Brown Face

Gracia is a Chicana writer and DREAMer. In order to draw attention to her work but not her undocumented status, Gracia convinces her white and US-born best friend Mariza to perform her poetry. When Gracia’s words launch Mariza into gaining a following as a Latinx artist and activist, their friendship is tested by issues of privilege and cultural appropriation. Part play, part poetry slam, “Brown Face” follows a...
Gracia is a Chicana writer and DREAMer. In order to draw attention to her work but not her undocumented status, Gracia convinces her white and US-born best friend Mariza to perform her poetry. When Gracia’s words launch Mariza into gaining a following as a Latinx artist and activist, their friendship is tested by issues of privilege and cultural appropriation. Part play, part poetry slam, “Brown Face” follows a group of college students as they navigate their identities in the competitive world of spoken word poetry.
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Brown Face

Recommended by

  • Gabriella Bonamici:
    27 May. 2022
    Carissa Atallah explores identity, privilege, and authenticity in this witty and thought-provoking play about two college frenemies.
  • Shaun Leisher:
    3 Oct. 2020
    The ideas and questions that fill this play are ones that couldn't be more relevant. It's in no way didactic, though. It's a play that never chooses a side with any specific character. It actually leaves that up to the audience in a jaw-dropping final moment. Colonization and appropriation need to be discussed in all areas of our culture but especially in the theatre.
  • Playwrights Foundation:
    21 May. 2020
    Playwrights Foundation enthusiastically recommends this play, BROWN FACE, as a Semi-Finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020. We were moved by the quality of the writing and the relevant and compelling themes that spoke to the mission of our festival. It excelled in a competitive process of 735 plays submitted this year and rose to the top after a six month long process discussing its merits with both national and local Bay Area readers, and we hope it moves swiftly towards production.

Character Information

  • Gracia Flores
    19,
    Mexican; Indigenous or Mixed-Indigenous
    ,
    Female
  • Mariza Concord
    19,
    White
    ,
    Female
    (Pronounced “Merissa”)
  • Sayda Aguilar
    22,
    Afro-Latinx
    ,
    Female
  • Alex Lechuga
    21,
    Latinx
    ,
    Male
    (Goes by Lechuga)
  • Xitaly Manjarrez
    22,
    Mexican ; Hispanic European
    ,
    Female
    Native Spanish-speaker

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Playwrights' Arena
    ,
    2021
  • Workshop
    ,
    University of California, Riverside
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Latinx Play Project
    ,
    2017

Production History

  • University
    ,
    Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VIII
    ,
    2022
  • University
    ,
    University of California, Riverside
    ,
    2021

Awards

Winner
,
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award
,
Kennedy Center
,
2022
Runner Up
,
The David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award
,
Kennedy Center
,
2022
Semi-Finalist
,
The Future of Playwriting Prize
,
The Blank Theatre
,
2021
Semi-Finalist
,
The Bay Area Playwrights Festival
,
Playwrights Foundation
,
2020