LATINO PLAYWRIGHTS NEWS
posted by James Reel
This information comes straight from Arizona Theatre Company:
Arizona Theatre Company announces the selection of Fantasmaville by Raul Garza as the winner of the 2007 National Latino Playwriting Award. Garza was awarded $1,000. Guillermo Reyes’ Allende by Pinochet and Caridad Svich’s Lucinda Caval were lauded as finalists for the award.
Fantasmaville humorously examines the love/hate relationship Latino-Americans have with the ghosts of past people and places. When a world-weary Latina, Celeste, and her Anglo husband, Martin, desire to experience a sense of community, they return home to the urban neighborhood where they both grew up. They resist the surge of gentrification. Colorful local characters, including an advice-spinning “Mexican Spirit Guide” who takes on the form of a human-sized raccoon, complicate the couple's return. While facing the threat of a yuppie-centric Dog Park encroaching on her neighborhood, Celeste discovers the secret of her heritage, her purpose, and her longing for a sense of home.
Raul Garza is a Texas-based writer whose screenplay Digging Up Roots was featured at Teatro Humanidad’s Play Festival. His work has been performed by the Latino Comedy Project at SketchFests in Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. A veteran of the advertising industry, Raul has created national commercials for clients including McDonald’s, Reebok and Miller Lite, and is co-founder of TKO Advertising in Austin, TX. Fantasmaville is Garza’s first full-length play.
“Fantasmaville is a hilarious play about the cost of urban blight on the Latino soul,” said Arizona Theatre Company’s Playwright-in-Residence Elaine Romero, “The judges were won over by Raul Garza's fresh comedic voice. One gets the sense that Garza intimately knows the characters he writes. Garza writes with a fluent Chicano tongue, dancing effortlessly between English and Spanish. With a strong dose of irony, Garza captures the plight of urban Chicanos caught between their treasured cultural past and their assimilated present.”
Guillermo Reyes and Caridad Svich, both past winners of the National Latino Playwriting Award, were name finalists for their 2007 play submissions. Mr. Reyes’ play Allende By Pinochet is a historical drama in which dictator Augusto Pinochet writes his own memoirs revealing how he overthrew the Socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, but history refuses to accept his version and talks back. Ms. Svich’s play Lucinda Caval is a drama of suspense and identity detailing a woman’s search for her missing brother while a blind architect dreams of an imagined past reconstructed from censored shards of books.
Guillermo Reyes is a Chilean-born U.S. citizen, and author of off-Broadway plays such as Men On The Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown and Mother Lolita, and was recently featured in Voices at the River at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Mr. Reyes is the head of the playwriting program at Arizona State University.
Caridad Svich is the author of over forty plays and fifteen translations. Her work has been seen at venues across the US and abroad, including Royal Court Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Women's Project, Salvage Vanguard and 7 Stages. She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of theatre alliance NoPassport, and contributing editor of TheatreForum. Her website is www.caridadsvich.com
Arizona Theatre Company's National Latino Playwriting Award annually recognizes an outstanding work by a Latino playwright written on any subject. Arizona Theatre Company solicits submissions from across the U.S., its territories, and Mexico. Full-length and one-act plays (minimum length, 50 pages) written in English, English and Spanish, or solely in Spanish are accepted. Spanish language and bilingual scripts must be accompanied by an English translation. The submission deadline for the 2008 National Latino Playwriting Award is December 30, 2008.