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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:

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],

Series 10: Humanist and Philosphical Writings and CompositionsAdd to your cart.
Box 44Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "The Humanist March"  Music by G. Schleiffarth, lyrics by Jesus Sierra-Oliva, 2001, 2009, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 2: "Come with Me, Let Us Play: A Humanist Children's Song" Music and Lyrics by Jesus Sierra Oliva, 2009Add to your cart.
Folder 3: "Insergolia March" / "Canto Humanista", 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Untitled Notebooks, 2008, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Untitled Notebook, 2015Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Notes on Einstein, Pushikin, Wagner, and Sade, 2012Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Philosophical Writings, 2009, 2011-2013, 2017Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Writings in Reponse to Wagner and Octavio Paz, 2007, 2012Add to your cart.
Folder 9: "The Real Me," "My Confession," and "Old Age Wsidom", 2009, 2017, 2018Add to your cart.
Folder 10: "A Call to All Humanists" and "Principios y Afirmaciones Del Humanismo Secular", 2018Add to your cart.
Includes other calls to humanists
Folder 11: "A Humanist Funeral Service" with hand edits by Sierra-Oliva, and revised editionAdd to your cart.
Includes correspondence about edits, and three page questionaire/bio submitted to Prometheus Books for the Editorial Department for the revisions
Folder 12: Annotated or Edited ItemsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Correspondence Discussing Humanism, 2008-2013, 2015-2018Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Paul Kurtz, 2009-2014Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Historical and Biographical Magazine Articles on Paul Kurtz' Life and WorkAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Free Inquiry, 2010-2012, 2015, 2018Add to your cart.
Folder 17: "Our Cosmic Destiny" / "Mi Destino Comico", 2017Add to your cart.

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],

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