Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From Howlround. I am proud to be on this fierce list!
“Where can we find Latina/o plays?” “Who’s writing?” “What’s new in that crazy scene?” At a tipping point for the American theatre—during which the centralizing theme of last year’s TCG Conference and this year’s LORT Conferences is equity and inclusion, the TCG-led Diversity and Inclusion Institute is creating momentum across the country, seemingly every theatrical union (AEA, SDC, USITT) and organization (TCG, LORT, Broadway League, Grantmakers for the Arts) have crafted statements and action-plans towards creating equity and inclusion in the American theatre—well, these questions are more than questions. They are crucial inquiry towards the creation of an American theatre that accurately reflects the citizenry of the United States in the twenty-first century.
On November 1 2013, I published a HowlRound post titled “Towards a Hub for Latina/o Theater Artists” detailing the void left by the 2003 and 2004 losses of the Hispanic Playwrights Project (HPP) at South Coast Rep and the Latino Theatre Initiative (LTI) at the Mark Taper Forum. HPP, under the curatorship of José Cruz Gonzalez and then Juliette Carrillo and LTI, under co-directors Luis Alfaro and Diane Rodriguez, created magnetic centers for new Latina/o work. They not only provided a nexus for artists to cross-pollinate, they provided theatre decision-makers from around the country a yearly roster of Latina/o plays and writers to take note of. When HPP and LTI disappeared, that easily accessible roster of new plays and artists disappeared as well and the crucial questions raised above became challenging for the average theatremaker to answer.

It is my hope that Carnaval 2015—which is an initiative of the Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC) and will run July 23-25 at the Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago—will make answering these questions easy. The morning after the submissions window closed at midnight on January 31, the LTC Selection Committee* awoke to an embarrassment of riches: eighty-eight new plays by some of the most exciting voices in the American theatre. The LTC had committed early on to producing readings of eight plays and the winnowing process was grueling. The committee went through three rounds of readings—reducing the selections from eighty-eight, to thirty-six, to nineteen plays. Last week the LTC announced that twelve plays would be featured in Carnaval 2015—eight in readings, and four others to be honored and distributed to all attendees. Frankly, the committee, despite the one weekend time limitation of the Carnaval, did not want to settle on eight. The field is too rich. The twelve plays to be showcased at Carnaval 2015 are just the tip of the iceberg. 
The totality of the plays submitted for consideration represents the depth and breadth of artistic ambition within the Latina/o theatremaking community. The selections for Carnaval 2015 point to a deeper pool of talent. Carnaval 2015 intends to call attention to that pool and encourage theatres to both update their literary rosters and reinvigorate their curiosity about the new Latina/o theatre. With these goals in mind, please allow me to introduce you to thirty-six plays and writers that everyone should know.

For a complete list of submissions, or for copies of complete scripts contact LTC Producer Abigail Vega here.
  • Mando Alvarado, Parachute Men
  • Elena Araoz, Two Arts and a Noise
  • Ari Belathar, La Danza del Venado
  • Ricardo Bracho, When the Chunt Comes
  • Diana Burbano, Fabulous Monsters
  • Fernanda Coppel, King Liz**
  • Migdalia Cruz, Satyricoño
  • Georgina Escobar, Sweep
  • Joann Farias, Adventures in Pornography
  • Estela Garcia, Remedios Varo: La Alquimista
  • Amparo Garcia-Crow, Appeal: A Musical in Two Acts
  • Anne Garcia-Romero, Mary Peabody in Cuba
  • Isaac Gomez, The Women of Juarez
  • Magdalena Gomez, Perfectamente Loca/Perfectly Insane
  • Vicki Grise, Siempre Norteada: Always Late, Always Lost
  • Andrea Herrera, Pearl of the Antilles
  • Darrel Alejandro Holnes, The Homecoming
  • Melinda Lopez, Back the Night
  • Carlos Morton, Brown Buffalo
  • Matthew Paul Olmos, the livin’ life of daughter mira
  • Marisela Treviño Orta, Wolf at the Door
  • Milta Ortiz, Mas
  • Christina Quintana, Evensong
  • Jelisa “Jay” Robinson, Back with the Black and Down with the Brown
  • Diane Rodriguez, The Sweetheart Deal
  • Emilio Rodriguez, Swimming While Drowning
  • Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Barcelo on the Rocks
  • J. Anthony Roman, In Justice
  • Elaine Romero, Wetback
  • Octavio Solis, Mother Road
  • Caridad Svich, This Thing of Ours
  • Andrea Thome, The Necklace of the Dove
  • Karen Zacarías, Into the Beautiful North
  • Martín Zimmerman, Stranger
*The LTC Carnaval 2015 Selection Committee included:
  • Juliette Carrillo, Director, former Artistic Director of the Hispanic Playwrights Project
  • Jose Carrasquillo, Director
  • Sandra Delgado, Actor/writer/producer, Co-Artistic Director, Collaboraction Theatre
  • Teresa Marreo (Spanish-Language plays), Associate Professor of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of North Texas
  • Irma Mayorga, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Dartmouth College
  • Marc Pinate, Producing Director, Borderlands Theatre
  • Lisa Portes, Director, Head of MFA Directing, The Theatre School at DePaul University
** King Liz was removed from consideration for Carnaval 2015 because it will receive its world premiere at Second Stage in New York this summer.
- See more at:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Congratulations Joan Jett on your induction into the rock and roll hall of fame!

