WHO WE ARE.
MISSION & HISTORY.
GALA (Grupo de Artistas LatinoAmericanos) Hispanic Theatre is a National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the nation's capital. Since 1976, GALA has been promoting and sharing the Latino arts and cultures with a diverse audience, creating work that speaks to communities today, and preserving the rich Hispanic heritage for generations that follow. By developing and producing works that explore the breadth of Latino performing arts, GALA provides opportunities for the Latino artist, educates youth, and engages the entire community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives.
Enjoy this video about who Hugo Medrano was as a spouse, a father, and an artist who contributed to the uplifting of Latino communities locally, nationally, and internationally throughout his life.
Argentine-born Hugo Medrano, who came to Washington after spending five years directing and acting in Spain, was working for Teatro Doble, a bilingual children’s theater, where he met Rebecca Read, a dancer. Teatro Doble was Washington’s only theater catering to a Spanish-speaking audience, and Hugo saw a great need for a legitimate Spanish-speaking theater to fill this cultural void.
With GALA's very first play, La Fiaca by Argentine Ricardo Talesnik, Hugo and company confirmed what they already suspected: Washington was ripe and ready for a Hispanic theater.
GALA Hispanic Theatre moved into the historic Tivoli square in 2005 and has maintained Hispanic and Latino/a/x culture in the heart of Columbia Heights.
Hugo Medrano passed on May 22, 2023 at age 80. He was the longest-serving Producing Artistic Director in the Washington, DC area with 47 years of serving at GALA Theatre. His legacy will live on.
To learn more about GALA's history, click here.
Read our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement here.
For GALA's production history, click here.
Learn more about the Abel López Leadership Award in Latino Arts here.
GALA has been recognized for its contributions to the Hispanic arts at the local, national, and international levels. Most recent awards include:
2023 Helen Hayes Awards, HELEN category
Outstanding Production in a Musical – GALA Hispanic Theatre - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Direction in a Musical – Luis Salgado - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Choreography in a Musical – Luis Salgado - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Musical Direction – Walter "Bobby" McCoy - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Costume Design – Jeannette Christensen - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Lighting Design – Christopher Annas-Lee - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Media/Projections Design – Patrick Lord - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical – Fran Tapia - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical – Gaby Albo - On Your Feet!
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play – Evelyn Rosario Vega - La casa de la laguna (The House on the Lagoon)
Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical – GALA Hispanic Theatre - Revoltosa (The Troublemaker)
2023 Diversity in Business Honoree
Awarded by the Washington Business Journal to GALA's Producing Artistic Director Hugo Medrano for his contributions to diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
For a full list of awards, click here.
Delbis Cardona | Juan Carlos Méndez | Chris Ríos | Aldo Ortega
Cristina King Miranda | Chair | AJOLOTE Travel and Cultural Experiences
Michael Ruiz | Treasurer | Fannie Mae
Janet López | Secretary | M&T Bank
Mario Acosta-Vélez | Verizon
John Fitzgerald-López | New Washington Land Company
Teri Gálvez | Paradigm Event Management
Guillermo García | UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Sonia Gutiérrez | Community Capital/Former CEO-Founder of Carlos Rosario International Charter Public School
Juan Jara | City National Bank
Syddia Lee-Chee Murillo | Energetica Group, LLC
Art Moran | Tribune Broadcasting
Tracy Wood | University of Maryland
Dr. Barbara Tenenbaum | Library of Congress (retired)
Jason León | Diversified Search
Juan Gabriel Medrano | Giant Pharmacy
Rebecca Read Medrano | (ex-officio)
Janet Farrell | M&T Bank
Joseph Eldridge | American University (retired)
Peter Hakim | Inter-American Dialogue
Joseph Horning III | Horning Brothers
Dorothy P. McSweeny | DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Héctor Torres and Jay Haddock | Capital Hotels & Suites (retired partners)
LITERARY ADVISORY BOARD.
Dr. Barbara Mujica | Georgetown University
Stephanie van Reigersberg
José Zayas | Director, NYC
Nilo Cruz | Playwright and Director, Miami, FL