Jose Luis Valenzuela
Biography and Interests
Professor Jose Luis Valenzuela is a Professor of Theater at the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. Valenzuela has directed at several prestigious regional venues including the Los Angeles Theater Center where he developed the Latino Theater Lab; El Teatro de la Esperanza; Mark Taper Forum and Teatro Jorge Negrete where his production of Hijos won Drama-Logue Awards for Best Direction, Ensemble and Actor.
His international theater directing credits include Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt at the Norland Theatre in Norway and Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman at the National Theatre of Norway. He serves as the Artistic Director of the Latino Theater Company in Los Angeles, a group of artists committed to creating and producing new works that examine in bold contemporary terms the Latino/a experience in the United States. He directed the play and feature film Luminarias, that challenged Latina stereotypes. The film starred Cheech Marin, Scott Bakula and Lupe Ontiveros. Valenzuela directed the world premiere of Dementia, written by Evelina Fernandez, for the Latino Theater Initiative. The play was the first of its kind to tackle the HIV/AIDS issue in the Latino community and won the 2003 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Theater Production in Los Angeles. He was honored with the 2003 Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero of the Year Award recognizing distinguished citizens for contributions to improving the quality of life in their communities.