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 Cycles, the story of two friends in the Arizona foster care system. It's a commission from StoryWorks in collaboration with the AZ Daily Star Newspaper agency.
Milta Ortiz is a playwright from the Bay Area, who now calls Tucson home. She’s excited to work with StoryWorks and Arizona Daily Star on a play about two friends in the Arizona Foster Care system, and with Pima Community College on a play about two sisters, one who happens to be a Dreamer. Her play Judge Torres world premiere’s at Milagro Theater Group in January 2019 and continues on to a national tour. She received NEA and NALAC grants to develop/produce her play, Sanctuary, which premiered at Borderlands Theater in September 2018. She devised/wrote/directed Solving for X for the Working Classroom (2016-17.) Her play, Más was produced at Su Teatro (March 2017,) and co-produced by Laney College (March, 2016) and Ubuntu Theater Project (May 2016.) Más premiered at Borderlands Theater (September 2015, thanks to NEA and NALAC grants) and was nominated for a Steinberg-ATCA Award, toured Arizona Universities (in 2016/17) and was produced at San Diego State University (November 2018.) She was a National New Play Network playwright in residence at Borderlands Theater in 2013. Other produced plays include the 21st, 20th, 19th, 18th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, Sonoran Shadows, Disengaged, Fleeing Blue and solo play Scatter My Red Underwear. Milta teaches theater at Pima Community College. She 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 associate artistic director at Borderlands Theater and mom to a creative Kindergartener.