Saturday, April 6, 2013


I write this as the 37th Humana Festival comes to an end. And as I monitor the hash tag “#humanafest,” I see that Lucas Hnath has just won the Steinberg/ATCA citation for last year's debut of Dead Tax. This must be very exciting for Mr. Hnath who, this year, participated in the Humana Festival with a short piece titled NightNight within the production of Sleep Rock Thy Brain, a project solely created for Actors Theatre’s Apprentice Acting Company.

I’ve been living in Louisville, KY for the last five years thanks to a faculty and administrative position I accepted at a private university. Since then, I’ve been attending different plays during Actors Theatre's last five seasons as well as the last five Humana Festivals.

But going to see plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville (or ATL) gets complicated for me, mainly because most chosen plays within a season are uninspiring. After five years, I have come to the conclusion that ATL’s theatre seasons are like the bland musical theatre seasons on Broadway. While all plays might be interesting, not all of them are inspiring. Most of the time, I find that one or two plays are engaging (even thought-provoking) and the rest are to me very, very conservatively safe. When it comes to the historically famous, and yearly anticipated Humana Festival, over the last five years many of the chosen plays are about and written by Anglo-American playwrights.

Since 2009 (which is when I started attending the festival on a yearly basis) the featured playwrights have been: Zoe Kazan, Naomi Wallace, Charles L. Mee, Michael Freedman, Debora Stein, Dan Dietz, Zoe Laufer, Jordan Harrison, Molly Smith, Adam Rapp, Lisa Kron, Mona Mansour, Lucas Hnath, Greg Kotis, Sam Marks, Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins, Mallery Abidon, Will Eno, and Jeff Augustin, among others. 

While the ratio between male and females seems pretty good very few works are by playwrights of color (excluding African-American, but even few and far between). Sure, there have been some playwrights of colore in the festivals but most of them have written short pieces (10-minute plays) or have contributed with other playwrights to create a single piece, for the Apprentice Acting Company, as in the case of Kristopher Diaz and Tanya Saracho

In the 2012 festival, there were at least two plays which dealt with communities other than white. And even though they were not about nor by Latin@/Chican@, they are worth mentioning: One was written by an Asian-American playwright, A. Rey Pamatmat who contributed with the very funny, touching, and coming of age story of Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them.  The other was The Hour of Feeling by Mona Mansour 
which represented a different culture (Palestine/English). And in this year's festival, a wonderful piece by Jeff Augustin, whose mother is an immigrant from Haiti, was the play that represented a different culture; the play was Cry Old Kingdom, dealing with three struggling individuals in the Caribbean country of Haiti. So, while this is very good, where are the plays from and about the brown people already living in this country? About the many different immigrants living in this country? And for my personal argument, where are the plays for and/or written by Latin@/Chican@ or Native-American playwrights? 

For an audience member like me, who is used to seeing a variety of plays from a variety of cultures (I lived in San Francisco Bay Area for many years), not seeing myself or other cultures represented on stage often enough is extremely disheartening. 

Don’t take this the wrong way; I have seen myself on stage a few times. As  gardener in Humana Festival plays like Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler (2012) or as an invader of this great nation in the play Phoenix by Scott Organ (2011). 

I have also seen myself on the main stage during Actors Theatre's main seasons in plays like The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristopher Diaz and Girlfriend by Todd Almond with music and lyrics by Matthew Sweet.

The problem for me is that Chad Deity is the ONLY play about Latinos that has been presented in the main season in last five years. And the only reason why I've seen myself in plays like Girlfriend, even though the characters are white is because the characters are also gay, which still problematic because I see myself being represented as a gay man through the eyes of white culture-- Thank my Gods the only identity crisis I have is onstage and not in real life.

So here is the question I have for Actors Theatre and for Less Waters, the new artistic director of the company, "What's the reason that there hasn't been any more plays about, for, and written by Latin@s/Chican@s and Native-Americans in the main season or any plays in the last five years in the Humana Festivals?"

