David Valdes

David Valdes

David Valdes is a writer outside Boston. He has been a Company One PlayLab Fellow, Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, Cimientos Fellow, and Brother Thomas Artist Fellow. His plays have been fully staged and presented in public readings across the US and UK. He has worked with Orlando Shakes, Fresh Ink, Rochester Rep, Company One, Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, Mixed Blood, Borderlands, Milagros...
David Valdes is a writer outside Boston. He has been a Company One PlayLab Fellow, Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, Cimientos Fellow, and Brother Thomas Artist Fellow. His plays have been fully staged and presented in public readings across the US and UK. He has worked with Orlando Shakes, Fresh Ink, Rochester Rep, Company One, Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, Mixed Blood, Borderlands, Milagros, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Stage Left, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Theater Offensive, and others. His plays have appeared at the Humana Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, Portland Stage Little Festival of the Unexpected, and New York Theatre Workshop Thursday Studio. His plays have published and anthologized by Samuel French. His plays have appeared twice in the National Showcase of New Plays, one of them enjoying a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere in 2018.

Plays

  • Up the Ladder, Down the Slide
    Old friends Laurel, Karen, and Oscar meet for cocktails each week as a safe harbor when they find themselves all at once in the crux of the "sandwich generation," parenting their own declining parents. Laurel's live-in dad has had Alzheimer's for years, while Karen's mom is newly diagnosed with dementia, and Oscar's mom is in hospice. Their bonds are tested by the unpredictable...
    Old friends Laurel, Karen, and Oscar meet for cocktails each week as a safe harbor when they find themselves all at once in the crux of the "sandwich generation," parenting their own declining parents. Laurel's live-in dad has had Alzheimer's for years, while Karen's mom is newly diagnosed with dementia, and Oscar's mom is in hospice. Their bonds are tested by the unpredictable roller coaster of grief, hope, anger, humor, shame, and an endless quest for "one last good day." The play mixes raw portraits of their lives with magical elements and features a POC and LGBT cast. 2019 National Showcase of New Plays.
  • Much Undone
    Shortlisted for Shakespeare's New Contemporaries, a modern reply to the (messed up) gender politics of Much Ado About Nothing. Hero gathers the old gang for an anniversary bash thrown by gender-bending party planners sure to push her husband's buttons. Over the course of the night, everyone is made to question why, who, and how people marry. It's a pure comedy with all the Shakespeare trappings--...
    Shortlisted for Shakespeare's New Contemporaries, a modern reply to the (messed up) gender politics of Much Ado About Nothing. Hero gathers the old gang for an anniversary bash thrown by gender-bending party planners sure to push her husband's buttons. Over the course of the night, everyone is made to question why, who, and how people marry. It's a pure comedy with all the Shakespeare trappings--a lot of humor, a little song, direct address, mistaken identity, weddings (and unweddings!), and even a soliloquy about nether parts.
  • Downtown Crossing
    Seven undocumented immigrants from different populations unwittingly cross paths on the Boston subway. Using liminal space instead of strict naturalism, we discover their joys and visions, as well as their fears, as they wait out an unexpected delay on the train. With composite characters based on interviews with undocumented Bostonians, the show tells the stories more often omitted from media narratives about...
    Seven undocumented immigrants from different populations unwittingly cross paths on the Boston subway. Using liminal space instead of strict naturalism, we discover their joys and visions, as well as their fears, as they wait out an unexpected delay on the train. With composite characters based on interviews with undocumented Bostonians, the show tells the stories more often omitted from media narratives about undocumented life, including their contributions to the city. The play highlights what it like to build a life while holding your breath.
  • The Mermaid Hour
    For Pilar and Bird, parenting a trans tween is all about guessing how to get it right when they’re not even sure what that means—and it doesn’t help that they’re not on the same page. Vi just wishes they would keep up: she’s busy navigating her first crush on super-cool Jacob, obsessing over her favorite YouTube vlogger, and just about ready to make herself an internet sensation. Fast-paced, funny, and...
    For Pilar and Bird, parenting a trans tween is all about guessing how to get it right when they’re not even sure what that means—and it doesn’t help that they’re not on the same page. Vi just wishes they would keep up: she’s busy navigating her first crush on super-cool Jacob, obsessing over her favorite YouTube vlogger, and just about ready to make herself an internet sensation. Fast-paced, funny, and heartfelt, The Mermaid Hour finds all three confronting the gaps between who they are and who they wish to be.

