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Co-presented with Marfa Independent School District

In-school writing program with Raul Garza

Monday-Friday, April 18-22, 2016

Marfa High School Campus


Marfa Live Arts welcomed playwright Raul Garza as their 2016 playwright-in-residence for the 5th Annual Playwriting Workshop at Marfa High School.


Playwright Garza empowered Marfa High School students to tell a unique story. “I want them to know that their stories are important, powerful, and valid. I hope to teach them that writing is listening, and that it’s something they already do every day,” he explained. Garza was raised in the culturally diverse suburbs of both Dallas and San Antonio, and has written many stage productions, including Fantasmaville, which won the 2007 National Latino Playwriting Award. Much of his work revolves around the concept of identifying as a Mexican-American.


In preparing for the playwriting workshop, Garza recalled his experiences growing up in high school wondering, “what’s next,” and the emotions involved in figuring out the next step. In the workshop, Garza hopes to teach students “how to access those deep emotions,” and, moreover, he hopes to “create an environment where it’s safe and meaningful to share them.” When asking the freshman class, “What does it mean to tell your story?” one student replied, “It means to see a perspective of how you live your life.” By the end of the week, eighty students will have written their own stories into one-act plays.


As part of participating in the playwriting workshop Raul and actor Mical Trejo will work with Sul Ross theater department and lead two workshops with university students in Alpine.


During his residency Marfa Live Arts presented Garza’s play Confessions of a Mexpatriate on Tuesday, April 19, at the Crowley Theater. The show was performed by actor and comedian Mical Trejo, and musician (and Raul’s brother) Davíd Garza. Garza invited his playwriting students to the performance of his play, Confessions of a Mexpatriate, and hopes that they will learn from the performance that, “fitting-in is a challenge at every stage in life.” Moreover, he suspects that the students will take away, “a unique perspective of looking ahead at what it might be like to face challenges based on culture and beliefs, and how that could change your life.” Confessions of a Mexpatriate was performed on April 19, 2016 at 7:30pm (doors at 7pm) at the Crowley Theater.


One play from each grade will be staged and performed by actors from the Marfa community with professional light and sound on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 7:30pm (doors at 7pm) at the Crowley Theater.


Listen for a West Texas Talk interview on Marfa Public Radio with Marfa High School student playwrights on May 2, 2016 at 6:30pm.


Playwriting classes are offered to the school at no cost and the public performance of Confessions of a Mexpatriate will be free and open to the community.



Marfa Live Arts and the 5th Annual Playwriting Workshop are generously supported by the Texas Women for the Arts, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and the Marfa Education Foundation. Confessions of A Mexpatriate is generously supported by the 2016 Season SponsorsThe Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation, and City of Marfa. The official accommodations sponsor for Confessions of A Mexpatriate is El Cosmico.


In-kind support provided by Frama Coffee House, Big Bend Coffee Roasters, and Marfa Brands. Special thanks to Jessica Allen, Julie Bernal, Big Bend Sentinel, Linda Ojeda and Andrew Peters of Marfa Independent School District, Cara Crossley, Tim Crowley of Crowley Theater, Mayor Dan Dunlap, Katy Rose Elasser, Minerva Lopez, Sara Melancon and Tom Michael of Marfa Public Radio, Robert Saltonstall, Dan Shiman, Dona Roman of Sul Ross, Gory Smelley of Marfa Recording Co., Sarah Vasquez, and Cory Van Dyke.


Credits: Raul Garza on the first day of Marfa Live Arts' 5th Annual Playwriting Workshop working with the students of Marfa High School, photo by Jennie Lyn Hamilton.

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