A short documentary created by ArtsFwd

En el 2013, el Cleveland Public Theatre realizó el lanzamiento del Teatro Publico de Cleveland, a un grupo de teatro de latinoamericanos basados en, cuyo trabajo refleja los objetivos, intereses e ideales artísticos de sus miembros. El objetivo de este grupo teatral es compartir la abudante diversidad y perspectivas de la cultura Latina de Cleveland y así cumplir con la mission del CPR: para elevar la conciencia y fomentar la compasión a través del desempeño innovador y programas educativos que cambian la vida. El conjunto de actores y creadores tiene una amplia gama de experiencia, de amateur a artistas con formación profesional. La mayoría de los miembros pueden rastrear la herencia de Puerto Rico, y también hay representación de otros países de origen: México, Uruguay, Guatemala, Perú, Nicaragua, Colombia y Cuba. El conjunto fue fundado a través de una serie de talleres públicos gratuitos presentado por Teatro Publico de Cleveland, en asociación con el Cultural Arts Center Julia de Burgos, de Cleveland, y su fundación fue apoyada por el programa de la Fundación de Cleveland Engaging the Future.

In 2013, Cleveland Public Theatre launched Teatro Publico de Cleveland, a Cleveland-based Latin American theatre ensemble, whose work reflects the artistic goals, interests and ideals of its members. The purpose of this theatre ensemble is to share the rich diversity and perspectives of the Latino Cleveland culture, and to fulfill CPT’s core mission: to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performance and life-changing educational programs. The ensemble of actors and creators has a broad range of experience, from amateur to professionally trained artists. A majority of members can trace heritage to Puerto Rico, and there is representation from other countries of origin: Mexico, Uruguay, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia and Cuba. The ensemble was founded through a series of free public workshops presented by Cleveland Public Theatre, in partnership with Cleveland’s Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center, and its founding was supported by the Cleveland Foundation’s Engaging the Future program.



Initiated by award-winning, nationally-acclaimed director Raymond Bobgan, Teatro Publico de Cleveland plays have a distinctive quality. Many Teatro Publico productions are developed through CPT’s unique play creation and ensemble building techniques, which give voice to the participants’ stories, dreams and creativity, and result in a strong sense of ownership of the culminating performance. These play creation techniques have been developed over years of work with professional actors, adults in recovery, youth and community groups. Teatro Publico is managed by Faye Hargate.



Teatro Publico’s premiere show Cuando Cierras Your Eyes (2013) and subsequent original works, A Recipe para la Vida and ¿Donde Está My Home? (2015) exceeded expectations with:

  • Sold out performances –  and added shows, totaling over 4,500 attendees.
  • Audience development – A majority of audience members were first-time theatre goers.
  • Community response – Teatro Publico’s productions were acclaimed by audiences and community leaders have praised the work as filling an important need in the community.
  • Lasting engagement – The 32 member performance ensemble has quickly embedded itself in the CPT arts community, regularly attending theatre arts events and participating in community meetings.

Teatro Publico’s shorter works, Vuelo del OceanA Dream of Estrella del NorteMi Nombre Es and Mariel’s List have been featured at CPT’s annual Pandemonium fundraiser and Station Hope, a social justice-based neighborhood event serving thousands of audience members from across Northeast Ohio.

In March of 2015, Teatro Publico produced the US Premiere of Mi Muñequita by Gabriel Calderón. This was the company’s first all-Spanish language production. The following year, Teatro Publico premiered another work by Calderón, Uz, El Pueblo.

In April 2017, Teatro Publico performed the US premiere of Fabio Rubiano Orjuela’s Labio de Liebre (The Lip of the Hare) in Spanish with English subtitles, which was made possible with the support of The City of Cleveland’s Cable Television Minority Arts and Education Fund.

“Our community came out and we loved it. Sharing together and connecting to the wider community was amazing. Everyone was looking around saying—wow, I can’t believe this hasn’t happened before!”

-Blanca Salva, founding member of Teatro Publico and Executive Assistant for Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone of Ward 15


Teatro Publico is an ensemble of actors and creators with a broad range of experience, from amateur to professionally trained artists. A majority of members can trace heritage to Puerto Rico, and there is representation from other countries of origin: Mexico, Uruguay, Guatemala, Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia and Cuba, as well as diverse educational and economic backgrounds. Plays are performed in a mixture of Spanish and English.

“Teatro Publico is helping us to forge a Cleveland Latino identity. Its impact goes well beyond the walls of the theatre to support community change and growth, socially and economically.”

-Jason Estremera, President, Young Latino Network


In the creative process, participants engage in storytelling workshops expressing their stories, family memories and legends from native countries. Through this authentic collaboration, CPT artists and community members create an original play. The impact on the ensemble of artists has been immense.

“It changed my personality. It’s a very big freedom for me and takes me out of my normal element. I really feel like [Teatro Publico] is part of who I am now.”

-Letitia Lopez, founding member and non-profit executive director of Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Centers

“When the Uruguayan economy collapsed, I came to the US. I felt totally excluded from the arts community. I thought I could never be an artist here. When I came to Teatro Publico I felt like I was eighteen again, and I realized I can contribute as an artist in this country!” 

-Dante Larzabal, founding member and landscaper who moved to Cleveland in 2006



Teatro Publico de Cleveland is a core program of CPT, born from a significant investment of Cleveland Public Theatre and support from the Cleveland Foundation’s Engaging the Future Program. Teatro Publico de Cleveland is an integral part of CPT’s 20175-2018 season, which will include the presentation of a series of original 10 minute plays, as well as En el Tiempo de las Mariposas (In the Time of the Butterflies), based on Julia Álvarez’s novel*.

“I’m blessed to be in [Teatro Publico]. I never thought in a million years I’d actually do something this big. We are just scratching the surface. Hopefully, this is something that will continue for years.”

-Alejandro Rivera, founding member and local photographer

*IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES. Copyright © 1994 by Julia Alvarez. Published in English by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill and in Spanish by Plume/Penguin. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York, NY and Lamy, NM. All rights reserved.


Faye Hargate
Director of Community Ensembles
216.631.2727 x207