Press Release: An Interview With Playwright Octavio Solis
Writing Plays, Raising Goats, Making Cheese An Interview With Playwright Octavio Solis
COSTA MESA, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2020)—South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers; Managing Director Paula Tomei) continues its SCR commUNITY series with a conversation with playwright Octavio Solis, about writing and life on the farm. The live YouTube interview will be Monday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m. PT / 8:30 p.m. ET. A recording of the interview will be accessible for viewing through Sept. 6. Tickets are free, but reservations are required at www.scr.org.
Solis lives and writes on his southern Oregon farm. In the upcoming interview, he and Jeanne Sexton, his wife and former legal counsel for GATX Capital, will talk about writing plays, raising chickens and goats, and the couple’s venture into making goat cheese. They’ll be interviewed by Juliette Carrillo.
Solis is known as one of the nation’s most prominent Latino playwrights. His works include Mother Road, Quixote Nuevo, Se Llama Cristina, Lydia, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The 7 Visions of Encarnación, Man of the Flesh, Santos & Santos and La Posada Mágica. His plays have been mounted at dozens of theatres including Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Dallas Theater Center and South Coast Repertory. His relationship with SCR dates back more than three decades to Man of the Flesh (1990) and, most recently, as book writer and lyricist for Cloudlands in collaboration with Adam Gwon (2012). His plays have been read in SCR’s Hispanic Playwrights Project and the Pacific Playwrights Festival. Among his many honors, Solis has received National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Fellowships (1995-97), the Will Glickman Playwright Award, the National Latino Playwriting Award (2003) and a Pen Center/USA Award for Drama (2014). Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow (MacDowell Colony) and currently is working on commissions for Arena Stage, San Francisco Playhouse and SCR. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border.
SCR commUNITY is the theatre’s new digital platform dedicated to amplifying the artists and narratives of the region by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California. Using virtual/digital platforms, SCR commUNITY creates free play readings, interviews, radio plays and original innovative content.
The first three SCR commUNITY events are grouped together under the title El Teatro de la Comida and curated by Carrillo.
“El Teatro de la Comida explores how food brings us together, even when we’re forced to stay apart,” Carrillo said. “I’m interested in how recipes, smells and tastes live in our DNA; more specifically, in the Latinx community. Since every recipe has a lineage and a story, how do we reach back into the past and embrace the traditions of our ancestors?”
Carrillo is a nationally recognized theatre director, writer, playwright and award-winning filmmaker from Los Angeles. She has directed critically acclaimed productions across the country including plays at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, SCR, Alliance Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company and Yale Repertory Theatre. She is known for developing new plays and has done numerous workshops regionally as well New York City theatres such as The Public, New York Theatre Workshop, INTAR Theatre and The Women’s Project. As an ensemble member of Cornerstone Theater, she has collaborated with numerous communities in writing and directing original work including with the East Salinas farm workers, seniors and their caregivers, and the Los Angeles River community. Carrillo was an SCR artistic associate, directed regularly and ran the Hispanic Playwright’s Project, collaborating with successful Latino writers across the country, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz and Oscar Award-nominated Jose Rivera.
Tickets for the Aug. 31 interview with Solis are free, and ticketholders are encouraged to support an online food drive, held in partnership with Second Harvest Foodbank of Orange County, to support those without access to nutritious food during the pandemic. More information is at the food bank’s website: https://www.yourfooddrive.org/drive.php?scr_food_drive
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964, is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern plays and musicals, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program—The Lab@SCR—which includes one of the nation’s largest commissioning programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers. Of SCR’s more than 500 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org