Quiara Alegrîa Hudes
Quiara Alegría Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Water By the Spoonful; author of a memoir, My Broken Language; and screenwriter of Vivo. For Broadway, she wrote the Tony Award-winning hit In the Heights. As an essayist, she has written for The Nation, The Cut, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and American Theater Magazine. In opposition of the carceral state, Hudes and her cousin founded Emancipated Stories, helping people behind bars share one page of their life story with the world. She has keynoted alongside Gabriela Sanchez on the joys and madness of a Boricua sisterhood in theater. Hudes is a West-Philly-born-and-bred language grrrl, and she moved to New York in 2004, where she continues to write and raise a family. ON MUSIC. Originally trained as a composer, Hudes frequently writes about musical themes and incorporates her piano training into her writing process. She has collaborated with renowned musicians including Nelson Gonzalez, Michel Camilo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Erin McKeown, Alex Lacamoire, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Bill Sherman.ON MENTORS. Hudes inherits teachings from matrilineal mentors including her Aunt Linda Hudes who composed music for the Big Apple Circus for 20 years and taught her piano; Paula Vogel that monster of mischievous theatrical form who taught her playwriting; and Virginia Sanchez, her mom and a recognized Santera and shaman who taught her about the spiritual legacy of a Taína-Lukumí-Boricua. Are music, writing, and spirit teachable? Yes, just like lungs are born knowing how to breathe, but can learn new ways to integrate breath through musculature, observation, and practice.