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By   /  July 27, 2020  /  No Comments


San Diego Repertory Theatre & Amigos Del Rep – A weekend of readings of new plays by Latinx playwrights along with a festival showcase production of Spanking Machine by GLAAD Award-winning performer Marga Gomez

SAN DIEGO, CA – July, 2020 – San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) and Amigos del REP announced today the lineup for the Fourth Annual San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival streamed live online, September 4-6, 2020. Amigos del REP is a theatre advocacy council of community members and artists who promote Hispanic/Latino/Chicano theatre at San Diego REP. The San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival is a celebration of engaging, dynamic and enlightening new plays by Latinx playwrights from across the United States. Festival passes are available now at pay-what-you-can prices at sdrep.org/latinx or 619.544.1000.

“San Diego REP has long been a leader in championing Latinx stories, having produced more than 50 productions of work by Latinx writers since 1988,” stated Sam Woodhouse, Artistic Director of San Diego Repertory Theatre. “Our Latinx New Play Festival, proud to be presented for the fourth year and streamed live for the first time, is a major step forward in our commitment to develop and showcase new plays by Latinx writers. We look forward to sharing the innovative work of five Latinx playwrights on Labor Day Weekend.”

The selection process was highly competitive with only four plays out of more than 90 submissions chosen for the festival. While there were numerous new plays worthy to be named to the festival’s roster, the selection committee based its decision on works that most closely support San Diego Repertory Theatre’s mission to generate and sustain a more inclusive community through artistic endeavors that further progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of the region.

“The plays selected for the festival represent some of the most exciting scripts currently being written in the U.S. today,” stated Patrice Amon, San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival Producer. “The festival readings will feature stories that demonstrate the breadth of Latinidad. We will be sharing stories about family, technology, neurodiversity, and myths.”

Below is the schedule of the 2020 Latinx New Play Festival including the four staged readings and the festival showcase production of Spanking Machine.

Friday, September 4th

  • 4:00pm         Auxiliary Event
  • 5:00pm         Machine Learningby Francisco Mendoza
  • 7:00pm         Opening Reception

Saturday, September 5th

  • 11:00am       Designer Showcase  
  • 12:00pm       Sapience by Diana Burbano
  • 2:00pm         Auxiliary Event
  • 3:00pm         Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland
  • 6:00pm         Spanking Machine written and performed by Marga Gomez

Sunday, September 6th

  • 11:00am       Auxiliary Event
  • 12:00pm       Historical Context Panel
  • 1:00pm         The Cucuy Will Find You by Jaymes Sanchez
  • 3:00pm         Closing Toast

Machine Learning — When his estranged, alcoholic father is diagnosed with liver cancer, computer scientist Jorge dreams up a nursing app to manage the disease in his stead. As the machine’s capabilities grow, however, the possibility of leaving it in charge of the treatment becomes more real, forcing Jorge to reckon with his responsibilities as a son—and as a creator, while identifying the underlying truth about his relationship with his father.

Francisco Mendoza (Playwright) is an Argentinian writer currently living in Brooklyn, NY after spending several years in Brazil. His work has been developed or presented at The New Group, the MacDowell Colony, and Northern Stage, among others. His scripts include stage plays Machine Learning (The Lark’s Playwrights Week, Neukom Award for Playwriting, San Diego Rep Latinx Festival), Tooth for Tooth (Finalist, Sundance Theater Lab; Finalist, Princess Grace Fellowship), and Patriarch (Great Plains Theatre Conference); TV pilot Land Most Loved (Finalist, Sundance Lab); and podcast Hairy Legs Hannah’s Feminist Quarter-Hour (Austin Film Festival), which he co-wrote and directed. notrealmendoza.com

Sapience –Elsa is a doctor of Primatology who has up-until-now, successfully concealed her diagnosis of Autism. She is currently working at a zoo with an orangutan named Wookie, who she believes is capable of speaking a human language. Elsa’s 12 year old nephew, A.J., is also Autistic, but is unable to communicate verbally. A.J. and Wookie soon discover that they can communicate in mysterious ways, which completely disrupts Elsa’s research and theories. A.J. teaches Wookie that she is mortal and will die someday. This is a brand new concept to the animal, and Wookie falls into despair to the point of near death. Wookie’s death would be catastrophic to Elsa. She is forced to confront the value of A.J.’s mode of communication and her reluctance to embrace her own Autism.

Diana Burbano (Playwright), a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Works: Ghosts of Bogota, commission by AlterTheater, winner NuVoices Festival Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Policarpa, Semi-finalist Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Festival 2018, Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2018, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan lab 2017, Drama League Rough Draft series May 2017, Honorable Mention, Jane Chambers Award 2017, Parsnip Ship 2017. Fabulous Monsters, Latinx New Play Festival, San Diego REP 2017, Festival 51 2016 winner Picture me Rollin’, 35th William Inge Festival, Inkfest/2cents, Silueta, (about Ana Mendieta), with Tom and Chris Shelton, Caliban’s Island (TYA) 2017 Headwaters New Play Festival at Creede Repertory. (Published by YouthPLAYS). Linda was written for the 365 Women a Year project and has been featured in more than 20 festivals over the last year, including Center Theatre Group’s community library series. She was a writer for Center Theatre Group’s Chisme y Queso series, Rogue Artists Plummer Park project and Kaiser Permanente’s Educational touring show. She has a commission with Alter Theatre in San Rafael and is part of Center Theatre Group’s Writers Workshop for 2018-2019.

