Tejana poet, Amalia Ortiz, to perform at TWU during Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept. 17, 2021 — DENTON — TWU’s Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach and Department of Music have teamed up to welcome Amalia Oritz to campus on Thursday, Sept. 30. She will perform her “Canción Cannibal Cabaret,” a punk rock musical—part concept album, part radio play—in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, 7-9 p.m.

For Max Parrilla, the facilities manager for TWU’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, her visit to campus is personal for more than one reason. 

“I gave Amalia her first job out of college in San Antonio at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and we have stayed in touch,” he said. “I think her message fits with the mission of the university and will speak to our Hispanic students.”

Amalia Ortiz’s poetry has been featured in literary journals and spoken word compilations, and she has performed at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Her poetry tours include South by Southwest, the Def Poetry College Tour, Slam America National Bus Tour and the documentary Busload of Poets. 

As unique as her performance is, not only does Parrilla want people to have the opportunity to experience Ortiz’s art, but also he wants people to see and experience the new renovations in the Margo Jones Performance Hall.

When Parrilla arrived in 2018, he began the process of upgrading the facility. With the support of the university, he oversaw the addition of new seats, lights, rigging, sound and video to the historic 1,078 seat auditorium. However, as fate would have it, just as work was wrapping up and he was ready to increase the performance schedule, the pandemic forced the university to close. 

Now with a more normal fall semester, Parrilla hopes that people, particularly students, will start filling up Margo Jones again. Having previously served as the production manager for the Fort Worth Opera and as technical director for the Houston Ballet, Parrilla sees nothing but potential for Margo Jones.

He also has plenty of connections that would help to reestablish the venue as a premier performance space in Denton. Prior to the university closure, he had been speaking to outside promoters about the possibility of bringing more big acts to campus, and he sees Ortiz’s performance as just the beginning of what could turn into a boon for TWU students looking for more things to do on campus. 

The Sept. 30 event is free and open to the public, and advance registration is not required. “Canción Cannibal Cabaret” is part of TWU’s Hispanic Heritage Month slate of events.




Page last updated 4:08 PM, September 16, 2021