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Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection, 1923-2018 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection, 1923-2018Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Hispanic Theatre of San Diego (1996-)

Extent: 46.74 Linear Feet

Subjects: Hispanic Theatre of San Diego--Archives, Mexican American artists--California--San Diego--Biography--Sources, Mexican American authors--California--San Diego--Biography--Sources, Mexican American dramatists--California--San Diego--Biography--Sources, Mexican American theater--California--San Diego--History--Sources, Sierra-Oliva, Jesus--Archives

Languages: English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection, divided into 10 series, documents the history of the Hispanic Theatre of San Diego and the professional career and personal life of its creator, Jesus Sierra-Oliva. The collection includes scores of Sierra-Oliva's musical creations, original artwork, play scripts, photographs, programs, video and cassette tapes of his productions, and correspondence. The primary foci of his creative talents were Walt Whitman and his Leaves of Grass, the Masonic music of Mozart, the soprano Maria Callas, Maximilian and Carlota and the history of Mexico, the poet Garcia Lorca, and Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The records also include personal papers relating to the life and family of theater founder Jesus Sierra-Oliva.

Biographical Note

The Hispanic Theatre of San Diego, recognized for being one of the few entirely bilingual Spanish-English theaters in the world, began its quest for success in 1996 under the direction of the playwright and artist Jesús Sierra-Oliva. The theater has produced plays such as Adios Mama Carlota, Blood on Fire, La Divina, Frida Kahlo: From Hell to Glory, and Los Dioses de Barro, and was officially proclaimed a non-profit theatre company in 2000.

Sierra-Oliva's father José Sierra Gomez, was a Méxican Spaniard, and his mother Magdalena Oliva Aguilar was a Méxican Indian. Sierra-Oliva began writing short stories during his early childhood and at 15, he published his first short story The Black Pearl. He studied painting at the San Carlos Art Academy in México City and drama at the Instituto Nacional de México. Largely self-taught as a composer, Sierra-Oliva never attempted to become a disciple of another composer but relied instead on his own analysis of the works of others.

In 1970 he won an honorary award for his first movie script Green and Gold in a national contest for movie, television, and radio script writing. The same year he moved to the United States where he studied philosophy and humanism at San Mateo College, and the mystical studies of the Order of Rosicrucian in San Jose, California. In 1987, Sierra-Oliva composed his first song entitled "50 Candles for the Golden Gate".

During 15 years Sierra-Oliva focused on arranging music and directing for stage musicals. In 1991 he created his first full-length musical work The Leaves of Grass Cantata. In 1992, Sierra-Oliva completed 50 ink drawings of the opera star Maria Callas which were displayed in the San Mateo Art Gallery where he later was invited to exhibit his creations. The following year he completed 50 paintings of Maria Callas's portraits in oil pastels and watercolors that were exhibited in several San Diego galleries.

The Hispanic Theatre of San Diego, along with its director, has continued to thrive in the performing arts industry.

Subject/Index Terms

Hispanic Theatre of San Diego--Archives
Mexican American artists--California--San Diego--Biography--Sources
Mexican American authors--California--San Diego--Biography--Sources
Mexican American dramatists--California--San Diego--Biography--Sources
Mexican American theater--California--San Diego--History--Sources
Sierra-Oliva, Jesus--Archives

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: February 2002, 2009-051, 2018-024, 9999-228, 2015-031, 2015-042, 2015-050, 2016-031, 2017-025, 2018-021

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. Permissions is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Jesús Sierra-Oliva

Related Materials:

Lowell Davies Papers

Old Globe Theater Collections

San Diego State Department of Theatre

Records of JuleTone Productions

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Other Note: Visit the URL below for an online exhibit featuring video selections from several of the dramatic performances produced by Hispanic Theatre of San Diego and directed by playwright and artist Jesus Sierra-Oliva.

