in development
Krystal Ortiz Los Frikis movie chicago playwright

In Cuba, a ‘friki’ is simply someone who is a fan of punk music and it’s counter-culture. That was, until the early 90s when a wave of frikis made the most punk rock decision imaginable by knowingly injecting themselves with HIV positive blood. From this began a movement of frikis who answered to the phrase “patria o muerte” by auto-injecting and choosing to live with AIDS in the quarantined sanatoriums built to contain the epidemic. Anything over submitting to Fidel’s communist regime. LOS FRIKIS tells this bizarre, under-publicized history by following fictional characters Nene, Yalieski, and Rocío as they navigate life as punks in Cuba fighting for a higher quality of life. Featuring live music written by Cuban punk band, Eskoria, and a book by Krystal Ortiz, LOS FRIKIS includes an indulgent dose of I don’t give a fuck.

Development history:

A staged reading/live concert performance of LOS FRIKIS will play at The Den Theater on March 16th and 22nd, 2020. This reading is a part of the Guest House Project by Haven Chicago. (Cancelled due to Covid-19)

krystal ortiz los frikis play movie

LOS FRIKIS received a staged reading in July 2018 at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, IL.

Artist's Statement

When perusing a menu while dining out, it often happens that several items cause my taste buds to salivate upon reading their descriptions-- and so the simple task of selecting an order becomes an arduous one. I never want to choose just one, for the most palatable things in art and life are partnerships: juxtapositions, parallels, and intersections. I crave collaborations between flavors and textures-- particularly ones that don't typically dare to exist in tandem. I, myself, am an ajiaco of multiple communities and world views, and so I rarely opt for the yucca without the mojo, or the peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the potato chips sprinkled inside. It is this appetite for unexpected combinations that manifests itself so clearly in my writing. I write to create a fantastical world of constant buffets, to design menus of inclusion, and to serve up dishes of sensorial and personal variety.