College Professor By Day, One-Man Show By Night 

Playwriting transforms into a chance to shed light on indigenous peoples’ truth.

By Rachel Rosario 

George Sanchez, a college professor at CSI, aims to create social change throughout the U.S. by using his art to bring unlike minds together. “Only the imagination can unlock the cages of captivity,” said Sanchez. 

25-year-old California resident, George Emilio Sanchez, became inspired by the work of Richard Pryor in his 1978 comedy film.

A performance full of laughter that resonated with Sanchez, ignited a fire within him to pursue a career in the arts and performance.

“I have an incredible spotlight through my art while being indigenous,” said Sanchez. “And while being a person of color.” 

Sanchez teaches drama and performance education as a CSI Professor and works as an artist in New York City, showcasing his work to audiences across the nation. Identifying with his indigenous culture, Sanchez incorporates his own experiences into his pieces to articulate his voice and beliefs.

In his latest piece, “In The Court of The Conqueror,” Sanchez discusses and confronts U.S. Supreme Court rulings from 200 years ago—rulings that diminished the Tribal Sovereignty of Native Nations, affecting many indigenous people across the country for decades. 

This one-man show starring Sanchez premiered in the Fall of 2020 and is still on the road, with performances scheduled throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

“It’s a dream come through that I became an artist,” said Sanchez. “And people come to see me, I’m still stunned. It’s great…it’s really great.” 

Sanchez worked on many socially relevant projects, such as “XIV,” “Bang Bang Gun Amok,” and “Buried Up To My Neck While Thinking Outside The Box.” He not only performed but offered education on important issues that he feels need to be addressed.

He utilized visuals to portray his message, which effectively captured audiences’ attention and left many folks moved by his work.

A former student of Sanchez, Andrew Tawadrous, sat in the audience of one of these performances in Manhattan and left with nothing but positive things to say.

“Professor Sanchez’s performance, ‘In The Court of The Conqueror’, was an incredibly moving show. His ability to get the audience to feel exactly was he is feeling, is enough to give anyone goosebumps,” said Tawadrous. “Professor Sanchez is a gifted artist and performer and I cannot wait to see what he has next for us.” 

Sanchez wishes to create spaces of inclusivity and diversity that highlight the indigenous people’s history and experiences in the U.S. He discusses the realities of indigenous people’s lives then and now, and the work that still needs to be done to create progress within this community. 

He achieves this progress through his works and includes his life experiences into his role as a professor, defining himself as a facilitator to his students.

Sanchez continues to expand his horizons in educating himself about indigenous history by researching, being present, and really listening to his students to construct a collaborative workspace. 

Upcoming performances of “In The Court of the Conqueror” are expected from Sanchez throughout this new year. As he continues his tour with shows in Michigan, New York City, and Syracuse, a wide range of audiences will be in attendance. 

Sanchez also has new projects in the works that we can be on the lookout for in the coming years. With early developments working alongside Patty Ortiz, a fellow collaborator of Sanchez, he looks forward to crafting a new piece. 

Although he did not initially envision this life, Sanchez found a path in creating his own work. He gives power to the voiceless, echoes ideas that have been silenced for many years, and continues creating change by rewriting the narrative.

“My artmaking saved me and gave me so much,” said Sanchez. “I can’t imagine being in this world and not being an artist.”

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