We thought we’d walked into a theater. Turned out that was just scratching the surface.

The Miracle Theatre Group has staged entertainment since 1985. Close to thirty years later, it’s grown into the Pacific Northwest’s premiere Latino arts and culture organization, with a touring company that brings original bilingual theater productions and educational residencies to underserved communities across America.

Our cameras found Miracle in mid-September, gearing up for its annual (and much celebrated) Day of the Dead show. In 2012, that meant an original, creative collaboration called “Raiz” (or “Root”). Arturo Martinini, an Italian working in the U.S. for the first time, directed.

It seems perfectly fitting for a place whose mission is “to share the diversity of Latin America and advocate for global unity through theater” to work with a European director on its signature show. As mainstage artistic director Olga Sanchez told us, “It’s about understanding your neighbors better. Ultimately what we’re looking at is the human experience.”

Editor’s Note: This is part of an eight-part series of the Oregon Cultural Trust’s Field Guide to Oregon Culture, which spotlights cultural attractions around the state. The Cultural Trust supports more than 1,300 nonprofits statewide in the development of arts, heritage, and humanities programs. Learn how your free contribution can enrich lives at CulturalTrust.org.

About the Author: Dave Weich

Dave Weich is the president of Sheepscot Creative. Since the company’s founding in 2010, he's delivered the work of more than thirty strategists, developers, designers, and filmmakers to dozens of grateful clients. For fifteen years now, he's lived within blocks of Hawthorne Boulevard in Southeast Portland. Perhaps you've seen him on the corner of 32nd, ordering a Back in Black Bean sandwich from Fried Egg I'm in Love.

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