3GT has been highlighting artists and collaborators during various heritage months throughout the year. Heritage Months are "an opportunity for all members of the community to learn more about the traditions, people, scholarship, history and current experiences of those who've overcome oppression to create opportunities for all." The focus of these observation months are primarily on historically marginalized identities which are typically excluded in the larger American cultural zeitgeist. The designation of Heritage Months started under President Lyndon Johnson with Hispanic Heritage Week and was expanded to a month-long observation period in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. Heritage months are both celebrations and reminders of the cultures that enrich this country and invites us to see perspectives beyond what is readily available in popular histories and media.
Our Mission at 3GT cannot be completed without having a multitude of experiences from our playwrights, dramaturgs, actors, and associates. This month, we will be honoring the collaboration we have had with individuals who identify as Hispanic, Latinx, and/or Chicana/o. Through Social Media, we will have posts highlighting individual artists who have been a part of 3GT's programs or productions.
Tina D'Elia in "Hypocrites and Strippers" by Kim Yaged. Directed by Mary Guzman.
L. Duarte (second from right) in "A Lesbian Walks into a Bar" by Amanda Forman.
In my experience growing up as a mixed-race (Mexican/Anglo) person, I had to shield myself with a "dominant culture" to survive and ultimately blend in with the rest of society. The struggles my first-generation mother experienced were centered around stereotyping based on her Mexican appearance. She experienced violence and judgement and hoped that I would not live those pains if I "looked and acted White."
My friends who are of mixed-race heritage can confirm this is not a unique experience. My social circle of "White-passing" friends have helped me grasp how much of my culture has been amputated from me, how much I can reclaim, and what I can do with the privileges I have from being raised in this way. I often feel hesitant to call myself Mexican in any capacity because I don't speak Spanish and much of what I learned of my heritage is read from books and other sources rather than bestowed directly to me from family. However, I am still lucky in that I have some shared experiences of food, music, visual art, stories, and struggles with my mother's family. Remembering that I am the sum of these pieces rather than filtering out one part in favor of another has helped in this journey of understanding culture and self. The idea of "dominant culture" and the concept that "history is written by the winners" only serves the perpetuity of colonialism. Understanding that history and culture is a shared experience, rather than a competition, is what is most essential to me as I continue my work in Theater.
Thank you for reading this and supporting the stories of 3GT's artists and collaborators!