New work project about ESSJ with Yosimar Reyes

Teatro Visión and Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Yosimar Reyes are embarking on a collaborative, community-centered new play development project focusing on East San José and the Mayfair Districts's immigrant communities.

In 2024 and 2025, over the course of a community story-gathering project and subsequent writing and development process, we are working together to create a theater production that shares the stories of East San José residents. Blending Yosimar’s deep knowledge of the Mayfair community in which he was raised, his honest and emotive poetic voice, and Teatro Visión’s extensive experience with community-engaged theater practices, the process and production aim to nurture community power and inspire civic engagement in East San José.

““This new work seeks to shed light onto the stories of the people who continue to live and thrive in a community that is threatened to be displaced by gentrification. The high cost of living and the ravenous modernity cast a shadow on our most vulnerable communities and threaten to erase their very existence and legacy.

Rodrigo García, Teatro Visión Artistic Director

As a part of the development process, Yosimar is conducting a series of interviews with community residents and workshops with local nonprofit organizations. The stories collected throughout this process inform Yosimar's writing and the theater production.

If you are interested in participating in an interview or hosting a workshop at your agency, please contact [email protected].

About Yosimar Reyes

Hailing from East San Jose by way of Guerrero, Mexico, Reyes quickly made a name for himself at the tender age of sixteen, exploding onto local Bay Area stages and captivating his audiences with deeply moving spoken word performances.

Reyes’ repertoire has since evolved to include nationally-acclaimed keynotes, writing workshops, and his one-man show, Prieto, a coming-of-age story that explores subjects like migration, sexuality, and socio-economic struggle—all while empowering his audiences to tap into their own creative potential. In addition to being the first-ever undocumented poet to achieve Santa Clara County Poet Laureate status, Reyes was chosen to be a 2024 Creative Ambassador by the City of San Jose, The Advocate named him one of "13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World," and Remezcla included him on their list of "10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know."

“When I was a teen some of the first plays I had the opportunity to watch were produced by Teatro Visión. I did not know it then but later I would find a fascination for storytelling.

"This collaboration allows me the opportunity to tell the story of the people I come from, hardworking immigrants that have built a life and are fighting to stay in San Jose. I am excited that I get the chance to write about the magic I learned from the community that invested in me.”

Yosimar Reyes, Commissioned Artist and Santa Clara County Poet Laureate


Read the full press release here.

This project is made possible by the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. The CWF aims to empower collaborations between artists and nonprofit organizations to create new works of art, based on the idea that, “Collaborative efforts among artists, organizations, and their communities can generate a productive exchange and bring the arts to new and intersectional audiences.”