Latinx New Play Festival at La Jolla Playhouse, October

The sixth Latinx New Play Festival will take place at La Jolla Playhouse, October 27 – 29, 2023.

The Latinx New Play Festival expands the presence of Latinx stories and artists on the American stage, and spotlights the broad range of today’s Latinx experience. Four scripts have been selected to be rehearsed and developed at the Playhouse, culminating in a live public reading at the festival.

The festival will be free for everyone to attend, and includes a schedule of in-person readings of new works, panel discussions and other events.

Produced by Dr. Maria Patrice Amon, the Playhouse’s 2023/2024 Artist-in-Residence, in partnership with La Jolla Playhouse, the Latinx New Play Festival was originally launched in 2016 by San Diego Repertory Theatre. La Jolla Playhouse is delighted to be able to provide this vibrant, important arts event a new home in San Diego.

Oct 27 – 29, 2023

La Jolla Playhouse
Located on the UCSD Campus
2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

Festival schedule:


6pm Artistic and Literary Panel
7pm Manning
9pm Opening Reception


Saturday Afternoon
2pm The Jersey Devil is a Papi Chulo
4pm Dramaturgy Panel

Dinner break, 5pm – 6pm
We encourage Matinee attendees to stay on, and Evening attendees to arrive early. Details about on-site food options will be released soon.

Saturday Evening
6pm Directors Panel
7pm The Invocation of Selena


12pm Local Project Presentation
1pm Scholar Panel
2pm Apple Bottom
4pm Conversation with Playwrights
5pm Closing Reception


Apple Bottom
By Karina Billini
Directed by Amelia Acosta Powell

The plastic surgery procedure, Brazilian Butt Lifts, are sweeping the wallets of the women in Miami and the staff at the post-BBL recovery house, Apple Bottom Spa, hopes to ride on this wave. When a humble childhood neighbor, Andrea, and a high-strung black-fishing social media influencer, Belinda, arrives as new patients, Apple Bottom Spa struggle to keep both women and the house afloat.

The Invocation of Selena
By Jessi Realz and Marilet Martinez
Directed by Cambria Herrera

The Invocation of Selena (TIOS) is a sketch comedy and cabaret-style show that explores how cultural icon Selena Quintanilla Pérez continues to inspire and motivate Latine people, particularly women and the LGBTQIA community. Through character monologues, drag, choreographed dance numbers, audience participation, moments of song, and more, TIOS celebrates cultural duality while examining when, why, and how we call on Santa Selena in our everyday lives. At the top of the show, Selena is literally invoked and, in this case, she is a larger-than-life drag queen who guides the cast on this journey to help them find their way in a society that desires to put them in a box. The show also uses biographical information about the artist as well as the 1997 Gregory Nava film Selena as source material to create characters and scenes that tease out our diaspora as Mexicans, Americans, Mexican Americans, pochos, Latines, queers… “and it’s exhausting!”

By Benjamin Benne
Directed by Cat Rodriguez

After the death of his mother, Freddy and his father, Julio, spread her ashes in the garden, and a giant zucchini (that seems to have a heartbeat) sprouts overnight. Freddy calls his older brother Sebastian home to witness the vegetable, and also help take care of their father Julio, who seems to have lost the will to live. Sebastian brings his recently bonded red tailed hawk along and the two brothers try their best to coax their father out of his room. Can all three men develop a communal vocabulary to express their grief with each other?

The Jersey Devil Is A Papi Chulo
By Iraisa Ann Reilly
Directed by Dr. Maria Patrice Amon

The Jersey Devil Is A Papi Chulo is a comedic, bilingual, post-quarantine play. Five American-Latina friends embark on a camping trip in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey for the bachelorette party that should have been. There they encounter two white “papi chulos” (‘hotties’) who are doing this camping thing right: with running water. The boys hatch a plan inspired by reality television in order to determine which of the femme-fatales they will save from deportation through marriage. But will the boys be able to save the women from The Jersey Devil?

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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