The Subtext: Isaac Gomez

The playwright talks about growing up the border and his play ‘La Ruta,’ currently running at Steppenwolf Theatre.

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.

Isaac Gomez.

This month Brian has a conversation with Isaac Gomez, a Chicago-based playwright from El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

As he grew up on the border, Isaac was made constantly aware of the differences in opportunities between him and family members who just happened to be born 10 miles away in Mexico. This upbringing had a profound impact on Isaac and deeply influences his writing, though it took moving away and returning to fully see what life on border really meant.

Isaac originally went to college to study acting, but a friend’s suicide freshman year forced him to confront his own depression and suicidal ideology, which he channeled into playwriting for the first time. That play, written a decade ago, became the stepping for La Ruta, now receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago.

Isaac, who originally came to Chicago for an internship with the Goodman, then began working in new-play development and dramaturgy for five years at Victory Gardens, which he considers a sort of on-the-job graduate school before becoming a full time lecturer with the Theatre School at DePaul University.

Download the episode here.

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