CARLOS MURILLO is a Chicago-based, internationally produced and award winning playwright of Colombian and Puerto Rican descent. He is a recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award for his work in the theatre. He also received a 2016 Mellon Foundation Playwright Residency at Adventure Stage in Chicago. His body of work has been widely produced throughout the United States and Europe. His best known play Dark Play or Stories for Boys premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and has been performed throughout the US, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania. The play appeared in the anthology New Playwrights: Best New Plays of 2007 (Smith & Kraus). His other work has been seen in New York at Repertorio Español, P73, the NYC Summer Playwrights Festival, En Garde Arts, The Public Theater New Work Now! Festival, and Soho Rep, in Chicago at The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Collaboraction, Walkabout Theatre, Adventure Stage and Theatre Seven, and in Los Angeles at Theatre @ Boston Court, Circle X and Son of Semele. His plays have been commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman, the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf and Adventure Stage and developed by The Sundance Theatre Lab, The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New Dramatists and others. The Javier Plays, a trilogy of works, published in spring of 2016 by 53rd State Press was called by American Theatre Magazine "an absolutely extraordinary achievement from a writer at the height of his powers." Other publications include Mimesophobia (Broadway Play Publishing), A Human Interest Story (Dramatists Play Service) and his TYA play Augusta & Noble (Dramatic Publishing). Awards include the Met Life Nuestros Voces Award from Repertorio Español, the Frederick Loewe Award from New Dramatists, the Ofner Prize from the Goodman Theatre, the Otis Guernsey Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival, a Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, a Jerome Fellowship at The Playwrights' Center and two National Latino Playwriting Awards from Arizona Theatre Company. He has served on numerous selection panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital MAP Fund, New Dramatists, The Playwrights' Center, the William Inge Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. From 1993 to 1995, Carlos served as the Associate Literary Manager at The Public Theater in New York. Carlos heads the BFA Playwriting Program at The Theatre School of DePaul University, and is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. He serves on the board of directors of the MacDowell Colony. Carlos lives in the south side of Chicago with his wife, the director, Lisa Portes, and their two children Eva and Carlitos.
KILLING OF A GENTLEMAN DEFENDER
IN 1994, THE world was shocked when International soccer star Andres Escobar was gunned down in Medellin, Colombia following his disastrous own goal at the FIFA World Cup USA. In 2015, Martin, an ambivalent teaching artist in Chicago is hired to create a play about violence in Chicago with youth from the violence plagued neighborhoods of the city. Caught between his boss' desire for a docudrama and his own belief in metaphor, Martin unearths the Escobar story from the past to tell a city's story in the present. Tragedy ensues.
Commissioned by The Goodman Theatre. Developed with Boston Court (2015).
YOUR NAME WILL FOLLOW YOU HOME
Danny Santiago’s novel-Famous All Over Town, was a gritty, authentic depiction of Chicano life in East LA told through the eyes of a troubled teenager. But who is the real Danny Santiago? And is the work authentic? Charlie Chaplin. Communists in Hollywood. HUAC. The Blacklist. 50s B-Monster Movies. Architectural Fantasias. Fake Latinos. Jesse James.
Developed at Steppenwolf’s First Look (2013), Atlantic Studio’s MixFest (2013) and PlayTime, New Dramatists (2012).
MAYDAY MAYDAY TUESDAY
Legend has it, MAYDAY MAYDAY TUESDAY, a cursed, notorious unreleased record album by the reclusive musician Gummy Rickett, is known to wreak havoc on the life of anyone who listens to it. Resurfacing in Chicago 25 years after its recording, MAYDAY precipitates a head on collision across culture and class, forever connecting and changing the lives of seemingly unrelated Chicagoans – a wealthy African American couple raising a troubled adopted son, a pregnant would-be novelist and her corrupt real estate developer husband, an ambitious musicologist seeking her big break, and a down and out janitor convinced he’s due for a second act.
Commissioned and developed by Playwrights Horizons.
DIAGRAM OF A PAPER AIRPLANE
Javier C., the once promising playwright turned mentally unstable vagabond, dies in a freak flash flood in the wilds of Northern New Mexico. News of Javier’s death circulates among a group of his former friends and close collaborators—who have been estranged for nearly two decades. Javier’s death threatens to open a Pandora’s Box of secrets, old wounds and guilt none of his friends want to confront. As a final act before his death, Javier sent fragments of his play Diagram of a Paper Airplane to his surviving friends—fragments that can only be made whole if the group comes together to read it. Javier’s ex-wife and daughter arrange for a memorial service. Javier’s surviving friends, driven by curiosity and guilt, arrive, hoping that the play will reveal the truth behind a tragic mystery that has haunted them for two decades.
