CRIMINAL QUEERNESS FESTIVAL
JUNE 22-26 2021
«when we write with ashes»
By Victor I. Cazares
Directed By Borna Barzin
One night you race across the Chihuahuan Desert to introduce your Muslim boyfriend to your dying grandfather—funerals are perfect opportunities to introduce a new character. Years pass and you’re on the bed of a pickup truck trying to avoid going to rehab—meth, it’s always meth these days. Your partner looks at you and tells you you’re his addiction, his self-harm. A fascist gets elected and together you wonder if you should leave the country; flee while you still can. You watch the country you fled to become the country you fled from. One of you dies and the other one remembers. You stand in the middle of the desert and look up; there are no signals. Only light pulses of transmission: one zero one zero zero one one.
«when we write with ashes» is a burial rite—like all my plays—and the title is a reference to the final death fiesta the Raramurí perform. You write with ashes to protect yourself from the dead. You write with ashes to help them start their journey into the next world.
Victor I. Cazares (they/them) is a non-binary Poz Queer Indigenous Mexican Artist (enby PQIMA for short) who has had stints at Yale, Brown, and other less prestigious centers of rehabilitation. Like any border child, they were born twice: once in El Paso, Texas and another in San Lorenzo, Chihuahua. Victor lives, forages, and produces their own social media telenovelas in Portland, Oregon. Their virtual plays, Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall and Holiday Follies, premiered at New York Theatre Workshop earlier this season where they are the Tow Playwright-in-Residence. Other plays include: american (tele)visions, Ramses contra los monstruos, and We Were Eight Years in Powder.
Borna Barzin (he/him/his) is a Brooklyn-based theater director of Iranian heritage hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. Recent directing credits include Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall by Victor I. Cazares (New York Theatre Workshop), The Mad Dog Blues by Sam Shepard (The Hive), and How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel (Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Pace University). Upcoming projects include The Geography of a Horse Dreamer by Sam Shepard (PCTC); and Assistant Directing Charles Mee’s Wintertime, directed by Les Waters (Berkeley Rep). Borna has also worked in casting, creative development, and producing roles at companies such as New York Theatre Workshop, Disney Theatrical Group, and The TEAM. He is currently the Marketing Associate of Oye Group and the Associate Casting Director of the National Tour of Daniel Fish’s reimagined Oklahoma! Bornabarzin.com