    Mermaid Hour: ReMixed, a musical adaptation by Eric Mayson and David Valdes Greenwood, is available upon request.
  • Last Catastrophist
    Marina, one of the last two climatologists on earth, has hidden herself on the coast of Iceland to escape increasing threats from Eternal Sunshine, a dark ops force dedicated to harassing climate scientists into silence. But when Lucia, her one remaining peer, shows up unannounced, a cat-and-mouse game ensues. Are they allies? Enemies? Who works for who? A suspenseful two-woman show, Last Catastrophist draws on...
    Marina, one of the last two climatologists on earth, has hidden herself on the coast of Iceland to escape increasing threats from Eternal Sunshine, a dark ops force dedicated to harassing climate scientists into silence. But when Lucia, her one remaining peer, shows up unannounced, a cat-and-mouse game ensues. Are they allies? Enemies? Who works for who? A suspenseful two-woman show, Last Catastrophist draws on climate science and real life events to imagine life on the brink.
  • Vow Keepers
    When a young gay couple wake up on their wedding morning, a couple in their sixties appear in their hotel room, having time-traveled to talk the younger pair out of it, in a comedy about marriage in our time. Think of it as Dr. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

    It is written for a cast of 4 men (which is how the staged readings have been presented) but it would be fun for an adventurous theatre to...
    When a young gay couple wake up on their wedding morning, a couple in their sixties appear in their hotel room, having time-traveled to talk the younger pair out of it, in a comedy about marriage in our time. Think of it as Dr. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

    It is written for a cast of 4 men (which is how the staged readings have been presented) but it would be fun for an adventurous theatre to cast 6 or 8 for rotating line-ups (alternating between all-male, all-female, or male-female casts).
  • Raggedy And
    When poet Ondi Rivers is asked to read at inauguration, she balks because they want her as a transwoman, not just as a poet or even as a lesbian, which is how she identifies. Her wife thinks it’s too dangerous, but her son thinks she owes it to the trans community. His boyfriend, who works for the President-elect, thinks Ondi owes more to history than to herself, but she’s stubborn: if she doesn’t get to claim...
    When poet Ondi Rivers is asked to read at inauguration, she balks because they want her as a transwoman, not just as a poet or even as a lesbian, which is how she identifies. Her wife thinks it’s too dangerous, but her son thinks she owes it to the trans community. His boyfriend, who works for the President-elect, thinks Ondi owes more to history than to herself, but she’s stubborn: if she doesn’t get to claim her own identity, how is that progress? It’s a quick-moving, ultramodern comedy of manners across a generational divide.
  • Mambo Beans
    When mixed race Cuban-American brothers raised in the north head south bearing their mother's ashes to their estranged Papi in Little Havana, the car is loaded with a surprise guest, a ghost, and 30 years of history that isn't what they imagined. As the miles pass and the story unfolds, they have to ask who they are and what family means when the answer changes. 2018 San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival Finalist.
  • Full Code
    When a terrifying accident sends Sander into a coma, his estranged wife and his "work wife" both show up at his bedside thinking they know what is best for his end of life--or life-extending--care. At the same time, we witness the internal experience of his coma, where the real and imagined all seem happily intertwined, even as ominous signs suggest that time is running out. Full Code asks how we know...
    When a terrifying accident sends Sander into a coma, his estranged wife and his "work wife" both show up at his bedside thinking they know what is best for his end of life--or life-extending--care. At the same time, we witness the internal experience of his coma, where the real and imagined all seem happily intertwined, even as ominous signs suggest that time is running out. Full Code asks how we know when it's time to hold on tight or just let go.
  • Bully Dance
    In the aftermath of a shooting spree that targeted sex offenders, the survivors, the shooter, and his mother are drawn together in memory and reality, their competing--and opposing--stories painting a portrait of loss and rebirth. The evening-length play is ritual based, structured as part ceremony, part Rashomon-like puzzle, as it asks how we go on after a sudden confrontation with horror.
  • Alamar
    Four Cubans in two countries navigate race, class, drag, and Reaganonics in 1981, wrestling with notions of home and revolution in a culture defined by exile.