Rupert Reyes is a playwright, actor, director, producer, founder and former Artistic Director at Teatro Vivo. With a versatile knowledge of all things theatre and having grown up in a predominately Spanish speaking household, Reyes creates bilingual work that diversifies the theatre community in Austin.
Reyes is currently involved in the collaboration between Teatro Vivo and Zach Theatre to bring a play for young audiences to the ESB Mexican American Cultural Center. The play, JJ’s Arcade by Jose Casas, isn’t the first time the two theater organizations have collaborated.
“We have had a good relationship and success in previous productions,” said Reyes. “We reached around 6,000 students and parents, [a] mostly Latino audience, I might add. So we really knew after the second [collaboration] that it was a relationship that we wanted to continue.”
These collaborations began through networking when Teatro Vivo hosted a new play reading of Mariachi Girl by Roxanne Schroeder Arce. Nat Miller, from Zach Theatre, found out Teatro Vivo was interested in producing Mariachi Girl and he approached them about a collaboration.
When asked about his thoughts on new work, Reyes expressed his excitement for the evolution of art in all forms.
“The idea of creating ‘new’ art is exciting,” said Reyes. “We can look at art just like technology. Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that we can do so much with a small device we hold in our hands? Every time I see new art, a new play, a new painting, dance or song, [it] excites me.”
Rupert Reyes is a University of Texas at Austin alum and currently resides in Austin, Texas. He believes art “never gets easier, you just get wiser and more experienced.” JJ’s Arcade will open early April and run through May of 2017 at the Mexican American Cultural Center.