About me

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. Most immigrants just want to fit in so 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 Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Everyday Tucsonans came to aide Central Americans fleeing war. After 13 middle class Salvadorans died trying to cross the desert. I’m moved by the compassion and humanity that drove this movement.


Milta Ortiz is a playwright raised in the Bay Area, currently in Tucson by way of Chicago. As a National New Play Network playwright in residence at Borderlands Theater for the 2013/14 season, she wrote and developed Más, which premiered at Borderlands Theater September, 2015. That same year, Más was selected to the Latino Theater Commons Carnaval play festival, nominated for an American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and Citations, a Tucson Mac award for best drama and co-produced by Laney College in March 2016 and Ubuntu Theater Project in May 2016 and at Su Teatrro in March 2017. Plays include Solving for X (with The Working Classroom) premieres February 2017, the 20th Annual A Tucson Pastorela produced December 2016, 19th Annual A Tucson Pastorela produced December 2015, Disengaged, a TYA play commissioned by Rising Youth Theater, premiered at the Phoenix Center for the Arts in 2014, the 18th Annual A Tucson Pastorela produced December 2013, You, Me and Tuno, a finalist in NYC’s Downtown Urban Theater Festival, 2013. Fleeing Blue won the 2012 Wichita State playwriting contest and a university production in 2012. Last of the Lilac Roses was a runner up finalists at Repertorio Español, Nuestra’s Voces play contest 2011. She earned an MFA from Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program and a Creative Writing BA from San Francisco State University. She received two City of Oakland Cultural Arts grants and a Zellerbach Family Foundation award to write and perform her solo work in the Bay Area. Milta’s day job is Marketing & Outreach Director at Borderlands Theater. She's worked as a teaching artist for over 6 years and occasionally moonlights as such. She is proud to be mom to a bubbly toddler. 


Milta Ortiz