Milagro Announces Playwrights For The 2018 INGENIO New Works Project

Milagro Announces Playwrights For The 2018 INGENIO New Works ProjectThis September, Milagro is thrilled to announce the second season of INGENIO, a New Works Project funded once again by the National New Play Network (NNPN).

Partnering with the Northwest Theatre Workshop (NWTW), the INGENIO Project is a unique program created with one purpose in mind - to provide new and upcoming Latina/o playwrights with an interactive, nurturing laboratory setting in which to grow their latest works.

After a national call for submission in June, four unproduced plays by Latina/o playwrights were hand selected, and the playwrights invited to Milagro's home base in Portland to participate in a weeklong, developmental workshop experience. This year's playwrights come to us from all corners of the United States, representing Texas, California, and New York, and with a cast and crew spread across the country as well, the national scope of INGENIO 2018 is notably large

Each play will be assigned a director and cast and will receive rehearsal time in the week leading to the festival week, scheduled for September 21st - 23rd, 2018. At the end of the week, the plays will be presented in concert-style readings to an audience, followed by moderated feedback conversations.

As in the first year, a key feature of INGENIO is the participation of an established Latino theatre artist in a leadership position. This year, Milagro welcomes playwright and teaching artist Diana Burbano to serve as our distinguished guest dramaturg. Burbano will be in residence at Milagro for the week leading up to INGENIO, accessible to playwrights from the first rehearsal to the last feedback session. This level of mentorship provides participants with the unique opportunity to workshop their latest plays in an intimate setting, creating opportunities for conversation and unconventional artistic growth.

During INGENIO, Burbano will conduct a free three-hour workshop entitled "Writing for Justice". Using storytelling, empathy, and humor, this workshop will focus on writing plays and monologues from personal experiences that expand to comment on larger social/political issues. Open to the public, Burbano hopes that this workshop will encourage non-participants to share their own stories, taking the opportunity to learn and grow alongside an experienced Latina artist in the field.

In today's current political climate, now more than ever - representation matters. Designed to increase diversity in the playwriting field by giving opportunity to underrepresented voices - projects like INGENIO matter. With a mission to create extraordinary Latino theatre, culture, and educational arts experiences for the enrichment of all communities, join Milagro for the second season of INGENIO; a New Works Project for the Latino soul.

For more information visit


Brian Otaño (Tara)
Synopsis: An investigation into a teacher accused of sexual abuse lands at the door of 30-year-old Ricky Ramos, who is named as the teacher's first victim. The details of the investigation unfold, challenging Ricky's skewed perspective of his role in the relationship and casting a damning light on a culture mired in silence and homophobia. When Ricky lures his teacher to his family vacation home in Puerto Rico with hopes of finding some answers and clarity, Ricky's mother and daughter learn the truth about Ricky's relationship. A tense, bloody confrontation ensues, compelling the family to contend with their past, while looking ahead to a future that might have a glimmer of hope.

Brian Otaño grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where he worked as a playwright and a scenic artist at the Metropolitan Opera for nine years before moving to LA. Most recently, he co-wrote You Across From Me, the 2018 Humana Festival PTC show. Other plays include Tara, Zero Feet Away and The Dooley Street Trilogy. His work has been performed, developed and workshopped with NYTW, Roundabout Theatre Company, Page 73, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, New Dramatists, INTAR, LAByrinth, LARK Play Development Center, The Amoralists, The Attic Theater Company, Judson Memorial Church and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Residencies/Fellowships: NHMC TV Writers Fellowship, Page 73's Interstate 73 Writers Group, New York Theater Workshop 2050 Fellowship, New Dramatists Van Lier Fellowship, ArsNova's Playgroup. Education: BFA, Dramatic Writing (SUNY Purchase).

Adrienne Dawes (Casta)
Synopsis: Casta (Working Title) is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that grew in popularity over the 18th century in Nueva España that depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites. When a lowly apprentice is commissioned to paint a casta series for a wealthy patron, he tries to conform his work to a set hierarchy but finds the images revolt, illuminating a complex portrait of fluid Latinx identities.

Casta is supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant Program.

Adrienne Dawes is a mixed race AfroLatina playwright originally from Austin, TX. Her full length plays include: Denim Doves (2016), Am I White (2014, B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Script; David Mark Cohen New Play Award; Kilroys honorable mention), and You Are Pretty (2004, Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting). Adrienne is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ScriptWorks, and a company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater. She is currently based in Tulsa, OK as part of the first writing cohort of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Nelson Diaz-Marcano (World Classic)
Synopsis: As a family prepares to watch the final game of the World Baseball Classic between the Puerto Rican and the United States national teams, a past tragedy rear its ugly head and threatens to tear apart their bond. Exploring both the connection and identity issues created by clashing generations of immigrants, this play is a study on what it is to feel like a foreigner in your own country and what each generation calls home.

Nelson Diaz-Marcano is a Puerto Rican playwright based in New York City. His Recent production credits include: World Premiere of Revolt (Vision Latino Theatre Company,) Paper Towels (The Brick) Mami's House (Step1 Theatre Project,) Rabiosa (Pa, Puerto Rico by The Dirty Blondes) The Diplomats (Winner Best Play - Fresh Fruit Festival 2017, DUAF 2018), Promised Lands (Stable Cable Lab Co's Livewire),) and Radical (Winner Best Play - Downtown Arts Festival 2016) Nelson's mission is to create work where different cultures are represented, and to raise awareness of their history.

