José Torres-Tama Sightings in California

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    Contact: José Torres-Tama

October 13, 2014                                                                      504.232.2968                                  


José Torres-Tama National Projects & Residencies
Sci-fi Latino Noir Performance

Sightings in California for Fall 2014
Los Angeles Theater Center for Encuentro National
Latina/o Theater Festival
Highways Performance Space
UC Irvine & California State University Northridge

JTT in California

The Los Angeles Theater Center opens its historic Encuentro National Latina/o Theater Festival on Thursday, October 16 with José Torres-Tama’s critically acclaimed ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS & OTHER EVILDOERS, a sci-fi Latino noir solo that satirizes the status of immigrants as “extraterrestrials.”

In partnership with Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, the ALIENS LATC shows take place on Thursday, October 16 at 8:30 p.m. and on Sunday, October 19 at 2:30 p.m.  LATC links:

José Torres-Tama is an NEA award-wining performance artist and Louisiana Theater Fellow. In ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS & OTHER EVILDOERS, the artist deftly shape-shifts into a variety of aliens who expose the hypocrisies of a system that dehumanizes immigrants while exploiting their labor.

ALIENS is politically provocative, visually, dynamic, and profoundly moving, and the artist puts a human face and heart on the vilified Latino immigrant.

Developed through a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award, the ALIENS tour began at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA for a one–week residency in September, and has now invaded California.

What the Critics say:

José Torres-Tama treads that dangerously vague turf of performance art gracefully…  He takes Latino life on a magical mystery tour with dexterity and daring.
—The Village Voice (New York)

Powerful performance art piece lets audience feel mistreatment of Hispanic immigrants… Torres-Tama’s moving and visually stimulating piece holds a mirror –both literally and figuratively — up to the audience.
—Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

An adroit performer and lucid writer, José Torres-Tama bravely takes us to the dark side where most dare not to go.
—DC Theatre Scene

The ALIENS @ Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, CA
Friday, October 24 and Saturday, November 1, 2014

Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares
Performance Poetry Collection

On Monday, October 27, he will be at University of California at Irvine for a performance reading from his soon to be published poetry collection titled Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares, which includes performance poems from the ALIENS solo.  Published by Diálogos Books New Orleans, this debut collection documents twenty-five years of bilingual verse from 1989 to 2014.

From October 28 through 30, he will conduct a three-day residency at California State University Northridge and perform ALIENS on Tuesday, October 28.  Also, he will conduct performance workshops and guide participating students in a Public Intervention on campus to bring attention to the crisis at the border.

ALIENS is politically provocative, visually dynamic, and hilariously absurd, and it humanizes the demonized “immigrant alien” by putting a human face and heart on immigrants under persecution in the so-called land of the free.  ALIENS is inspired by interviews the artist conducted with immigrants in the cities of Houston, New Orleans, and Washington, DC.

ALIENS sold out a two hundred seat-theater at Vanderbilt University, three nights
at Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis, and two hundred forty
saw it for a Unitarian Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

About the artist:

Ecuadorian-born José Torres-Tama is an alien agent from Her Majesty’s Secret Salsa Service with a license to transport subversive performance art across state lines and international waters. As an interdisciplinary provocateur, poet, performance and visual artist, he challenges the USA to live up to its press release as the beacon of Democracy.

His battle cry is NO GUACAMOLE for Immigrant Haters!

He is an NEA award recipient for his multidisciplinary performance work and a Louisiana Theater Fellow.  His hybrid performance practices are informed by an inventive fusion of film projections and conceptual rituals with bilingual texts, historical research, and a magical realist Latino voodoo aesthetic—creating spectacles that are visually dynamic and politically charged.

In 2013, he received a National Performance Network Creation Fund to develop the ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project and transform a used food vehicle into a mobile stage to reach non-traditional theater audiences.  ALIENS, IMMIGRANTS & OTHER EVILDOERSreceived a 2010 Creation Fund and chronicles the current persecution of Latino immigrants across so-called the land of the free.  In September 2014, Diálogos Books New Orleans will publish Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares, a debut collection of twenty-five years of performance poems and other verse.

Since 1995, he has toured nationally and internationally.  His work has been presented at Roehampton University and Live Art Development in London; the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool, the Centre for Performance Research in Aberystwyth; Wales, the Castle of the Imagination Performance Festival in Poland; the International Performance Festival in Maribor, Slovenia; and the Performance Festival at X-Teresa Arte Alternativo in Mexico City.

National theaters that have presented his work include Performance Space 122, Theater for the New City, and the Nuyorican Poets Café, all in New York City; Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles; the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque; DiverseWorks in Houston; GALA Hispanic Theater in DC; and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

In the academy, Duke, Cornell, Vanderbilt, Tulane, LSU, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, and many others have presented his solos and lectures on art for social change.

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Alternate ROOTS supports the creation and presentation of original art that is rooted in communities of place, tradition or spirit. We are a group of artists and cultural organizers based in the South creating a better world together. As Alternate ROOTS, we call for social and economic justice and are working to dismantle all forms of oppression—everywhere.