An epic poem for the stage, blu traces the explosive after-effects of prison and hunger, desire and war. The play follows a queer Chicana/o family as they try to envision an earth and sky without police and their helicopters. Winner of the 2010 Yale Drama Series Award. Purchase the play from Yale University Press.
blu has been taught at Cal State Fullerton, Cornell University, The University of California Riverside, The University of Arizona, Vassar College, The California Institute of the Arts, The University of Richmond, The University of Texas at San Antonio, The University of Notre Dame, The University of Southern California, Dartmouth, The University of Syracuse, The University of Houston, The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Florida State University, The University of Pennsylvania, Trinity University, and The University of California at Santa Cruz. The book has also been taught at high schools and used in innovative arts based literacy programs in the prison system.
WInner of the 2010 Yale Drama Series Award.
“blu is technically expert… Grise’s choral effects are thrilling and unexpected. But, just as important, the play uses a heady mix of Latino and musical influences to cast oblique light on people you don’t usually come across on the English speaking stage.” —David Hare, playwright
“blu is vital theater.” —Gregg Barrios, The Current
"Absorbing . . . the play’s lean, poetically metered language and its ensemble-storytelling style [are] arresting.”—Irma Mayorga, Theatre Journal
“Grise weaves different timelines and events seamlessly, with snippets of dialogue that, when repeated, come across as startling reminders that this family is trapped in a vicious cycle…Plays are fearlessly political, and Grise has made formidable use of the genre to illuminate such a simple yet seemingly impossible solution that is reflected in Gemini's optimism: dream differently, ‘rewrite the myth.’" —Rigoberto González, El Paso Times
“With a sure hand, playwright Virginia Grise creates a highly theatrical present-day barrio that houses the characters of one story but uses explosive language and poetic movement to reach beyond and tell us so much more. Hers is a knowing, provocative, and lyrical work that is as gorgeous as it is powerful.” —Jennie Webb, Backstage
“The actors grab hold of their characters with swagger and passion. Director Laurie Carlos brings precision and artful rhythm to the piece, and Rafa Esparza’s set is a dreamy rooftop escape from the unsafe streets.” —Amy Lyons, LA Weekly
“A gritty, honest ensemble of actors. Carlos keeps all the characters visible throughout the hour long performance. Even as we watch Luna and Gemini perched on a rooftop, we feel Blu impatiently circling. The action swirls around us and we’re never allowed to settle into a single scene.”