August 19, 2005

Hispanic Arts Theater opens in San Diego

By Geneva Gamez

There is a new arts theater in town! What once used to be the Hispanic Theater of San Diego now re-opens under a new name and president. With a unique vision and passion to bring the best multi-cultural performances to the community, Carlos Mendoza, President of the new Hispanic Arts Theater, steps in with a full agenda.

The all-new Hispanic Arts Theater is a non-profit, innovative organization that seeks to deliver diverse theatrical productions and educational experiences to the community. It hopes to break existing cultural barriers within Latinos, and instead offer a positive alternative by blending cultures into fun and evoking performances.

In addition, Mendoza is currently working close with Raul Moncada, Educational Director at the Old Globe Theater, to see the unwinding of an educational and outreach program for Hispanic and Anglo children.

“There isn’t many outreach programs for children,” said Mendoza, adding that this is a very important step in the development of their new project. “I want Latinos to get excited.”

Within the plans there is mention of theatrical performances like Evita, Man of La Mancha, Westside Story, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, all performed in Spanish with a Latin twist. The goal is to host two to three shows per year for the first two years.

In reference to the most common characterizations applied to Hispanics within the performing arts and extending even unto the big screen, Mendoza would like to offer the opportunity to show that there is talent, while at the same time unifying everyone.

“I think if we [Hispanics] were all united, we’d have better possibilities,” he said, clarifying that “this is not to say that we are not American, because we all are, we just want to bring our culture closer together.”

The Hispanic Arts Theater is showcasing “Latin Gems” a heart pounding performance featuring singing, dancing, and a silent auction. This is their first performance in San Diego, taking place on Saturday, August 20th at the “Joan Kroc Theater” in the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center located at 6845 University Ave. San Diego. For more information call (619) 475-7496.

About the Producer of “Latin Gems”

Carlos Mendoza is the Conceiver, Producer, and Singer. He earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with an emphasis in musical theatre from the United States International University of San Diego. He has performed, directed, choreographed and produced extensively throughout Southern California.

When Mendoza conceived “Latin Gems” several years ago, he endeavored to create a show that combined Latin and American cultures through a variety of music and dance. Due to the rise of popularity of Latino artists and a growing interest in Latin dance, “Latin Gems” appeals to all audiences, young and old, male and female, Anglo and Latino. Mendoza hopes the thrill, passion, and excitement of “Latin Gems” will help bring two diverse and beautiful cultures together.

As a professional stage actor, he has been seen as Thuy in Miss Saigon, Magaldi in Evita, Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods, Luntha in King and I, Tomas in the west coast premier of Matador, Bernardo in West Side Story, Joseph in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Joey in the world premier of Fantasma. On film and television in New Line cinema’s Blow Starring Johnny Depp, Bold and the Beautiful, Reyes y Rey, Sueños de Fama and El campeonato de baile latino for Telemundo network and Vital Signs Starring Robert Urich.

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