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Oregon State University
Special Collections and Archives
Research Center

Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) Oral History Collection, 2015View associated digital content.

The Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) Oral History Collection consists of interviews conducted with theatre members past and present who have worked with Milagro in different capacities. Milagro provides a theater experience which emphasizes Latino theatre, culture, and arts education. Documented within the collection are interviews from members of Milagro, their experiences, how the company has changed them, and what they feel is the "miracle" of Milagro.
ID: OH 031
Extent: 9.5 gigabytes
More Extent Information
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.
Arrangement
Preferred Citation: Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) Oral History Collection (OH 31), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: All interviews were conducted by Mike Jager, Oregon State University student and Natalia Fernández, the Oregon Multicultural Librarian and a staff member of the Special Collections and Archives Research Center.
Acquired: 2015.
Languages of Materials
Other

Container List

Series 1: Interviews, 2015 Add to Shelf
Series 1 consists of seven interviews conducted in 2015.
Item 1: Bob Hicks, June 29, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:23:35) Bob Hicks begins by introducing himself and talks about moving to Oregon, where he worked, and how he got involved with Milagro. He mentions the impact Milagro has had on the mainstream theater scene in Portland by being able to bypass translation and produce plays in their original language. He touches on the difference between mainstream plays and Milagro, focusing on the music and sound of language found in Milagro’s productions and the lack of filter between the audience and the play. Bob goes on to talk about one of  his favorite Milagro productions and how Milagro has shed light on alternative cultures in Portland, especially those of the Latino/Hispanic communities. He remarks on the way Milagro has shaped the neighborhood and community identity in Portland. He continues by talking about the effect Milagro has had on theatre, from humble beginnings to a professional theatre company. Bob then talks about Milagro’s role in people's lives and the essence of how Milagro can be both a professional theater company and a community theater. Bob comments on the future of Milagro and the company search for new artistic director. Toward the end of the interview, he talks about what Milagro means to him, saying that miracles ‘milagros’ come from determination and planning. Final words include talking about the arts world and the egos found in the arts world and how Milagro is unlike many because of its generosity. Interview video available online.
Item 2: Olga Sanchez, June 29, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:18:19) Olga Sanchez introduces herself and some of the jobs she has had as a director, actor, educator, and writer. She continues by talking about some of the productions in which she has performed and the ones that stood out to her or challenged her most. She also mentions the ways in which she prepares for a performance. Olga shares a bit on which people working at Milagro have had a big impact on her. She shifts her focus to talking about the generosity of Milagro and what she considers to be a key to the success of Milagro.  She mentions how putting the work out there has led to a positive response from the community and a reciprocal generosity. She goes on to talk about the growth of the Latino/Hispanic community and the internal growth of Latino acting talent. Olga also touches on Milagro’s efforts to open itself more to the community. She shares some of her future plans and talks about the miracle of Milagro. In conclusion, she expresses her gratitude for Milagro and talks a bit about how Milagro feels like home. Interview video available online.
Item 3: Russell J. Young, June 29, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:13:08) Russell J. Young begins the interview by introducing himself and speaking about how he became involved with Milagro. He explains that a personal project of his brought him to Portland where he met with Olga Sanchez and became affiliated with Milagro. Russell talks about his time as Milagro’s photographer and mentions some of the projects in which he has been involved. He goes on to talk about the Día de los Muertos book he created for the theatre. Russell shifts the discussion and recalls how both he and Milagro have grown over the years. According to him, working for Milagro has allowed him to see deeper into the world of theatre arts and allowed him to adapt what he has learned to his personal work. Moving on, Young talks about where he thinks Milagro is going and how much an impact the company has had on not only the community, but all of Portland and the arts world. He shares what he foresees for the future of both Milagro and himself. In conclusion, he speaks of the miracle of Milagro and shares some final words. Interview video available online.
