Herbert Siguenza at San Diego Repertory Theatre

Playwright

Herbert Siguenza is currently the Playwright in Residence for the San Diego Repertory Theatre thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Herbert is also a founding member of the performance group Culture Clash. Along with Richard Montoya and Ric Salinas, Culture Clash is the most produced Latino theatre troupe in the United States. Founded in San Francisco in 1984, Culture Clash has performed on the stages of America’s top regional theatres including the Mark Taper Forum, The Kennedy Center, The Arena Stage, The Alley Theatre, The Berkeley Repertory, Yale Repertory, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, and Syracuse Stage, The Huntington Stage and countless universities and colleges. Mr. Siguenza has co-written, and or performed in the following Culture Clash plays: Bordertown Now, American Night (Commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Palestine New Mexico, Water and Power, Chavez Ravine (all three commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum), Peace (Commissioned by The Getty Villa), Zorro in Hell! (Commissioned by the Berkeley Rep), The Birds (Commissioned by the Berkeley Rep and South Coast Rep), Bordertown (commissioned by the San Diego Rep), Radio Mambo, Nuyorican Stories, Anthems, S.O.S., A Bowl of Beings, The Mission and others.

As a solo writer and performer Mr. Siguenza has produced Cantinflas!A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, Steal Heaven, El Henry (Best new play San Diego Critics Circle Award 2014), Manifest Destinitis and Beachtown.

Mr. Siguenza is also an accomplished visual artist and has exhibited both nationally and
internationally. He has a BFA in printmaking from the California College of Arts, Oakland,
California. TV and Film credits: Ben Ten Alien Swarm for the Cartoon Network, Larry Crowne
feature film directed by Tom Hanks. His voice was prominently featured in Pixar’s 2017 Oscar
winning animation feature, Coco.

Theatre

San Diego Repertory Theatre produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. We promote a more inclusive community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul.

Residency Activity

2016

Herbert began his residency interviewing San Diego residents for Beachtown. Research assisted by Patricia Amon.

Rehearsals, re-writes, promotion, and full production of Manifest Destinis. Dramaturgy by Shirley Fishman and directed by Sam Woodhouse. Play was also published in University of California: San Diego’s Theatre Forum magazine. Cast was nominated “Best Ensemble” by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. 

Participated in Oliver Mayer’s Blue House at the Ojai Theatre Festival. Attended and performed at America’s Future Summit: Reimagining Opportunity in a Changing Nation sponsored by The California Endowment.

One day lecture at San Diego City College Theatre Department with Katie Rodda. Conducted master Improvisation class for John Lopez group of young actors.

Participated at TCG Conference in Dallas. Recorded voices for Pixar’s Coco animation film. Attended dog & pony DC’s fifth anniversary show of Beertown. Joined Center Theatre Group’s Writers Workshop. Dramaturgy for The Dybbuck by Todd Salovey. First Beachtown reading.

2017

Attended and hosted Ghost Light Vigil on January 19th and marched in the Women’s March on 21 January  in San Diego.

Co-wrote Culture Clash’s adaptation of The Fairy Queen for Long Beach Opera. Also participated in Culture Clash’s workshop adaptation of The Frogs (Sapo) at the Getty Villa. Met with Kristianne Kuner of New Village Arts for possible collaboration. Performed in Into the Beautiful North by Karen Zacharias. Attended Albert Dayan’s 10 week advanced actor workshop.

Wrote and performed An Evening with Isaac Azimov for the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. Taught Tools for Improv for students at the School of the Performing and Creative Arts. Met with students from David Avalo’s college class. Performed at the Mark Taper’s 50th Anniversary. Presented final writing draft of Birth Day: A Metaphysical Musical at CTG writer’s retreat. Another Beachtown workshop. Attended local Latinx Theatre meeting hosted by Daniel Jacquez at the Old Globe.

