April 08, 2024 9:00 am - April 09, 2024 6:30 pm ET
Locations in the Bromery Center for the Arts and the New Africa House

This convening will bring leading Latine writers, educators, and theater artists to the UMass Amherst Department of Theater to highlight their recent contributions to The Routledge Companion to Latine Theatre and Performance, a dynamic collection of essays that explores the depths and breadth of Latine theatre. The panels, performances, and discussions will focus on intergenerational dialogue, a diversity of perspectives within the rubric of Latine identity, and the power of performance to transform individuals and communities.

Schedule of Events

April 8, 2024

Curtain Theater, Bromery Center for the Arts

9 a.m. Opening Invocation
Presented by Magdalena Gómez

9:15 a.m. Welcoming remarks 
With College of Humanities and Fine Arts Dean Joye Bowman and Theater Chair Chris Baker

9:30 a.m. Introductions
By Dr. Priscilla Maria Page and Professor Elisa Gonzales

10:15 a.m. Opening Keynote: “Revisiting the Past as We Journey Forward,” delivered by Dr. Jorge Huerta (pictured)

Photo of Dr. Jorge Huerta

11:00 a.m. Break with light refreshments

11:15 a.m. Panel

Liberation in Practice and Performance: Three Perspectives
Ana Candida Carneiro
Magdalena Gómez
Priscilla Maria Page 

12:15 p.m. Lunch

New Africa House, Room 3
1:45 p.m. Afternoon Remarks with Dr. Yolanda Covington-Ward, Chair of the W. E. B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies

1:50 p.m. Making a Scene: Latinx Theater in Western Massachusetts
In this session, local playwright Betel Arnold will showcase a scene from her play Tight Pants and then she and Pedro Eler De Carvalho Eiras, UMASS MFA graduate student and playwright/translator, will discuss their experiences making work in our region. They will be joined by performers Malory Rojas Grillo and Nathalie Vicencio. 

3:00 p.m. Roundtable 
A Love Letter to Latinx theater artists past, present, and future

Moderators: Nathaniel Akingbemi and David Keohane, MFA Dramaturgy graduate students
Speakers: Rose Cano, Migdalia Cruz, Noe Montez, Olga Sanchez Saltveit, and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce

4:15 p.m. Latinx Theater Readings
There will be a showcase of scenes by Ana Candida Carneiro, Rose Cano, Migdalia Cruz, and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce. Elisa Gonzales will facilitate a short conversation about this work. 

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and María F. Rocha
Abuela: Nathalie Vicencio Delgado 
Maria: Aubryn Neubert
Mom: Aria Acevedo

FISHTANK by Migdalia Cruz
Anabella: Yadira Román Rivera
Juliana: Araceli Sierra 

Rosas: A Bouquet of Time by Rose Cano
Rose Cano
Stage Directions: Olga Sanchez Salvei

The Virus by Ana Candida Carneiro

Campus Center, Marriott Center 

6 p.m. Invited Dinner
Remarks by Dr. Mari Castañeda, Dean of the Commonwealth Honors College 
Closing Remarks by Noe Montez and Olga Sanchez Saltveit
Dinner and Dancing to follow 

April 9, 2024

Curtain Theater, Bromery Center for the Arts

11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Actos Workshop 
Dr. Jorge Huerta will demonstrate how to create an acto for social change. The acto is a short, comic sketch aimed at exposing social injustices that was developed by Teatro Campesino at the height of the Chicano Rights Movement in the 1960s. It remains a powerful, hands-on tool for students to think critically about social justice that engages them in active discourse about solutions to overcoming social injustice and oppression within specific contexts. 

5-6:30 p.m. Staged Reading of The Science of Torture 
Dr. Huerta will lead a dramaturgy-focused conversation following the staged reading of The Science of Torture written by MFA Dramaturgy student Pedro Eler De Carvalho Eiras and directed by MFA Directing student Rose Schwietz. 

