Our Programs

Performing Arts

2019-2020 Season


October 24, 2019

MACLA and the Center for Literary Arts (CLA) will present Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties in conversation with Linda Castillo, founder and executive editor of Modern. In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. The reading will be followed by an on-stage interview, plus an audience Q&A, book sale and signing.


November 15-16, 2019

When Irma Herrera gives her name its correct Spanish pronunciation, some people assume she’s not a real American. What part of Irma’s identity is she asked to give up for the sake of fitting in and getting along? How can a simple introduction turn into a potential battle to be heard and seen? Weaving history and comedic insights, this lawyer-turned-performer invites us to consider how open and welcoming we really are. Best of SF Solo Series 2019-2020.

Date: TBD 

Experience a new multidisciplinary theater piece by award-winning poet, performance artist, and playwright Paul S. Flores, who combines live Latin jazz and timba beats, dance, and spoken word to explore Cuban artists, immigration and Afro-Cuban themes. Developed with jazz composer Yosvany Terry, DJ Leydis, choreographer Ramón Ramos Alayó, and director Rosalba Rolón, We Have Iré is a play about blessing, good fortune, balance and destiny.

Past Season Events

2018 - 2019


A Spoken Word Theater Performance About Hope

Apr 12-14, 2019

AMAL delves into the impact of war and shares experiences of veterans’ adjustment to life after war, as well as those of civilians from war-torn countries. Focusing on Puerto Rico’s cultural and military heritage, the piece explores the search for meaning, purpose and identity through enlisting in the military. Written and performed by The Combat Hippies — military veterans who have turned to the arts to heal and inspire. Developed and directed by award-winning director Teo Castellanos with original music by Brimstone127.

Stick around after the performances for talkbacks with the cast and crew of AMAL. Doors and Box Office open at 7pm on Friday and Saturday; 1pm on Sunday.

Led by renowned theater artist and director Teo Castellanos, Combat Hippies is an ensemble of Puerto Rican military veteran performing artists based in Miami, Florida. Formed during a creative writing workshop for veterans in 2015 which culminated with their inaugural theater piece “Conscience Under Fire”, they have since developed multiple evenings of spoken word and music, generative approaches to workshops designed toward healing, community engagement offerings and more.

Teo Castellanos is an actor/writer/director, who works in theater, film and television. His award-winning solo NE 2nd Avenue toured extensively for a decade and won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland 2003. His most recent solo Third Trinity was directed by Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, whom Teo has had a working relationship and friendship for over 25 years. He founded the Dance/Theater Company Teo Castellanos D-Projects in 2003 and is Artistic Director of the devised theater company Combat Hippies. Teo has toured solo and company works throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, China and the Caribbean. Some acting theater credits include playing Elegba in Tarell’s The Brothers Size,(Miami) and Santos in The Hittite Empire’s Skeletons of Fish (London). Film credits include playing opposite Matt Dillon in Sunlight Jr. and opposite John Leguizamo in Empire as well as in A Change of Heart with Jim Belushi. He is a United States Artist Fellow 2019 funded by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and a recipient of several awards and grants including NEA, NEFA, MAP, NPN, Knight New Works, Knight Arts Challenge, Knight Foundation People’s Choice Award, Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs and also won the State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship 2005 and 2013. He’s a Sundance Institute Screen Writers Intensive Fellow 2015. Teo is a member of SAG/AFTRA, and Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and holds a BFA in Theater from Florid Atlantic University.

Anthony Torres, Jr. was born in Brooklyn and raised in Utica, New York. He began his military career as a Civil Affairs Specialist in the Army Reserve from 1999-2002, then on active duty as a mental health specialist at Fort Hood, Texas from 2002-2006. In 2004 he was attached to the 115th Field Hospital and served on a 12-month deployment to Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq. While deployed, he provided mental health treatment to both U.S. troops as well as Iraqi detainees. Following an honorable discharge he relocated to Miami, Florida and worked as a psychology technician at the Miami VA Medical Center from 2008-2013. He holds a MS in Psychology from Carlos Albizu University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Barry University.

Gary Lund is the President of Anchor Arts Management, Inc. a full service production management organization devoted to the performing arts. Mr. Lund is a production manager, light designer and stage manager with International, National and Miami artists in dance, theater and music. Mr. Lund has toured with several artists in numerous concert halls and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, Russia and China. Mr. Lund’s professional career spans over 4 decades as a choreographer and arts production manager.

