Evelyn Diaz Cruz , MFA
Associate Professor, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
Evelyn Díaz Cruz is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts with experience in writing, directing, and acting. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Professor Cruz’s study and practice of theatre is focused on community engagement by addressing issues of social justice through art. Her non-traditional approach to theatre garnered her the KPBS 2008 Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Award in The Arts for her contributions to the San Diego community. She is also a past recipient of the University of San Diego’s Innovations in Experiential Education Award in recognition of her pedagogical approach in combining theatre and community service learning. Professor Cruz’s teaching and creative scholarship reflects the University’s mission of compassionate service, diversity, and social justice.
Professor Cruz earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Playwriting from the University of California at Los Angeles and her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Theatre from San Diego State University. She has worked with such theatre notables as Luis Valdez (ZOOT SUIT, LA BAMBA), Augusto Boal (THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED), and Jose-Luis Valenzuela (AUGUST 29th: CHICANO MORATORIUM). She is a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Los Angeles Association of Playwrights.
Scholarly and Creative Work
Recent projects include a full production of her award-winning play, Glass Cord Off-Off-Broadway at Teatro Latea, in New York City’s Lower East Side (May of 2012) where she was their invited Artist-In-Residence for 2011-2012. Set on a rooftop in the Bronx during the searing 1970’s Glass Cord explores myths of the maternal instinct. Other writing/directing projects include Besito Pa’ Ti, Muertos, Yerma (original adaptation), and directing of Grapes of Wrath.
Upcoming projects for 2015 include directing a full production of the play, 12 Angry Women; and a reading of the play, Katrina: The K Word at the University of San Diego. This summer she will be the invited guest artist funded by the Victoria Foundation and Drew University to facilitate workshops and write a play towards a full production with underserved youth in Newark, New Jersey.
Evelyn Cruz is a contributing author of the book TEATRO CHICANA, U.T. Press, which received the Susan Koppelman Book Award in 2009 for Best Edited Popular and Women’s Culture. Professor Cruz teaches courses on Playwriting, Acting, Theatre of Diversity, Theatre and Society, and a Theatre and Community course that partners with community organizations and presents stories back to the San Diego community in an evening of one-acts. A 2013 USD study-abroad experience took the class to Jamaica, West Indies.
Professor Cruz teaches courses on Playwriting, Acting, Theatre of Diversity, Theatre and Society, and a Theatre and Community course offered as a service-learning experience that creates partnerships with local community organizations and gathers stories to present back to the community in a final theatrical evening of one-acts. Her teaching reflects upon the University's mission of compassionate service and inclusivity.