Tag Archives: 50 Playwrights Project

Plays I Love: Part I

I read a lot of plays. Between my work with the 50 Playwrights Project (50PP) and reading for pleasure, I normally read 2-3 plays per week. And, while I recommend some of these plays to arts leaders that I’ve built relationships with through my work with 50PP, the Latinx Theatre Commons, and the Houston theatre community, I often don’t have a public-facing venue to help spread the word about some of these plays that I love.

These are plays that I want to see as an audience member. Plays that excite me. Plays that make me think. Plays that I want to pay money to see. Some of them have been produced. Some of them have not. All of them deserve our attention.

So, without further ado, I give you the first in an occasional series: “Plays I Love.”

Black Super Hero Magic Mama by Inda Craig-Galván

Sabrina Jackson cannot cope with the death of her son by a White cop. Rather than herald the Black Lives Matter movement, Sabrina retreats inward, living out a comic book superhero fantasy. Will Sabrina stay in this dream world or return to reality and mourn her loss?

For more information on Craig-Galván’s other plays please visit the New Play Exchange and her personal website.

The Diplomats by Nelson Díaz-Marcano

A few days before election night 2016, close friends Annie and Carlos are reunited in her small Astoria apartment during his first visit to New York since he moved to be with his husband in Florida. At first, it seems their relationship hasn’t changed. That is until Carlos brings an unexpected guest; Annie’s old best and estranged friend Gary. Throughout the course of the night they learn that while they may not have changed much as people, society has. Now they have to confront each other in a whole new reality and their relationships may never be the same.

For more information on Díaz-Marcano’s other plays please visit the New Play Exchange.

Locusts Have No King by J. Julian Christopher

Two gay couples (Lucus/Matthew and Jonathan/Marcus) get together for a dinner party. They work together. They live in the same building. They are closeted. But when one ponders his resignation the others fear exposure of their hidden relationships. They cannot allow this to happen. They won’t allow this to happen. All hell breaks loose… literally.

For more information on Christopher’s other plays please visit the New Play Exchange and his personal website.

MMF by David L. Kimple

When Dean, Jane, and Michael’s polyamorous relationship comes to an end, the triad is forced to deal with the consequences of love in a non-traditional relationship.

For scripts and licensing please visit Samuel French. For more information on Kimple’s other plays please visit the New Play Exchange and his personal website.

Orange by Aditi Kapil

An adventure through Orange County told from the perspective of a girl on the autism spectrum. A play with illustrations.

For more information on Kapil’s other plays please visit the New Play Exchange and her personal website.

Sweep by Georgina Escobar

Sweep is a femme spec-evo story that follows two sisters and hit women of the splintered worlds whose initial snafu with Adam & Eve catches up with them lifetimes later. Fighting for a last chance to reset humanity’s imperfect patterns, the women of Sweep hunt their targets from biblical times to modern-day in order to accelerate humanity’s evolution.

For more information on Escobar’s other plays please visit the New Play Exchange and her personal website.

Daily Cougar Profile

Profile Friday: Hispanic studies professor elevates Latinx playwrights

By: Doug Van

September 23, 2016

If ever there was proof that you don’t need to choose between work and love of the arts, you can find it in Trevor Boffone.

As a lecturer in both the Hispanic Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Departments, Boffone has found a way to also make theater an important part of what he does. While his paid work at UH does not necessarily dovetail with his dramaturgical endeavors, he has become a passionate advocate.

To continue reading, click here.

“The Stories of Us” by Jelisa Jay Robinson

Stories of Us 2

Somewhere around the middle of Jelisa Jay Robinson’s The Stories of Us at Teatro Vivo in Austin, it hit me. I couldn’t recall seeing a play that so boldly tackled Blackness, Latinidad, and Afro-Latinidad. Sure, I’ve seen plays with Afro-Latin@ characters and lots of Latin@ plays, but nothing quite like The Stories of Us. Black. Brown. Neither. Both. The Stories of Us offers a rich and nuanced view of life in the contemporary United States. These are stories that need to be told all across the nation, from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in between. Produce this play!

The Stories of Us began as The Untold Stories while Robinson was still an undergrad Theatre and Latin American Studies major at the University of Texas at Austin. The play was later selected for Teatro Vivo’s Austin New Latino Play Festival in 2015 and received a full production this April-May under the direction of Florinda Bryant. The play is a series of vignettes that explores the intersections between Blackness and Latinidad and how this complex relationship continues to influence these (sometimes) overlapping communities today.

Besides “The Wobble” and knockout performances from Stacye Markey and Krysta Gonzales (who I finally got to meet!), what struck me the most about the play was Robinson’s writing. This girl has got it! She is doing important work to update the narrative on multicultural identity in 2016. As The Stories of Us demonstrates, we need to be having conversations about Afro-Latinidad. We need to understand the nuances of being Black in America, being “black enough,” having that “good hair,” being Latin@, speaking Spanish, having light skin, being racialized, passing, and using certain language (the play includes a poignant vignette about using the “n” word). Yet, why in 2016 are these conversations so few and far between in theatre, especially  in Latin@ theatre? Why isn’t there more Afro-Latinidad on stage?

Aside from the play itself, perhaps my favorite part of seeing The Stories of Us was witnessing a young artist find success by telling her stories, her truths. Robinson is living her dream and it’s beautiful to witness! I first met Robinson earlier this year and, through a combination of happenings, she has quickly become an important part of my writing community in Houston. My tribe—Jasminne Mendez, Icess Fernandez Rojas, Lupe Méndez, Josh Inocéncio, and, now thankfully, Jelisa Jay Robinson.

Stories of Us