Inspired by The Kilroy’s annual list of the most recommended unproduced new plays by cis female and Trans playwrights in the American theatre, the 50 Playwrights Project made a call in Fall 2017 for unproduced plays by playwrights who identify as Latin@/x. We received 75 submissions, from which the committee chose the top 8 unproduced plays. Each playwright on the list receives a one-year membership into the Dramatist Guild of America.
The 50PP List is a tool for producers who are committed to updating the narrative of the American theatre to include more Latin@/x voices. Latin@/x stories are systematically underrepresented on U.S. stages despite the robust artistic production by Latin@/x writers. The 50 Playwrights Project encourages theatre-makers to seek out the plays on our list and commit to equity, diversity, and inclusion in their theatre organizations.
To learn more about the 50 Playwrights Project, click here.
*Selection Committee Below
THE 50PP LIST 2018
The Anatomy of Light by Juliany Taveras
When we carry the pain of our histories and our loved ones in our blood, bruises are not so quick to fade. The Anatomy of Light is a play about a young boy, a family, an island or two, and what it means to love and to lose. Set in the Brooklyn of the 21st century, it swims back and forth in time, exploring how there can be healing in the wake of broken bones, colorful bullets, and a mother gone—with fireworks bursting all the while.
The Anatomy of Light was the recipient of the Marilyn Swartz Seven ’69 Playwriting Award in 2016, was featured on the 2016 Kilroys List, and was a finalist for the Rising Circle Theater Collective INKtank in 2016.
To read The Anatomy of Light, contact Juliany Taveras via their Personal Website.
Penny Pinball Presents The Beacons by Georgina Escobar
An action-packed, heavy-punchin’, uber retro-futura story following a pinball narrative that reimagines Manhattan as a Debtor’s prison. Siblings blur the boundaries of game and reality as a mysterious woman calls for a conclave and a multi-spective approach to storytelling. Loosely inspired by pinball, and the 1970s cult classic “The Warriors.”
The Beacons received a workshop production at INTAR NewWorks Lab in 2017. The play received a reading at Clubbed Thumb and Marfa Live Arts in 2017.
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To read The Beacons, contact Georgina Escobar via the New Play Exchange.
Brothers, Sisters, Santos: Stories from Familia Rojas by Briandaniel Oglesby
Three one-acts paint a portrait of the Rojas family. Each story is about a “missing” sibling. In Mentirosa, three sisters (who immigrated to the US when children) tell a “tall tale” about the sister eaten by a wolf. In Doctors Without Borders, two brothers (first generation) who’d gone from poverty to privilege replay a moment of tension after one brother chose business over community; as the act replays itself, the brothers unpack the silences and show us the past. Finally, in Between Brother and Sister, two siblings (second generation) recount the harrowing moment when they alienated their missing brother.
Brothers, Sisters, Santos was named Best of the Best of Fest at FronteraFest in 2015.
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To read Brothers, Sisters, Santos, contact Briandaniel Oglesby via the New Play Exchange.
Fado by Elaine Avila
Luisa goes to Lisbon to study fado, the music of her people. Luisa’s mother, Rosida, comes along. Rosida disagrees with Luisa about all things Portuguese. During her lessons, Luisa discovers her mother’s favorite fado is fascist. Rosida looks up Rui, their mysterious, long lost cousin. Rui reveals he is a fado singer (a “fadista”) and a Drag Queen. This inspires Luisa, who begins to sing fados of resistance to the dictatorship. Luisa begins a love affair with Tristão, a sexy Portuguese writer; they explore the city. Luisa finds the courage to sing in a fado club, becoming a fadista.
Fado received a workshop at PTC in Vancouver and a reading at Saudades Theatre in New York City in 2017.
To read Fado, contact Elaine Avila via the New Play Exchange
Nativity by Darrel Alejandro Holnes
When Jamil, a soldier, returns from the US war in Afghanistan, he violently struggles to find solid ground between delusion and reality with his partner, Mariela. She risks her life and that of their unborn child to keep their family together and help her troubled husband, giving new meaning to the term “casualty of war” in this modern ballet play.
q u e r e n c i a: an imagined autobiography about forbidden fruits by Benjamin Benne
Milo’s favorite fruit are bananas; he also just turned 13 and is grappling with his sexual identity. If that weren’t complicated enough, his estranged aunt has just been released from jail and the gym class bully has picked him as the newest target. Having never left his home in Los Angeles County, he dreams about what it would be like to escape…but at least he has his neighbor Zoe, who has sworn to be his BFF with a drop of her blood. And, in their world, blood is supposed to be the strongest bond.
q u e r e n c i a received a workshop at Theatre Battery in 2015, a workshop at The Joust Theatre Company in 2017, a reading at ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) in 2017, and a workshop at The Playwrights Realm in 2018. The play has won the Many Voices Fellowship from The Playwrights’ Center in 2016, the McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting Award from The Playwrights’ Center in 2017, the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award in 2017. The play was the runner up for the National Latino Playwriting Award from Arizona Theatre Company in 2017. q u e r e n c i a was a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship in 2016, the Headwaters New Play Festival at Creede Repertory Theatre in 2017, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival at the Playwrights Foundation in 2017, the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in 2017, and the Blue Ink Playwriting Award in 2018. The play was selected for The Playwrights Realm’s Scratchpad Series in 2018.
To read q u e r e n c i a, contact Benjamin Benne via the New Play Exchange.
Red Bike by Caridad Svich
How do our children navigate the contradictory, confusing terrain of this historical socio-political time? What lessons are they learning? What will they carry on into their adult lives, and, in turn what kind of future will their children leave the world? In Red Bike, a child lives precisely in one of those towns in the middle of this country for whom precarity is the norm. There’s that inkling of rebellion that stirs up when children are locating their agency and position in the world that is full of exactly the kind of possibility that resistance taps into. In this play we touch the skin of a kind of warrior-like vulnerability of a child. Once one travels, even just a few feet beyond one’s confines, the field shifts, the frame changes, and the mind and heart expand.
Red Bike has received readings at the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays in 2017, Unicorn Theatre in 2017, Chaskis Theatre in 2017, New Dramatists in 2017, The Lark in 2017, Flint Youth Theatre in 2018, and Jackalope Theatre in 2018.
Red Bike is getting an NNPN rolling world premiere: April 2018 at Pygmalion Productions in Salt Lake City; June 2018 at Simpatico Theatre in Philadelphia; January 2019 at Know Theatre in Cincinnati; and April 2019 at The Wilbury Group in Providence.
To read Red Bike, contact Caridad Svich via the New Play Exchange.
Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally by Noah Diaz
America’s favorite phonetically-gifted brother and sister are all grown up and struggling to stay afloat in a home fractured by grief. Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally is a play about family, deafness, siblings, growing up, changing, changing our minds, changing how we speak to each another, talking dogs, Snickers bars, remembering what came before us, remembering our mothers, and the profoundly human task of learning how to let go of the things we are no longer able to carry.
Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally won the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award in 2018. The play received a workshop at the Yale School of Drama in 2017.
To read Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally, contact Noah Diaz via the New Play Exchange.
Adriana Gaviria, Brian Eugenio Herrera, Carlo Garcia, Gina Sandi-Diaz, Jorge Huerta, Karina Gutiérrez, Luca Garcia, Michele Apriña Leavy, Michele Shaul, Michelle Lopez-Rios, Noe Montez, Rachael Logue, and Shaun Leisher.