Brimstone is a dynamic leader, educator, activist and artist who embodies Hip Hop’s “Can’t stop, won’t stop!” attitude. He us a Co-founder and Artistic Director of PATH: Preserving, Archiving & Teaching Hiphop, Inc. He has written and been featured in several articles on Hip Hop culture & education & has served as a lecturer & specialist on Hip Hop history, education & culture (Brandeis University, University of Miami, Florida International University, School of Audio Engineering, Lifestyles College, Island Academy International School). This self & mentor-taught artist & technician has stacked up performance, engineering & production credits with some of Hip Hop’s legends & artists from diverse genres including The Cure, Nelly Furtado, KRS ONE, De La Soul, Pit Bull, Fat Joe, Whodini, Rakim, The Wailers, The Roots, Talib Kweli and Ozomatli. He has co-produced and distributed his own award-winning Hip Hop albums: Metamorphoses, Elevator Music and Renaissance of Hip Hop.

Born & raised in the South Bronx, Hipólito “the BeardMan” Arriaga was profoundly impacted by his childhood. In 2003, at age 19 he joined the US Marine Corps despite the US already being at war with both Afghanistan & Iraq. Following four years, including two deployments to Iraq, he separated from the military honorably. His experiences overseas pierced him heavily, after returning home he began seeking healing for the various injuries he had sustained, physically, emotionally & spiritually, leading him on a journey of self – discovery. Hipólito is trained in Bapiste Power Yoga & Trauma Conscious Yoga. He also serves as a Wilderness Expedition Leader with No Barriers Warriors, guiding veterans on transformative curriculum – based adventures in nature & serves as a Peer Facilitator with Warrior Writers. Besides yoga & the outdoors, his passions include healing, reading, writing, community service, activism & assisting others in their journeys of growth.

Angel Ruben Rodriguez, Sr. Musician, singer, poet, composer, arranger, actor, producer & educator was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in 1954. He started playing drums at the age of 9; his first paid gig was at the age of 13. For the past 45 years Angel has dedicated himself to preserving & maintaining Puerto Rico’s rich musical culture. Over his career he has recorded & performed with a who’s who of Latin musicians & served as percussionist at the world famous Apollo Theater Amateur Night With Ralph Cooper Sr. Some of his theater credits include “UBU Enchained” directed by Wiesaw Gorski & Steven Sapp & Full Circle Productions “Soul’er Powered”. One of Angel’s lasting legacies is helping to found & run the Point CDC; a local Bronx based community center with the mission of developing & mentoring youth through the arts.

Please call box office 408.998.2783 for wheelchair and/or other accomodations. Production is presented in English with some Spanish and contains mature language. 70 minutes, with no intermission. Online ticket sales end at 5:30pm on Friday and Saturday; 12:30pm on Sunday. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. Purchase of ticket includes MACLA membership.

Supported by the National Performance Network (NPN).

This presentation of AMAL was organzied by MACLA. MACLA is a participant in Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE), a program of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Support provided by Applied Materials Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Castellano Family Foundation, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, SV Creates, and MACLA donors.

Image by Design Action

MACLA Presents In the Works: Baruch Porras Hernandez

Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8pm

Be the first to catch a sneak peek of new works in development by Terry Blas, Karina Cervantes, Luna Merbruja, Cristal Olivas, Vanessa Sanchez, Roberto Santiago, Valleygrrls, and Young Tsukune. Hosted by and featuring MACLA’s latest artistic commission Baruch Porras Hernandez.

About the Artists:

Baruch Porras Hernandez

Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a writer, performer and standup comedian, named one of the 13 Bay Area Writers to Watch in 2016 by 7×7 Magazine. You can find his writing published with Sibling Rivalry Press, The Tusk, Foglifter and many more. He was named a Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow in 2014, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow in 2016. He’s been featured in Writers with Drinks, Radar Productions, LitQuake, is a two-time winner of Literary Death Match, winner of SF Write Club, The Moth, BawdyStorytelling, Muni Diaries and is a two-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize. As a comic he’s featured at Tourettes Without Regrets, ManHaters, Marga Gomez’s NYE Comedy Fiesta and all over the Bay Area. He is a recipient of grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission, REGEN Artist Fund, and the Creative Work Fund. He is The Voice of Shipwreck SFmonthly Fan Fiction Competition and Podcast and regularly hosts live shows with KQED. He is the founder and head organizer for ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente?. He is originally from Toluca, Mexico and lives in San Francisco. MACLA and Baruch Porras Hernandez recently put out a call to creators for a new Latinx Super Hero project We Can Be Heroes — spotlighting 5 brand-new LGBTQ Latinx superheroes

Terry Blas

TERRY BLAS is an illustrator and writer based in Portland, Oregon. He is the writer behind the auto-bio comics Ghetto Swirl and You Say Latino (featured on NPR, OPB, Vox.com and Cosmo.com.) Terry’s work has appeared in comics Bravest Warriors, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time, and Rick and Morty. His first graphic novel, Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, is a murder mystery set at a weight loss camp. Dead Weight has been named by YALSA as a 2019 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers. His latest graphic novel, Hotel Dare, a love letter to his childhood memories in Mexico, will be in stores June 2019. Blas is also a part of the We Can Be Heroes project led by Baruch Porras Hernandez.

