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OJC Press Release ID: 3001

Friday, February 14, 2020

Tencha Avila to Present “Woman of Color: Daughter of Immigrants.”


Otero Junior College will be welcoming Tencha Avila to speak on the OJC campus Friday, Feb. 28 at 12 p.m. in the Learning Commons. The title of her presentation is “Woman of Color: Daughter of Immigrants.” Mrs. Avila will also speak in Kimi Kelley’s World Literature class at 10 a.m. in McBride 137. At that presentation, Mrs. Avila will read and discuss poetry from her book “Little Colony on the Prairie.” The OJC community is welcome to attend both events.

Mrs. Avila will also be discussing her play, No Number Home. The play was performed at OJC in March of 2012 under Stephen Simpson’s direction. The play is based on a true story from Avila’s childhood when she lived at the Fort Lyon Colony. The play was recently performed in December in Santa Fe, N.M. to standing room only crowds. Kimi Kelley’s literature classes will read it as part of the curriculum.

No Number Home is about the determination of Mexican immigrants and their American children to hold on to their dignity, love for family and each other when terror strikes their community. The story is depicted through the fear and turmoil that engulfs their small colony of farm workers when one of their own goes AWOL from his Fort Carson training camp during WWII and the Military Police come knocking on their doors looking for the soldier. It captures deep family love with its sweetness, playfulness and conflict, and the community strife among Mexican Americans and Mexicans in the United States. The world of the play raises important questions about citizenship, identity, community, and family and explores the intrinsic human need to establish one’s individuality and strengthen and hold on to one’s dignity.

Three of her plays – La Pepsi Cola, Did It, and Kiss Bessemer Goodbye – have won national competitions. Her play Angie’s Fire was a Met Life finalist and Kiss Bessemer Goodbye won the grand prize and had an off-Broadway production at Repertorio Espanol Theatre. No Number Home was a semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill Conference of 2012, and The London Impromptu (A Moliere Parody) was a semi-finalist in the McClaren Comedy International Competition.

She has produced and directed plays by Edward Albee, Marsha Norman, Eve Ensler and a few of her own. Tencha created and produced two musical revues, Pure Piaf and Una Noche Romantica con Agustin Lara. Her festive comedy Maria y su Sidekick was a hit at the 2004 Puerto Vallarta Cultural Festival/ In 1996-7, in Beijing and Shanghai, Avila taught acting at the Central Academy of Theatre.

Avila was born and raised at the Fort Lyon Colony and Las Animas, Colo. and is a graduate of Palomar Community College, Colorado University, and Ohio University, MFA 1995. She is the 1988 recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award of Palomar College and the California Association of Community Colleges. She has been a school teacher, U.S. cultural diplomat in Vietnam, and staff member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. As civic volunteer, she co-founded Easy Riders in Cincinnati, an agency for health transportation for the poor, served on the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, and the Ohio Governor’s Housing Commission. She is a Life-member of the Dramatists Guild.

Avila has visited 43 countries and lived in four of them – Vietnam, England, China, and Mexico. Avila and her husband have raised three children and are now grandparents and great grandparents. Her new play has been selected for the Santa Fe Playhouse 2019 season. Since the first draft of 2010, No Number Home has had many supporters and mentors. Among them are novelist Marcy Heidish, Egypt’s renowned playwright Gamal Maksud and locally, Director Vaughn Irving, Dramaturg Monique La Coste and the newly appointed Artistic Director Robin Rikoon. They have devoted their time and talents to make it a better play. She has immense appreciation and gratitude for the designers, staff and actors who have devoted their dear time for a great production of No Number Home.

For questions regarding the event, please contact Kimi Kelley at 719-384-6849 or

Press Release Photo
Tencha Avila will present “Woman of Color: Daughter of Immigrants.” on Friday, Feb. 28 at a special Lunch and Learn at 12 p.m. in the Learning Commons on the Otero Junior College campus.