José Ignacio Cabrujas

José Ignacio Cabrujas Lofiego (July 17, 1937 – October 21, 1995 in Porlamar, Margarita Island) was a Venezuelan playwright, theater director, chronicler, soap opera writer, drama librettist, screenplay writer, radio moderator, humanist and political campaigns designer. He is considered one of the founders and innovators of the modern telenovela genre in Latin America, and is called the "Maestro de las Telenovelas."

José Ignacio Cabrujas
José Ignacio Cabruja Lofiego

(1937-07-17)July 17, 1937
DiedOctober 21, 1995(1995-10-21) (aged 58)
Porlamar, Margarita island, Venezuela
Alma materUniversidad Central de Venezuela
Occupation(s)Film director, producer, actor, screenwriter, soap opera's writer
Years active1961–1995
  • Democracia Lopez
    (m. 1960⁠–⁠1965)
  • Eva Ivanyi
    (m. 1976⁠–⁠1984)
  • Isabel Palacios
    (m. 1985⁠–⁠1990)

Early years


José Ignacio Cabrujas spent his childhood in the Caracas neighborhood of Catia. His parents were José Ramón Cabruja Esteso and Matilde Lofiego of Cabruja. His original name is "Cabruja" so he was changed when the a story emerged during his tenure in the Teatro Universitario (TU). The confusion arises from the renowned journalist Lorenzo Batallán, who published a note on the Cabrujas' performance at TU, adding an "S". Apparently the young actor was pleased and decided to continue using the 'S', so he came to be known as "José Ignacio Cabrujas."



After reading Les Misérables by Victor Hugo as a youth, he decided to be a writer. In fact, he could not stop crying and was so involved in his exaltation that he said: "This is what I want to do in life; these letters, these pages have produced in me all this emotion's a miracle; I want to be part of that miracle."[1]

In 1956, thanks to a grant, he began studying law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. After two years of studying law, his second brother, Francisco Cabrujas, was born (Today, he is involved in film and soap opera's scoring). But José Ignacio's sudden entrance in the university theater revealed his true vocation, and so he left the University.



He married three times: to Democracia Lopez (1960-1965), to Eva Ivanyi (who was his costume maker and producer), and the famous Venezuelan singer, musicologist and choral director Isabel Palacios (1985 - 1990). He had 2 sons: Juan Francisco Cabrujas (1961) and Diego Cabrujas (1987). He had one sister, Martha Cabrujas,[2] who is involved in the plastic arts.

Printed and electronic publications about his life and work

  • 1979: «Tres dramaturgos venezolanos de hoy R. Chalbaud, J.I. Cabrujas, I. Chocrón» [1] by Gleider Hernández-Almeida, text published by the Nuevo Grupo.
  • 1983: «Cabrujas en Tres Actos» [2] by Leonardo Azparren Jiménez, text published by the Nuevo Grupo.
  • 1991: «El Teatro Según Cabrujas», [3][permanent dead link]
  • 1994: «Catia en Tres Voces» [4] [5] [6] by Milagro Socorro, where she interviews Cabrujas about his childhood in Catia.
  • 1995: «Cabrujerías: un estudio sobre la dramática de José Ignacio Cabrujas» [7][permanent dead link] [8] by Francisco Rojas Pozo
  • 1999: «La Caracas de Cabrujas» [9] by Ibsen Martínez.
  • 1999: «Descubriendo a José Ignacio Cabrujas Un hombre... Un Artista... Una Conciencia...» Claudy De Sousa's Degree's Thesis [10].
  • 2000: «Venezuela: La Obra Inconclusa de José Ignacio Cabrujas» [11][permanent dead link] [12] Yoyiana Ahumada's, MSc. Thesis
  • 2006: «Premios Nacionales de Cultura: Teatro José Ignacio Cabrujas 1989» [13] by Gloria Soares, in which she collects information and references notes divided into seven chapters to organize and summarize his work.
  • 2006: «Cabrujas, ese ángel terrible: seis miradas de taller» [14] [15] by Yoyiana Ahumada and La Fundación, in collaboration with Manuel Felipe Sierra, Daniel Gutierrez, Eduardo Fermin Furiati Claudia Paez, Iraida Tapias and Arnaldo Gutierrez.
  • 2009: «Historia y cotidianidad en la dramaturgia de José Ignacio Cabrujas» [16] by Magaly Guerrero [17]
  • 2009: «El Mundo Según Cabrujas» [18] [19] by Yoyiana Ahumada Licea. An essay which contains a compilation of his press-published research articles.
  • 2010: «Obra Dramática» [20] by [21] Leonardo Azparren Giménez y Gloria Soares De Ponte. Contains 16 of his plays, a biography, a chronology and texts from Nicolas Curiel, published in three volumes:
  • 2012: «José Ignacio Cabrujas habla y escribe» (two volumes) [22] [23]. by Leonardo Azparren Giménez. An anthology of interviews, conversations, essays and newspaper articles with an introduction study by Alberto Barrera Tyszka.

Selected filmography





  1. ^ Catia, tres voces: María Carrasquel Rivas, Enrique Hernández Mujica, José Ignacio Cabrujas. Fundarte, Alcaldía de Caracas. 1994. ISBN 9789802532100. OL 1227255M.
  2. ^ "Martha Cabrujas". Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2022.