In the Spotlife: Marialuisa Burgos of 'I Don't Speak English Only'

From left: Aaron Vieyra, Marialuisa Burgos and Hugo Jon Sayles in Su Teatro’s ‘La Carpa Aztlán Presents: I Don’t Speak English Only,’  Photo by Steven Abeyta.


Elizabeth in ‘La Carpa Aztlán Presents: I Don’t Speak English Only,’ playing through Oct. 28 at the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center. 

  • Hometown: Pueblo
  • Home now: Denver
  • High school: Centennial High School
  • College: Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • What have you done for us lately? I appeared in Joaquin’s Christmas at Su Teatro last year.
  • Twitter-sized bio: I love to travel, I enjoy meeting new people and trying different foods. Snack-time is my favorite part of the day, and I love to make people laugh. I am always up for a new adventures as long as my schedule is cleared.
  • The role that changed your life: Playing Maria Isabel in Enrique’s Journey at Su Teatro, written by Anthony J. Garcia. That was the role that truly exposed me to Latino theatre. Based on a true story, the story follows a young boy who travels across Central America by train to find his mother. The role taught me the importance of telling the stories about the struggles people of color face. We took the play to Los Angeles, where I had the opportunity to watch 15 other productions by Latino theatre companies. It was a life changing experience.. READ MORE

  • Ideal scene partner: Jaime Camil (pictured below right), who currently plays Rogelio de la Vega on Jane the Virgin. I remember watching Jaime Camil in a Mexican telenovela I loved called Las Tontas Van al Cielo. (English translation: Dumb Girls Don’t Go to Heaven.) He was such a charmer and I loved his comedic timing. When he made his way into prime-time television in the Unites States, I remember stopping and having this proud moment as a Latina because he was crossing cultures and was breaking barriers in diversity in TV.
  • Marialuisa Burgos Jamie CamilWhat is La Carpa Aztlán all about? The play takes place in the near future in a society where diversity is outlawed and those who are different are abandoned and  left out of mainstream society. Elizabeth wanders into an abandoned alley and discovers Don Guillermo Aztlán and his Carpa — and she also finds herself.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: The play is performed in Carpa tradition, which is basically Mexican vaudeville. The style itself is a challenge. It is big, over-exaggerated and very physical. Also, this play is one of Su Teatro’s most successful past productions — and my character was written and has always been played as a male. There is a lot of pressure to both do justice to carpa and the play itself. I also get to sing and dance and act and play guitar, I’m working on doing more than one thing at the same time.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your play? I hope the audience will be able to laugh and have fun. But the messages conveyed are real struggles that resonate with people of color. 
  • What’s one thing we don’t know about you? I was born singing Mariachi music. I have my own group where I sing and play vihuela (a guitar-shaped string instrument from 15th and 16th century Europe, usually with five or six doubled strings). I have been performing and competing in Mariachi since I was 10.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? I would like to encourage everyone to take the time to hear the stories of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students, and know how they are impacted by the decision to rescind it.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

I Don’t Speak English Only:
Ticket information

At a glance: Su Teatro brings back its homegrown classic dystopian comedy that rises from the past to imagine a future world where all diversity is prohibited and any expression of ‘the other’ has been forced underground. The play with music is based on the Mexican tent-show tradition, which emerged during the 1920s in small towns across the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Carpas were looked at as lower-class entertainment, but some of Mexico’s greatest performers came out of the carpa tradition, including the man Charlie Chaplin called the world’s greatest comedian: Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas.

• Written and directed by Anthony J. Garcia
• Through Oct. 28
• At 721 Santa Fe Drive
• Tickets $17-$20
• For tickets, call 303-296-0219 or go to


  • Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Cast list:

  • Don Guillermo Aztlan: Hugo Jon Sayles
  • Elizabeth: Marialuisa Burgos
  • Carmen: Magally Luna
  • Violeta : Paola Miranda
  • Consuelo: Iliana Barron
  • Carlos: Aaron Vieyra
  • Tino: Adolfo Romero

2017-18 ‘In the Spotlife’ profiles:

Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep’s Arsenic and Old Lace
Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre’s August: Osage County
Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific
Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of I Don’t Speak English Only

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