November 22, 2000

Alfonso Wins Arizona Theatre Co.'s 6th Annual Latino Award

By Mayra Consuelo

The Arizona Theatre Company, in association with Centro Cultural Mexicano de Phoenix, selectied Alfonso Ramirez's drama, "The Eskimo Way" as the winner of the 2000 National Latino Playwriting Award. Ramirez was awarded $1,000.

The Eskimo Way is a five-character Latino drama with comic elements, set in a San Francisco communal apartment. Ramirez tells the story of a man with advanced AIDS who opts for euthanasia rather than putting those who love him through the pain of watching him die. After enlisting the help of his roommates in executing his plan, he finds his solution is not so easy. His roommates disagree on the morality of his choice, and everything that can go wrong does.

Ramirez was recently selected as one of three American writers to participate in an international exchange between Mexico and the United States. "The Eskimo Way" received a staged reading at the Puerto Rican Travelling Theatre. His play The Watermelon Factory was produced at Nosotros Theater in Los Angeles and will appear in the upcoming anthology, "Unveiling AIDS: Theater, Art & Activism." Some of his other plays include "Colonial Spanish", "Baptism by Fire", "Todos Santos", and "Water Signs." He is the two-time recipient of the Isadora Aguirre Playwrit-ing Award in San Francisco, and has participated in residencies hosted by the Edward Albee Foundation, The Millay Colony, and Yaddo.

The National Latino Play-writing Award was established by Arizona Theatre Company and Centro Cultural Mexicano de Phoenix to create a greater awareness of the work being done by Latino playwrights. Recent recipients of the Award are Guillermo Reyes, Luis Alfaro and Luis Santeiro.

Latino playwrights residing in the United States, its territories, or Mexico are encouraged to submit scripts for the 2001 Award. The deadline for new submissions is November 30, 2000. Each script will be read and evaluated by a culturally diverse panel of theatre artists. Finalists will be judged by ATC artistic staff and a representative of Centro Cultural Mexicano de Phoenix. The winner will be awarded $1,000 and will be considered for ATC's GENESIS: New Play Reading Series.

Scripts may be in English, English and Spanish, or solely in Spanish. (Spanish language and bilingual scripts must be accompanied by an English translation.) Plays must be unpublished, unproduced by the time of submission. Full-length and one-act plays (minimum length, 50 pages) on any subject will be accepted. Scripts will be read by a culturally diverse panel of theatre artists and the award-winning play will be selected from a group of finalists by ATC's senior artistic staff and a representative of Centro Cultural Mexicano de Phoenix.

Playwrights must submit one securely bound script, including the play's title and the author's name on the front page, a one-page cover letter describing the play's developmental history and any other relevant information about the play and a self-addressed stamped envelope for the script's return. Submissions must be postmarked by November 30, 2000 to: Arizona Theatre Company National Latino Playwriting Award, Attn: Elaine Romero, Playwright-in-Residence, 40 E 14th St., Tucson, AZ 85701 The winner will be notified by August 1, 2001.

For more information about the National Latino Playwriting Award, call Elaine Romero, ATC's Playwright-in-Residence at (520) 884-8210.

Reprinted from Latino Impact, Volume 1, Issue 19, November 8, 2000

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