A Greeley native who left for schooling and a chance at the limelight in L.A., Jose Mercado returned to the state after garnering praise and awards on the stage in California. He took a job teaching theater at North High School in Denver, and his future path was set: Mercado went on to famously stage a production of the Latino classic, Zoot Suit, that lifted barrio kids up off the street and eventually even hit the big time with a performance at the Buell Theatre. He's since gone on to teach at the University of Colorado at Denver, and when he's not doing that, he's spearheaded many side-projects on the side over the years: the youth arts program Labyrinth at PlatteForum, an ongoing campaign to refurbish the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre for community use, and a private evening theater academy for adults, among other things. He's also lent a hand in bringing some of his Hollywood friends to Denver for performances, lectures and fundraisers, including Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman and Wendell Pierce.
Now, he's kicking off a new touring show, Dreaming Sin Fronteras, right back on the familiar North High stage in March. Mercado's a guy who makes things happens; read his 100CC questionnaire to find out what inspires him to keep going, no matter what.
See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: donnie l. betts