Proyecto Latina Reading Series – September

Jazmin Corona

It’s time for cozy sweaters,autumn leaves and the Proyecto Latina Reading Series!

We’ve had a wonderful summer and are energized and ready for a season of creativity.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see Prop Theatre’s production of Arizona No Roosters In The Desert. I thought Jazmin gave a strong and memorable performance in that production and we are delighted to feature her this month.

For Jazmin storytelling comes in many forms and she will be celebrating love, life and loss by reading/performing an original piece dedicated to her mom, who passed away last April. According to Jazmin she will accompany the piece with a few selections of poetry and some photographic images to help illustrate the fact that no matter what happens in life, there is always someone there who loves you.

Monday, September 19th 7PM to 9PM

Proyecto Latina Reading Series

@DeLaTorre Fine Arts Studio

1200 West 35th Street –3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60608

Map Quest

Please note venue is a warehouse – use the main entrance on 35th Street

Street parking plentiful and CTA: #35th Street Bus

Disclaimer: No elevator available

Jazmin Corona, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, has been living in Chicago for the past 6 years. She has blessed many stages as an actor and as a dancer. Few, however, know that she is also a writer, photographer and teaching artist. If she’s not on stage than you can find her in the studio or in a classroom, sharing knowledge with and acquiring knowledge from our city’s youth. She is dedicated to using all her art forms to further an understanding between each other, for each other and of each other. Jazmin has performed and studied theatre and dance here in the U.S. and in Mexico. She has been a performer for the past 31 years. See Jazmin’s theatre credits… Her website is in the works at

SPECIAL NOTE: Before we forget we’d like to thank Abraham Duenas of Catedral Café for generously letting us use the community space. His café has closed and we wish him much luck on his new endeavors. We have begun looking for donated space for our reading series. If you have any suggestions let us know. This month we’d like to thank DeLaTorre Fine Arts Studio for carving out some creative space for us.

July – Proyecto Latina Presents Claudia Martinez












The first time I met Claudia Martinez was during rehearsals for the Teatro Luna Theatre festival. She bounded in to the first rehearsal with amused eyes and big smile. What strikes me about Claudia  is how hilarious and committed to creativity she is. She drove all the way from Elgin to be part of the rehearsal process and spent a few hours with the other actors rehearsing in room with no air conditioning.

She had been cast to play “La Pata Loca” for my ten-minute play Thirst directed by Nilsa Reyna. At one point, she waved the script at me and asked me if she could take liberties with the script. I smiled and said yes because I knew she could deliver.  I’m really excited that Claudia will be part of this month’s Proyecto Latina reading series! You will be in for a treat I promise.

Claudia will be performing a compilation of what makes up her comedic DNA. A bit of sketch, improv and stand up.  Whether it’s her love of fake mustaches, a good heart felt scene, or plain silly comedy, you’ll see her tackle all that makes her: man, woman, mexican, passionate and a scrappy fighter Christina Aguilera style.

Monday, July 18th from 7pm to 9pm

Proyecto Latina Reading Series – FREE

@Catedral Café

2500 South Christianna Avenue

Chicago, IL 60623

Street parking / #60 Blue Island Bus

Come and connect with Latinas in the arts and beyond!

Remember to get there early and sign up for the open mic and bring your chismes for the chisme box.

We’d love it if you can spread the word about this event by tweeting it/posting it on your FB wall/ blogging about it or simply telling your comadres to swing by. We greatly appreciate it!

Claudia is incredibly lucky to be doing what she loves: writing and performing comedy! She hopes to get paid well doing it so her parents can stop fielding odd jobs for her in their day to day: “Porque no le hablas a tu prima Estela mija? trabaja en el Comcast y dice que estan ocupando gente.” Gimme time A-Pa.

She has trained in acting, improvisation and sketch at The Second City, iO., The Annoyance and Blizzard Theater.  Part of The Second City’s Outreach and Diversity Ensemble, you might have seen her recently in their last revue ‘Rahm Wasnt Built in a Day,’ or in her critically acclaimed sketch show ‘Love and Order.’

You can also see her around town doing improv and sketch with groups like MARIA, Williams & Martinez, Rascalitas, Hey, Rocket!, and doing Solo-sketch and Stand-up open mics. She has performed at i.O.,The Playground Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, DC Comedy Festival, Chicago Sketchfest ’08-’11, New York’s Del Close Marathon at UCB, and Victory Garden Theater’s Ignition Festival.

From her heart to yours: Laugh! and keep her there.

Proyecto Latina Reading Series -April

April showers brings poeta power! It’s National Poetry Month and this month we will be featuring Dr. Yolanda Nieves. She will be reading from her book The Spoken Body and as always we’ll do a little Q&A with Yolanda about her book. Let’s celebrate National Poetry month together so remember to tell your comadres to swing by.

Monday, April 18th  @7pm

Proyecto Latina Reading Series

Catedral Café

2500 South Christianna Avenue

Chicago, IL 60623

Street parking / #60 Blue Island Bus

Come and connect with Latinas in the arts and beyond.

Remember to get there early and sign up for the open mic and bring your chismes for the chisme box!

Tell us who your favorite poet is or what poem makes you melt?

Yolanda Nieves is a one of Chicago’s most prominent second generation Puerto Rican playwrights.  Born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, Yolanda Nieves is a poet, playwright, director, educator, actress, and creative director of The Vida Bella Ensemble.  Featured on Vocalo, WGN TV News, and NPR, Yolanda is the winner of the highly regarded American Educational Research Association’s 2010 Arts-Based Dissertation of the Year Award for the performance-text, The Brown Girls’ Chronicles:  Puerto Rican Women & Resilience.  The Brown Girls’ Chronicles has been performed coast-to-coast, and continues to receive interest and be an influential tool for disturbing political and historical consciousness for audiences in the U.S. and abroad.

