JOHANNA: FACING FORWARD

Johanna: Facing Forward explores the topic of domestic violence, community response, and personal resilience through the story of Johanna Orozco. At age 18 Johanna survives a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend. Recovering with the help of her extended family, a committed medical team, and a new friend in journalist Rachel Dissell, Johanna ultimately must choose to face her attacker in order to move forward in...
Johanna: Facing Forward explores the topic of domestic violence, community response, and personal resilience through the story of Johanna Orozco. At age 18 Johanna survives a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend. Recovering with the help of her extended family, a committed medical team, and a new friend in journalist Rachel Dissell, Johanna ultimately must choose to face her attacker in order to move forward in her life. After her assailant is sentenced, Johanna’s advocacy helps close loopholes in her state’s laws to protect and support other young people facing intimate-partner violence. Johanna: Facing Forward was inspired by the investigative journalism of Rachel Dissell of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the personal writings of Johanna Orozco (now Orozco-Fraser). All three individuals endorsed the creation of this play, supported its development, and attended its world premiere at the Cleveland Public Theatre in 2015.

Update 12/23/15: The play was awarded second prize in the 2015 Repertorio Español MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition.
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JOHANNA: FACING FORWARD

Character Information

  • JOHANNA OROZCO
    Late-Teens to Early-Twenties,
    Latinx
    ,
    Female
    Passionate, opinionated, wears her heart on her sleeve. Also goes by 'Jojo'. Name pronunciation: [jo-AH-nuh]
  • RACHEL DISSELL
    30's,
    Any (Technically a White Woman)
    ,
    Female
    White or mixed ethnicity, 30s, investigative journalist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer; inquisitive, tireless.
    Name pronunciation: [diss-ELL] (Also plays: ASHLEY, PEGGY, and PROM DJ.)
  • JUAN RUIZ
    Late-Teens to Early-Twenties,
    Latinx
    ,
    Male
    Johanna's abusive ex-boyfriend and assailant; charming, brooding, dangerously insecure. Name pronunciation: [REW-ease]
  • HILDA HERNANDEZ
    40's,
    Latinx
    ,
    Female
    Johanna's aunt, mid-30s-mid 40s; strong willed, relentless; (also plays JUANITA OROZCO, Johanna's grandmother, CARMEN - Johanna’s mother in flashback, and Public Defender PAT LONDON)
  • PINKEY CARR
    30's,
    Black or Bi-Racial
    ,
    Female
    Assistant County Prosecutor, mid-30s to mid-40s; smart, sharp, driven; (also plays MARITZA SANTIAGO, NICOLE, GLADYS, A FORENSIC NURSE, and State Rep. EDNA BROWN.)
  • WOSBÉLY OROZCO
    50's,
    Latinx
    ,
    Male
    Johanna's grandfather; extremely humble, sensitive, an empath; (also plays ALBERTO - Johanna's father in flashback) Name pronunciation: [wōs-BELL-ee]
  • Dr. MICHAEL FRITZ
    30's,
    Any (Technically a White man)
    ,
    Male
    40s White or mixed ethnicity, Johanna's surgeon; committed, resourceful, an artist in his profession;
    (also plays DET. MICHAEL KOVATCH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, MR. DUESING, and JUDGE TIMOTHY J. McGINTY).

Development History

  • Commission
    ,
    Cleveland Public Theatre
    ,
    2014

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Repertorio Español
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Cleveland Public Theatre
    ,
    2015
  • University
    ,
    The University of Kansas
    ,
    2015

Awards

Judges' Choice
,
Latinx Plays for College Theatres
,
50 Playwrights Project
,
2018
Runner Up
,
MetLife Nuestras Voces Playwriting Competition
,
Repertorio Español
,
2016