chapter  11
12 Pages

Identity Politics and the Training of Latino Actors

ByMICHA ESPINOSA AND ANTONIO OCAMPO-GUZMAN

Latinos are the fastest-growing minority in the United States and are beginning to have a signifi cant impact on large sections of its society and culture, including theatre, fi lm, and television.2 There are numerous Latino theatre companies and festivals across the nation, as well as a thriving generation of Latino writers producing compelling work. These companies and festivals tend to attract actors mostly from their surrounding communitiesactors who are fi lled with generosity and energy, but who have little of the substantial training in voice, movement, and acting needed to achieve true excellence and sustain a professional career. At the same time, very few actor-training programs are able or willing to understand the complex navigation of identity-an integral part of the Latino experience in the U.S. As a result, these programs measure their Latino students against rigid, old-fashioned and unexamined Eurocentric values.