Co-wrote and read El Cipitio at the first Adelante Latinx Theatre Festival hosted by Amigos del Rep. Lectured at Todd Salovey’s Introduction to the Theatre at University of California: San Diego. Met with Yale Strom and John Malashock to talk about Chagall. Performed a 4 week run of A Weekend with Pablo Picasso at CASA0101 in Los Angeles. Another Beachtown workshop. Attended and performed Culture Clash: American Odessey at the Encuentro de las Americas International Theatre Festival at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

2018

Rehearsed and Directed Jose Rivera’s Cloud Tectonics for New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad. Lectured at Cal State San Marcos.

Emerson writing residency in Boston. Wrote the original farce Bad Hombres/Good Wives and started a professional collaboration with dramaturg and Emerson professor Matthew McMahan. Also wrote the first draft of the book for Chagall. Went to New York to talk to dramaturg Mark Bly about Birth Day.

Rehearsals and re-writes for the production of Beachtown. The production and community feedback was a major success!

Attended the 2nd Round of fellow cohorts at Emerson, Boston.

Workshops with future Culture Clash productions in 2018: Boredertown Now at the Pasadena Playhouse and Culture Clash: (Still) in America at South Coast Rep. 

Reading of Bad Hombres/Good Wives. Writing workshop with Mark Bly and composer Mark Spiro for Birth Day: A Metaphysical Musical.

2019

Started two Sin Fronteras Writers Workshop: A yearlong project with 12 writers.

Bad Hombres/Good Wives had a very successful public reading at Cygnet Theater. San Diego Rep agrees to produce it in upcoming season!

Went to Tijuana to meet the Detector and students of Orchestra de Baja California at the Conservatorio de Musica.

Asimov project is renamed Isaac Asimov Grand Master Funk and has a public reading for the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival at New Village Arts, Carlsbad, CA.

Became a Lunt Fontanne Actor Fellow and attended a seven day acting workshop with Tyne Daly at 10 Chimneys, Wisconsin.

Performed a three week run of A Weekend with Pablo Picasso at New Village Arts.

Commissioned to write a ten minute play for Blind Spot Collective’s Connecting Flights project at the San Diego Airport.

Culture Clash is honored at The Black and Latino Playwrights Festival at Texas State University—San Marcos.

Bad Hombres/Good Wives opens and closes at San Diego Rep. My most successful run ever!

Resistance Creates Beauty will be performed several times at the San Diego Airport in December. Produced by Blind Spot Collective.

A Cuban People's Christmas Tale, an adaptation of the Dickens classic will have a public reading on 16 December. Produced by Amigos Del Rep.

Press

Playwright Siguenza blends Anglo, Latino cultures by Mimi Pollack, San Diego Jewish World, July 9, 2017.

How has this residency changed the theatre, and how has this residency changed the playwright? — March 2018

More from the Residency

four actors onstage
"We’ve Got to Protect Our Art"
Essay

"We’ve Got to Protect Our Art"

Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Two Latino Playwrights

18 September 2019

Luis Alfaro and Herbert Sigüenza talk about their experience in the National Playwright Residency Program, learning about the inner workings of theatre companies, portraying Latinx people in a positive light, the importance of comedy, and more.

actors onstage
Discovering Your Authentic Voice As a Playwright
Essay

Discovering Your Authentic Voice As a Playwright

19 May 2019

Herbert Siguenza, co-founder of the Latino performance troupe Culture Clash, talks about his unconventional writing path, his time working with the collective, and finding his unique voice.

Interview with Herbert Sigüenza
Essay

Interview with Herbert Sigüenza

10 November 2016

Dramaturg Maria Patrice Amon interviews Playwright Herbert Sigüenza about his comic influences, and Manifest Destinitis, his adaptation of Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid.

Playwright Residency
Essay

Playwright Residency

Why Herbert Siguenza? Why San Diego Repertory Theatre?

30 July 2016

Sam Woodhouse, Artistic Director of San Diego Repertory Theatre and playwright-in-residence Herbert Siguenza discuss their participation in the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program.