Caridad Svich Awarded 2012 Village Voice OBIE for Lifetime Achievement

Photo by Emily Tan via

Michael McKean presented the citation, written by Jose Rivera:

And now our final award of the evening. Certain artists see borders and stop at them. Others see borders as an opportunity for transcendence. Few artists can claim to have crossed so many boundaries at birth: Cuba, Argentina, Spain, and Croatia. Few have created so many bodies of work in so many disciplines: playwriting, songwriting, essay writing, teaching, translation, reviewing, editing, and mentoring. For her prodigious output as one of America’s most daring and provocative Latina writers, for her indefatigable energy, for her selfless and consistent advocacy of artists of all backgrounds, for her dizzying array of intellectual interests and pursuits—yes, for the very poetry that is her life’s energy—the judges are proud to give this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to a nomad, a storyteller, and a true woman of the theater: CARIDAD SVICH

See the full list of winners here.

Watch the Presentation and her Acceptance Speech

Read her acceptance Speech Below:

“Make a spirit thing out of nothing. Call it a play.”

Theatre begs ascension.
Its vertical pull Tugs at the heart
And heavens
Whilst reminding you to
Keep your ear to the ground
Alive to the beauty in the dirt.

As you stand at theatre’s door – Strange, mysterious, elusive, maddening –
You are nonetheless charmed by it s glamour. What beggar this, the door says?
And so, we walk in.

Young night of silver stains
as we stand in smoke
Inside the den where loud and fast
meets the acid glow
Of rushing boys
and lingering girls
and cigarettes dangling from canvas totes
We pose and slack
and hang in throes
never letting on.

This is the way we all go
As we face the slanting light in the unknown dark:
A wee holler, a wild shout, exclaiming the furious game of living –
Hold on, we say,
While we wrestle the demons in our midst,
Hold fast n strong
And never, never let on
Cuz the truth will find you
the truth of making will catch you
and maybe, just maybe, sometimes when you’re not (even) looking,
save your very soul.
But we won’t let on, right?

Cause to let on would be
To let on Would be Like, the worst thing Ever…
All seen All been  All there and now Never letting on

EFE News covers OBIE win for Latin America article/interview link