Other URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/exhibits/2010/02/hispanictheatre/index.shtml


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Administrative Records, 2001-2006, 2015-2017],
[Series 2: Biographical],
[Series 3: Correspondence, 1971-2017],
[Series 4: Collected Works],
[Series 5: Theatrical Productions and Other Writings],
[Series 6: Photographs],
[Series 7: Artwork],
[Series 8: Audiovisual Material],
[Series 9: Stage Props],
[Series 10: Humanist and Philosphical Writings and Compositions],
[All]

Series 6: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: ProductionsAdd to your cart.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Adios Mama Carlota, rehearsal, 2000Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Assorted Stage ProductionsAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: Callas La Divina, Loving Comrades, Adios Mama Carlota, Blood on Fire and Frida: From Hell to Glory AlbumAdd to your cart.
Folder 25: Don Juan Tenorio, 2007Add to your cart.
Box 12Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Gods of Hollywood, rehearsal, 2003Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Grossmont College Opera Workshop Chorus, 1990, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Hojas de Hierba Cantata (concert in Spanish) presented at the Instituto de Cultura de Baja California in the Casa de la Cultura, Tijuana, Baja California, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Jesus Sierra-Oliva with Dr. Robert Strassburg, composer of Leaves of Grass Symphony, and Roger Asselineau, 2001Add to your cart.
Folder 5: La Divina, a playwright, 1998Add to your cart.
Folder 6: La Loca Emperatriz Carlota, 1999Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Leaves of Grass Concert, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Loving Comrades, 1999Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Mad Queen Carlota, May 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Mama Carlota: The Mad Empress of Mexico, 1997Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Maria Callas Art Exhibit at the Better World Galeria, Logan Heights Branch Library and the San Diego Public Library, Jesus Sierra-Oliva's ink and pastel paintings, 1993-1994Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Maria Callas Photos from the USA Callas Club Magazine, 1994-1997Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Mariana Pineda, Adios Mama Carlota, Don Juan Tenorio, SDSU Exhibit and Gods of Hollywood AlbumAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Mariana Pineda, playwright, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Mozart's Masonic Concert, with tenors Norman Boaz, Jesus Sierra-Oliva, Stewart Simon, Christopher Tanner and Gerald Whitney, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 16: The "Ode to Maria Callas" Concert in Athens, September 17, 2006Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Photos at the Performing Arts Center/Fenton Parkway Library, 2006Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Production/Personal Mini AlbumAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Rehearsal and Premiere Night Photos of ActorsAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: Salvador Dali Calendar with photo of two actors from the play "Blood on Fire" attached inside, 2001Add to your cart.
Box 40Add to your cart.
Folder 15: "Onassis y La Divina" Rehearsal, 2013Add to your cart.
Folder 16: "Gods of Hollywood" RehearsalAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: "Callas, La Divina" XL Aniversario, 2017Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Days of Video Showing at Centro De La Raza, and "Two Fridas" reading, 2016Add to your cart.
Folder 19: "Frida y Diego en el Infierno" performanceAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: "Muerte en Granada"Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Family and PersonalAdd to your cart.
Box 12Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Family and Personal, 2000-2003Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Family and Personal, 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Jesus Sierra-Oliva as a young man while living in Mexico, 1941-1954Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Jesús Sierra-Oliva as adult single man, 1960-1696Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Jesús Sierra-Oliva as adult single man, 1970-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Jesus Sierra-Oliva as an artist, playwriter and musical producer, 1986-1999Add to your cart.
Box 13Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Jesus Sierra-Oliva, his marriage years, 1975-1985Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Personal PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Photocopies of photos from, 1960-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Social HumanistAdd to your cart.
Box 27Add to your cart.
Item 1: Oversized framed photograph of Jesus Sierra-Oliva as a young manAdd to your cart.
Box 30Add to your cart.
Item 1: Photograph of Sierra-Olivas' parents, 11" x17", June 12, 1953Add to your cart.
Box 40Add to your cart.
Folder 21: First visit to Ramon Navarro's El Rosario Ranch near pala Mission, 2010 MayAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: Second visit to Ramon Navarro's El Rosario Ranch, 2016Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Personal, 2010-2012, 2016-2018Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Family and PersonalAdd to your cart.
Including enlarged photo of Sierra-Oliva and wife in Palace of Fine Arts Park in San Francisco ca. 1980, titled "My Years of Marital Bliss" by Sierra-Oliva.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Administrative Records, 2001-2006, 2015-2017],
[Series 2: Biographical],
[Series 3: Correspondence, 1971-2017],
[Series 4: Collected Works],
[Series 5: Theatrical Productions and Other Writings],
[Series 6: Photographs],
[Series 7: Artwork],
[Series 8: Audiovisual Material],
[Series 9: Stage Props],
[Series 10: Humanist and Philosphical Writings and Compositions],
[All]


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