Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Carmen Peláez

Director, actor, dramaturge, author / playwright

Carmen Peláez was born in Miami to Cuban parents.  Grand-niece to the revered painter, Amelia Peláez and radio star Ernesto Galindo, Carmen continues her family's artistic expression of life's challenges filtered through the Cuban experience in her ferociously comic and moving one-person play, RUM & COKE

She began writing this piece soon after graduating from the prestigious American Academy for the Dramatic Arts in New York.  For RUM & COKE's development, she received a 1997 New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship and was able to launch a development production of the work in New York City.

The show soon attracted the notice of Area Stage in Miami who invited Carmen to perform the piece at their space.  From December 5, 1997 - March 8 1998, RUM & COKE played to sold out houses and rave reviews in Miami.  Enthusiasm for Ms. Peláez's work soon caught the interest of Ted Koppel, who chose to feature her and her family on a Nightline Friday Night Special. 

RUM & COKE was optioned by Fox Theatricals in 1999-2001 and was performed by Carmen at Chicago's Pegasus Theatre.  She's also performed it at the HBO Workspace in Los Angeles, at PS NBC in New York and most recently at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where RUM & COKE is now part of the curriculum.  She opened the Coconut Grove Playhouses famed Encore rooms 2003-2004 season with RUM & COKE and was extended due to popular demand.

Carmen has starred in three independent films: Stroll, Houseguest and Last Hand Standing, finalist in the Chrysler Extreme Filmmaking competition at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.  And was featured in A Very Serious Person by Charles Busch and Carl Andress which premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.  

Carmen performed RUM & COKE at the 10th annual NY International Fringe Festival in NYC and at HeXTC. Her collaboration with Pablo Cano, CITY BENEATH THE SEA a play for marionettes, premiered at MOCA in Miami in November of 2006 and was part of Art Basel in December of 2006.  RUM & COKE ran off-Broadway in February of '08 at Abingdon Theater in NYC, winning the 2008 Outstanding Solo Performance award from HOLA.

Recently Carmen completed her second play FAKE and worked as a featured actor on Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects and 666 Park Avenue. She won the 2012 HBO New York International Latino Film Festival Short Film Competition with THE ACTING LESSON, which she co-produced and  co-directed. Currently, Carmen is developing a series of short films based on her one-act plays called LOTERIA and a bilingual television pilot.

* This information was taken from the personal website of the artist:



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Author: Helen Hernandez Hormilla (11/2018)

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