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Hispanic Theatre of San Diego (1996-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Hispanic Theatre of San Diego (1996-)


Historical 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.






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