100 Women We Love

Coya Paz
Before Paz founded Teatro Luna, Chicago’s only all-Latina theatre troupe, parts for Latinas on the Chicago stage were limited to "'Maid' or 'Maria, pregnant teen,'" she says. "As a feminist, I felt like 'this is not what I want to do—play hot girl #3 and graduate to nice mom when I'm 30.'" At an audition, Paz met another young actress with whom she formed an instant bond. The two created their own company (TL) to tell stories of Latinidad. Performing plays written and directed by its members, with queer themes interspersed, Luna's impact on Chicago's Latino community is palpable: the group's first probadita (a small show of works in progress) packed the house with over 100 viewers. "People always say Latinos don't go to the theater," says Paz, 32. "I think the way to get them there, is to have Latinos in the plays." –MW
Olivia Patti La Belle