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Milta Ortiz

Milta Ortiz is a Salvadoran American playwright, writer, poet, and performer.

Milta Ortiz is a Salvadoran American playwright, poet, and performer. An immigrant who grew up in the Bay Area, she now calls Tucson home. Recently she edited the script and choreographed pieces for West Side Stories, a Barrio Stories project for Borderlands Theater in April 2023. Anita, her musical in collaboration with composer Quetzal Guerrero, commissioned by Borderlands Theater through NALAC and NET grants, is in development in collaboration with Borderlands Theater, the University of Arizona Theatre Department, and Childsplay. She and Quetzal incubated Anita at ASU HIDA where she was a 2020/2021 Projecting All Voices Mellon Fellow. In Fall 2022, she directed Ballet & Bagels, a TYA play that she facilitated her Pima Community College students in writing in Spring 2022. An ongoing project, she’s currently working on the second iteration, The Candy Craze: A Sticky Situation, which she’ll direct in Fall 2023.

Pilar and Paloma was selected for The 2021 Bipoc Reading Series Festival at Launchpad, UC Santa Barbara. Cycles, a commission from StoryWorks Theater and the Arizona Daily Star, virtually premiered in August 2020. Judge Torres, commissioned and produced at Milagro Theatre Group toured nationally to universities in 2019/2020. She devised, wrote and directed Solving for X for the Working Classroom in 2017.

Milta is associate artistic director at Borderlands Theater, where her plays Sanctuary (2018) and Más (2015), a semi-finalist for the Steinberg-ATCA Award, premiered thanks in part to NEA and NALAC grants. Borderlands’ production of Más toured Arizona universities in the 2015/2016 season. Más was produced at San Diego State University (2018), Su Teatro (2017), and Ubuntu Theatre Project and Laney College (2016). Other produced plays include A Tucson Pastorela (18th-21st annual productions), Sonoran Shadows, Disengaged, Fleeing Blue and solo play Scatter My Red Underwear. She teaches theatre at Pima Community College. She earned an MFA from Northwestern University and a BA from San Francisco State University.

An actress stands onstage in front of a shadow puppet of a man on a horse.
Perspectives from Two Teatros Doing the Work
Essay

Perspectives from Two Teatros Doing the Work

3 January 2024

Alberto Justiniano and Milta Ortiz, artistic leaders at Teatro del Pueblo and Borderlands Theater, respectively, have to balance organizational leadership and prioritizing their art. They discuss this work and the ways they engage their Latine communities while providing them with avenues to reflect on social justice issues. 

Collaborating with Community in Barrio Stories
Essay

Collaborating with Community in Barrio Stories

3 June 2016

In this second installment, Milta Ortiz discusses her role as the project’s coordinator, and overviews the production process of Barrio Stories.

Getting Down with Barrio Stories
Essay

Getting Down with Barrio Stories

Introduction

17 March 2016

In this first installment, Milta Ortiz discusses the backstory of Barrio Stories, while playwrights Virginia Grise, Martín Zimmerman, and Elaine Romero talk about their collaboration for this project.

Cafecito
Essay

Cafecito

Milta Ortiz

18 September 2015

Emily Aguilar Thomas interviews Milta Ortiz about the inspiration for her play Más and thoughts on the future of American theatre.

Getting Down with Barrio Stories
Series

Getting Down with Barrio Stories

A series discussing the collaborative and creative process of Barrio Stories.

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