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Ricardo Gutierrez new artistic director at Teatro Vista

Ricardo Gutierrez

Ricardo Gutierrez

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The writing has been on the wall for some time. As a result of his increasingly busy schedule of independent directing projects and acting assignments, both in Chicago and nationally, Edward Torres, founder and artistic director of Teatro Vista — this city’s largest Latino Equity theater company — will be stepping down from his post while maintaining active with the company.

Stepping into the leadership position will be ensemble member Ricardo Gutierrez. He and Torres, who oversaw Teatro Vista for 15 years, will work as co-directors through a lengthy transition period, with Gutierrez going it alone as artistic director on March 1, 2013.

“Ricardo will lead Teatro Vista into the next phase of its growth, while championing and empowering the voice of Latino artists,” Torres said.

Torres, seen recently as an actor in the Victory Gardens production of “Oedipus el Rey,” earlier directed the award-winning Victory Gardens-Teatro Vista hit, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety,” both here and Off Broadway, as well as at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. His upcoming projects include directing the Steppenwolf for Young Adults production of “How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence” (Feb. 26-March 9, 2013), and directing the world premiere of Tony Award-winner Quiara Alegria Hudes’ new play, “The Happiest Song Plays Last” (April 13 – May 12, 2013) at the Goodman Theatre, in association with Teatro Vista. Silver Mine Entertainment has also announced Torres is attached to direct Kenny D’Aquila’s new play, “Unorganized Crime,” starring Chazz Palminteri.

Gutierrez, a directing associate of Teatro Vista, directed last season’s hit Chicago debut of Candido Tirado’s “Momma’s Boyz.” Other Teatro Vista directing credits include “La Magica Posada” and the staged reading of “Yamaha 300” for Goodman Theatre’s Latino Theatre Festival. Elsewhere he staged “Quita Mitos” by Tanya Saracho at Next Theatre and “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Magic Ofrenda” for Glass Onion Theatre, where he is the co-founder and artistic director. He has directed more than 20 musical productions including “Let the Eagle Fly” for Goodman Theatre’s Latino Theatre Festival. While living in Los Angeles from 1986 to 1994, Gutierrez was artistic director of Nosotros, an artistic associate of Theatre 40, where he staged the world premieres of “Goods” and “Pasquini the Magnificent.” Goods earned Gutierrez a Los Angeles Dramalogue Award for Directing.

As an actor Gutierrez most recently appeared last April at the Goodman in the world premiere of Candido Tirado’s “Fish Men,” presented in association with Teatro Vista, the world premiere of “Ground” at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the world premieres of “Sunsets and Margaritas” and “Lydia” at Denver Center Theatre Company.

Additional Chicago credits include “Mariela in the Desert” and “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman; “The House on Mango Street,” “Our Lady of 121st Street” and “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” at Steppenwolf; “Esperanza Rising” at Chicago Children’s Theatre; “Anna in the Tropics” at Victory Gardens, and “Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession” at Lookingglass. His film credits include “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Stand and Deliver” and “Running Scared.” He can currently be seen on television as Alderman Mata in the Starz series “Boss.”

Gutierrez already is set to stage Teatro Vista’s 2012-13 season opener, the world premiere of ‘i put the fear of mexico in ‘em’ by Matthew Paul Olmos, running Nov. 2-Dec. 9 at Chicago Dramatists. The show explores stereotypes and challenges notions of boundaries, safety and identity via its tale of an American couple vacationing in Tijuana and are accosted by a Mexican couple in an alley.

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