La Egoista explores the story of Josefina, a rising stand-up comic who takes nothing seriously, and her very religious sister Betsaida, who is suddenly diagnosed with a chronic illness. This surreal play follows Josefina through her comedic sets as they unfold in conjunction with the deterioration of her sister's health. La Egoista uses comedy, puppets, magic, and memory to explore caregiving, the ways we process grief, and how to find balance between the selfless and the selfish. The play was commissioned by Live & In Color and presented at the 2022 LTC Comedy Carnaval.
â€œLa Egoista found its champions at Arizona Theatre Company,â€ says Arizona Theatre Company Playwright-in-Residence Elaine Romero. â€œFrom our very first readers to our high-profile final panelists, all fell in love with the playâ€™s inventive storytelling and form. It has often been said that to win the National Latine Playwrights Award, a play must do something that the others didnâ€™t do. We found that to be so true here. The humor, pathos, and honesty in â€˜La Egoista â€”the love between sisters and familyâ€”kept inviting us back home.â€
Ortiz is a playwright, performer, and theatremaker from Reading, Pennsylvania. Her heartfelt and humorous plays have been presented with Power Street Theatre where she is proud to be Co-Artistic Director. Her play Las Mujeres received The Bonaly Award for Creation of Community Joy. Her play, Morir Sonyando, was nominated for six Barrymore Awards, including Outstanding New Play. Young Money produced at Azuka Theatre, received an ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Citation. Ortiz participated in the Oâ€™Neill National Musical Theatre Conference with the musical Siluetas.
Notable recent winners of the National Latine Playwrights Award include Rachel Lynett with Black Mexican, Charise Castro Smith, for El HuracÃ¡n, co-writer of Disney hit Encanto (Golden Globe, Winner, Best Motion Picture, Animated), Benjamin Benne for Alma, a world premiere in production at the Center Theatre Group, and Eliana Pipes for Dream Hou$e, which received multiple professional productions.
Established in 1995, the National Latine Playwrights Award is unique in both its longevity and prescience. Of the past 26 recipients, 24 have gone on to productions across the United States and around the world. ATCâ€™s long history of recognizing Latine voices is echoed in its embrace of new work that does not neatly comport to genre, form, or subject. For more information, please visit ATC.org and follow the company on Facebook.
About Arizona Theatre Company
Arizona Theatre Companyâ€™s (ATC) performances bring people together to experience essential stories, from reimagined classics to contemporary plays, original works, and innovative musicals fostering continued conversation beyond the theatre walls. Founded in 1966 and celebrating its 54th season, ATC is led by Kasser Family Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Managing Director Geri Wright. ATC operates in two major cities and is the preeminent professional theatre in Arizona, recognized as the official State theatre.