In 2010, Yolanda’s second play, Bless Me, Madrina!, also a performance –text, played to sold-out audiences at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Based on research, the play emanated the dreams and desires that Latinas think about, but don’t necessarily act upon.  She is currently involved in Teatro Luna’s PlayLab series and will have her play La Matadora/Steel Flags produced by Chicago’s Landmark Project in the Fall of 2011.

Her first love, however, is poetry. As a poet, Yolanda has two books of poetry to her credit:  Dove over Clouds (2008), and The Spoken Body (2010) both published by Plainview Press.  She writes poetry that promises to stay with you long after you’ve put down the book. Yolanda holds a doctorate of education from National-Louis University, a master’s of reading from Northeastern Illinois University, a master’s in Organizational Development from Loyola University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University in English and Education.

Dr. Nieves believes in the power of performance and poetry as tool for liberatory education.  She is committed to using the oral tradition on stage as a way to create consciousness of who we are as women, as a community, and as a people.   She writes not to conform to theater, but to disturb the status quo and to democratize spaces where Others have been marginalized.

Remember tell us who your favorite poet is or what poem makes you melt?

Special Thanks To Our Venue Sponsor:

03.15.10: Josie Dykas heals with laughter

03.15.10: Josie Dykas heals with laughter

Josie Dykas, founder of Urban Indigenous, is the Proyecto Latina feature for March 2010.

Save the date: Monday, March 15, 2010 @ 7 p.m.

Held @ Cedahlia’s Cafe, 1010-12 S. Western Ave. Chicago

For Proyecto Latina, Josie Dykas will be presenting characters from her one woman show.

Josie is Yaqui & Polish and originally from the south suburbs of Chicago. She has studied at many of the great institutions of improvisation including UCB(NYC), Second City & ImproOlympic(Chicago) where she had the privilege of being one of Del Close’s last students and interned with SNL’s Anne Beatts(LA). She was the Artistic Director of ¡Salsation! in ’02 & ’03 and performed in numerous reviews including “My Big Fat Quincenera”, along with Second City’s BrownCo ”Stylin’ n Racial Profilin’”.

While in LA she met with native comic, Charlie Hill and realized it was time to learn more of her Native roots. She had the honor to be mentored by elders of many different tribes (Yaqui, Aztec, Tongva, Chumash, etc). She has also ventured into stand up comedy. Credits include the the Icehouse and The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood.

Josie recently founded a multi-ethnic comedy troupe Urban Indigenous that has been performing to sold out audiences throughout Chicagoland. She is currently producing and co-directing the first full length run “Code of Ethnics” that opened March 27th. She is also working on a documentary about discovering her roots also titled “Urban Indigenous.”

Currently she works as an artist with NEIU’s 21st Century program teaching Native Storytelling and improv/comedy and for Duron Law Firm, helping families save their homes and recover overpaid taxes. Josie has always worked in social services including with mentally challenged adults, elders, children and the disabled. She has volunteered with many different Cultural, Spiritual/Religious and Socially Conscious Organizations. She hopes to help inspire the Native/Latino youth to use comedy as a vehicle of self expression while discovering their Native roots, “Helping our community heal through laughter.  We have to know our true history (personally & culturally), to deal with today, to change the future.”

January 2010 – PROYECTO LATINA

January 2010 – PROYECTO LATINA

Proyecto Latina is thrilled to announce the first Latina to kick off our reading series in January! Stephanie Diaz Reppen will be reading an excerpt from her novel-in-progress You Can’t Call The Indians Maria Anymore. She will also be premiering a new Bunraku-based puppetry piece called Dichos as well as bringing along the book her mother made me when she was little- The Seven Little Goats– for people to look at.

Save The Date & Spread The Word!

Monday, January 18 @ 7PM - FREE
Cedahlia’s 1010 -12 S Western
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 733-0885
Street Parking Available

Stephanie Diaz Reppen is delighted to share her own stories with Proyecto Latina, as she has been busy for the past 20 years telling others’ stories in her career as an actress. As such, she has performed at theatres big and small in California,
Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City and Milwaukee, and has also enjoyed a career as a voice-over artist, lending her voice to audio books, video games, commercial spots– at one time, she was the Spanish voice of the Puget Sound Light Rail system (and may still be, for all she knows)! She is also a puppeteer specializing in the Bun Raku style, and most recently performed with Blair Thomas and Company in Millennium Park.

However, Stephanie’s first love has always been writing, and she comes by the predilection honestly– on display at Proyecto Latina, you will find a hand-bound book created for her by her mother, illustrations and all. She is currently at work on a novel, “You Can’t Call The Indians Maria Anymore”, based on 3 generations of mujeres in Guatemala and the U.S. spanning over 50 years. She is a member of Teatro Luna’s Playlab workshop and is developing a play called “Boogey Women,” featuring La Llorona, La Siguanaba, and Bloody Mary. She is also currently exploring the duality of her identity as an first-generation Guatemalan-American through personal essay and character sketches of her Gringo and Latino familia.

She is inspired and intrigued by courage and cowardice, strength and weakness, beauty and ugliness, joy and despair, and all things shiny and colorful. She looks forward to adding her voice to the canon of Latina writers in 2010.

We also want to thank Jesse Iniquez for generously donating his space. Mil Gracias!