Eliana Pipes, a playwright, actor and filmmaker, has won Arizona Theatre Company’s 2020 National Latinx Playwriting Award for Dream Hou$e, which follows two Latinx sisters on an HGTV-style show who are selling their family home, hoping to capitalize on the gentrification of their “changing neighborhood.”
Pipes, the recipient of the 2019 Academy Gold Fellowship for Women and the Leah Ryan Fund Prize for Emerging Women Writers, will receive $1,000 and a workshop of her play at Arizona Theatre Company. Pipes lives in Portland, Ore.
“Dream Hou$e invites us into the unspoken and intimate world between sisters against the loud noise of societal expectations of money and success,” said ATC Playwright-in-Residence Elaine Romero. “The play suggests that giving up one’s family home might be akin to giving up nothing more than one’s history, one’s ancestors, and ultimately, one’s body. If America has an un-dream, Dream Hou$e reveals it with its artful storytelling.”
In Dream Hou$e, as the sisters perform for the camera, the show starts to slip into the surreal: one sister grapples with turmoil in the family’s ancestral past and the other learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the family’s future. What’s the cultural cost of progress in America – and is cashing in always selling out?
“Our judges loved that Dream Hou$e demanded that this play be in the medium of theatre and no other,” Romero said. Chanel Bragg, Arizona Theatre Company’s Associate Artistic Director and one of the judges, noted, “It’s true artistry the way Eliana uses the complicated relationship between sisters as an allegory for the past and present. This socially conscious play examines the tragedy of sacrificing heritage in return for economic prosperity.”
Pipes’ work has been developed or presented at the NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Workshop, Ars Nova ANT Fest, San Diego Rep New Latinx Play Festival, Two River Theater Crossing Borders Festival, The Fire This Time Festival and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Columbia University and just completed coursework for a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from Boston University.
On Friday, Aug. 21 at 4 p.m., Arizona Theatre Company’s weekly Facebook Live program Hang & Focus Live (www.facebook.org/arizonatheatrecompany) will feature interviews with Pipes, Romero and Benjamin Benne, the 2019 National Latinx Playwriting Award winner, whose play Alma is the first play reading of ATC’s digital lineup.
A complete schedule of digital community conversations about Almacan be found at www.arizonatheatre.org.
Runner-up for the 2020 ATC award was Dr. Teresa Marrero for Second-Hand Conversations with Irene, a four-actor play inspired by an imaginary conversation with María Irene Fornés and an homage to her teachings and to all creative women, who, in spite of the fog, shine forth with brilliance and humor.
“This one is personal for me,” Romero said. “When I first read Second-Hand Conversations with Irene, I felt as if I had been transported in time to the foot of my teacher, María Irene Fornés with whom I studied in Mexico in the 1990s. Teresa captures the spirit of Fornés with every word, the personal musings of our teacher, but also the idiosyncratic nature of a type of writing Irene would draw out of a playwright that evokes, without over-explaining, that lives in subtext more than text, that rides the world of a single image and leaves us asking for more.”
Marrero is a Professor of Spanish at the University of North Texas. Besides plays, she writes scholarly essays, short fiction and performance commentaries as a theatre critic.
The submission deadline for the 2021 National Latinx Playwriting Award is Nov. 1, 2020.Eligible Latinx playwrights must live in the United States, its territories or Mexico. Scripts may be in English, English and Spanish, or solely in Spanish. (Spanish-language and bilingual scripts must be accompanied by an English translation.) Plays must be unpublished, professionally unproduced and not currently under option at the time of submission.
Full-length and one-act plays (minimum length: 50 pages) on any subject will be accepted and become the property of Arizona Theatre Company and will not be returned. In this case, “property” means the physical property of the theatre, not the intellectual property or any rights to the play.The winner will be notified by Fall 2021.
Application requirements are:
• Submit a single script via U.S. mail.
• Scripts must be postmarked by November 1, 2020. Please include a title page on the script that includes the play’s title, the author’s name and contact information (including a phone number, mailing address and email).
• Include a cover letter of no more than one page describing the play’s developmental history and how the play fits into the playwright’s broader career trajectory.Submit manuscripts to: National Latinx Playwriting Award, ATTN: Elaine Romero, Playwright-in-Residence, Arizona Theatre Company, 343 S. Scott Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701.
For more information visit www.arizonatheatre.org.
About Arizona Theatre Company: Under new leadership and now celebrating its 54th Season, Arizona Theatre Company is truly “The State Theatre,” with the largest subscriber base of any performing arts organization in Arizona. More than 130,000 people each year attend performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and the elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix.
Each season of high-quality productions reflects the rich variety of world theatre – from classic to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works – and audiences enjoy the rich emotional experience and joy that can only be captured through live theatre. ATC is the preeminent professional theatre in the state of Arizona. Under the direction of Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Managing Director Geri Wright, ATC operates in two cities – unlike any other League of Resident Theaters (LORT) company in the country.
ATC shares the passion of the theatre through a wide array of outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and community events. With more than 800 Education & Engagement activities through schools and summer programs, ATC focuses on teaching Arizona’s youth about the creative power of dramatic literature and how it can enrich their own lives in multiple ways.
ATC reaches far beyond the metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix, enriching the theatre learning experience nationally for current and future audiences.