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at Marfa High School with playwright Octavio Solis 

April 18-23, 2021

Marfa Live Arts announces the return of renowned playwright Octavio Solis for the 2021 Playwriting Program this spring at Marfa High School. 


Marfa Live Arts hosts playwright Octavio Solis who will Marfa High students through a series of creative writing, visualization and observation exercises. Students create their own characters, back-story, dialogue, objectives, conflict and resolution. In the past ten years of this initiative, students have written over 825 plays. 


Considered by many to be one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America, Solis’s work details and transcends the Mexican American experience. The El Paso-native has written and directed over twenty plays (Mother Road, Quixote Nuevo, Lydia) that have been performed throughout the country, earning numerous awards from the Kennedy Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Playwrights’ Center.


Aside from writing plays, Solis served as a consultant on Disney-Pixar’s blockbuster hit COCO which draws heavily on the themes of Día de Muertos. “We were there from the beginning to ensure that the culture was represented accurately. They had us look at every aspect of the film. We became the firewall between something that could be cooked up just for sales and something that was authentic to the culture. Disney-Pixar wanted to get it right.” His work on the film earned him the Imagen Award for Consultant in 2018. 


In Coco, Solis also voiced the Arrival Agent, who ushers the young boy Miguel into the The Land of the Dead. Described by Solis, “The Arrivals Agent is like Underworld Customs. He asks what the dead have to declare as gifts from their living kin. He tabulates it and marks each item as proof that they are being properly thought of and remembered in the world of the living. That’s important, because without any proof of that remembrance, these entities begin to fade slowly away toward their second death.” 


The 2021 Playwriting Program marks the first decade of the program. Solis, who was the first Marfa Live Arts playwright-in-residence to work with MISD students.

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Permian Basin Foundation
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