ABOUT THE ARTISTS
[performer and writer]
From panzas to prisons, from street theatre to large-scale multimedia performances, from princess to chafa, Virginia writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms. Her work has been produced, commissioned and developed at the Alliance Theatre, Bihl Haus Arts, Company of Angels, Cornerstone Theatre, Highways Performance Space, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights' Center, Pregones Theatre, REDCAT, Victory Gardens, and Yale Repertory Theatre. Her play blu was a recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award and was recently published by Yale University Press.
Her other published works include The Panza Monologues, co-written with Irma Mayorga, (University of Texas Press) and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). She is a member of the Women's Project Playwrights Lab, a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, The Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellowship, and was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s Latina/o Playwriting Award, Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Award, and the LARK Play Development Center’s Playwrights of New York (PONY) Award. In addition to showing people her panza in college cafeterias, classrooms and conference halls, she has performed both nationally and internationally at venues including the Jose Marti Catedra in Havana, Cuba and the University of Butare in Rwanda, Africa. As an activist she has facilitated organizing efforts among women, immigrant, Chicano, working class and queer youth. Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers and in the juvenile correction system. She holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts.
[writer, director, producer]
A native of San Antonio, Tejas, Irma Mayorga is a Chicana scholar/artist in theater. She holds an M.F.A. in Costume Design (UW-Madison) and a Joint Ph.D. in Drama and the Humanities from Stanford University. From Stanford, she also holds the distinction of attaining the first Ph.D. by a Latina/o in the Drama Department's history. She is also a director, dramaturg, and award-winning playwright.
Throughout her career, she has worked between academic, non-profit, and community based sectors of the arts. As a playwright, her play Cascarones earned the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (student division) and went on to receive an invitation for participation to the prestigious Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference under the artistic leadership of Jim Houghton and with America Ferrera in the lead role. She is the first Chicana playwright to receive invitation to develop and present work at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. She has received research fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, Stanford University, Florida State University, Dartmouth College, an artist-in-residence fellowship from the Santa Fe Institute of the Arts, and Williams College's Bolin Dissertation Fellowship. She looks forward to returning to her work as playwright and lyricist on a musical adaptation of National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's book The Day You Begin, a commission from Stages Theatre Company (Hopkins, MN) which was set to premiere in April 2020 but halted in mid-rehearsal in March 2020.
As a scholar, her research engages contemporary theater and performance by U.S. people of color, theater and performance by women, and Chicanx expressive culture.