The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: The Director’s Cuts Otherwise Known as “Antojitos”

Springtime is right around the corner and Proyecto Latina has some wonderful surprises for you! We KICK OFF our March Proyecto Latina with a special Director’s Cut from the Brown Girls’ Chronicles so even if you missed their sold out show you can still check them out.

The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: Puerto Rican Women and Resilience is a
collection of the stories,voices and songs that long to be heard; the stories of how race, ethnicity, gender, and colonialism shape the lives of marginalized women.

Proyecto Latina Co-Producer Irasema Gonzalez will be doing an interview with the lovely and talented ladies of the BrownGirl’sChronicles. You can listen to the interview Sundays at 6 p.m. orcheck back on the Proyecto Latina website for the podcast.

Monday, March 16 @ 7 p.m. -FREE!
Radio Arte1401 W. 18th StreetChicago, IL 60608
http://www.mapquest.orgNear blue line / 60 Blue Island Bus/18th St. Bus
Gotta a question?
Written and directed by Yolanda Nieves, The Brown Girls’Chronicles are the stories of second generation Puerto Ricanwomen who in their day-to-day lives are the embodiment ofstruggle for independence of mind, soul, heart and body.
The Brown Girls’ Chronicles is the long-timerealized desire of Nieves to continue the constructionof her identity, a desire shared by her generation andby the youth of Chicago too. The show, based on thecollection of interviews from scores of secondgeneration Puerto Rican women, is perfectly describedas “…a vibrant and truthful perspective of the Puerto Ricanwoman’s experience in Chicago…” by cultural/artistic activist Carlos Flores, “…it eradicatesan existing void.”
The Vida Bella Ensemble features:

Laura Magdalena Nieves is a third generation Puerto Ricanwoman born and raised inChicago. Laura is pursuing herbachelor’s degree in zoology and is a member of Phi ThetaKappa, a national honor society. She is also a spoken wordartist and a sketch artist. Laura has danced with Grupo Yuba,a bomba-plena dance troupe from Chicago, as well as with SpicyDance Rhythms, the all women’s dance troupe at Wright College.Two years ago she made her debut in the play “Brown GirlsSinging.” Laura is excited to be working with the amazing cast of“The Brown Girls’ Chronicles” and is grateful for the influence strongPuerto Rican women have had in her life.

Anabel Duarte is a second generation Puerto Ricanwoman and isproud of having been born and raised inHumboldt Park. A Gordon Tech High School graduate,Anabel is currently attending Northeastern Illinois Universityand majoring in business management. “The Brown Girls’Chronicles” is Anabel’s first production. Anabel is excitedand thankful to be part of this endeavor. It is her desire thatwomen everywhere can connect with the universal messageof the Brown Girl Chronicles.

Natalie Mia Bermeo is a second generation Puerto Ricanwoman with a strong passion for acting and the performing arts.A sophomore at Carl Schurz High School, Natalie has beenacclaimed for her work in improvisational theater. A member ofLas Caras Lindas, a mentoring program for young Puerto Ricanwomen established this year in the Humboldt Park community,Natalie is delighted to be a member of the Vida Bella Ensemble,and is determined to pursue acting for many years to come.

Yolanda Nieves is a second generation Puerto Ricanwoman born and raised in Humboldt Park. She is the“The Brown Girls’ Chronicles” playwright and director.Yolanda is also an award winning poet (The Jane’sStories Foundation award winner 2006) and publishedher first collection of poems, Dove over Clouds, in 2007.In 2007, Yolanda successfully co-wrote and co-directedher first production, “Brown Girls Singing” which wassuccessfully staged at University of Chicago and JaneAddams’ Hull House. She has also performed parts of theplay to great acclaim at the University of Manchester, England;the University of Guanajuato, Mexico; and the University of Rio Piedras in Puerto Rico. Yolanda performs her poetry atvarious Chicago venues and is an active memberof the Neighborhood Writing Alliance-Humboldt Park Branch.She holds a B.A. from Loyola University, an M.A. from LoyolaUniversity,an M.A. from Northeastern Illinois University, and is currentlya doctoral candidate at National-Louis University. She is alsoa Diversifying Faculty in Illinois Fellowship winner. Yolanda isgrateful for the circle of women, those of the past, present, andfuture, and all the godmothers and godfathers that have sustainedthe creative integrity of “The Brown Girls’ Chronicles: Puerto RicanWomen and Resilience.”

