Christopher Oscar Peña

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Christopher Oscar Peña is a playwright, screenwriter, actor and educator.


  • I’ve always resisted being called a ‘gay’ or a ‘Latino’ playwright…I certainly talk about them in my plays, but I don’t want to be defined by them. Not because I’m not proud — but the minute you define yourself in a certain way, there are huge assumptions about what you’re supposed to be. And those boxes don’t really fit anymore.
  • I’m a little bit highbrow and a little bit trashy…That’s what I think good storytelling is. If you can lure in an audience and have a good time with them, but also teach them what it’s like — to be a person of color, to be poor — that’s a success.
  • Some writers write every morning, or every day. I don´t tend to do that. I am of the Wendy Wasserstein mind. Going to the movies is research. Walking down Central Park and seeing cute boys in tank tops is research. Going to the Museum of Modern Art is research. Having dinner with my best friends is research. Because research, when it comes to being a playwright, most importantly means living. It means experiencing and engaging with the world…
  • i think its important to write plays that aren’t safe. often, that means that you are criticizing the institutions who’s help you need getting produced. and often, that means that you are engaging with audiences in ways that aren’t easy for them. every time i start a new play, it feels like the first time. it’s terrifying. it’s daunting. it feels impossible. i think that is a tremendous undertaking. [sic]

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