Who We Are

Who We Are

Providing extraordinary Latino theatre, culture, and arts education experiences for the enrichment of all communities.

Founders

José González, Executive Director
Dañel Malán, Artistic Director Teatro Milagro
Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director Emerita

Board of Directors

Toni KelichPresident
John Rodarte, Past President
Dañel Malán, Secretary
John Spezza, Treasurer
José González
Erin Dawson
David Larsen
Romanna Flores
Monica Gutierrez

Staff

Roy Antonio Arauz, Producing Creative Director
Estela Robinson, Production Manager
Corey Pearlstein, Business Manager
Janelle Sutton, Marketing & Communications Manager
Kaitlin Bodiroga, Executive Assistant
Ajai Terrazas Tripathi, Tour Manager
Kenyon Acton, Teaching Artist
Sierra Brambila, Teaching Artist
Justin Charles, Teaching Artist

Affiliations

Theatre Communications Group
National New Play Network
Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber
Coalition for Communities of Color
Small & Midsized Arts Coalition
Portland Area Theatre Alliance
National Association of Latino Arts & Culture
OYE, Opciones y Educación



José Eduardo González, Executive Director
E-mail: jefe@milagro.org Ext. 112
José’s background includes ten years as a freelance scenic designer working in Oregon and California, forming his own scenic design company designing and building theatrical productions and special events throughout South Texas. He founded Miracle Theatre Group in 1985 with his wife, Teatro Milagro Artistic Director Dañel Malán. For Miracle, he has designed over 25 productions for the company, including most recently, Oyá: Call the Storm (2008) and Lorca in a Green Dress (2004). González holds an MFA in Theatre Arts from UCLA and a BA in Humanities with an emphasis in Philosophy and Arts History from the University of Santa Clara. He has studied in Vienna and traveled through Europe and the Middle East. In 1997, González was recognized as a Community Treasure by TACS-PGE/Enron. He has also received awards for “Outstanding Contribution to the Hispanic Community” from IMAGE of Washington County, 1992, and a Dramalogue Award for Excellence in Set Design for The Hostage, 1983. Under the pseudonym Martín Milagro, he has written five full-length plays produced by the Miracle Theatre: Maria’s Magic Christmas (1989); Un Christmas Cuento (1991); ¡Cuentos! (1992); La Canción de Libertad (1993); and Chavez (1996). He has also penned two Spanish-language screenplays: Solución Familiar and Adios Tristeza for Washington County Aging Services. González has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Theatre Arts and Chicano/Latino Studies departments of Portland State University, and as a Visiting Arts Administration Specialist for the United States Information Agency, 1995 & 1996, conducting workshops in arts administration and fundraising with large and small organizations in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
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Dañel Malán, Artistic Director Teatro Milagro
E-mail: malan@milagro.org Ext. 125
Malán co-founded the Milagro Theatre with her husband, José Eduardo González and in 1989 she created the bilingual touring program, Teatro Milagro, which tours nationally to schools, colleges and universities. Ms. Malán researches and develops script ideas and works with playwrights, directors, composers and choreographers for the creation of many of the productions. She has also written several bilingual scripts for Teatro Milagro, which include Cuéntame Coyote (2005, 2014) and FRIDA, un retablo (2006, 2013). Ms. Malán has worn many hats in her 30 some year career as a performing artist. For a number of years she managed and performed with the Milagro Bailadores, Miracle’s pan-Latino dance troupe. For Milagro’s residencies and workshops, she has collaboratively designed and implemented curriculum for K-12 schools, colleges and community groups. She has shared her curricular work and bilingual education techniques as a guest instructor and workshop leader at various national and regional workshops, conferences, universities and college campuses around the country. Malán co-founded OYE, Opciónes Y Educación, a Latino sexual health coalition with Multnomah County Health Dept. and has also developed a cultural competency training program for the corporate sector. Malán received her BA in Theatre Arts from the University of California, San Diego and her MS in Curriculum in Instruction from Portland State University. Her graduate work focused on a case study of quantitatively documenting improved learning with bilingual arts integration in 8th grade classrooms.
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Olga Sanchez, Artistic Director Emerita
Olga Sanchez served as the Artistic Director of Milagro, the NW’s premier Latino arts & culture organization from 2003-2015. An actor, director, writer and educator originally from NYC, she served as Co-Artistic Director of the People’s Playhouse in the East Village, as a founder and Artistic Director of Seattle Teatro Latino, for which she wrote and directed several pieces celebrating the beauty of Latino cultural heritage, and as a founder of La Casa de Artes, a Seattle-based non-profit organization dedicated to raising the visibility of Latino arts and artists in the community. For Milagro, she directed over 25 works including: El Quijote by Santiago García; García Lorca’s Bodas De Sangre(in the original Spanish) and Blood Wedding; Nilo Cruz’s Lorca In A Green Dress (Drammy Award, Excellence in Direction), and several world premieres including Caridad Svich’s Guapa and Rubén Sierra’s When The