I tend to believe, because of experience and history, that Actors Theatre of Louisville has ignored Latin@s/Chican@s and Native-American plays because our stories aren't important, they don't matter that much, and who is going to come and see them anyway? There is also the fact that many other major/regional theatre companies do the same—ignore our stories— so why not follow along with them?

Yet, I'm going to give ATL the benefit of the doubt, and blame Latin@/Chican@ playwrights and Native-American playwrights for not "submitting" their plays to The Humana Festival of New American Plays.

I know the submission process is "difficult and challenging." One of the submission rules is that the play can only be submitted through a "literary agent." And I'm sure not many Latin@/Chican@ playwrights have access to literary agents. So, we just don't submit, right? Oh, but wait, there is another way to submit a play if you don't have a literary agent, and that is through an inquiry letter, a synopsis of your play and a 10-page sample. But that's a lot of work so we just don't bother, right?  

Or maybe you think they won't read your sample and that is why you don’t bother. I mean, others have a literary agent and you don't. Why should they pay attention to our insignificant inquiry letter, right? Not so. Rest assured they will read it; I know this because I tried it once. I sent them a 10-page sample and later they asked for the entire play. Once that happened, I never heard from them again. Too bad because since I sent the sample, the play has been produced at 25 different venues, it is now published as a single unit an in just a few months it will be published in an anthology. 

Perhaps ATL is following me to see what else I'm doing. They look for me on all the usual places, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights' Center, The O’Neil, and many other places I'm not even aware of. I know they won't find me there because my work doesn't really fit those venues. 

But I digress.

Maybe the fact that I don't see a lot of Latin@s/Chican@s plays in the Humana Festivals is because the plays are chosen under specific themes, as in this year’s theme of “…engrossing journeys through the thick underbrush of the human psyche as it is shaped by family, society and divided impulses of the self…” according to Charles Isherwood of The New York Times. And we all know that, Latin@s/Chican@s playwrights "do not write about such themes" and Native-American playwrights are still defining their voices/presence in American Theatre.

Maybe ATL believes that there aren't any Latin@s/Chican@s playwrights out there to look for. I mean, who is Cherríe Moraga, or Luis Valdez, or Maria-Irene Fornés, or Caridad Svich, or Evelina Fernandez, or Octovio Solis, or Luis Alfaro, or Marisela Trevino-Orta, or Oliver Mayer, or Migdalia Cruz or even me, Carlos-Manuel? Have we actually written anything that has to do with 'engrossing journeys? Or the human psyche? Or anything that might be shaped by family, society or the divided impulses of the self? Or even anything worth producing by Actors Theatre? Better yet, since we’re Latin@s and Chican@s, do our plays fall under the category of “American Plays?" because most of the time we write for Latin@/Chican@ audiences in mind? And sometimes we write plays with no Latin@/Chican@ characters in it but because we are considered "Latin@/Chican@s our plays are dismissed? I wonder.

Maybe it is the fact that Actors Theatre in located in Louisville, KY, a city in a state that is part of—or it isn’t as some argue—the south, and ATL’s patrons are all white people who do not care to hear the stories of other cultures. If this is true, isn’t it ATL's responsibility to introduce such stories to its audiences because such stories are also part of the American everyday life? I mean, we are part of this America. And here, in Louisville, the Latin@/Chican@ community exist. So, I wonder.

Maybe it is because the Humana Festival’s efforts to include “minority playwrights” already took place back in 2007 when Strike-Slip by Naomi Iizuka and dark play or story for boys by Carlos Murillo were two of the featured works by playwrights of color. There was also a play titled, I am Batman by Marco Ramirez but that was a 10-minute monologue. Because of this, perhaps the Humana Festival organizers feel they have fulfilled their obligations to include "minority playwrights" in the festivals, at least for the next ten years—2017 is coming in four years, I better get ready.

