Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya

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Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya
Lajas, Puerto Rico
OccupationShort story writer, playwright
NationalityPuerto Rican
Notable worksLa mano
Las facultades
Notable awardsPregones Asunción Playwrights Award

Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya (born 1965) is a Puerto Rican writer, performer, and theater director. He is the founding artistic director of Casa Cruz de la Luna, an experimental theater company and cultural center based in an old house in the historical district of San Germán, Puerto Rico.[1][2] He holds a PhD in theatre historiography from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and an MD from the Mayo Medical School.


Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya's father, B. Aravind Adyanthaya, was an orthopedic surgeon born in Mangalore, India; he died in 1971.[3] His mother, Dr. Angelita Ramírez, was born in the town of Lajas, Puerto Rico, and is a plastic surgeon in the southwest of the island.

Adyanthaya received his MD at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 1992. That same year he traveled to the southwest of India, where he did a rotation at St. John's Hospital in Bangalore. Soon after, he began graduate studies in theater at the University of Minnesota, leading to the doctor's degree in theater historiography. He wrote a dissertation on 18th century French public spectacles.[4]

Adyanthaya founded Casa Cruz de la Luna in Puerto Rico in 1997. This cultural center is located in an old building in the historic district of San Germán. Working with the Casa Cruz de la Luna Theater Company, Adyanthaya has done experimental staging of several plays by Federico García Lorca, of one of Miguel de Cervantes's exemplary novels, and of several stories by the Puerto Rican author Pepe Liboy. Adyanthaya has also written about San Germán.[5]

Artistic style[edit]

Adyanthaya's theories and practices of escritura acto (writing act) propose a way of conceiving the stage as a ground of multiple lines of communication and miscommunication in which the live production and reception of mediated written and spoken words converge.[6] Adyanthaya began to develop this new poetics based on live, on-stage computerized writing in 2002. It is implemented through a series of one-man shows in which the author writes the text in front of the audience on a computer that is projected on a screen. Prometheus Bound, his best-known piece, approaches the tragedy of Aeschylus. In another piece, The Library, based on the story "The Library of Babel" by Jorge Luis Borges, Adyanthaya makes use of the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery in Old San Juan to explore the notion of deposits. In 2009, he expanded the techniques of writing act in creating The Marquis de Sade Is Afraid of the Sea.

As a writer of fiction, Adyanthaya's first book of stories, Lajas (2002), took well-known stories of his family as a starting point. The result was a kaleidoscopic, fantastic, bizarre, vision of his hometown. Lajas won the first prize of the PEN Club of Puerto Rico and the Ateneo Puertorriqueño literary competition. In his second book of fiction The Hand (2010), Adyanthaya explores medical, mystical, everyday, and unintelligible events.


  • Hagiografías (Hagiographies), a series exploring the notion of quotidian sainthood (1998–2006)
  • Íconos de Vellonera (Jukebox Icons): winner of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture's Playwriting Award (2004)
  • Las facultades / The Faculties, winner of the 2007 International Playwriting Award from Casa del Teatro, Dominican Republic, and the 2008 Asunción Prize from Pregones Theater
  • Quisimos tanto a Lydia, featured at the 2008 Latin American Theatre Today Congress
  • Prometheus Bound (based on Aeschylus' tragedy), shown as a special presentation at the American Society for Theatre Research 2009 Conference
  • The Marquis de Sade Is Afraid of the Sea, an "escritura acto" ensemble piece, which toured universities in Puerto Rico in 2009
  • La Mano (The Hand), a musical theatre/performance piece which premiered in Puerto Rico in 2010 and in New York City in 2011[7]


  • La Mano (collection of short stories and one-act plays), Concepción 8 Press, San Germán (2010) ISBN 978-0-9820404-2-3
  • The Faculties / Las facultades (playscript with prologue, bilingual edition), Concepción 8 Press, San Germán (2010) ISBN 978-0-9820404-1-6
  • La ciudad de vidrio / The Glass City (children's story), English and Spanish editions, Alfaguara, San Juan (2009)
  • El X-mático / X-matic (children's story), English and Spanish editions, Alfaguara, San Juan (2009)
  • Monthly column in the weekly Claridad, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2004)
  • A Chinese Tale (playscript), Alexander Street Press, Virginia (2003)
  • The Mystery of the Birds (playscript), Playscripts Inc., New York (2003)
  • Lajas (short stories / performance text), Isla Negra Editores, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2002) ISBN 1-881715-97-3


Adyanthaya has been awarded a Jerome Playwriting Fellowship and a McKnight Advancement Grant, both from the Playwrights' Center; a Jerome Performance Art Fellowship by Intermedia Arts and an Artist of Color Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. For his play The Faculties, he received the Pregones Theater's Asunción Prize and First Prize in Theatre at Casa de Teatro in the Dominican Republic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Playscripts, Inc. "Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya: Bio and Play Details.", retrieved November 8, 2011.
  2. ^ Casa Cruz de la Luna Home Page Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved November 8, 2011.
  3. ^ B.T.O'C. "B. Aravind Adyanthaya (1936-1971)." Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 1972; 54:1136-1136.
  4. ^ Adyanthaya, Aravind Enrique. "Pathologizing Gilles: Discursive Bodies in Thomas-Simon Gueullette's Parades and 18th Century Parisian Fairground Spectacles." PhD dissertation, University of Minnesota, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Adyanthaya, Aravind Enrique. "Suburbes, San Germán, Puerto Rico." Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine (Interactive website). El Cuarto del Quenepón, retrieved November 8, 2011.
  6. ^ "Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya." Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved November 8, 2011.
  7. ^ Theater for a New City. "La Mano." Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Dreamup Festival Website, retrieved November 8, 2011.