hernandez, Pedro Rio Martinez, Ramon Ramirez, Laura V. Rodriguez, Ernesto Vazquez and Sandra Vista.  The exhibit can be viewed prior to performances of the show, as well as Mondays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  All other times are by appointment only.

More About The New Plays:

BUTCH written by Patricia Zamorano directed by Diana Romo.  A short play delving into toxic masculinity, with the social construct of patriarchal paradigms with butch women.  A queer masculine, machista mujer gets played at “his,” own game after “he” gets caught playing with fire.  The cast includes:  Stevie Vallejo as Nicky Cruz, Devon Torres as Alex Cruz, Karina Contreras as Abbey Dominguez, Gabriella Rafiele as Olivia Santiago and Bri Symone as Sonia Alvarez.

#CUMDUMP written by Matthew Ramos directed by Rigo Tejeda, assistant directed by Cinammon Rivera explores chivalry and honesty in a hookup culture.  The cast includes:  Arash Aiinehsazian as Joel, Giovanni Navarro as Orlando, Jesus Tedeo Rodriguez as Silhouette #1, Teddy Rodríguez as Silhouette #2 and Devon Torres as Silhouette #3.

Better Than Grind’r written by César Carmona directed by Andrew Cervantes.  A meet cute story about finding love in a digital world with a shy bear, and their boisterous friend. The cast includes:  Arash Aiinehsazian as Beto,
Carlos Reyes Hailey as Ignacio and Stevie Vallejo as Gabriel.

Romana y El Cuerpo de Cristo:  Anect-dotadas Apostolicas (Romana and The Body of Christ:  Anecdotes of the Apostles) written by Felipe Agredanodirected by Claudia Duran is about a woman’s spiritual quest for complete trans-formation beyond mind and body along a timeless journey of the soul.  The cast includes:  Karina Contreras as Romana, Carlos Reyes Hailey as Hermano Suarez/Camillo, Giovanni Navarro as Pastor Aaron Gomez/Paquita,Gabriella Rafiele as Hermana Ana/Roxana, Jesus Tedeo Rodriguez as Usher Tino/Valentino, Teddy Rodríguez as Concha/Oyuki and Devan Torres as Sister Rosi Fernandez/Luz.

Colibrí written by Felipe Valladolid Chavez directed by Diana Romo is a story about an individual who experiences severe psychological trauma.  As a result, he develops two other personalities. Shaitán and Colibrí battle it out to determine the fate of Gael.  The cast includes:  Carlos Reyes Hailey as Gael, Shaitán and Colibrí.

Black Sheep, Rainbow Sheep written by Martin Olivera Carrillo directed by Angela Moore is about ghosts, family secrets and the people we choose to share them with, with a splash of Magic-Mexican realism.  The cast includes:  Arash Aiinehsazian as Martin, Karina Contreras as Leonor, Gabriella Rafiele as Sylvia and Jesus Tedeo Rodriguez as Arturo.

To Rocco, With Love written by Giovanni Navarro directed by Rigo Tejeda, assistant directed by Cinnamon Rivera is a story about unrequited love and the search for clarity and answers with a hookup culture.  The cast includes:  Carlos Reyes Hailey as Rocco, Shen Heckel as Camilo and Giovanni Navarro as Man.

Zaddy written by Daniel Muñoz directed by Benjamin (Benny) Perez.  A young gay Latino man desperately searching for love.  He is stood up on a blind Internet date.  Ready to give up on men, he meets an older gentleman with some swag, who gives him advice about life and love from his own experience.  The cast includes:  Giovanni Navarro as Tomas and Teddy Rodríguez as Mateo.

Mija written by Ruben Mendive directed by Claudia Duran.  A Millennial couple faces tension in their relationship brought on by their mixed legal status and their possible future together.  The cast includes:  Stevie Vallejo as Josefina Devon Torres as Ash.

Are You Gay or Latino? is written by Conrado TerrazasCross directed by Claudia Duran, and assist directed by Graciela Campos.  The story of a young Latino political organizer coming of age in the early 1980’s who is reluctantly drawn into LGBTQ activism.  He is confronted with whether he is Gay or Latino.  Will he align himself with the straight Latino community or for LGBTQ empowerment?  The cast includes:  Jesus Tedeo Roriguez as Juan, Stevie Vallejo as Graciella,  Arash Aiinehsazian as Ben, Karina Contreras as Susana, Carlos Reyes Hailey as Ricardo, Shen Heckel as Police Officer, Gabriella Rafiele as TV Reporter, Teddy Rodríguez as Miguel, Bri Symone as City Clerk/Police #1 and Devan Torres as Fireman #1.

Omens written by Devan Torres directed by Diana Romo is a Native American queer love story about a shaman and his lover surviving the arrival of the conquistadores.  The cast includes:  Arash Aiinehsazian as Diaz, Shen Heckel as Chevo, Giovanni Navarro as Native, Gabriella Rafiele as Coco, andJesus Tedeo Rodriguez as Torres.

In addition to the 11 short plays which will be presented Matthew Ramos, as writer and director, will be debut a short film he made called, Tacos y Tacones (Tacos and Heels) about three Transgender Latinx sex workers.

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