From a young folklórico dancer to a Zoloft-addicted middle-aged mom to a very pregnant doctoral candidate, here’s a wide variety of roles for Latinx women. Explore this collection of shows offering great roles for Latinx female actors – from intimate one-person shows to large-scale ensemble pieces.
Barrio Hollywood by Elaine Romero (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 2f, 2m)
This tense family drama is focused around two siblings and their aspirations to help their family out of their economic plight. One, a young ballet folklórico dancer and dedicated cultural artist, dreams of owning her own dance studio, while her brother hopes that his boxing career will make the right waves. That is, until a boxing accident leaves him hospitalized, and his sister unexpectedly falls in love with a doctor on the ward.
Chimichangas and Zoloft by Fernanda Coppel (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3f, 2m)
Suffering from a profound sense of disappointment after her 40th birthday, Sonia flees her family and goes on a binge of prescription Zoloft and greasy chimichangas. Sonia’s rebellious daughter Jackie and her best friend Penelope hatch a plan to lure Sonia back home, while their fathers struggle with a secret association of their own. This irreverent story examines the search for happiness and the mysteries of sexuality through the eyes of two brazen teenagers.
El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f, 1m)
In present-day Northern Mexico, members of the Galvan family return to their pecan orchard to reclaim their land after their matriarch, Maite, squandered the family’s money. Tragically, the Mexico they once knew has slowly been taken over by a drug war. Tanya Saracho’s modern adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard explores the relationships between sisters, and a mother and her daughters, as they learn how to adapt and survive in a new world.
Enfrascada by Tanya Saracho (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy / 5f)
When Alicia finds out that her boyfriend of nine years has been cheating on her, she is devastated beyond belief. Luckily her friends are ready to help her – by any means necessary. They urge Alicia to experiment with Brujería, Hoodoo, and Santería magic; not only to heal her broken heart, but to help get her man back.
The English Only Restaurant by Silvio Martinez Palau, Sergio Garcia Marruz and Saul Spangenburg (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f, 8m)
This wild farce mauls both the English and the Spanish languages as it lampoons the pretensions of upwardly mobile Latinxs, the snobberies of Gringos, high fashion, trendy restaurants and just about everything else. The perpetrators of the mayhem are gathered in a Queens restaurant just after Spanish has been outlawed, and have complied with the law by adopting English sounding names and trying to speak in a style they associate with high society.
Evita by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Drama / 2f, 3m)
Evita charts the young and ambitious Eva Peron’s meteoric rise to sainthood. Set in Argentina between 1934-1952, the Tony-winning musical follows Eva Duarte on her journey from poor illegitimate child to ambitious actress to, as wife of military leader-turned-president Juan Peron, the most powerful woman in Latin America, before her death from cancer at age 33.
Fade by Tanya Saracho (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 1f, 1m)
When Lucia, a Mexican-born novelist, gets her first TV writing job, she feels a bit out of place on the white, male-dominated set. Lucia quickly becomes friends with the only other Latino around, a janitor named Abel. As Abel shares his stories with Lucia, similar plots begin to find their way into the TV scripts that Lucia writes. Fade is a play about class and race within the Latinx community, as well as at large, and how status does not change who you are at your core.
Fuente by Cusi Cram (US)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2f, 4m)
Something is not right. There is a secret humidity in the air of a town where the breezes have been on strike for two hundred years. Soledad thinks she is Alexis Carrington from Dynasty and feels itchy. Although Chaparro can’t seem to scratch her itch anymore, Esteban might just be the man for the job. And Adela watches it all unfold as if it were a soap opera on TV. Maybe it is? Anything is possible in Fuente.
In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Comedy / 6f, 6m)
In the Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.
Mala Hierba by Tanya Saracho (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 4f)
Liliana has a sparkle few can deny, and no one can resist. The trophy wife of a border magnate living in Texas, she’s seemingly impeccable. But beneath that polished exterior lies a fierce determination to survive at any cost. When Liliana’s true desires break the surface, she’ll have to decide between the value of obligation versus the price of freedom.
A Mexican Trilogy by Evelina Fernandez (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 6f, 5m)
Faith, Hope and Charity comprise Evelina Fernandez’s series, A Mexican Trilogy. The plays center around the Moraleses, a Mexican-American family, dealing with the im
pact that inspirational historical figures Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Pope John Paul II have upon their lives.
Faith: The first play in the trilogy, set a couple decades after the Mexican Revolution, tells the story of a family faced with the challenge of retaining ancient traditions and cultural memory in the midst of social and political upheaval.
Hope: Part II of the trilogy, Hope takes place in the 1960’s when a new young president, a national crisis and the loss of innocence follow the Morales family and the nation.
Charity: While the world mourns the death of Pope John Paul II, the centenarian matriarch of the Morales family is visited by the ghost of her great grandson slain in Iraq. Meanwhile, the sudden arrival of a relative from Mexico shakes things up.
Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2f, 2m)
Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into a hilarious all-out war of taste, class, privilege and entitlement.
Rabiosa by Nelson Diaz-Marcano (US/UK)
(10-Minute Play, Drama / 1f)
A short one-woman show, Rabiosa pits a fiery Puerto Rican woman against Hurricane Maria, as she demands the hurricane give back what it took away. The battle is on, the lasso is ready, but will the island survive?
The Ritz by Terrence McNally (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3f, 14m)
Rita Moreno won a 1975 Tony Award for her outrageous performance as Googie Gomez in this hilarious farce set in a gay bathhouse. When a hapless, middle-aged, very married man takes it on the lam from his mafioso brother-in-law, he ducks into The Ritz, the last place anyone would look for him. This sets up an old-fashioned door-slamming farce, with bumbling detectives, insatiable lovers and Googie Gomez, an over-the-top would-be Bette Midler looking for her big break.
The River Bride by Marisela Treviño Orta (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 3m)
Once upon a time, in a fishing village along the Amazon, there lived two sisters struggling to find their “happily ever after.” Helena is dreading her sister Belmira’s wedding. The groom, Duarte, should have been hers, and she knows that her sister only wants to escape their sleepy Brazilian town for an exciting new life in the city. But three days before the wedding, fishermen pull a mysterious stranger out of the river – a man with no past who offers both sisters an alluring, possibly dangerous future.
Soldadera by Josefina Niggli (US)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 7f, 1m)
During the Mexican Revolution, seven women outlaws, most of whom have seen their sons and husbands tortured to death before their eyes, gather with their captive. Their leader, Concha, is convinced that someone is signaling to the Federal troops. Is it the captive, the girl who loves him, or the flirt? As the ring draws tighter around them, Concha devises a means of exposing the traitor, stopping the enemy, and safeguarding their precious storage of ammunition.
Wolf at the Door by Marisela Treviño Orta (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Drama / 3f, 1m)
Inspired by Latino folklore and mythology, Wolf at the Door is part of a cycle of fairy tales from Marisela Treviño Orta. Isadora finds the strength to stand up to her abusive husband Septimo when he forces the very pregnant Yolot to stay against her will. While Septimo makes plans for the baby, Isadora and Yolot devise one of their own. But, as a pack of wolves closes in on the hacienda, Isadora must decide what price she’ll pay for her own freedom.
Header Image: 2008 Broadway production of In the Heights (Joan Marcus)