On Saturday, July 22, 2023, Maurizio Dominguez’s documentary The Making of Mucho Gusto, Nice to Meet You will premiere at Senate Theater in Southwest Detroit.
Mucho Gusto, Nice to Meet You is a theater production created by La Carpa Theatre in Southwest. The Theatre ensemble of La Carpa pays homage to the La Carpa Theatre that started during the Mexican Revolution-Era, where Mexican performers would travel to different cuidades and pueblos to perform for entertainment under a tent–carpa in Spanish.
And local filmmaker, Maurizio Dominguez, captured the legacy that they’d leave for many youth in Detroit to follow.
“Karilú Forshee, who is the creator of La Carpa Theater Project, approached me about helping her to create not just a couple of videos to fundraise for this program, but also to do a documentary of the creative process for the project once it started and to capture it from start to finish”, said Dominguez
In Southwest, Karilú Forshee, the director of La Carpa Theatre here in Detroit, allowed Dominguez to not only capture the reenactment of notable Latin American history by the group but also the growth that this production had on the local Southwest youth that participated.
“I was hooked right in. It took a little bit longer to be able to start because we had the pandemic. But once Karilu and her team were finally able to get this program started that’s where I came in to do the documenting,” said Dominguez. “The capturing of all the different activities from the classroom to the students, the things that they did, and the activities they were doing, I feel that’s ultimately what just kind of keeps bringing me back to it because you get to see the growth in the youth from the time when we first interviewed them and they were kind of nervous and not confident being on camera and a little shy and then seeing the contrast at the end where they are comfortable speaking and acting and that impact.”
From this film, viewers can expect to see what happens behind the scenes and this is fairly important for those who were lucky enough to seen Mucho Gusto, Nice to Meet You in its live production.
“It is gonna be very informative to see like, all of what happened behind the scenes. I think the one thing with anything artistic, you know, we, we usually are just there to see the final product and we don’t see the countless hours of practicing and stressing and all of the hard work that goes into creating that,” said Dominguez.
“This film will provide an opportunity for the audience members to learn a little bit more, but just about what it takes to go create anything artistic, especially something of the quality of what La Carpa Theater produced.”
The event is open and free to the community. The documentary itself will introduce us to La Carpa Theatre, their hard work and dedication in putting on this type of show and how programs like this are so vital to the growth of our young people in Southwest Detroit.
“The most important lesson here is that these kinds of things like producing something artistic or acting or writing or whatever it is that people are maybe inspired by or dream of doing, it is possible. You know, it is,” said Dominguez. “I say this because I, when I first arrived here to the U.S., I saw myself and the idea of making films as something as a distant dream that I would like to do, but I couldn’t see a path on how I could get there as a kid but it is possible to achieve all of these things.”
In most cases, art, whether it be through writing, theatre, poetry, visual or performance it is the first programs to be cut from schools and local programming making it difficult for youth and youth of color to explore the arts.
However, through this documentary Dominguez reminds us that this program, La Carpa Theatre directed by Karilú Forshee, is literally resilience in action. It is an opportunity to bridge that gap for our young people in Southwest and provide them with the right support to pursue their dreams and their goals.
You can catch the premier screening of Maurizio Dominguez’s The Making of Mucho Gusto, Nice to Meet You at Senate Theater, located at 6424 Michigan Ave. just west of Livernois Ave. in Southwest Detroit, Saturday, July 22nd @ 8PM.