Extreme Home Makeover — Every year, thousands of families apply for a reality TV show that promises a rags-to-riches transformation for America’s most deserving citizens. With such steep competition, the Vega family must fight to make their video application stand out. Makasha Copeland’s gritty comedy Extreme Home Makeover begs the question – in a world where so many receive so little, can money really buy happiness?

Makasha Copeland (Playwright) is a playwright and comedian whose work focuses on the televisual, Tejano history, and positionality of the audience. Original works include Extreme Home Makeover, an earnest satire that received the 2019 Agnes Nixon award. Copeland’s farce Fabuloso! received a workshopped reading with Vertigo Productions. Additionally, Copeland is a seasoned improviser, performing at Northwestern University with The Titanic Players, Out Da Box, and Mee-Ow, as well as performances at iO and Second City with femme sketch group Resting Witch Face. They are a recent graduate from Northwestern University where they studied Playwriting, Latinx Studies, and majored in Theatre.

Spanking Machine — In Spanking Machine, GLAAD Award-winning writer/performer and REP past artist Marga Gomez shifts across gender, latitudes and generations in a darkly comic memoir about the first boy she ever sloppy-kissed and how it made them gay forever. “His real name was Agamemnon Perez Jr. but he shortened it to “Scotty” because he thought Agamemnon sounded too Cuban.” Although Gomez had sworn to never write a 13th solo play (because of her superstitious nature) she changed her mind when an unexpected email from “Scotty,” promising decadent perks in Miami, lured her to a complicated 40-year reunion. By turns witty and disturbing, Spanking Machine recounts sadistic nuns on poppers, tender vampires, barrio life, childhood misdemeanors, parental post-nasal drip, fear, assault and suppressed memory. 

Marga Gomez (Playwright & Performer) is the writer/performer of thirteen solo plays which have been presented locally, nationally, and internationally at the Edinburgh Festival and the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival. As a Brava artist-in-residence, Gomez also curates a monthly stand-up series, “Who’s Your Mami Comedy” on the second Thursday of the month in Brava’s Cabaret. Her acting credits include theatre roles: Campo Santos production of Translating Selena (January 2020), Off-Broadway Ars Nova production of Dr. Rides American Beach House (November 2019), Central Work’s King of Cuba (July 2018); television: Sense8 (Netflix); and film: Sphere (Warner Brothers.) Gomez teaches solo performance online and in San Francisco at The Kearny Street Workshop, A.C.T and Brava. NBC named her one of eleven “Out Latinos you should know.” For more information, visit margagomez.com.

The Cucuy Will Find You –Embedded within Mexican-American folklore, the Cucuy is a dark entity known for eating bad, disobedient people. But what does it mean to be a good person? For a successful 30-something year old, like Rey, the Cucuy could disrupt Rey’s life and the very fabric of reality, Rey must prove that they are a good person. But it isn’t easy; Rey avoids travelling to visit their grandmother, Leti, even though Rey’s father insists her health is quickly declining. As Rey tries to affirm the life Rey has built away from home, The Cucuy confronts Rey with the past, present, and future.

Jaymes Sanchez (Playwright) is a Texan playwright and theatre artist. Jaymes’s play The Cucuy Will Find You was featured in the Lark’s Playwrights’ Week 2019 and will be featured in Teatro Vivo’s 2020 Latinx New Play Festival. Soda From Water Cups was a finalist for the Latinx Theatre Commons’ 2018 Carnaval of New Latinx work. Who Owns What was featured in Artists’ Theater of Boston’s production of This Place/Displaced. Jaymes was a member of the Company One Playlab in 2018 and 2019. Jaymes is pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

San Diego REP’s Latinx New Play Festival is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov. The festival is also supported in part by the Peggy and Robert Matthews Foundation.

Ticket Prices: Festival passes are available with suggested donations ranging from $0 to $250.

About Amigos del REP — Amigos del REP is a theatre advocacy council of community members and artists who promote Hispanic/Latino/Chicano theatre at San Diego Repertory Theatre. The council hosts the annual San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival, Historias Tenebrosas cultural celebrations and staged readings of plays by Latinx playwrights. Amigos del REP creates opportunities for Latinx playwrights, directors, actors, stage managers and designers.

About San Diego Repertory Theatre –San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrates the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 54 main stage productions by Latinx playwrights, and more than 45 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org.  Join us on Facebook (@SanDiegoREP) and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP).


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