Maybe there are other reasons why I ATL has hardly included plays written by Latin@s/Chican@s and even Native-American playwrights but the aforementioned are the only ones I can imagine. Or maybe the only and real reason is that we "don't submit" but I very much doubt that. 

Besides the lack of works by playwrights and for people of color (other than African-American), ATL does something else that really bugs me: casting choices.

I have hardly seen any Latin@/Chican@s on stage. And yes, that will be because most plays are by and for white communities. But even then, some of those plays can be cast with minority actors, yet ATL continues to cast white actors in mostly all roles. Maybe that's because they have always done that and they don't see anything wrong with continuing such traditions. But if you are a brown, gay immigrant audience member, you become disappointed when you see yourself represented once in a blue moon (if lucky as a gardener or invader) or worse, not at all.

There are a few exceptions regarding casting choices: Maple and Vine by Jordan Harrison had an Asian-American Actor and so did Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (but Edith… is actually written specifically for Asian American actors). There were also minority actors in How We Got On by Idris Goodwin. In fact, one of the characters in that play is half Latino by the name of Julian Mark Hayes played by an actor that if it wasn't for his surname, (Quijada) you would have never known he had Latino ancestry. In fact, the actor could potentially considered himself a non-Latino actor, but I do not know that, nor do I personally know Mr. Quijada so I'm not going to assume, but I hope you understand what I'm getting at, so… um, okay, moving on.

To try to understand what I mean by “casting choices,” let’s look at the Apprentice Acting Company as an example, where the majority of its members (almost all to be honest) are recently graduated college white students with perfect slim, strong bodies, blue eyes, blond hair, ready to replace any white actor in any major American TV show.

Those few members who are minorities are the acceptable type of minorities, the ones that can easily pass for almost white if necessary or they still look like minorities but they are the minority type that can easily be acceptable and digestible by middle America.

Please understand that I am not against any of these young talented, very attractive and hot actors (for more on this matter, see my review on Sleep Rock Thy Brain). These young actors are part of the Apprentice Acting Company because they deserved to be there. My issue, or rather my question is, how is it that after Michael Legg (Director of the Apprentice Acting Company) goes around the country looking for these recently graduated college talented actors, he almost always ends up picking actors who fit in the mold of white America? Aren’t there talented young actors of color (other than African-American)? Actors who do not look like Barbie and Ken or as close as possible as them? I wonder.  I wonder if this is part of a larger discussion in the lack of actors of color at universities across this country?

And as I write this, something in the back of my mind keeps bothering me: the fact that I have not approached Less Waters, Amy Weneger (literary agent for the Humana Festival) or Michael Legg about these matters. I should make an appointment and learn more about how the process of choosing members for the Apprentice Acting Company takes place, as well as for the Humana Festival, and for ATL’s Seasons. But wait, I sort of know how it goes, and if I am wrong, I hope Mr. Waters, Ms. Weneger, and Mr. Legg read this blog entry and see it as a cry for a much needed conversation.

I could be completely wrong about my observations and comments regarding the lack of Latin@/Chican@ or Native-American plays and playwrights in both ATL’s main season and the Humana Festival but I doubt it. I have closely watched the company for the last five years and with the exception of Kristopher Diaz’ Chad Deity, the seasons at ATL and the Humana Festival feels like they may praise the token play by a minority of interest, but seem to make no real effort toward extending invitations to a major representation of the American culture.

With the many conversations across the country about how we are moving forward and becoming a better inclusive nation, most professional theatres seem to be going in the opposite direction—Actors Theatre of Louisville and its famous Humana Festival are no exception to the rule.

But I hope things change. I hope ATL decides to be daring and I hope the Humana Festival becomes more HUMANLY inclusive because I must confess that this year’s festival—the 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays—was very white and pretty boring. 