A Goodman Theatre commission. Developed at the Sundance Theater LAB (2009).
A THICK DESCRIPTION OF HARRY SMITH (Volume 1)
Who was Harry Smith? Underground Renaissance genius? Or a maniacal trickster? Or both and everything in between? A THICK DESCRIPTION OF HARRY SMITH is a raucous exploration of the life, work and legacy of Harry Everett Smith. Best known as the editor of the seminal Folkways Anthology of American Folks Music – which single-handedly spurred the folk revival of the late 50s and served as a Rosetta Stone of American music to generations of musicians and artists – Harry Smith had a hand in everything: he was an experimental filmmaker, folklorist, anthropologist, painter, paper airplane collector, expert in the occult, and alchemist, who wove in and out of the many faceted worlds of the American underground. A THICK DESCRIPTION OF HARRY SMITH is a medicine show of sorts – a psychedelic Prairie Home Companion with live music, foley work, and an array of American characters both iconic and anonymous. The play is a hilarious and mysterious meditation on an American enigma.
Commissioned by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Developed at Watermill Center and Page 73 (Page 2 workshop presentation, June, 2012).
DARK PLAY OR STORIES FOR BOYS (available in German, Polish, Spanish, Hungarian)
A teenage boy’s fictional internet identity begins as a harmless game. But the game takes on a frightening reality when it’s over- whelmed by real emotion. When the virtual world and the real
one collide, Nick’s fantasies of love, intimacy, obsession and betrayal spiral out of control, leading him to the brink of death.
Premiered at HUMANA Festival 2007. Subsequent productions Boston Court Theater, Actors Express, Theater Aalen (GER), and others.
UNFINISHED AMERICAN HIGHWAYSCAPE # 9 & 32 (Or The Broken Tractor Graveyard)
Eight lone travelers journey the back roads and Interstates through the American night, grappling with their most secret thoughts in the dark as they escape their pasts and drive towards the terrifying uncertainty at the end of the road. Mysterious connections, dangerous dislocations and life-altering encounters shape this meditation on the myth of individualism on the American road.
Premiered at Boston Court Theater.
MIMESOPHOBIA (OR BEFORE AND AFTER)
They seemed like the perfect couple. Affluent. Attractive. Well- educated. Why did the husband brutally murder his wife and then take his own life? A desperate screenwriting duo struggles with severe writer’s block to unearth the answer. The murder victim’s sister reconstructs from the ashes a diary that may or may not contain the secrets. And a deranged academic, haunted by her own possible involvement, meditates on the American obsession with violence. In the face of inexplicable violence, whose myth will most closely resemble the truth of what happened?
Premiered at SPF 2005. Subsequent productions at Theater7 of Chicago.
A HUMAN INTEREST STORY (or THE GORY DETAILS AND ALL) (available in German)
Somewhere in America, a man fantasizes about his best friend’s wife. In another city, a young housewife momentarily loses sight of her children. Elsewhere, a politician relives a tragic second that forever changed his life, and a mother wonders where her teenage son got the gun. And in one town, a man watches all this unfold on his TV screen. A Human Interest Story is an unflinching portrait of an America obsessed with voyeurism that asks the question: Is the imagination more cruel and unforgiving than reality?
OFFSPRING OF THE COLD WAR
Playing multiple roles Single Set Marcus’ mysterious new neighbor Miranda storms into his apartment one morning, demanding to know why he spies on her. Fascinated by Marcus’ reclusive existence and his collection of antique oddities, she discovers a magic portal in a wardrobe. The two embark on a journey through the 20th Century in which they relive the tragicomic fates of a century’s worth of star-crossed lovers. When they arrive in the present again, they’re forced to confront their origins and the meaning of their love in uncertain times.
Elisabeth Nietszche, caught between the two great loves of her life—her brother Friedrich and her anti-Semitic husband Berhard Forster—sets out on a wild journey to the jungles of Paraguay to found the colony of Nueva Germania, a proto-Nazi experiment. Facing the choice between her ailing husband and her insane brother, Elisabeth fuses their two irreconcilable world-views, becoming an indomitable force in early 20th Century Germany.
NEVER WHISTLE WHILE YOU’RE PISSING
3M, 4W or 4M, 3W play multiple roles
A young man returns to the United States after several months abroad. Detained at customs for a suspicious text he has in his backpack he finds himself thrust into a Kafka-esque landscape where his immigrant father is accused of crimes he never commit- ted. A tragic-comic tale of the American Dream gone awry.