Name: Augusto Federico Amador
Hometown: Los Altos, CA
Current Town: Los Angeles, CA
Affiliations: Former playwriting fellow at the Public Theater NYC. Former fellow with the Humanitas Prize LA Play Lab. Latino Theater Alliance Writer’s Circle.
Q: How do you self-identify?
A: Latino. However to be more specific. I’m a first generation American from a Peruvian father and an Austrian mother. Where else but in America, right?
Q: Tell me about The Quiet Zone.
A: My latest completed play The Quiet Zone: A middle-aged woman, Krista, has found relief from her mental illness and sanctuary from her turbulent past residing in a remote Appalachian town and engrossing herself in her garden. But when her estranged daughter, Becky, suddenly arrives, Krista becomes increasingly paralyzed by her presence; as Becky’s hidden motive for her arrival reveals that Krista can no longer evade the consequences of being an absent mother. A story about lost and rediscovered motherhood.
Q: What else are you working on now?
A: Currently I’m working on a play, entitled Waiting Room. It’s a play about a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in San Quentin and who has begun to discover his humanity as a caregiver in the prison hospice.
Q: What have been the defining moments of your journey as a playwright?
A: Each and every rejection I find, oddly enough, as defining moments in my constant
journey as a playwright. In that, every rewrite and new play I begin is more and more about telling the stories of my characters as humanely as I can, than writing a play to be the most commercially viable for a powerhouse regional theater production. I write plays about stories that I’m obsessed with telling. Perhaps this not the game plan for getting big, high-profile productions but I’m learning and continuing to learn, that I can only control writing the story I want to tell. The rest is out of my my hands.
Q: Who have been your playwriting mentors and heroes?
A: Playwriting influences: Miguel Piñero, Paula Vogel, August Wilson to name a fraction. Artistic mentor: Diana Castle.
Q: What advice do you have for Latin@ playwrights at the beginning of their career?
A: In response I’ll quote one of my most favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, “It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything.”
Q: What else should we know about you?
A: My play, The Boom of Leonidas, developed through the Latino Theater Alliance Writer’s Circle, will be part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival in NYC on May 20th. More info here.
***For more on Augusto Federico Amador, see:
- Interview with Augusto Federico Amador about Kissing Che
- Interview with Augusto Federico Amador about The Book of Leonidas