Born south of the border/ raised in Chicago IL

Founder, Executive & Artistic Director

Quien es la Galvan

Karla Galván is a Mexican/Peruvian actress,  artistic director and teaching artists. She is a Columbia College Chicago graduate with a B.A. in fine arts. Karla also received extensive theatrical training in the City Mexico . In 2003, Karla  founded Teatro  Tariakuri Theater, a Latin spanish speaking  theater company in Chicago. Based on the south side of Chicago, making it one of the first Mexican-American theater companies. In 2004 she opened with “Cats Have Tails in the Fall” at the Village Player Theater in Oak Park IL. Now Madison Street Theatre. Karla has directed many productions, including Dracula Gay, Abuelita de batman, Tent time, Cri Cri the musical adventure, Homenaje a Chespirito serving both comedy for adults and children’s production, Karla has also worked on stage creating many characters such as Doña Remedios in “Los secretos de Santa Monica” with Family bridges. He worked on stage with Urban Theater Co. playing “Lydia” in their 12-season production of “Ashes of light,” Karla also currently teaches theater and works with youth on the south side of Chicago where she directed Peter Pan, the Magician, Beauty and the beast and many more.

Esteban Pantoja

Actor, director, Co-artistic director

Quien es Pantoja

Esteban Pantoja is a Mexican-American actor. Pantoja joined Tariakuri theatre company in 2005. Pantoja is co-artistic director and production manager here at Tariakuri. As an actor he has brought to life many characters in many of our Productions including our famous monologue “Dracula gay” by Thomas Urtusastegui. His theatre background and education were received on Tariakuri’s stage. But his love for performance and characterization have led him to create ” La mas mejor” one of the most important icons in the Latino Drag shows community in Chicago. Esteban Pantoja has performed with other theatre companies including his leading role in “Varones”. Esteban has also founded Cabaret parodia theatre company. Where he produces, writes, and directs many productions including “Un pozole con Frida” and “Cuna de brujas”.

Jennifer Garcia

School Admin, Teaching artist, choreographer

Quien es Jennifer

Jennifer Garcia is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Dance and Minors in Teaching Artist and Entrepreneurship. Jennifer has trained in various dance forms including Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, West African, Jazz, and Dance Improvisation. During her time at Columbia, Jennifer had the opportunity of working with choreographers like Jennifer Kayle, C. Kemal Nance, Darrell Jones and Paige Cunningham. Jennifer is currently teaching acro dance, jazz, ballet 1 & 2, Latin, and hip-hop at Teatro Tariakuri.

Nancy Mata

Actress and comedian

Quien es Nancy

Staff member of Teatro Tariakuri. Mexican-American actress and comedian with vast experience in the theatrical scene in the windy city. Recently we enjoyed her performance in “Como hacer una pelicula xxx”, Nancy’s credits include pieces such as “Solo para ardidos” and “Abuelita de batman”. She is also featured in the annual Pastorela de Dolores and Las virgenes prudentes to name a few. When not on stage Nancy loves to spend time with family and is accompanied by her beautiful dog Amber.

Patricia Galvan

 Staff member of Teatro Tariakuri

Quien es Patricia

Born in Tampico, Tamaulipas Mexico and a staff member of Teatro Tariakuri.Paticia has been able to obtain her acting training and develop professionally with Teatro Tariakuri since its inception.

Manny Casique


Company member since 2005, Manny is a Mexican American actor and has had his theater background from various institutions. He has been on stage giving birth to many characters. 

Victor Millari

Member of Teatro Tariakury

Company member, Victor is a Mexican/ Filipino actor born and raised in south side Chicago. As an artist, Victor values the idea of authenticity and rawness in stories, because to him, every voice deserves recognition. He challenges himself towards breaking down a character’s intentions and feelings by visualizing himself in their shoes, no matter how big or small the differences may seem. Since his graduation from UIC in 2021, Victor has been working in short films, theatre productions, and creating his own work to continue finding ways to evoke rawness and showcase Chicago authenticity while building friendships throughout his artistic journey.

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