After leading one of the state’s top bilingual theater companies for more than 15 years, Teatro Vivo co-founders Rupert Reyes and JoAnn Carreón Reyesofficially stepped down last week from their artistic and executive director roles, paving the way for new era in Austin’s Latino theater scene.

Rupert Reyes and JoAnn Carreón Reyes will now serve as advisers for Teatro Vivo.

“It’s been a real labor of love and we’re happy to see the work continue (under new leadership),” Carreón Reyes, 62, said.

In a transition celebration last week, the couple, who have been married for more than 40 years, officially handed the reins to longtime Teatro Vivo actor and board member Mario A. Ramírez.

“It’s a scary but welcome challenge,” Ramírez, 36, said. “We want to keep that feeling of community and familia that JoAnn and Rupert have built for the past 17 years, and I feel confident about moving forward and upward.”

The co-founders will continue to serve as advisers and ambassadors for the award-winning company, which produces culturally relevant theater exploring everything from Latino identity to contemporary social issues.

Rupert Reyes and Carreón Reyes have been involved in theater since the mid-1970s as University of Texas students. In 2000, they founded Teatro Vivo to “build bridges of understanding,” Carreón Reyes said. “We wanted to tell stories about the human condition that happen to be set in Latino families or Tejano situations but translate across cultures.” …

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This is a part of  Nancy Flores’ story about the departure of the founders from Teatro Vivo.