Faculty A-Z

  • Profile:

    “A play is an ever-changing dynamic theatrical experience.   Every director, cast, design team, audience and reader bring new life to a piece of dramatic literature.   A play is not a fixed expression, but a revelation in a particular moment in time.”

    Carmen Rivera’s OBIE-Award winning play La Gringa, just celebrated its 21st year anniversary in repertory at Repertorio Español.  It is now the longest running Spanish-language play in Off-Broadway history.  She co-wrote, with Cándido Tirado, Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz, which played Off-Broadway at New World Stages and toured Florida, Chicago, Tenerife, Canary Islands and the Centro de Bellas Artes (Center for the Fine Arts) in Puerto Rico.

    Other Off-Broadway productions include: La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny; Julia de Burgos: Child of Water; To Catch The Lightning -- Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre ; The Downfall Of Rafael Trujillo -- Teatro Circulo; The Next Stop -- INTAR / Repertorio Español; Under The Mango Tree -- INTAR.    Carmen’s work has also appeared in theatre festivals in New York, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, England, Puerto Rico, and Russia.  She has also participated at the Lark Playwrights Center -- Mexico/ US Exchange program, as a translator and is also a translator and dialect coach for the television show POWER, produced by the Starz Network. 

    Carmen is a Founding Member and Co-Executive Director of E.P.P. (Educational Play Productions), which brings plays, that deal with social issues into the public schools.    For more information on Carmen, check out www.carmenrivera-writer.com.    For more information on EPP, check out www.educationalplayproductions.com.


    Degrees Held:


    MA – Playwriting/Latin American Theatre, 1993

    BA – Economics/Latin American Literature, 1986

    Professional Affiliations:

    * PEN -- American Center

    * The Dramatists Guild / The Authors League of America

    * NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) 

    * Theatre Communications Group

    * El Taller Latinoamericano -- Board of Directors

    * Mujer Positiva (Positive Women – AIDS Org.) – Board of Directors

    * Usual Suspect – New York Theatre Workshop

    * SIGMA DELTA PI – Spanish Literature Organization – Inducted June 1986


    Recent Publications:

    “Carmen Rivera:  THEATRE OF LATINIDAD” -- Doctoral Thesis written byDr. Jason Ramirez, 2008

    “Under the Mango Tree” -- Steele Spring Stage Rights -- Fall 2016

    “To Catch The Lightning” and “The Downfall of Rafael Trujillo -- NoPassport Press --Spring 2015

    “Julia de Burgos: Child of Water” -- Red Sugar Cane Press (in English) -- Spring 2014

    “La Dualidad de Julia de Burgos” -- CRUCE, San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Spring 2014

    “La Gringa” – Samuel French Inc. (both English and Spanish editions) – January 2009

    “In Conversation with Carmen Rivera” -- THE DRAMATIST GUILD JOURNAL, March / April 2004

    “Betty’s Garage” – THE WOMEN’S PROJECT AND PRODUCTIONS: Rowing to America And 16 Other Short Plays, Edited by Julia Miles – Smith and Kraus Publishers – Spring 2002

    WOMEN WHO WRITE THEATRE – Edited by Alexis Greene – Published Interview –Smith and Kraus Publishers – Fall 2001

    “Julia” – NUESTRO NEW YORK - Anthology of Puerto Rican Theatre – Penguin USA Books, May 1994

    “On Becoming a Playwright” – Playwrights Speak Series – OLLANTAY THEATRE MAGAZINE – Volume III, Number 1, Spring 1995

    Alexander Street Press -- Online Archive


    Research Interests:

    Social Justice, Women's History, Patriarchy/Dictatorships, Spiritual Integration, Music

    Awards And Honors:

    1996 – OBIE – “La Gringa” / New Voices Program at Repertorio Español

    2017 -- LATINO THEATRE COMMONS -- Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Performances of “La Gringa” at Repertorio Español

    2016 -- THE KILROYS LIST -- Honorable Mention -- “Riding the Bear”

    2015 -- ATI AWARD (Independent Theatre Artists) -- Best Production -- “The Downfall of Rafael Trujillo” - Teatro Círculo

    2015 -- INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY -- Proyecto Cultura y Sociedad -- In recognition of her contribution to the Theatre and the representation of the Latin Woman

    2008 – HOLA AWARDS – Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting & Best Production– “Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz” – New World Stages

    2001 – ACE AWARD (Association of Journalists and Writers) – Best Production – “La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny” – Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre - Off-Broadway

    1997-1999 -- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), ATT On-Stage and New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA). 

    1997 -- ACE AWARD -- Nomination for Best Production -- "To Catch The Lightning" -- Puerto Rico Traveling Theatre -- Off-Broadway