Rogelio Martinez, Goddard MFA Faculty Member, received a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship. Rogelio was born in Sancti-Spiritus, Cuba and arrived in the United States on the Mariel boatlift in 1980. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Martinez plans to return to Cuba for the first time since 1980 to research his newest play.
Directly affected by the Cold War period in history, his focus in recent years has been on telling its story. After being awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Science and Technology Initiative Grant by the Denver Center, Martinez went on to write When Tang Met Laika, a post Cold War space exploration play; which was subsequently produced by the Denver Center. This inspired Martinez to bring the Cold War to life on stage and write a three play cycle exploring the time period. The first play in this Cold War trilogy is Ping Pong. The play is about U.S.-Chinese relations during the Nixon administration. It was presented at the Public Theatre. Born in East Berlin, the second play, tackled the impact a Springsteen concert had on East Germans just prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The play was recently workshopped at the Atlantic Theater Company and has since been translated into both Hungarian and Romanian. Martinez’s trilogy concludes with Blind Date. The Denver Center, under the artistic leadership of Kent Thompson, commissioned Blind Date. The play tracks the series of events leading up to the Geneva Summit where President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev first shook hands. Blind Date was featured at the 2017 Colorado New Play summit, and will received its world premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in January 2018.
United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. The Foundation receives approximately 3,000 applications each year. Although no one who applies is guaranteed success in the competition, there is no prescreening: all applications are reviewed. Approximately 175 Fellowships are awarded each year.