Karina Cervantes

Karina Cervantes is the leader of Cypher Dance Company. Based in San José, California, Cypher Dance Company exists to create an all-inclusive creative environment. Each dancer is selected based on his or her improvisational skills. Improvisation is the heart of Cypher Dance Company for the simple goal of making dance accessible for all movers and viewers. Cypher believes that when it comes to dance, there is no right or wrong, only preference. At its purest and without rules that create barriers, dance becomes an enjoyed shared experience.Cypher Dance Company welcomes movers from all backgrounds and levels of experience. While traditional dance companies may favor using body molds and specific training in their selection process, at Cypher we proclaim dance to be universal and not exclusive. We believe that all lovers of movement should have the opportunity to experience the thrill of performing on a stage. We believe audiences are entertained and inspired when reflected onstage. Denying talented individuals from exhibiting their contributions to dance because of body type, height, race, or gender is not in our DNA. Together, Cypher Dancers and Audiences, let us shatter society’s superficial and divisive dance norms and make dance accessible and enjoyed by all.

Luna Merbruja

Luna Merbruja is a Mexican-Athabaskan writer and artist. They’re the author of Trauma Queen and the poetry book Heal Your Love. They have been published in the anthologies Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic,Resilence, and the 2nd edition of Colonize This! Currently, Merbruja is the Board Chair of Heartspark Press and a project advisor for Mirror Memoirs. Merbuja is also a part of the We Can Be Heroes project led by Baruch Porras Hernandez.

Cristal Olivas

Cristal Olivas is a self taught multi-media artist, with special attention to songs and visual art. Her art follows the cycles of her life, as her creative medium depends on her environment, her materials, and her emotional state. Cristal began to photograph with 35mm film in 2013 after a close friend gifted her first Minolta SLR. After many failed attempts, she has developed her skills and is strengthening her own style in capturing the intimacies of domestic life. She is inspired by those closest to her, by strong lines and shapes and the beauty of the mundane. Being from San José, she hopes to leave some kind of footprint of her experience as the city’s vulnerabilities to tech and neoliberal interests continue to heighten.

Vanessa Sanchez

Vanessa Sanchez is a Chicana dancer, choreographer and educator focusing on community arts education and multi-cultural dance forms. She holds a degree in Dance and Education from San Francisco State University and has trained with master artists throughout the United States, Mexico and South America. Sanchez is a San Francisco Bay Area native and the founder/Artistic Director of the multi-disciplinary performance ensemble, La Mezcla. As a dedicated and experienced arts educator in the latinx community, she works to ensure accessibility to quality arts training and performances, and mentors aspiring teaching artists. As a choreographer, Sanchez fuses various dance styles and rhythms to address the complexities of contemporary culture, telling the untold stories of communities of color while working to create a platform for women of the color in the arts. She is the creator, choreographer and director of Pachuquismo, an all female Tap dance and Son Jarocho theater performance that re-tells the history of the Zoot Suit Riots from the female perspective. Her work has been shown
on stages throughout the United States, Mexico and Portugal. Sanchez has received funding from Dancer’s Group, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) and the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Roberto Santiago

Roberto F. Santiago received his MFA from Rutgers University, BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and is an MSW candidate at UC Berkeley. His poetry has been published in Apogee, Foglifter, Assaracus, CURA, The Waiting Room Reader, Me No Habla With Acento, and other journals and anthologies. He has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Sarah Lawrence College, and Lambda Literary Foundation. Roberto is the recipient of the Alfred C. Carey Poetry Prize and his debut book of poetry, Angel Park (Tincture, 2015), was a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Poetry. Roberto writes and produces his own music, and likens himself to Tennessee Williams in a poodle skirt, Gloria Anzaldúa in culottes, and/or James Merrill in short-shorts. Currently, he works as an educator in San Francisco where he also lives with a fiction writer. Santiago is also a part of the We Can Be Heroes project led by Baruch Porras Hernandez.


Valleygrrls is a 3 piece multi instrumental band from San José. They play fuzzed out punky pop love songs inspired by the pains and excitement of relationships.

Young Tsukune

Young Tsukune is an artist based in San José, CA. His music stems from a heavy influence of anime-futurism, trap, lo-fi, hip-hop, and occasionally indie rock. His music is melancholy usually discussing love, struggling to become a success, and the growing pains of adulthood. Even his bubblier lo-fi instrumentals cannot mask a deeper longing that is present in a lot of his tracks. He is currently working on an EP title “My sad-happy life.”

Join MACLA and Chef Diego Felix for a Food Tasting on Sat, Feb 16, 2019!

