Teatro Tour 2008 Takes the Central Coast
by Jennifer Pascuali


Stemming from winter quarter’s Teatro I class, the 2008 Teatro Tour, a traveling cast of UCSB theater students performing skits about social and environmental issues, has been making appearances throughout the central coast.

The cast, which consists of undergraduates and one graduate student, has performed from Santa Barbara, to Cuyama, to Santa Maria, and will continue throughout the quarter.

The Teatro Tour began four years ago with Dr. Carlos Morton, a well-known professor in the Theater and Dance department. “It’s a way of communicating with farm workers about issues that dealt with mistreatment of laborers,” said third-year Theater major and Teatro Tour member, Angela Cruz. “We use this style of theater as a way of telling stories to a young audience about the current issues that affect them in today’s world.”

Each member plays a role in the group as a designer, playwright, director, or writer. Being a “mobile theatre,” the cast must keep materials to a minimum, bringing only a box of props to each performance, often at local high schools.

The Teatro I class offered in winter quarter wanted to create anything but a typical presentation, acknowledging that presenting information about sex, drugs, and alcohol has become repetitive to high school students. Realizing this, the students wrote skits dealing with issues about ecology, voting, and homophobia.

“Eco-woman,” a environmental piece, focuses on issues regarding global warming. Adopted from the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the satirical skit involves characters such as the World, a Government Man, and Michael Moore. “The Importance of Voting” advocates the significance of the upcoming presidential election. Historic characters such as Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony make an appearance to demonstrate how suffrage has come a long way.  The skit, “Homophobia” explores injustices faced by the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Transexual, Queer, Intersex, and Allies) community, based on the death of Lawrence King, a queer high school student shot to death on February 12 of this year. Overall, the Teatro Tour presentations encompass many critical issues affecting modern society.

Members of the Teatro Tour have a passion for sending their message to audiences.  “By being involved in the Teatro Tour, we, the students, are changing the world through theater one step at a time, starting with high school students,” explained Chelsea Snyder, a third-year Theater major. Liz Uhazy, also a third-year Theater major, said, “to actually see the reaction of the audience, it inspires us as artists and expands our creativity.”