Violeta Gil


Violeta Gil was born in Hoyuelos, a small town in Segovia, Spain, in 1983. She got her BA in English from Complutense University, and her theatre degree from the Royal Drama School, both in Madrid. In  2005 she founded La tristura, her theatre company, along with Celso Giménez and Itsaso Arana. She writes, directs and produces pieces that are shown in venues such Festival de Otoño in Madrid, Thèâtre de la Ville in Paris, TEMPO festival in Rio de Janeiro, Cena Contemporânea in Brasilia or Kampnagel  Summer International Festival in Hamburg, among others. She teaches creative workshops for theatre staging and writing. In 2015 she moved to Iowa City where she got her MFA in Spanish Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. She is a translator of prose and poetry. She has been an artist in residence at Yaddo and Headlands Center for the Arts, her company is resident at Teatros del Canal, in Madrid. Her first collection of poems appeared at Arrebato Libros in 2019, a show with the same name is now touring around Spain. She’s currently working on a collection of essays.




MFA in Spanish Creative Writing, University of Iowa /May 2017/Iowa- U.S.

BA in English, Complutense University of Madrid/ June 2015/Madrid- Spain.

BA in Theatre Arts, Royal Drama School in Madrid (RESAD)/June 2007/Madrid- Spain.








  • 2020 Renacimiento/Writer and producer/A forthcoming piece by La tristura/Opening in Madrid at Teatros del Canal, April 2020
  • 2018 Future Lovers/Writer and producer/A piece created by La tristura/Opening in Madrid at Teatros del Canal, April 2018, forthcoming National and International tour.
  •  2016/2017 CINE/ Concept and translation/A piece created by La tristura/Opening in Madrid, Festival de Otoño/National and International tour.
  •  2015/2016 Solos en La Casa/Concept and performance/A piece and experience created by La tristura for La Casa Encendida, Madrid. 
  •  2015 Salvaje Festival/Concept and production manager/A festival created, produced and curated by La tristura for Autobarrios San Cristobal, Madrid.
  • 2013/2015 El sur de Europa. Días de amor difíciles/Writer and performer/A piece created by La tristura/ Opening in Madrid, Escena Contemporánea Festival/National and International Tour.
  • 2014 10th Anniversary - La tristura 2004-2014/Concept, texts and performances/A series of pieces, films and performances produced, curated and created by La tristura for their 10th Anniversary with collaborations from other artists/ Pradillo Theatre and Cineteca film house, Madrid.
  • 2014 LisboaWriter and performer/A performance created by Víctor Iriarte and Violeta Gil/Opening in Móstoles, Madrid (Ca2M).
  • 2012 Uno de los romances más importantes del mundo/Writer and performer/A performance created by Violeta Gil for In-Presentable Festival, Madrid (La Casa Encendida).
  • 2011/2015 Materia Prima/Writer and producer/A piece created by La tristura/Opening at Sagunto International Festival/National and International tour.

-  2011 Gran Convocatoria Mundial/Idea and production/A multi-disciplinary festival created and curated by La tristura with other artists for Tabacalera, Madrid.

-  2010/2012 Actos de Juventud/Writer and performer/A piece created by La tristura/Opening in Madrid, Escena Contemporánea Festival (Cuarta Pared)/National and International tour.

  •  2008/2010 Años 90. Nacimos para ser estrellas/Concept and performance/A piece created by La tristura/Opening in Madrid (El Canto de la Cabra)/National and International tour.
  • 2007/ Perro muerto en tintorería: los fuertes/Performer/ A piece by Angélica Liddell/ Opening in Madrid at the National Dramatic Center, Sala Francisco Nieva (Centro Dramático Nacional).

-  2005/2008/La velocidad del padre, la velocidad de la madre/Concept and performance/ A piece created by La tristura/Opening in Madrid (El Canto de la Cabra)/National tour.




