Recent Updates: The New School has released its academic plan for 2020-21 and a phased reopening plan for its New York campus. Please check the Parsons Paris website for information about our Paris campus. Learn more.

  • Faculty

  • Carmen Rivera


    Download vCard

    Carmen Rivera


    “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    For more information on EPP, check out


    Degrees Held


    MA – Playwriting/Latin American Theatre, 1993

    BA – Economics/Latin American Literature, 1986

    Professional Affiliation

    * 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

    Current Courses

    Dramatic Structure and Style 1

    Dramatic Structure and Style 2

    Foundations of Playwrighting

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.