Colectivo Felix invites you to celebrate Latin American Culture through cooking and eating as acts of appreciation. Since 2007 Chef Diego and his team have created spontaneous, unrepeatable dining experiences that highlight the importance of edible biodiversity and the necessity of small scale, ecological food producers. Be a part of this intimate and artful dining/tasting experience on Sat, Feb 16, 2019! Tickets at macla.eventbrite.com.

Image courtesy of Colectivo Felix

MACLA Presents Analicia Sotelo

Feb 7, 2019

Analicia Sotelo is the author of Virgin, a collection of poems that seduce with history, folklore, and sensory detail—grilled meat, golden habañeros, and burnt sugar—before delivering clear-eyed and eviscerating insights into power, deceit, relationships, and ourselves. Presented with the Center for Literary Arts at San José State University at the San Jose Museum of Art on Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 7-9pm. More info at sjmusart.org.

MACLA Presents We Have Iré

Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 8pm
7pm Box Office Opens

7:40pm Community Jam Session (*updated from 7pm)
8pm Performance Starts

Experience excerpts of a new multidisciplinary theater performance by award-winning poet, performance artist, and playwright Paul S. Flores who explores the complex discourse around Cuban-American identity. Developed with jazz composer Yosvany TerryDJ Leydis, choreographer Ramón Ramos Alayo, and director Rosalba Rolón.

Blessings (iré) as well as curses (osogbo) plus the triumph of establishing one’s voice in a new country is at the center of this work-in-progress. 

MACLA Presents ¡Interview with a Mexican!

Fri-Sat, Nov 9-10, 2018: 7pm Doors Open | 8pm Performance

Sun, Nov 11, 2018: 1pm Doors Open | 2pm Performance

Adapted for the stage by Anthony J. Garcia based on conversations with author Gustavo Arellano and excerpts of his books ¡Ask a Mexican! and Taco USA.

Interview with a Mexican uses satire, humor and political incorrectness to examine stereotypes, anti-immigration politics and misconceptions that outsiders hold about Mexican culture. Revealing and humorous, Interview a Mexican explores the clichés of lowriders, busboys, and housekeepers; drunks and scoundrels; heroes and celebrities; and most important, millions upon millions of law-abiding, patriotic American citizens and their undocumented cousins who represent some $600 billion in economic power. Interview with a Mexican confronts the boogeymen of racism, xenophobia, and ignorance with humor.

Stick around after the performance on Fri, Nov 9, 2018 for a Q&A session with Anthony J. Garcia, Gustavo Arellano, and the cast of Interview with a Mexican!

Gustavo Arellano is the publisher and editor of Orange County’s alternative weekly OC Weekly, and the author of the column ¡Ask a Mexican!, which is syndicated nationally. Arellano has won numerous awards for the column, including the 2006 and 2008 Best Non-Political Column in a large-circulation weekly from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the 2007 Presidents Award from the Los Angeles Press Club and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and a 2008 Latino Spirit award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus.
The columns were collected in book form in 2008 as ¡Ask a Mexican! Arellano has published two further books: Orange County: A Personal History, and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

Anthony Garcia has been the Executive Artistic Director of El Centro Su Teatro since 1989 and has been a member of Su Teatro since 1972. He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Denver. Tony has received numerous awards and accolades for his artistic vision, including the 1989 University of California, Irvine Chicano Literary Award, a 2006 United States Artists Fellowship, an artist residency at the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, and was named the Denver Post 2010 Theatre Person of the Year. Most recently, he received the prestigious Livingston Fellowship from the Bonfils Stanton Foundation. Tony is a past faculty member for the National Association of Latino Art and Culture (NALAC) Leadership Institute as well as a past board member, he is a peer trainer for the Colorado Creative Industries’ Peer Assistance Network, and a member of the Western State Arts Federation’s (WESTAF) Board of Trustees. Tony is also an adjunct professor at Metro State College in Denver.

Please call box office 408.998.2783 for wheelchair and/or other accomodations. Production is presented in English with some Spanish and contains mature language. Recommended for ages 16+. 100 minutes, with intermission. Online ticket sales end at 4pm on Friday and Saturday; 11am on Sunday. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

There are many parking options near MACLA; check parksj.org/parking-map

Adjacent to MACLA are several public transportation stops. Plan your trip with the VTA Trip Planner

More info:

MACLA, Castellano Playhouse, 510 South 1st Street, San José, CA 95113


Supported by the National Performance Network (NPN).

This presentation of Interview with a Mexican was organzied by MACLA. MACLA is a participant in Leveraging a Network for Equity (LANE), a program of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Support provided by Applied Materials Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Castellano Family Foundation, a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, SV Creates, and MACLA donors.

Image by MTCA

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