Brandon Jay Lopez: 'The future of America is Latinx'

NativeGardens ensemble. Photo by Adams VisCom
Brandon Jay Lopez (far right) with the actors who make up the lawn crew in the DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘Native Gardens.’ Photo by Adams VisCom.

Denver native: ‘Native Gardens shows that, regardless of our differences, there is usually something we agree on’   

Denver native Brandon Jay Lopez is playing Chuy in Native Gardens. Previously he played JC in the original workshop production of This is Modern Art for DCPA Off-Center. Other credits include Rafi in the world premiere of Far Beyond Rubies (Newman Center at the University of Denver), Tunny in the regional premiere of American Idiot for Lucent Performing Arts, Tom Collins in Rent for Lucent Performing Arts, ensemble in the regional premiere of In the Heights at Vintage Theatre, West Side Story (Inspire Creative and Town Hall Arts Center), Showstoppers (Manhattan Creative), Man of La Mancha (Performance Now), Cinderella (BDT Stage) and The Wedding Singer (Aurora Fox).

  • Hometown: Denver
  • Home now: Denver
  • Training: Bachelor of Music, University of Denver
  • High School: Horizon High School in Thornton
  • What’s your handle? @brandonjeslopez on Twitter; @brandonjaylopez on Instagram
  • Twitter-sized bio: Just a normal guy who loves listening to the Hamilton cast album on repeat before yelling at my T.V. during Broncos games.
  • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? I would absolutely pursue something in the social-media marketing world. I’ve been doing it on the side for quite some time now.
  • Bucket-list role: One day, when I’m the appropriate age, you will absolutely see me as Bobby in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. It’s an absolute dream to play such a deep and interesting character. That, or Usnavi in In the Heights.
  • What’s playing on your Spotify? Troye Sivan has some pretty amazing music and is part of the LGBTQ+ community. My favorite song by Troye is “for him” from his album “Blue Neighborhood.”
  • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: It has to be when I saw the original Broadway cast of Hamilton in New York. From the moment the music started, I had chills running up and down my body, and the production had me the entire time. It probably helped that, before that performance, I waited in the cancellation line for almost 10 hours outside to get those tickets.
  • Brandon Jay Lopez with Idris Goodwin of This is Modern Art. Photo by John Moore. One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? We need to make professional theatre significantly more accessible to under-privileged audiences. Theatre can be hard to attend, often because of ticket prices. I believe that the future of America is Latinx and we need to find ways to reach that group in a more impactful way.
  • What is Native Gardens all about? Karen Zacarías‘ play is about a young Latino couple who move into a well-established D.C. neighborhood. Though their neighbors have the best intentions, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
  • Why does Native Gardens matter? Native Gardens is
    provides an excellent glimpse into why the political atmosphere is the way it is. It also shows that, regardless of what differences we all have, there is usually something that we agree on.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing Native Gardens? I hope they leave with a curiosity to explore themselves intellectually … It is easy to relate to the issues both couples grapple with in the play, and that presents an excellent opportunity for reflection on how we, as a society, can do better to tackle these important issues.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? Gay Pride is still necessary because anyone under the LGBTQ+ umbrella faces discrimination to this day because of something they cannot change. So the answer to your question “Why isn’t there a Straight Pride?” is because straight people do not face discrimination for being straight. That’s the tea!

(Pictured above and right: Brandon Jay Lopez with Idris Goodwin, writer of ‘This is Modern Art,’ at a 2016 reading at Denver School of the Arts. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Your first look at the DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘Native Gardens.’ Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.) 

Native Gardens
: Ticket information

NativeGardens_show_thumbnail_160x160Dealing with neighbors can be thorny, especially for Pablo and Tania, a young Latino couple who have just moved into a well-established D.C. neighborhood. Though Frank and Virgina have the best intentions for making the new couple feel welcome next door, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Frank is afraid of losing his prized garden, Pablo wants what is legally his, Tania has a pregnancy and a thesis she’d rather be worrying about, and Virginia just wants some peace. But until they address the real roots of their problems, it’s all-out war in this heartfelt play about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.

  • Presented by DCPA Theatre Company
  • Performances through May 6
  • Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Previous NewsCenter coverage of Native Gardens:

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