In keeping with the whole “playwrights reading their own work” theme, I went to see Migdalia Cruz read from her past and current works this afternoon at Brava Theater. Migdalia was already on her way to becoming my new hero when she was the first person to break into the beer during the retreat. And that was before her incisive comments about my play — she’s dramaturg for all four of the BASH writers and yet somehow had time to read my entire play (not just the excerpt being presented as part of the festival) and come up with some brilliant insights that no one else has ever mentioned and that have me really excited about the next rewrite.
Now, after today’s reading, I’ve officially moved on to worshipping her. This woman writes some of the most amazing words I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. And it’s tied to characters and imagery and stories that completely blow me away. Her language is poetic, but it’s not poetry: it’s very definitely theater, brilliant theater that comes alive right in front of you, even when it’s just her reading and crying and leaning on a bar in the middle of a giant stage in front of an almost empty theater.