Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection
Hispanic Theatre of San Diego
Physical Description: 40.14 linear ft
Language of Materials:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Visit the URL below for an online exhibit featuring video selections from several of the dramatic performances produced by
Hispanic Theatre of San Diego and directed by playwright and artist Jesus Sierra-Oliva.
Additional information may be found at http://library.sdsu.edu/exhibits/2010/02/hispanictheatre/index.shtml
The Hispanic Theatre of San Diego, recognized for being one of the few entirely bilingual Spanish-English theaters in the
world, began its quest for success in 1996 under the direction of the playwright and artist Jesús Sierra-Oliva. The theater
has produced plays such as
Adios Mama Carlota,
Blood on Fire,
Frida Kahlo: From Hell to Glory, and
Los Dioses de Barro, and was officially proclaimed a non-profit theatre company in 2000.
Sierra-Oliva's father José Sierra Gomez, was a Méxican Spaniard, and his mother Magdalena Oliva Aguilar was a Méxican Indian.
Sierra-Oliva began writing short stories during his early childhood and at 15, he published his first short story
The Black Pearl. He studied painting at the San Carlos Art Academy in México City and drama at the Instituto Nacional de México. Largely self-taught
as a composer, Sierra-Oliva never attempted to become a disciple of another composer but relied instead on his own analysis
of the works of others.
In 1970 he won an honorary award for his first movie script Green and Gold in a national contest for movie, television, and
radio script writing. The same year he moved to the United States where he studied philosophy and humanism at San Mateo College,
and the mystical studies of the Order of Rosicrucian in San Jose, California. In 1987, Sierra-Oliva composed his first song
entitled "50 Candles for the Golden Gate".
During 15 years Sierra-Oliva focused on arranging music and directing for stage musicals. In 1991 he created his first full-length
musical work The Leaves of Grass Cantata. In 1992, Sierra-Oliva completed 50 ink drawings of the opera star Maria Callas which
were displayed in the San Mateo Art Gallery where he later was invited to exhibit his creations. The following year he completed
50 paintings of Maria Callas's portraits in oil pastels and watercolors that were exhibited in several San Diego galleries.
The Hispanic Theatre of San Diego, along with its director, has continued to thrive in the performing arts industry.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Sierra-Oliva, Jesus -- Archives
Hispanic Theatre of San Diego -- Archives
Mexican American artists -- California -- San Diego -- Biography -- Sources
Mexican American authors -- California -- San Diego -- Biography -- Sources
Mexican American dramatists -- California -- San Diego -- Biography -- Sources
Mexican American theater -- California -- San Diego -- History -- Sources
Conditions Governing Use:
The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature
of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.
Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish
must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. Permissions
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission
of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available
for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including
but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Conditions Governing Access:
This collection is open for research.
Identification of item, folder title, box number, Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection, Special Collections and University
Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Lowell Davies Papers
Old Globe Theater Collections
San Diego State Department of Theatre
Records of JuleTone Productions
Scope and Contents
Hispanic Theatre of San Diego Collection, divided into 9 series, documents the history of the Hispanic Theatre of San Diego and the professional career and personal
life of its creator, Jesus Sierra-Oliva. The collection includes scores of Sierra-Oliva's musical creations, original artwork,
play scripts, photographs, programs, video and cassette tapes of his productions, and correspondence. The primary foci of
his creative talents were Walt Whitman and his
Leaves of Grass, the Masonic music of Mozart, the soprano Maria Callas, Maximilian and Carlotta and the history of Mexico, the poet Garcia
Lorca, and Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The records also include personal papers relating to the life and
family of theater founder Jesus Sierra-Oliva.