The Latiné Musical Theatre Lab Presents The Julia De Burgos Cohort

This three-month program brings together Latiné musical theatre writers to refine and develop their shows.

By: Jun. 30, 2022
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The Latiné Musical Theatre Lab Presents The Julia De Burgos Cohort

The Latiné Musical Theatre Lab, an organization that develops and advocates for new Latiné-written works of musical theatre in order to radically change who gets to tell musical stories on stages across the country, is presenting its inaugural Julia de Burgos Cohort.

Named after Julia de Burgos, the pioneer Puerto Rican and Afro-Caribbean poet, the cohort provides a space for a small group of writers to refine their work to redefine the musical theatre industry.

Facilitating the cohort are writers Matt Barbot and Brett Macias. Overseeing the cohort is the Lab's literary manager, Dylan Tomas Nieves, and artistic associate Matthew B. Cullen.

The members of the cohort include six different teams writing six new musicals. The teams are: Jessica Carmona; Dyan Flores; Noemi de la Puente; Nelson Diaz-Marcano and Obed De La Cruz; Maria Beech and Christie Baugher; and the team at Teatrx led by Benito Vasquez.

The cohort is made possible through a generous donation of space by the Latinx Playwrights Circle.

To learn more about the Latiné Musical Theatre Lab, or to make a donation to support this or other programs for their artists, please click here.

About the artists:

Jessica Carmona is an Award Winning Actress, Playwright and Producer of Afro- Puerto Rican descent. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she received her B.F.A in Acting. Most recently, she appeared on "NBC New Amsterdam'', and also starred as Rosie in the new play "Pecking Order" by Robin Rice, and as Zoe in "Black Mexican" by Rachel Lynette. She appeared as Odessa/Haikumom in "Water by the Spoonful" at the Red Monkey Theatre Group, Antonio in "Twelfth Night" at the Red Monkey Theater Group, Samana in Platanos and Collard Greens, and Maddie in Nickeled and Dimed at Blackfriars Theater. She has also worked with Pregones/PRTT and R.Evolucion Latina on a production of The Tempest directed by Luis Salgado. Her indie film, "Millie and the Lords" won her the Best Film and Best Actress Award at The People's Film Festival and the Viva Latino Film Festival as well as an Award for Film Excellence from the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival. It was also featured at the Georgia Latino Film Festival, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Rochester Latino Film Festival and was most recently on HBO Latino and COMCAST. Her original play "Elvira-The Immigration Play" was nominated for Best Play at the 2019 Strawberry One Act Theatre Festival and featured at the 2015 NYC Fringe Festival. She is currently commissioned and developing a new play called "The Boogie Down Gospel" which tells the story of the Gospel of Matthew from a LatinX Lense. Voice Over Credits include: "Flor" by Nelson Diaz- Marcano, "Bodega de la Sol" by Janelle Lawrence, produced by BRAATA Productions and "Timestorm" by Cocotazo Media. She is represented by Bonafide and Emerging Artists, LLC. www.jessicacarmona.com

Dyan Flores is a writer, composer, and comedian who currently lives in New York City. Recent projects include Burn it Down: The Rahm Emanuel Musical, a guest appearance on live magazine The Paper Machete, and with composer Scott Starrett, a song for the upcoming film Locked Away. Dyan is a member of the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Writing Workshop and was recently a finalist for the BBC Comedy Felix Dexter Bursary. @dyancflores

Noemi de la Puente is an award winning playwright/librettist/lyricist. She was a member of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (PRTT) Playwrights Unit from 2000-2012. She is a founding member of Dramatic Question Theatre (DQT). Plays include: THE PET PLAY (DQT workshop production at Theatre 54, NYC), GENERIC HISPANIC (finalist MultiStages New Works contest 2012, produced at PRTT); MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (winner- 2014 NYMF Developmental Reading Series Award, winner 2015 NYMF Special Award for Social Relevance and Impact, nominated for Best Musical, semifinalist O'Neill National Music Theatre Conference, 2016); THE LEGEND OF SUICIDE JACK (The Playground Experiment, NYC ); LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE (10 min. musical - Huron Club, Soho Playhouse New York, Microteatro-SEA-NYC, and Microteatro Caracas Venezuela). In August of 2020 Noemi made her Planet Connections debut as part of "I Am Here" curated by Desi Moreno-Penson."Only In America" was first presented at Planet Connections on Zoom. Other awards: Yip Harburg Foundation grant, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, HOLA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Ensemble Acting. Noemi received her MFA in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa (Patricia Roberts Harris Scholarship). Noemi is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Nelson Diaz-Marcano is a Puerto Rican NYC-based theater maker, activist, and community leader whose mission is to create work that challenges and builds community. He currently serves as the Literary Director for the Latinx Playwright Circle. His plays have been developed by Pipeline Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Vision Latino Theater Company, The Orchard Project, The William Inge Theatre Festival, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The Parsnip Ship among others. Recent credits include: Y Tu Abuela, Where is She? Part 1 (Vision Latino Theater Company) When the Earth Moves, We Dance (Clubbed Thumb,) Flor: A Podcast Series (Braata Productions,) The Diplomats (Random Acts Chicago,) Paper Towels (INTAR,) Misfit, America (Hunter Theatre Company,) I Saw Jesus in Toa Baja (Conch Shell Productions) and Revolt! (Vision Latino Theatre Company.)

