Tag Archives: HowlRound.com

If you want to know where to find me…

by Zury Margarita Ruiz

Much like fellow LAFPI blogger, Leelee Jackson, I too was already a homebody and a hardcore introvert. It’s not that I don’t enjoy socializing—I do—but if I overstep my bounds, I can feel depleted of energy, which unlike Leelee, I require to rush home and watch YouTube clips of Sid the Cussing Bunny.

Sid the Cussing Bunny

That all being said, there are most definitely things I miss doing, people I miss seeing and communities (theater and otherwise) I miss congregating with. And so, like a great deal of folks, a lot of my interactions have now happened online. I wasn’t entirely sure how engaged I’d be in these conversations, especially when I have the option to mute myself, turn off my camera, or just get up and walk away for a bit, but I’ve actually been absorbed in these interactions and have found myself participating and expressing my opinion a lot more than I normally would. Additionally, I’ve realized that a lot of these gatherings are not something I would have even been able to attended before because, far more than just my being introverted, I’d been working long hours most every day. There’s been a heavy emphasis on work for me for quite some time, which you know—is necessary, but it has definitely kept me from events and people/communities that matter to me. And so, being able to do that right now—engage with what’s important to me—has definitely been an upside during this time.

On that note, I want to talk about two particular communities with whom I’ve been interacting with which have made me pretty happy during this time. There are still some upcoming events with both of these groups, so links will be provided, in case you’re interested in joining:

East Los Angeles Women’s Center

ELAWC’s model

The East Los Angeles Women’s Center (ELAWC) is an organization that I’ve had the pleasure of training and volunteering with for some time now. With the mission to “ensure that all women, girls and families live in a place of safety, health, and personal well-being, free from violence and abuse, with equal access to necessary health services and social support”, even now through the Covid-19 crisis, the staff of the ELAWC have been honoring their commitments by keeping their hotline running, operating a food pantry program and creating awareness of the distress this time of isolation has had on people experiencing Domestic Violence at home. Additionally, during the month of April—Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)—the ELAWC has been holding a series of workshops and film screenings via Zoom, ranging from topics like “Coping with Overwhelming Emotions” to “Loving with Consent”.

Tomorrow, 04/30/2020 at 4pm PST, is their final workshop via Zoom for SAAM.

SAAM Workshop: Engaging Boys and Men to end Sexual Assault #2

Tune in to This workshop and discuss the role of boys and men in the fight to end sexual assault. Facilitators: Ozzie Cruz, Prevention Specialist and Luis Mendoza, ELAWC Outreach/Advocate

Here is the link for that event:


Please note that although there is a deadline to sign up, there is still some availability!

I also just briefly want to mention that today, April 29th, is Denim Day, so I hope you got to rock a little denim in support! And in case you don’t know what Denim Day is, here is a little backstory: https://www.denimdayinfo.org/history

Latinx Superfriends Playwriting Hour

Can you spot my mug?

Curated by Tlaloc Rivas and peer-produced by HowlRound, Latinx Superfriends Playwriting Hour is a five-week, hour long, playwriting series led by various guest writers/theatremakers throughout the U.S. I have been able to be part of 2 out of three of these workshops so far and let me tell you—they’ve been super fun, engaging, and encouraging. This past Monday’s workshop, led by writer Christina Quintana, was particularly special, as we talked about our inner critic and even gave them a name (mine actually ended up being named after a family member of mine so I’m not going to name any names here). There are only two more workshops left in this series—Monday, May 4th led by Georgina Escobar and Monday, May 11th led by Jose Rivera—I would more than encourage you to take part!

For more information on this series and to sign up for the remaining sessions, check out this link: https://howlround.com/happenings/latinx-superfriends-playwriting-hour

So now, Dear Reader, if you want to know where to find me…

Enjoying the Howl

Short plays… who loves short plays?  I’ve been working with them a lot lately.  I just wrapped up a female playwrights festival in Prescott (next year’s submission process will open up to LAFPI writers – so stay in touch with us on Facebook), I’m in the middle of developing another short play fest for December, and I’m writing a short play each month this summer for HowlRound.com’s Here and Now Project.

The funny thing is that I used to hate short plays – I didn’t feel like there was ever enough time in a 10 minute play to get the story told.  Maybe it’s because I was trying to say too much, or maybe it’s because I was still a new writer and I didn’t really understand the value of brevity.  Whatever the cause, my aversion to the form has melted away and I am now a major fan… because it’s seriously challenging to write a whole play in 10 minutes!  Much of the time I wind up thinking “What comes next” at the close of ten pages rather than satisfaction and catharsis.  However, I’m finding that when I do strike it right, the sense of accomplishment is delicious.

And when I watched this year’s female playwright’s fest in Prescott – From the Mouths of Babes – I felt such happiness as the completion of the whole… made up of each individual playwright’s part – that I could scarce believe I used to loathe the 10 minute play format.

But maybe what’s most rewarding for me is the producibility of 10 minute plays.  They’re easy to rehearse, easy to stage, and audiences get a kick out of seeing new writers in small doses… almost like a dinner party with lots of appetizers.  I now totally understand why theater companies put out so many calls for short plays – they get to know new writers without committing to an expensive full-length production – something that can be frustrating as a playwright, but makes sense from a company standpoint.

Also, I’ve grown really tired of wrestling with the eternal “WHEN is  SOMEONE going to PRODUCE my plays!?” ennui .  The thing about producing on my own is that I feel like I’m actually doing something other than waiting.  And hopefully it’s satisfying to the other playwrights getting produced as well.

In any case, it’s an interesting way to start the week… reflecting on the magic of short plays and the satisfaction of seeing them on their feet.  Hopefully the  Here and Now Project plays will see some stage life soon too – either way, it’s been great to work on so many 10-minute plays this summer… and it’s left me feeling really good about finishing up the full-length that’s been haunting me for the past several months – it’s a sense of accomplishment that I was sorely missing.

Because it’s really important to remind yourself that you don’t just have to sit around and wait…

Did you hear that?

Stop.  Waiting.  Now.