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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Carmen Aguirre

Carmen Aguirre is a Vancouver-based theatre artist who has worked extensively in North and South America. She has written and co-written twenty-one plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Trigger, The Refugee Hotel, and Blue Box. Her first non-fiction book, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, was published in 2011 by Douglas & McIntyre in Canada and Granta/Portobello in the United Kingdom and is now available in Finland and Holland, in translation. Something Fierce was nominated for British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the international Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, was a finalist for the 2012 BC Book Prize, was selected by the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, and the National Post as one of the best books of 2011, was named Book of the Week by BBC Radio in the United Kingdom, won CBC Canada Reads 2012, and is a number-one national bestseller. Aguirre has more than sixty film, TV, and stage acting credits, is a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop facilitator, and an instructor in the acting department at Vancouver Film School. She received the Union of B.C. Performers 2011 Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award, the 2012 Langara College Outstanding Alumnae Award, and has been nominated for the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award, and the prestigious Siminovitch Prize. Aguirre is a graduate of Studio 58.

LATEST Carmen Aguirre NEWS

September 2016 : This Sunday: WORD Vancouver!

February 2016 : Valentine’s Day Specials!

September 2015 : Carmen Aguirre remembers the Chilean revolution

June 2015 : CBC Recommends Memoirs by 15 Canadian Women

August 2014 : 2014 Betty Mitchell Award Winners


Refugee Hotel, The

Playwrights’ Theatre Centre Best New Play Award


Trigger, The

Finalist for the 2005 Jessie Richardson Award for Innovation Award (Touchstone Theatre)


Blue Box

“The play pivots on the fascinating contradictory impulses in this one person: the selfishness of sexual passion versus the selflessness of passionate revolutionary commitment. A good storyteller, Aguirre runs the full gamut of emotion.”
Vancouver Province

“There’s a clear, sophisticated intelligence at work here. The script is riddled with both serious and ironic political references.”
Georgia Straight

“A storytelling tour-de-force …”
Fast Forward Weekly

“She has the force of a hurricane. Aguirre deals in love instead of destruction.”
Mooney on Theatre

“Blue Box is an unapologetic story of power, told with power. Its narrative bathes in it, bemoans the loss of it, fights it and fears it.”
Monday Magazine

“A night of vivid storytelling …”
Calgary Herald

“Vivid tapestry of love, loss and desperation.”
West of West


Refugee Hotel, The

“Full of wonder and terror …The battle between courage and cowardice looms large here; duty to one’s self or to one’s people is a constant internal compromise … humourous … heartbreaking.”

“A powerful new play.”
CBC Radio

“Four-star hotel … This moving, often engrossing play paints rich portraits of eight refugees: some tortured, some fearful, all defiant … a production to catch for its theatrical strengths and historic insights … triumphant.”
NOW Magazine

“[Aguirre is] an artist with an impressive life story and impeccable intentions … Aguirre lived what she is writing about … and that lends The Refugee Hotel real authenticity.”
Globe & Mail

“A humorous and heartbreaking look at life in exile.”
Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles


Trigger, The

The Trigger is a knockout … intelligent, powerful, funny, horrific, theatrically stunning, and utterly free of victimology.”
— Jerry Wasserman

“The writing is at its most revealing when Aguirre shows us how­ the young Carmen’s mind struggles to process adult-scale horror…Going into an evening like this, you might expect sentimentalization of pain or oversimplification of politics … what The Trigger offers is so strange that it has the ring of truth, and it is never simplistic. Often, though, it is beautiful.”
— Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight

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