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Reckon with L.A.'s Spanish Fantasy Past with 'They Shoot Mexican's Don't They?'




Theresa Chavez, director and co-writer of the play
Theresa Chavez, director and co-writer of the play "They Shoot Mexicans, Don't They?"

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Last week we spoke to longtime Angelino and descendant of Californios Theresa Chavez about her role in producing ​The Latin Wave, a series of productions and events looking at the mainstream media's treatment of Latino culture. John Rabe chatted with her about the play "They Shoot Mexicans, Don't They?", which Chavez co-wrote and directed. 

BONUS: You think you're a longtime Angeleno? Theresa Chavez's family came here in 1771!

"They Shoot Mexicans, Don't They?" is about whitewashing Mexican culture in California by emphasizing the Spanish influences, and one way that happened in the early 1900's was the "The Mission Play." It lasted 3 hours and romanticized the role of missionaries here, and was seen by over 2 million people. So many that the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse was built just to put it on. So it stands to reason it's the perfect setting to put on immersive version of "They Shoot Mexicans, Don't They?" where audiences are led through the theater along with the performers to have a unique experience envisioning the problematic imagining California's Spanish fantasy past. 

"They Shoot Mexicans, Don't They?" runs Thursday May 18 through Sunday May 21 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Click here for tickets.