The Brown


The Collective

The Brown Theatre Collective is an interdisciplinary political and aesthetic platform, turning to performance art, theatre, dance, music, and visual art (and the interconnection between these art forms) as tools for cultural engagement and social change.

In Our Work

We emphasize the importance of viewing modes of difference in direct conversation; for example, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other markers of identification and representation are explored together through different ways of telling stories.

In Our Practice

We use workshops, intensive labs, sound sessions, staged readings, improv comedy, poetry slams, theatrical productions, and performance art to encompass our creative mission.


  • Our Beginnings

    The collaborative duo of Mateo Hurtado and Dr. Sandra Ruiz co-founded the collective during the Fall of 2014 due to their shared love of the absurd in performance and life.

    They soon found out that there was a community on campus also thrilled and moved by absurdity, and thus began the Collective.

  • Productions

    The Collective has produced plays and performances that tackle themes of gender, sexuality, race, racialized masculinity, and class, while also creating a space for students and community members to express themselves through various modes of performance.

  • Defining Performance

    The Collective has expanded the definitions of performance, collective action, theatre, Brownness, art, activism, and politics writ large. Working only from donations (of time, talent and resources), the Collective seeks refuge in spaces across campus.

  • Support

    With the generous support of the Department of Latina/Latino Studies at UIUC, we have become a fierce collaboration between faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, staff, academic counselors, and community members, while crossing boundaries between artist and audience, discipline and method.

  • The Collective

    In the spirit of experimental, grassroots, and DIY traditions, the Collective is invested in what happens when aesthetics and politics merge under the direction of subversive, imaginative ways of creating community through all types of performance.

Production History

  • Documentary Screening:
    Michelle Memran's
    The Rest I Make Up

    A Staged Reading of Scenes From:
    The Successful Life of 3

    Spring 2019 || Department of Latina/o Studies

    Alicia Rodriguez, Laura Castañeda, Sandra Ruiz, Mateo Hurtado, Melody Contreras, Gabriel Herzog, Fiona Ngô, Tonatiu Ruiz-Escobedo, Alexis Walker, Latrelle Crawford.

  • The Successful Life of 3
    by Maria Irene Fornés

    Spring 2018 || Department of Latina/o Studies

    (A Staged Reading)

    Melody Contreras, Jessica Kadish-Hernandez, Alicia Rodriguez, Sandra Ruiz, Alberto Brandariz Nuñez, Alejandro Mata, Ethan Miles Perry, Sophie Ruiz-Gehrt, Gabyliz Machado, Gabe Herzog, Christian Wilson, Jayel Gant, Willa Coufal, Fiona Ngô, Adonis Holmes, Laura Coby, Mateo Hurtado, Victoria Giesso, Madison Paez, Madison Freeland, Iris Elena Hernandez, Guillermo Pineda, Laura Castañeda.

  • La Migra Taco Truck
    by Raquel Almazán
    The Code by David Wilcox

    Spring 2017 || The Gun Plays Series

    (A Staged Reading)

    Gaby Garay, Adonis Holmes, Evan London, Latrelle Bright, Juan Machain.

  • Demo[traffic] Remix

    Fall 2016 || Department of Gender & Women’s Studies

    Monique Simone, Mateo Hurtado.

  • Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney

    Fall 2016 || Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
    & in collaboration with Illinois Theatre

    (A Staged Reading)

    Sandra Marquez, Vince Williams, Mateo Hurtado, Colleen Accardo, Yadira C. Ramirez, Christian Wilson, Dr. Alicia Rodriguez, Caitlyn Johnson (CJ THomas), Katelynn Shennett, Vanessa Garcia, Joe Agase, Kyle Bricker, Alberto Lara Valdivieso, Brandon Rivera, Jordan Gleaves, James Washington, Adonis Holmes, Dr. Eric Darnell Pritchard.

  • The New Brown Vortex

    Spring 2016 || Latina/Latino Studies UIUC

    Mateo Hurtado, Dr. Sandra Ruiz, Evan Duncan, Laura Castañeda, Raffeal A. Sears, Vince Williams, Sophie Garcia, Brandon Rivera, Jordan Gleaves, Cat M., Sophie Ruiz-Gehrt, Tyler Harr, Jess Kadish-Hernández, Lisa Ortiz-Guzmán, Sirena Elvira Mota, Ivan Magaña, Gustavo Carmona, Kyle Bricker, Cristina Lucio, & Adonis Holmes.

  • Being Brown, Being Down: Performances of Spic & Span

    Spring 2016 || Channing-Murray Foundation

    Brandon Rivera, Liz Salim.

  • Bodies

    Spring 2016 || Black and Latino Male Summit

    Monique Simone.

  • Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks

    Fall 2015 || Channing-Murray Foundation

    (A Staged Reading)

    Amorita Falcon, Mateo Hurtado, Yadira C. Ramirez, Michelle Patiño-Flores, Ninos Baba, Dylan Connelley, Heather Raynie, Vince Williams, Janjay Knowlden, Dr. Asantewa Sunni-Ali, Latrelle Bright, Jordan Gleaves, Caitlyn Johnson (CJ Thomas), Monique Simone, Cat M., Claritza Maldonado, Jess Kadish-Herández, Maya Prentiss, Julie Hannaford Rundell, & Mike Salazar.

