Downtown L.A.’s Hero Theatre and Hero Multimedia have launched Nuestro Planeta, a ten-year multimedia new works initiative that focuses on educating Latinx film and theater audiences about environmental justice within the Americas.
“Through industrialization, migration and globalization, some of our most vulnerable communities now find themselves at the epicenter of the climate crisis, with little memory of their once harmonious connection to nature and no understanding of how to lessen their own human impact,” states Hero Theatre advisory board member Dr. Judith Bauerlein.
A series of films and plays that center on the relationship between Latinx communities and the earth, Nuestro Planeta will focus on specific countries in Latin America, beginning with Colombia.
According to Hero Theatre producing artistic director and Hero Multimedia co-founder Elisa Bocanegra, “Colombia is the second most biodiverse country on the planet. It’s exciting for us to begin there, because we don’t see many Colombian stories, especially on the stage.”
Hero Theatre recently received a gift from the Hitz Foundation, which will fund research travels to Colombia. The first segment of Nuestro Planeta will be devised and directed by Bocanegra and written by Colombian playwright Diana Burbano.
Nuestro Planeta is the first collaboration between Hero Theatre and newly formed Hero Multimedia. The initiative was inspired by Bocanegra’s mentorship with Black Lives Matters co-founder Patrisse Cullors. Bocanegra is currently pursuing her MFA in the Environmental and Social Justice Arts Practice graduate program, founded by Cullors, at Prescott College.
Hero Theatre uses art to model and bring about social progress: presenting stories that mirror America today; ensuring that equity, diversity and inclusion remain in the forefront; producing work that reflects, uplifts and invites marginalized communities; and challenging the traditional definition of classic theater.
The mission of Hero Multimedia is to create and produce scripted film and television narratives around environmental and social justice issues.