Quiara Alegria Hudes Is a Bright New Voice in Theater

Nationally recognized playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes teaches playwriting at Wesleyan to beginning and advanced writers. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Nationally recognized playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes teaches playwriting at Wesleyan to beginning and advanced writers. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes was featured on the cover of the new Wesleyan magazine.

Hudes is currently the Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Writing and Theater, and teaches playwriting to both beginning and advanced writers at Wesleyan. Her plays include 26 Miles, Yemaya’s Belly, the children’s musical Barrio Grrrl!, and the acclaimed Elliot Trilogy, named after a recurrent character who served as a Marine and is based on the author’s cousin. The first in the trilogy, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, was a 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist, while the second installment, Water by the Spoonful, was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Hudes also wrote the Tony Award-nominated book for In the Heights, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical (with a score by Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 and directed by Thomas Kail ’99) and was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

She spoke to the Wesleyan magazine about how her diverse family, roots in Philadelphia, and musical background have inspired her creative work.

“I always wrote,” she says. “It was just one of the ways I grew up playing—kids play around by picking up stories; it’s one of our natural instincts. My dad would teach me how to hit a whiffle ball, and then I would write poems. By high school, I was writing plays and writing for the literary magazine and for the weekly newspaper. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I had the notion that it would be something I would pursue in earnest to earn a living. But once I had that notion, it seemed quite natural because I had been doing it all of my life.”

Read the full feature story here.