Virginia Grise

Virginia Grise

From panzas to prisons, from street theatre to large-scale multimedia performances, from princess to chafa – Virginia Grise writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms. Her published work includes Your Healing is Killing Me (Plays Inverse Press), blu (Yale University Press), The Panza Monologues co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press) and an edited...
From panzas to prisons, from street theatre to large-scale multimedia performances, from princess to chafa – Virginia Grise writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms. Her published work includes Your Healing is Killing Me (Plays Inverse Press), blu (Yale University Press), The Panza Monologues co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press) and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). Virginia is a recipient of the Yale Drama Award, Whiting Writers' Award, the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, and the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship. She is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab & the Women's Project Theatre Lab.

In addition to plays, she has created a body of work that is interdisciplinary and includes multimedia performance, dance theater, performance installations, guerilla theater, site specific interventions, and community gatherings. As a curator, artist and activist she has facilitated organizing efforts amongst women, immigrant, Chicano, working class and queer youth. Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers, women’s prisons and in the juvenile correction system. She holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts.

Plays

  • Their Dogs Came With Them
    What happens to a community, and the people that live there, when four intersecting freeways are built right through the heart of their neighborhood? Adapted from the novel by Helena Maria Viramontes, Their Dogs Came with Them is about the destruction and displacement of a Mexican-American community, roaming dogs, quarantines, earthmovers and ancient voladores. The play ascribes new meanings to gang life dramas...
    What happens to a community, and the people that live there, when four intersecting freeways are built right through the heart of their neighborhood? Adapted from the novel by Helena Maria Viramontes, Their Dogs Came with Them is about the destruction and displacement of a Mexican-American community, roaming dogs, quarantines, earthmovers and ancient voladores. The play ascribes new meanings to gang life dramas, gender queer identities, and Chicana/o/x coming of age barrio tales. Much like the structure of a freeway, the lives of four Mexican-American youth intersect and intertwine, unearthing stories about the effects and aftereffects of the Vietnam War, displacement, mental illness, and state violence.
  • Your Healing is Killing Me
    Your Healing is Killing Me is a performance manifesto that seeks to replace individual self-care with collective self-defense. One artist’s reflections on living with post-traumatic stress disorder, ansia, and eczema in the new age of trigger warnings, the master cleanse, and kickstarter funded self-care. Based on lessons learned in San Antonio free health clinics and New York acupuncture schools and from the...
    Your Healing is Killing Me is a performance manifesto that seeks to replace individual self-care with collective self-defense. One artist’s reflections on living with post-traumatic stress disorder, ansia, and eczema in the new age of trigger warnings, the master cleanse, and kickstarter funded self-care. Based on lessons learned in San Antonio free health clinics and New York acupuncture schools and from the treatments and consejos of curanderas, abortion doctors, Marxist artists, community health workers, and bourgie dermatologists.
  • blu
    An epic poem for the stage, blu traces the explosive after-effects of prison and hunger, desire and war. The play follows a queer Chicana/o family as they try to envision an earth and sky without police and their helicopters.

    Selected as the winner of the 2010 Yale Drama competition from more than 950 submissions, Virginia Grise's play blu takes place in the present but looks back on the...
    An epic poem for the stage, blu traces the explosive after-effects of prison and hunger, desire and war. The play follows a queer Chicana/o family as they try to envision an earth and sky without police and their helicopters.

    Selected as the winner of the 2010 Yale Drama competition from more than 950 submissions, Virginia Grise's play blu takes place in the present but looks back on the not too distant past through a series of prayers, rituals, and dreams. Contest judge David Hare commented, "Virginia Grise is a blazingly talented writer, and her play blu stays with you a long time after you've read it." Noting that 2010 was a banner year for women playwrights, he added, "Women's writing for the theatre is stronger and more eloquent than it has ever been."
  • The Panza Monologues
    A one-woman tour de force as told through the words of women speaking with heart stopping frankness, these stories create a quilt of poignancy, humor, and revelation. The Panza Monologues boldly places the panza front and center as a symbol that reveals the lurking truths about women's thoughts, lives, loves, abuses, and lived conditions. Co-written with Irma Mayorga. Additional stories also contributed by...
    A one-woman tour de force as told through the words of women speaking with heart stopping frankness, these stories create a quilt of poignancy, humor, and revelation. The Panza Monologues boldly places the panza front and center as a symbol that reveals the lurking truths about women's thoughts, lives, loves, abuses, and lived conditions. Co-written with Irma Mayorga. Additional stories also contributed by Petra A. Mata, Bárbara Renaud-González and María R. Salazar.