Christopher Oscar Peña
playwright, screenwright, actor and educator
Christopher Oscar Peña is a playwright, screenwriter, actor and educator.
- I’ve always resisted being called a ‘gay’ or a ‘Latino’ playwright…I certainly talk about them in my plays, but I don’t want to be defined by them. Not because I’m not proud — but the minute you define yourself in a certain way, there are huge assumptions about what you’re supposed to be. And those boxes don’t really fit anymore.
- On not wanting to be categorized in “San Jose’s Christopher Oscar Peña no longer ‘Insecure’ about work” in SF Gate (2017 Jul 18)
- I’m a little bit highbrow and a little bit trashy…That’s what I think good storytelling is. If you can lure in an audience and have a good time with them, but also teach them what it’s like — to be a person of color, to be poor — that’s a success.
- On how he defines good storytelling in “San Jose’s Christopher Oscar Peña no longer ‘Insecure’ about work” in SF Gate (2017 Jul 18)
- Some writers write every morning, or every day. I don´t tend to do that. I am of the Wendy Wasserstein mind. Going to the movies is research. Walking down Central Park and seeing cute boys in tank tops is research. Going to the Museum of Modern Art is research. Having dinner with my best friends is research. Because research, when it comes to being a playwright, most importantly means living. It means experiencing and engaging with the world…
- On his research process in “"a cautionary tale" part II: Interview with Playwright Christopher Oscar Peña” (Theaterspeak; 2013 Jul 15)
- i think its important to write plays that aren’t safe. often, that means that you are criticizing the institutions who’s help you need getting produced. and often, that means that you are engaging with audiences in ways that aren’t easy for them. every time i start a new play, it feels like the first time. it’s terrifying. it’s daunting. it feels impossible. i think that is a tremendous undertaking. [sic]
- On remaking ambitious as an artist in “AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER OSCAR PEÑA” in Playwright Foundation (2019 Jun 26)