This week I had a chance to catch up with some of these talented ensemble members, many of whom are the very teaching artists for the "School of YES!", so they wear many hats. Boy, are they a busy bunch! And so creative! I wanted to capture their perspectives from their own unique points of view since they are essentially the "guts" of what Cara Mia Theatre Co. does month after month, week after week to bring the critically acclaimed productions that we've come to love and expect.
Relax and sit-in with me on these exclusive interviews!
Bella: What attracted you to Cara Mia Theatre Co.?
Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso: "I saw the trailer for Crystal City 1969....when I attended the audition I was impressed with Executive Artistic Director David Lozano's patience, sensitivity and energy."
Linda Blase: "David was relentless in his pursuit..... I saw a great deal of potential in the acting and directing...I learned a lot about the Latino community."
Frida Espinosa-Müller: "Clown and mask work was the kind of theatre I was interested in and my training was in that...found a beautiful and unique element... opportunity to be helpful to the Hispanic community."
Ivan Jasso: "They were a Latino/a based company and needed Latino/Chicano actors/actresses. They approached the work and process with a more organic, ensemble building energy".
Ruben Carrazana: "They fill in a gap in the Dallas theatre scene...it's so important to be a part of a close-knit group of artists supporting one another's work."
Bella: How has Cara Mia evolved over the time you have been an ensemble member and how have those changes impacted you?
Ruben Carrazana: "The company has grown tremendously...the mission has expanded...venturing into new and exciting territory...we've begun to challenge ourselves and our audiences even more."
Ivan Jasso: "Ensemble includes artists from different backgrounds and cultures...no longer focused on one specific culture...producing more complex, text based work while still maintaining explorative, movement based roots...I have had more artistic opportunities to grow as an actor and feel challenged to work harder."
Frida Espinosa-Müller: "Cara Mia works for people that NEED Latino art and culture on a very deep level."
Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso: "The ensemble has grown...I have been challenged more as an artist and allowed opportunities to stretch my abilities."
Bella: How would you like to see Cara Mia evolve in the future?
Linda Blase: "We might try to develop an advisory board consisting of experienced theatre artists and administrators."
Ruben Carrazana: "Continue growing and forming new relationships with local and national artists and organizations."
Ivan Jasso: "Become more connected even more statewide, nationally and possibly internationally."
Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso: "More text based plays...allow for more opportunities for our ensemble to showcase our talents."
Wow! What thoughtful interview answers! It certainly appears that Cara Mia Theatre Co. is viewed by the Resident Artistic Ensemble as a challenging theatre company, and one which is unique, rewarding and fills a gap in Dallas theatre. There is more work to be done, for sure, but the work of this company has unquestionably grown and can grow to even more heights if given the right opportunities. I sure would like to get David's take on all this, but I'll catch up with him next week when I interview some board members to get their takes on the "business end"... So, stay tuned!