Carlos Murillo

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Carlos Murillo is an internationally produced American playwright, director, and professor of Puerto Rican and Colombian descent.[1] Based in Chicago, Murillo is a full professor and head of the Playwriting program at the Theatre School at DePaul University.[2] He is the recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award for his work in theatre as well as a 2016 Mellon National Playwright Residency Program fellowship at Adventure Stage. A proud alumnus of New Dramatists, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the MacDowell Colony. He is best known for his play Dark Play or Stories for Boys which premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville at the Humana Festival and has also been performed in Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and the US.[1]

His body of work has been widely produced throughout the United States and Europe.[3] Most recently, his play I Come from Arizona premiered at The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis.[4] His trilogy, The Javier Plays, published by 53rd State Press in 2016, was called by American Theatre “an absolutely extraordinary achievement from a writer at the height of his powers".[5] His plays include: Killing of a Gentleman Defender, Augusta and Noble, Your Name Will Follow You Home, A Thick Description of Harry Smith, Diagram of a Paper Airplane, Mayday Mayday Tuesday, dark play or stories for boys, Mimesophobia, A Human Interest Story, Offspring of the Cold War, Schadenfreude, and others. They have been seen at Repertorio Español, P73, the NYC Summer Playwrights Festival, En Garde Arts, Soho Rep, New Dramatists and The Public Theatre New Work Now! Festival in NYC. In Chicago his work has been seen at The Goodman, Steppenwolf First Look, Collaboraction, Adventure Stage, Walkabout Theatre, Theatre 7, and Chicago Playworks. In LA his plays have been seen at Theatre @ Boston Court, Circle X, and Son of Semele Ensemble. His plays have been commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Berkeley Rep, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, South Coast Rep, the University of Iowa International Writers Program, and have been developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New Dramatists, the Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval, and others. His work has been published by Dramatists Play Service, Broadway Play Publishing, Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Theatre Forum. Awards include: the Met Life Nuestros Voces Award from Repertorio Español, the Frederick Lowe Award from New Dramatists, the Ofner Prize from The Goodman, the Otis Guernsey Award from the William Inge theatre Festival, a Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, The Kernodle New Play Award from University of Arkansas, two National Latino Playwriting Awards from Arizona Theatre Company, and a Jerome Fellowship from The Playwrights’ Center.

As a director Murillo recently staged Maria Irene Fornes’ What of the Night? with Stage Left and Cor Theatre in Chicago as well as the world premiere of Honey Girls by Grace Grindell at The Theatre School of DePaul University, where he also staged works by Sam Shepard, Jason Grote, Nilo Cruz, David Edgar, Ike Holter, and others.

Murillo lives on the South Side of Chicago with his wife, the director Lisa Portes, and their two children Eva and Carlitos.

Plays[edit]

In his plays, Murillo often deals with issues facing adolescents, the Latinx experience in America, and the immigrant experience in America. Many of his plays take place on the south side of Chicago and several take place in Los Angeles. Several, including Offspring of the Cold War and Dark Play or Stories for Boys twist reality and include fantastical elements. Often, Murillo grapples with the American Dream and justice in American society.

I Come From Arizona[edit]

Received its world premiere at Children's Theatre Company in 2018.

I Come From Arizona shows what art can do that journalism can’t. To say that this “puts a human face” on an issue is a gross understatement (..) one of the most powerful pieces of theater that I’ve experienced this year." —Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Killing of a Gentleman Defender (2015)[edit]

A man who was hired to work with inner city youth on an ill-fated play about violence in Chicago is forced to reconstruct a play that no one ever saw from YouTube videos of the rehearsal process. The play he’s making with the youth is about a violent act that was inflicted on a soccer player in Colombia in the mid-90s who made an error in a World Cup game that ended up costing his life.

The Javier Plays[edit]

Published by 53rd State Press in 2015, The Javier Plays reconstruct the lost works of forgotten Colombian-American playwright Javier C.

"This book is an absolutely extraordinary achievement from a writer at the height of his powers. Carlos Murillo takes themes hinted at in other works and here develops them into magna opera. Although nominally a play collection, The Javier Plays belongs on the metafiction shelf between Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 and David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Quite simply, with this effort Murillo has redrawn the boundaries within which we expect a collection of plays to operate. He disavows linear narrative to create an associative world, and places scenes in one work that are only contextualized in another. The radical nature of Murillo’s structural choices fully destabilizes both the reading experience and any assumption an audience might hold regarding the constitution of a play." - Brad Rothbart, American Theatre

Diagram of a Paper Airplane (2009)

The first in The Javier Plays trilogy, Diagram of a Paper Airplane, tells the story of the tragic death of playwright Javier C. His mysterious final play forces a group of his estranged friends and followers to reunite after twenty years. Will they uncover the deep mystery that both brought them together and made them mortal enemies?

A Thick Description of Harry Smith (2011)

This proto-psychedelic medicine show, takes a wild ride through the life, work and times of filmmaker, musicologist, painter, anthropologist, collector, occultist and fabulist, Harry Everett Smith. Best known for editing the seminal Anthology of American Folk Music, Smith's peculiar life is an emblem of American bohemian life in the 20th Century. Conceived as a Prairie Home Companion style variety show, Thick Description uses reworked folk songs, radio vignettes of real, speculative and imagined episodes of Harry Smith's life, Foley work, and a wide variety of storytelling styles to reveal an alternative conception of American identity. Videos are available of the 2013 workshop at New Dramatists.

