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Hilary Bettis is a playwright, a producer, and a writer.
- My grandfather saw a lot of violence and a lot of poverty, and really was incredibly, deeply tortured by it. It was always this elephant in the room that we never talked about growing up. He spoke fluent Spanish, but never in front of us. I think he was really afraid that we would be judged and held back by our Mexican heritage, like he was. Part of writing this play was like digging up my own family ghosts and things that I personally had always been afraid to talk about, because my family never talked about them. Also, because I’m Mexican and I’m white, I often struggle with wondering if I’m “allowed” to tell stories through this lens; growing up, the white kids always told me I was Latina or “ethnic,” and the Chicano kids always told me I was a “gringa,” so I never really felt like I fit in anywhere…
- On her play The Ghosts of Lote Bravo in “The Borders of Our Lives” (American Theatre; Feb 2018)
- There is no one answer about why women are historically, across just about all of civilization, treated this way. It’s economics, it’s religion, it’s the reality of sex and pregnancy for women. It’s these value systems that get passed down from generation to generation that need questioning…Women haven’t survived for eons by being “weak” and “emotional.” We’ve survived by being a hell of a lot tougher and braver than we’re given credit for…
- On why women are treated poorly throughout the world in “The Borders of Our Lives” (American Theatre; Feb 2018)
- If you and your children were starving, if you saw violence and murder every single day, and just on the horizon is a safe country where people are allowed to dream, can make a decent living, of course you would cross the border. Any mother or father in their right mind would. We need to have compassion for this.
- On why Mexicans cross the border in “The Borders of Our Lives” (American Theatre; Feb 2018)
- It’s really a play about these big ideas that don’t have any sort of definitive conclusion…What I hope people get out of it is—as uncomfortable as it is—to be able to live in these gray areas of conversation that none of us have answers to and see the humanity in people, even if you don’t agree with them.
- On her play Queen of Basel in “After a Hit With FX’s The Americans, Hilary Bettis Is Back in Theatre” in Playbill (2019 Mar 29)