Skip to main content
KPBS arts banner graphic


SPONSORSHIP | Become a sponsor today!

Latinx New Play Festival


  • WHEN Multiple dates from Sep 4 - Sep 6, 2020[days & times]
  • WHERE Virtual / San Diego REP
    Map | Website
  • AGES Not available
  • COST Free - $250

Reserve your festival pass here.

San Diego Repertory Theatre and Amigos del REP are proud to announce the lineup for the Fourth Annual San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival streamed live online, September 4-6, 2020. Below is the schedule of the 2020 Latinx New Play Festival including the four staged readings and the festival showcase production of Spanking Machine.

Festival passes will be available soon. We highly value the work of our Latinx New Play Festival artists. So that we can continue to support the festival and its artists, we suggest that $50 is a fair value price for this year’s festival pass. However, it is equally important to us that anyone who wants to access the festival and the plays presented is able to do so. Feel free to select a price option, between $0 and $100, that best suits you and your current circumstances. Information on how to view the readings, spotlight performance and other events will be included in your purchase confirmation email.

Curious about how this year's festival will be presented? Click here to watch a short video!

All times listed are PDT.

Friday, September 4th
4:00pm Directing Panel*
5:00pm Machine Learning by Francisco Mendoza
7:00pm Opening Reception*

Saturday, September 5th
11:00am Designer Showcase*
12:00pm Sapience by Diana Burbano
2:00pm Dramaturgy Panel*
3:00pm Extreme Home Makeover by Makasha Copeland
6:00pm Spanking Machine written and performed by Marga Gomez

Sunday, September 6th
11:00am Frontera Project Panel*
12:00pm Historical Context Panel*
1:00pm The Cucuy Will Find You by Jaymes Sanchez
3:00pm Closing Playwrights Panel*

*Panel descriptions provided below play summaries

'Machine Learning' - Friday Sept. 4 at 5:00 p.m.
When his estranged, alcoholic father is diagnosed with liver cancer, computer scientist Jorge dreams up a nursing app to manage the disease in his stead. As the machine's capabilities grow, however, the possibility of leaving it in charge of the treatment becomes more real, forcing Jorge to reckon with his responsibilities as a son—and as a creator.

Francisco Mendoza (Playwright) is an Argentinian writer currently living in Brooklyn, NY after spending several years in Brazil. His work has been developed or presented at The Lark, The New Group, the MacDowell Colony, and Northern Stage, among others. His scripts include stage plays Machine Learning (Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting), Tooth for Tooth (Finalist, Sundance Theater Lab; Finalist, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship), and Patriarch; TV pilot Land Most Loved (Finalist, Sundance Lab); and podcast Hairy Legs Hannah's Feminist Quarter-Hour, which he co-wrote and directed after a successful Kickstarter campaign. MFA - Tisch School of the Arts.

'Sapience' - Saturday, Sept. 5 at 12:00 p.m.
Elsa is a doctor of Primatology who has up-until-now, successfully concealed her diagnosis of Autism. She is currently working at a zoo with an orangutan named Wookie, who she believes is capable of speaking a human language. Elsa’s 12 year old nephew, A.J., is also Autistic, but is unable to communicate verbally. A.J. and Wookie soon discover that they can communicate in mysterious ways, which completely disrupts Elsa’s research and theories. A.J. teaches Wookie that she is mortal and will die someday. This is a brand new concept to the animal, and Wookie falls into despair to the point of near death. Wookie’s death would be catastrophic to Elsa. She is forced to confront the value of A.J.’s mode of communication and her reluctance to embrace her own Autism.

Diana Burbano (Playwright), a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. Works: Ghosts of Bogota, commission by AlterTheater, winner NuVoices Festival Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Policarpa, Semi-finalist Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Festival 2018, Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2018, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan lab 2017, Drama League Rough Draft series May 2017, Honorable Mention, Jane Chambers Award 2017, Parsnip Ship 2017. Fabulous Monsters, Latinx New Play Festival, San Diego REP 2017, Festival 51 2016 winner Picture me Rollin’, 35th William Inge Festival, Inkfest/2cents, Silueta, (about Ana Mendieta), with Tom and Chris Shelton, Caliban’s Island (TYA) 2017 Headwaters New Play Festival at Creede Repertory. (Published by YouthPLAYS). Linda was written for the 365 Women a Year project and has been featured in more than 20 festivals over the last year, including Center Theatre Group’s community library series. She was a writer for Center Theatre Group’s Chisme y Queso series, Rogue Artists Plummer Park project and Kaiser Permanente’s Educational touring show. She has a commission with Alter Theatre in San Rafael and is part of Center Theatre Group’s Writers Workshop for 2018-2019.

'Extreme Home Makeover' - Saturday Sept. 5 at 3:00 p.m.
Every year, thousands of families apply for a reality TV show that promises a rags-to-riches transformation for America's most deserving citizens. With such steep competition, the Vega family must fight to make their video application stand out. Makasha Copeland's gritty comedy begs the question - in a world where so many receive so little, how much do miracles cost?

Makasha Copeland (Playwright) is a playwright and comedian whose work focuses on the televisual, Tejano history, and positionality of the audience. Original works include Extreme Home Makeover, an earnest satire that received the 2019 Agnes Nixon award. Copeland’s farce Fabuloso! received a workshopped reading with Vertigo Productions. Additionally, Copeland is a seasoned improviser, performing at Northwestern University with The Titanic Players, Out Da Box, and Mee-Ow, as well as performances at iO and Second City with femme sketch group Resting Witch Face. They are a recent graduate from Northwestern University where they studied Playwriting, Latinx Studies, and majored in Theatre.

