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Two actors dancing ballet as part of GALA's production of FAME The Musical in 2019


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.


Click here to read GALA staff bios.


Hugo Medrano


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Gustavo Ott

 Artistic Director

Rebecca Medrano headshot

Rebecca Read Medrano

Co-Founder &

Executive Director

Abel Lopez headshot

Abel López


Producing Director

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Jon Townson

Technical Director



Production Manager 



Public Relations &

Marketing Manager


Heather McKay

Education & Arts Engagement Director

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Liana Madrid

Operations Administrator


Camilo Montoya

Company Manager


Ariel Gómez

Marketing Assistant



Rentals &

Facilities Manager



Education Assistant


Chris Ríos

Paso Nuevo

Program Director



Delbis Cardona | Juan Carlos Méndez | Chris Ríos | Aldo Ortega



Cristina King Miranda | Chair | ViAjolote Travel & Cultural Experiences/Independent cultural consultant and producer

James Patrick Kiernan | Vice Chair | Organization of American States (retired)

Michael Ruiz | Treasurer | Fannie Mae

Janet López | Secretary | M&T Bank

Mario Acosta-Vélez | Verizon
John Fitzgerald-López
Teri Gálvez | Paradigm Event Management
Guillermo García | Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

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

Jason León | Diversified Search

Abel López | ex-officio | GALA's Associate Producing Director

Juan Gabriel Medrano | Giant Pharmacy

In Memoriam: Hugo Medrano | ex-officio | GALA's former Producing Artistic Director

Art Moran | Nextstar Media

Gustavo Ott | ex-officio | GALA's Artistic Director

Rebecca Read Medrano | ex-officio | GALA's Executive Director

Dr. Barbara Tenenbaum | Library of Congress (retired)

Tracy Wood | KWDB FM 101, Oak Harbor WA

Janet Farrell | M&T Bank

Joseph Eldridge | American University (retired)

Miryam Gerdine | Health and Human Services

Peter Hakim | Inter-American Dialogue

Joseph Horning III | Horning Brothers

Dorothy P. McSweeny | DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

(Chair Emeritus)

Héctor Torres and Jay Haddock | Capital Hotels & Suites (retired partners)


Dr. Barbara Mujica | Georgetown University

Stephanie van Reigersberg | U.S. State Department (retired)

José Zayas | Director, NYC

Nilo Cruz | Playwright & Director, Miami, FL

Luis Salgado | R.Evolución Latina, Director & Choreographer, New York, NY


GALA has been recognized for its contributions to the Hispanic arts at the local, national, and international levels. Most recent awards include:

2024 Victor Shargai Leadership Award 
Awarded by Theatre Washington to GALA's Executive Director Rebecca Medrano for her outstanding service and creative leadership towards the strengthening of the Washington, DC-area theatre community. 

2023 Resiliency Award
Awarded to GALA Hispanic Theatre by Washington Business Journal.


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)

For a full list of awards, click here

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