Hispanic American Playwrights
Lynne Alvarez, The Guitarron
Lynne Alvarez is an Argentinian-American playwright from Oregon and Michigan. Her play The Guitarron was premiered in New York City in 1983. In that same year, she received a Kesselring Award for Hidden Parts. Alvarez is also a published poet.
The Guitarron is a violent and tragic experience about a group of fishermen, a cellist, and a prostitute living together by a beach in Mexico. The most challenging element of production will be casting and sound design, because you will either need an actor that can play the cello or numerous sound cues. (Cast: six men, one woman)
Migdalia Cruz, Fur and Miriam's Flowers
Migdalia Cruz is a Nuyorican (Puerto Rican from NYC) from the South Bronx. Her play The Have-Littles was first directed by the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner, Cuban playwright, Nilo Cruz in 1991.
Fur is a love triangle between two women and a man, Citrona, Nena, and Michael, that gives a new spin on Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Citrona wants Nena, Nena wants Michael, and Michael wants Citrona. Relish in the chaos of lust, love, and comedy as the love triangle unfolds. The most challenging aspect of this production is the lyrical density of the text. (Cast: two women, one man)
The content of Miriam's Flowers is for mature audiences. Walk into this Nuyorican family's life after the tragic loss of the youngest child. Delfina and her daughter Miriam are having a really difficult time coping with the loss of Puli, her seven year old son from a different man. These two women date eccentric men and use their sexuality to hide their pain. Eventually, they get closer to each other as the tragic life lesson of death strikes them once again. The most challenging aspect of this production is the lengthy props list. (Cast: three men, two women)
Evelina Fernandez, How Else Am I Supposed to Know I'm Still Alive
Evelina Fernandez is a Chicana from California and Arizona. Her play How Else Am I Supposed to Know I'm Still Alive was dedicated to her family and friends whom she feels are underrepresented and stereotyped in the media. Fernandez is most recognized as an actress.
How Else Am I Supposed to Know I'm Still Alive is a story about two charming and comedic women in their late forties whose interactions focus on relationships and men. You will need two strong actresses. (Cast: two female characters, an extra character that will hold a prop and not be seen on stage)
Maria Irene Fornes, Fefu and Her Friends: A Play and Mud
Maria Irene Fornes is a Cuban playwright. She is most known for directing her own work and facilitating playwriting workshops.
In Fefu and Her Friends: A Play, join Fefu and her seven friends: Cindy, Christina, Julia, Emma, Paula, Sue, and Cecilia, as they spend a day talking about New England women's lives in the 1930s. The play is mostly centered on Fefu's unhappy life and dysfunctional relationship with her husband Phillip. The set is the most challenging aspect of directing this play, due to the revolving nature of the script in Act 2. The first and third acts are both taking place in the living room, while the second act includes scenes in a study, kitchen, bedroom, and lawn.
Mud is the story of a woman who is trapped in poverty and domestic responsibilities of two men. The main character, Mae, is trying to learn to read in order to progress in life but she is brought to a halt when the two men in her life, Lloyd and Henry, prioritize their unresolved conflict above Mae's goals. This play focuses on socioeconomic and gendered tensions. You will need two male performers and one strong female performer.
Josefina Lopez, Confessions of Women from East L.A. and Simply Maria or the American Dream
Josefina Lopez is a Chicana playwright who was raised in Los Angeles. She wrote her first play at 17 and is most recognized for the play Real Women Have Curves.
In Confessions of Women from East L.A., enjoy a night of laughter with monologues based on women who have very different lifestyles and perspectives on sexuality, education, marriage, and female empowerment. The most challenging production element of this play will be casting. (Cast: nine women)
In Simply Maria or the American Dream, embark on a voyage towards female empowerment and independence. This coming of age story emphasizes on Maria and her struggles to remain true to her cultural values while trying to progress in life. The most difficult element of this production will be casting, which can easily be avoided by giving actors multiple small roles. The major roles include two women and three male roles.
Cherrie Moraga, Heroes and Saints and Shadow of a Man
Cherrie Moraga is from San Francisco, California. She was awarded with the NEA's Theatre Playwrights' Fellowship in the year 1993. Moraga is most renowned for her feminist writing in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.
Heroes and Saints is set in a fictional town in California and brings to light the darkness of agricultural work taken up by Mexicans. The audience will be taken through a heart-wrenching story of people suffering the consequences of pesticide usage. Casting will be the most challenging part of this process. (Cast: six women, four men)
Shadow of a Man, Moraga's remake of Miller's Death of a Salesman, gives audiences a new perspective on the American dream through emphasis on sexuality and Hispanic culture. The most challenging aspect of this process will be character work with an emphasis on psychoanalysis. (Cast: four women, two men)
Dolores Prida, Botanica and Screens
Dolores Prida is a Cuban playwright. She studied in Hunter College in New York City. Prida has also published poetry and prose.
Botanica is the never ending generational battle that resonates with everyone. Your family members want you to do something that your heart does not desire. This is the same for Millie, a determined Ivy League graduate, who does not want to inherit the spiritual shop and wants to pursue a career in banking. The play tells the story of these women and the challenges of learning what you can never learn within a classroom setting about life. The set will be the most challenging part of this production. (Cast: six female, three male)
Screens is a play that blends fantasy and reality among three friends who are actors in a nature terrorized environment. The most challenging aspect of this production will be committed actors who are willing to lose themselves in their characters. (Cast: one woman, two men)
Elaine Romero, The Fat-Free Chicana and the Snow Cap Queen
Elaine Romero is a Chicana playwright from Arizona. She has won numerous awards for her plays The Dalai Lama is Not Welcome Here, Barrio Hollywood, and Wetback. Romero has taught at the University of Arizona.
The Fat-Free Chicana and the Snow Cap Queen is a play about the importance of family and food! The Duran's are a family who own a restaurant that is going through some changes, as the family conflict of healthy eating reaches its peak. The most challenging aspect of this process will be creating an authentic setting of a Mexican restaurant without stereotyping and being true to the text. (Cast: four women, two men)
Milcha Sanchez-Scott, Roosters
Milcha Sanchez-Scott is a half Indonesian and half Columbian playwright. Her most renowned play is Dog Lady, which has received multiple Drama-Logue awards.
In Roosters, a family becomes reacquainted with their long imprisoned father. Challenges arise when the daughter and son have opposing views about their father's return, and his plans to continue feeding his addiction to cockfights. The most challenging elements of this production will be accents and a strong male lead. It is important to note that there is a film version of this play. (Cast: four women, two men)
Edit Villarreal, My Visits with MGM
Edit Villarreal is a Mexican-American playwright from Texas. Currently, Villarreal is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and a Professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
My Visits with MGM is a voyage to self-acceptance and discovery. The relationship between granddaughter and grandmother shed light on the importance of keeping your culture while assimilating to American life. The most challenging aspect of this process will be casting a strong female actress for the role of Marta Grande. (Cast: five women, one man)