Jonathan Ceniceroz

Jonathan Ceniceroz

Jonathan Ceniceroz is a Los Angeles based Mexican American playwright and screenwriter whose work has been produced and developed by CTG/Mark Taper Forum, Latino Theater Company/LATC, Skylight Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Company of Angels, Provincetown Players, New York Theater Workshop, Chalk Repertory and Dixon Place. A native of Los Angeles, his creative work encompasses stories from his family...
Jonathan Ceniceroz is a Los Angeles based Mexican American playwright and screenwriter whose work has been produced and developed by CTG/Mark Taper Forum, Latino Theater Company/LATC, Skylight Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, Company of Angels, Provincetown Players, New York Theater Workshop, Chalk Repertory and Dixon Place. A native of Los Angeles, his creative work encompasses stories from his family's immigrant past, assimilated present and imagined future. Jonathan earned degrees in writing from UCLA and Brown University, and his work explores the evolving definition of racial and sexual identity in the U.S. -- quite often in blunt and satiric terms. His most well known plays are: Lupe, Now! The Drowning of Natalie Wood, BIG BRO/lil bro and The Cruise. His latest full length play, No Burn Day is being developed by the Skylight Theatre under the guidance of Lee Blessing. His play The Cruise was world premiered by the Latino Theater Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in the Spring of 2017. Jonathan also participated in Chalk Rep’s FLASH Festival where he presented a short piece, los immortales, inspired by his longer Aztec themed play Ixtimal. In film he wrote two original dramatic shorts, Mousy Brown and Der Fisch, for a Swiss/US production company which premiered on the festival circuit. Jonathan was a member of the National Hispanic Media Coalition TV Writers Program and is an writer alumnus of the Center Theatre Group's Writers Workshop organized by Pier Carlo Talenti and Joy Meads as well as the Los Angeles playwrights and television writers’ collective Playwrights Union, founded by Jennifer Haley. Jonathan is a MacDowell Colony Fellow in Writing, and currently works as a television writer on Interview with the Vampire for AMC Networks as well as in unscripted entertainment as a story producer.

Plays

  • The Cruise
    The Cruise is a father/son comic drama set aboard a boutique luxury cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea.

    The father, charismatic and street-smart Ramon, (performed in the World Premiere by Culture Clash's Ric Salinas) has maneuvered his way on board as the ship’s “enrichment lecturer,” a privileged position among the staff despite his spotty credentials and work history.

    Ramon...
    The Cruise is a father/son comic drama set aboard a boutique luxury cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea.

    The father, charismatic and street-smart Ramon, (performed in the World Premiere by Culture Clash's Ric Salinas) has maneuvered his way on board as the ship’s “enrichment lecturer,” a privileged position among the staff despite his spotty credentials and work history.

    Ramon takes the high end gig to reconcile with his estranged son, the more polished and erudite James (played in the World Premiere by rising talent Kenneth Lopez), recently graduated from NYU and pursuing a career in writing.

    However, when Ramon’s professional credentials and past antics as a closeted gay man are revealed to his son and the ever present Cruise Director, father and son must confront deeper issues of identity and social value, especially after the son is befriended by a wealthy couple from Arizona who sees the young man’s potential to work on their conservative political campaign.

    The play is unique in part for its portrayal of contemporary middle-class Latinos and the exploration of displacement among the dominant Anglo culture, presented against the background of Columbus’ presence in the Americas and the decimation of the Arawaks in particular, the ironic focus on Ramon’s lecture.

    Moreover, the play deals with matters of sexuality, specifically gay male identity and the sometimes ambiguous spectrum it entails in Latin culture, with matter of fact, normative aplomb.

    At the heart of it, the play is a touching piece about a father and son, gifted misfits trying to find their place in the world, despite a history of colonial and social oppression. Since their tale is told with equals parts humor and quick-paced action, the character driven story is made universal for anyone who has ever felt marginalized and questioned their place in the world.
  • The Drowning of Natalie Wood
    A cold November night in 1981 on a pleasure craft off the coast of Catalina Island, near L.A. Three high profile actors behaving badly. A simmering feud causes the drowning death of Natalie Wood, one of the stars on board. My play uses published accounts and re-imagined scenarios to provide a triptych, purposefully theatrical account to this enduring American mystery. The play does not seek to implicate any...
    A cold November night in 1981 on a pleasure craft off the coast of Catalina Island, near L.A. Three high profile actors behaving badly. A simmering feud causes the drowning death of Natalie Wood, one of the stars on board. My play uses published accounts and re-imagined scenarios to provide a triptych, purposefully theatrical account to this enduring American mystery. The play does not seek to implicate any one individual rather to artfully render each witness partially culpable in the shared illusion of what it means to live continuously in a heightened, performative manner-- against the contradictory nature of the human heart.
  • los immortales
    Pre-Columbian Mexico: A ten minute play that tells the story of two young men who have spent the last year impersonating Aztecan gods, as per tradition, and now must face their imminent sacrifice once the sun rises.
  • Monte Carlo / Montenegro
    Unrest is brewing in 1980s Yugoslavia when an eccentric, vivacious traveler is stranded in a remote Montenegrin village. He is way off his course, and the help he seeks--and that which he offers--exposes the risks and rewards of striving for something better in a fracturing country.
  • BIG BRO / lil bro
    Los Angeles, SFV: Struggling actor Carlos leaves his elderly companion Gil for the excitement and inspiration of the younger bad boy Jeremy. However, when the new relationship falters over money troubles and role play, “Big Bro” Carlos is lured by "Lil Bro" Jeremy toward staking a claim on Carlos' gay inheritance, toward lethal and heart-breaking returns.