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Lisa Portes. (Photo by Joe Mazza/BraveLux)

Offscript: Defining Latinx with Lisa Portes

On this week’s podcast, director Lisa Portes stopped by to discuss Latinx theatre in Chicago, and directing work for young audiences. Plus, the editors discuss the responses we’ve been getting from artists about the election.

Every other week, the editors of American Theatre curate a free-ranging discussion about the lively arts in our Offscript podcast.

This week, editors Rob Weinert-Kendt, Suzy Evans, and Diep Tran discuss the contents of our December issue, and why we decided to focus on Latinx theatre this month (and also why we are now using the term Latinx instead of Latino). Then, if you weren’t tired of hearing us talk about the election, we talk about it some more! Specifically, we discuss the series of stories we’ve run about how artists are responding to the incoming Trump era and the value of preaching to the converted.

Then Rob interviews Chicago-based director Lisa Portes, who discusses the state of Latinx theatre in her hometown (and nationally). She also talks about growing up Cuban and the importance of acknowledging difference.

Download the episode here. Subscribe via iTunes or RSS.


This week, Suzy and Diep both recommend movie musicals. First, Suzy saw the new romantic musical comedy La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and it took her back to the era of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Plus, the music—written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul—are a standout.

Diep praises the new Disney musical film Moana for its feminist heroine and its diverse cast. And even though its set on a Polynesian island, it’s not appropriative! Plus the music—written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina—is great too.

On that musical theme, Rob saw Sutton Foster do Sweet Charity at the New Group and he calls it the “greatest performance of my lifetime.” It’s probably going to Broadway but he recommends seeing it in its intimate Off Broadway setting right now, playing through Jan. 8.

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