41. INTERVIEW: Marisela Treviño Orta

We love to interview playwrights! We love to hear how they discovered playwriting and how they found themselves on this journey into the world of playwriting. We had the immense pleasure to talk to Marisela Treviño Orta and we know you will enjoy this episode, listeners. Marisela is an accidental playwright. She got her MFA in poetry from the University of San Francisco. Graduate of Iowa playwrights workshop, core writer at the playwrights center, and is currently working on a commission for Audible! Her play “Somewhere”, which was commissioned by Temple University, will open Feb 1st.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 41: Interview with Marisela Treviño Orta HERE


Sam’s Glisten – Joy Harjo “Book of poems”
Sarah’s Glisten – InsideOut Writers
Marisela’s Glisten – sushi at Hamasaku in LA


Marisela Treviño Orta is an accidental playwright. Originally from Lockhart, Texas, she found her way to the genre while completing an MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco (USF) where she studied poetry exclusively. While a student at USF, Marisela became the Resident Poet of El Teatro Jornalero!, a social justice theatre company comprised of Latinx immigrants.

Marisela’s first play BRAIDED SORROW (2008 Su Teatro world premiere) won the 2006 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Drama and the 2009 Pen Center USA Literary Award in Drama. Her other plays include: AMERICAN TRIAGE (2012 Repertorio Español Nuestras Voces Finalist); GHOST LIMB (2017 Brava Theatre world premiere); HEART SHAPED NEBULA (2015 Shotgun Players world premiere); SHOE (2019 Kendeda Finalist); RETURN TO SENDER (2019 Nashville Children’s Theatre world premiere); and WOMAN ON FIRE (2016 Camino Real Productions world premiere).

In 2011, she began writing her cycle of grim Latinx fairy tales—fairy tales for adults inspired by Latinx mythology and folklore which include: THE RIVER BRIDE (2013 National Latino Playwriting Award Co-Winner, 2016 Oregon Shakespeare Festival world premiere); WOLF AT THE DOOR (2016 Kilroys List, 2018/2019 National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere); and ALCIRA.

Marisela is an alum of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, the Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwright Initiative, a founding member of the Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists Network, and a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons’ national Steering Committee. Last year she was selected as a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. Marisela is also a member of the Goodman Theatre’s 2018/2019 Playwrights Unit. Currently, Marisela is working on a new cycle of worst-case scenario plays—sci-fi thriller plays which include WMB (pronounced “womb”) and NIGHTFALL which she has been commissioned by Audible to adapt for their platform. She is also adapting Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit into a five-hour epic piece of theatre.

Make sure to follow Marisela to learn more about her work and stay updated: twitter.com/mariselatorta

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