Guide to the Richard Montoya Culture Clash Collection,
Special Collections & Archives
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA, 91330
Phone: (818) 677-2832
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Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Richard Montoya Culture Clash
Montoya, Richard, 1959-
Physical Description: 0.50
Language of Materials:
Abstract: A founding member of Culture Clash,
Richard Montoya was born in San Diego in 1959, the son of two educators. Culture Clash
was founded on Cinco de Mayo, 1984 at René Yañez's Galería de la Raza/ Studio 24 in
San Francisco's Mission District by Richard Montoya, Ricardo Salinas, Herbert
Sigüenza, and José Antonio Burciaga. Culture Clash's brand of Chicano comedic
theater has brought them to renowned venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington,
DC, the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Huntington in Boston, the Goodman Theatre
in Chicago, The Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, the Seattle Repertory Theatre in
Seattle, and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
This collection was processed in part under a U.S. Department of Education Title V
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Grant.
Richard Montoya was born in San Diego in 1959, the son of two educators. Richard's
father is José Montoya, poet laureate of Sacramento and founding member of the Royal
Chicano Air Force, an artist collective that served as printmakers for the United Farm
Workers. The family moved to Oakland, where his father taught at Oakland High School.
Montoya attended the California College of Arts and Crafts. His family moved further
north to small towns including Marysville and Lincoln.
Culture Clash was founded on Cinco de Mayo, 1984 at René Yañez's Galería de la
Raza/ Studio 24 in San Francisco's Mission District by Richard Montoya, Ricardo
Salinas, Herbert Sigüenza, and José Antonio Burciaga. Sigüenza had trained as a visual
artist, Montoya's background was in spoken word poetry, and Salinas had performed
as a break-dancer and bilingual rapper. The group was originally called Comedy Fiesta
and conceived of as a troupe of six actors, comedians, and poets including Marga Gómez
and Monica Palacios. This group worked with Luis Valdez's El Teatro Campesino. The
group eventually fragmented, and Culture Clash was formed with four members Burciaga,
Montoya, Salinas, and Sigüenza. Burciaga left the group in 1988 and died in 1996.
Some of their best-known plays include
The Mission (1988),
A Bowl of Beings (1991),
S.O.S—Comedy for These Urgent Times (1992, written in response to the Los
Carpa Clash (1993; carpas are Mexican
vaudevillian tent shows),
Culture Clash Unplugged (1994),
Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami (1994),
Mission Magic Mystery Tour
(2001). Many of these pieces were site-specific commissioned works. Bowl of Beings is
particularly well-know as it was filmed for PBS' Great Performances series in 1992.
Culture Clash performed their adaptation of Aristophanes' The Birds for South Coast
Repertory Theater in San Diego, California and the Berkeley Repertory Theater in
Berkeley, California in 1998.
Culture Clash's first book,
Culture Clash: Life, Death, and
appeared in 1998. This publication includes scripts of
many of their plays. In 2001 they published
Culture Clash in
a book that explores what it means to be an American through a
series of vignettes. The book was inspired by the show
Clash Coast to Coast,
which premiered at the Japanese Cultural Center in Los
Through the efforts of comedian "Cheech" Marin, Culture Clash developed a show
for Fox Television, entitled Fox Television's "Culture Clash." The show
ran from 1993 to 1995 with a total of 30 episodes. The comedy sketch show featured guest
appearances from Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits, Maria Conchita Alonso, and Dolores
Los Boys de CC have been featured together and separately in several feature films. All
three appeared in 1992's Encino Man as Loco, Enrique, and Chuly. Montoya was in
Lucky Luke (1994), Falling Down (1993), and Hero (1992). Sigüenza can be seen in Star
Maps (1997) and Hero (1992). In 1992, they co-produced and wrote Columbus on Trial, an
award-winning short film.
The members of Culture Clash also work on their own theatrical projects. Herbert
Sigüenza was in Yo Soy Cantinflas, based on the life of the Mexican comedy star.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Culture Clash (Comedy troupe)
Theater -- United States
Robert G. Marshall, Rebecca S. Graff; February 2004
Conditions Governing Use:
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or
reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of
the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style
manual, or see the
Citing Archival Materials
Arrangement of Materials:
Series I: Plays, 1993-2004
Series II: Troupe, 1994
Series III: Personal, 1989
Scope and Contents
includes a flyer, a mailing, a newspaper clipping, a program, and a
performance schedule. The collection has been divided into three series: Plays
(1993-2004), Troupe (1994), and Personal (1989). Series I, Plays, contains materials
related to specific plays. Series II, Troupe, contains materials that were created by
and for the Culture Clash Troupe that are not part of the first series. Series III,
Personal, contains personal materials from Montoya.
Series I: Plays, 1993-2004
Box 1, Folder 1
AmeriCCa - Yale Repertory Theatre: schedule,
November 2003-May 2004
Box 1, Folder 2
Carpa Clash - Mark Taper Forum: program,
Box 1, Folder 3
Señor Discretion Himself - Arena Stage: invitation;
2004 April 15
Cabinet 3, Folder 1
Culture Clash in AmeriCCa
Performance at the Berkeley Repertory
Cabinet 3, Folder 2
A Bowl of Beings print with Culture Clash
Logo, by Ignacio Gomez
Cabinet 3, Folder 3
Series II: Troupe 1994-2003
Box 1, Folder 4
Big Top Locos - Cypress Hill Rage Against the Machines FOBIA:
1994 October 22
Cabinet 3, Folder 4
Thank You Card for
Chavez Ravine, by the
Students and Faculty of Fairfax Magnet Center for the Visual Arts,
2003 June 18
Series III: Personal, 1989
Box 1, Folder 5
"Teatro Campesino Actor Injured in SF Shooting,"
1989 September 8