Of course, if you read the reviews, the blogs, the twitter feeds, and even some of the comments regarding the 37th Humana Festival, which have appeared on "engine31," most people were incredible happy and blessed to have attended the festival, excited by "incredible plays and outstanding writing." But most comments also came from a very predominant white American audience who see themselves onstage all the time, so to them is business as usual. 

To me, however, more than half the festival plays were boring and uninspiring pieces of theatre. But then again, I’m the brown, gay-immigrant, male-minority, who- as mentioned before- has hardly seen himself or his story on the ATL stage or the Humana Festival, and that, sadly, also seems to be business as usual.   

Friday, April 5, 2013

37th Humana Festival, Play Four: Cry Old Kingdom

The fourth play in this 2013 Humana Festival was Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin and under the direction of Tom Dugdale.

So far, this has been the best play in the lot. Of course I have not seen all six plays of this year's 37th Humana Festival so my assessment is unfair. But Cry Old Kingdom is a play that has something to say about things that actually matter and with excelling acting, great directing and superb script, I must say this play is the best despite the fact I have not seen two others.

The story is about three Haitian people, each looking for freedom in ways that each beliefs is the right way. The play has romance, camaraderie, betrayal, suspense, art, and death. But more than that, the play deals with people trying to survive and be free from an oppressive government. 

Cry Old Kingdom is poetic and the type of play that needs to be produced over, and over, and over because it reaches out for hope and the understanding of the human spirit. 

The set is simple yet very effective. Sand on stage to represent a beach, a table and two chairs to represent a house, paintings and painting material to represent a studio, and pieces of wood and metal that soon become a boat, a way out, salvation for the least expected character... or maybe for no one. 

The play is filled with human compassion, understanding, tragedy, love, hope, betrayal, and truth, something very much needed in this festival. 

I was so bored with such festival so far and just when I was about give up, CRY OLD KINGDOM showed up and I became a happy human again.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

37th HUMANA FESTIVAL: Play Three- The Delling Shore

As the saying goes, "there is always one in every family" or in any group, or in any school, and at this year's Humana Festival at Actors Theatre, The Delling Shore by Sam Marks is it.

As soon as I entered the theatre, I saw a very nice, slick, and elegant set. It resembled an elegant cabin or a summer home. I immediately sent a twitt saying, "Please, let it not be another domestic drama about white people." 

And guest what? Delling IS a domestic drama about white people. Even worse, it is a boring domestic drama about  two middle age, privilege white men who have no real problems except argue, and argue, and argue about useless college days betrayals and why one is more successful than the other. 

Honestly, the play deals with nothing of importance. The characters aren't interesting at all and you really cannot get emotionally involved in their drama because you don't really care what happened in their past, what is happening in the present, and what will happen in the future.

One of my students said that it was a good thing the play had no intermission because half the audience would have probably left before the second half. Other people said the play was simply uninteresting. I was so bored and uninterested with the whole ordeal that I couldn't even fake attention for the drama. Throughout what seems to be a 3-long torture session I kept wondering the reason why the play had been chosen for the festival.

The answer to such question came to me days later when a fellow playwright from out of town said, "It's the most horrible and boring play ever. But of course, it is about privileged white males and written by a white male. That's the reason it is here." 

Many of the people that have seen the play, have also not like it. A twitter follower who attended the festival said that the play was "underdeveloped," with "major chunks of story missing that lessened the stakes of plot and character." 

On the other hand there are many people who love the play. On twitter, someone wrote, "(It) is my favorite of the weekend. Flawed characters and complex relationships" while someone else stated, "Yeap, yeap, The Delling Shore is the best." 

The production has great things in it: A wonderful set, excellent lighting, great sound, magnificent acting but beyond that it is just blah, completely uninteresting, unimportant, and irrelevant.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

37th HUMANA FESTIVAL: Play Two: Sleep Rock That Brain

If you know little or nothing about Actors Theatre, let me tell you about one thing: Every year, the company goes around the country, recruiting recently graduated college drama students for their "Apprentice Company." 

