Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (born 1973) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer best known for his work for Marvel Comics and for the television series Glee, Big Love, and Riverdale. He is Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics.
November 15, 1973|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Occupation||Comic book writer, playwright, screenwriter|
Georgetown University (BA)|
McGill University (MA)
Yale University (MFA)
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Nicaraguan diplomat. He attended Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, MD followed by Georgetown University where he studied playwriting under Donn B. Murphy. Later he received a Masters Degree in English literature from McGill University, and graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2003.
Although he wrote some plays in high school, it was after college, while working as a publicist at the Shakespeare Theatre, that he had an opportunity to attend a week-long playwriting workshop under Paula Vogel during her 1998-99 residency at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Vogel had invited area theaters to send their "resident playwrights" and company director Michael Kahn sent Aguirre-Sacasa. She told him to "get serious" about writing plays and so he started applying to graduate programs in playwriting.
Early plays during his first year at Yale include Say You Love Satan, "a romantic comedy spoof of the Omen movies", and The Muckle Man, "a serious family drama with supernatural overtones"; good reviews on summer productions of those helped him get a professional agent. Rough Magic, an interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest where Caliban escapes from Prospero's island and finds himself in present-day New York City, was produced at Yale during his last year there.
On April 4, 2003, Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta was scheduled to debut Aguirre-Sacasa's new play, Archie's Weird Fantasy, which depicted Riverdale's most famous resident coming out of the closet and moving to New York. The day before the play was scheduled to open, Archie Comics issued a cease and desist order, threatening litigation if the play proceeded as written. Dad's Garage artistic director Sean Daniels said, "The play was to depict Archie and his pals from Riverdale growing up, coming out and facing censorship. Archie Comics thought if Archie was portrayed as being gay, that would dilute and tarnish his image." It opened a few days later as "Weird Comic Book Fantasy" with the character names changed.
Other plays produced in 2003 were The Mystery Plays in New York, which had won a writing award the previous year from the Kennedy Center, and a hit production of Say You Love Satan at the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival.
Playwriting continued along with comic-book writing, with several productions of new and old works. In 2006, his semi-autobiographical Based On A Totally True Story (about a comic-book writer/playwright struggling with new-found success and boyfriend problems) was staged at the prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. When asked by The Advocate, "Which came first, being a comic-book geek or being gay?" he answered, "I would say I was probably a comic-book geek before I knew anything about being gay or straight. I certainly loved superheroes before I knew I was gay..." He also noted the play was, "thankfully", not about his current boyfriend.
In mid-2009, the Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, premiered his play The Picture of Dorian Gray, based on the novel by Oscar Wilde. That same year, Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Tonci Zonjic finished Marvel Comics' Marvel Divas miniseries, and he began working as a writer for the HBO series Big Love, a position he continued in 2010 during the show's fourth season. In February 2010, he was announced to write the book for the musical adaption of the novel American Psycho.
South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, presented the premiere of his play Doctor Cerberus in spring 2010. He also revised Robert Benton's musical It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman for the Dallas Theater Center production in Dallas, Texas, in June 2010.
London's Almeida Theatre said in April 2013 that Aguirre-Sacasa is writing the script for a musical based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel American Psycho, to run December 3, 2013, to January 25, 2014.
Aguirre-Sacasa grew up liking comic books, recalling in 2003, "My mom would take us out to the 7-Eleven on River Road during the summer, and we would get Slurpees and buy comics off the spinning rack. I would read them all over and over again, and draw my own pictures and stuff." He began writing for Marvel Comics, he explained, when "Marvel hired an editor to find new writers, and they hired her from a theatrical agency. So she started calling theaters and asking if they knew any playwrights who might be good for comic books. A couple of different theaters said she should look at me. So she called me, I sent her a couple of my plays and she said "Great, would you like to pitch on a couple of comic books in the works?"
His first submissions were "not what [they were] interested in for the character[s]" but eventually he was signed for the Fantastic Four, with the first issues published early in 2004. The 11-page Fantastic Four story "The True Meaning of..." was in the Marvel Holiday Special 2004. He went on to write Fantastic Four stories in Marvel Knights 4, a spinoff of that superhero team's long-running title; and stories for Nightcrawler vol. 3; The Sensational Spider-Man vol. 2; and Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing.
In May 2008 Aguirre-Sacasa returned to the Fantastic Four with a miniseries tie-in to the company-wide "Secret Invasion" storyline concerning a years-long infiltration of Earth by the shape-shifting alien race, the Skrulls  and an Angel Revelations miniseries with artists Barry Kitson and Adam Polina, respectively. He adapted for comics the Stephen King novel The Stand.
