As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s take a look at 10 plays you should definitely explore this month!

Lydia by Octavio Solis

First up is Octavio Solis’ magical-realist play, Lydia, which penetrates deep into the dynamic of a Mexican immigrant family caught in a web of dark secrets. As a heads up, this play contains strong language and nudity, so move on if that’s not for you!

Letters From Cuba by María Irene Fornés

Based on three decades of letters Maria Irene Fornes received from her brother in Havana, Letters from Cuba moves from New York City to Cuba at the turn of the twenty-first century. The play is a quietly beautiful exploration of the basic connections and separations between people and across borders, through an ethereal, dreamy lens.

Mojada by Luis Alfaro

Another play with a touch of magical realism! Luis Alfaro’s lyrical and provocative adaptation of the Greek drama The Medea re-frames Euripdes’ narrative in the complicated landscape of present-day Los Angeles. If updated revamps of Greek tragedies are your thing, be sure to also check out his play Electricidad (listed below)!

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Real Women Have Curves by Josefina Lopez

We’re heading back to 1987 with Real Women Have Curves, as five Latina women work, laugh, gossip, and hide from immigration in a sewing factory in East Los Angeles. You can also watch the 2002 film adaptation!

Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz

The recipient of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Anna in the Tropics takes us back to the 1920s. In a cigar factory in Ybor City, Florida, a Cuban-American family finds themselves battling infidelity, money problems, and violence, which come to the surface following the arrival of the factory’s new lector, Juan Julian.

Water By the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes

It’s another Pulitzer Prize winner, 2012 this time! In a Puerto Rican neighborhood in North Philly, chat room moderator Odessa Ortiz’s real-life family is falling apart. Exploring issues of PTSD, identity crisis, and terminal illness, Water By the Spoonful is a powerful and compassionate look at the meaning of family.

Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez

Inspired by both the Sleepy Lagoon Murder Trial of Henry Leyvas in 1942 and the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, Luis Valdez weaves a heartbreaking dramatization of the treatment of young Mexican-American men in 1940s Los Angeles.

Ashes of Light (La Luz de un Cigarrillo) by Marco Antonio Rodriguez

Photo credit Anthony Ruiz.

Ashes of Light is an impassioned portrait of a family in crisis. The 2018 play explores two estranged generations of Dominicans living in New York City.

Electricidad by Luis Alfaro

Luis Alfaro’s update of the classic Greek tragedy Electra transforms Argos into contemporary Los Angeles. An intoxicating mix of mythology and urban drama, this intense and challenging play follows the plot points of its historical counterparts, while allowing more space for each of the characters to truly expose the emotional ramifications of their decisions.

Pico De Gallo: Comedy Con Spice by Marco Antonio Rodriguez

Let’s end our list with a comedy! Pico De Gallo is a comedy / cabaret style show that looks at the “Melting Pot” that is the United States and explores what ultimately brings all of our different cultures together: FOOD! With an array of diverse and eclectic characters, prepare to enter the Pico De Gallo restaurant, open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pico De Gallo. Photo by Jorge Martinez.

Happy reading!

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