Photo credit: Ben Torres
In a remarkable partnership of institutions in three Texas cities, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is proud to host Crystal City 1969, a play based on the true-life story of Mexican-American teenagers who walked out of class and into civil rights history.
The play, written by Dallas-based Cara Mía Theatre’s David Lozano and Raul Treviño, centers on a story of discrimination against Latino students in south Texas schools during the 1960’s. Students were punished for speaking Spanish, prohibited from participating in varsity sports and discouraged from attending college, simply because they were Mexican-American.
While Cara Mía has produced Crystal City 1969 five times in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, this is the first time that it will travel to San Antonio to perform.
“Touring Crystal City 1969 to the Guadalupe is exciting because we are bringing a vital story of Mexican-American civil rights history to San Antonio, the hotbed of the Texas Chicano movement in the 60’s,” said David Lozano, Cara Mía executive artistic director, who is directing the production. “This tour stop allows us to share this important story to people in a different region of Texas. We expect folks will show up not just from San Antonio but from surrounding cities and towns.”
The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) first proposed the performance in April 2022, after an outdoor staged reading of the play in Austin attracted an in-person audience of over 400 people; hundreds more live-streamed. San Antonio was chosen as the natural site for a full performance: the Greater San Antonio area is home to tens of thousands of UT-Austin graduates and current students who have had strong ties to CMAS.
“It’s a wonderful, inspiring story, beautifully told,” said Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, CMAS director. “San Antonio is the ideal city to showcase the talents of the playwrights and the cast and crew. Of course, the Historic Guadalupe Theater is the perfect setting. We’re so thankful to (Executive Director) Cristina Balli and (Program Director) Jorge Piña and the staff for welcoming the production.”
On December 9th, 1969, Crystal City High School students Severita Lara, Diana Serna, and Mario Treviño led a historic walkout that gained national attention. The students inspired local Mexican-Americans to run for political office, and won a majority on the school board in 1970. Institutional changes were immediately made to the educational system in Crystal City. For one, all students K-12 were required to learn to read, write, and speak Spanish, which inspired educators across the country to integrate bilingual education in their schools.
Crystal City 1969 is an example of American Democracy at its best.
Other sponsors of the five San Antonio performances include: Santander Consumer USA Foundation; Gonzaba Foundation; Humanities Texas; Mexican American Civil Rights Institute; Texas Commission on the Arts; City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture.
Crystal City 1969
Written by David Lozano and Raul Treviño
Directed by David Lozano
Thursday, January 19, 2023 Student matinee at 10:00 AM
Friday, January 20, 2023 Senior Citizen matinee at 10:00 AM
Friday, January 20, 2023 General Admission at 8:00 PM
Saturday, January 21, 2023 General Admission at 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2023
General Admission at 3:00 PM
Ages 60+ FREE, courtesy of Gonzaba Foundation*
*Patrons ages 60+ receive a complimentary admission courtesy of Gonzaba Foundation; reserve your seat with discount code
GONZABA and present valid ID at door.