( 1948- )
Denise Chávez was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1948. She took theatre classes while going to high school in Mesilla, New Mexico, and attended New Mexico State University where she studied under Mark Medoff. After graduating with a BA in 1971, Chávez attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she earned an MFA in theatre. In 1984 she received an MA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico.
As an educator, Chávez has taught various courses in theatre, playwriting, and creative writing at the College of Santa Fe, the American School of Paris, Northern New Mexico Community College, and the University of Houston. She has worked extensively with the bilingual theatre La Compania de Teatro de Albuquerque and Sante Fe's Theater-in-the-Red. Denise Chávez is also active in many organizations that promote and employ the arts in the community, especially among senior citizens and at-risk youth.
In addition to her work as a playwright, Denise Chávez is an actress, poet, essayist, short story writer, and novelist. Face of an Angel, a novel, was published in 1990, and her short stories and other writing are frequently anthologized in The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Breaking Boundaries, Chicana Creativity and Criticism, and numerous other collections and periodicals.
Denise Chávez has returned to her hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she continues to write.
One of Denise Chávez goals as a writer is to give voice to those people who traditionally have had no voice. Her plays focus on the lives of people one