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Q&A: Crystal City 1969 Playwright Raul Treviño


by Tina Aguilar 8 Dec 2009

Guest blogger Tina Aguilar is an arts advocate, Cara Mia Board Member and teaches humanities/cultural studies at Brookhaven College. Wednesday night, Cara Mia Theatre Company premieres Crystal City 1969 at the Latino Cultural Center. I recently spoke with playwright Raul Treviño about his play: Tina Aguilar: Crystal City 1969 is close to your heart and […]

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Guest blogger Tina Aguilar is an arts advocate, Cara Mia Board Member and teaches humanities/cultural studies at Brookhaven College.

Wednesday night, Cara Mia Theatre Company premieres Crystal City 1969 at the Latino Cultural Center. I recently spoke with playwright Raul Treviño about his play:

Tina Aguilar: Crystal City 1969 is close to your heart and family. Can you talk about your influences?

Raul TrevinoRaul Treviño: Mario Treviño, mi tio, was one of the student walkout leaders. During family reunions, I often heard my aunts and uncles sharing stories about their experiences growing up in Crystal and traveling as migrant laborers. My former colleague Diana Serna Aguilera shared more stories, pictures and memories. I was spellbound by their experiences. Some stories have been told over and over again. And they’re as magical as when I first heard them. I have another colleague who says that when we tell the same story over and over, it’s not because the listener hasn’t heard the story, it’s because the storyteller hasn’t heard the story. So what have we not heard in these stories? Severita Lara, Diana Serna Aguilera, Mario Treviño, Blanca Treviño and Libby Serna gave us something to write about. All of these heroes have influenced me in ways they can’t even imagine! I am grateful for their impact on my life and love them dearly for who they were and who they continue to be. They continue to bless and inspire me to this day.

T.A.: How would you describe your writing process for this project?

R.T.: David Lozano introduced me to a vibrant creative writing process. After plenty of research and reading, one of us would act out a scene, the other would type. It was fun. Mostly, we wrote in my home where Mi Cielito Lindo took good care of us by cooking delicious meals during our writing sessions. We also wrote at Half Price Books on Northwest Highway; folks there would look at us strangely sometimes when we got carried away.

T.A.: Who is the audience for Crystal City 1969?

R.T.: Our audience is anyone interested in civil rights history and intercultural relations. Our audience has a heart for issues of social justice. This means women who have had the courage to find their voices to lead. Our audience is made up of Spanish speakers and English speakers. Our audience is Chicano.  Elders y los jovenes. There will be audience members who have more yesterdays than they do tomorrows. And some who have not been born.

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