Xiomara Cornejo wins Kennedy Center Dramaturgy Award

Xiomara Cornejo, Theatre doctoral student

Xiomara Cornejo is a Salvadoran-American theatre director/designer/dramaturg, visual artist, musician, and arts activist from Compton, California. Her professional work includes theatre directing, after-school arts programming, applied theatre, community arts organizing and consciousness-raising through community-based art making. Xiomara received a BA in Theater Directing/Performance from CSU Long Beach. During that time she directed Jose Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot at the Museum of Latin American Art, and Luis Valdez’ Los Vendidos which toured throughout local high schools in East Los Angeles. Xiomara then received an MA from USC where she investigated the integration of community arts within NGOs in Guatemala and El Salvador. For eight years Xiomara worked as a community organizer/supervisor under the Asset Based Community Development model and facilitated Neighborhood Action Councils (NAC) with youth and adults throughout South Los Angeles. In collaboration with NAC members, she designed and implemented projects to address social issues in the community, some of which included theatre, art workshops, photography exhibitions, and street murals. Xiomara was also an active member of the Occupy Movement Arts Committee in Long Beach, CA., where she utilized Theatre of the Oppressed, puppet making, and relationship-based community organizing as a vehicle for social change. She recently apprenticed with the legendary Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont. During her apprenticeship, Xiomara performed in the circus productions, street parades and weekly performances as well as developed skits and constructed puppets for shows.

In 2018, Xiomara was a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) National 1st Place Winner for her Dramaturgy on Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3. She received a summer-long internship with the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut. In 2017, Xiomara was the recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) National 1st Place Winner – Allied Crafts and Design for her Projection Design of Good Kids. She received a summer-long fellowship to attend the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas.

Xiomara Cornejo