Blues Chase Up A Rabbit. Her devised work includes five Día de muertos shows, including ¡O Romeo! (Drammy Award, Outstanding Achievement in Devised Work). Internationally, her directorial work has been seen in Honduras, Peru, Venezuela and Cuba. Sanchez is a founding member of Los Porteños writers group; her work has been published by Electrik Milkbath Press, Rio Grande Press and Rain City Projects. She edited the book, “Teatro de los Muertos”, a collection of photographs by Russell J. Young of Milagro’s muertos shows. In addition, Sanchez pens a column on local Latino arts and culture for El Hispanic News, Oregon’s bilingual newspaper. Sanchez has served for many years as a community arts organizer and art educator, including as the director of Milagro’s Latino Artists eXchange/Intercambio de artistas Latinos (LAX/IdeAL), strengthening the community of Latino artists of all disciplines. She has served youth groups and cultural organizations, including the Cesar Chavez Leadership Conference and Seattle’s Mañana Coalition. She is the creator of Posada Milagro, a community-based holiday program. From 2007-2013, Sanchez served on the board of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and its Diversity Task Force; currently she serves on the Steering Committee for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, a program of Howlround/Center for the Theatre Commons at Emerson College. She holds a BA, Theatre, from Hunter College, C.U.N.Y.; MA, Human Development, Pacific Oaks College NW, specialization in Bicultural Development; and begins graduate studies toward earning a Ph.D., Theatre Arts, from University of Oregon in fall, 2015.
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Toni Kelich is an immigration attorney in a private practice; she has a special affinity for cases involving family immigration and naturalization, but handles all types of immigration matters. Toni has an AAS in Journalism from MHCC, a BA in Political Science from PSU, and a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers Newark School of Law. In addition to the Milagro board, Toni is a board member for the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association and the Ford Scholar Alumni Association. She also volunteers on the Legal Redress Committee for the NAACP Portland Chapter. Toni is the proud mother of two amazing children, Maria and Alexander. Toni’s vision for Milagro is to “help with the work of developing community relationships and partnerships and strengthen creative programming.”
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John Rodarte brings organizing and fundraising experience to the team. John is the Manager of Commercial and Residential Sales for AAA Heating and Cooling and has been connected with Miracle for years, but has only recently become involved. He has a strong business background, over 20 years of managerial experience as well as a strong dedication to community involvement and volunteerism. John served as the State Director of the Ventura Junior Chamber of Commerce for six years where he coordinated the State Convention, served on fundraising committees, and created innovative new programs. He looks forward to using his experience to help shape the future of Miracle Theatre Group and to expand awareness of the Latino Arts in the Portland community.
Board member since March 2009
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John Spezza’s family moved to Portland when he was in the sixth grade, in 1957. There were 7 children in his family, four boys and three girls. John was the fourth, or middle, child. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1965. After working for several years, John attended Newberry College, in Newberry South Carolina, on a theatre scholarship. There, he met his wife and were married in 1972. John graduated in 1973 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. He and his wife returned to Portland in 1975 and went to work in John’s family business.
John has been in the heating and air conditioning business since 1975, all at AAA Heating and Cooling. His father started this company with his brother in 1961, and expanded the company to twenty-two employees in 1975. Upon his father’s retirement, he turned over the company to his three sons. Paul moved to central Oregon in 1986, and Gordon retired in 2008. John has been involved in all facets of the business over the years and now concentrates on the financial aspects. His son is now running the business as it marks its fiftieth year in operation. John and his wife, Judy, have always enjoyed the theatre and theatre events. They picked it up in college and still enjoy all aspects of it today. John looks forward to helping out at Milagro where he can. He says, “It’s amazing that you can turn your life into three paragraphs.”
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Erin Dawson first fell in love with the arts at a local performance of C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” at age 8. Although raised five minutes from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Erin has always enjoyed smaller arts productions. Impressed by the huge impact Milagro has made – both artistically and in the greater community – Erin joined the Board in 2014. Milagro’s versatility, creativity, and sense of community responsibility continue to impress. When not at Milagro, Erin has the good fortune to work with stunningly smart people at the Oregon Supreme Court. Erin also serves on boards and committees for the Oregon Women Lawyers, Oregon New Lawyers Division, Campaign for Equal Justice, and Mary Leonard Law Society; she mentors high school students through the Imprint Program and the Classroom Law Project. Erin received a JD from Willamette University College of Law and a BA in French and Political Science from the University of Oregon. To keep life in perspective, her daughter regularly challenges her with debates on the eternal question of whether hedgehogs or ferrets are the most adorable pet they will never own.