About The Play
In 1963, two men — a Brazilian translator and a US agent —come together in Rio de Janeiro to translate the pages of a CIA document titled the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation. As fears of a ‚new Cuba‘ spread throughout Latin America and the Red Scare redirects the attention of the US government toward Brazil, these two men must not only decipher the language of this ‚interrogation‘ manual but also understand the dark, often cruel reality behind its words – a reality that will force them to confront the kind of men they are or hope to be.

The cast:
BRAZILIAN: Caleb Koval
AMERICAN: Zach Hebert
Stage Directions: Yadira Roman-Rivera

Symposium Participants

Nathaniel Akingbemi is an MFA candidate in Dramaturgy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a writer, aspiring playwright, neo-soul scholar, and comedian. He was the dramaturg for the UMASS production of Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson and was the associate dramaturg for Many Patterns One Cloth, a devised choreopoem, also at UMASS.

Betel Arnold is a Dominican performer, playwright, and advocate for people with disabilities. Her first play, Tight Pants, received various staged readings and was produced by the Majestic Theater, West Springfield. Other plays include: The Building, (Silverthorne Theater Company), It Is Finished, (Northampton 24 Hour Theater Project) and El Colmado, (Western New England University). 

Rose Cano is Co-Founder of eSe Teatro in 2010, serving as Artistic Director from 2012–2019. She is a bilingual actor, playwright, director, and lyricist. Her plays, Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle, and Bernie’s Apt. were produced in partnership with ACT Theatre in Seattle. Her one-woman shows Self-Portrait and Tierra Sin Mal (Land Without Malice) have been presented in Seattle, New York, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, and Spain.

Ana Candida Carneiro is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Indiana University and Head of the Playwriting Program. As founder and artistic director of the Babel Theater Project (www.babeltheater.org ), Ana also directs and produces work that aims to generate lasting social and aesthetic change at the crossroads of languages, cultures, and disciplines.

Migdalia Cruz is a Bronx-born playwright, lyricist, translator, and librettist with over 60 works performed in 150 venues across 40 cities in 12 countries. She has received prestigious awards such as the NEA, McKnight, NYSCA, and TCG/Pew and was named the 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright. She has co-chaired the DGF Playwriting Fellows, mentored the Latinx Playwrights’ Circle, and is an alumna of New Dramatists. For more information on Migdalia, visit: www.migdaliacruz.com.

Pedro Eler De Carvalho Eiras is a journalist and screenwriter who is currently an MFA candidate in Dramaturgy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His writing projects for film and TV have been selected for various labs and awards in Brazil and the US. Recently, he worked as a screenwriter for the TV documentary series “HISTÓRIAS DA GENTE BRASILEIRA” (Histories of the Brazilian People) for Canal Curta, in Brazil.

Magdalena Gómez was Springfield, MA, Poet Laureate, 2019–2022, and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow from 2021–2022. In 2023 she received a National Fund for the Arts Award from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures to support the staging of her memoir, Mi’ja. A ollection of her poems was produced as the Off-Broadway musical Dancing in My Cockroach Killers by Pregones/PRTT. For more information, see: www.mijamemoir.com.

Elisa Gonzales is a professional voice and dialect coach, actress, and writer. She is the Assistant Professor of Voice and Acting in the Department of Theater at UMass Amherst. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), and the Dramatists Guild. For more information on Elisa, visit: www.elisagonzales.com.

Jorge Huerta is Chancellor’s Associates Professor of Theatre Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. Professor Huerta published the first book about Chicano theatre, Chicano Theatre: Themes and Forms, in 1982. His book, Chicano Drama: Society, Performance and Myth, was published by Cambridge University Press. Huerta was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement in Educational Theatre Award” from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and was recognized as Distinguished Scholar by the American Society for Theatre Research.

David Keohane is a theatre practitioner, educator, actor and dramaturg from Andover, Massachusetts. He is currently a Dramaturgy MFA candidate at University of Massachusetts Amherst where he is studying the intersection of theater, ecology, and climate science. David received a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University, holds an Acting Certificate from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and has worked as an artistic administrator at DePaul University in Chicago and SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston.

