Wild Tongues: Transnational Mexican Popular Culture
Chapter 5 “Beyond the Comfort Zone: Dan Guerrero’s ¡Gaytino!”
By Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz, Trinity University, San Antonio Published by University of Texas Press, First Edition 2012
Theatre Journal, Volume 59 Number 2 May 2007
“¡Gaytino!” by Richard T. Rodriguez University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press in cooperation with The Association for Theatre in Higher Education
Ollantay Theater Magazine, Volume XV, Numbers 29-30 2007
“Comfortably Queer: The Chicano Gay Subject in Dan Guerrero’s ¡Gaytino! Critical Essay by Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz Published by Ollantay Press
Dan Guerrero has crossed the country with his critically acclaimed solo show ¡Gaytino! Made in America following the 2006 world premiere run in Los Angeles produced by the Center Theatre Group. Rave reviews continue from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to the historic Lensic Theatre in Santa Fe where his performance was introduced by Governor Bill Richardson. When ¡Gaytino! hit New York City’s iconic Zipper Theatre for two special performances, it proved not long enough for the American Theatre Web critic that wrote “Guerrero is so winning and his stories so fresh and touching, it will hopefully return to New York stages in a longer run.”
Guerrero began his career in New York as a twenty year-old musical theatre performer. He took his last stage bow there in an Off-Broadway revue in 1973 before moving on to a successful career as a Broadway theatrical agent representing Tony Award winners and future Hollywood stars in the years from A Chorus Line to Cats.
Back to hometown L.A., the former Broadway agent became a “born-again Hispanic” fiercely working for more positive Latino images on the screen as a casting director, writer and, for more than a decade, as a highly creative independent producer of diverse network and cable television programming in English and Spanish. He’s helmed projects for NBC, HBO, CNBC, Fox, Univision, Telemundo and PBS where he co-produced “The Concert of the Americas” with Quincy Jones among other PBS music specials.
At the same time, he produced and staged non-broadcast international arts and culture events at such prestigious and varied venues as the Cite de la Musique in Paris, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the Los Angeles Opera, the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New York’s storied Apollo Theatre and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.www.danguerrero.com
The eclectic artist also produced an award-winning documentary about his late father, Chicano music legend Lalo Guerrero that aired nationally on PBS stations and included a DVD/CD release. Lalo Guerrero:The Original Chicano continues to screen at Film Festivals in the U.S., Mexico and Latin America.www.laloguerrero.com
In the middle of his multi-faceted career, Guerrero decided he had something to say about his dual identities as a gay man and a Latino. ¡Gaytino! Made in America was born and the longtime Latino activist became an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights.
Guerrero is an influential activist, speaking out in print, television and radio interviews in English and Spanish on both Latino/Chicano and LGBTQ issues. He is a popular figure on the speaking circuit and has addressed groups and organizations including the National Council of La Raza in Washington, DC, the Southern Arizona LULAC Youth Leadership Conference in Tucson, the California Teachers Association Conference in Palm Springs and the National Education Association conference in Washington, DC among many others.
His most recent presentation, Activism & the Arts: A Life Journey has been hailed for its portrayal of the intersection of the social and political movements in both communities and the interconnected lives of artists and activists who fueled the civil rights struggles of the past several decades. The talk has been presented at UCSB, UCLA, UT Austin and the Herberger Theatre Center in Phoenix. The Smithsonian Latino Center and the Human Rights Campaign recently brought it to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
Guerrero has been recognized for his activism and career achievements by the California State Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the National Council of La Raza, the California Legislature Assembly and the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, in addition to industry honors that include an Imagen Award, an Honorary Local Emmy Award and an Alma Award nomination. The LA City Council also declared Dan Guerrero Day in the City of Los Angeles for all his contributions to the city and he was recently honored at the LA Times Latinos de Hoy awards with the inaugural LGBT Ambassador Award.
The eclectic artist has added educator to his resume accepting an invitation from the Cesar E. Chavez Chicana/o Studies Department at the University of California, Los Angeles to serve as a Distinguished Community Scholar and create a course based on his solo show. ¡Gaytino! Performance and the Power of One led to his appointment to serve as a Regents’ Lecturer jointly in the UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies and the LGBT Departments.
TheDan Guerrero Collection on Latino Entertainment and the Arts
has been established in the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and TheDan Guerrero Research Collection
is housed at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center that includes his oral history recorded for their LGBT and Mujeres Initiative project. And the Dan Guerrero Gaytino collection became part of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.