Your Name Will Follow You Home (2015)

New York City's Repetorio Español produced the world premiere in 2014.

Spanish Language Version titled Su Nombre Sera Su Sombra Para Siempre, Translated by Caridad Svich

This play tells the story of Danny Santiago, the young reclusive novelist who came out of nowhere and took the literary world by storm. His novel, FAMOUS ALL OVER TOWN, was a gritty, authentic depiction of Chicano life in East LA told through the eyes of a troubled teenager. But is it authentic? And who is the real Danny Santiago? Your Name Will Follow You Home takes us on a wild, only-in-America odyssey to the darkest heart of these questions. Charlie Chaplin. Communists in Hollywood. HUAC. The Blacklist. 50 B-Monster Movies. Architectural Fantasias. Fake Latinos. Jesse James.

Dark Play or Stories for Boys[edit]

Received its world premiere at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2007. The play is published by Dramatists Play Service. The play had its European premiere in Budapest at the Vigszinhaz and other productions in Europe.

A review in The Washington Post described the play: "Murillo, a Chicago playwright, has crafted a corrosively entertaining piece about a dastardly digital masquerade — a kind of perverse modern riff on all those classical plays about disguised wooers."

Mimesophobia (or before and after)[edit]

Received its world premiere at New York City Summer Play Festival in 2005 with subsequent productions at Sand and Glass Productions in 2008, and Theatre Seven in 2010. This play tells the story of what seemed to be the perfect couple. Affluent. Attractive. Well-educated. Why did the husband brutally murder his wife and then take his own life? A desperate screenwriting duo struggles with severe writer's block to unearth the answer. The murder victim's sister reconstructs from the ashes a diary that may or may not contain the secrets. And a deranged academic, haunted by her own possible involvement, meditates on the American obsession with violence. In the face of inexplicable violence, whose myth will most closely resemble the truth of what happened?

“Funny, provocative, and poignant, MIMESOPHOBIA is a huge success … and one of the more refreshing plays to land this season.” —Scotty Zacher, Chicago Theater Beat

Full length plays[edit]

  • Subterraneans (1994)[6]
  • Near Death Experiences with Leni Riefenstahl (1996)[7]
  • Never Whistle While You're Pissing (1998)[8]
  • The Patron Saint of the Nameless Dead (1999)[9]
  • Schadenfreude (2001)[10]
  • Offspring of the Cold War (2002)[11]
  • A Human Interest Story or The Gory Details and All (2004)[12]
  • Mimesophobia (or before and after) (2005)[13]
  • Dark Play or Stories for Boys (2007)[14]
  • The Javier Plays
    • Diagram of a Paper Airplane (2009)[15]
    • A Thick Description of Harry Smith (2011)[16]
    • Your Name Will Follow You Home (2015)[17]
  • Mayday Mayday Tuesday (2011)[18]
  • Augusta and Noble (2013)[19]
  • Killing of a Gentleman Defender (2015)[20]
  • I Come From Arizona (2018)[21]

Short plays[edit]

  • Fragment of a Paper Airplane (2009) – 10 minute play[22]
  • Mendacity, or Herd of Elephants in the Room (2012) – 7 minute play[23]
  • The Dead Parent Club (2013) – 10 minute play[24]

Awards and recognition[edit]

He received a Doris Duke Impact Award in 2015[25] and a 2016 Mellon Foundation Playwright Residency at Adventure Stage in Chicago.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  2. ^ "Carlos Murillo | Theatre Studies | Faculty & Staff | About | The Theatre School | DePaul University, Chicago". theatre.depaul.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  3. ^ "Carlos Murillo at Adventure Stage". HowlRound Theatre Commons. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  4. ^ "Children's Theatre Company | I Come From Arizona". my.childrenstheatre.org. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  5. ^ "Carlos Murillo: The Javier Plays". 53rd State Press Bookshop. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  6. ^ "Subterraneans". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  7. ^ "Near Death Experiences with Leni Riefenstahl". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  8. ^ "Never Whistle While You're Pissing". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  9. ^ "The Patron Saint of the Nameless Dead". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  10. ^ "Schadenfreude". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  11. ^ "Offspring of the Cold War". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  12. ^ "A Human Interest Story". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  13. ^ "Mimesophobia or Before and After". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  14. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2007-04-04). "Humana Festival of New American Plays - Theater - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  15. ^ "Diagram of a Paper Airplane". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  16. ^ "A Thick Description of Harry Smith". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  17. ^ "Your Name Will Follow You Home". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  18. ^ "Mayday Mayday Tuesday". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  19. ^ "Augusta and Noble". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  20. ^ "Killing of a Gentleman Defender". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  21. ^ "I Come from Arizona". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  22. ^ "Fragment of a Paper Airplane". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  23. ^ "Mendacity, or Herd of Elephants in the Room". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  24. ^ "The Dead Parent Club". Carlos Murillo: Playwright, Director, Educator. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  25. ^ "Carlos Murillo". New Play Exchange. Retrieved 2018-12-04.

External links[edit]