SILUETAS, a new musical, brings the stories of immigrants and refugees to the front. Conservative ex-house wife Dinora and activist-artist Khalilah move in together amidst a charged 2016 presidential campaign, the loosening of the Cuban embargo, and the escalation of the Syrian Civil War. Through their growing friendship, and a little guidance from the Ancestors, they learn about the importance of community, friendship, and forgiveness. With book and lyrics by Erlina Ortiz and music and lyrics by Robi Hager, SILUETAS captures the pain of displacement, the need for choice, and the uncertainty we all face when borders are more important than family.
Watch an excerpt of SILUETAS here!
Morir Sonyando by Erlina Ortiz, is a play about family and the grace we must choose to bestow on one another every day to keep alive.
“The first hit tears your skin and makes you bleed. It feels like the world has turned to spinning stars. But after that, you don’t feel much more.”
Genesis, an academic working her way through an Ivy League education, is proud of the fact that she’s survived her family’s dysfunction, if only just barely. But when her estranged mother, Paloma, is released from prison after a decade of incarceration, Genesis is forced to confront her involvement in the imprisonment and the life from which she has done her best to escape.
This play received one presentation with Power Street Theatre, and one professional production with Passage Theatre Company garnering six Barrymore award nominations including Outstanding New Play.
Las Mujeres, is a journey through time as we meet the famous Latinas of herstory's past. Marlene, a workaholic engineer who wouldn’t call herself a feminist, has just been the only woman at her firm promoted to a managerial position. After a devastating encounter, Marlene finds reality has faded away and her kitchen becomes... a party. The guests? Frida Kahlo, Rita Hayworth, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Minerva Mirabal. Don’t know them? You will. These remarkable women share their stories of art, and Revolucion! with the comfortable and complacent Marlene, but will she wake up?
This play received a presentation with my resident collective Power Street Theatre garnering recognition at the Bonaly Awards for Creation of Community Joy.
La Egoista explores the story of Josefina, a rising stand up comic who takes nothing seriously, and her very religious sister Betsaida who is suddenly diagnosed with a chronic illness.This surreal one act follows Josefina through her comedic sets as they unfold in conjunction with the deterioration of her sister's health. La Egoista uses comedy, puppets, magic, and memory to explore the cost of caregiving, the different ways we process grief, and how to find the right balance between selfless and selfish. La Egoista was commissioned by Live & In Color and presented at the 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval.
It went on to win the National Latine Playwrights Award and will be produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Skylight Theatre in winter 2023.
Tomasina AKA Kila - T is Hip-hop's newest chart topper. Elegant and prideful Gardenia has been laid off from her job of 20 years and now she cleans Kila’s dressing room. When an attack on Kila’s concert forces the two women together, questions of morality, success, and redemption are danced around as these women discover they may have more to learn from each other than they think.
YOUNG MONEY was produced at Azuka Theatre in Fall 2021 and received a citation for the 2022 ATCA New Play Award.
When the local University begins to buy houses in el barrio, the landscape of a diverse neighborhood starts to change. Block by block residents are pushed out of their homes, and the fabric of the community begins to come undone. Exploring what it means to be a ‘minority’ in modern day America, Erlina Ortiz’s MinorityLand is not about who is right or who is wrong - it’s about who has the power.
SHE WORE THOSE SHOES
Inspired by the documentary The Invisible War, Erlina Ortiz’s She Wore Those Shoes explores the prevailing issue of sexual assault within the United States military and the silence, stigma, and negligence that survivors often face.
Protagonist, Yudy, a strong and confident young Latina woman, excitedly joins the armed forces in pursuit of the military pride and prowess that her respected older brother Abraham represents.
Yudy’s high regard for her military “family,” however is deeply tarnished in the aftermath of trauma, as silence, disbelief, and betrayal ensue. Through memory, cadences, creative movement and unexpected humor, we follow Yudy’s journey as she navigates being a woman of color and veteran as well as something more than a victim of our pervasive rape culture.
HONEY BEE BABY
Melisa is a kind-hearted follower of rules. She desperately wants a child, if only she could pass the government mandated test that will allow her to do it. Young Clarisa knows nothing except the perfectly curated life her parents have carved for her in their fortified underground mansion. She too has a test to pass, if only she could focus, follow, listen; the way Mother wants her to. In the magical and disturbing Honey Bee Baby, the bees are gone, the resources are scarce, and every one must earn their place in this world where the lines between right and wrong are blurred with blood.