Cristina Pla-Guzman - Page 2

Cristina Pla-Guzman

Cristina Pla-Guzman is a Miami based theatre critic, writer, teaching artist, director, and actress. Cristina is a 2019 fellow of the O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Critics Institute. She was also honored as a 2016 Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher. She is incredibly proud to be in Theatre Communications Group’s Rising Leaders of Color cohort 4 for Theatre Journalism. She is a freelance writer and has worked with American Theatre Magazine.

Cristina has been working in the theatre for the last sixteen years. She has her Masters in Special Education, a Bachelor in Fine Arts, and graduated Magna cum Laude in Acting from Florida International University. She studied Dialects and Voice with Lesley-Ann Timlick, Music Theatre with Elise Augenblick, and Movement with Katherine Kramer. She has taken part in the Collaboration Workshop with Allison Bergman from Carnegie Mellon, and a Performance Art Workshop with Sayda Trujillo from Dell’ Arte. She has attended CityWrights and the Broadway Teacher’s Workshop.

She has performed in several productions. Her favorites include her one women show, Sex with Mae West, “Cabaret” where she played Fräulein Kost, “Urinetown” where she played Penelope Pennywise, “Tartuffe” where she played Madame Pernelle, and “Hair”: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical where she played Sunshine.

She is a member of the American Theatre Critic's Association where she serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Her educational theatre credits include membership in the Theatre Education Association and International Thespian Society Troupe Sponsor. She is also a member of the South Florida Theatre League, Florida Association of Theatre Educators as well as Dade Association of Theatre Educators.

Cristina received Teacher of the Year 2012- 2013, Nova Southeastern University’s Cervantes Educator Award, and an Award for Outstanding Service in Theatre from Florida International University. Cristina was also awarded the 2016 Top-Notch teacher by the national Varsity Brands' School Spirit Awards as well as a Dedication and Achievement award by the Miami Lakes Town Council in 2016.

Cristina is currently the Upper School Theatre teacher and director for Miami Country Day School. Besides being a Drama Mama, her most important roles are as a mom to her daughters and a being a loving wife. 






BWW Review: The Adrienne Arsht Center and The House Theatre of Chicago's UNITED FLIGHT 232
BWW Review: The Adrienne Arsht Center and The House Theatre of Chicago's UNITED FLIGHT 232
May 6, 2019

Last night the heaven's opened the flood gates and it rained as if a hurricane was upon us in Miami, Florida. I have never seen so many lightning bolts nor that much flooding on I-95. Although not many people braved the storm, I was proud to be among the few that came to watch the Adrienne Arsht Center and The House Theatre of Chicago's UNITED FLIGHT 232. In one word, exquisite. The storytelling was incredibly inspired. I have a brand new appreciation and love for documentary style theatre. In the intimate Carnival Studio Theatre, it was hard not to hear the very visceral response the audience was having. As tears ran down my face, I could hear the muffled sounds of crying as the remarkable cast told the true story of fatal United Flight 232. It's adapted for the stage from the critically acclaimed book, Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales.

BWW Interview: Brenda Barrie of UNITED FLIGHT 232 at the Adrienne Arsht Center
BWW Interview: Brenda Barrie of UNITED FLIGHT 232 at the Adrienne Arsht Center
May 4, 2019

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and The House Theatre of Chicago are proud to present UNITED FLIGHT 232. Playing May 4-May 19, 2019 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), UNITED FLIGHT 232 closes Center's 2018-2019 Theater Up Close Series. Based on the true story of fatal United Flight 232 and adapted from the critically acclaimed book, Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales, this award-winning play depicts the power of the human spirit to defy unimaginable obstacles and transcend tragedy.

BWW Review: HUNDRED DAYS at the Adrienne Arsht Center
BWW Review: HUNDRED DAYS at the Adrienne Arsht Center
April 16, 2019

I dare you not to fall in love with Abigail Bengson. With her wild curls, quirky humor, pristine white jeweled dress and cowboy boats she stood on the stage and a light shined from inside her. As she sang, sometimes the sweetest sounds and other times wails of grief, she was mesmerizing. The only thing I was more captivated by then Abigail was Abigail and Shaun's love story. HUNDRED DAYS is the real life courtship of the Bengsons who married after three weeks of meeting each other and the rest is history. Although their love story is unconventional, the whirled wind romance felt relatable to anyone that has ever found their 'person'.

