Back By Popular Demand: Brown & Out X 3 at Casa0101

MJ Silva, Mati
MJ Silva, Mati

Boyle Heights, CA  – Three years ago when Casa 0101 premiered the first “Brown & Out Theater Festival”, a collection of 8 world premiere short plays celebrating the Latino/a LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) experience, who knew it would be such a hit.  The mostly Latino production dared to talk about a topic still taboo within the Latino community.  This conversation continues for its third year at Casao1o1 and directed by Nina Harada and Martin Morales.

The mission of BAOTF is to present plays written by Latino/a and LGBTQ storytellers representing the rich, diverse and ever-evolving Latino/a and LGBTQ culture. BOTF first premiered on September 23, 2011 at Little Casa Theater as a new play development project produced by playwright/producer Miguel Garcia, under the mentorship of Casa 0101’s founder and artistic director Josefina López.

Casa 0101’s 3rd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival (BAOTF) featuring a collection of eight new comedic and dramatic short plays celebrating the Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer experience. The Festival will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m., kicking off on Friday, October 11, 2013, National Coming Out Day, and continuing through Sunday, November 3, 2013 at The New Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 East First Street (at St. Louis Street), Boyle Heights, CA  90033.

“The inspiration for this new play festival came from the need to provide a creative, safe space where LGBTQ Latino/as could share their many diverse stories out on the stage for ALL audiences to hear in an effort to reduce the stigmas and struggles associated with being Latino/a and LGBTQ”, said Garcia.  “The Theater Festival’s mission is to present plays which will inspire audiences, artists and youth to ‘Live Brown, Out and Proud.

brownandout'13The work of nine of the following playwrights will be staged with nine actors playing multiple roles.  

            “Crazy” written by Natalie Camunas, directed by Nina Harada, featuring Masha Mendieta (as E), Lauren Ballesteros (as Mitch) and MJ Silva (as Johnnie).  A play about two Latinas who meet at a house party and decide to run away to New York City together.

MJ SilvaI can vividly recall the first time I ever heard anything about gay people:  I was in grade six and it was my first time at a public school and a classmate literally spit in my face and called me ‘queer.”   –MJ Silva 

written by Miguel Garcia, directed by Nina Harada, featuring Andres Rey Solorzano (as Gabriel).  A play about a young, gay Latino man facing his inner demons in order to overcome a childhood trauma.

Miguel Garcia 2I became more aware of homophobia and cultural divisions living life as an openly LGBT person can cause in Latino families.  This invisibility I felt and experienced growing up and Pedro Zamora’s  (MTV’s the Real World San Francisco ) life story are elements in my life path that motivated me to create Brown & Out.”  –Miguel Garcia

           “Prom” written by Monica Palacios, directed by Nina Harada, featuring Karina Noelle (as Lesbian Teen), MJ Silva (as School Board), Masha Mendieta (as Girlfriend), Jaime Miguel Barcelon (as Sissy), Monica O’Malley de Castillo (as Mom) and Jose A. Garcia (as Dad).  When denied her right to take her girlfriend to the prom, Lesbian Teen fights for equality in her ass-kicking tuxedo.


Jaime Miguel BarcelonI had a very closed minded perception of homosexuality growing up.  Everywhere I turned, it was deemed wrong.  .  I also grew up thinking that if you were gay you automatically had HIV.  I can only hope and pray that it is different now and will continue to change in the future.   — Jaime Barcelon


“Whittier Blvd” 
by Michael Patrick Spillers, directed by Martin Morales, featuring Jose A. Garcia (as Will) and Masha Mendieta (as Vic).  A story about fathers, sons, the Midniters and East Los Angeles trans-butch Morrissey realness.


Jose A. GarciaThen there’s being brought up in a Catholic family…don’t get me started!  Growing up at that point, gays became an oddity.  Someone that was gay belonged to some secret society of individuals unlike the rest of us.”    — Jose A Garcia

Masha MedietaWhen I was little in the 90s of NYC, I knew that gays and lesbians existed. But at the same time, I didn’t personally know any homosexuals. Then, after college, I found out that one of best friends in elementary school was gay.  At the end of the day, we are all human; brown or white, gay or not.”  –Marsha Mendieta

written by Uvaldo Baltazar and Arriola Baltazar, directed by Martin Morales,featuring Miriam Peniche (as Captain Lupe Lopez), Jose A. Garcia (as Lieutenant Armando Aguila), MJ Silva (as Ensign Miguel Molina) and Andres Rey Solorzano (as “Q”).  A gay Latino parody of “Star Trek” that shows the future that lies ahead for the LGBTQ Latino/a community.

Miriam PenicheGrowing up my parents were not necessarily homophobic but because we were catholic and very Mexican, a homosexual lifestyle was not necessarily right in their eyes. I was taught to be accepting of everyone but there was always a negative feeling toward people who were gay.”   — Miriam Peniche


“Happy and Gay” written by Mary Steelsmith, directed by Martin Morales, featuring Miriam Peniche (as Veronica) and Monica O’Malley de Castillo (as Betty).  A play about two middle age church-women preparing for a wedding reception and revealing each other’s love for one another.

Though we may have never sat down and talked about homosexuality, my parents made sure to instill in me the importance, above all, of love.  That lesson stuck.”  — Monica O’Malley de Castillo

“Sunday Brunch” 
written by Rosa Maria Rodriguez, directed by Martin Morales, featuringKarina Noelle (as Lydia), Jaime Miguel Barcelon (as Victor), Lauren Ballesteros (as Sammy) andMiriam Peniche (as Mom).  Over Sunday brunch a daughter reveals to her elderly mother the secret about her sexuality.

I was raised by a single mother, who dated women after my parent’s divorce. Also, having a lesbian older sister made it normal.  –Lauren Ballesteros

“Los Novios” (“The Wedding Couple”) 
written by Jaime Mayorquin, directed by Nina Harada,featuring Andres Rey Solorzano (as Armando), Jaime Miguel Barcelon (as Tomas), Monica O’Malley de Castillo (as Teresa), Jose A. Garcia (as Mr. Reyes) and Lauren Ballesteros (as Mrs. Reyes).  On the eve of a not-so-traditional wedding, a gay couple’s attempt at intimacy proves challenging.

I asked ‘What’s gay?’  My mom in a very serious tone said that it’s when a man wants to be with a man.  I was never taught to hate them though.  My perception was one of general indifference.  I was more curious as to why it bothered anybody.  — Andres Rey Solorzano

For tickets, please call the Casa 0101 Theater Box Office at 323-263-7684, E-mail, or buy online  Tickets are $20 per person for General Admission; $15 per person for Students, seniors and Veterans, and $12 per person for Boyle Heights residents.  Discounts for Groups are also available.  Advance reservations are highly 

Casa 0101 Theater’s sponsors include:  The California Endowment, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Herb Alpert Foundation, The California Foundation for Stronger Communities, The Community Redevelopment Agency/LA – A Designated Local Authority and Metro.


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