Mark your calendar! Destinos, the 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, will return in full force, live and in person, from September 14 to October 16, 2022.
Destinos is the city of Chicago’s annual festival that brings together and presents Latin artists and theater companies from Chicago, the United States and Latin America each fall.
For five weeks in September and October, Destinos will give Chicagoans and visitors alike the chance to experience a rich lineup of Latino-centric shows, panels and student performances presented at renowned downtown venues, theaters neighborhood and cultural institutions in the Chicago area.
“The fifth annual Destinos is not to be missed,” said Myrna Salazar, executive director of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), which produces the city’s international Latino theater festival, one of the largest in the world. United States. “Vibrant, large-scale solo shows from Chicago and Latin American company productions, along with guest artists and Latin American productions, will perform on Chicago’s best stages, each celebrating the Latino experience.”
The Destinos 2022 artist lineup — featuring the debut of six world premieres, one North American premiere, three U.S. premieres, and three Midwestern premieres — is set and now available for review at destinosfest.org.
Festival highlights include three provocative productions from Mexico and Puerto Rico:
- The world premiere of La Pájara de San Juan, a Trump-era drama about two sisters, one documented, the other not, on a fateful night in Chicago, featuring Mexican TV stars María del Carmen Félix and Mariannela Cataño, written by Victor Salinas and Sergio Gezzi, co-presented by CLATA and the National Museum of Mexican Art at the National Museum of Mexican Art, September 14-17.
- The Midwest premiere of Pequeños Territorios en Reconstrucción, a documentary fable about a group of Colombian women who created the “League of Displaced Women” and built 98 houses with their own hands, from Mexico City’s Teatro Línea de Sombra, co-presented by CLATA and Goodman Theater in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, September 21-25.
- The American premiere of Puerto Rico’s Teatro Público’s Blanco Temblor, a play about mental health told through the story of Marina del Mar, doctor in quantum astrophysics, Puerto Rican, bipolar, suicide, suffering from a disease from birth: she Couldn’t Tremble, at the Den Theater in Wicker Park, September 29-October 2.
Want new plays by Latino writers? Destinos will see a variety of new works from Chicago’s top Latino companies and artists, including:
- Las Migas de Colectivo El Pozo, a world premiere drama set on the roof of a Chicago skyscraper as a strange red moon disrupts life in the city below, presented at the Chess Live Theater in Bridgeport, September 15 to October 2.
- The U.S. premiere of Mexican playwright Tomás Utrusástegui’s Bruna la Bruja Bruta, featuring Teatro Tariakuri artistic director Karla Galvan as a modern-day Latina bruja who flies into her theater’s Marquette Park window to get rid of of a few things before Halloween, on Saturdays and Sundays September 17-October 16.
- The North American premiere of Tebas Land by Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco, inspired by the Oedipus myth, about a series of encounters on a prison basketball court between a playwright and a young parricide (person who kills a parent or loved one), presented by CLATA in collaboration with the National Museum of Mexican Art, in Chicago playwrightsSeptember 22-October 9.
- The world premiere of Enough to Let the Light In, produced by Teatro Vista and co-presented with Steppenwolf Theater Company, by Paloma Nozicka, a Mexican-American, Chicago-raised, LA-based actor, writer, director and filmmaker His play introduces us to girlfriends Marc and Cynthia, who spend a night celebrating a milestone, but it quickly turns into chaos as secrets buried are revealed and lives are irrevocably changed. Performances will take place September 21 through October 23 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater.
- Poet, actor, singer and Latino favorite Flaco Navaja stars in his first full solo show Evolution of a Sonero, a Midwest first from UrbanTheater Company. With an undying love for the Bronx, a knack for creating memorable characters, and genuine good humor, Navaja and five top-notch musicians bring the essential charm, rhythm, and soul to a Bronx Sonero. Don’t miss this new salsa epic that takes the streets of the Bronx to UrbanTheater’s Humboldt Park stage, September 29 through October 23.
- Alma, a world premiere from American Blues Theater about a single mother who single-handedly raised her daughter on tough love, homemade comedy and lots of prayer. But on the eve of her daughter’s SAT, she is nowhere to be found. Alma, written by Benjamin Benne, winner of the 2019 National Latinx Playwriting Award, runs from October 7 to November 6. Location to be determined.
- Sancocho’s midwestern premiere by Visión Latino Theater Company, written by Christin Eve Caton, directed by Xavier M. Custodio. The play tells the story of two sisters, 25 years apart, who come together to discuss their father’s will while preparing a traditional sancocho stew that suddenly becomes peppered with revelations about their family history. Performances take place from October 10 to November 30. Location to be determined.
- The world premiere of BULL: A love story by Chicago’s Nancy García Loza about a Mexican-American ex-con who returns to his old Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview to discover all that has moved on without him . BULL: A Love Story is a Paramount Theater BOLD series production, running October 5 through November 20 at the new Copley Theater in downtown Aurora, Illinois’ second largest city with a 40% Latino population. It also marks Destinos’ first-ever expansion into a Chicago suburb.
- The world premiere of The Wizards of Ricardo Gamboaa supernatural thriller about a black and brown genderqueer couple who find a Quija board in their new Pilsen apartment that connects them to a 70s Mexican-American Motown cover band. The Wizards, co-produced by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance at the center APO Historical Cultural Center in Pilsen, runs from October 14 to November 22.
- The U.S. premiere of Cintas de Seda at the Aguijón Theater in the Belmont-Cragin/Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago. Set on the eve of Day of the Dead, this play by Norge Espinosa imagines a painter and a nun reunited for an impossible dialogue with ghosts, hallucinations and images of the past, from October 13 to November 20.
Tickets for all productions will go on sale by mid-August. Visit destinosfest.org for more information and to sign up for CLATA’s weekly e-newsletter.