Swimming While Drowning

When teenager Angelo Mendez decides to leave his home out of fear of further disappointing his homophobic father, he encounters a world he was not prepared for at an LGBT homeless shelter in Los Angeles. There he meets a fellow homeless teen who gives him a voice and unexpectedly introduces him to love. Angelo ultimately learns that all relationships, no matter how powerful, have an unfortunate time cap which...
When teenager Angelo Mendez decides to leave his home out of fear of further disappointing his homophobic father, he encounters a world he was not prepared for at an LGBT homeless shelter in Los Angeles. There he meets a fellow homeless teen who gives him a voice and unexpectedly introduces him to love. Angelo ultimately learns that all relationships, no matter how powerful, have an unfortunate time cap which he must cope with through his writing. A dark romantic comedy set in a homeless shelter. A story that is simultaneously gritty, sweet, funny, heartbreaking and real.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

Swimming While Drowning

Recommended by

  • Nelson Diaz-Marcano:
    26 Sep. 2018
    A brilliant work of theater by an incredible writer on the rise. Emilio's characters are the sort you dream of putting on stage. Equal parts rough and sweets, their journey together will keep you not he edge of your seat. Not because this is a thriller, but because you want to know what happens to them. There's a reason it has so much buzz.
  • Trevor Boffone:
    27 Apr. 2018
    I've taught this play for 4 semesters and I've directed a staged reading of it at my university. Across the board, my students love this play and are always asking me when a full production is happening in our area. It's sweet. It's tender. It's poignant. It's also really funny. More importantly, stories about LGBT youth of color are often untold or go unnoticed. Theatre such as "Swimming While Drowning" can open up people's eyes and hearts.
  • Rachael Carnes:
    24 Jan. 2018
    In this tender, thoughtfully-developed play, young Mila and Angelo heal old wounds and explore an uncertain future while riffing through the present. Writer Rodriguez juxtaposes down-to-earth dialogue with heightened — yet accessible — poetry. Such a kinship between these teens, who each change and grow organically and without a false step. It's easy to love these two characters and this play.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    The Tampa Repertory Theatre
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Activate Midwest Festival at WMU
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    Latino Theatre Commons Carnaval Festival of New Work
    ,
    2015

Production History

Awards

Finalist
,
Best Original Script
,
Drammy Award
,
2017