  • 2018/2020 Workshop Instructor/Teatro del futuro (pensando en), contemporary theatre workshop at Teatros del Canal, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2018 Workshop Instructor/Gritos y susurros, Performative Poetry workshop for teenagers at Escuela de Escritores, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2018 Workshop Instructor/A nuestros amigos, Creative workshop for the scene, by La tristura at La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain. 
  • 2017 Future Lovers/ Instructor/ Workshop specially designed for teenagers to write, think and perform theatre for Surge festival, at Teatro de la puerta Estrecha, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2015/2017 Spanish Instructor/T.A. at the University of Iowa, U.S.
  • 2014 Workshop Instructor/Scene writing by La tristura at Mirada Ibero American Festival, Santos and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2013 Workshop Instructor for scene writing and performance for Instituto Cervantes in Brasilia by La tristura/Cena Contemporânea Festival, Brazil.
  • 2011 Amor y política/Instructor/Creating for the scene workshop at Alhóndiga Bilbao by La tristura in Bilbao, Spain.
  • 2010 Workshop Instructor/Writing for the scene based on the play Actos de Juventud by La tristura at Bilbaoeszena, during the International Theatre Festival, BAD- Bilbao, Spain.





  • 2015/2016 Recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship
  • 2012 Max Theatre Awards finalist for Materia Prima
  • 2008 Injuve (National Institute for the Youth) Award for Años 90. Nacimos para ser estrellas




  • 2019 Antes de que tiréis mis cosas/Poetry collection at Arrebato Libros
  • 2018 “La ventanita”/ Poem at Leveler Poetry
  • 2018 “The speaker feels present”/ Two poems at American Chordata magazine
  • 2017 “Nina Simone tenía razón”/ Short story for El duende magazine
  • 2017 “Que llegue ya el futuro”/ Article for Primer Acto magazine
  • 2016  Disparan a los caballos/ Three poems from a collection for Iowa Literaria journal


All the texts by La tristura are published by Cuadernos de Teatro y Danza. French translation of CINE published by Actualité Editions. A forthcoming collection of their last three pieces at Punto de Vista Editores will see light in April 2020.





  • 2019 Antes de que tiréis mis cosas show at Caixa Forum (Madrid), Cosmopoética Festival (Córdoba), Irreconciliables Festival (Málaga) among others
  • 2019 Poetry performance at Teatro del Barrio, Madrid
  • 2019 Poetry reading tour at various bookstores around Spain
  • 2019 Antes de que tiréis mis cosas show at Fernán Gómez theatre, Madrid
  • 2018 “Zama x Zama” reading at Tabakalera Donostia with Selva Almada, San Sebastián
  • 2017 Graduation reading at Prairie Lights bookstore, Iowa City
  • 2017 Mission Creek Festival Reading at High Ground Cafe, Iowa City
  • 2015/2017 Subtitulados reading series at High Ground Cafe, Iowa City
  • 2016 IWP reading series at Prairie Lights bookstore, Iowa City





  • 2019 Writing Residency at Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, U.S.
  • 2017/2020 La tristura is Company in Residence at Teatros del Canal, Madrid, Spain
  • 2018 Writing Residency at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, U.S.





  • 2018/2019 La Veronal Dance company/Writer and translator for their international programs. 
  • 2015/2017 Subtitulados in Iowa City/Concept, curation and management/A reading series featuring work in Spanish with English subtitles in collaboration with the students of the Spanish Creative Writing MFA and the Translation MFA at the University of Iowa.
  • 2016 Creative Writing Workshop with Mark Ravenhill/ Interpreter and translator for the Fringe Festival, Matadero Madrid.
  • 2015 Habitación propiaConcept and production/ A sound installation created by Violeta Gil for the Centro de Arte Cárcel in Segovia.
  • 2014 El artista sin obraPerformer/A performance created by Dora García/ Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo de Móstoles, Madrid.





First Language: Spanish.

Secondary Language Knowledge: English-fluent/ French-partially proficient.

All the poems in Spanish are published by Arrebato  Libros (2019) from the collection “antes de que tiréis mis cosas”, by Violeta Gil.

A marathon version is published in the online magazine Iowa Literaria.

The English version of La Ventanita is published in the online magazine Leveler Poetry.

The English texts are written and translated by Violeta Gil, with the collaboration of Kelsi Vanada.