Name: Paola Lázaro-Muñoz
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Current Town: New York, New York
Affiliations: LAByrinth Theater Company, Public Theater, Purchase College, Columbia University
Q: How do you self-identify?
A: Puerto Rican
Q: Tell me about There’s Always the Hudson.
A: Here is a blurb of the flow of the piece:
T and Lola are two Caribbean people who met in a sexual abuse survivor’s support group and the support group ain’t doing shit for them. So, tonight they have decided to take it upon themselves to right the wrongs that have been done to them. Spend the night with two fucked up people who are going to fuck up the people who have fucked them over.
Q: What else are you working on now?
A: I’m working on a pilot, two musicals, a one woman show, a screenplay and acting. And on taking care of myself and remaining thankful ALWAYS.
Q: What have been the defining moments of your journey as a playwright?
A: The most defining moment of my journey as a playwright was when I was sitting next to my mother in the theater watching the production of my play Tell Hector I Miss Him. She grabbed my hand and she was crying because she had just listened to a monologue I had written that expressed the many things that perhaps she had been storing up for 37 years and had not been able to express because she never had the opportunity because every time she went to speak up she would be shunned. There are other defining moments, but that one, that one, is by far the most defining one.
Q: Who have been your playwriting mentors and heroes?
A: There’s singers and poets and playwrights and more on this list:
René Marqués, Miguel Piñero, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Julia de Burgos, Salsa music, Hector Lavoe, Silvio Rodriguez, Joan Manuel Serrat, mi papá, mi mamá, mi abuela, Cheo Feliciano, Danny Rivera, Dalai Lama, Kelly Stuart, Chuck Mee, and so many many many more!
Q: What advice do you have for Latin@ playwrights at the beginning of their career?
A: WRITE IT! NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY! We are all gonna die anyway! ONE LIFE! FUCK THE NEGATIVITY! WRITE YOUR STORY! NO ONE CAN TAKE YOUR STORY FROM YOU! It is YOURS! WRITE IT!
Q: What else should we know about you?
A: I am an actor and I moved from Puerto Rico ten years ago. Also, I can cook so if you ever hungry hit me up, I got you. And also I am thankful for this interview and the work Trevor Boffone is doing.
***For more on Paola Lázaro-Muñoz, see:
- “A Playwright Who Puts Her Demons, and Family, to Work” – Elysa Gardner (New York Times)
- “QUIERO with Paola Lázaro: On How and Why She Writes & Her Passion for Mental Health Awareness” – Priscilla Garcia Jacquier
- Follow Paola Lázaro-Muñoz on Twitter