Octavio Solis

Plays written by Octavio Solis



Marfa Lights – (5M 3W) Jorge undergoes a horrific hazing at the hands of his frat brothers and is abandoned near-naked, hog-tied and blind-folded in the stark cold West Texas desert. But when night falls, and the strange Marfa Lights dance around him, a mysterious girl named Meiken finds him, and mistaking him for an angel, takes him though a series of ordeals in preparation for a long-sought miracle. Meanwhile, the other boys and one of their girlfriends feel a nagging need to “finish the job” and begin their hunt for him. Only one pledge brother, Sonny, resolves, with the help of a foul-mouthed Goth girl stranded along the road, to save him before they can do any more damage. Thus begins a magical night of revelations and transformations among the haunted plains of Texas.

The Pastures of Heaven – (6M 5W) A modern adaptation of this early novel of interconnected stories by one of our country’s most talented and prolific playwrights. This richly theatrical play—commissioned especially for Cal Shakes—celebrates the art of storytelling as it depicts comic and heartbreaking characters in search of happiness in the seemingly idyllic landscape of Steinbeck’s own Salinas Valley.

Quixote – (casting flexible) Embracing both aching humanity and earthy humor, Octavio Solis’s adaptation of Don Quixote is a colorful, action-packed re-imagining of the Spanish epic adventure. In his quest for the bygone days of chivalry, our aging hero jumbles reality and imagination as he forges a noble but messy trail across the plains of La Mancha.

Se Llama Cristina – (2M 2W) A man and woman waken from a drugged-out night to find their baby missing. The pair decide to relive their history to try to set things right. This haunted, poetic journey moves from darkness to a glimmer of light.


Octavio Solis is a playwright and director living in San Francisco. His works John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, Ghosts of the River, Quixote, Lydia, June in a Box, Lethe, Marfa Lights, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The 7 Visions of Encarnación, Bethlehem, Dreamlandia, El Otro, Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, Santos & Santos, and La Posada Mágica have been mounted at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Shadowlight Productions, the Venture Theatre in Philadelphia, Latino Chicago Theatre Company, the New York Summer Play Festival, Teatro Vista in Chicago, El Teatro Campesino, the Undermain Theatre in Dallas, Thick Description, Campo Santo, the Imua Theatre Company in New York, and Cornerstone Theatre. His collaborative works include Cloudlands, with music/lyrics by Adam Gwon, Burning Dreams, cowritten with Julie Hebert and Gina Leishman and Shiner, written with Erik Ehn. Solis has received an NEA 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship, the Roger L. Stevens award from the Kennedy Center, the Will Glickman Playwright Award, a production grant from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, the 1998 McKnight Fellowship grant from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and the National Latino Playwriting Award for 2003. He is the recipient of the 2000-2001 National Theatre Artists Residency Grant from TCG and the Pew Charitable Trust. He has also just been awarded a United States Artists Fellowship for 20012. Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists alum and member of the Dramatists Guild.

His new anthology, “The River Plays” has been published by NoPassPort Publishing. He is working on commissions for the Magic Theatre SF and Yale Repertory Theatre.


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