José Torres-Tama, Award-Winning Performance Artist is coming to the ArtsXchange in March for a residency that includes two performance workshops & two public evening performances of ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS & OTHER EVILDOERS, a sci-fi Latino noir solo performance that addresses the anti-immigrant hysteria gripping the United States of Amnesia, and exposes the hypocrisies of a system that dehumanizes the same people whose labor it exploits.
José Torres-Tama has just received a 2019 Creation Fund Award from the National Performance Network to develop a new performance called United States of Amnesia: from Fugitive Slave Act to Zero Tolerance.
This Taco Truck Kills Fascists is the documentary on his Taco Truck Theater ensemble performance, and it won Best Louisiana Feature at the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival. Rodrigo Dorfman, the award-winning Chilean filmmaker, directed it, and the film has toured the national circuit with screenings at the San Francisco Independent Film Fest, Seattle Latino Film Festival, IndyGrits Film Fest, and others.
As a journalist and writer, he contributed commentaries to NPR’s Latino USA news journal from 2006 to 2011. He explored the many challenges of life in post-Katrina New Orleans, and the myriad human rights violations experienced by Latin American immigrants who reconstructed the city from it’s flooded deathbed.
As a published poet and playwright, theater educator, visual artist, and performance activist, he explores the underbelly of the “North American Dream” mythology, and the anti-immigrant hysteria currently gripping the USA post-9/11. Since 1995, he has toured his genre-bending solos nationally and internationally. Across the Atlantic, he has performed at Roehampton University and Live Art Development in London, the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool, the Centre for Performance Research in Aberystwyth, Wales, and performance festivals in Poland, Slovenia, and Mexico City.
In the academy, Duke, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Tulane, LSU, OSU, and many others have presented his performances and lectures on art as a tool for social change. Theaters like Performance Space 122 and Theater for the New City in New York, GALA Hispanic Theatre in DC, and the Los Angeles Theatre Center have also presented his shows.
In 2013, he received a 2nd National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Award to develop the Taco Truck Theater / Teatro Sin Fronteras, and has since transformed a donated vehicle into a mobile theater that is touring across the country.
A brief narrative of ALIENS:
With the raging anti-immigrant hysteria reaching brutal proportions and the killings in El Paso, award-winning performance artist, published poet and playwright José Torres-Tama takes the Immigration issue head on in his critically acclaimed ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS & OTHER EVILDOERS. Billed as a sci-fi latino noir solo that chronicles the rise in hate crimes against Latinx communities, the artist deftly shape-shifts into nine characters that challenge the dehumanization of immigrants in a system that readily exploits their labor.
Visually dynamic, profoundly moving, and a provocatively funny tour de force, the New Orleans-based artist employed a docu-theater process of filmed interviews with immigrants escaping political persecution and economical despair, and performs real-life stories of people in search of a dream. He offers a clarion call to action for the United States of Amnesia to remember its mythic promise as the land of the free. His comic battle cry is NO GUACAMOLE for Immigrant Haters!
Opening Night Review of ALIENS at the Los Angeles Theater Center (Oct 2019):
It (ALIENS) is a revelation of historical fact, and an accounting of the current political situation, all delivered with highly entertaining vigor. José Torres-Tama is a performance artist of the highest caliber. --Theater News LA
Houston Review for performance at the National Latino Art Now Conference to a sold-out 110-seat theater.
The performance is timely, intelligent, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and quite funny. In Aliens, audiences are able to see a performance artist at the top of his game. Aliens is a necessary theatre that sparks conversations about the hardships faced by the undocumented community and asks audiences to consider what we might do to address these inadequacies.
--- The Theatre Times
Full Theatre Times Review Link:
Northwestern University Press has published the full one-man play script of ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS, & OTHER EVILDOERS in a book titled ENCUENTRO: Latinx Performance for the New American Theater. The intro to Torres-Tama's work is done by renowned Chicana Scholar Dr. Tiffany Lopez. NU Press Link at: http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/content/encuentro