BWW Review: Abre Camino Collective And Broadway Factor's AMPARO
BWW Review: Abre Camino Collective And Broadway Factor's AMPARO
April 16, 2019

Pure Joy turned into Grief and Terror then finally Relief coursed through me. For 90 minutes, I was completely immersed in the experience that is AMPARO. And that is exactly what AMPARO is; a complete theatrical experience. As I am writing this I can still feel all the emotions I went through when I first participated in AMPARO. I say participated because you don't watch AMPARO, you live it. I also haven't stopped talking about it to anyone who will listen and even now when I describe the experience as I am urging family and friends to GO SEE IT, I get goosebumps. I fear that I won't do the experience justice with my mere words but I will do my best.

BWW Interview: Shaun Bengson of HUNDRED DAYS at Adrienne Arsht Center
BWW Interview: Shaun Bengson of HUNDRED DAYS at Adrienne Arsht Center
April 11, 2019

HUNDRED DAYS is the uncensored, exhilarating and heartrending true story about embracing uncertainty, taking a leap, and loving as if you only had 100 days to live. With magnetic chemistry and anthemic folk-punk music, creators and stars Abigail and Shaun Bengson explore a fundamental question: how do we make the most of the time that we have? HUNDRED DAYS was written by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher, Music & Lyrics by The Bengsons, Directed by Anne Kauffman, Movement Direction by Sonya Tayeh. It was the 2018 Lucille Lortel & Drama League Nominee for Outstanding Musical.

BWW Review: CONFESSIONS OF A COCAINE COWBOY at the Colony Theatre- Because Miami!
BWW Review: CONFESSIONS OF A COCAINE COWBOY at the Colony Theatre- Because Miami!
March 31, 2019

God, I love Lincoln Road. And nope, I am not a tourist. Even though I have lived in Miami my whole life, I still get a thrill of walking down Lincoln Road people watching: girls in barely-there outfits with thongs exposed, men with chains heavy enough to weigh them down walking dogs who are dressed like people and people dressed like statues fully covered in sliver paint… BECAUSE MIAMI! Last night there was an added excitement that buzzed just steps away from South Beach and all the craziness surrounding Ultra. You can feel the excitement of the crowds entering the Colony Theatre to watch Miami New Drama's World Premier of Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy in collaboration with the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning studio rakontur, written by Billy Corben and Aurin Squire, directed by Michel Hausmann. There was a sense of anticipation and energy entering the theatre as people poured into an almost sold out show. As the seats filled, I likened the energy of people talking excitedly in their seats to the party atmosphere of Miami Beach's lifestyle. It was obvious that, like myself, the crowd was filled with people who were fans of the documentary and were thrilled to see if the play would do it justice. And that it did.

BWW Interview: Vanessa Garcia And Victoria Collado of AMPARO
BWW Interview: Vanessa Garcia And Victoria Collado of AMPARO
March 25, 2019

Approximately 330 miles…That's how far Havana, Cuba is from Miami, Florida. Within that space lies a distance of less than an hour. However, to some people it might as well be a lifetime away. I remember all my childhood being told about what Cuba used to be by my grandparents. As a third generation Cuban American living in Miami, Florida, as soon as we start to crawl, you are hearing about the good ole days before Fidel Castro stole Cuba from the people - people who still long for home. So I was thrilled to research into AMPARO. This one of a kind immersive theater experience is based on the compelling, true story of an immigrant family's triumph through exile. From present-day Miami to 1957-Cuba, where you will follow cast members through the Cuban Revolution, bearing witness to the story of the Arechabala family--founders of THE REAL HAVANA CLUB rum.

BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at Adrienne Arsht Center-Like It's Never Been Told Before
BWW Review: SWEENEY TODD at Adrienne Arsht Center-Like It's Never Been Told Before
March 17, 2019

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a cult classic. People who love this musical don't just love the musical, they LOVE the musical. I, myself, have had a long time love affair with Sondheim's work. Stephen Sondheim has changed the American musical forever. As I sat in the audience on opening night of Zoetic Stage's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Arsht Center, a show I have seen many times, I threw the proverbial gauntlet at the director, Stuart Meltzer. I thought to myself, show me something I haven't seen before.

