THE LAREDO LITTLE THEATRE

"The Producer"

Carlos Nicolas Flores

 

In the early 70's, Carlos Nicolas Flores, a native of El Paso, graduated from UTEP with a master's degree in English and began teaching at Laredo Community College.  A few years later, his decision to teach a course on Black and Chicano literature led to a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he embarked on a study entitled "A Chicano Looks at a Black: A Comparison and Contrast of Chicano and Black Literature."

In 1977, with a grant from the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines, he established the Revista Rio Bravo.  Rudolfo Anaya, Cecilio Garcia Camarillo, Reymundo "Tigre" Perez, Alurista, Angela de Hoyos, and Carlota Cardenas de Dwyer are among several Chicano writers interviewed or published during the magazine's two-year stint.  In 1989, a year's paid sabbatical provided Flores time to live and travel in Mexico as well as work on a collection of short stories.  In 1990 the short story “Black and White” won 2nd Place in a fiction contest sponsored by the City of Albuquerque's Cultural Achievement Project and Mesa Azul Review. 

In that same year, another story, "Cantina del Gusanito," won 1st Place in the Sixteenth Chicano Literary Contest sponsored by the University of California at Irvine.  The collection became a novel entitled Friend of a Minor Poet, which was a finalist in the 2002 Mid-List First Series Award for the Novel and a quarter finalist in a 2003 contest sponsored by FCCJ's First Coast Writers' Festival.  In 2003, an early draft of a second novel, Sex as Political Condition, won  3rd Place in 29th Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Irving, California. 

Flores's stories have been anthologized in Passing Through: An Anthology of Southwestern Writers (Santay Publishers, 1972); Cuentos Chicanos (UNM Press, 1984); Pieces of the Heart (Chronicle Books, 1993); Texas Short Fiction: A World in Itself, Vol. I. (Ale Publications, 1993); North of the Rio Grande: the Mexican American Experience in Short Fiction (American Library, 1991); and others. Finally, Our House on Hueco, a young adult novel published by Texas Tech University Press in 2006, was a finalist in the New Mexico and was a Silver Winner in the 2006 ForeWord Book of the Year Award.  Currently, he is putting the finishing touches on a revised version of Sex as a Political Condition, a satire about the cultural wars on the Mexican-American border. 

             For the last two years, he has headed the establishment of the Teatro Chicano de Laredo under the auspices of the Institute of Mexican American Studies at Laredo Community College (LCC).  Not only has he conducted two playwriting workshops at LCC’s Arena Theater, but he sponsored a directors’ workshop led by visiting playwright Florinda Brown at the Laredo Little Theater (LLT). Among the nineteen plays he has edited and produced for the Festival de Teatro Chicano at the LLT are La Mascara de El Chivo by Roberto Gutierrez, Abduction by Margie Cortez, El Mero Mero by Jeannie Lopez, My Little Mexican by Luis E. Flores, Manila Folder by Oscar Pena, and Corn Nuts by Tricia Cortez.  In 2010, Lulac Council 12 awarded him the Tejano Achievement Award in higher education.  In his research and studies he has travelled throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Egypt, and Israel.  "The Fictional Life of Carlos Nicolas Flores," an interview by Randy Koch, is available on Google.

Our House on Hueco (paper)

Carlos Nicolás Flores

Ten-year-old Junior is thrilled and a bit nervous about moving from an El Paso barrio to the house his father has purchased in an Anglo part of town. His mother, who speaks only Spanish, is somewhat less thrilled, especially when she finds out the family will be living in the subterráneo—a dark, unfinished basement—until the white family renting the house above moves out. As the ever-optimistic Pop works to improve his family’s situation by adding an apartment to the back of the house, Junior and his little brother make friends with Tim and Kim, the children living above them. But soon tensions erupt—between Junior’s mother and Tim and Kim’s parents, between Pop and co-workers at his new job, and between Tim and Boogie, Junior’s friend from the barrio—and these conflicts reshape Junior’s relationships with family and friends, and threaten the new world his father is striving to create.
 
“This is truly an extraordinary story by a gifted writer.” —Rudolfo Anaya, author of Serafina’s Stories

“A delightful coming-of-age story by a new young adult author.” —Lila Guzmán, author of Lorenzo's Secret Mission
 
“This book feels like a classic to me.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, author of You and Yours
 
“Carlos Flores’s insightful domestic drama is a study on what it means to be an American: love and tragedy aren’t too far apart.” —Ilan Stavans, author of The Hispanic Condition: The Power of a People

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