In honor of Joan, here are some monologues she inspired:

Monologues for Woman 40's-50's
Fabulous Monsters Outakes
Copyright Diana Burbano 2015


If you use them, let me know!


I've read a lot of books by my friends. the ones who survived. Describing the scene, ya know? The ones who lived, we feel like we are the last word of the history. What pisses me off is that since SO many people are dead, that the only ones writing the history are the poser assholes who made it out alive. I guess I'm one of them.

It's really cool, to slag people off. 'specially people like Patti and Debbie. Jesus, when don't you read that Debbie and Belinda "got fat"? Everyone "got fat"! man. we had no money to buy food, what money we had we spent on drugs, and one show burnt about a million calories. Start acting like a norm, and the weight comes on pretty fast. The people I know now, especially if Ive reconnected. It amazes me that so many of the people we considered geniuses were fucking mentally ill. We were a chic insane asylum. Didn't bathe? Collected Nazi memorabilia? Fucked 10 groupies a night? Geniuses. I recently saw a guy I knew walking outside what used to be Ed's in DTLA. He lived in a loft, but not one of those yuppified toy district lofts, he lived in a flophouse on the edge of Chinatown. The place was CRAMMED with junk. Clothes in piles to the ceiling. Cat shit everywhere. He had 3 gold records covered in dust and god knows what. He spent most of his time in bed playing Call of Duty. He used to be something big, but he was always a freak. His girlfriend used to pull me aside and remind me that he was a genius. Even back then i thought he was a wacko.


I did get royalties, ya know. But we signed away every right we had. A pretty well known chick director wanted to use one of my tunes in her movie. That was a substantial check. I paid off my parents house! But then it was gone. Ive never been good with money.
Here's the problem. This shit just fizzles out. You're young you play your guts out. You spark, someone wants to record you! You tour, you cut an album. Path diverges. 1 you burn out and go back to school. 2 you die of an overdose. 3 you tour some more. Path diverges. touring sucks so you quit. You kill yourself. or you cut another album. No one buys it. You quit and go do something else. Or you kill yourself. ad infinitum. It's either death or normality. If you are the one half of the one percent who keeps going. It's cause yer mad. So what? So you get your pleasure where you can. Drugs are good. They make thing pretty for a while. Anything you do for self preservation is sort of a cop out. You are chill, or you are a person who enjoys shaudenfarude. Wanna know how people died? They OD'd but there's a lot of things that can happen. You don't necessarily die cause the drugs stop your heart. You choke on a sandwich. Or puke. You drown in your bathtub. You slice your arm open on the glass you threw and bleed out cause you're too high to notice. OR you do the other thing and top yourself, Hanging is popular. It's fairly simple and self explanatory, and If you are high while doing it it doesn't feel so bad. Cutting is harder, but only because human flesh is surprisingly tough. Shooting yourself, or your girlfriend. Stabbing your girlfriend. That was like a theme. I knew someone who ate glass. that didn't work so much. Drinking weed killer works but rots your insides a bit slowly so the death is agony. Disease killed a lot of us. AIDS mostly. No surprise how many people we lost, but MAN some people must've had immune systems of iron to get out alive. Bowie and Iggy. How the FUCK did they survive intact? Lessee... I knew a girl who was eaten by her cats, but we think she died from an OD first. sometimes I get together with friends from the early days and we try to figure out how many of our friends are dead. Last time we stopped counting at 57. It was too fucking depressing. Now that we are old, Cancer is eating up a lot of us. The chicks seem to get a lot of breast cancer. But that's possibly just the population at large and rock chicks aren't special. Or maybe our guitars are fucking us up.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Auditions for OC-centric: Orange County's New Play Festival

