Teatro Catalina began as a dream that founder, Katie Fitzgerald, started conceptualizing as she took a course called Social Justice in the Arts during her studies at Santa Clara University. Katie realized she could combine her love for the work she was doing in Nicaragua, with her love for theatre. That course laid the foundation for understanding that theatre, integrated with education, can lead to social change and empowerment.
Teatro Catalina came to life in the summer of 2008 as a simple stage was built by community members and volunteers in a rural village called Villa Catalina on the outskirts of Chinandega, Nicaragua. After earning her degree in technical theatre, Katie moved to Nicaragua. By the beginning of 2010, she and a group of 12 young people were on their way to producing Teatro Catalina’s first play. As more and more youth began to join Teatro Catalina with each new production, the dreams for the program continued to grow. With the help of many volunteer artists, Teatro Catalina has impacted the lives of hundreds of Nicaraguan youth through the power of theatre education and introduced countless audience members to the magic of theatre for the first time.