Diana Cruz is a third generation Puerto Ricanwoman. She is honored to be part of the Vida BellaEnsemble and performing in the Brown Girls’ Chronicles.A Chicago native, she holds a B.A. in Communications andis pursuing her Master’s degree at Spertus Institute. She is aproud member of Saboreando Obras Latinas (S.O.L.), andindependent publishing press, and is an active participant ofthe Neighborhood Writing Alliance. Diana also sings with theChicago Puerto Rican Community Chorus. She has beenpublished in several issues of the Journal of Ordinary Thoughtand Area Magazine. Diana sends her love and gratitude toher S.O.L. sistas, her family, and husband.

Esmeralda Cuevas is a second generation Puerto Ricanwoman, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and joins VidaBella Ensemble as a first-time performer. She has alwayshad an interest in theatre performance, and has acquiredvaluable experience through various acting classes andworkshops at both Columbia College and Act One Studios.Aside from her theatre aspirations, Esmeralda has alsofounded her own dance instruction company – Move URHips, Inc. – offering private dance lessons in non-competitiveLatin dance styles. She is also a member of Las Divas Promotions,with fellow cast member Yvonne Nieves, providing public relationsand marketing services to local businesses. In addition to thesevarious interests and commitments, Esmeralda spends her daytimehours working as an assistant for the Human Resources departmentof The Marmon Group/ Chicago Public Schools.

Marisel Melendez is a second generation Puerto Rican mother,daughter, sister, poet, and author. Her current work is an unpublishedmanuscript in progress that relates her personal experiences of herlife’s challenges as a Puerto Rican woman growing up in HumboldtPark. Marisel has a passion for the spoken word and she is the founderof the Amaryllis Book Club, where young Latinas in middle school getthe opportunity to put their thoughts into poetry. She is a proud memberof Saboreando Obras Latinas (S.O.L.), an independent publishing PuertoRican women’s press. As a member of the Neighborhood Writing Allianceshe has had several of her poems published in The Journal of OrdinaryThought, and most recently in Area Magazine.

Yvonne Nieves is a third generation Puerto Rican and a budding entrepreneur. After working as an organizer for yearsin the PuertoRican community and obtaining her degree in Anthropology, sherealized that her passion was working in the music industry. She isthe head of Las Divas Promotions and works as an independentcontractor, providing support and resources to records labels, localbands and small businesses. You may recognize her for her role asTuti in the 2004 film “Urban Poet” produced by New Film Productions.

Sandra Posada is a second generation Puerto Ricanwoman born and bred in Humboldt Park. She is a teacher,published artist/illustrator, artisan; creator of Coqueta Creationsby PiXie- jewelry line for women. Sandra has been a Bilingualeducator within the Chicago Public Schools for 12 yearsand was recently nominated for the Illinois Golden Apple Award.Sandra successfully co-wrote her first production, “Brown GirlsSinging” which was successfully staged at University of Chicagoand Jane Addams’ Hull House. Sandra performs her poetry atvarious Chicago venues and has presented her art work at variouslocal venues including the University of Illinois, Chicago andthe Symposium for Women of Color in 2008. She holds a B.A.from Roosevelt University and is currently a working on her Bilingual/ Bicultural Education at DePaul University. Sandra believes strongly in that art can educate. Sandra hopes that everyone who comes to see The Brown Girls Chronicles will walkaway with a fresh perspective of who “second generation PuertoRican women” are.

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