“Our group is El Teatro Volarte.”
Jose Guerrero, can perfectly translate the deep meaning of the theater group he helps instruct.
“’Volar’ is kind of like flying and ‘arte’ is art. So, it’s kind of uplifting art and art that can lift folks up and inspire them,” explains Guerrero, Lead Instructor of the Su Teatro Cultural Arts Education Institute.
Guerrero is prepping the young, Chicano/Latino actors and actresses for a trip of a lifetime. “We are going to be going to Scotland this August. And we will be there for approximately, two weeks.”
Scotland is home to the American High School Theatre Festival. Ten students from El Teatro Volartetroupe will attend the festival to perform and to learn from teen actors from all over the world.
This trip is more than an awesome getaway for teen actress Sylvia Rocabado. This is an emotional adventure she never imagined.
“I am going to cry,” says Rocabado, wiping away a tear. “I never saw it as an opportunity for myself and when I was little I didn’t have someone who looked like me on stage. And I want to be that for someone else like another little brown girl can see me and go ‘if she can do it, I can do it.’”
Fellow Volarte actor, Steven Abeyta says his acting group will stand out in Scotland. “We are going to be the small little group there that is a little darker than everyone else.”
After an extensive and competitive application process, the group was chosen to represent the entire state of Colorado at the international festival.
“Last year when I went, people were really surprised that there was Mexican-American people in Denver,” Guerrero recalls. “I think our students will affect popular thought about who Americans really are.”
El Teatro Volarte is a group at Su Teatro in Denver. Su Teatro is a cultural and performing arts center dedicated to promoting and preserving the heritage of Chicano and Latino communities.
“I am really proud to be representing my culture,” Rocabado says. “That’s why I stick with this theater. Because I can be doing acting anywhere, but if I am acting here, I am sticking with my roots and showing people that we are not some sort of stereotype.”
Guerrero says opportunities like these are rare for many of the members of El Teatro Volarte.
“We’re people of color and oftentimes those opportunities are not given to us and we have to fight for those opportunities. So, I want them to remember that if they put their minds into it and they really work hard, that they can achieve anything they want.”
Rocabado says it is an honor to represent her culture, her people and her home state.
“I love where I grew up. I think Colorado is one of the most beautiful places to grow up. And so being able to put my best into something and take it overseas to represent my state and my people and my culture is something that I am really, really grateful for.”
El Teatro Volarte will perform a play called, “Nopal Boy” at Su Teatro, February 8-10 at 6:30 p.m. each evening.
These performances are fundraisers for Scotland and donations are encouraged. If you cannot make it to an upcoming performance and would like to help, visit their website here or their fundraising page.