Octavio Solis is an American playwright and director and one of the most prominent contemporary Latino playwrights. Born in El Paso, Texas to Mexican parents, he got his first taste for theatre at Riverside High School. Solis went on to study for a BFA and MFA at Trinity University. While performing at college, he was inspired to write his own work but felt too limited by the and moved to San Francisco in 1989.
His first play, Impatiens, was produced by the Intersection for the Arts in 1990. His subsequent early plays include Scrappers (1992), El Paso Blue (1994), Man of the Flesh (1998), and Dreamlandia (2000). Solis’ plays often use his experience growing up in El Paso where, he once stated, he could see the divide between the first and third world from his own backyard. His 2015 play Lydia focuses on a Latino family and their maid who recently came from Mexico. It achieved critical praise for its exploration of life on the Texas-Mexico border.
Solis has written over 20 plays and is the recipient of many awards, including the Roger L. Stevens award from the Kennedy Center, the Will Glickman Playwright Award, and the National Latino Playwriting Award for 2003. Most recently, his play Mother Road was staged at the 2019 Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
In 2017, he voiced his first animated character in the Disney film Coco. The following year he published Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border, which is published by City Lights Border.
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