Those lucky to make it in, move to Louisville and live here for a year, learning the ropes of what it means to be a "professional actor." I was never part of such apprenticeship, mainly because I didn't know anything about them until after grad school, but I hear that those who make it in, are challenged physically, mentally, and educationally in more ways than one.

One of the perks of being part of such company is the fact that the members end up performing in a play, specifically written for them, which becomes part of the Humana Festival. So, every year, one of the great things of the festival is watching the Apprentice Company" show their acting chops on whatever has been created for them.

Sleep Rock Thy Brain is the play that was written for this year's Apprentice Company and as part of Humana Festival Number 37. The play is composed of three short plays written by three different playwrights, two females and one male, and the theme of the play(s) is "Sleep" or "The Science of Sleep." The concept theme for this play came from the director herself, Amy Attaway and the production was developed in conjunction with UoL's Department of Theatre.

The first part of  Sleep Rock is called Comfort Inn by Rinne Groff. The action takes place in a sleep lab, where volunteers who cannot sleep are being study. A lot of things happen there, but really the play has no concrete story and it really has not much to offer. So, in this case, audience can concentrate on the acting, which is, to a certain extent, good.

The second  part, written by Anne Washburn, is titled Dreamerwake and it is about one of the members of the company, who happens to be one of the "study cases" and whose dream we happen to see on stage. And what is he dreaming about? About being a member of the apprentice company, who is learning how to "fly." Soon, his dream becomes a nightmare and then, he wakes up. This is an inventive piece that could be "clever" but it is nothing new nor exciting.

Lucas Hnath is in charge of writing the last section of Sleep Rock. This last section is called NightNight and out of the three short pieces this is the one that is the most complete. It has a good story line, excellent plot, great writing, and good characters. And while the other two pieces can stand by themselves but only as "short skits," NightNight actually stands by itself as a complete short play. In fact, after the performance I attended, employees closer to the project told me that such piece has already been chosen for a certain theatre company who has team up with MIT to produce a festival of plays around the theme of science. 

When it comes to people's acceptance of the play, most people I talked to had "a great time watching the production." Most people love the aerial events, and the fact that the apprentice company members where completely energetic and "very attractive" (as many audience members voiced). makes for this production a "go see event." My students all loved the play and mentioned they would see it again if they had money.

  Personally, I found the first play completely boring, the second one amusing, and the third one absolutely engaging. This is not to say that the third one has no problems. It has one: the only major female character is underdeveloped, which is an irony because at some point during the play the character mentions how "women" are almost always left behind or ignored.  The irony, at least to me, is that this character was written by a male, so at the end, the playwright actually proves what the character actually says: "Women are almost always left behind or ignored."

At the end of the night, Sleep Rock Thy Brain is a good production and something that everyone should definitely see because it is a good piece of theatre, maybe not too deep but still a good piece, besides, the members of the Apprentice Company ARE very attractive, which is something I will address in a later entry.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

37th Humana Festival, Play One: APPROPRIATE

Appropriate was the first show I saw as part of the 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The play, written by Branden Jacob-Jenkins, is a domestic drama about a white family and their emotional, screwed up lives and secrets. Those not-so-dark secrets and high-voltage emotions, as well as their very screwed up lives are revealed onstage as the family (composed of three siblings) reunites at their childhood's home after the dead of their father.

The story is about the three siblings dealing with the fact that their father left them a house that must be auction due to the lack of mortgage payments and discovering the possibility that their father was a racist men and perhaps a member of the KKK.

The plot, rather than concentrating on what I believe is the most important aspect of the story, racism, spends the majority of its time presenting the discomfort, anger, resentment, and hate one of the siblings, the sister, feels for the other two brothers. 

