San Diego Repertory Theatre Receives

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

Part of the National Playwright Residency Program, the grant will support a three-year residency for playwright and Culture Clash founding member Herbert Siguenza.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APR 18, 2016 - SAN DIEGO – San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) is pleased to announce that Herbert Siguenza will be working with The REP through June 2019 as part of the National Playwright Residency Program. Siguenza, creator of REP favorites “Steal Heaven,” “El Henry” and “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso,” will join The REP staff full time for a three-year playwright residency. The award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support his residency as he continues his new play development with San Diego REP. Siguenza’s next original play at The REP, “Manifest Destinitis,” an early California adaptation of Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid,” will open the theatre’s 41st season in September.

“Herbert is the ideal playwright in residence for us because we share many passions, commitments, agendas and dreams. We are devoted to and provoked by new work that speaks directly to and about the diverse peoples of our Southern California bi-national region, gives voice to the underrepresented and uses comedy to promote an enlightened, progressive and political dialogue,” says co-founder and Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse. “We know Herbert’s work very well and Herbert knows our staff, audience, region and artistic collaborators very well. Our top priority will be to assist and support Herbert in the development of his own new work, while inviting Herb to embed himself in our theatre and our city. We want him to be a full-fledged member of our family.”

Since 1993, Siguenza has performed as an actor in 8 plays at San Diego REP, co-written or written 7 plays that have been produced on The REP’s mainstage and spent two years as the mentee under Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse through the TCG New Generations program. The award from the Mellon Foundation will provide consistent financial support through June 2019 for Siguenza, allowing him to further his partnership with The REP through the development of at least three more full productions. The first of these productions under development is the already-announced “Manifest Destinitis,” an early California adaptation of Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” which plays in the Lyceum Space September 15 – October 9, 2016.

“When an audience leaves the theatre completely satisfied with the experience, it was because there was a delicate alchemy of many factors that made it happen. I have found that alchemy over and over again at San Diego Repertory Theatre,” says Siguenza. “I believe that keeping one foot firmly in the community I live and work in informs my plays. A multi-year playwright residency will allow me to continue to develop as a playwright and continue the successful relationship I have had with The REP and the city of San Diego as a whole.”   

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in collaboration with Howlround, A Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College, established the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP) in 2013. The goals of the program are to:

·         Advance the state of playwrights in the American theater by providing them with space, time and resources and greater access to the institutions in which they work;

·         Influence the working environment of theaters by embedding playwrights in them;

·         Generate public value through the interaction of playwrights with local artistic and civic communities;

·         Document and disseminate the findings to help benefit the field.

Herbert Siguenza is a founding member of Culture Clash, the most popular and produced Latino ensemble in the nation. For the last thirty years, he has co-written or adapted and performed over fifteen original critically acclaimed award winning plays at prestigious regional theatres around the country. Theatre Communications Group Books has published three compilations of their collective works which includes “Radio Mambo”, “Zorro in Hell!”, and “Chavez Ravine”. Siguenza has also written and performed solo works outside the group including “Cantinflas!” (2003) and “A Weekend With Pablo Picasso” (2010). La Jolla Playhouse, in Association with San Diego REP, recently produced his futuristic urban adaptation of “Henry IV Part One,” called “El Henry” for their WOW festival. Additionally, Siguenza also developed a new work called “Steal Heaven” about the politics and philosophy of Abbie Hoffman which had its world premiere at San Diego REP in January 2015. Siguenza is a recent recipient of TCG's New Generations Future Leadership grant and was mentored by Sam Woodhouse at San Diego REP.

San Diego Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce that work is in progress on a $3 million renovation of The Lyceum Theatre, including the lobby, concession, restrooms and Lyceum Stage Theatre. The remodel work is occurring in phases. Estimated completion is January 2017.

During construction, San Diego REP patrons will be able to access all normal amenities of The Lyceum Theatre complex. Ample parking will still be available in the Horton Plaza parking garage and the Box Office, elevators, restrooms and concession areas will be easily accessible unless otherwise noted. San Diego REP’s House Management staff will keep patrons updated on renovation activities with signage posted in and around the facility as well as send e-mail communications to maintain the venue experience. For additional information, please contact the Box Office at 619-544-1000 or visit sdrep.org.

About San Diego Repertory Theatre

San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sandiegoREP) and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP). 

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