Caridad Svich

caridad svich
Bachelor in Creative Arts-Performance, UNC Charlotte (1985)
Master of Fine Arts in Theatre-Playwriting, University of California, San Diego (1988)

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Since graduating from UNC Charlotte, Caridad Svich has written more than 40 full-length plays, a variety of short works, and 15 translations. She has edited Innovation in Five Acts: Strategies for Theatre and Performance (published by Theatre Communications Group in 2015), and a collection of three of her plays, JARMAN (all this maddening beauty) and other plays, was published in the UK by Intellect Books. Her most recent book, Toward a Future Theatre, was published by Methuen Drama in 2022. She is currently Artistic Director of New Play Development at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City.

Caridad received a 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and the National New Play Network rolling world premiere for Guapa, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based on the Isabel Allende novel. She has won the National Latino Playwriting Award (sponsored by Arizona Theatre Company) twice and has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama four times. 

In 2018, Caridad received the Ellen Stewart Award for Career Achievement in Professional Theatre by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). The honor is given annually to recognize superlative contributions to the field of theatre. Most recently, she received the 2023 Flora Roberts Award from The Dramatists Guild and in 2024 was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, one of 188 recipients chosen through a rigorous process from more than 3,000 applicants.

Caridad's works in English and Spanish have been seen at venues across the US and abroad. Her play Memories of Overdevelopment premiered at Firehouse Theatre in Richmond, Virginia, in February 2024. Her participatory piece How It Ends was featured at Worlds in Play theatre/gaming summit at ASU Mix Center in January 2024. As screenwriter, her film Fugitive Dreams, based on her play, was released on demand on Apple Tv, Amazon Prime, and more on January 9, 2024. Past notable premieres include her adaptation for the stage of Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter at Repertorio Español in New York City, and agua de luna (psalms for the rouge) at Matrix Theatre Company in Detroit, Michigan. 

“One of the things I learned at UNC Charlotte was to follow my own creative path and curiosities as an artist,” she says, “to trust my instincts, and to strive for excellence always.” While she was a student at UNC Charlotte Caridad received a national playwriting prize for her play Waterfall, which received a student-mounted production. But she also took turns on the stage herself, performing in productions of Once Upon a Mattress and The Greeks.

To prospective UNC Charlotte students Caridad says, “Focus on your work, and remain open to the invitations to make art and collaborate with other artists.”

Caridad currently lives in both Los Angeles and New York City. She is the recipient of the Department of Theatre 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.  Read "Shape of Being," the address she delivered at the awards ceremony, here.