I Celebrate Matthew Lopez!

I came to the United States from Puerto Rico when I was fourteen.

So, many people find it surprising that 1. English is by all intents and purpose a second language and 2.  I write so many damn plays with British characters.

I love my life, I love writing for Television, I love being the head of the Television Department at AMZ Creative.  I love that I continue to write plays, to some success.  But what I love most is that I do everyday what I was born to do.

I have many Puerto Rican heroes whose careers I follow, not just because I want to know what they are up to, but also because I find a lot of inspiration in knowing that “I am not alone.”

Of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of them.  When I first saw his show “In The Heights” I thought that was my life on the stage, except with better dancing and musical numbers.

One of my second favorites, is the amazing playwright Javierantonio Gonzales, writer of  Barceloneta De Noche,  a play I discovered because Martin Denton sent me to review it for nytheatre.com.  His play, I saw the spanish version is an extraordinary waterfall of words that left me stunned and giddy.  I don’t often get giddy, and in terms of authenticity, I felt it in my soul ten times more than I felt “In The Heights” which I already love. So you can imagine how I felt about Barceloneta de Noche.

I was happy to read in today’s theatre section of the New York Times about another contemporary of mine, and his story was so near to mine own, Matthew Lopez’s play The Whipping Man is about to open at Manhattan Theatre Club and I for one cannot wait to see it.

I love what he had to say about being a writer, and especially “I don’t know if you need to belong to a certain group to tell a story. If you did, I would only write about gay Puerto Rican guys who live in Park Slope and have an obsession with stinky cheese.”

When people read my play Thoroughly Stupid Things, a sequel to the Importance of Being Earnest.  They say, why would you write this? You are Puerto Rican. Thanks to Matthew Lopez, I have a graceful answer to give them.

Thank you Matthew, you just made my short list of Rican Heroes, with whom I consider myself lucky to share this incredible business of story telling.

Can’t wait to see your play.


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