The burning passion of playwright Odalys Nanin
If there’s one thing that drives actress, director, and playwright Odalys Nanin, it’s theatre.
For this Cuban-born, American-raised Renaissance woman, theatre is her life and her passion.
But who is Odalys Nanin? Here’s a short backgrounder on this Latina lesbian beauty.
Playwright Odalys Nanin: A life on the stage
After experiencing life under Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Nanin’s family migrated to the US in the ’60s where they lived in Brooklyn, New York.
Nanin graduated from Rutgers University and The Drama Studio London, and appeared in a number of soap operas, TV commercials, and at least 30 theater productions in New York and Los Angeles.
She later cut her teeth writing, directing, and producing theatre in Los Angeles, winning a number of awards like three Drama-Logue Theatre Awards for direction, performance, and production for Vargas Llosas La Chunga.
She also received the Maverick Award and the Pat Parker Arts Award.
Likewise, Beyond Love received a Curve Magazine Award for Best Lesbian Play.
“When I get awards like these, it makes it all mean something. Because I’m not just doing it for me; it’s to share it with the public, my audience,” Nanin recently told Edge Media Network.
“I’m honored when anyone takes hours of their time to come see my play,” she said.
Nanin was also recognized by Tentaciones Magazine as one of the most influential Latinas in the LGBTI community. She was one of Out Magazine’s 100 in 2007.
Playwright Odalys Nanin and the Macha Theatre
Nanin went on to own a theater and became the Producing Artistic Director and Founder of Macha Theatre in 2007.
She came to rescue the 35-year old historical theatre landmark in West Hollywood, the Globe Playhouse, when its previous owner, Thad Taylor, passed away.
Renaming it the MACHA (Mujeres Advancing Culture, History, & Art) Theatre, she made sure to keep the original Shakespearean stage and tried to restore as much of the theatre as possible.
She turned Macha Theatre into a community cultural arts center for artists– not only actors but also for painters, writers, and the like.
“A lot of people wanted to turn the Globe into a furniture store or a parking lot, but I really fought for it to remain a theater, not only because of its long history, but because it was such a good location for this space,” Nanin said.
“It really became my passion,” she added.
Playwright Odalys Nanin and Piel de Miel
The Macha Theatre is currently holding a revival of Nanin’s landmark lesbian play, “Skin of Honey” (Piel de Miel) from June 22 to June 25.
This play first premiered in 2007 at the Macha Theatre. Describing the romance between the two female lovers in the story, Nanin said,”I wanted to show how love really is the essential force and energy.”
For more about the playwright Odalys Nanin, check out LesbianNews’s latest issue.