On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and About…Productions will present the 7th annual Latino Scene Showcase, which will highlight six short scenes written, performed and directed by Latinos. More than 400 entertainment industry executives, talent representatives, and casting directors are expected to attend the event. Executives will watch and analyze the scenes, and following the performances, will connect and network with the participants. The goal of the showcase is for participants to establish relationships with key industry executives and ultimately break into network television.
The artistic vision of the showcase will be developed and overseen by Theresa Chavez, the showcase’s first ever female artistic director.
Showcase writers and their works which will be performed are:
El Portal Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Reception immediately following
To address the long-standing and overwhelming absence of Latino creatives in the entertainment industry
Currently, Latinos make up 18.9% of the U.S. population, have a purchasing power of $1.5 trillion dollars, and are 23% of all moviegoers across the nation, buying more tickets than any other ethnic group.
Yet, Latinos are still severely underrepresented in the news and entertainment media industries as actors, writers, directors, producers, and all other above and below the line positions. Latest statistics show:
- Latino actors made up only 5.2% of all film roles in the top 200 films released in 2017 and 6.2% of all scripted broadcast TV roles during the 2016-2017 television season. (2019 UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report)
- Latino directors made up only 1.7% of all direction positions in film and only 5% of all directing positions episodic television. (2017 DGA Report & 2017-2018 DGA Episodic TV Director Inclusion Report)
- Latino writers made up only 2.8% of writers staffed on TV shows during the 2013-2014 television season. (2015 WGAW TV Staffing Brief)
The following quote can be attributed to Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition:
“Representation in media matters because that is where people get their beliefs as to who Latinos are, what they are, and how much they are worth. Media, in all its forms, has a profound impact on how people think and behave. We can only achieve equality and justice in this nearly all-white industry through successful, professional development programs such as the Latino Scene Showcase, which creates a unique pipeline of Latino artists to enter mainstream media. NHMC will continue to do this important work for many years to come.”
Theresa Chavez, Artistic Director, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Chavez is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of About…Productions. She is an interdisciplinary theater artist whose work, as writer/director, producer and playwright, has been seen on national television, extensively in Southern California, throughout the U.S., and in Canada, including the Public Theater (New York), Hogg Auditorium (UT Austin), The Mexican Museum (Chicago), The Getty Center (L.A.), Banff Centre (Alberta, Canada), and the Mark Taper Forum (L.A.).
Marlene Beltran Cuauhtin, Scene Director, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Beltran Cuauhtin is a long-time teaching artist in the greater Los Angeles area, working with such organizations as The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, CalArts Community Arts Partnership, About Productions, Plaza De La Raza and The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company. She received her B.F.A. in acting from The California Institute of the Arts.
Elena Campbell-Martínez, Scene Director, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Campbell-Martinez is a bilingual Mexican-American who is committed to telling stories that represent the experiences of other Latinx people who don’t have the privilege of seeing their lives fairly represented. She recently worked on Papi Chulo, an indie feature which will be released theatrically this year. She is the neighborhood curandera Doña Lupe on the Starz series Vida and stars as Matilde in the award-winning web series Couch Potato Chronicles.
Kevin Sifuentes, Scene Director, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Sifuentes is a director, theatre artist, actor and filmmaker. He has worked at The Mark Taper Forum as Assistant Director under the tutelage of award winning director Lisa Peterson for Palestine, New Mexico, and directed two main stage productions ofWalking on Turtle Island and Ghostlands of an Urban Indian for Native Voices At The Autry.
Robert W. Acevedo, Writer, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Acevedo is an aspiring actor and writer living in Los Angeles. His screen roles include Mom(ABC), Good Girls (NBC), I Am The Night (TNT), Goliath (Netflix) and For the People (ABC). He has studied extensively at UCLA’s Film and Television Department, with an emphasis on directing and screenwriting, and plans to focus on these areas in the future.
Danny Cavada, Writer, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Cavada was born and raised in Chicago and has lived in Los Angeles for the past 10 years. He first got the writing itch in second grade when asked to write the Christmas play and churned out a gripping story about a hungover Santa. Professionally, he has paid the bills by working in freelance positions as an Assistant or Post Coordinator on various hit TV shows such as Weeds, Scandal. Future Man, and the new DC Universe series Swamp Thing. He hopes to write for TV soon and someday be a showrunner.
Venessa M. Diaz, Writer, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Diaz is a Puerto Rican writer, performer, teaching artist and Down syndrome activist from New York City. She is dedicated to performing and creating work that is politically and socially conscious. Her solo show Organic Sofrito or Other Recipes for Disaster addresses the issues of cultural norms and mental health. Named a bestseller at the United Solo Theatre Festival, she has performed to sold out crowds in NYC, and will make her Midwest premier this Fall at the Chicago International Latino Theatre Festival.
Joe Gonzales, Writer, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Gonzales is an award-winning comedic writer, producer, director and is currently the Associate Creative Director at InterMedia Advertising where he is readying himself to work with Pixar on an upcoming ad campaign. Additionally, Joe is developing multiple half-hour TV show pilots and feature films. Most importantly Joe is also a proud father and husband that enjoys spending free time with his family at comic book stores and nerd conventions.
Jerry Hernandez, Writer, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Hernandez is a comedy writer from Los Angeles and lives in Downey. His comedy screenplays and pilots have placed in the Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Film Festival and have been rated in the top 4.6% on The Black List. He was also a participant in the 2018 NHMC Television Writers Program.
Nikki Taguilas-Pierce, Writer, 2019 Latino Scene Showcase. Taguilas is an actress and writer, hailing from Chicago, currently working in LA. She has contributed to the Second City Network, Huffington Post, and the Chicago RedEye. She also co-wrote and starred in This Afternoon, one of the Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Films to See at the Chicago International Film Festival. You can see her sketch comedy live in the LA comedy scene.
During showcase auditions and callbacks, five guest casting directors provided input and feedback for the actors. They were:
The 2019 Latino Scene Showcase is made possible by support from our sponsors:
About the Latino Scene Showcase:
The Latino Scene Showcase was created in 2013 to address the overwhelming lack of Latino directors, actors and writers. The professional development program cultivates emerging and qualified Latino talent to write, act and direct 4-5 minute scenes of original scripts written, performed and directed by Latinos. With in the past seven years, the program has successfully introduced hundreds of entertainment executives to program participants.
About…Productions creates original interdisciplinary theaterworks and educational programs that provoke new perspectives on history, humanity, and culture. The company is dedicated to generating new work through collaboration to create artistic and community dialogue.
For more information on the Latino Scene Showcase, please visitNHMC.org/latinosceneshowcase and follow us on Twitter @NHMC