100 Colorado Creatives: Tony Garcia
#83: Anthony Garcia
Tony Garcia, with rifle, in "Chicano History 101," 1986.
Tony Garcia, who turns sixty this spring, has spent his entire adult life with Su Teatro, the region's primary Chicano theater group, which itself just celebrated forty years. He was just a kid from the westside who played in a rock band when he joined Su Teatro as a musician; Garcia vividly recalls performing traditional carpas -- topical and broadly comedic street skits -- with the group in the early, politically turbulent days of grape boycotts and La Raza.
- Raising the Barrio
- Su Teatro makes itself right at home for its first full season at the Denver Civic
- Su Teatro's I Don't Speak English Only remains relevant in the group's 40th season
Garcia's tenacity is only a byproduct of finding his calling: Over the years, he grew up to become the troupe's artistic leader and chief visionary -- an actor, director and playwright who never sweats the fact that his roots are always showing. His dedication to the community he serves is inspiring, and Garcia does it all while wielding a sharp wit and a formidable sense of humor that permeates much of Su Teatro's original works. It's not overkill to call him one of Denver's living treasures; the only amazing thing about it is that he must still fight for recognition outside of his barrio constituents.
Now at home at the Civic Theatre in the Art District on Santa Fe for the last couple of years, Su Teatro still sometimes struggles to stay above water. The group is currently in the midst of a major spring fundraising push (donations can be made online through the Colorado Gives website), yet Garcia recently welcomed another struggling theater ensemble -- the Source -- to join Su Teatro at the Civic.
Garcia, wiith Yolanda Ortega at Teatro en el Parque, around 1976.
We asked Garcia to answer our 100CC questionnaire, and Su Teatro's upcoming collaboration with the Source is just one of the things he discusses in his answers below. Read on for a taste of Anthony Garcia's enduring -- and cheeky -- wisdom and a look at his continuing dreams for Su Teatro.