David Valdes

Associate Professor of Theater
Affiliated Departments
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Character, conflict, and motion are the key building blocks of storytelling across millennia. We'll tap into these timeless tools, but also keep our eyes on the present, acknowledging the urgency of the need to make anti-racist and anti-bias theater.   

David Valdes joined the Conservatory in 2017 as an associate professor of theater and teaches playwriting in the contemporary theater program.

Valdes is the author of plays which have been staged across the United States and abroad. His work has been seen with Huntington Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Portland Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, the Humana Festival, Company One, the National New Play Showcase, and others. He has been a fellow with Company One, Huntington Theatre Company, Cimientos, and the Boston Foundation.

Productions include Last Catastrophist, The Mermaid Hour, Raggedy And, Bully Dance, Full Code, Widow of Abraham, Wandaleria, and Brave Navigator, among others. Recent work includes Much Undone (Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries shortlist), Up the Ladder Down the Slide (National Showcase of New Plays, Orlando Shakes), and Downtown Crossing, a docudrama based on two years of interviews with Boston’s undocumented communities. His play Brave Navigator is published by Samuel French, and he is the author of five books, including Homo Domesticus: Notes from a Same-Sex Marriage and Spin Me Right Round, coming in 2021.      

As a gay Cuban-American, Valdes’s work foregrounds BIPOC and LGBTQ characters and is intentionally intersectional in nature. He believes that Black lives matter, trans rights are human rights, and that heteronormativity, ableism, and classism must be actively unlearned.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Shortlist (2020)
  • Eugene O’Neill Finalist (2016, 2019)
  • National New Play Showcase (2016, 2019)
  • Cimientos Fellowship (2015)
  • Generations Prize for Playwriting (2014)
  • Brother Thomas Fellowship (2011)
  • EST/Sloan Project Commissions (2004, 2006, 2013)
  • Midwest Theatre Network National New Play Competition Winner (1997)

Notable Recent Works

  • Vow Keepers (Kane Repertory Video Series, 2020)
  • Last Catastrophist (Fresh Ink at the Boston Center for the Arts, 2020)
  • Downtown Crossing (Company One/Boston Public Library Reading, 2019)
  • The Mermaid Hour (Milagro, Borderlands, Mixed Blood, Actor’s Theater of Charlotte, UC Riverside, 2018)
  • Raggedy And (Vermont Pride Stages, Pride Films & Plays Chicago, 2018)