Seagull Books features Instructions for Breathing

Layout 1By turns astonishing, fierce, and tender, these seven plays by Latina American dramatist Caridad Svich highlight more than two decades of boundary-breaking and genre-defying dramatic work. Populated by characters struggling to survive, these plays are joined by thematic threads of loss, remembrance, resurrection, grave wit and heroic survival.

The centrepiece of this collection, Instructions for Breathing, is a lyrical, dreamlike meditation on responsibility and parenthood that asks an audience not only to suffer the unthinkable loss of a child as Svich’s characters do, but also to laugh at the couple’s flaws and at the hilarity of the suburban life they lead. This commingling of emotion happens in each of these dramatic portraits of homeless castaways (Fugitive Pieces), women in war (Thrush) and sex traffickers (Rift). And Svich’s work is not without a nod to the classical: Wreckage reframes the story of Medea and Steal Back Light from the Virtual depicts a labyrinthine society torn apart by a monstrous beast. In sum, Instructions for Breathing and Other Plays serves as an illuminating introduction to the work of a major playwright and an inspiring example of the breadth of possibilities in North American drama.

ISBN : 9780857421111

[HB] Rs 525 / $25.00/ £16.00

Available at the Seagull Books Store and online in India here and World here.


New April 2013 from NoPassport Press:THE BREATH OF THEATRE
Conversations & Reflections, 2003-2013.
by Caridad Svich

This volume collects ten years of conversations and critical reflections by OBIE-winning playwright and arts journalist Caridad Svich. Leading artists profiled in this book include Tim Crouch, Ariel Dorfman, Marguerite Feitlowitz, Philip Kan Gotanda, Charles Mee, Jr., Jose Rivera, Andrei Serban,and Heather Woodbury. A vital volume on the art-making process and its power for transformation.

ISBN: 978-1-300-88963-2
Suggested Retail: $25.00
6 X 9 paperback.
435 pages.

Direct purchase link:

NoPassport Press


My America

My monologue WONDER, part of the My America series at Center Stage, is now live online as a short film directed by Hal Hartley.

Caridad Svich from CENTERSTAGE on Vimeo.


Wonder by Caridad Svich

Caridad Svich is recipient of a 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, and a 2011 Primus Prize from the American Theatre Critics Association. She has been short-listed four times for the PEN USA Award in Drama, including in 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste. She is alumna of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport theatre alliance & press, associate editor of Routledge/UK’s Contemporary Theatre Review, and Drama Editor of Asymptotejournal. Visit her at

Performed by Flor De Liz Perez

New Book

New September 2012 Release from Eyecorner Press:

Five Contemporary Plays Inspired by the Greeks
by Caridad Svich

Between worlds? Only through a blasted heaven.

THE BOOK: A collection of five daring, radical reconfigurations of ancient plays and myths by US playwright Caridad Svich, winner of a 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement. From the mediatised archival landscape of the haunting Antigone Arkhe to the brutalised labyrinth-city of Steal Back Light from the Virtual to the eerie, broken universe of Wreckage, Svich burns through the core of mythic stories with a heightened sense of theatricality and ecstatic poetry

Request a Review Copy:

THE AUTHOR: Caridad Svich is a playwrightsongwriter-translator and editor of Cuban-Spanish-Argentine-Croatian descent. She is the recipient of a 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, and a 2011 Primus Prize from the American Theatre Critics Association. Among her other key works include 12 Ophelias, Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues, Fugitive Pieces, The Booth Variations, Iphigenia…(a rave fable), Instructions for Breathing, GUAPA, The Way of Water and The House of the Spirits (based on the novel by Isabel Allende.)

ISBN: 978-8792633187

All book orders must be placed with either or

new writing class August-September

NoPassport Writing Extension: Revision and Re/Making the New
with Caridad Svich

August 28-September 28, 2012

A playwriting intensive focused on revision of work, but also, where necessary, creating new work building upon themes from a previous work. All work done via email.

Total cost: $125
Class size maximum: 20

Payments directly online to

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

Iphigenia… (a rave fable), by Caridad Svich @Center Ithaca

Incognita Presents Iphigenia…(a rave fable) in Downtown Storefront this March

“…a throbbing, daring multimedia freakout.” (Denver Post)

MEET THE PLAYWRIGHT: Caridad Svich will speak at CSMA at 7:30 Wed Mar 14 about her work as a playwright and Incognita will present scenes from IPHIGENIA.

The full title of this astonishing play by award-winning playwright Caridad Svich is “Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (a rave fable)”

As Svich describes her work, “This play hurls one of Greek tragedy’s most compelling sagas into a sleek netherworld of sex, drugs and trance music. Iphigenia is the daughter of a political celebrity who embraces sensuous excess with a transgendered glam rock star named Achilles in a desperate attempt to flee her inevitable fate.”

Incognita proudly collaborates with Cornell’s Teatrotaller and the Latino Civic Association to present the regional premiere of this play by one of our leading Latina playwrights.

Read the whole article