Paul S. Flores
PAUL S. FLORES is a published playwright and nationally prominent spoken word performer. Raised on the Tijuana/San Diego border, issues of immigration, border experience, and Latino identity are central to his work.
A theater artist specializing in hip-hop and bilingual performance, Flores co-wrote De/Cipher (2001) and No Man’s Land (2002) with Marc Bamuthi Joseph, The Fruitvale Project (2003) with Elia Arce and Fear of a Brown Planet (2005) directed by Tony Garcia.
His first international project REPRESENTA! (2007) is a bilingual hip-hop theater project co-commissioned by SFIAF and La Peña Cultural Center, written and performed with Cuban rapper Julio Cardenas and directed by Danny Hoch.
REPRESENTA! toured 17 cities including GALA Hispanic Theater DC, NJPAC, Lehigh University PA and Mexico City’s Teatro Hugo Arguelles. Flores has twice been awarded the National Performance Network Creation Fund and the Center for Cultural Innovation Individual Artist Grant.
Flores’ work as both a nationally recognized youth development specialist and a community-based artist focuses on identifying and cultivating the inherent strengths that youth possess to be both mirror and transformative power in society.
As a co-founder of Youth Speaks, Flores introduced spoken word to hundreds of thousands of youth all over the country, from native reservations, to public schools to juvenile halls, and helped develop the national platform for young people to build peer relationships and strategize toward a better future through the Brave New Voices: National Teen Poetry Slam, now seen on HBO.
As a writer/performer Flores projects have addressed issues that directly affect the Latino community: from illegal immigration to Hip-Hop in communist Cuba, deconstruction of macho identity to gentrification of the Mission District. Flores chooses to create bilingual work to reflect the constant immigration the Latino community endures, as well a desire to develop new arts audiences out of new community members.
He has also generated more influence over the last four years as a theater professor at the University of San Francisco, where he instructs one of the only university classes in the nation that focuses on the themes and practices of Hip-Hop Theater and Spoken Word.