Friday, April 16, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Please join the Theater and Dance department as we explore Latinx theatre with four award-winning U.S. playwrights: Luis Alfaro, Migdalia Cruz, Elaine Romero, and Enrique Urueta.  Co-moderators Laura Hope and Enrique Urueta will lead a discussion about the work of our guest artists, and how their plays engage with ideas of immigration, border culture, hybrid identities, family, language, bilingual play texts, and the importance of Latinx voices in crafting American theatre and identity. A question and answer session with the audience will follow the panelists' discussion.

Enrique Urueta's plays include The Johnson Administration, The Danger of Bleeding Brown, Learn To Be Latina, and Forever Never Comes.  He has received a Jerome Fellowship, was a Walter Dakin fellow at the Sewanee Writer's Conference, and was an NEA Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. He received the New Works Fund award for Forever Never Comes from Theatre Bay Area and was a runner-up for the 2009 Yale Drama Series prize for The Danger of Bleeding Brown. Learn To Be Latina won the inaugural Great Gay Play contest sponsored by Pride Films & Plays and was named Best Ensemble Comedy of 2010 by the SF Weekly, which also named him Best Up-And-Coming Playwright of 2010.

Portrait of Luis Alfaro

Luis Alfaro was born and raised in downtown Los Angeles. He is a Chicano writer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short fiction, performance and journalism. Luis spent six seasons as the Mellon Playwright-in-Residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (2013-2019); a member of the Playwright’s Ensemble at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre (2013-2020); a resident artist at the Mark Taper Forum (1995-2005); and has been associated with the Ojai Playwrights Conference since 2002. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as the ‘genius’ grant; PEN America/Laura Pels International Foundation Theater Award for a Master Dramatist; United States Artist Fellowship and Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, among others. His plays and performances include Electricidad, Oedipus El Rey, Mojada, Delano and Body of Faith. Luis spent over two decades in the Los Angeles poetry and performance art communities. He is an associate professor at the University of Southern California. The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro, was released by Methuen this past year.

Portrait of Migdalia Cruz

Migdalia Cruz is a Bronx-born, award-winning multi-platform playwright, lyricist, translator, and librettist of more than 60 works including: El Grito Del Bronx, Cigarettes & Moby-Dick, The Book of Miaou, & Frida, produced in venues such as BAM, Latino Chicago Theater Company, Mabou Mines, A.R.T., National Theater of Greece, Houston Grand Opera, Ateneo Puertorriqueño, & Teatro Vista. An alumna of New Dramatists, she received grants from the NEA, McKnight, NYFA, NYSCA, and Pew/TCG Foundations, and was named the 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright.  Migdalia was nurtured by Sundance, the Lark, & by Maria Irene Fornés at INTAR. She taught for the Fornés Playwriting Workshop, Princeton, Brown, Yale, and LaMaMa/Umbria/Summer Intensive.

She is the current co-chair of the DGF Playwriting Fellows 2019-2021 with Lucy Thurber, a mentor to the NYC Latinx Playwrights Circle; and recently received a commission from Clubbed Thumb via NYSCA to write Fish Tank and INTAR to write Lives of the New Kind of Saints with composer, Cristian Amigo.

Recent Projects: Fur @ Teatro Dallas, March 2019 and Boundless Theatre in NYC at NextDoor@NYTW, Oct/Nov 2019; What If Under The Bed...? @NyLonFusion (NYC), March 2020;  lookinglass: some thoughts on day four@ PlanetConnections’ “Love & Kindness During Quarantine,” June 2020; Meat & Other Broken Promises @Homebound Project 4th Edition, July 2020; Never Moscow about Chekhov, consumption, and marriage workshopped at U. of Evansville, November 2020; Richard III translation (a PlayOn!Shakespeare Project) @TheatreSpace NorthEast (Sunderland, England), Summer 2020 and 2021; a geo-located live theater performance in Battery Park, Lives of the New Kind of Saints @INTAR, November 2020; and her Macbeth translation (a PlayOn!Shakespeare Project) will be a “Next Chapter'' podcast launching in April 2021. 

Portrait of Elaine Romero

Elaine Romero - An award-winning U.S. playwright, Elaine Romero’s plays have been presented across the U.S. and abroad; she is widely published and anthologized. Revolutions/Revoluciones, Wetback, Like Heaven, and Bloody River were all produced last season. Revolutions/Revoluciones was produced in Spanish translation at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, under the direction of famed Mexican director, Bruno Bichir, with a cast from Mexico. It’s the final play in Romero pentalogy, including Graveyard of Empires (16th St. Theatre), A Work of Art (Goodman Theatre/Chicago Dramatists), and her play-in-progress, When Reason Sleeps (Headlands Center for the Arts, Artist-in-Residence), Martínez in Taos (Arizona Theatre Company).

Modern Slave, commissioned by Ford’s Theatre, was presented at the 2017 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. It was developed at A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle), Victory Gardens Theatre (Chicago), and The Road Theatre (LA). From her Arizona/Mexico border trilogy (Mother of Exiles, Wetback), her Arizona Theatre Company commission, Title IX, was included in the 2017 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.  At Erik Ehn’s Silent Playwrights’ Retreat at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, she wrote Halsted. 

Romero has been the fortunate recipient of the TCG/Pew National Theatre Artist-in-Residence grant, the NEA/TCG Playwright-in-Residence Program, the Blue Ink Playwrights Award, the Sprenger-Lang New History Foundation Award, the Chicano/Latino Literary Award, and many others. 

Romero’s work has been published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts, Simon and Schuster, among others. She wrote the short film, A Sentiment, about the 19th Amendment (U.S. Women’s Right to Vote) on commission for Burning Coal Theatre/The Justice Theatre Project. Chatham Life and Style named the piece in the top five of the 19th Amendment Project, which featured some of the U.S.’s top women playwrights. She had two Viral Monologues produced this summer, Oyster (24-Hour Plays/Arizona Theatre Company: Arizona Edition) and Shackle (24-Hour Plays/New Sanctuary Coalition). 

 Romero is a Steering Committee Member with the Latinx Theatre Commons. She, also, serves as the Southwest Regional Rep for the Dramatists Guild of America. She has had the good fortune of being a member of NBC’s Writer’s on the Verge, the CBS Writers’ Diversity Program, and the NHMC’s Latino Writers’ Program. She previously taught film and television writing at Northwestern University.

Romero is an Associate Professor in the School of Theatre, Film, and Television at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, and the Playwright-in-Residence at Arizona Theatre Company. RomeroFest features her work at theatres nationally and internationally.