Playwright Gomez '26 Wins Theater Award
The piece is a reflection on climate issues.
In his first year at Hartwick, Lucero Gomez ’26 is already starting to see success.
“Vela 225 was my first play,” said Gomez, an English major/theatre minor who wrote the 10-minute play for Hartwick’s annual 24-hour theatre festival this fall. “I was writing a show for the Theatre Bug in Nashville, and I thought this would be a good practice run.”
Vela 225 was a finalist for the new Planet Earth prize at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Region 1. The annual festival involves 18,000 college students nationwide.
“Malissa asked me to submit Vela 225 to the festival,” he said. “I saw the Planet Earth award, and I thought the social commentary of my show fit well.”
The play follows three people debating and reminiscing and about their time on a now-destroyed Earth.
The show was deeply personal for Lucero. “The character Pavo is disabled from the radiation,” he said. “I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I never see young people portrayed with disability issues. So it was important for me to show that Pavo uses a walking aid.”
The characters are also written so that any actor of any gender identity can play them. “I want to write about characters who are complicated, authentic and real,” he said.
Lucero attended the KCACTF conference virtually, but didn’t know he had won until he got a picture of the award. “My friend called me up to congratulate me, and I said ‘what for?’ Then they sent me the photo.”
With the practice under his belt, Lucero’s second play, “My Favorite Season” is slated for its debut performances April 14 – 16 at the Theatre Bug.
“The play is about a young person struggling with mental illness – in this case, Dissociative Identity Disorder,” he said. “I’ve never seen it portrayed positively or in someone my age, and I wanted to change that.”
A Nashville native, the Theater Bug is Lucero’s home theater company, which inspired his love of the art. “The Theater Bug changed my life,” he said. “They really taught me how to say yes to all these different experiences. And it’s fun too!”
“I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I never see young people portrayed with disability issues. So it was important for me to show that Pavo uses a walking aid.”
Lucero Gomez ’26
English major; Theatre minor