Tight Embrace

In a one-room safe house, an elderly woman who has been kidnapped plays a dangerous cat and mouse game with her two masked guards. But soon she must share the tight quarters with a female journalist, who considers her own kidnapping quite a news story. The old woman is ultimately executed during an unsuccessful rescue attempt. But the dynamics of the safe house live on, and the dangerous cat and mouse game continues.
Inspired by current events in Colombia, the play is a vivid exploration of how political violence warps even our most intimate lives. The suspense of the first and third act drive the “page turning” narrative, while the second act is a counterpoint told in the third voice that combines the lushness of Faulkner’s language with the self-awareness of Brecht.

Cast Requirements

2 men
3 women


Winner of the Southwest Festival of New Latino Plays, and a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.


“fraught with tension … eloquent playwriting.“
— The New Yorker

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“Spectators who anticipate where the plot is headed are in for a dark surprise. ... Tinged with hints of realism and suspenseful pacing, Tight Embrace gets hold of the audience and never lets go.“
— Time Out NY

“passionate, inherently political work steeped deeply in histories of colonization, resistance and violence.“
— The Brooklyn Rail

Production and Development History

Produced: INTAR, New York (2005).

Developed: INTAR, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, Underwood Theater, Teatro El Sótano (Havana, Cuba) and New Theatre.