Amores y Amigos, Cupcakes and Chulins, I have been so swamped I don’t even have time to tell people what I’m up to except sometimes I remember to post it on Facebook. Like, why even have a personal website if I’m not going to use it to do things like, I don’t know, TALK ABOUT MYSELF!!!!!!!!!  Anyway, earlier this week I got it together to finally send out an email about upcoming events and I thought, I guess I could just plagiarize myself and post it on my website as well, which is 75% what I’m doing except I added in some things for “interest.” And in case you are reading this and already got that email and feel like content should be unique to platform. ANYWAY, here’s what’s up:

1.) Not a Vegan Anymore

2.) Track 13

3.) Radical Love

4.) Youth Opportunities in Little Village

5.) Upcoming Reading of My New Solo

6.) A Little Farther in the Distance

1.) I am not a vegan anymore. I made such a big deal out of being a vegan I feel like I am cheating if I don’t take a deep breath and say I quit, especially because everyone is always so sweet about making sure I have vegan food. I am still eating a mostly plant-based diet and I’ll be a vegetarian for life (it’s been 24 years so I feel confident) but that combination of Thanksgiving/Trip to Spain and France really put a damper on the whole situation. I was always a kind of miserable vegan anyway, see previous post. I imagine someone will guilt me back into it eventually –I’m a sucker for it– so I need to enjoy it while I can.

2)From my Artistic Director files. I am so excited about TRACK 13, which opens THIS THURSDAY at Free Street. Track 13 is created by The Young Fugitives and Ricardo Gamboa, and the whole situation is kind of a thorn in my side. I mean, LITERALLY I just got a text one day saying, we got kicked out of our [unnamed youth employment program] can we come do a show at Free Street? And I said yes, and that was two years ago and basically these young people never left! They are still hanging around Free Street, making shows. Some of them joined what was once called the Resident Ensemble and some of the then Resident Ensemble joined them and honestly, I can no longer say Resident Ensemble because now we have this whole other youth ensemble situation at Free Street and also I don’t want the Little Village Ensemble to feel like a satellite (see below) and also we have an all-ages/adult/multigenerational collective too and all of this to say that FREE STREET IS LIKE THAT! Anyway, TRACK 13 is a “playformance” (I didn’t make up that word) that asks if ALL #blacklivesmatter? They began this piece last February, when Deonta Mackey was shot and killed while holding up an off-duty sheriff. What I love about this piece is that it is very different than a lot of work created by young people – it is 80% nonverbal, using movement and projections to tell a complicated story. And it raises a LOT of questions about our current moment, when so many people are taking to the streets to demand a change in the way we imagine policing. As always, tickets at Free Street are pay-what-you-can, and we will be offering children’s programming on Friday February 6th and Tuesday the 10th, so that caretakers of children under 13 can see the show while the younger ones play games, read books, and do crafts.

3.) See how I just told you that Free Street is this amazing place that believes in making space for lots of different people to make theater that matters, theater that tells the real stories of our city, in a sociopolitical context? And did you notice I said that all of Free Street’s programming is pay-what-you-can? Turns out, offering free theater isn’t actually that cheap! To offset some of the cost of our commitment to sliding scale pricing (for plays, classes, workshops, residencies, etc) AND out commitment to paying artists,WE’RE HAVING A PARTY!!!!!!! Join us for a celebration of Radical Love, of the belief that love is a verb, and commitment to social change is as act motivated by love for ourselves and our communities. February 11th 6-8 at Revolution Brewery. Food, drinks, raffles, games, a palm reader (!) and more. Tickets are $30 if you buy them by January 28th (Wednesday) and $40 afterwards. Kids are welcome, of course!

4.) Did you know that this year Free Street is producing a full, three-show, totally bilingual season in Little Village? The second project is called Monsters, Mutants, and Migrants and it is currently casting young people 13-19. This is a PAID GIG (see #2, paying artists) and if you know an awesome young person in Little Village/Pilsen/North Lawndale send them directly to the director of that show, Emmanuel Gutierrez: nuelguti@gmail.com. They’ll work with an animator and learn voice over to create a super-powered multi-media project. And after that, *I’m* putting on my director hat to direct The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas, which has a multigenerational cast and features 6 mutant chihuahuas. Stay tuned!

5.) OKAY, if you don’t care about Free Street but you think maybe The Lovely and Talented Coya Paz (that’s me) is where it’s at, I will be reading from my new solo on February 25th at 7pm at Schubas. SPOILER ALERT: It’s about sperm donors.  I’ll be reading with Eric May and Kathleen Rooney, and this event kicks of the Guild Complex celebration of their 25 Writers to Watch. Yeah yeah yeah. I’m one of them.

6.) After that I am co-directing a play called B is for Bang at Free Street, with the Ensemble Formerly Known As Resident. It is an A-Z primer on guns in America, and so far, it is about as fun as a project about gun culture in America can be. It opens in April.  Then in June, I’m directing The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas, and just have to figure out how to do super special effects like telekinetic fight scenes in an outdoor promenade space. Are you a designer with an idea about that? Hit me up! I’m hiring! And finally, I’ve started working on a new show about ghosts, with my pals Bobby and Ricky. It is A PLAY WITH NON-YOUTH ACTORS AT FREE STREET. I say that in all caps like I have something to prove. I might. Free Street actually does a lot of multi-generational work but anyone over the age of 20 is upstaged by how smart and dynamic all the young people at FST are. THEY GET ALL THE ATTENTION!!!!!!! I mean, why not? They’re awesome! But I have high self-esteem so I feel like I’m smart and dynamic TOO.