There is a lot, and I mean A LOT of yelling and screaming, non-negotiable conversations, and some very predictable twists and turns. To say the least, I was very bored with this play because I found many of the plot points carefully set up for late discoveries, which I, and many other people in the audience, saw coming before they happened. At the same time, as the story developed, I couldn't stop thinking about another play which has a similar story and plot. In fact, as soon as the play was over, I twittered: "Appropriate. I've seen this play before. It is called August Osage County," another play where siblings come together after the father has "disappeared."

The plot, the characters and the story in both plays are so similar that one can easily draw parallels between the two: 

      ---Angry-pill popping-it's-my-way-or-the-highway mother in Osage is replaced by a Angry-bitter-it's-my-way-or-the-highway sister in Appropriate

      ---Older uncle attractive to young (very young niece) in Osage is replaced by uncle who is a pedophile and communicates with his very young niece over Facebook in Appropriate

     ---Young cousins (male and female) who have not seen each other in a long time in Osage is replaced by young cousins (male and female) who have not seen each other in a long time in Appropriate

     ---Native American character who is part of the family but not really is at peace, gentle, and brings harmony to the Osage Family is replaced with white woman who is part of the family but not really and is at peace, gentle, and fosters a harmonious life complete with candles for the spirits and all in Appropriate.

And there is more but I you get the point. 

I was so bored with the play and so uninterested in the characters that the only thing I found exciting was a piece of plaster falling from the ceiling towards the end of the play, indicating that the house, like its owners was also falling to pieces.

When discussing the play with different people, a colleague and professor at the University of Louisville said, "I've seen this story over and over and over. It's so tiring and disappointing."  

A fellow playwright and professor at Western Washington University found the play boring and tiresome. "There is so much yelling and screaming from the start that they characters have nowhere to go. The whole play goes nowhere."

At the same time, there were many people who found the play touching and powerful. In fact, a friend and professor at Auburn University of Montgomery said that the play was "very touching and truthful to the South. I connected with it from beginning to end." 

 The production itself was well done. The acting, the directing, the set and the lighting were all good. And the writing itself had a lot to offer, but overall, domestic dramas about white people and their screwed up, emotional lives are boring nowadays, mainly because we have seen these stories before and because Tennessee Williams is the one that wrote them.

In my opinion, it's time to let them go of such "kitchen sink" dramas. Really, they are overdone. It would be best to concentrate on more urgent and important issues than distant relatives coming together to reveal their shattered lives and high-voltage emotions. 

As I said before, Mr. Jacob-Jenkins had a good idea going and if he only had concentrated on the actual main theme: RACISM, he could had ended with a very power play. Instead, the 37th Humana Festival of New American plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville opened with an old-fashion play which presented the uninterested lives of three siblings who from the start have nowhere to go but down. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

37th HUMANA FESTIVAL- An Introduction

 Actors Theatre of Louisville is having a blast at the moment with its 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays. It is important to note that this is a festival of NEW AMERICAN PLAYS not a festival of NEW AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHTS. 

I must make a distinction on this matter because sometimes many people assume the festival focuses on "new or emerging playwrights" when in reality the festival's focus is in "new plays"written by both emerging and established playwrights.

The 37th Humana Festival officially started on February 27, 2013 and will close on April 7, 2013. Between those dates, six new production will be presented to hundreds of people from all over the country. March will be the busiest time for Actors Theatre for it is in this month when one "College Days" weekend and two "Industrial Weekends" have been scheduled. 

College Days is a three day weekend dedicated to college students and professors from all over the country while Industrial Weekends are dedicated to the "who's who" of the American Theatre. 

