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Denise Elia Chávez Edit Profile

writer , Actress , Drama educator

Denise Elia Chávez is an American author, playwright, and stage director.


Chávez, Denise Elia was born on August 15, 1948 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States. Daughter of Ernesto E. and Delfina (Rede) Chávez.


Chávez graduated from Madonna High School in Mesilla. She received her Bachelor's from New Mexico State University and master's degrees in Theatre from Trinity University whose program was housed at the Dallas Theatre Center. While in college, she began writing dramatic works.

Later she entered the MFA program at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and earned a degree in Creative Writing under the direction of mentors Rudolfo Anaya and Tony Hillerman.


Professor English and theatre Northern New Mexico Community College, Española, 1977-1980. Artist-in-the-schools New Mexico Arts Divn., Santa Fe, 1977-1983. Professor theatre University Houston, 1988-1991.

Assistant professor creative writing, playwriting, and Chicano literature New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, 1996-1999. Professor creative writing Munson Senior Center, Las Cruces. Teacher theatre and creative writing New Mexico School Visually Handicapped.

Visiting professor creative writing New Mexico State University, 1992-1993, 95-96. Artistic director Border Book Festival, since 1994. Delegate forum United States-Soviet Dialogue, Moscow and Russia.

Member New Mexico Street Theatre. Presenter reading workshops. Lecturer in field.


  • Rockefeller Playwriting Fellowship (1985).



  • Other Interests

    Avocations: swimming, bowling, movies.


Married Daniel Zolinsky, December 29, 1984.

Ernesto E. Chávez

Delfina (Rede) Chávez

Daniel Zolinsky