Eduardo Machado was born in Havana, Cuba, on June 11, 1953, the son of Othon Eduardo and Gilda (Hernandez) Machado. He was reared in the coastal town of Cojimar, in a large villa full of various relatives. His family members were of the class of landed businesspeople, and his father lived a life of leisure while residing in Cuba. Later, after immigrating to the United States, his father became an accountant. His grandfather owned a bus company. Machado attended a Catholic boys school in Guanabacoa, six miles from home, until the age of eight, when his family, fearing the radical social changes that Castro was implementing, sent him and his four-year-old brother to live with an aunt and uncle in Miami, Florida. Despite the boys’ inability to speak English, they were immediately enrolled in an English-speaking public school. One year later, their parents followed them to Florida, and they soon resettled in Canoga Park, California, located in the San Fernando Valley, close to Los Angeles. He attended Van Nuys High School, then college for about four months, before going on to acting school.
Machado came to playwriting indirectly, first indulging an interest in acting, although at the age of twenty he managed a stage production of García Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba (pr., pb. 1945; The House of Bernarda Alba, 1947) at C. Bernard Jackson’s Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles. His interest in acting led him to roles in plays by Fernando Arrabal, Bertolt Brecht, Franz Xaver Kroetz, and John Steppling at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival. It was at the latter that he first met Fornes, who was giving workshops in playwriting. He first became her assistant for her production of her own play Fefu and Her Friends (pr. 1977). Intuiting Machado’s interest in playwriting, Fornes invited him to participate in a workshop. Fornes, also an expatriate Cuban, became the single most influential force on Machado’s writing...
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