Manuel Zarate


Zarate's plays may be produced with permission. Please contact Susan Gurman to receive rights to the scripts.


Inspired by a book on Rigoberta Menchu, Kuka is the story of a woman in a cell, imprisoned for painting a story that should have stayed untold. Kuka was first produced at Willamette University's in 1992. Rigoberta Menchu won the Nobel Peace prize later that year which thrust Zarate's play into the national spotlight. It was produced again in 1995 at Capitol City Playhouse in Austin, Texas where it won an Austin Critic's Table Award for Best New Script. Kuka came to life again in 2008 as a part of Zarate's five-play series, Love Sonatas, and was performed at the Long Center for the performing arts where it starred Karen Alverado, Ben Wolfe and Tito.


At a bus station near the beach, two strangers meet. Why they're there and what they're waiting for may or may not be a bus that takes them far, far away from where they are now. Originally titled Fourplay, this one-act play was originally produced in the early nineties in Seattle and New York. It was reworked, retitled, and remounted in 2008 as part of Zarate's five-part series, Love SonatasFoursquare was workshopped one final time at Texas's Frontera Fest in 2012, and in its final form starred Doug Taylor, Ben Wolfe and Ann Pittman. 

Sonata Escondida

A woman, her lover, her ex, her daughter, and her piano. Sonata Escondida was first done in Austin with Third Coast Repertory theatre in 1997. It was later added to Zarate's Love Sonatas, a five-play series premiering at the Long Center for the performing arts in 2008 and starred Rebecca Robinson. This play is currently undergoing re-writes for future production.


Meet Jose. After taking the art world by storm, a stroke paralyzes his body and life. Enter Elizabeth, an unlikely muse who doesn't know when to shut up. Meeting just once a month, a startling bond forms between painter and model, each pushing the other to discoveries and openings. When their confidences are revealed in public, will it rip all that is fragile apart? Stroke premiered as part of the five-part series Love Sonatas at Austin's Long Center for the Performing Arts and starred Douglas Taylor and Liz Fisher. The play is currently undergoing re-writes for further production.

Shakespeare Scrooged

Dickin's classic Christmas Carol retold with Shakespeare's characters, this delightful piece plays with love, charity, and the choices we make. Shakespeare Scrooged was workshopped in Austin, Texas in 2012 with the following actors and collaborators: Alison Stebbins, Ann Pittman, David Boss, Karen Alverado, Michelle Alexander, Nathan Brockett, and Nicholas Kier. The play is currently undergoing re-writes for further production.