'Spanking Machine' - Saturday Sept. 5 at 6:00 p.m.
In In Spanking Machine GLAAD Award-winning writer/performer Marga Gomez shifts across gender, latitudes and generations in a darkly comic memoir about the first boy she ever sloppy-kissed and how it made them gay forever. “His real name was Agamemnon Perez Jr. but he shortened it to “Scotty” because he thought Agamemnon sounded too Cuban.” By turns funny and disturbing, Gomez recounts growing up brown and queer in Washington Heights, sadistic nuns on poppers, tender vampires, childhood misdemeanors, parental post-nasal drip, fear, sexual assault and suppressed memory.

Development on Spanking Machine began with Gomez and original director and dramaturg Adrian Alea in March 2019 when it was chosen for residency at Syracuse Stage’s “Cold Read Festival” and continued through 2019 and 2020 with workshops at Elgin Illinois Fringe Festival, and a July 2020 commisioned livestreaming engagement at Dixon Place, NYC. It was also slated for a three week run at Brava Theater, San Francisco which was postponed on opening night due to the pandemic.

"No Zoom window could possibly contain the outsize personality of Marga Gomez" -New York Times

Marga Gomez (Playwright & Performer) is the writer/performer of thirteen solo plays which have been presented nationally, Off-Broadway and internationally. She “returns” to Dixon Place for her second commissioned work following her 2015 critically acclaimed premiere of “POUND” (directed by David Schweizer.) She is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award and Theatre LA’s Ovation Award. Her acting credits include theatre roles: Campo Santos San Francisco production of “Translating Selena” (January 2020) Off-Broadway Ars Nova production of “Dr. Rides American Beach House” (November 2019) television: “Sense8” (Netflix) and film: “Sphere” (Warner Brothers.) Marga teaches solo performance online and in San Francisco at The Kearny Street Workshop, A.C.T and Brava. NBC named her one of eleven “Out Latinos you should know.” Selections from Gomez’s work have been published in several anthologies including Extreme Exposure (TCG Books), HOWL (Crown Press), Out Loud & Laughing (Anchor Books), Contemporary Plays by American Women of Color (Routledge.)

'The Cucuy Will Find You' - Sunday, Sept. 6 at 1:00 p.m.
Embedded within Mexican-American folklore, the Cucuy is a dark entity known for eating bad, disobedient people. But what does it mean to be a good person? For a successful 30-something year old, like Rey, the Cucuy could disrupt Rey's life and the very fabric of reality, Rey must prove that they are a good person. But it isn’t easy; Rey avoids travelling to visit their grandmother, Leti, even though Rey’s father insists her health is quickly declining. As Rey tries to affirm the life Rey has built away from home, The Cucuy confronts Rey with the past, present, and future.

Jaymes Sanchez (Playwright) is a Texan playwright and theatre artist. Jaymes's play The Cucuy Will Find You was featured in the Lark's Playwrights' Week 2019 and will be featured in Teatro Vivo’s 2020 Latinx New Play Festival. Soda From Water Cups was a finalist for the Latinx Theatre Commons' 2018 Carnaval of New Latinx work. Who Owns What was featured in Artists’ Theater of Boston’s production of This Place/Displaced. Jaymes was a member of the Company One Playlab in 2018 and 2019. Jaymes is pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Panel Descriptions: All artists involved in engagement events are listed below.

Opening Reception - Friday Sept. 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Stay for informal networking, games, and music. Meet the festival artists and connect with other theatre professionals.

Designer Showcase - Saturday Sept. 5 at 11:00 a.m.
Meet an array of BIPOC designers, see and sample their design work. Hosted by Christopher Scott Murillo.

Historical Context Panel - Sunday Sept. 6 at 12:00 p.m.
Learn about the history of Latinx Theatre from celebrated theatre scholars Dr. Jade Power-Sotomayor, Dr. Trevor Boffone, Dr. Brian Herrera, Dr. Patricia Herrera and Dr. Olga Sanchez Saltveit.

Frontera Project Panel - Sunday Sept. 6 at 11 a.m.
"The Frontera Project" by Bárbara Perrín Rivemar, directed by Ramón Verdugo and Jessica Bauman

People cross the US/Mexico border in both directions for so many reasons - school, family, food, work, love and hope. Yet most of what we are told by the media and politicians doesn't begin to capture the complex realities of peoples' lives at La Frontera. In "The Frontera Project," a company of artists from Tijuana, San Diego and New York create a theatrical and imaginative piece based on these often-invisible Border stories.

Las personas cruzan la frontera México/Estados Unidos en ambas direcciones por muchas razones: escuela, familia, comida, trabajo, amor y esperanza. Sin embargo esto no se revela en los discursos políticos y mediáticos, dejando fuera múltiples realidades de las personas que viven en La Frontera. En "The Frontera Project" un grupo de artistas de Tijuana, San Diego y New York se reúnen para crear una pieza teatral y imaginativa basada en algunas de estas historias poco contadas.

Directing panel - Friday Sept. 4 at 4:00 p.m.
Learn from a team of professional theatre directors as they consider the new and shifting role of technology in live performance. Moderated by Juliana Kliest Mendez and featuring Dr. Daphnie Sicre and Robert Castro.

Dramaturgy panel - Saturday Sept. 5 at 2:00 p.m.
Join a conversation led by Dr. Tiffany Lopez and Dr Chantal Rodriguez, two leading scholars and Latinx dramaturgs. They will speak with the 2020 festival dramaturgs and field questions about the state of Latinx theatre.

Closing Playwrights Panel - Sunday Sept. 6 at 3:00 p.m.
San Diego REP Literary Manager Danielle Ward will lead a conversation with the 2020 festival playwrights. The playwrights will speak about their writing processes, how they approach working in a virtual rehearsal room and then the conversation will open to audience questions.

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending. Check local COVID-19 restrictions and updates.

SPONSORSHIP | Become a sponsor today!