  • BTC Poetry Performances:
    Poetry Across Social Spaces

    Spring 2015 || Boneyard Arts Festival
    & The Latino Youth Conference

    Monique Simone, Angélica Sanchez, Mateo Hurtado.

  • Demo[traffic] for the Black and Latino Male Summit

    Fall 2016 || Black and Latino Male Summit

    Monique Simone, Angélica Sanchez, Mateo Hurtado.

  • The Masses Are Asses
    by Pedro Pietri

    Spring 2015 || Institute 4 Creativity

    Mateo Hurtado, Jade Heberer, Dr. Sandra Ruiz, Angélica Sanchez, M. Laura Castañeda, Dr.Alicia Rodriguez, Heather Raynie, Alberto Brandariz Nuñez, Lamar Farr, Yeaji Kim, Dylan Connelley, Liz Salim, Brandon Rivera.

  • Scenes from The Box: A Black Comedy by Marcus Gardley

    Spring 2015 || Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

    Donovan Diaz, Tyler Harr, Adonis Holmes, & Vince Williams.

  • A Call for Creative & Civic Action

    Spring 2015 || La Casa Cultural Latina

    Elizabeth Morales, Julia Monk, Mateo Hurtado, & Jesus Monroy.

  • Latina/Latino Studies Holiday Party

    Fall 2014 || Latina/Latino Studies UIUC

    Jesus Monroy, Johnny Arceo, Mateo Hurtado, Rachel Thain, Terrance Rogers, & Brandon Rivera.


Active Members & Collective Alumni

Adonis Holmes

Dr. Alberto Brandariz Nuñez

Alejandro Mata

Angélica Sanchez

Christian Wilson

Dr. Fiona Ngô

Dr. Alicia P. Rodriguez

Dr. Sandra Ruiz

Ethan Madarieta

Ethan Miles Perry

Evan Duncan

Gabriela Garay

Gabyliz Zenaida Machado

Jayel Gant

Jess Kadish-Hernández

Laura Coby

Lisa Ortiz-Guzmán

M. Laura Castañeda

Maddy Paez

Madison Freeland

Mateo Hurtado

Melody Contreras

Sophie Ruiz-Gehrt

Gabriel Herzog

Victoria Giesso

Vincent Williams

Willa Coufal

Cindi Camacho

Brandon Rivera

Iris Hernández

Alumni: Angélica Sanchez, Monique Simone, Julia Monk, Cat M., Amorita Falcon, Michelle Patiño-Flores, Yadira C. Ramirez, Jesus Monroy, Jade Heberer, Brandon Rivera, Liz Salim, Lamar Farr, Heather Raynie, Evan Duncan, Ninos Baba, Janjay Knowlden, Dr. Asantewa Sunni-Ali, Jordan Gleaves, Caitlyn Johnson (CJ Thomas), Jeremy Marder, Claritza Maldonado, Sophie Garcia, Kyle Bricker, Alberto Lara Valdivieso, Maya Vinice Prentiss, James Washington, Tyler Harr, Cristina Lucio, Sirena Elvira Mota, Terrance Lamonte Jr., Gustavo Carmona, Rachel Thain, Raffeal A. Sears, Dylan Connelley, Johnny Arceo.

BTC Faculty and Staff Allies: Prof. Robert Gerard Anderson, Prof. JW Morrissette, Prof. Siobhan Somerville, Prof. Latrelle Bright, Prof. Susan Koshy, Prof. Regina Garcia, Prof. Jennifer Monson, Prof. Fiona Ngo, Prof. David Coyoca, Prof. Jonathan Inda, Prof. Ruth Nicole Brown, Prof. Lisa Gaye Dixon, Samuel Smith, Monique Rivera, Prof. Maryam Kashani, Prof. Rebecca Ferrell, Prof. Amy L. Powell, Julie Rundell, Dr. Gioconda Perez, Prof. Valleri Robinson, Prof. Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Prof. Julie Dowling, Prof. Lisa Cacho, Prof. Edna Viruell-Fuentes, Prof. Gilberto Rosas, Prof. Soo Ah Kwon, Prof. Vicki Mahaffey, Prof. Andrea Stevens, Prof. JB Capino, Prof. Kevin Hamilton, Prof. Gabriel Solis, Prof. Dara Goldman, Prof. Rolando Romero, Prof. Kristin Romberg, Prof. Cynthia Oliver, Prof. Natalie Lira.

University of Illinois Departments: Latina/Latino Studies, Theatre, Urban Planning, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, Linguistics, Spanish, Media + Cinema Studies, English, Anthropology, Communications, Engineering, Psychology, Comparative Literature, Political Science, and Dance.

Web Developer & Designer: Adrian Vera

Logo Designer: Luis Colindres



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