Monday, March 16 • 6:30-10:30pm @ Chapman University's Entertainment Technology Center, Room 103 (ETC 103)
607 W. Palm Avenue, Orange, CA 92866
(1/2 mile west of the main Chapman campus)
Callbacks: Saturday/Sunday, March 21-22, 10:00am-4:00pm @ Chapman University. (Different shows will be called back on different days; you may be called back for more than one play.)
**Auditions are by appointment. To schedule an audition within the time frame on March 16, please call (714) 628-7219 or email
**Please prepare a 90-second monologue from a contemporary play and bring 6 headshots with resumes (or just 6 resumes if you don't have headshots).
Performances are Aug. 20-30 @ Chapman University. Rehearsals begin in July @ Chapman University. There is some pay.
Fabulous Monsters by Diana Burbano – Sally, F to play 17, Latina, androgynous punk rocker; Slade, F, 50, Latina, Sally at 50, still angry, still punk; Lou, F to play 17, Latina, ambitious feminist, sweet voice, adept at guitar; Luisa, F, 50, Latina, Lou at 50, rock star living in Topanga Canyon; Kady, F to play 17, Luisa’s complicated, conniving daughter; Nigel, M, “ageless”, British punk icon. 

Grace Note by Robert Riemer – Dad, M, 50s, bald, restless, discouraged with life; Norman, M, late 50s, cynical with hidden demons, uses wheelchair; Michael, M, early 20s, tall, intelligent, sensitive; Christopher, late 20s, thin, stutters, disturbed; Mama, F, 40s-50s, a ghost; Lauren, F to play 17, a ghost.
Spoken Allowed by David Scaglione – Clark, M, 50+, physically weary, fed up with Lisa; Lisa, F, 30s, pretty yet hard-edged, fed up with Clark. 

Love’s Lost Words by Leonard Joseph Dunham – Harold, M, early 20s, awkward math major; Rita, F, early 20s, poetry major; Murray, M, late 60s-early 70s, loudmouth, touch of dementia; Martha, M, late 60s-early 70s, Harold’s wife, pillar of tired strength. 

Corrupt Impressions by Joni Ravenna – Brian, M to play 18-19, arrogant, prejudiced; Cole, M to play 18-19, bespectacled nice guy; Rajim, M to play 18-19, Indian-American, mature, upstanding; Katrina, F, mid-30s, college professor given to provocative teaching methods; Mr. Mittal, M, late 30s, Rajim’s dad, Indian-American, principled, great integrity; The Chancellor, F, mid-40s, pragmatic college officer. 

HamlEt (devised theatre project, directed by Tamiko Washington) - Hamlet, M to play 20-25; Ophelia, F to play 17-25; Gertrude, F to play 40-45; Polonius, M to play 50-60; Laertes, M to play 20-35; Horatio, M to play 20-25. 
**See the scripts online @
Make your audition appointment for March 16 now at (714) 628-7219 or!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Fabulous Monsters at Los Angeles Theatre Center
Latino Theatre Alliance/Los Angeles 1st Inaugural Playwrights Nest Festival
Feb 7 2015

Jennifer Parsons as Luisa
Diana Burbano as Slade
Preston Maybank as Nigel
Minerva Vier as Lulu
Anahi Bustillos as Sally
Julianna Stephanie Ojada as Kady