Headlands Center for the Arts

Paul Flores

california | performance/choreography/dance
Artist in Residence Program 2018

Artist Statement

My stage work dramatizes gritty urban realism, crime, state violence, community violence, and the social and structural dynamics that cause interpersonal violence, including political and racial oppression. My characters live in a world where trauma is normalized and resilience is adaptation by any means; justice is rarely achieved through legal action because time is short; everyone is searching for love and the cost is steep. Culture and spirituality remain as defense and inspiration to organize. I was raised on the Tijuana, Mexico/San Diego, California border so transnationality and immigration are central themes in my plays and poems. Because my first aesthetic is hip-hop, I create theater with a multidisciplinary aesthetic—text, dance, music, video—for a polycultural, multiracial audience. I write bilingually, in Spanish and English, for an audience outside institutionalized “normal” theater, representing a 21st-century Latino identity, while being an ambassador for hip-hop based storytelling aesthetics all over the world.

While At Headlands

I will be writing and rehearsing two different scripts for upcoming stage productions in 2018 and 2019. Pilgrim Street focuses on family members from Stockton who as children were tried and sentenced to adult prison, or separated from family due to deportation, prison, Child Protective Services, or Foster Care. The story follows their struggle to reintegrate after decades of incarceration with the help of an underground, shadow network of “fixers” whose specialty is family reunification within and outside the means of the law. The second project is a bilingual, interdisciplinary (text, live music, dance, and video) theater project called We Have Iré about immigrants from Cuba who risk their lives to search for their dream in the United States, and how the Yoruba religion or Lucumí manifests itself for its believers in their times of deepest need.

Selected Videos

Selected Texts

“Pilgrim Street,” October 2017, sample from script in progress (110.25K)