( 1963- )
Janis Astor del Valle is a Bronx-born second-generation Puerto Rican, lesbian playwright, actor, and producer. At the age of seven, Janis was uprooted from her beloved Bronx barrio and transplanted to New Milford, Connecticut. On the family's weekend trips back to the Bronx, Janis wrote and directed scenes in which she and her cousins performed. Her first play, Jackie, Lee and Chicky, written at the age of nine, depicted the trio's struggle to survive in the South Bronx. In 1986 she returned to her native New York to attend Marymount Manhattan College, where she earned a BA in theatre.
Astor del Valle was a member of the Primary Stages Writers' and Directors' Project and the Latino Writers Lab at the Public Theatre. She is a founding member of She Saw Rep, a lesbian feminist troupe which made its debut at the National Lesbian Conference in Atlanta in 1991. She is also a cofounder of Sisters on Stage (S.O.S.), a multicultural trio of lesbian theatre professionals dedicated to fostering the development of aspiring lesbian playwrights. She works closely with her mentor Dolores Prida, who has directed several of Astor del Valle's productions. Janis is currently employed by New York University as an actor and teacher with the Creative Arts Team. She was commissioned to write a ten-minute play, Mi Casa Es Tu Casa, for Primary Stages New York Project.
Janis Astor del Valle's plays are gritty yet humorous depictions of the various worlds the playwright inhabits. Her characters poignantly reflect her Puerto Rican heritage, the multicultural reality of the Bronx, and her lesbian/gay lifestyle