The executive director of the Chicago-based theatre company Teatro Luna, Alexandra Meda is our inspiring Latina of the week for her relentless effort to make sure that our stories are told on stage. The Colombian and Argentine 27-year-old graduated from The Theatre School at DePaul University with a BFA in Theatre Studies and BA in American Studies with a concentration in Race and Gender and Popular Culture. Read more about her story and get inspired below:
What led you to pursue a career in the arts?
"It was never a question for me; it was always just a question of how I was going to pursue it. I probably owe the whole thing to a series of amazingly strong women. Starting with my saint of a mother who encouraged me to do anything that made me happy. It wasn't until I grew up a bit that I realized that for most people, the arts are a luxury, it was then that I realized I might be able to bridge that gap."
What fulfills you the most of being Executive Director of Teatro Luna?
"Without a shadow of a doubt what fulfills me most is seeing the impact our work has on people-- of all genders, identities, and ages. I know it sounds cheesy, and we hear it all the time on commercials or ads, but the work the women of Teatro Luna create really does change people's lives. It makes them realize first and foremost that they are not alone, and that is a powerful thing. I say it all the time; I have the best job in the world. I get to play all day with the most talented women I know, and continue the tradition of social change through theatre."
Why is this organization so important for the Latino community?
"This organization is radical in a way because what we do is reflect life back to our community and ask, ‘What do we need to change as a community? And as individuals?’ We don't make or build a product or try to sell you something. We exist to ask questions and tell stories. We are all women and we are all self-identifying Latinas who each come from really different economic, geographic, cultural, and educational backgrounds-- and that is what makes our work really special."
What advice do you have for other young Latinas who want to pursue their training or education in acting and producing?
"If it is what you want to do, if it is something you will not be happy without-- than pursue it no matter the cost! No matter the family pressure or your own insecurities or fears. In the face of all challenges, just keep going. But if you are doing it for the fame or the money-- get out now! You will never be happy doing this if that is the ultimate goal."
What gives you the most pride of being Latina?
"My unbridled passion is something that has been passed down to me through my blood over generations. My strength is the strength of my mother and grandmother and theirs before them. I am tied to all of the amazing Latina women who have come before me. I feel connected to them, I really do. I am proud of all of the cultures that make up our diaspora."