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Co-presented with Marfa Independent School District

8th Annual High School Playwriting Workshop taught by Playwright Mónica Sánchez

Marfa ISD High School

April 15-19, 2019



In April, Marfa Live Arts welcomed Mónica Sánchez as their 2019 playwright-in-residence. During her time in Marfa, Sánchez taught the 8th annual High School Playwriting Workshop in partnership with Marfa Public Schools.


The weeklong workshop took place Monday-Friday, April 15-19, 2019. Sánchez led 9th-12th grade students through a series of creative writing exercises during English classes—guiding students to develop characters and plots, while pulling from their memories and life experiences. The weeklong workshop resulted in students writing their own original one-act play. In the eight years of the workshop’s history, students have written over 700 one-act plays.


Sánchez speaks to the importance of students having the opportunity to tell their stories through plays, “The agency to access and to share one’s truth; the opportunity for human connection, community, confession and compassion in real time, in a common physical space--this is the vehicle that theatre provides us to tell our stories. Making theatre allows us to translate our oppressions, struggles, issues, triumphs, and joy into stories, words, and images that we can digest and re-metabolize in community.” 


Sánchez served as judge in reviewing the student plays. Nearly 80 finished plays were considered for final selection for a staged performance at the Crowley Theater during the 8th Annual One-Act Plays on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. One play from each grade was selected and winners were given prizes and had their names announced at a school assembly. Marfa Live Arts also held a student art contest. The winning artist’s work was used for the poster promoting the event.


As these plays are crafted throughout the week, students find their inner writer’s voice, build self-confidence, and improve critical thinking and writing skills – all of which will serve them as they move towards adulthood. 


Playwriting classes are offered to the school at no cost and the public performance on May 1, will be free and open to the community.


All photos by Jessica Lutz.


Marfa Live Arts and the staged reading are generously supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Permian Basin Area Foundation, Still Water Foundation Fund of Permian Basin Area Foundation, and City of Marfa. This program could not be realized without the collaboration of Marfa Independent School District’s Superintendent Oscar Aguero, Principal John Sherrill, PhD and educators Linda Ojeda and Mary Mois. Special thanks to Hotel Paisano, Tim Crowley & Emily Williams of Crowley Theater, Rob Crowley, and Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger, Big Bend Sentinel and Marfa Public Radio.

Permian Basin foundation
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