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David Larsen is a retired principal of a very successful, primarily Spanish- speaking, low income elementary school, John Jay, in Mount Prospect, Illinois. After his formal retirement in 2002, he worked as a consultant to schools for the state under No Child Left Behind until 2010 when he moved to Portland. He was born and raised near Chicago and his alma mater is Northern Illinois University where he earned several degrees. “My experience at John Jay opened my eyes to the needs of our families and I became an outspoken advocate for our children. I believe that Milagro speaks to the culture, challenges and aspirations of the Latino community in Portland and I am proud and honored to support the effort.”
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Romanna Flores has spent many years creating innovative, digital interactions in a variety of industries (education, finance, and high-tech). Her formative education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago couldn’t have been more well-timed for experimenting with emerging technologies. She obtained both her BFA and MFA in Art and Technology Studies focusing in areas such as computer design, 3-D modeling, animation and programming. This insatiable curiosity is now being channeled into coaching a young Makers club for middle-school students when she is not designing mobile applications for a high-tech company. Her passion for re-purposing electronic gadgets is currently being shared with her precocious son and very understanding husband. Romanna also enjoys serving on the board for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Intel Latino Network. Impressed by Milagro’s many [artistic] accomplishments and community outreach projects, Romanna knows that this is an organization that aligns with her passions and goals. She looks forward to championing Milagro’s message of creating and maintaining an inclusive art community and culture.
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Monica Gutierrez grew up in Mexico where she earned an Engineering degree. Her career spans areas of technology, manufacturing, healthcare and insurance. She also has a certification as a Medical Interpreter, a job she considers the best thing that could have happened to her– professionally speaking! She has three daughters, ages 25, 20, and 13. Throughout the years, she has enjoyed working with the Big Brother/Big Sister program, serving lunch at the Blanchet House, and participating in many of the volunteering events organized by her employer, The Standard. Monica’s interest in theatre started in middle school in Monterrey, Mexico, and she has studied ballet, modern dance, Flamenco, and tap; in 2012 she participated in a 160+ dancers performance at Pioneer Square (Le Grand Continental) organized by White Bird. Monica is excited to be part of the Milagro family because she believes in the work and is thrilled for the opportunity to once again give back to her community.
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Roy Antonio Arauz, Producing Creative Director
E-mail: roy@milagro.org Ext. 111
Roy Antonio has been involved in the performing arts most of his life. He has a background in dance, first in his native Costa Rica where he studied Limón and Graham techniques, and later in the USA where he continued his modern dance studies as well as ballet and jazz in Washington, DC. In 1993 he received a Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Outstanding Choreography for Female Hitchhikers (Consenting Adults). Upon moving to Seattle, he worked as choreographer, stage manager and director at many theatres including ArtsWest, Book-It Repertory, and Latino Theatre Projects. He founded and was artistic director of Arouet from 2012–2015, where he got to produce and direct works that speak to social justice. He was a company member of Theatre9/12, where he was mentored by Charles Waxberg in directing and scene study; and was a guest artist with eSe Teatro. Roy is a member of the 2015 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, the 2016 Directors Lab West, and of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) Steering Committee. New to Portland, he is excited to discover all the city has to offer.
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Estela Robinson, Production Manager
E-mail: estela@milagro.org Ext. 114
Estela has been with Milagro since fall 2010 and has been involved with theatre since 3rd grade. She was awarded scholarships to attend Cornish College of the Arts for acting and later Vassar College for directing. After college she taught theatre sports and improv techniques as mediation tools for at risk youth at Parkrose HS. She was the Assistant Managing director at the Northwest Actor’s Studio in Seattle, then headed her own company that produced short play festivals from original works by local artists as well as fundraising events for local charities such as Art on Alberta and Bradley Angle House.
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Corey Pearlstein, Business Manager
E-mail: corey@milagro.org Ext. 118