BWW Review: MEMPHIS at Actors' Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre- Well, Hockadoo! MEMPHIS was Fantastical!
BWW Review: MEMPHIS at Actors' Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre- Well, Hockadoo! MEMPHIS was Fantastical!
March 17, 2019

Well, Hockadoo! Memphis at the Actors' Playhouse was FANTASTICAL! Memphis was so fantastical that you can 'stick it in your gas tank and it will make your car run…you can rub it all over your head and watch your hair grow back… it's so good your nagging wife will shut up; your kids will stop screaming…' You catch my drift? It's one hell of a production. I remember watching Once the musical at Actors' Playhouse last year thinking that it was magic and I had those same feelings watching Memphis last night. The moment the curtains rose the tangible energy rippling off the stage was exciting.

BWW Review: Jeremy Jordan at Aventura Arts And Cultural Center- An Intimate Night With the Tony Award Nominee
BWW Review: Jeremy Jordan at Aventura Arts And Cultural Center- An Intimate Night With the Tony Award Nominee
March 9, 2019

Jeremy Jordan in concert was like meeting up with an old friend for coffee. An incredibly talented, handsome and funny friend… His ease and comfort in the delivery of small conversations with his equally talented and witty music director, Benjamin Rauhala, was refreshing. It felt honest and intimate. Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, Bonnie and Clyde, The Last Five Years) performed at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center on March 6 as a part of their Broadway Concert Series.

BWW Review: WAITRESS at Adrienne Arsht Center-Simply Put, it is a MUST see!
BWW Review: WAITRESS at Adrienne Arsht Center-Simply Put, it is a MUST see!
February 28, 2019

"I Am Wild About You" Pie. My cheeks hurt. Yes, you read that right. My cheeks hurt from smiling. Well, I should explain that my cheeks hurt from smiling, I have been craving pie all day (Key Lime Pie, if you must know) and I have been singing "Sugar, Butter, Flour" in a nonstop loop since watching the national tour of Waitress. Broadway Across America's production of Waitress at the Adrienne Arsht center leaves you giddy and guarantees that you'll come back for seconds.

BWW Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Adrienne Arsht Center
BWW Review: EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Adrienne Arsht Center
February 25, 2019

A quiet night watching a movie with my husband after the girls are asleep. A trip to the nail salon for an afternoon of pampering. A book so good that you rather lose sleep then set it down. A Sunday afternoon spent enjoying the day instead of dreading the week. Things worth living for…I can't help but keep the list going after seeing Zoetic Stage's 'Every Brilliant Thing'. Sometimes we can lose sight of the big picture. There's so much in life that can be soul crushing, but there is so much good to be lived and experienced. The message was very much alive in me and, I dare to say, the audience in general as we left the Carnival Theatre at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

BWW Review: Zoetic Stage's THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Adrienne Arsht Center- Brilliant!
BWW Review: Zoetic Stage's THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Adrienne Arsht Center- Brilliant!
January 29, 2019

Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time takes you emotionally hostage and doesn't let go until the last line is uttered. The play revolves around Christopher, a fifteen year old, who is exceptionally intelligent but not equipped to deal with everyday life. When he is accused of killing his neighbor's dog, he makes it his mission to find the true culprit, which leads him to a life altering discovery. The crushing moments of the play mixed with solitary moments of joy had the audience up on its feet before the curtain call. The impeccable writing, Simon Stephens' Tony Award-winning adaptation based on Mark Haddon's best-selling novel, was brought to life by masterful directing and acting. 

BWW Review: HAVANA MUSIC HALL at Actors' Playhouse
BWW Review: HAVANA MUSIC HALL at Actors' Playhouse
October 21, 2018

My grandparents story, one I have heard many times, is etched into my heart. As a third generation Cuban American living in Miami, Florida, as soon as we start to crawl, you are listening to Cuban music, eating your grandmother's potage (a stew of lentil beans and rice) and hearing about the good ole days before Fidel Castro stole Cuba from the people - people who still long for home. A home that was ripped from their fingers that 60 years later still proudly bleed red, white and blue. People who fled to the United States for the hope of a better life while leaving their hearts in the jewel of the Caribbean, Cuba. At the World Premiere of Havana Music Hall, the sounds of Cuban music filled the lobby and the excitement of audience members, who were dressed for the occasion in guayaberas (traditional Cuban shirts) and hats, bounced off the walls of the Actors' Playhouse on Miracle mile.

BWW Teacher's Perspective: Drama Mama
BWW Teacher's Perspective: Drama Mama
July 19, 2018

'Mom, can you help me?' This is a question I hear regularly. Moms are always our go- to, problem solvers but I am not her mom. I am her teacher, her Theatre teacher to be exact.



    2       




Videos