Alicia Olivo ’19, CASA 0101 Theatre Internship, Los Angeles, CA (2018 grants program)

This story was originally published in Wellesley's Daily Shot on August 6, 2018.

This week’s postcard from our 2018 Dear Wellesley series comes from Alicia Olivo ’19 who is writing from Los Angeles, where she’s participating in Career Education’s Grants Program for Student-Identified Internships at CASA 0101 Theatre. Go behind the scenes of Alicia’s internship with the Wellesley College Instagram account.

Hey Wellesley,

Hello from Los Angeles! I’ve just started my second month living, working, and chilling on the West Coast, and it has been absolutely wild. Before coming to LA, the only knowledge I had of the city was what I had gleaned from movies (mostly disaster ones like Independence Day and Volcano), and what my East LA friends from Wellesley told me about. I still don’t really know how to describe it beyond “really cool”—Los Angeles has so many varying neighborhoods and is ridiculously huge!

I have been staying in East Los Angeles with a Wellesley alum’s family. They’re great, and it’s wonderful to be staying with a family rather than with strangers or by myself, as I have never been anywhere west of Texas. (Let it be known that I played “Go West” by the Village People several times on the plane ride to LAX back in June.) In addition, the Latinx-heavy population of East LA makes me feel at home, and I worry less about being affected by overt racist attacks than when I’m in Boston during the academic year. That really helps me sleep at night.

Since the beginning of July, I’ve been interning at CASA 0101 Theater, a non-profit Latinx-centered theatre company in Boyle Heights. I specifically wanted to work at a theatre company that focused on empowerment of Latinx people and their stories, so I was ecstatic to be accepted as an intern at CASA 0101. Thanks to Career Education’s generous summer internship grant, I have been able to observe and learn about the difficulties and satisfaction of managing a theatre that focuses on marginalized identities. I hope to bring this knowledge back to Wellesley and to my hometown of Pasadena, Texas.

Besides helping out on social media branding, administrative duties, and miscellaneous tasks at both CASA 0101 and Little Casa (our second stage), I had the opportunity to be the assistant stage manager for the Chicanas, Cholas, y Chisme: Stand Up! Speak Out! summer tour. In its fifth year, CCC is a short play festival focusing on the stories of Latinx women and nonbinary people. We had the chance to perform at La Casa de la Cultura in Tijuana, México, as well as Chula Vista High School near San Diego.

In my spare time, I’ve been traveling around the city, meeting up with friends both old and new, and working on my first-ever full-length play. I’ve been reflecting a lot on having disposable income as someone who grew up in a low-income family and neighborhood. Even as I am experiencing wonderful things, I make sure to always remember my roots and my home.