Corey has worked in New York as a Producer and General Manager with Epic Theatre Ensemble, Culture Project, The Pearl Theatre Company, Godlight Theatre and The Lobbyists. He served in finance, marketing, and administrative capacities with The Builders Association, HERE Arts Center, Circle Repertory Theatre, Electronic Arts Intermix, and Theatre Communications Group. In the Pacific Northwest, Pearlstein served as Producing Artistic Director for Consolidated Works in Seattle, Executive Director for The Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Producing Artistic Director for Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene, and he is the founder and Creative Producer of Oregon Performance Lab, a new works residency program. He spent five years working with Seattle based multi-media ensemble Degenerate Art Ensemble developing the touring production PREDATOR SONGSTRESS. He also produced SUNFISH, a large scale musical that premiered in Daegu, South Korea as part of the Daegu International Music Festival. Pearlstein served as Managing Director for InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia and Artistic Director for the Theatre Outlet in Allentown, PA.
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Janelle Sutton, Marketing & Communications Manager
E-mail: janelle@milagro.org Ext. 116
Janelle Sutton has always been in that fashionista backstage, from Costume Designer to Marketing Director. She holds an M.S. in Apparel and Merchandising from Colorado State University. She has worked with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and International/National Tours such as Cirque du Soleil, Mamma Mia and Movin’ Out. She was the former Costume Shop Director at Colorado State University prior to her Oregon debut. Her costume design credits include: Óye Oya, I Ought to Be in the Pictures, Legally Blonde, Inherit the Wind, Outside Mullingar, Spring Awakening, Marriage of Figaro, Idomeneo, A Year of Frog and Toad, Cendrillon, Little Women, Tartuffe, Evil Dead the Musical, The Comedy of Errors, the kafka project, and Sweeney Todd. Her work has also been featured in the wearable art juried exhibits and held academic presentations at KCACTF Regional Festivals and History Colorado.
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Kaitlin Bodiroga, Executive Assistant
E-mail: kaitlin@milagro.org Ext. 117
Kaitlin is new to the world of theater with professional experience in local arts non-profit support, as well as a creative background in photography and audio documentation. Her interests encompass storytelling and documentary work- her most notable project to date being a radio piece which detailed her experience investigating her own long lost family history and culture of the Balkans; a project that she completed while in her final year at The Evergreen State College where she earned her BA.
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Ajai Terrazas Tripathi, Tour Manager & Teaching Artist
E-mail: ajai@milagro.org Ext. 121
Ajai Terrazas Tripathi, Performer & Tour Manager, originally from Corvallis, Oregon, where he graduated from Oregon State University with a BA in Theatre. He is also a resident playwright, having recently written and directed the touring show Sueños de Fútbol, and Mijita Fridita. As an actor, he has performed in FRIDA, un retablo, B’aktun 13, Duende de Lorca, Cuéntame Coyote, Searching for Aztlán, and Broken Promises. Prior to Milagro, Ajai directed and produced two original plays The Death Rattle, and The Anti-Bullying Project, both based on real life stories. This is his seventh year in the Milagro touring company, where he wears many hats, which also includes grant writing, assisting in curriculum development and community outreach efforts.
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Kenyon Acton, Teaching Artist
E-mail: kenyon@milagro.org
Kenyon is following her passion for dialogue to the stage. Kenyon’s experience as an interpreter and educator spans diverse settings including medical clinics, schools, outdoor organizations, and the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide. As a creator, Kenyon’s art with Light at Play received the 2015 Just Imagine Award, brought her to Paris to present at UNESCO’s International Year of Light ceremony, and most recently was featured on stage at TEDxPortland.
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Sierra Brambila, Teaching Artist
E-mail: sierra@milagro.org
Sierra is a recent graduate of George Fox University where she majored in Political Science and minored in Theatre. She was last seen in George Fox’s productions of Dues Ex Millennia and The Balkan Women. Her bi-racial background inspires her to encourage others to see how important representation is and is proud to share the stories we don’t always get to see on stage. She would also like to thank her mentor Liz Vice for always pushing her to ‘go deeper with her passions’.
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Justin Charles, Teaching Artist
E-mail: justin@milagro.org
Justin Charles is a bi-lingual newcomer to Teatro Milagro, and looks to serving this artistic endeavor in all capacities. A native of Texas, Justin has spent his years post studying theatre/forensics at The University Of Mississippi traveling the country participating in various activities including performing with Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre, MadCap Puppets, writing, expanding resume skills, and developing a comedic series of some sort. Justin is an avid reader, commemorative stamp collector, music lover, and suffers from restless-leg syndrome. Justin would like to thank all of Milagro for this opportunity to continue to pursue a life of creativity in the arts.
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