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Faces of CNM: Leonard Madrid

Leonard, a CNM theatre instructor, was selected for a prestigious summer residency to work on his new play, “Las Arañas.”
Faces of CNM: Leonard Madrid
Leonard, a CNM theatre instructor, was recently selected for a prestigious summer residency at the Berkeley Rep.

Apr 06, 2018

Leonard Madrid is fascinated with monsters. More specifically, he’s fascinated with the kinds of monsters we like to dream up here in New Mexico; La Llorona, the Skinwalkers, the Roswell aliens, etc. He likes that New Mexico has developed a strong regional folklore around mythical beings and decided to add to that narrative with his play, “Las Arañas.”

In the play, he’s created his own monsters aptly called Las Arañas (the spider women) who roam New Mexico eating evildoers. While fictional, Leonard says that Las Arañas are partially based on the 11 women who were found buried on the West Mesa in 2009.

“Those women were a news story, then they became a sort of punchline, and now they’ve mostly been forgotten,” he says. “But the West Mesa story is an important part of our history here in Albuquerque and I wanted to ensure their story survived by telling it through a different lens.”

Leonard wrote the first draft of the play three years ago and it’s since gone through many revisions. To keep it moving forward, he applied for the prestigious Berkeley Rep Ground Floor Summer Residency in Berkeley, California, and recently found out his play was one of just 21 projects selected out of 690 that were entered.

As a selected resident, he’ll get to spend two weeks in June working on the play with the Rep’s highly-respected staff and the other attendees that include leading national playwrights such as Sarah Ruhl and Naomi Iizuka. The goal, he says, is to come home with a play that’s ready, or close to ready, for the stage.

“Here in Albuquerque I’m pulled in many different directions,” he says. “I’m an actor, a teacher, a designer, etc. So it will be great to just focus on being a playwright and to work with people who will undoubtedly help me make the play that much better.”

To find out more about the play, and when it will be ready for production, please email Leonard at madrid35@cnm.edu.