Day 3 of the festival, Atlantic Theater Company, Stage 2, 330 W 16 Street.  14 August 2010.

Saturday, the 3rd day of the Latino Mixfest festival, I show up to see the final 2 readings, both by hot young playwrights who have taken a turn through Chicago (passing through or settling in).  Kris Diaz, until this day, I knew only from his The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, that I saw as produced in Philadelphia by Interact Theatre Company, and in New York (the transferred Chicago Victory Gardens Theatre production). What a charming man.  And Tanya Saracho — well, she is already one of my gals, a woman of my heart, an artist who writes strong, funny women in smart, funny, heartfelt plays.  The Time Out Chicago article (June 17-23 2010 issue and cover (see right/above) tell that tale.

So on a gorgeous August Saturday I make my way south to 16th Street and the Atlantic Theater Company’s second stage.  Groovy neighborhood and groovy space.  I’ll soon return.  Today, from the readings. I”ll share language that entertained me.

F**cking Vigwan by Kristopher Diaz

A reading in which the stage directions are revealed to be as entertaining and as rhythmic and as essentially funny as the dialogue.  A play about office sex maniacs.  And zombies.  And parking meters.  And temps.

  • stage direction, on setting time: “I don’t know.  Now.  Or something like it.”
  • on a possible zombie erection: “Is that rigor mortis in your pocket or are you happy to see me.”
  • female highly sexualized character on herself: “I was sitting here minding my own business, maybe masturbating, maybe not.  Hard to say.”
  • “It was never about the money, it was about your swagger.  And now, your swagger is in question.”
  • “Never get into it with a temp.  They’ve got nothing to lose.”

Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho

A Texas woman with a past, now stepmother to a young woman her own age, visited by a woman from Chicago, and cared for by a fourth character.  Smart, funny, moving women.

  • a character who has traveled to help a friend: “It is not light for me to come here.  It is a  heavy thing.”
  • “You’re going to have to buck the fuck up.”

Gosh I love readings.  The wash and the flavor and the privilege of seeing a work in progress.  Hugs to all concerned responsible for these pieces of art.

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