Octavio Solis
Past event


Octavio Solis—known for plays of satire, mythology, and steely realism—is considered one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. In this world premiere production, a tight-knit East L.A. family is left shattered in the wake of their youngest son’s mysterious death. Devastated, the mother searches for the truth by retracing her son’s final steps. In Solis’ signature blend of classic and contemporary, he parallels Jean Sibelius’ musical masterwork in a play of the same name. Exquisitely visceral, Chi-wang Yang’s direction of Scene with Cranes navigates the many avenues of loss, leaving us stranded in a meditation on grief. 

Scene with Cranes is a project of Duende Calarts, an initiative of the CalArts Center for New Performance dedicated to developing and producing innovative work emerging from Latinx and Latin American communities and sources. Established in 2009 by Marissa Chibás, Duende CalArts brings prominent and emerging Latinx and Latin American artists from the performance community to develop adventurous projects at CNP. It aims to expand aesthetic boundaries and performance discourse, collaborating with national and international Latinx artists and advancing multilingual works.

The in-person program includes a pre-show talk with playwright Octavio Solis in conversation with director Chi-wang Yang on Saturday, October 1st at 7:30 PM.

Octavio Solis fearlessly — exuberantly — plunges theater audiences into the sacred and profane.


Scene with Cranes is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Produced by CalArts Center for New Performance.

Presented as part of CalArts Center for New Performances’s 20th Anniversary Season, more at CalArts Center for New Performance


Cast (alphabetical)

Marissa Chibás, Lourdes

Emilio Garcia-Sanchez, Angel

Stacia Marcum, Ruby

Isaias Alexander Miranda, Nico

Angela Rosado, Letty

Hilario Saavedra, Ramiro

Tony Sancho, Lieutenant David Leyva

Hannah Trujillo, Yolie

Alec Anderson-Carrasco, Understudy (Nico, Angel)

Camila Ascencio, Understudy (Ruby)

Cheryl Umaña, Understudy (Lourdes)

Oscar Camacho, Understudy (Angel)

Armando McClain, Understudy (Leyva/Ramiro)

Josephine Núñez, Understudy (Yolie)

Jeannette Srinivasan, Understudy (Letty)


Creative Team

Director: Chi-wang Yang

Playwright: Octavio Solis

Scenic Designer: Efren Delgadillo Jr.

Lighting Designer: Christopher Akerlind

Costume Designer: Edurne Fernandez

Music and Sound Designer: Cristian Amigo

Stage Manager: Maria V. Oliveira

Production Manager: Chris Swetcky

Producer: Rachel Scandling

Assistant Director: Rory James Leech

Assistant Scenic Designer: Benny Pitt  

Assistant Lighting Designer: Cad Apostol

Assistant Lighting Designer: Kenzie Caulfield

Assistant Costume Designer: Karen Ayala-Gaytan

Assistant Sound Designer: Clare Marie Nemanich

Assistant Video Designer: Zoë Lappin

Assistant Stage Manager: Theo Anderson

Assistant Stage Manager: Macy E Kunke

Associate Production Manager: Nicole Theep 

Associate Producer: Rui Xu 

Dramaturg/Voice Coach: Micha Espinosa

Dialect Coach: Cynthia Santos DeCure

Movement Specialist: Jessica Emmanuel

Intimacy Coordinator: Emily Barasch

Fight Choreographer/Captain: Tony Sancho

Physical Therapist Movement Specialist: Frances Gramaje


Production Staff

Props Master: Patrick Smith

Assistant Props Master: Natalie Ferguson

Costume Shop Director: Victor Sandoval Torres

Costume Shop Manager: Hunter Wells

Master Carpenter: Grayson Basina

Master Electrician: Kate DeWall

Head Electrician: Alejandro Melendez

about the artists

Octavio Solis

Octavio Solis is a playwright and author whose works Quixote Nuevo, Mother Road, Lydia, Hole in the Sky, Alicia’s Miracle, Se Llama Cristina, John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven, Ghosts of the River, June in a Box, Lethe, Marfa Lights, Gibraltar, The Ballad of Pancho and Lucy, The 7 Visions of Encarnación, Bethlehem, Dreamlandia, El Otro, Man of the Flesh, Prospect, El Paso Blue, Santos & Santos, and La Posada Mágica have been mounted at the Hartford Stage, the Huntington Theatre, the Houston Alley Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, PCPA Conservatory Theatre, Cara Mia Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, South Coast Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Repertory Theatre, Shadowlight Productions, the Venture Theatre in Philadelphia, Theatre @ Boston Court, the Kitchen Dog Theatre, Teatro Vista, El Teatro Campesino, the Undermain Theatre, Thick Description, Campo Santo, INTAR, and Cornerstone Theatre. His collaborative works include Cloudlands, with Music by Adam Gwon and Shiner, written with Erik Ehn. Solis has received an NEA 1995-97 Playwriting Fellowship, the Kennedy Center’s Roger L. Stevens award, the Will Glickman Playwright Award, the 1998 TCG/NEA Theatre Artists in Residence Grant, the 1998 McKnight Fellowship grant from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, and the National Latino Playwriting Award for 2003. He is the recipient of the 2000-2001 National Theatre Artists Residency Grant from TCG and the Pew Charitable Trust, the United States Artists Fellowship for 2011, the 2014 Pen Center USA Award for Drama, and the 2019 Guest Artist Honoree for the William Inge Center for the Arts. Solis is a Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony, New Dramatists alum, a member of the Dramatists Guild, and a 2020 inductee into the Texas Institute of Letters.  His book Retablos: Stories From A Life Lived Along The Border is published by City Lights Publishing.


Chi-wang Yang

Chi-wang Yang is a Los Angeles-based theater director and interdisciplinary artist. Whether in the form of plays, operas, concerts, or installation, his work is physical, experimental, and collaborative. He is committed to expanding notions of identity and theatrical form and to exploring strange encounters of body, emotion, and technology. He is a founding member and co-artistic director of video performance collective Cloud Eye Control. Chi-wang is a faculty member of the California Institute of the Arts School of Theater, where he teaches acting and serves as Associate Artistic Director of the CalArts Center for New Performance. He received his MFA in Theater Directing and Integrated Media at CalArts and his BA from Brown University. His work has been presented internationally at theaters, museums, and festivals including REDCAT, SFMoMA, Fusebox Festival, PICA TBA, San Francisco International Film Festival, EXIT Festival (France), Santiago a Mil (Chile), Manipulate (Scotland), Havana Film Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe. mysteriously.org