Film and televisionEdit
Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the screen adaptation of the remake of Stephen King's Carrie, released in October 2013. In June 2013 was scheduled to write Warner Bros.' planned live-action Archie movie. He also wrote The Town That Dreaded Sundown, the sequel of the cult-classic horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
In 2002, The Mystery Plays received the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. He received GLAAD Media Award nominations for Golden Age and for Say You Love Satan, with the latter also winning a New York International Fringe Festival Excellence in Playwriting Award. He tied for a Harvey Award for Best New Talent for his work on Marvel Knights Four.
- Marvel Knights 4 #1–27 (April 2004 – April 2006), continued as Four #28–30 (May 2006 – July 2006)
- Nightcrawler #1–12 (Nov. 2004 – Jan. 2006)
- The Sensational Spider-Man vol. 2, #23–40 (July 2006 – Oct. 2007)
- Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing #1, 4 (April & July 2008)
- Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1–3 (July–Sept. 2008)
- Angel: Revelations #1–5 (July–Nov. 2008)
- The Stand: Captain Trips #1–5 (early Dec. 2008 – March 2009)
- The Stand: American Nightmares #1–5 (May–Oct. 2009)
- Marvel Divas #1–4 (Sept.–Dec. 2009)
- The Stand: Soul Survivors #1–5 (Dec. 2009 – May 2010)
- The Stand: Hardcases #1–5 (Aug. 2010 – Jan. 2011)
- Loki vol. 2, #1–4 (four-issue miniseries) (Dec. 2010 - May 2011)
- The Stand: No Man's land #1–5 (April–Aug. 2011)
- The Stand: The Night Has Come #1–6 (Oct. 2011 – March 2012)
- Archie Meets Glee #641-644 (March 2013 - June 2013)
- Afterlife with Archie #1 - present (Oct. 2013–present)
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 - present (Oct. 2014–present)
- The Mystery Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8222-2038-1
- Say You Love Satan, Dramatists Play Service, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8222-2039-8
- Based on a Totally True Story, Dramatists Play Service, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8222-2224-8
- Dark Matters, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2218-7
- Good Boys and True, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2318-4
- King of Shadows, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2356-6
- The Muckle Man, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2333-7
- Rough Magic, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2332-0
- The Velvet Sky, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2331-3
- The Weird : a collection of short horror and pulp plays, Dramatists Play Service, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8222-2255-2
- Big Love (2009, staff writer; 2010, story editor; 2011, co-producer)
- 3.05 – "For Better or for Worse" (written by) (February 15, 2009)
- 4.03 – "Strange Bedfellows" (written by) (January 24, 2010)
- 5.09 – "Exorcism" (written by) (March 13, 2011)
- Glee (2011—2014, staff writer, co-producer)
- 3.05 – "The First Time" (written by) (November 8, 2011)
- 3.14 – "On My Way" (written by) (February 21, 2012)
- 4.06 – "Glease" (written by) (November 15, 2012)
- 4.16 – "Feud" (written by) (March 14, 2013)
- 5.06 – "Movin' Out" (written by) (November 21, 2013)
- 5.18 – "The Back-Up Plan" (written by) (April 29, 2014)
- Looking (2015, writer, co-executive producer)
- 2.04 – "Looking Down the Road" (written by) (February 8, 2015)
- 2.09 – "Looking for Sanctuary" (written by) (March 15, 2015)
- Supergirl (2015—2016, writer, supervising producer)
- Riverdale (2017–present, developer, showrunner, writer, executive producer)
- 1.01 – "Chapter One: The River's Edge " (written for television by) (January 26, 2017)
- 1.02 – "Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil " (written by) (February 2, 2017)
- 1.11 – "Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again" (written by) (April 27, 2017)
- 1.13 – "Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter" (written by) (May 11, 2017)
- 2.01 – "Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying" (written by) (October 11, 2017)
- 2.12 - "Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine" (written by) (January 31, 2018)
- 2.22 - "Chapter Thirty-Five: Brave New World" (written by) (May 16, 2018)
- Morning Becomes Olestra, Cherry Red Productions
- The Ten Minute Play About Rosemary's Baby, July 11, 2001, Summer Camp 7 Fest at Soho Rep, New York City, New York
- Say You Love Satan, September 14, 2001, Dad's Garage Theatre Company, Atlanta, Georgia
- The Muckle Man, August 8, 2001, Source Theatre Company, Washington, DC.
- Weird Comic Book Fantasy, April 2003, Dad's Garage Theatre Company, Atlanta, Georgia
- Rough Magic, April 24, 2003, Yale School of Drama New Haven, CT
- The Mystery Plays, June 21, 2003, Second Stage Theater at McGinn/Cazale Theatre, New York, New York
- Dark Matters, December 3, 2003, Source Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.
