DALLAS: Cara Mía Theatre (CMT) has named Virginia Grise as its playwright in residence. The three-year residency is supported through funding from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s and HowlRound Theatre Commons’ National Playwright Residency Program.
“We are always looking at how our work as artists, teachers and activists will further uplift Dallas communities and neighborhoods,” said executive artistic director David Lozano in a statement. “Virginia’s residency will only challenge us to take that further, integrating our activism into the art itself.”
Grise’s published work includes Your Healing Is Killing Me (Plays Inverse Press), blu (Yale University Press), The Panza Monologues, co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press), and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations With Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). In addition to plays, she has created a body of work that is interdisciplinary and includes multimedia performance, dance theatre, performance installations, guerrilla theatre, site-specific interventions, and community gatherings. Grise has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers, women’s prisons, and in the juvenile correction system. She is a recipient of the Yale Drama Award, Whiting Writers’ Award, the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, and the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship. Grise holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts.
For her first project with CMT, Grise will develop farm for meme, a play about a 14-acre urban farm built after the 1992 L.A. rebellion. On July 30, the play will be presented on Zoom in collaboration with allgo and Innovations in Socially Distant Performance at Princeton University. As part of the residency, Grise plans to collaborate with a cohort of women of color in Dallas to develop work inspired by conversations with local communities about land and autonomy.
“We are at a unique historical and political moment,” said Grise in a statement. “A global pandemic, coupled with the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd and the national movement to defund the police, present opportunities for us to not just reimagine theatre but to collectively imagine and build a more just world.”
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