The theater was no unknown territory to Nadia Garzón, Executive Director of Descolonizarte TEATRO. Growing up in Colombia and attending a primarily performing arts-based school and acting academy, Garzón always knew that she had a dream of one day opening her own theater organization.
After 20 years of acting, directing, playwriting, and pioneering several projects where she helped introduce many firsts for the Latinx community in Central Florida, Garzón was given an opportunity by Seminole State College to direct The House of Bernarda Alba, which would be the first full length Spanish-speaking play on their main stage.
“That went so well, and we had so much support, that I thought, ‘This is the moment,’” says Garzón. “I started to see that organizations were paying attention and asking for minorities [in creative spaces] and I knew that this was it.”
In 2018, Garzón gathered a group of people important to her within her community and pitched her dream for her very own theater company.
“I told them, ‘This [organization] will be my baby, but it will be raised by a village; and you all will be my village,’” says Garzón. “I’m aware that what we need is community and that sense of community will come from working together, from growing together and having similar goals.”
And thus, Descolonizarte TEATRO was born.
Today, Descolonizarte TEATRO works at the intersections of Latinx, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ and promotes the Latin American experience, culture and talent through theater, literary, artistic, and educational programming.
Their main goals are program accessibility for underserved and underprivileged Latinx communities and decolonization through theater and the arts. Through this decolonization, they hope to teach other Latinx the principles of their mission: “To recognize and return to our roots, to tell our own stories, and to re-frame and re-tell the stories about ourselves, our bodies, our history and our knowledge, and through that, connect across diversity to build community around healing and joy.”
Garzón hopes that Descolonizarte TEATRO will be a home to the young Latinx community in Central Florida who are interested in the arts and teach them that they have the power to write their own stories.
“Descolonizarte TEATRO was born as this idea to have a place for us to be ourselves and to create ourselves,” says Garzón. “We cannot reframe the stories told about ourselves, if we don’t do it ourselves.”
In the future, Nadia Garzón aspires that Descolonizarte TEATRO will have their own space in Central Florida that is dedicated to Latinx theater and arts, where they can also open their doors to help other Latinx and LGBTQ+ groups that are interested in artistic areas of work. She also hopes to further their collaborations with other organizations to build community and awareness around Latinx theater.
For more information about Descolonizarte TEATRO, visit https://descolonizarteteatro.com/.
To view their upcoming events, visit https://www.orlandoatplay.com/?s=descolonizarte+teatro