The six new productions will be: 

Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Gary Griffin in association with Victory Gardens Theater 

Cry Old Kingdom by by Jeff Augustin, directed by Tom Dugdale 

The Delling Shore by  by Sam Marks, directed by Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough 

Gnit by  by Will Eno, directed by Les Waters

Guru Guru, or why I don't want to go to Yoga Class with You  by Mallery Avidon
directed by Lila Neugebauer 

Sleep Rock Thy Brain  by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath, and Anne Washburn, conceived by Amy Attaway and Sarah Lunnie, directed by Amy Attaway, and performed by the 2012-2013 Acting Apprentice Company

And as these new plays are presented and as expected by everyone coming to see such new works, opinions are going to vary from one play to the next. Some opinions will be favorable and other will not, some will be very good and other will not. It is expected because as the saying goes: "Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder," and theatre is art and as such it is subject to criticism by everyone, from the amateur to the professional.

During the month of March and April, I will be attending the festival at different days and times because I am a theatre artist and as a playwright, having such a prestigious festival just a few minutes from my own home, I cannot pass this opportunity.

As I attend the festival, either by myself, with students, friends, colleagues or with other artists, I will be tweeting my opinions on what I see. And as I discuss the new plays with other theatre artist, I will be posting my personal observations on each play in the weeks that follow. 

I hope you join me. I know, for sure, it is going to be a bumpy ride. So let the 37th Human Festival of New American Plays Begin!!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013


I know I have been out of touch for a while, blame it on my job. They keep me busy and as much I would like to spent hours writing for the blog, I need some sleep. I'm old and I get grumpy very easy.

At any rate, hear are my thoughts about new things happening in my life in regards to playwriting:

FRIDA KAHLO: A PORTRAIT came and went, at least here at Bellarmine University. I'm hoping the play continues to have a life in the future. Of course that means submitting the work wherever I can. And I started doing that already. I've sent the draft of the play so several places. No word yet but I know how this things work so I'm not worry. I can't worry, I have enough stress as it is, all work related. So that's enough of that.

Here are some images from the production: (Friendly reminder, they are all copyright.)

Between productions, I have been working on other plays, of course. One of the I started a while back and an invitation to a local event called "PLAY SLAM" has truly motivated me to work on the play. This is a new play tentatively titled, "What Really Happens." The titled is awful, let's hope the play isn't. I know I can always change the title, so I'm waiting for that moment, as I write, to know what the title should be.

This play is a comedy, a campy comedy about the lives of four friends (two straight, two gay). The first act takes place in a place, in one day. The second act takes place in the same place and also in one day, but exactly a year after the first act. Let's see what happens.

I'm also working on a new play. This one is based on a Mexican folklore story, no, not LA LLORONA. I already wrote a play based on that story. It is called, "LLORONAS," and it is the story of a single mother coping with the loss of her child, her younger brother who is about to graduate from high school, and their mother who has to take care of the two. It is the story of an undocumented family and how they deal with every day life in the United States. 

This new play is based on "The Legend of La Nahuala," a Mexican witch who was not a very good person. However, my take on the story is about young people and the odyssey they take as they encounter La Nahuala.  Think of Alice in Wonderland but very, very Mexican. As of today, I'm titling the play: LA NAHUALA: A CULTURAL ODYSSEY

I know there is an animated film about it, but hey, what can I say? I love the story and I have been dying to write about another Mexican legend and I can't get La Nahuala out of my head. So, here's a couple of mezcal shots to this new project.

My head is brewing with lots of ideas for this play as well as for a couple of others, and I wish I had time to simply sit down and start working on them.

I need people like +Marisela Orta who writes an entire playwriting plan every year and submits her plays to so many places, I feel shame every time I read her blog. Man, this comadre works hard. And so does my friend and colleague +Tlaloc Rivas who is always traveling and participating is so many Latino Theatre projects. Now, if he could only take one of my plays and do something with it... And let's not forget my compadre +Rafael Gallegos and my hemano +Antonio Ocampo-Guzman who could help me with the development of my latest two, yes I said TWO one-man shows, which are "DONE" but need a director so they can be developed.

So, yes, I have material to work with... I just need some help and time, which is what everything boils down to: TIME!!!

Now, where is my Doctor when I need him?