Emilio Williams

Emilio Williams

Emilio is a bilingual (Spanish/English) artist/educator whose critically-acclaimed plays have been produced in Argentina, Estonia, France, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. He earned a bachelor's degree in Film and Video and holds an MFA in Writing. He is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where he is also a faculty member.

Plays

  • Smartphones, a pocket-size farce
    What happens when our lives become more absurd than an avant-garde play? “Smartphones, a pocket-size farce” is a madcap comedy, both a parody and a tribute to the great theater of the absurd, and the surrealist films of Luis Buñuel, such as “The exterminating angel” and “The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie.” Amelia, Bernabe, Chantal, Dagobert and their respective mobile phones impatiently await their friend...
    What happens when our lives become more absurd than an avant-garde play? “Smartphones, a pocket-size farce” is a madcap comedy, both a parody and a tribute to the great theater of the absurd, and the surrealist films of Luis Buñuel, such as “The exterminating angel” and “The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie.” Amelia, Bernabe, Chantal, Dagobert and their respective mobile phones impatiently await their friend Fede in a mysterious apartment. In that blurry line that separates the real world from the virtual world, nothing seems to be what it is, or is it the other way around? 60-minute show for 5 actors.
  • Elektra Problematika
    This is a reinvention of Sophocles' Elektra for an all-Latinx cast and director. It is a tragedy with moments of comedy. I wrote this play under commission from Teatro Luna West, in collaboration with director Alexandra Meda. Teatro Luna West is looking for production partners for the world premiere.

    The play received a Fellowship Award at The School of the Art Institute. The award was...
    This is a reinvention of Sophocles' Elektra for an all-Latinx cast and director. It is a tragedy with moments of comedy. I wrote this play under commission from Teatro Luna West, in collaboration with director Alexandra Meda. Teatro Luna West is looking for production partners for the world premiere.

    The play received a Fellowship Award at The School of the Art Institute. The award was judged by poet Prageeta Sharma who stated: "... I found it to be an extremely compelling and risky play. I was intrigued by its premise of a retelling of Elektra that updated itself to “examine myths of the House of Atreus for an all-Latinx cast.” I appreciated how it negotiated trans-generational social activism and social practice: themes of feminist agency, identity, trans and non-binary identity, culture, etc. in particular examining how difficult activism, politics, and discourse can be on the stage (figuring out the didactic discourse of politics alongside dramatic structures), I think. It seemed to invite us to see what contemporary theatre can hold and refresh when approaching Classicism and ancient theatre and in doing so revising its sense and scope. Overall, I liked how timely, bold, spirited, comedic, and chancy it was. At times, I wasn’t sure it was able to pull off its self-interrogation but then it was full of surprises and gestures that I realized were the point and thus artful and intentionally provocative. It was very fresh and innovative."
  • ¡Bernarda!- A new Adaptation in Progress
    As part of my residency at Chicago Dramatists, I'm working on a translation/adaptation of Garcia Lorca's classic "The House of Bernarda Alba". We're about to have the second table reading. This version is streamlined and it enhances some of the humor in the original that gets lost in translation. I grew up with this classic, and I also, like Garcia Lorca, grew up queer in Catholic...
    As part of my residency at Chicago Dramatists, I'm working on a translation/adaptation of Garcia Lorca's classic "The House of Bernarda Alba". We're about to have the second table reading. This version is streamlined and it enhances some of the humor in the original that gets lost in translation. I grew up with this classic, and I also, like Garcia Lorca, grew up queer in Catholic Spain. I don't think this play has yet received a proper production in the Anglo world, in part because the translations have been inappropriately literal, and in part, because the predominantly WASP casts were not able to embody the story properly.