Sandra Delgado was the Artist-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 academic year. Ms. Delgado is a Chicago based Columbian-American writer, actor, and producer whose plays have seen sold-out houses at The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Miracle Center and The Goodman Theatre.
In 2018 Delgado received a 3Arts Award of $25,000 unrestricted funding for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. Also, in 2019 Delgado was awarded the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Scriptworks, a $15,000 award recognizing exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career. Ms. Delgado wrote and starred in La Havana Madrid, which was named one of the best plays of 2017 by Newcity and Time Out Chicago, as well as received an ALTA (Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists) Award for Best Production. Sandra is currently working with The Goodman Theatre and Sojourn Theatre on a commission for an immersive work for and about Chicago. Her new version of A Doll’s House (co-adapted with Michael Halberstam) will premiere at Writers Theatre this Fall. And this June, her smash-hit La Havana Madrid returns with a run at the Den Theatre in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
Sandra is as familiar with the stage as she is a script, with an acting career spanning almost two decades. Most recently she appeared in La Ruta at Steppenwolf, and last fall she starred Off-Broadway in the Public Theatre’s production of Oedipus el Rey. Other recent credits include Felons and Familias at Theatre on the Lake, the titular character in La Havana Madrid, the epic five-hour 2666 at The Goodman Theatre, her star turn as Veronica opposite Jimmy Smits in Motherf**ker with the Hat at The Steppenwolf Theatre, and Mojada at Victory Gardens Theatre, where her portrayal of Medea earned distinction as one of the Top Ten performances of 2013 by the Chicago Tribune.
As a producer, Sandra has striven to create opportunities for Latinx theatre artists. She created the ground-breaking YO SOLO Festival of Latino Solo Shows in 2012, the first of its kind in the country. Last year she co-curated Steppenwolf’s LookOut series during the run of her show La Havana Madrid, bringing dozens of Latinx artists to perform at Steppenwolf for the first time. Saints and Sinners, her new storytelling and music series, is also an extension of her drive to create more opportunities for writers and performers of color and provide a space to cultivate connection and understanding. Saints and Sinners focuses on the personal stories of populations that are underrepresented in popular culture.
Sandra is an ensemble member of Teatro Vista and a founding ensemble member of Collaboraction in Chicago. Her work with Collaboraction includes supporting first-time writers as a writing consultant/dramaturg, supporting their journey as they sculpt personal stories to be featured in Collaboraction’s Peacebook and Encounter Festival, a mixed-media festival that breaks down barriers and bias around race, culture, gender and class.
“My artistic practice and process is rooted in cultural anthropology, empathy, and bridge building. I focus on Chicago’s lost history and how it resonates with the issues we have today in order for us to move forward, together. These components are the inspiration and building blocks of my plays, which are a mix of fact, fiction and myth. Collaboration in the form of workshops with directors, actors and designers are critical. My plays are highly visual, physically dynamic and often music-filled affairs; elements beyond the spoken word, such as video, music and gesture play together in my creations, and workshops are the best way to see my ideas visualized so I can complete a rehearsal draft of the script.”
At Loyola Delgado engaged Theatre Program students through her teaching and creative research. In Fall 2019, Delgado taught THTR 305: Theatre Workshop. The workshop-inspired class introduced students to several techniques for play creation, including individual playwrighting and collaborative devising. Delgado also shared her theatre pedagogy as a visiting artist for all four levels of Loyola’s acting sequence and Audition Seminar. Throughout her time at Loyola, Delgado worked with students to further the development of The Boys and the Nuns, a new play that chronicles the unlikely and powerful social justice alliance between Chicago LGBTQ activists and Catholic nuns who worked together in the 1980s to overturn discriminatory legislation. A workshop version of the project was presented virtually in Spring 2020.