I learned to speak basic English in about six months, watching Sesame Street, Electric Company, and re-runs of Laverne and Shirley. I say Banana like a mid-westerner even though I grew up in Cali. I still remember the day I realized I was thinking in English. I was eight.
Growing up as a 1.5-generation Salvadorian-American, outside of my home life, I didn’t know much about my culture. I often felt in between. The other within the other. Immigrant.
This experience created an observer within me. I observed and devoured culture.
By college, I noticed that as a Latina, I hardly saw myself reflected in literature, history, or media. That longing to read about my experience drives me as a writer. I'm fascinated by the intersection of gender, class, race, and culture and how it affects relationships.
I write to validate my American experience.
Currently, I’m working on Sanctuary, a play about the 1980’s Sanctuary movement ignited by a couple of women, a quaker and a reverend at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Everyday Tucsonans came to aide Central Americans fleeing war.
Milta Ortiz is a playwright from the Bay Area, who now calls Tucson home. Recently, she drafted Sanctuary and a few poems at Djerassi Resident Artist program. She wrote and directed Solving for X for the Working Classroom in Albuquerque (2016-17). Her play, Más was produced at Su Teatro in Denver (March 2017,) and co-produced in the Bay Area by Laney College (March, 2016) and Ubuntu Theater Project (May 2016.) Más premiered at Borderlands Theater in September 2015 and was nominated for a Steinberg-ATCA Award, a Tucson Mac award for best drama and toured Arizona Universities in 2016 and 2017. Más was developed at Borderlands Theater through an NNPN residency, selected to the Latino Theater Commons Carnaval play festival and made the Kilroy List. Other produced plays include 21st, 20th, 19th, 18th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, Sonoran Shadows, Disengaged, Fleeing Blue and Scatter My Red Underwear. Milta worked extensively as a teaching artist and received individual artist grants to write, develop and produce her solo work in the Bay Area. She teaches theater at Pima Community College. Milta earned an M.F.A. from Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program and a Creative Writing B.A. from San Francisco State University. She is a proud mom to bubbly preschooler.