Item 4: Eva Rotter-Johnson, June 30, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:19:57) Eva Rotter-Johnson begins the interview by introducing herself as a performer. She talks about what led her to Milagro, from coming to the United States, to meeting her husband, and moving to Oregon. She mentions her passion for acting and how it played a role in her finding Milagro after she learned they were looking for Latino actors. Eva goes on to talk about her first job with Milagro and working on the props for some of the productions. She continues by talking about the home she found in Milagro, saying that she felt accepted and welcomed. Eva talks about some of the work she did outside of Milagro, working on commercials. She talks about her favorite play and how it impacted her life. She goes on to talk about her most memorable play and the people who have stood out to her while working for Milagro. Eva describes some of the changes Milagro has gone through, from community, to semi-professional, to professional and how Milagro has served the community of Portland. She remarks on the ways Milagro has helped actors spread their wings into the world of theater, especially Latino actors. She describes why she believes Milagro has been so successful and how it has grown to the caliber it holds today thanks to the fact that it has always been inviting to others. Eva talks about the future of Milagro and believes it will continue to grow. In concluding, Eva talks about the miracle of Milagro. Interview video available online.
Item 5: Sacha Reich, June 30, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:25:21) Sacha Reich begins the interview by introducing herself and explains how she became associated with Milagro. She explains that her own theater company, which is in residency at Milagro, is embarking on its third season of producing work. Sacha says that Milagro has provided her theatre with a home and mentions that finding theater space in Portland is difficult. She goes on to talk about her time as a director for Milagro and doing other work with them. She continues by discussing the importance of relationships in theater arts and how much Milagro embraces those relationships. Sacha next discusses how Milagro works and how it is different from other companies. She talks in depth about the inclusion and collaborative work found in Milagro’s productions. She also talks about the way in which Milagro has trained its actors and built the community’s capacity to tell the stories they create. What is more, Sacha explains the difference Milagro has made and how its focus is not about getting more people to go watch their plays or increase the demographic of audience members, but to change the community. Sacha proceeds to talk about the miracle of Milagro, saying that it is a miracle that it has lasted over 20 years, especially in a town where it is hard for theatre arts to get funding. To conclude, Sacha explains what she considers to be the ethos of Milagro and what she has experienced during her time there. Interview video available online.
Item 6: Daniel Jáquez, August 25, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:25:56) Daniel Jáquez grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas and his Master of Fine Arts in directing from the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University. Since 2002, Daniel has worked as the Artistic Associate of Milagro. During this time, Daniel has directed several productions, including some of his original works. In 2001, he directed a production of Icarus for which he won a Drammy award. Daniel says that Milagro contributes to the diversity and internationality of its community in two ways. First, Milagro offers services and programs in Spanish, which creates a more inclusive community. Second, Milagro is such an inviting place for community, a place where all cultures can come to appreciate the work Milagro does. Daniel concludes with remarks about the generosity of Milagro; he is grateful for the human experiences and interactions that have enabled him to grow as an artist. Interview video available online.
Item 7: Carlos Alexis Cruz, 2015 Add to Shelf
(00:29:27) Carlos Alexis Cruz is a professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Charlotte, NC. There, he teaches physical theatre and acrobatics for actors. Currently, Carlos lives in Charlotte, though he found and later became involved with Milagro after wanted to give back to the community he came from. Carlos moved to Portland and collaborated on a number of productions, which he feels brought him closer to the community as an actor. In total, Carlos collaborated on at least thirteen productions during his time with Milagro. He worked primarily as an actor, but was able to use his background in physical theatre and acrobatics as well. Carlos also directed two productions during this time, including a production of Lazarillo de Tormes. Carlos feels that Milagro us much more than a theatre, rather it is a performing arts center, which he feels is a greater asset to the Latino community in Portland. Carlos believes that Milagro is a one of a kind institution with respect to diversity and internationality. More than a miracle, Carlos considers his time with Milagro to be a blessing. He says that Milagro’s own miracle though is its resiliency—to have established itself and persisted throughout the years, addressing issues and problems within the community and in our own society, which is the miracle. Midway through the interview, the interviewer asks the same questions and the answers are in Spanish. Interview audio available online.