Name: Rhett Martinez
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current Town: Houston, Texas
Affiliations: Bulletproof Rep Company
Q: How do you self-identify?
A: Latino/Hispanic and White (not “half-breed”…both-breed!)
Q: Tell me about Three on a Match.
A: The play is being produced in New York by IATI Theater in the East Village, and they describe it on their website much better than I could: Three on a Match is a vibrant and imaginative play that crosses over into multiple genres, sometimes moving into theatre of the absurd, other times ascending into magical realism, yet always anchored in a compelling story of suspense and revenge. At times the play is delightfully funny, while other times the mystery of identity and betrayal erupts in harrowing tension. Ultimately, it’s a deeply moving story of triumph over tyranny.
Q: What else are you working on now?
A: Another play that I’m developing with IATI in New York, through their Cimientos Play Development Program, is called Fresh Cut. It’s also magical realism, but it’s far less political, dealing with a young married couple and their bizarre journey into parenthood, with all the social, cultural, and psychological issues that brings (at least, as imagined by me, who has no children.)
Open Carry is a devised play I’m working on with Next Iteration Theater Company here in Houston. It’s not really my play because it’s a collaborative endeavor devised with a team of actors under the direction of Dianne Webb (NITC’s Artistic Director) during an intense three weeks in the summer of 2017, then developed further in the following months. I crafted a script from the contributions of all the artists involved. There was a staged reading of Open Carry at MATCH on February 9 and 10, 2018.
Q: What have been the defining moments of your journey as a playwright?
A: At Boston University I wrote my first play, Mona, a one-man show about my great-grandparents immigrating from Mexico to America in 1910. After that, everything changed. The play was very well received, and I performed it for years in multiple cities. It was my first play and I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I also didn’t know what I couldn’t do or shouldn’t do, and that turned out to be incredibly helpful.
Q: Who have been your playwriting mentors and heroes?
A: Three on a Match is dedicated to the memory of Derek Walcott who was one of my mentors at Boston University. I was fortunate to be allowed into his Graduate level playwrighting class, even though I was an undergraduate, the same year he won the Nobel Prize. It was a crazy year because of all the press and gala events that came with his increased international fame, but we still had class every week and we still had to grind away on our scripts. I learned a lot from working with him in class, and I learned a lot from drinking with him at parties.
Q: What advice do you have for Latin@ playwrights at the beginning of their career?
A: Keep looking for your audience. You will find them. Because they’re out there looking for you.
Q: What else should we know about you?
A: I’m married to the amazing actress, Sammi Sicinski. Check out our company’s website: www.BulletproofRep.com.
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