- Golden Age, 2005, Horse Trade Theater Group/Tobacco bar Theatre Company at Kraine Theater, New York, New York
- Rough Magic (world premiere), July 29, 2005, Hanger Theatre, Ithaca, NY
- The Velvet Sky, January 30, 2006, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington D.C.
- Bloody Mary, April 6, 2006, The Thursday Problem at 45th Street Theatre, New York, New York
- Based on a Totally True Story, April 11, 2006, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, New York
- King of Shadows, 2006, The Working Theater, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.
- The Muckle Man (revised), January 25, 2007, City Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Rough Magic (revised), January 27, 2007, Rorschach Theatre at Casa del Pueblo Methodist Church, Washington D.C.
- The Picture Of Dorian Gray September 9, 2009, Round House Theatre, Bethesda, Maryland
- Doctor Cerberus, April 11, 2010, South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California
- It's a Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman! (revised book), June 18, 2010, Dallas Theater Center Dallas, TX,
- The Weird, January 19, 2012, 12 Peers Theater, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (1973 - )". The Playwright's Database. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Gustines, George Gene (March 2, 2014). "Archie Comic Picks Film and TV Writer for Top Creative Post". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- Nagy, Evie (8 April 2014). "How Archie Comics' New Chief Creative Officer Is Reimagining Riverdale". Fast Company. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- O'Driscoll, Bill (January 18, 2007). "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Imaginary Folklore Drives 'The Muckle Man'". Pittsburgh City Paper.
- "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa". Prism Comics. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
- Bugg, Sean (11 December 2003). "Other Worlds: Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Fantastic Journeys". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Hicks, Cinque (April 9, 2003). "Fallen Archies | Off Script | Creative Loafing Atlanta". Atlanta.creativeloafing.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- Holman, Curt (2003-04-16). "Arch humor: Fantasy sends comic characters into real world". Creative Loafing. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
- "SuperPowered", The Advocate (961): 59, April 25, 2006, ISSN 0001-8996
- Walat, Kathryn (April 2008). "Sex, Lies, and Videotape à la Aguirre-Sacasa". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Phegley, Kiel (March 10, 2008). "Marvel Mondays: Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four". Wizard Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008.
- "Whatever knows fear..." Broken Frontier. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on July 9, 2007.
- Cox, Gordon (February 2, 2010). "'American Psycho' Musical Takes Shape". Variety.
- "Ryback & Culp Reprise Roles in South Coast Rep's 'Dr. Cerberus'". BroadwayWorld.com. March 25, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "'Spider-Man' Producers Have Their Eye on Script Doctor with Superhero Credentials". The New York Times. February 16, 2011.
- Friedman, Roger (February 21, 2011). "Spider Man Musical Not Getting New Director or Writer, Says Julie Taymor". ShowBiz411.com.
- Healy, Patrick (March 9, 2011). "Precipitous Fall for 'Spider-Man' Director". The New York Times. p. A23 of New York City edition.
- Fleming, Mike. "Broadway Spider-Man Re-Writer Tackles 'Glee' And 'Carrie' Remake", Deadline Hollywood, May 19, 2011
- Phegley, Kiel (2012-07-09). "Jon Goldwater Talks 'Archie Meets Glee'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
- ""American Psycho" musical to get British premiere in 2013". Reuters. April 20, 2013.
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at the Grand Comics Database
- "Aguirre-Sacasa talks Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing". Comic Book Resources. February 13, 2008.
- "Brevoort announces Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four limited series (among others)". Comicboards.com. February 16, 2008.[permanent dead link]
- Finke, Nikki; Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 6, 2013). "Archie Comics Movie Deal Set at Warner Bros: High School Comedy With Zombies? Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to Write, Jason Moore to Direct, Roy Lee-Dan Lin Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- Jones, Kenneth (2006-02-14). "Casting Complete for MTC's Totally True Story, a World Premiere". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "2006 Harvey Awards". Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- "[List of] Cherry Red Productions". Cherry Red Productions. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Jones, Kenneth (August 8, 2001). "Muckle Man Emerges from the Sea for DC World Premiere". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (2009). Rough Magic. Dramatists Play Service.
- "Dark Matters by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa". About The Artists, The Production History of the World.
- "Translation/Adaptation of It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman by Charles Strouse". About The Artists, The Production History of the World.
- "The Weird by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa", 12 Peers Theater
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at the Comic Book DB
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on IMDb
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Spotlight: David Finch/Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (March 2006)
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa video interview by The Playwright Working in the Theatre CUNY-TV/American Theatre Wing, December 2006