Juntos Project brings Latinx voices to the MCC virtual mainstage

Three's a PartyMesa Community College and Arizona theatre company Teatro Bravo partner in the Juntos Project to present the world premiere of “Three’s A Party,” written by Justin Santory and directed by Alejandra Luna. Streaming July 9 - July 17, 2021 MESA, Arizona – June 17, 2021 – Mesa Community College and Arizona theatre company Teatro Bravo partner in the Juntos Project to present the world premiere of “Three’s A Party,” written by Justin Santory and directed by Alejandra Luna. Streaming July 9 - July 17, 2021, details and a link to watch the free performance are found at mesacc.edu/arts or teatrobravo.org. View the trailer here.

“We at MCC are dedicated to celebrating Latinx stories through theatre. What better way than to partner with Teatro Bravo and collaborate with renowned Latinx artists to introduce new stories to our students and our community through a mainstage production,” said Adriana Diaz, MCC Theatre and Film Arts faculty.

Playwright Santory said he was inspired to write “Three’s A Party” because as a queer Latinx actor, he was constantly being called to play the “feisty, spicy” side character that is there for comic relief.

“I want the audience to walk away knowing that queerness and Latinidad is not a monolith. It's not a single experience,” he explained.

Director Alejandra added, "I love the fact that this story is not about a traumatic tragedy that can't be undone, because I feel that it is a common theme in Latinx and Queer stories in the theatre canon. Those stories should still be told because they come from real life events but it's important to also tell the stories that have to do with everyday human experiences as well."

The play is one of many creations and activities of the Juntos Project, which brought together a project team of approximately 20 professional Latinx artists engaging more than 100 students from MCC, additional community colleges and the community. During this past year, the Juntos team has read dozens of plays by new Latinx playwrights, held round table conversations about producing classical works during a pandemic and hosted workshops on playwriting, mask making and theatrical intimacy.

(In order) Huberto Paz as Samuel, Omar Aguilar as Cris, Anthony Martinez as Marcos and Hamblet Lemus as Mateo (In order) Huberto Paz as Samuel, Omar Aguilar as Cris, Anthony Martinez as Marcos and Hamblet Lemus as Mateo Students, faculty, and Teatro Bravo Core Ensemble met over several weeks to read, discuss, and ultimately, choose “Three’s A Party” based on its universal story of friendship, chosen family, intimacy and human flaws. Four semi-finalists were invited to attend a roundtable discussion open to the community.

“We are very proud of the collaborative process we developed to select ‘Three’s A Party,’” said Susanna Velarde Covarrubias, ensemble member of Teatro and the Juntos Project. "Attendees even had a vote in the final play selection. This is true collaboration.”

"The Juntos Project creates opportunities for Latinx and Chicanx theater artists to have their lived experiences centered and reflected in a way not often seen here in Arizona," said Ricky Araiza, artistic director of Teatro Bravo.

MCC is an ideal partner because Santory and Luna started in community college theatre, Santory at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, and Luna at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Luna said, "It feels like a full circle moment. When I began community college, I had absolutely no idea how to even start a career in theatre. I enrolled in community college because I didn't have the resources to know that going to a four-year University was even an option for someone like me. And thanks to a last minute FAFSA application, I was able to attend and it changed my life path. I will always be an advocate for community college because it is an accessible door opener for those who don’t have many resources growing up. And the environment is so nurturing for someone who doesn't know where to start. And, now I get to take part in other people's journeys, and encourage them that it is possible to do anything and never too late to do it."

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Media contacts:

MCC - Dawn Zimmer, dawnzimmer@mesacc.edu, 480-461-7892
MCC Theatre and Film Arts faculty - Adriana Diaz
Teatro Bravo - Alejandra Luna, alejandra.castro.luna@mesacc.edu

Teatro Bravo is an ensemble dedicated to creating and elevating innovative and fearless Latinx artistry that reflects the complex portrait of the Latinx community. "We push the boundaries of traditional theatre, promoting cross-genre and cross-disciplinary collaborations with fellow Latinx artists, artists from other under-represented groups, and community organizations. We provide a safe and accessible environment for BIPOC individuals to expand their artistic expression". https://www.teatrobravo.org/

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapi Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit mesacc.edu to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) - https://www.hlcommission.org.

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit http://www.maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 17, 2021