BREAKAWAY


by Octavio Solis

Directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang

Playwright / OCTAVIO SOLIS
Playwright / OCTAVIO SOLIS

Octavio Solis is a playwright and director living in Oregon. His works Alicia’s Miracle, Se Llama Cristina, John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, Ghosts of the River, Quixote, Lydia, June in a Box, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The Seven Visions of Encarnación, Dreamlandia, El Otro, Prospect, El Paso Blue, Santos & Santos, La Posada Mágica, Prospect and Man of the Flesh have been mounted across the country at companies such as the Center Theatre Group, the Theatre @ Boston Court, California Shakespeare Theatre, the Yale Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, INTAR, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre SF, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the Marin Theatre Company, Cornerstone Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, Working Classroom, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, Attic Rep, El Teatro Campesino, Teatro Vista, Teatro Dallas, Teatro Visión, Thick Description and Campo Santo at Intersection for the Arts. His collaborative works include Cloudlands, a musical co-written with Adam Gown and Shiner, co-written with Erik Ehn. Solis has received the 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Texas State University Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, the 2014 Pen Center Literary Award for Drama (for Se Llama Cristina), the United States Artists Fellowship for 2012, the 2003 National Latino Playwriting Award, the 2000-2001 National Theatre Artists Residency from TCG and the Pew Charitable Trust, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, the 1998 McKnight Fellowship grant from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, the 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Roger L. Stevens award from the Kennedy Center, the 1994 Will Glickman Playwright Award, and the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays production grant. Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists alum and member of the Dramatists Guild. His anthology, “The River Plays” has been published by NoPassPort Press. He is working on commissions for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Circle X Theatre, Magic Theatre SF and Yale Repertory Theatre.

Director / ELLEN SEBASTIAN CHANG
Director / ELLEN SEBASTIAN CHANG

Ellen Sebastian Chang is a director, writer and a creative consultant.  Ms. Sebastian Chang was a cofounder and artistic director of LIFE ON THE WATER, a national and internationally known presenting and producing organization at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. She has been fortunate to work with some of the most interesting artists and projects in the Bay Area and Beyond. Ms. Sebastian Chang began her career as a lighting designer and technician.  She served as the technical director and lighting designer for The Blake Street Hawkeyes from 1979-1983. Her directorial work is highly influenced by this love of and affinity with the movement, color and temperature of light and shadow.

She is a current recipient of the 2016 Creative Capital Awards for her three year collaboration with Amara Tabor Smith and Deep Waters Dance Theater entitled “House/Full of Black Women”  a large scale site specific dance theater ritual compromised of a series of episodes created and performed through-out the city of Oakland, CA.  The final culmination will occur in a house in Oakland in 2018.            

In 1982 her directorial and writing debut called “Your Place Is No Longer With Us” was created in a Victorian mansion and told the story of the coming of age of a ten year old biracial girl; a meal of black-eyed peas, mustard greens and corn bread cooked throughout the performance and was served to the audience at the end of the play. “Your Place Is No Longer With Us” is published in West Coast Plays and won a Bay Area Critics Circle Award for New Directions in Theater.  This work was the beginning of Ms. Sebastian Chang’s interest in children, as well exploring dialogues in regard to race, in particular mix-race-identity and strong female identified images. “Your Place…” was also one of many location/environmental works created by Ms. Sebastian Chang.

In 1988 her work based upon the life and work of Zora Neal Hurston called “The Sanctified Church” premiered in San Francisco at Life on The Water and was later rewritten as a smaller touring production called “Sanctified” with productions in LA, Wash.DC, Miami and Texas. Ms. Sebastian Chang has had successful working collaborations with such solo performers as Awele Makeba(“Rage-Is not a one day thing”), Anne Galjour(“Okra”), Whoopi Goldberg(“Moms”), Holly Hughes(“No Trace of The Blonde”), Leonard Pitt(“Ned”), and Bill Talen(“The Shape”).

Ms. Sebastian Chang is a recipient of funding from the NEA, Ford, Rockefeller and LEF Foundations, Arts Matter of New York, Zellerbach Family Fund and the California Arts Council.