Arts Calling Podcast #9 José Casas | State of TYA, social impact through theater, and other Brown Playwright adventures

Arts Calling is a podcast to celebrate creatives across disciplines and cultural backgrounds, but also a case for the arts as the gateway to empathy, healthy lives, and strong communities.

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Hello friends!

Today I am thrilled to be Arts Calling the very awesome playwright/compa José Casas! Thanks so much for joining us today with your wisdom, anecdotes, and good cheer! And a shoutout to Alvaro Saar Rios for making this happen! A part 2 episode with José and Alvaro will definitely be happening someday soon!

José Casas is a playwright, director, and Assistant Professor who heads the Playwriting Minor in the Department of Theatre & Drama at the University of Michigan. He has a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a M.A. in Thetre Arts from California State University, Los Angeles, a M.F.A. in Playwriting from Arizona State University, as well graudate work in the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA. He is also a board member of The Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.

His plays, la ofrenda and somebody’s children were recipients of both the Bonderman National Playwriting for Youth Award and the American Alliance of Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Play Award. His book, Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences was a recipient of an AATE Distinguished Book Award. His plays include aDoBe, the vine, 14, la ofrenda, Desvelado, a rose grows beyond the wall, jj’s place, a million whispers in the wind, somebody’s children, Pedro y El Lobo, and Flint. His work has been included in a number of anthologies such as The Bully Plays, Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre, and **Theatre for Youth II: More Plays With Mature Themes**. His published work includes la ofrenda, 14, somebody’s children, and **Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre for Young Audiences**.

He is currently working on Every Great Dream: Visioning African American Theatre for Young Audiences (2022); to be published by Dramatic Publishing.

Check out the production of José’s play, Flint. Available online for FREE!

Visit for more information.

Arts Calling is produced by Jaime Alejandro at If you like the show, consider reviewing and sharing the podcast, your support truly makes a difference! Check us out for more podcasts about the arts and other stuff too! Make art. Much love,


If you make art to better your community or if you believe art heals, I’d love to talk to you! Contact me at

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