Dr. Maria Patrice Amon is a director, producer, and scholar. Maria Patrice has directed Tanya Saracho’s Fade at Moxie Theatre, co-directed the NNPN RWP of Stephanie Allison Walker’s The Madres at MOXIETheatre, directed Octavio Solis’ Lydia with Brown Bag Theatre Company, and directed staged readings with Amigos del Rep and Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble. She has been an assistant director for Sam Woodhouse, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, and Jacole Kitchen. Maria Patrice is a Latinx Producer at SanDiego Repertory Theatre and the Executive Producer of Amigos del Rep, a theatre advocacy council of artists and community members who promote Hispanic/Latino/Chicano theatre at San Diego Repertory Theatre. Under her leadership, Amigos launched the Latinx New Play Festival at San Diego Repertory Theatre which produces a staged reading series, offers networking events with the Amigos del Rep general body, and produces special community engagement events that are based on current events and social needs. Additionally, Maria Patrice is a co-founder and co-Artistic Director of TuYo Theatre, a professional Latinx theatre in San Diego, and is a National Directing Fellow through NNPN and the ONeil Theatre Center. Maria Patrice has a Ph.D. in Drama from the University of California, Irvine with an emphasis on Critical Theory and Chicano Studies. Her dissertation was on “Theatricalization and Performances of Innocence in Modern American Culture”. She holds a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of law. Lastly, Patrice is also an assistant professor of Latinx theatre at CSU San Marcos.
What projects are you currently working on? I am preparing for our San Diego REP Latinx New Play Festival September 4-6, 2020.
How has the pandemic affected or shifted your practice? Artistically a few productions and projects have been canceled. I have a production of Eliana Pipes’ DREAM HOU$E with TuYoTheatre that was canceled for the pandemic and we are working through the option of what the Latinx New Play Festival might look like if we still cannot convene audiences in September. I find myself sitting with the loss of some projects and then also moving towards generating new work. I’ve written two short plays and am developing a new immersive theatre piece for the fall.
What has your journey been like as a creative/artist/small business owner? I come to the theatre from a non-traditional route: the law. My brother was in a major car accident when we were young and since then I was determined to become a lawyer and serve other families trying to navigate the legal system. I quickly learned that was not the pathway for me, and after law school started a Ph.D. program in theatre. I did not see myself as an artist but wanted to be close to the field. The artistry has come slowly when I had something I wanted to say or contribute, it’s come organically and deliberately.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists/creatives? Trust in your passion and gather as many different skills as you can. I didn’t think my time in law school would have much presence in my life today, but I use it every time I read a contract, and every time I talk through project details.