Category: Latino Theater Company

L.A. City Council terminates lease for Latino Theater Company

January 20, 2012 |  2:53 pm


The Los Angeles City Council voted this week to terminate the lease for the Latino Theater Company and the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture at the downtown L.A. Theatre Center. The city owns the LATC, which is located on Spring Street, and has been leasing the premises to the two companies since 2006.

Both companies were given 45 days before they face eviction, according to council documents.

The council was able to terminate the agreement early on the grounds that the “quality or quantity of services” that the tenants offer fails to meet the expectations of the city, according to documents.

Councilmember Tony Cardenas presented the motion for termination at a council meeting. A representative in Cardenas' office said Friday that the theater company and museum failed to meet a number of fiscal, programmatic and maintenance goals set out in the their agreement with the city.

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Latino Theater Company's 'Virgen' may not play at L.A. cathedral [Updated]

November 21, 2011 | 10:00 am

La Virgen

Since 2002, the Latino Theater Company has offered a free holiday gift to the community: its annual production of the pageant "La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin" at Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. More than 7,000 people attended last year's production of the show, which celebrates the Mexican Roman Catholic story of how the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, an indigenous peasant, in 1531, in what was then colonial Spanish territory.

But this year a financial shortfall may require the company to break its tradition and cancel the production at the cathedral, José Luis Valenzuela, the company's artistic director and a UCLA theater professor, told Culture Monster this week. Despite vigorous fundraising efforts, Valenzuela said, the current economic downturn has made it difficult for the company to raise the necessary $50,000 to produce the free show Dec. 8 and 9 at the cathedral.

"I've been on the phone calling my friends saying, 'This is the time to help,' " Valenzuela said. "But I don't have 1,000 friends to give $50 each."

About 130 actors, dancers and musicians take part in the musical pageant. A handful are professionals, including Suzanna Guzman, an East L.A. native and internationally renowned mezzo-soprano, who performs the role of the Virgin, and Sal Lopez, a film and TV actor ("ER"), who plays Juan Diego. But the vast majority of performers are community volunteers, many of them Latinos, including some recent immigrants to the United States.

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