Plays for Two is a unique anthology of twenty-eight terrific plays for two actors, by a mix of celebrated playwrights and cutting-edge new voices. I had the pleasure of speaking with playwright Edwin Sanchez about what inspires him to write, his new novel, and his play, Bea & May.
JACQUELINE LAWTON: Why did you decide to get into theatre? Was there someone or a particular show that inspired you?
EDWIN SANCHEZ: I had just done my first play as an actor, The Me Nobody Knows, and I really fell in love with the sense of community I found. When I got to New York I found the roles for Latino actors to be very limited, gang members, drug dealers, so I decided I would write plays that would reflect the world as I saw it. I have always been surrounded by a real mix of people and I wanted my characters and my plays to reflect that.
JL: Tell me a little bit about your writing process. Do you have any writing rituals? Do you write in the same place or in different places?
ES: I really don't have a ritual. The only thing that is a must for me is that I have to write the first draft in long hand. I love the idea of a character coming through me onto the paper.
JL: Can you tell me about the play that’s being published in Plays for Two?
ES: Bea & May is a love story between two women. We open on the wedding of one of them and come to discover they will not wind up together.
JL: What excited you about being a part of this anthology?
ES: Eric and Nina have included my work in a prior anthology so I’m very happy to be back. What’s so important about it is that short plays can just disappear into the ether. These anthologies give them a permanence that is really exciting and gratifying.
JL: What advice do you have for up-and-coming playwrights?
ES: Don’t talk your play, write it. Don’t tell everyone what the story is, write it. It’s the sitting down and doing the work that matters. Also find out what works best for you. Silence, music, solitude.
JL: What next for you? Where can we follow your work?
ES: I have a website, edwinsanchez-writer.com and I’ve just finished my first novel, Diary of a Puerto Rican Demigod, which should be available soon. I continue to write and I teach at ESPA at Primary Stages in NY.
About the Playwright
Winner of National Latino Playwriting Award for LA BELLA FAMILIA, Edwin Sanchez's recent productions include TRAFFICKING IN BROKEN HEARTS at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles as well as the world premiere of my romantic comedy I’LL TAKE ROMANCE at the Evolution Theatre in Ohio. Other productions include, DIOSA, produced by Hartford Stage after a successful workshop by New York Stage and Film, TRAFFICKING IN BROKEN HEARTS at the Atlantic Theater in New York, UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE at the Intar Theater in New York, ICARUS produced by Fourth Unity in New York, Actors Theater of Louisville as part of their Humana Festival, and San Jose Rep in California. My play BAREFOOT BOY WITH SHOES ON was produced by Primary Stages in New York and was selected by the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference to represent the National Playwrights Conference at the Schelykovo Playwrights Seminar in Russia. My work has been produced regionally throughout the United States as well as Brazil and Switzerland. Among my awards are the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays (CLEAN), three New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellowships, the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship (UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE), the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award and the AT&T On Stage New Play Award (UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE). I live in upstate New York where I continue to write as well as teach and mentor playwrights.
About the Anthology
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I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!