Repertorio Español Announces The Winners Of The 2023 Miranda Family Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition

ON THE EASTSIDE by Marissa Castañón-Hernández won first place in the fourth edition of the competition. The playwright will receive a cash award of $3,000.

By: Oct. 02, 2023
Repertorio Español Announces The Winners Of The 2023 Miranda Family Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition

Repertorio Español Announces The Winners Of The 2023 Miranda Family Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition

Repertorio Español announces the winners of The 2023 Miranda Family Voces Latinx Playwriting Competition, an initiative to develop and promote plays that resonate with and accurately depict the Latinx/Latine experience. The competition is inclusive of all playwrights who are at least 18 years of age and residents of the United States or Puerto Rico.

"As a student, from elementary through graduate school, I rarely saw myself represented in the stories and plays we read and performed. When characters reflected my culture, they were minor or stereotypical. After I graduated and began participating in community theatre, I learned about the origins of Chicano theatre and its roots in social justice. I found myself engaged and inspired by the authentic and meaningful work of playwrights who used their craft to educate and inspire positive change. On the Eastside, my first full-length play, was born from the need to highlight ongoing systemic inequities in the city in which I was raised and to pay tribute to the people of the "Eastside," who are losing their homes to gentrification. I am honored to be awarded 1st place in the 2023 Miranda Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition and grateful to the Miranda Family and Repertorio Español for the opportunity to share my work, which brings to life characters who look like me, sound like my family, and grapple with issues affecting people of color. " - Marissa Castañón-Hernández


1ST PLACE: (AWARD: $3,000)

By Marissa Castañón-Hernández

Playwright Bio: Marissa is a theatre educator and advocate for educational equity. On the Eastside, set in Austin, Texas, is her first full-length play. She is a National Teach Plus Senior Writing Fellow and has published several opinion pieces, including The CRT We Should All Be Concerned About and Denying Undocumented Children a Free Public Education is Unconscionable. As a Teach Plus Policy Fellow, Marissa co-authored a policy brief on the retention of teachers of color.

About On The Eastside: On the Eastside, set in Austin, Texas, in the spring of 2019, tells the story of a lively Mexican-American family living east of Interstate 35. The family must navigate gentrification and long-standing systemic issues characteristic of the city. An incident with law enforcement leaves them wondering if some things will ever change.

2ND PLACE: (AWARD: $2,000)

By Christin Eve Cato

Playwright Bio: Christin Eve Cato is a playwright, dramaturg, and performing artist from the Bronx. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Indiana University and completed her BA in Political Science and Philosophy at Fordham University. Cato is also a graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts. She is affiliated with NYC theater companies, Pregones/PRTT (ensemble member & former Resident Dramaturg), INTAR Theatre (UNIT 52 ensemble member), and the Latinx Playwrights Circle. She is also a playwright in the WP Theater 2022-2024 Pipeline Lab. Cato's artistic style is expressed through Caribbean culture and the Afro-Latinx diaspora, honoring her Puerto Rican and Jamaican roots. Recent productions include the Off-Broadway sensation, Sancocho (co-produced by The Latinx Playwrights Circle, The Sol Project and WP Theatre), and The Diamond (The Peoples Theatre Project/Pregones Theatre). Publication/Contributor credits include: We Are Not Neutral (Amazon Books) and, Latinx Actor Training (Routledge). She is repped by WME Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment.

About OK: Four Latinas prepare for a non-union bilingual production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma, playing at a regional theater in Oklahoma. When one of the women discovers she is pregnant, they band together as they navigate a post-Roe America. In their dialogue comes revelations about their careers, their personal lives, and their relationship with a society that has become desperate to discount their own humanity.

3RD PLACE: (AWARD: $1,000)

By José Luis Useche

Playwright Bio: José Luis Useche is an actor, playwright and theater director with a well-known artistic career. His projects have been recognized in: Venezuela (winner of the 2016 Microtheater Outstanding Dramaturgy Award, nominated for the 2015 Isaac Chocrón Dramaturgy Award), New York (ATI, ACE, ARTE, HOLA), Mexico (Best Script 2019 ArtHouse), Miami (nominated to Mara International 2016). His style encompasses social criticism, exposing human relationships in everyday life, but always filled with hints of humor.

About Locos: Four deranged people remain locked up in a sanatorium to recover what they lost. All slaves to a mental illness that began the day they decided to emigrate from their country in search of happiness. These four immigrants are not only looking for a better future far from their home but also to fulfill their dreams despite the monster that torments them from within. The same monster that reminds them that, even if they are a little bit crazy, they will always be right.



By Alex Rodríguez

Playwright Bio: As a playwright, Las Adelitas (The Selena Play) and 3 Drag Queens & A Nativity Scene highlight his emerging career. The youngest of thirteen children, Alex Rodríguez, born into a family of migrant workers, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from The University of Texas in Austin. After living in New York City for many years discovering his inner playwright, Alex currently lives in South Texas.

About 3 Drag Queens and A Nativity Scene: 3 Drag Queens & A Nativity Scene is a play about how three gay Texan men, who have been friends for decades, embark on a road trip to protest the caging of children at the Texas border I.C.E. Detention Facilities. Along the way, their friendship, identities, and sanity will be put to the test. A comedy that fills you with laughter, truth, and love.



By Jay Álvarez and John Laffan

Playwrights Bio: Jay Álvarez, an actor and writer, was born in Cuba and came to the US at the age of five, a journey he has theatricalized in both a solo show and his current project BE CAREFUL THE SHARKS WILL EAT YOU. Training includes the Stella Adler Studio, Wynn Handman and Austin Pendleton. His solo show was named Best of Fringe at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and Top Solo Performance at FringeNYC. Jay is trilingual.
John Laffan is a theatre maker and playwright. He has studied and participated in workshops at Art Workshop International in Assisi, Italy, Southampton Writers Workshop, and New York Theatre Workshop, studying with Richard Caliban, Alex Lewin, Paula Vogel, Stephen Adley Gurgis, James Hindman and Arlene Hutton. John has presented numerous readings at The Barrow Group and is a member of their invitation-only Master Class.

About Be Careful the Sharks Will Eat You: The real-life story of how one man planned and executed the escape of 28 people from Cuba in 1964, Be Careful The Sharks Will Eat You explores the love between a husband and wife when events beyond their control seemingly dash their hopes forever of reuniting with children already sent abroad. While personal in nature, it is also a universal refugee story depicting the painful decisions and vague hopes propelling families into the unknown.

For over 40 years, Luis A. Miranda, Jr. and Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda have championed community activism, viewing philanthropy as a three-pronged approach through giving, fundraising, and advocacy efforts. Along with Luz Miranda-Crespo, Lin-Manuel, Miguel Towns, and their respective spouses, Luis Crespo and Vanessa Nadal, they have created and supported institutions focused on underserved populations in Upper Manhattan, communities throughout NYC, across the country, and in Puerto Rico.

Repertorio Español was founded in 1968 by Artistic Director René Buch and Producer Gilberto Zaldívar and has become one of the most successful Off-Broadway theatres. The Company was founded with the mission of producing the finest Spanish-language theatre from Latin America and Spain as well as plays written by Latinx artists. The Company presents a rotating repertory of plays, musicals, and dance concerts every year. Its productions are seen by over 34,000 people annually at its home, the historic Gramercy Arts Theatre, and on tour. Every year, approximately 18,000 students are introduced to the heritage of Spanish language theatre through its education program, ¡DIGNIDAD!