Jose Rivera – Famous Puerto Rican Playwright

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Born on March 24, 1955 in the City of San Juan in Puerto Rico, José Rivera is a famous playwright. He is also the first Puerto Rican who received the prestigious Oscar nomination in 2005 for “Best Adapted Screenplay” category for the movie “Diarios de Motocicleta” or “The Motorcycle Diaries”.

Rivera was raised and lived in the city of Arecibo until the year 1959. When he turned four years old, his family migrated to New York in the United States and lived in Long Island. He came from a very religious family and the only book in their home is the Holy Bible. At his younger years, Rivera enjoyed watching TV series such as “The Outer Limits” and “The Twilight Zone”. He attended a public school in New York for his elementary and high school education. His passion for writing plays started when he saw a traveling theater company preformed “Rumpelstiltskin” in his school.

He wrote numerous plays that were performed all over the United States. Some of his plays include “The House of Ramon Iglesias,” “Giants Have Us in Their Books,” “Sonnets for an Old Century,” “The Adoration of the Old Woman,” and “References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot”.

In 2002, wrote the screenplay for the film “The Motorcycle Diaries”, a movie based on the diary of Che Guevara about his motorcycle trip with Alberto Granado that changed their views in life forever. In 2005, José Rivera became the first Puerto Rican who was nominated for Oscars for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for the said film. He also won awards for the film from Cinema Writers Circle, Argentine Film Critics Association and received nomination from American Screenwriters Association, Writers Guild of America, and Online Film Critics Society.