Clean: PPF 2021
by​ Christine Quintana
directed by Lisa Portes
with translations by Paula Zelaya Cervantes
dramaturg: Anna Jennings
Pacific Playwrights Festival
May 31, 2021 - June 6, 2021

Two women from different worlds meet in the fake paradise of a Mexican resort: Adriana, who works at the hotel, and Sarah, who's there for her sister’s wedding. Torrential rain, a father’s death and the mistakes of a night bring them together … but whatever they have in common, many cultural borders separate them.

The Pacific Playwrights Festival is all about the writers. #PPFPlaywrights, an off shoot of SCR’s #Commissioned video series, features the five wordsmiths and one composer who contributed the work included in the 23rd festival. For ​​​Clean, ​director ​​Lisa Portes chats with Playwright ​Christine Quintana. They’ll be talking about the play, and there may be some spoilers. So, if you don’t want any secrets revealed, you may want to screen the reading before watching the interview. If you purchase tickets for ​Clean, you’ll automatically be sent the link for #PPFPlaywrights.

Listen to our Spotify playlist of songs that inspired the 2021 PPF playwrights.


Christine Quintana (Playwright) was born in Los Angeles to a Mexican-American father and a Dutch-British-Canadian mother. Quintana is now a grateful visitor to the Unceded Coast Salish Territories, commonly known as Vancouver, B.C. A playwright, actor and producer, Quintana received the Siminovitch Protégé Prize for Playwriting (2017) from Marcus Youssef and was the Urjo Kareda Emerging Artist Resident at Tarragon Theatre. Her creation and performing highlights include Never The Last (co-created with Molly MacKinnon, produced by Delinquent Theatre, recipient of five Jessie Richardson Theatre Award nominations including Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Script and winner of Significant Artistic Achievement); Selfie (commissioned by Théâtre la Seizième in French and Young People’s Theatre in English, winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Theatre for Young Audiences Play, the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Script by an Emerging Playwright and the Tom Hendry Award for TYA); and the immersive digital production, Good Things To Do (Rumble Theatre, rEvolver Festival and FoldA). Quintana is a proud founding member of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition. She holds a BFA in acting from the University of British Columbia.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team in the program.

Nell Geisslinger

Nell Geisslinger (Sarah)  is delighted to be a part of PPF after marking her SCR debut this spring in Red Riding Hood. Her regional appearances include Tribes (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Twelfth Night and Boeing Boeing (Utah Shakespeare Festival), The Foreigner (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Mary’s Wedding (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and Othello (Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company). For more than a decade, she was a company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where her favorite roles included Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, Nina in The Seagull, Elma in Bus Stop, and Louison in The Imaginary Invalid. A founding member of the band The Meriwethers, Geisslinger has appeared on countless stages, riverbanks and gymnasium floors, telling the story of Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery. She lives close to her family in Los Angeles, with four ancient canines and a brilliant archaeologist. 

Lorena Martinez

Lorena Martinez (Adriana) appeared at SCR previously in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and Yoga Play. She was last seen in Kemp Powers’ Crista McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue at CTG. Her regional theatre credits include Up Here and Mr. Burns at La Jolla Playhouse; Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Teatro Fatima (Mexico); Into the Woods at Metro Art (Mexico); and Anchor Babies for her New York University thesis. Her television and film credits include Hotel Pennsylvania, How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket, How to Change a Tire (“Funny or Die”) and Landing in Mumbai. She holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA from UC-San Diego. IG: loremtz

Creative Team

Lisa Portes (Director) is an award-winning director of new and contemporary American plays and musicals, and the occasional redefined classic. Her work has been seen regionally at Cal Shakes, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Guthrie Theater, Olney Theatre Center, and in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Victory Gardens Theater. Her work has been in New York at Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop and The Flea Theater. She is a co-founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, member of the Drama League Directors Circle and serves on the boards of the Theatre Communications Group and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. In 2016, she was honored with the Zelda Fichandler Award for Directors. She heads the MFA directing program at The Theatre School at DePaul University and lives in Chicago with her husband, playwright Carlos Murillo, and their two teenagers, Eva Rose and Carlos Alejandro. 

Paula Zelaya Cervantes (Translations & Adaptations) is a Mexican playwright, screenwriter, director and translator who graduated from the University of British Columbia with a double major in theatre and honours English literature (2014). She wrote and directed The Orbweaver (Centro Cultural Helénico, 2018; Vancouver Fringe Festival, International Mainstage Selection, 2016); Sasha & Spot; 245 Acts of Unspeakable Evil, co-written with Ana González Bello, which premiered off-Broadway in 2017 and will open in Mexico City in mid-May 2021. With Diego del Río, she co-wrote Memoria, commissioned by Mexico’s National Theatre Company. She has directed, translated and adapted numerous plays including Hannah Moscovitch’s Little One, Nia Vardalos’ Tiny Beautiful Things and Sam Steiner´s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Her upcoming projects include directing El Hámster del presidente by Saúl Enríquez, and directing and translating Sarah De Lappe’s The Wolves. Her play 245 Acts of Unspeakable Evil won the 2018 Latino National Playwright Award (Arizona Theatre Company) and the 2019 Sharon Enkin Play for Young People Award (Playwright’s Guild of Canada). In 2020, she was awarded a Young Creators grant from Mexico’s National Fund for Arts and Culture (FONCA).

Anna Jennings (Dramaturg) is the artistic coordinator at South Coast Repertory and the festival coordinator of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. She directed SCR’s digital premiere of Elizabeth Shannon’s Loaded Language as part of the nationwide #ENOUGH campaign. She was formerly the artistic coordinator at Arizona Theatre Company, where she was the assistant director for José Cruz González’s American Mariachi. She also directed a site-specific production of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information at the 2019 Tucson Fringe Festival. Jennings received her MFA in generative dramaturgy from the University of Arizona.

Justin Krumb (Film Producer) has roots that run deep within SCR. Since graduating with his BA from CSU-Long Beach, he has immersed himself in the evolving world of video and film production. Focusing his efforts on feature documentary (Minds In The Water), broadcast television (First Hand, The Surfer’s Journal) and live productions (Love Loud, Imagine Dragons, ReCode) has allowed Krumb to see all sides of producing digital media. Spanning multiple decades, he has worked on a variety of documentary and commercial projects, in countries around the globe that range in subject matter from travel, music, sports, and culture. Krumb earned the honor of an Emmy Award for Best Documentary (Next Wave) and film festival awards that included Best Environmental Film, Best Original Score, Audience Appreciation and a Top Emerging Directors designation from AmDocs Film Festival (Transparentsea). He recently reconnected with SCR to produce film works of plays (Outside Mullingar, A Shot Rang Out and Red Riding Hood). The opportunity to bring the Pacific Playwrights Festival plays and a musical to the screen in a new and inclusive way, and to share the talents of these amazing artists, continues to add to the rewarding career path he has taken.

Deena Tovar (Stage Manager) was born and raised in Los Angeles and has spent many years stage-managing a wide variety of productions in the area, working with companies that include Circle X (2016), Open Fist (2017), The Fountain Theatre (2018, 2021), as well as The Wallis Annenberg (2019). She earned her BA in theatre arts at UC-Santa Cruz. This is her first production at South Coast Repertory.

The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

​Sally Anderson & Tom Rogers
Laurie & Steve Duncan
Kristen & Adrian Griggs
Samuel & Tammy Tang
Tod & Linda White


South Coast Repertory’s health and safety protocol has been developed with advice from the University of California Irvine.

UCI Health