Virginia Grise is an award-winning theatre artist whose work pushes against the boundaries of traditional theatre and live performance. She has collaborated with installation artists, choreographers, musicians, filmmakers and video artists to create new and exciting genre bending performances for the stage. Virginia received a 2010 Pierre Cardin Award in theatre directing from the Princess Grace Foundation and was a 2009 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights' Center. She has performed nationally and internationally at venues including the Jose Marti Catedra in Havana, Cuba and The University of Butare in Rwanda, Africa.
Her play blu was a recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Art's Latino/a Playwriting Award and Alliance Theatre's Kendeda Award. blu will be published by Yale University Press in September 2011. Her one-woman show The Panza Monologues, co-written with Irma Mayorga and originally published by Evelyn Street Press, has toured successfully throughout the U.S. and was recently released as a performance DVD. The Panza Monologues is currently being taught in course syllabi at the university level, the subject of dissertation projects, and used by creative writing programs for incarcerated youth and women. The University of Texas Press will publish a second edition of The Panza Monologues in 2012. Her other published work includes an edited a volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). Conversations with Don Durito was recently translated and published in Turkey.
Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers and in the juvenile correction system. She has worked as a curator, artist and activist facilitating organizing efforts among women, immigrant, Chicano, working class and queer youth. In 2008, Virginia was commissioned to write a youth theatre piece about the building of the border wall between the United States and Mexico, titled behind barbed wire, which premiered at Plaza de la Raza and REDCAT in Los Angeles, CA. She recently collaborated with artist Barbara Renaud González on a site specific performance installation in San Antonio about the legacy of colonization and war titled Remember El Alma. The performance involved over 100 women and was recognized with a Contemporary Arts Month Award for "most provocative, thought-provoking performance."
Virginia currently is working on The Mexican as Told by Us Mexicans in collaboration with writer Ricardo A. Bracho - a staged adaptation/theatrical retelling, of an overlooked short story The Mexican by the important literary figure Jack London. She holds a MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts, where she studied with multidisciplinary artist Carl Hancock Rux.
Awards & Recognitions
- 2010 Contemporary Arts Month CAMMY Award
- 2008 Finalist for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Latino/a Playwrighting Award