Carmen Aguirre, Chilean-Canadian author, actor, and playwright, will visit UCSB January 11-12, 2023

Carmen Aguirre

The Voces Nuevas Latinx Author series is thrilled to announce that Carmen Aguirre, Chilean-Canadian author, actor, and playwright will visit UCSB January 11-12, 2023 for an in-person event. Much of her writing has been autobiographical and unabashedly left wing, exploring themes of exile, loss, alienation, and isolation, but also hope and resistance. Often the tone of her work is darkly comic. Carmen's first book, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter (2011), was nominated for national and international awards, and is a #1 national bestseller. Her second memoir, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution (2016), received rave reviews on the international stage. It became a Globe and Mail bestseller a week after publication and was named a best book of 2016 by The National Post and CBC.

She is also a Core Artist at Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre, and co-founder of The Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition (CALTAC) and the recipient of the 2014 10 Most Influential Hispanics in Canada Award, the 2014 Latincouver Inspirational Latin Award for Achievement in Arts and Culture, the 2012 Outstanding Alumna Award from Langara College, the 2011 Union of B.C. Performers Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award, and the 1993Anthony Golland Award. 

Carmen has written and co-written twenty-five plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Refugee Hotel, The Trigger, Blue Box, and adaptations for the stage of Eduardo Galeano's, Jorge Amado's, and Julio Cortazar's work.  She wrote her first play, In a Land Called I Don’t Remember, while still a student at Studio 58, where it premiered to critical acclaim. It was published by Talon books in 2019 in an anthology of her first three plays, entitled Chile Con Carne and Other Early Works. She founded The Latino Theatre Group in 1994, made up of Latinx non-actors from the local community, and co-created over twenty-five Forum Theatre pieces with them over the next eight years, including two full-length plays, ¿QUE PASA with LA RAZA, eh? and Spics n' Span. She continues to facilitate Theatre of the Oppressed workshops for refugee groups, indigenous communities, and youth groups. Her plays have been nominated for twelve local and national awards, and The Refugee Hotel won the 2002 Jessie Richardson New Play Centre Award. Her hit one-woman play Broken Tailbone teaches the audience how to dance salsa while navigating Latin American history, Latinx culture, and personal anecdotes. Her new plays Anywhere But Here (a magic-realist piece that takes place at the U.S./Mexico border), The Perfect Gentlemen (adapted from Moliere’s The Learned Ladies, exploring hypocritical puritanism and sexual paranoia on university campuses) and Medea (adapted from Euripides’ original, set in Vancouver’s Little Saigon in 1980) received world premieres on Canada’s mainstages (The Vancouver Playhouse and The Factory Theatre).