Marfa Live Arts staged reading with playwrights – virtual edition

MARFA — Marfa Live Arts presents an online performance to recognize Marfa High School playwrights and to commemorate the launch of their book 21 Short Plays for the 21st Century by Marfa Shorthorns on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

The virtual staged reading will contain excerpts from this newly published book (No Passport Press) brought to life by former Marfa Live Arts playwrights in residence alumni: Diana Burbano, Georgina Escobar, Raul Garza and Mónica Sánchez.

Mónica Sánchez shared her favorite memory of working with Marfa students during her time here last year, “I was amazed at the focus that the students brought to class every day. It is astounding to me that they wrote complete short plays!” She continues, “I remember fondly particular enthusiasm when we ‘wrote’ a play as a class after an inspired discussion about where a play can take place. I have to give credit to Carmen Rivera and Candido Tirado who turned me on to ‘The Enclosed Space,’ the exercise that I based that group-write on. I will also always be indebted to the students’ restaurant recommendations with Dairy Queen at the top of the list!”

In its ninth year, the Marfa Live Arts playwriting program continues to evolve at MISD, and the student’s level of writing is more markedly advanced with each year. Sánchez discussed how the skills students learn over the years will serve them not only now but into the future, “Artists are problem solvers (and problem makers)! The action of organizing one’s thoughts and translating them to the page is a skill that translates to almost every academic, professional and creative endeavor they will embark on. Just as importantly (if not more so) as the capacity to think on paper is the cultivation of one’s imagination and the agency that making art can provide for the artist and the artist’s community.”

Sánchez’s advice to students now during the COVID-19 pandemic is to “Read, write, listen, observe, think about writing, give yourself time to dream.”

21 Short Plays for the 21st Century contains 21 award-winning plays written during the Spring 2019 Playwriting Program led by playwright Mónica Sánchez. The Shorthorns in this collection are: Febi Brimhall; Georgina Brugette (Class of 2019); Adrian Cataño; Odalys Chacon; Tais Chanez, Ana Guerra, Elena Hernandez, Alyanna Hernandez, Levi Hinojos, Shelby Laviers, Luis Lozano (Class of 2019), Brooks Marginot, Ian Marquez, Juan Martinez, Isabella Morales, Eduardo Ocon (Class of 2019), Cristian Ontiveros, Yessenia Sanchez Duran (Class of 2019), Uriel Torres, Andrea Torres, and Ruben D. Watts-Ortiz.

​Since 2011, Marfa Live Arts has taught the playwriting program at MISD. The program emphasizes skills that build critical thinking while helping kids gain self-confidence in finding and expressing their inner voice. This week via an online platform, the 2020 guest playwright Caridad Svich is facilitating a series of writing exercises with students who will each write their own unique one-act play. To date, the playwriting program has produced over 825 student-written plays.

The Staged Reading performance is Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. It is a free event and open to the public. To join the virtual audience go to: