Diana Burbano

Diana Burbano

Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble.
Diana’s plays focus on female protagonists and social issues. Written work includes Policarpa (Living Room at the Blank 2018, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan lab 2017), Fabulous Monsters (Latinx Play Festival, San Diego Rep 2017), Caliban...
Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist at South Coast Repertory and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble.
Diana’s plays focus on female protagonists and social issues. Written work includes Policarpa (Living Room at the Blank 2018, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan lab 2017), Fabulous Monsters (Latinx Play Festival, San Diego Rep 2017), Caliban’s Island (2017 Headwaters New Play Festival), Enemy|Flint which premiered in April at Rio Hondo College, and Linda, (in English and in Spanish), which has been seen all over the world.She was a writer on "Señor Plummer's Final Fiesta" which is currently wowing audiences in West Hollywood.
As an actor she originated the roles of Ama de Casa in the Spanish version of Menopause the Musical, Thumb in Imagine, and Ana Guerrero in Jose Cruz Gonzales' Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy at South Coast Repertory. She was in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Latinx Play Project 2016 cohort. She is currently in Center Theatre group’s 2018-19 Writers Workshop, and under commission by Alternative Theatre Ensemble. www.dianaburbano.com

Plays

  • Fabulous Monsters
    *Featured in Steppenwolf's "The Mix"
    When punk rock exploded in L.A., Sally and Lou were there: feminists, Latinas, queens of noise. One went pop, one stayed punk, but sparks from their tumultuous friendship remain. Decades later, can they overcome old wounds, forgive each other, and rock as hard as they ever did?

    A new work from this South Coast Repertory teaching artist,...
    *Featured in Steppenwolf's "The Mix"
    When punk rock exploded in L.A., Sally and Lou were there: feminists, Latinas, queens of noise. One went pop, one stayed punk, but sparks from their tumultuous friendship remain. Decades later, can they overcome old wounds, forgive each other, and rock as hard as they ever did?

    A new work from this South Coast Repertory teaching artist, developed in Latino Theatre Alliance/LA's Playwrights Nest Festival.
  • Ghosts of Bogota
    Diana Burbano’s GHOSTS OF BOGOTA is the story of three siblings, now late 20s to late 30s, who return to their parents’ birth country when their grandfather dies. GHOSTS is a universal story about family secrets, told through a very specific Latinx lens, and a story about that unique immigrant experience of never feeling fully at home in any country that can claim you.

    Draft 6/29/2019
  • Policarpa: Mad Max Sur Amerikka
    In the near future, an inexplicable plague infests La Gran Colombia. Ingrid Bolivar--the brilliant, mad ex-wife of Colombia's leader--is the only one who knows that the plague is carried by young women of the streets, whom she adopts and uses as weapons against the government. Policarpa, a girl with magical gifts, is supposed to be Ingrid's secret apocalyptic weapon. But when Policarpa falls in love...
    In the near future, an inexplicable plague infests La Gran Colombia. Ingrid Bolivar--the brilliant, mad ex-wife of Colombia's leader--is the only one who knows that the plague is carried by young women of the streets, whom she adopts and uses as weapons against the government. Policarpa, a girl with magical gifts, is supposed to be Ingrid's secret apocalyptic weapon. But when Policarpa falls in love with a top government official, she resists becoming an instrument of destruction and instead seeks to become a savior through sacrifice.

    Rooted in traditional Latin American magical realism, the nightmare magic science fiction world of Policarpa exists in a neither here-or-there.

    Policarpa has been developed by The Drama League's Rough Draft series, Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Latinx Play Project, and Milagro Theatre’s Ingenio play reading series. It received an Honorable Mention for the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

    Policarpa was a part of The Drama League’s Rough Draft series in May 2017, where it was developed by Melinda Hall. Also developed at Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings 2017 and Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Latinx play project 2017. It was the inaugural play for Milagro Theatre’s Ingenio play reading series 2018, and was recorded for The Parsnip Ship, 2018 with Hall at the helm.
    It received an Honorable Mention, Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s 2017 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award and is currently a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Festival 2018 and a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation Festival 2018.
  • Gargoyles
    Mother, a retired silent film star, moves herself and her teenaged daughter to and isolated tropical island. Their calm existence is upended when an English soldier moves into their village. Mother soon discovers that, because of who they are, she and the soldier both feel like monsters. She then has to choose between her fear, and the promise of an unconventional love with a man who has suffered as much as she has.
  • Silueta by Diana Burbano, Tom Shelton and Chris Shelton
    Silueta
    A new play imagined from a true story.

    1985: A sultry New York night. A marital spat. Cuban artist Ana Mendieta plunges 34 stories from her bedroom window to the sidewalk below. A tragic accident? Or murder?

    Silueta imagines Ana's husband, sculptor Carl Andre, as he might be today, still living in the 34th-floor apartment that he shared with the beautiful,...
    Silueta
    A new play imagined from a true story.

    1985: A sultry New York night. A marital spat. Cuban artist Ana Mendieta plunges 34 stories from her bedroom window to the sidewalk below. A tragic accident? Or murder?

    Silueta imagines Ana's husband, sculptor Carl Andre, as he might be today, still living in the 34th-floor apartment that he shared with the beautiful, ambitious Ana. He is riddled by frustration at the loss of his artistic potency and by a gnawing suspicion about his innocence in Ana's death. The ghost of Ana haunts him relentlessly at the scene of the tragedy. They are both obsessed with the same question, what really happened that fatal night? Silueta is a two-person show based on the true story of Ana Mendieta, who fell to her death in 1985. She was a rising star in the art world. Her husband, Carl Andre, was one of the founders of Minimalism. He was prosecuted for her murder and acquitted. The play explores their volatile relationship.

    Silueta is a collaboration by Tom Shelton, Chris Shelton and Diana Burbano. Written for Tom and Diana to perform, the play came out of research and improv sessions with Chris, a writer/director.
  • Sapience
    Elsa, is on the autism spectrum and has successfully hidden this fact from her professional colleagues. She is a doctor of primatology currently working with an orangutan named Wookie, who Elsa hopes to prove is capable of speaking a human language.
    Elsa has a lot at stake: Her theory is radical and her status with her grant and her donors is precarious.
    Elsa’s 12 year old nephew, A.J., is also...
    Elsa, is on the autism spectrum and has successfully hidden this fact from her professional colleagues. She is a doctor of primatology currently working with an orangutan named Wookie, who Elsa hopes to prove is capable of speaking a human language.
    Elsa has a lot at stake: Her theory is radical and her status with her grant and her donors is precarious.
    Elsa’s 12 year old nephew, A.J., is also on the Autism spectrum. He is “Locked in”- completely non-verbal. A.J. loves the zoo, particularly the orangutans. A.J. and Wookie discover that they can communicate in heretofore unknown ways, which completely disrupts Elsa’s research and theories. A.J. teaches Wookie that she is mortal and will die someday. This is a brand new concept to the animal, and Wookie falls into despair to the point of near death. Wookie’s death would be catastrophic to Elsa. She is forced to confront the value of A.J.’s mode of communication and her reluctance to embrace her own autism.


    Written for Center Theatre Group's Writers Workshop 18-19
  • Caliban's Island (Theatre for Young Audiences)
    "Characters from Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT and THE TEMPEST intertwine when a set of twins is shipwrecked on an island. As the siblings race to reunite, they encounter a young girl with magical powers, a deceptively cute fairy, and a horned monster with a heart of gold. CALIBAN'S ISLAND explores the struggle between wishes, dreams and wisdom. Bring the entire family to this witty, whimsical...
    "Characters from Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT and THE TEMPEST intertwine when a set of twins is shipwrecked on an island. As the siblings race to reunite, they encounter a young girl with magical powers, a deceptively cute fairy, and a horned monster with a heart of gold. CALIBAN'S ISLAND explores the struggle between wishes, dreams and wisdom. Bring the entire family to this witty, whimsical celebration of language and life. Part PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, part Shakespeare, Burbano writes with a unique voice all her own." --
    Headwaters: Creede Rep's New Play Program
  • Enemy|Flint
    Flint, MI. The water in the town has been poisoned. Thia Stockmann, a bright young medical student, is confronted by her upwardly mobile brother, Pete, about a blog she wrote regarding the poisoning of Flint’s water supply. This brings a lot of unwanted attention to Flint and will have repercussions on the economy. Peter accuses Thia of being selfish and to solve this problem in a more quiet way.
    ...
    Flint, MI. The water in the town has been poisoned. Thia Stockmann, a bright young medical student, is confronted by her upwardly mobile brother, Pete, about a blog she wrote regarding the poisoning of Flint’s water supply. This brings a lot of unwanted attention to Flint and will have repercussions on the economy. Peter accuses Thia of being selfish and to solve this problem in a more quiet way.

    In the media classroom reporters discuss the pros and cons of running Thia’s article bashing the reputation of the government. The group has a change of heart about how valuable it is to expose the government. They realize that printing this article will do more damage to the situation. Angry, Thia decides that she can fight this battle on his own. She calls a meeting at the community college.

    Thia talks about the contamination of the water but also gets into the town leaders and how they are corrupt as are most of the citizens of Flint. Anger starts to grow. By the end of the meeting the town has rebelled at Thia and have marked her as an enemy of the people.

    The landlord evicts them from their house, and Thia’s allies get fired for having progressive opinions. Thia stays true to her principles. She decides to accept her fate and become "an enemy of the people" if that is what it takes to do what is right.
  • Fénix
    After acid is thrown in a young woman's face, a Phoenix (Fenix) rises.
    A Colombian woman and acid attack survivor who successfully campaigned for a law targeting perpetrators of acid attacks in her country tells her story.
  • Death's Defeat
    3 young teens land in a magical world, due to a violent act in the real one.
    Dedicated to Kimberly Vaughn Hart.
  • Dreaming
    DREAMING is an intimate and poignant look into the lives of a mother and daughter, both hoping for a secure and better future in America. The daughter, of Mexican immigrant parents, was brought here as a child, is now a DACA member and faces the threat of US deportation. Her mother, without a husband and lack of money, has returned to Mexico, hoping to return to the States one day, under better circumstances.
  • Salat al-Janazah
    A mourner remembers her cousin, a Pakistani girl, who lost her life while on an exchange program.
  • Rounds Per Second
    A gunman has opened fire on a college campus. Now someone has to clean it up.
  • Linda (Monologue for a Latina)
    A young woman discovers to her delight and astonishment that her 2 childhood heroines are as Mexican as she is.
  • Picture Me Rollin' (one act)
    A young man is hit by a drunk driver. He lies in a coma as his family and Tupac struggles to help him cope with his new reality.
  • Silueta por Diana Burbano, Tom Shelton y Chris Shelton
    Un drama nuevo imaginado de una historia verdadera.
    Traduccion de Emiro Burbano
    En 1985, Una noche cálida y húmeda en Nueva York. Una pelea entre esposos. La artista Cubana Ana Mendieta cae 34 pisos desde la ventana de su apartamento a la calle. Quizás un accidente trágico,? un asesinato,?
    Silueta se imagina al esposo de Ana el escultor Carl André Como si estuviera viviendo hoy, en el...
    Un drama nuevo imaginado de una historia verdadera.
    Traduccion de Emiro Burbano
    En 1985, Una noche cálida y húmeda en Nueva York. Una pelea entre esposos. La artista Cubana Ana Mendieta cae 34 pisos desde la ventana de su apartamento a la calle. Quizás un accidente trágico,? un asesinato,?
    Silueta se imagina al esposo de Ana el escultor Carl André Como si estuviera viviendo hoy, en el apartamento del piso 34 que compartía con la hermosa y ambiciosa Ana. El está frustrado con la pérdida de su valor artístico y la sospecha que todavía persiste de la muerte de Ana no fue tan inocente como parece. El fantasma de Ana sigue sin descanso en el sitio mismo de la tragedia. Tienen ambos, una terrible obsesión con la misma pregunta, de lo que pasó en esa noche fatal.
    Silueta es un drama de dos personas basado en la historia verídica de Ana Mendieta que cayó a su muerte en 1985. Era una estrella joven y luminosa en el mundo del arte de esa época. Su esposo, André era uno de los fundadores del minimalismo. El fue juzgado por el asesinato y fue declarado no culpable. El drama explora su volátil relación personal.
    La versión inglesa de silueta fue un drama de taller técnico seleccionado por 2013 Great Plains Theater Conference Y fue finalista (1-12) en el Ashand New Play Festival 2014. Fue Uno de cuatro dramas escogidos en el Cygnet Theatre/Playwright’s in Process festival 2014 Y leído en el escenario en San Diego.
  • The Strange Education of Marina Santiago-Scripps by Diana Burbano, Tom Shelton And Chris Shelton
    A young woman meets her heroine, while doing battle with seal, sea lions and developers in La Jolla, CA.
  • Libertadoras, the tale of Jonatas, Natan and Manuelita Saenz (One act)
    The true story of Manuelita Saenz, liberatrix of Colombia. As told by her extraordinary friend the enslaved soldier Jonatas, mimic and storyteller. Might work best as a radio play.
  • Marie Dressler- Good Gal
    Marie is dying, but has no regrets.
  • Abandoned Way Out West
    Aquilina is a clever, courageous, and imaginative girl who leads a group of orphans in a recently abandoned wild west town. Will the railroad town disappear completely? Will Aquilina and her crew be sent to orphanages around the country? Join us to find the missing deed and solve the mystery of their town’s original founders!
  • Gun Nut
    Jeopardy, a fight and a missing testicle does not mean you get to tear my gun from my cold dead hands.
  • Fancy
    An woman is about to be executed for her work freeing young victims of sexual slavery. Her younger counterpart comes to rescue her, but is faced with a woman who prefers martyrdom to life.
  • The Rally
    The tragedy in Charlottesville served to open a scar in America. The white supremacist movement has come out of their hidden corners and darkened basements, helped along by their leader in Washington. This in and of itself is frightening, but I hold out hope. There is also a strong and vocal resistance movement who have put their bodies on the line to defy those who would take this country into the dark ages....
    The tragedy in Charlottesville served to open a scar in America. The white supremacist movement has come out of their hidden corners and darkened basements, helped along by their leader in Washington. This in and of itself is frightening, but I hold out hope. There is also a strong and vocal resistance movement who have put their bodies on the line to defy those who would take this country into the dark ages. There has been loss, and likely will be more, but their defiance will serve as a beacon for others to come and stand against the darkness.

    We MUST continue to be decent, and outspoken, and to protect each other, in spite of the evil that is trying to overwhelm our compassion.
  • The Pen
    Three young Latinas are swept up in ICE raids. Citizenship won't save them. Only an act of sacrifice will.
  • The Ring
    A young woman tries to consign her engagement ring after the violent death of her fiancé.
  • Not Your White Christmas
    Jaqui has invited her boyfriend Martin (half Black, half White, all liberal.) to Christmas at her Latinx MAGA lovin' family's house in Mequon, Wisconsin.
  • Playing Games
    Two step siblings come to a tiny truce over a video game.
  • Almost Fairy Time
    Four little Shakespearean fairies try to figure out how to get the old man out of his rut.
  • Beauty Kweens
    Little Miss Junior Orange County is a fierce competition as three girls vie for the crown. The battle is heated until hey discover they have much more in common than dumb grown up standards of beauty.
  • Vamping
    A young goth girl explains her fascination with Theda Bara.
  • The Ride (monologue for mature actress)
    An older woman learns to live again while on the AIDS ride.
  • Finding Neoplasms
    A child with cancer seeks to lighten the burden for his family
  • The Tower (5 minute)
    A beautiful Slovenian ex-model confronts her son's tutor and faces questions about her place in the world.
  • Fabulous Monsters Deep Cuts monologues
    Monologues for Woman 40's-50's
    #fabulousmonsters

    Slade aka Sally Rogers is a hard living, seen it all punk rocker from the 70’s, alive, sober and cynical as hell. 40’s-50’s
  • Myrtis
    A professor teaches her student facial reconstruction.
    Written for 365 Women a Year.
  • Linda en Español
    Una joven descubreque sus 2 heroínas infantiles son tan mexicanas como ella.
  • Fury Like a Drag Queen Scorned
    Sylvia Rivera sets the record straight on Stonewall, the gay liberation movement and the erasure of queer people of color and members of the LGBTQ community who do not conform to gender norms or typical gender categories.
  • Perfect Number
    A woman without a home makes friends with a philosophical octopus on Venice Beach.