Noe Montez is Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at Tufts University. He is author of Memory, Transitional Justice, and Theatre in Postdictatorship Argentina (Southern Illinois UP, 2018) and co-editor of Nothing to Do with Love and Other Plays by Santiago Loza (Seagull Press, 2021). He has published several articles and essays.

Priscilla Maria Page is an Assistant Professor of Theater at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She co-edited Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light: A Play and a Circle of Responses with Joy Harjo (Wesleyan Press, 2019). She also contributed to Casting a Movement: The Welcome Table Initiative, edited by Claire Syler and Daniel Banks (Routledge, 2019).

Malorie R. Grillo is a Costa Rican actor, costume designer, writer, and director who recently finished her MFA in Costume Design at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she teaches stage craft. She has served as the artistic director for Manifiesto Escenico Producciones since 2021. Her play Maldita Golondrina won an award for best short play in Costa Rica in 2020. She has also worked as "Pantalones Cortos" for Espressivo Theater in Costa Rica.  

Olga Sanchez Saltveit is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College; co-Artistic and Producing Director of the Dogteam Theatre Project; and Artistic Director Emerita, Milagro. She is an actor, director, devisor, and dramaturg whose research centers Latine/BIPOC theatre and decolonization and is published in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Topics, Shakespeare and Latinidad, and The Bard and the Borderlands.

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce is Associate Dean of UTeach Fine Arts. She has published numerous articles and book chapters. Her plays, including Señora Tortuga and Mariachi Girl, are published by Dramatic Publishing. Her play Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, which she co-authored with Maria F. Rocha, won the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. For more information on Roxanne, visit: www.roxannearce.com.

Rose Schwietz Malla is a theatre-maker, researcher, and educator. She spent ten years in Nepal teaching theatre while also directing and performing with One World Theatre. As a 2022-2023 Fulbright Research in Nepal Alumnus, she explored sati ghatu naach, a traditional ethnic dance-drama and produced an original play: Deurali Daandi: The Last Chapter of Ghatu. While in Kathmandu, other highlights include Constellations (actor), Macbeth Massacre (assistant director, actor), and The Incubator Series (co-producer, guest director, directing mentor). She is an MFA candidate in Directing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Nathalie Vicencio Delgado is a mother, daughter, sister, artist, lover. Born in Ecuador with lineage from Chile and Italy, Nathalie arrived in the USA in the early 90s. She uses her voice to shine light on social justice causes. Her passion for human and ecological rights drives her spirit. Nathalie has performed in The Vagina Monologues, The Laramie Project, Blood Wedding, Latinas con Pluma, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Opera, the Black Playwrights 50th Anniversary Celebration, Olvidados: A Mexican American Corrido by Elisa Gonzales, and Tight Pants by Betel Arnold. 


This symposium is made possible with support from:

UMass Amherst Department of Theater, Commonwealth Honors College Dean’s Fund, Center for Teaching and Learning, HFA Faculty Funds, HFA Conference Grant, Rand Lecture Funds, Five College Multicultural Theater Committee/MOSAIC, WEB DuBois Library

The symposium is also made possible by the Advancing Community, Democracy, and Dialogue Grant. Funding provided by the Chancellor’s Community, Democracy, and Dialogue (CDD) working group. The CDD has been created to promote dialogue, academic inquiry, and respect for difference in addressing challenging topics. These are forms of engagement central to higher education and a thriving democracy.

SPECIAL THANKS: The staff of the Department of Theater, especially Willow Cohen, Anna-Maria Goossens, Julie Fife, and Ryan Hickey; Department of Theater Chair Chris Baker; the HFA Faculty Mentoring Initiative; UMASS Research Librarian Isabel Espinal; our student assistants Lindsay Forauer, Ruby Green, Pedro Eiras, David Keohane, and Nathaniel Akingbemi; Dr. Mari Castañeda, Dean of the Commonwealth Honors College



A logo in bright colors saying Spring Arts Festival 2024


This event is part of the UMass Amherst 2024 Spring Arts Festival. Learn more about the festival on the website.