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The Subtext: Carlos Murillo

A chat with the playwright and professor about his career in New York, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

The Subtext is a podcast where playwrights talk to playwrights about the things usually left unsaid. In a conversation that dives into life’s muck, we learn what irks, agitates, motivates, inspires, and ultimately what makes writers tick.

On this month’s episode of the Subtext, Brian visits Carlos Murillo in his office at the Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, where he talks about the crucial role Carlos played in his career.

Playwright Carlos Murillo. (Photo by Andrea Tichy for the Theatre School at DePaul University)

Carlos’s career, on the other hand, had a less specific beginning as he recounts what he calls his “Medieval Apprenticeship” that took him from a brief moment at Syracuse University to Circle Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, and the Public Theater. Carlos describes his time working with the legendary Maria Irene Fornes, and how a Jerome Fellowship with the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis gave his career its first boost.

Returning to New York after his fellowship resulted in the opportunity to work with Annie Hamburger’s En Garde Arts, where he met his wife, the director Lisa Portes, with whom he moved to Chicago in the early 2000s, and where they’ve lived ever since.

Carlos talks about challenging early collaborations with his wife, the shuttering of American Theater Company, and the relationship between the press and the Chicago theatre community.

Download the episode here. Subscribe to the Subtext on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or via its RSS feed.

Have thoughts to share? Email the podcast at or send a tweet to @SubtextPodcast.

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