Sin Muros: A Borderless Teatro Festival is back at Stages in Houston. Now in its fifth year, the annual Latinx theatre festival continues with a full weekend of performances celebrating the Texas Latinx community. Sin Muros includes staged readings, professional development for teachers, and playwriting workshops. Festival attendees can see new work by writers Karen Alvarado, Alicia Margarita Olivo, Adrienne Dawes, and Josie Nericcio. The festival runs February 17-20, 2022.

In this interview I talk to Adrienne Dawes about her play This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero, how Texas informs her work, and what she hopes to accomplish at Sin Muros. This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero will receive two staged readings during the festival: Saturday, February 19 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, February 20 at 2:00 pm.

Trevor: Can you tell us more about This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero?

Adrienne: In my first semester of graduate school I enrolled in a Spanish class where we were supposed to mount a production of “El perro del hortelano” by Lope de Vega. The class was extremely hilarious, very Waiting for Guffman (pero en español), but I enjoyed every awkward moment because I truly loved the text. I thought it was so funny, with such rich and comedic characters. I was also furious it took me so long to find this work—why weren’t they teaching Lope de Vega in undergrad or high school? Embedded within the work are the seeds of telenovela, sitcom, and “socially-conscious” comedy (comedias often examine human-constructed hierarchies and their fallacies). It felt like material really ripe for adaptation and the kind of story I could see existing in some very new and modern contexts.

Trevor: How does This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero fit within your body of work? 

Adrienne: There’s a comedic thread running throughout all my work, even my darkest, most serious plays. I’m a firm believer in the “Trojan horse” strategy, if we distract the audience with some laughs at the beginning, we can then bust out more serious conversations about identity, family, the politics of belonging, etc. I’m fairly new to adaptation, this is my first classical adaptation and first time exploring comedias in the Golden Age. I’ve really enjoyed the challenge and this script has been the best escape for me during such a dark and heavy time.

Trevor: What are your goals for Sin Muros?

Adrienne: This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero is my pandemic baby so I’ve never heard it read for a live audience before. I have some idea of what I think is funny and/or interesting but I know the development process and live audience will be my biggest teachers. That’s what I feel like I’m here to do ultimately, listen and learn what this play wants to be when it grows up.

Playwright Adrienne Dawes. Photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh/Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

Playwright Adrienne Dawes. Photo by Melissa Lukenbaugh/Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

Trevor: One of the aims of Sin Muros is to provide a home for Texas Latinx artists. Can you tell us more about how Texas informs your work, if at all?

Adrienne: I’m from Austin originally, so Texas shows up A LOT in my work. It’s a huge state—of mind, of place, of overlapping histories. My play Teen Dad is set in a Galveston beach house and Hairy & Sherri is set in gentrified East Austin (complete with references to shuttered Austin businesses/venues and some fun digs at Kendra Scott). Ultimately I want to write a Texas trilogy but I’m terrified of jinxing myself. So for now I can say I have two big Texas plays, and maybe a third will show up soon.

Trevor: What’s next for Adrienne Dawes?

Adrienne: Allegedly, I finish graduate school in May 2023 and I hope to pursue TV writing and/or teaching, whichever finds me first. I’m currently working on a new play, End of the Day, that draws inspiration from absurdist theatre and the reality dating show Love Island UK. My last three plays have all been big, bawdy farces so I think it’s safe to say that my pandemic survival strategy continues to be comedy. I want us all to laugh again. 

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

This post was written by Trevor Boffone.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.