Mercedes Floresislas (CJ, A Trilingual Play)
Synopsis: Carolina Juarez, CJ, is a fifteen year old forced to live with her estranged aunt and Deaf grandmother when her mom overdoses again. She has been disconnected from her Latino heritage and is not interested in getting to know her family including her grandmother who is Deaf and has dementia. During a teenage tantrum, she destroys her grandmother's childhood toy and the family's comadre conjures up a recipe to intervene as her personal Nahual. Two Aztec deities appear to her to give her a chance to change her life before is too late.

Mercedes Floresislas recently graduated from University of California Riverside with an MFA in Creative Writing for the Performing Arts. She writes trilingual plays to create opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing actors to spread awareness of Deaf related issues and American Sign Language. Floresislas first MFA play, Los Moreno, is the recipient of the 2016 Kennedy Center American Theater Festival Latinidad Award, the first alternate for the National Partners American Theater Award 2016, it was selected as the 50 Playwrights Project Best Unproduced Latinx plays 2017 and the 2017 Austin Latino Play Festival at Teatro Vivo, and it also was a runner up for Met Life's 2017 Nuestras Voces competition. Her latest play, CJ, is the recipient of the Jean Kennedy second place prize. Floresislas is a native of Mexico who immigrated to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles at age 15. She is also a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently a resident artist at Redlands University.


This year Milagro has invited playwright and teaching artist Diana Burbano to serve as guest dramaturg. Diana Burbano is a Colombian immigrant, an Equity actor, a playwright, and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. A past INGENIO participant herself, Burbano's passion for playwriting and education is palpable, making her the ideal leader for this type of event. Burbano's work focus on female protagonists and social issues, and her passion for playwriting and education is palpable, making her the ideal host artist for INGENIO's second season. Work: Policarpa (Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan lab 2017), Fabulous Monsters (Latinx Play Festival, San Diego Rep 2017), Caliban's Island (2017 Headwaters New Play Festival), Enemy|Flint April 2018 at Rio Hondo College, and Linda, (English and Spanish), which has been seen all over the world. She was the 2018 playwright in residence for Marfa Live Arts in Marfa, TX.

Ciji Guerin has a MFA in Interdisciplinary Writing for Performance from CalArts and a BA in Text Linguistics from UC Berkeley. She has directed new play development projects and world premieres for the SF Playwrights Center, Real Theatre of SF, The Marsh, Cast Theatre, and Bump in the Road Theatre, and taught classes at CalArts and Cal State Northridge. Since 2014, she has been the Producing Artistic Director at Northwest Theatre Workshop (NWTW). Through the NWTW Create and Develop programs, she teaches play analysis, leads new play development workshops, and tests new work development models and techniques.

Northwest Theatre Workshop (NWTW) seeks to cultivate, refine and expand the process of creating and developing new work for the theatre. We do this through education, workshops and performances that result in professional level work, that honors the individual and collaborative spirits of the art form, and that connects each artistic work and its civic purpose with the community.

ABOUT National New Play Network's (NNPN) Collaboration Fund
INGENIO Milagro 2018 is supported by the National New Play Network's (NNPN)Collaboration Fund. The Collaboration Fund supports innovative partnerships that explore the many different ways theater companies can work, both together and with playwrights, on the development of a new work. Programs such as INGENIO increase diversity in the playwriting field by giving opportunity to underrepresented voices, and NNPN is proud to be involved at the ground level in the development of new works and support emerging artists of color. NNPN's support allows Milagro to invite the playwrights to Portland for the week prior to the Play Fest to participate in rehearsals and workshops. In addition, it assists with the costs incurred with the travel and lodging for the host artist, marketing and facilities expense, and the stipend provided to directors, actors, and designer for the week of rehearsals.

Collaborations with the host artist Diana Burbano and the Northwest Theatre Workshop provide an excellent opportunity for NNPN to get involved at the ground level in the development of new works and support emerging artists of color. Find out more at

The Collins Foundation, James F & Marion L Miller Foundation, M J Murdock Charitable Trust, Meyer Memorial Trust, Ronni Lacroute, The Shubert Foundation, The Kinsman Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Regional Arts & Culture Council |Work For Art, Juan Young Trust, US Bank, EC Brown Foundation, The Jackson Foundation, El Hispanic News, A to Z Wineworks, Portland Roasting Company, Poster Garden.

ABOUT Milagro
As the premiere Latino arts and culture center of the Pacific Northwest since 1985, Milagro provides extraordinary Latino theatre, culture, and arts education for the enrichment of all communities. Milagro MainStage produces a full season of regional or world premieres, including one Spanish language play each year, as well as our long-running Día de Muertos signature production. Teatro Milagro, Milagro's touring and arts education program, presents its original bilingual plays and educational residencies to diverse and underserved communities across the nation. Milagro provides a home for Latino arts and culture at El Centro Milagro, where it enriches the local community with a variety of community engagement projects and educational programs designed to share the diversity of Latino culture. We entertain our audiences; we give them pause to think, feel and imagine; and, through the cultural lens of Latinidad, we reflect the full spectrum of humanity. For more information about Milagro, visit or call 503-236-7253.

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