By Imgard Rop
The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center is pleased to present award-winning performer Monica Palacios in “I’m Still Here”. This performance, which she has also written, is a comedic nostalgic look back at Palacios’ childhood and teen years, the 1960s and 1970s, which she has described as decades of childhood innocence and teenage travesuras (high jinks).
This event will take place Friday, March 27and Saturday, March 28 at 8pm at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center at 922 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212. Pre-sale tickets are $8 and $12 at the door and they are also available online at http://bit.ly/mPalacios.
Monica Palacios’ relationship with the Esperanza has spanned almost 30 years starting in the early 1990s through the mid-late 1990s when our cultural programming was the target of public attacks in the media. Right wing zealots began an assault on our art exhibits, film festivals, pláticas and performances until they achieved their goal of eliminating City of San Antonio arts funding for Esperanza in 1997.
Our LGBTQ programming was a primary focus of the attacks as were programs that made cultural or political reference to Latin America, Cuba or the Middle East. Newspaper articles written mostly by white males in the mid-90s attacked renowned artists like photographer, Laura Aguilar (now deceased), artist Ana Fernández and comedian-performer, Monica Palacios among others.
In 1998, having heard about Esperanza’s de-funding, Monica returned with performances of “Greetings from a Queer Señorita,” to benefit Esperanza.
Monica Palacios speaks about her experience here:
“The last time I did solo performances at the Esperanza, Peace and Justice Center, Bill Clinton was president. Wow—that’s a long ass time ago. It was the last weekend of May 1998, it was ridiculously hot—my clothes had to be peeled off for the costume change; but I packed both nights because I’m adorable and I have fans here in San Antone. People also came out to support these benefit performances that I was doing for the Esperanza. Earlier in the year, the center had been defunded of its city and state grants because the grantors were ducks—actually, I meant to say, dicks. The cuts were a staggering $75,000 plus. The city and state felt the work coming out of the Esperanza was indecent and harming the community and didn’t deserve to be funded. Which is absurd because the Esperanza was created to bring together diverse communities for peace and justice. I believe the grantors were old white dudes being their homophobic racists selves. But I digress.
During this time that the center was making headlines, San Antonio Express News columnist Roddy Stinson, (old white dude), mentioned me in his column two separate times because he found my work obscene: mission accomplished! He believed I was one of the reasons the Esperanza should not be funded. He freaked out when I was on stage doing my gynecologist cabaret singer: I was singing show tunes in my white doctor coat while waving a speculum around—I was celebrating the American spirit! After the shows, I was giving away free gyn exams and pan dulce. I was building community. #SiSePuede
I am thrilled to be coming back to the Esperanza, Friday and Saturday March 27 and 28 with my new solo show: I’m Still Here. This performance is a comedic nostalgic look back at my childhood and teen years, the 1960s and 1970s. Decades of childhood innocence and teenage travesuras. Here’s a little nugget from the show: I loved shaving with my dad using my toy razor and then splashing on Old Spice after shave. Clean shaven, my dad and I would sit at the dinner table sharing a can of Schlitz beer: he had a large mug and I had a Barbie size mug. We would down those suckers and both deliver a satisfying: Ah! Yup those were the days. From a baby dykeling to a teenage basketball jock, at my all girls catholic high school. The babes loved my silly sexy vibe as they would always tell me, “God, Monica, you act like a guy!” And then giggle. To which I would reply exuding my swagger in my jock apparel while running my fingers through my hair, “So.” Yeah, they wanted to bounce my ball—hard.
Come see my show: I’M STILL HERE and stay for the Q & A following the performances. Bring your abuelita, especially if she’s single.”
Monica Palacios is the creator of solo shows, plays, screenplays, short stories, stand-up comedy, poems, featuring the Latinx LGBTQ experience. Monica was selected as the
new Playwriting Instructor for the 2020 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, a program of the national organization Lambda Literary. Monica is the Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College 2019. Palacios was granted The McKenna Guest Artist Award 2019 during her fall residency at Holyoke Community College. National and international scholars have critically engaged her work in academic journals, books, dissertations and conference panels. She is a featured performer in the new queer documentary STAND UP, STAND OUT: The Making Of A Comedy Movement by David Pavlosky about the first gay comedy club in the nation 1980s San Francisco. Palacios has received numerous awards for her positive contributions to the Latinx LGBTQ population, most recently from the City of Los Angeles as a 2017 Latinx LGBTQ Trailblazer. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared October 12, 2012, “Monica Palacios Day” in honor of Monica’s illustrious 30 year career as one of the first Chicana lesbian writer/performers to be out and proud on stage. Palacios was selected for the inaugural 2016 Irene Fornés Playwriting Workshop, Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame. Monica received a Postdoctoral Rockefeller Fellowship from the University of California Santa Barbara allowing her to write, direct and produce her play Sweet Peace. Current solo performances and plays being presented: I’m Still Here, Say Their Names, San Francisco Mi Amor!, BROWNER QUEERER LOUDER PROUDER and I Kissed Chavela Vargas. Her recent publications include: Practicing Transgressions by Third Woman Press 2020; The Jota Anthology by Korima Press 2020; Scenes For Latinx Actors: Voices of The New American Theatre by Smith and Kraus Publishers 2018; Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando by Damaged Goods Press 2018; Game Changers: Lesbians You Should Know About by Robin Lowey Press 2017—Winner of Next Generation Indie Book Award 2018; and IMANIMAN: Poets Writing In The Anzaldúan Borderlands by Aunt Lute Press 2016. www.monicapalacios.com Twitter: @MonicaPFlash
MONICA PALACIOS “I’M STILL HERE”
Friday, March 27 + Saturday, 28|8pm-10pm
922 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78212
Tickets: $8 pre-sale, $12 at door.
Also available online http://bit.ly/mPalacios.
For more information
or to schedule interviews with Monica Palacios please contact at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 210.228.0201