Anne García-Romero on Playwriting and Latinx Theatre

My area of focus is both playwriting and
theater studies. I’ve been a professional playwright for over 20 years and my
plays often deal with the intersection of Latinx and Anglo cultures. I’m
bicultural and so I have a Latin father, an Anglo mother, and a lot of my plays
really explore how those worlds intersect, through language and character
and theme and structure even. And this idea of the American experience as one
that is diverse, that’s culturally complex, how do we take those narratives
and put them on stage. My work as a scholar focuses on Latina playwriting.
My first book focused particularly on the Cuban American playwright Maria
Irene Fornes who is an award-winning playwright from New York City, and she
was my mentor and the book really looks at how she created her model to examine
culture identity and spirituality in Latina culture through her plays, and so
in the book I look at five contemporary Latino playwrights whose
work is influenced by her, looking at ideas of cultural multiplicity, how these
plays really examine the notion of Latina community as a complex community.
A lot of my plays are inspired by research. I’m currently working on a new
play about the Spanish playwright and poet Federico Garcia Lorca who came to
New York City in 1929 and spent nine months there, and so he met the Harlem
Renaissance figures, he met people in the American poetry circles, he met the New
York intelligentsia, so to speak, and these experiences really shaped him
personally and professionally and really created a new way of writing for him and
a new way of living. The American theatre needs to reflect the cultural complexity
of our society on its stages. I find the chance to get back to a very basic human
experience of storytelling, in a room with strangers
who can come together in community and be moved, be inspired, be challenged, be
emboldened, I think for me that’s why theatre will always be relevant. Theatre
is a space for social consciousness raising and a space to express our ideas
about how society could be and ought to be, and I think especially in these times
it’s an important forum to continue that conversation.

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