Obed De la Cruz (he/him) is a director, playwright, composer, and actor based in Brooklyn, New York. His work engages with cultural and musical imaginations, primarily those of the Caribbean, as a means of exploring human realities. As an administrator, he has worked at MCC Theater, The Public Theater, and New York Theatre Workshop, where he is completing his 2050 Administrative Fellowship in the Artistic Department. As a creative, Obed has developed work with Bed Stuy Art House, Pipeline Theater, and will be in residence with The Orchard Project. His musical Monster on the Lawn received top prize as part of NAMT's 15-Minute Musical Challenge in 2020. Obed graduated from Stanford University in 2021 with a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies.

Maria Alexandria (Alex) Beech is a Los Angeles-based writer originally from Venezuela. Musical: Class (Residence, Hope College; Finalist, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center). Plays: Infinity Pond (Aspen Theater Masters' Visionary Award; Primary Stages/Theater Masters; Palm Beach Theatre Festival; Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival) Good Friends (New American Voices Festival; Crossing Borders Festival), BONDS (Fresh Ink Series, Primary Stages), Saving the Lives of Strangers (Fresh Ink Series, Primary Stages), Charity (Fresh Ink Series, Primary Stages), Breaking Walls (Cherry Lane Theatre), Little Monsters (Fresh Ink Series, Primary Stages; Primary Stages and Brandeis Theater Company; 101 Plays by The New Americans, or on Latinidad), What Are You Doing Here? (Outstanding Playwriting Award, Planet Connections Festivity), The Islands (Fresh Ink Series, Primary Stages; Steppenwolf Theatre Company's The Mix), Gloria (Readings, EST and Intar), One Chicken Show (Women Writers Group, Dorset Theater Festival). TV pilot: Telemamas (Finalist, The Sundance Episodic Lab.) Screenplay: Constance (Prolific Content) Story: Fidel and Me (Audible Book, Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts) BA and MFA (Columbia University) and MFA (Cycle 21 of The Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at NYU).

Christie Baugher is a Los Angeles-based writer/performer originally from Louisville, Kentucky. Her musicals include The Fitzgeralds of St. Paul (official selection, 2020 Pacific Playwrights Festival, South Coast Repertory; sold out in concert at Joe's Pub, 2019) and Leni Riefenstahl Is Going To Tell You The Truth. A finalist for the 2022 Kleban Prize, her work as a playwright and songwriter has been performed on five continents. Recently, Christie contributed songs to Gwen Kingston's Anna Karenina: A Riff (The Flea) and Dana Aber's Baggage at the Door. Her choral arrangements for New York's Peace of Heart Choir are part of the rotating soundscape at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. She is a 2015 York Theatre NEO honoree, under the mentorship of Michael John LaChiusa. MFA: NYU/Tisch, Speller 79 - 1998 National Spelling Bee. www.christiebaugher.com / @timidfrieda

Benito Vasquez is a native Houstonian and is the Artistic and Managing Director for TEATRX. He holds an MFA in Performance. He is the Manager of Community Partnerships for The Alley Theatre. Benito works to build relationships between The Alley Theatre and its community with a goal of creating more immersive and interactive theatre-based experiences for underserved community members. He is also part of the steering committee for the Latinx Theatre Commons and the Houston Alliance of Latinx Arts (HALA): A grassroots coalition of artists and art administrators working towards finding solutions to the inequities in funding of Latinx arts in Houston.

Marissa Castillo is originally from Lubbock, TX. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA with a BFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Original Works. Marissa is an actress, playwright, arts advocate and co-founder of TEATRX- A Latinx Theatre Company where she serves as the Marketing and Communications Director. She is a steering committee member of Houston Alliance of Latinx Arts, a coalition formed to advance Latinx artists and a member of the Houston Arts Resilience Plan advisory committee which was formed to make the cultural community stronger and more resilient when disasters strike.

