Austin Theater Festival Puts Latinx Youth ‘At The Center’

These plays allow for students to “see themselves as the hero of the story.”

By Morgan KuehlerMarch 13, 2019 9:21 am,

Actors from Latin America and the U.S. performed five plays for students at the 2019 Latinx Theatre Commons’ Theatre for Young Audiences Sin Fronteras Festival in January. Some of the pieces were bilingual and had subtitles available for English speakers, and some of the Latin American actors performed in their native Language.

“This festival puts Latinx youth at the center,” says Taylor Jane Cooper, national intern for the Theater for Young Audiences. “Right now in Texas, over 50 percent of schoolchildren identify as Hispanic or Latinx. … Texas shares the longest stretch of the border with Mexico, and, of course, Texas used to be a part of Mexico. Youth in Austin need to see these plays and adults need to consider what we reflect on popular culture and art for young people.”

Cooper says that these stories and performances allow for children to see their culture represented.

“Not only can students see themselves reflected on stage and see them selves as the hero of the story, but also the other kids that are invited can see that other students and people can be the hero of the story,” Cooper says. “To have yourself reflected and also see that other people around you are great and can be reflected, too, in great ways onstage.”

Written by Kristen Cabrera.