Teatro Luna Ensemble Member Kristiana Rae Colón has been awarded the 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award by Arizona Theatre Company for her play Octagon!
Kristiana joins an impressive line up of previous National Latino Playwriting Award winners and Teatro Luna Lunadas reading series playwrights Marisela Treviño Orta and Caridad Svich with her play, Octagon. Octagon was developed during a tour across the United Kingdom in early 2013 promoting her collected poems, promised instruments, published by Northwestern University Press. Her aesthetic of fusing of theatre and poetry has been called “commanding and intelligent” and “empathetic and intensely poetic, negotiating a vast territory of emotions, loyalties and politics.” Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, and educator. In Autumn 2012, she opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf at Teatro Luna in Chicago while her play but i cd only whisper world premiered at the Arcola Theater in London. TimeOut London gave it a four-star review and OffWestEnd.com nominated her Most Promising New Playwright. but i cd only whisper was the 2nd place winner of the 2008 Theodore Ward Playwriting contest and was workshopped at the Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab. Her play the darkest pit had its world premiere at the Prp Thtr in 2009. one week in spring was a finalist for Victory Gardens’ 2010 Ignition festival, had its first workshop production in the Alycone Festival in 2013, and appeared in Curious Theater’s Rhinoceros Festival in 2014. Kristiana is half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools whose rhymes can be heard at aprilfoolschicago.bandcamp.com and she was featured on Season 5 of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Her poetry was nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize and has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including MTV Publishing’s Chorus: A Re(Mixtape) edited by Saul Williams. She is a 2014 Cave Canem Fellow.
After Tahrir and Wall St get occupied, after the NSA taps all the phones and Syria kills all the journalists, the poets have much to say. Amidst the backdrop of a last-minute poetry slam, eight young poets traverse stages and the tightropes of their braided desires. Chimney, Chad, and Palace have an open slot on their team, and five other poets compete for it. The fiercest contender, Prism, is a woman with an appetite she’s not ashamed of, but the reigning champs have a hard time seeing her as more than a good-time girl. As love triangles become pentagons and octagons, Prism’s unbridled desires threaten to have her silenced for good. With three minutes to sway the judges, eight poets must decide which is more important, the points or the poetry, the privilege of free speech and expression, or the celebrity that comes along. Octagon rips open the clichés of the open mic, asking the cost of making a spectacle of ripping open our wounds.
About Arizona Theatre Company and the National Latino Playwriting Award
Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) is the preeminent professional theatre in the state of Arizona. ATC Is entering its 47th season and operates as dual city theatre company out of Tucson and Phoenix. Its initiative with new play programs culminates in the National Latino Playwriting Award. The National Latino Playwriting Award was established by ATC Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein to create a greater awareness of the work being done by Latino playwrights. Past recipients include Kristoffer Diaz, Marisela Treviño Orta, Caridad Svich, Carlos Murillo, Octavio Solis, and Karen ZacarÍas.
See Octagon in Chicago!
If you want to see more of Octagon, Prp Thtr is hosting “Octagon Live,” a party and poetry slam where actors and poets come together to celebrate spoken word. The event takes place July 11th 9:30 pm at Prp Thtr, 3502 N Elston. All proceeds go to the production. Octagon will also have a staged reading July 13 and 18th at the Greenhouse Theater as part of Polarity Theatre’s 2014 Dionysos Cup Festival of New Work.