Jorge Diaz was born in El Paso, Texas and is the Development Director for TEATRX. Jorge has always been fascinated with the performing arts. While in college he cultivated his talent by taking theater classes and participating in community theater. Jorge believes theater should be a vehicle to uplift and educate the Latinx community as well as communities that have been underrepresented in the arts. As a theater performer he's had the opportunity to perform in various cities. Jorge spends his time between New York and Houston pursuing excellence and knowledge in his craft and most importantly in life.

Ashley Parra is the Production Coordinator for TEATRX. They are a queer xicanx artist who is currently pursuing their MFA in Lighting Design at the Illinois State University. Ash has had the pleasure of working in educational and professional theatres in Houston such as: University of St. Thomas, University of Houston-Downtown, ETC Island, AD Players, Stafford Performance Center, Queensbury Theatre and MATCH.

Anthony Almendárez is the Sound Designer for TEATRX. Almendárez is an artist and composer whose work challenges the hierarchy between audio and visual stimuli, undermining their respective stereotypes in relation to how we interpret and internalize our surroundings. His work explores different modes of storytelling that confront audiences with the nuanced, layered, and complex realities of how one constructs identity. Almendárez's work has been presented nationally and internationally including at CIRCA, London, UK; Seen: Sound Visual/Music, Melbourne, Australia; ECHOFLUXX 19, Prague, Czech Republic; Conservatoire Maurice Ravel, Paris, France; Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, IL; Miami New Media Festival. Almendarez is based in Houston where he's an Administrative Coordinator and Artist Facilitator for Nameless Sound. He received his BA in Music Education from California State University, Dominguez Hills; MA in Music Theory and Composition from Marshall University; and is currently a candidate for the MFA in Music/Sound at Bard College.

Matt Barbot is a writer from Brooklyn, NY. His play El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom (Kennedy Center Darrel Ayers Award, Kennedy Center Latinidad Award) received its world premiere at Two River Theater in January of 2018. Infallibility (2018 Sheen Center Playwriting Fellowship) was selected as one of Indie Theater Now's "Best of FringeNYC 2013." Princess Clara of Loisaida (finalist: Latinx Theatre Commons' 2018 Carnaval of New Latinx Work, 2018 Columbia@Roundabout New Play Series, 2021 Miranda Family Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition) and Saints Go Marching (semifinalist: 2018 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference) were selected to feature on Steppenwolf's The Mix list. The Venetians was a winner of Roundabout Theatre Company's 2019 Columbia@Roundabout New Play Series. Recently, his short play "A List of Some Shit I've Killed" was published as part of the Red Bull Theater's anthology Red Bull Shorts Volume III. Matt's first play for young audiences, Stoo's Famous Martian American Gumbo, was commissioned by Peppercorn Theatre and was produced there, in Summer 2019, and again in 2021 as part of Hangar Theatre's KIDDSTUFF series. Matt is currently developing his play the beautiful land i seek (la linda tierra que busco yo) at Fault Line Theatre with director José Zayas, and is developing his commissioned play Trilogy with Two River Theater. Matt was invited to be a part of Lynn Nottage's The Watering Hole at the Signature Theatre. Matt received his MFA from Columbia University, and was recently a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow and a member of The Civilians' R&D Group.

Brett Macias (He/Him) is a Latinae theater creator whose work lives in intersectionality. He has composed music for The New Group (daddy!), Repertory Theater of Saint Louis, City Center Encores! (NYC), St. Louis Gateway Men's Chorus, Webster University, Stephens College, the Cockeyed Optimists, Prospect Theater Company, and Masterworks' Off-Broadway Production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE. MUSICALS: FISHING THE MOON, THE LAVATORY, and BENEATH THE SURFACE. TUESDAY: New Horizons Music Festival, Musical Theater Factory, and Coastal Carolina University. He and Caroline Murphy were featured in American Theater Magazine as a writing team to watch. Concerts: The Green Room 42 (upcoming 2022) Lincoln Center, Vitello's, and The Cutting Room. GUMBO: Grand Jury for the New York Musical Festival Next Link Project, Musical Theater Factory, The PiTCH at Fingerlakes Musical Theater Festival, ASCAP Grow a Show, and Yale Institute for Musical Theatre. He is currently working on MARSHA P., N.B.C, AND ME with spoken word artist Geri Brown and CRAFT SHOW with Fred Sauter. He is also an orchestrator, musical director, and arranger. Brettmacias.com





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