Section 14 Playwright


Green Room Theatre Company Coachella Valley recently obtained a substantial California Creative Corps grant to devise (develop) a play about the controversial Section 14 episode. In the 1960s, the City of Palm Springs forcibly evicted hundreds of Black and Latino families from the “Section 14” downtown land, bulldozing and burning many homes (without compensation or housing options for displaced residents). The City Council has publicly discussed paying reparations to survivors and descendants, but it has not yet made substantial progress toward actual restitution.

The grant will fund an artistic collaborative to devise a play, rehearse, and put on at least three staged readings (in June 2024).  The core of the artistic collaborative has already started work. Compensation will be $4,000 for a playwright that joins the project before April 1st. After April 1st, the compensation will be reduced on a prorated basis. The playwright and other artists compensated by the grant must be legal residents of Riverside County or San Bernardino County.

The numerous highly innovative features of this project include a community advisory committee, which will serve as a bridge between the artists and survivors/descendants/community stakeholders. We expect to use oral histories from survivors and descendants. Contributions from different arts (music, visual art, possibly dance) are also planned.

We expect to seek additional funding to refine the play and, if successful, in 2024-25, put on a fully staged production, possibly a touring production and/or an engagement at a major arts center. We expect this to be a highly visible project, covered by major regional or even national media.

The nonprofit GGRTCV ( is the only theatre company in the region that brings professional performances and top-quality ballet folklorico and theatre training directly to under-resourced neighborhoods. We have a tradition of providing highly innovative productions in often unusual venues.   


The successful playwright will work very closely with the project’s artistic lead, Executive Artistic Director David Catanzarite, and the artistic collaborative to shape the play from an initial concept to a successful play. Mr. Catanzarite’s career has centered around developing new works for the stage. He has directed and performed in more than 150 productions, many of them world or U.S. premieres, in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Baltimore, Coachella Valley. Prague, and Cape Town.

The playwright will be responsible for developing an initial written concept based partly on oral histories and other resources, discussions with the artistic team, and the community advisory committee.  Then the playwright will meet weekly with the artistic collaborative, for most weeks, from February through June 2024 to shape the play. The playwright will also be responsible for providing written materials, including a refined concept description and working script to the artistic collaborative and the cast.


The successful playwright must have:

  • A bachelor’s or associate’s degree in theatre arts, creative writing, English literature, ethnic studies, social sciences, or a related field OR completion of a recognized artistic training program;
  • Written at least one full-length play or screenplay or 2+ one-acts, which were produced by a permanent theatre company/program or which placed in a playwriting/screenplay competition;  
  • At least two years of part-time or full-time experience at the community college or higher level in a theatre company or program;
  • Submitted an acceptable application, including a resume, brief answers on essay questions, and writing sample(s); and 
  • Participated in an interview and performance exercise.

The successful playwright applicant ideally also has:

  • Written play(s) or other works on social justice topics;
  • Worked in a diverse artistic collaborative to develop plays or other works;
  • Acquired broad knowledge of California and US history and current events, including ethnic relations and reparations issues;
  • Demonstrated a commitment toward diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.
  • Fluency in Spanish or Tagalog may be helpful.

Candidates must also be willing to share writing credits.  The rights to the finished script will become the property of Green Room Theatre Company.

Playwright applicants will need to confirm that they will be available to work with the artistic collaborative and the Executive Artistic Director as scheduled and to meet project deadlines. 

Candidates must also be willing to share writing credits.  The rights to the script will become the property of Green Room Theatre Company. There will be compensation as determined by the Executive Artistic Director. The successful applicant will of course be fairly credited and compensated within legal and grant guidelines.

TO APPLY:  E-mail your resume, a cover letter, and at your option, writing sample(s) and documentation of playwriting credits to:  Applicants who meet basic requirements will be promptly sent an application and background information. Search will continue until a hire is made. 

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