ANDRÉS ALCALÁ (Abuelo, Eddie, Caroler)
Andrés is thrilled to be returning as a performer on Milagro’s stage where over the last 20 years he performed in multiple shows as well as serving as projection artist. At Artist Rep he performed in Love! Valour! Compassion!, A Question of Mercy, The Laramie Project, Appalachian Ebeneezer, Metamorphoses, Touch, Exiles. At the Northwest Children’s Theatre he performed in Mary Poppins, Shrek the Musical, The Wizard of Oz, The Tale of Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, and Projection design for multiple projects including How I Became a Pirate which he also directed. He is also the co-director of the Interns NW Program at the children’s theatre. He directed the National touring shows of Ferdinand the Bull and Go Dog Go! He spent two years as an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and was also a teaching artist for OSF’s education outreach program for five years. He has a BFA from Southern Oregon University. He has received several awards for acting, directing and his projection design work in Portland, Phoenix, Tucson, and Chicago.
GINA CORNEJO (Choreographer, Ixchel, Veronica, Ms. Jefferson, Caroler)
Gina believes our unique path of artistic expression is one based in the risk of venturing out to seek within. The transformative nature of dance, writing, travel, and performance serve as her guides to cultivate honest, exposed storytelling as she continues to collaborate, devise, and tour with Teatro Luna. Her pilgrimage story, When She Passes, is featured within Teatro Luna’s Audible Original, Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts. A Columbia College Chicago graduate, with credits including: The House On Mango Street (Steppenwolf Theater World Premire), Cabaret (Metropolis PAC), Dream Eaters (Neo-Futurist Theater), Lulu (Silent Theater Company).
EMILY HOGAN (Sol La Chicana, Young Dolores Avara, Officer #2, Caroler)
Emily is a 2019 graduate of University of Portland, earning her BA in Theater. She was recently on stage at Shaking the Tree in Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, and performed in various productions at University of Portland, most recently in Pippin and Eurydice. Emily also loves to work behind-the-scenes as a dramaturg, and has worked on projects such as The Killing Fields with Orphic, Jaffa Gate with NWTW, and HOME, 1959 Pink Thunderbird Convertible, and Tartuffe with UP Theater. Emily is a current Teatro Milagro Teaching Artist. She wants to thank you all for coming to the show, and encourage you to hold your loved ones close this holiday season, and revel in the time you have with them. This performance is for her grandfather, Jerry Hogan.
TRICIA CASTAÑEDA-GUEVARA (Anita, Elena Avara, Young Elena Avara, Caroler)
Tricia is returning to the Milagro stage after receiving her M.F.A. from the University of Washington. Previous Milagro credits include Frida, un Retablo and Corrido Calavera. Regional credits : Remme’s Run (CoHo Theatre), As You Like It (Willamette Shakespeare), By the Way Meet Vera Stark (UW), Fefu and her Friends (UW), and Goldie, Max and Milk (UW). Tricia believes in empowerment through her art and building community that fosters healing and change. Sidere.
SHALEESA MORENO (Gina Chapa, Maria, La Catrina Caroler)
Shaleesa is best known for inspiring others to live their day to day lives doing what they love. As a professional dog groomer, Shaleesa enjoys teaching others a more simplistic way to care and maintain their fur babies at home. If she’s not giving dogs a transformation, she’s transforming herself on stage into various characters. Shaleesa was last seen as an extra on TV series such as Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionist, and Friday the 13 th Vengeance. She has also done voice over work for The Choice podcast. Since receiving her Bachelors in Theater from The University of Portland in 2017, Shaleesa has explored art in numerous forms. Today, she is thrilled to be a part of her first production at Milagro and is honored to perform in A Xmas Cuento Remix. She would like to thank the cast and crew for an amazing experience. Shaleesa would also like to thank her family and friends for coming out and supporting the arts!
VERÓNIKA NUNEZ (Dolores Avara)
Verónika is thrilled to be part of Xmas Cuento! This is her 14th Milagro production. Other credits include: Astucias por heredar (Drammy Award Nominee/Best Actress in a Play), Contigo pan y cebolla, Opción múltiple, and Bodas de sangre, all Milagros productions. Productions at other theaters include: Nine (Lakewood Theater), Amelia’s Earhart First Flight (NWCT), and Living Out (Portland Actor’s Conservatory.) Verónika is passionate about education, inclusion, and making our resources more accessible for all communities. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has been her main platform for this work for the past 18 years. She is also a life coach, but considers being mom to Diego, her most important role. Hijo: tú eres mi más grande y mejor regalo de Navidad. Te amo infinito.
GUSTAVO RAMIREZ (Tomás Chapa, Jose, Luis Avara, Caroler)
From a serious and ridged U.S. Army soldier to a playful and open minded actor, Gustavo J. Ramirez, camouflages his serious respect for the craft by expressing his love for it through his performances. Gustavo has been an artist for the better part of a decade, dabbling in all things creative, from screen-writing to filmmaking, editing, acting and producing. As the co-founder of a film production team, Five3 Films, Gustavo has been in the creative process of filmmaking and video production in many short and feature films in addition to collaborating and producing several small works with local artists. Moving from NYC to PDX and many stops in between, he has found a love for the stage and theater primarily as an actor more importantly as an audience member. Most recently he has written, directed, and performed in several short films all officially selected in 6 different film festivals this past year. He is honored and grateful for this opportunity
MATTHEW SEPEDA (Dominique, Joaquin, Miguel, Caroler)
Matthew is very excited to finally help present the full production of this show! He was part of the reading for it two years ago as well as the staged reading of it last Christmas. Other shows he’s recently been in are 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Leaf Coneybear (Anonymous Theatre Company) as well as Wolf at the Door as Septimo and Alebrijes as Bartolome the Cat and Miguel (Milagro). He’d like to thank the cast, crew, friends and family for all their support.
MAYA MALÁN-GONZÁLEZ (Playwright)
Maya is a multidisciplinary artist focused on performing, writing, and ensemble collaboration. She’s a lifelong member of Milagro in Portland, where she most recently performed in Wolf at the Door. In 2015 Milagro commissioned her new play, A Xmas Cuento Remix which eventually was awarded a rolling world premiere by NNPN making this production possible alongside Teatro Publico de Cleveland and at 16th Street Theatre in Chicago. In addition, Maya is an ensemble member with Teatro Luna West, where she recently premiered The Times, in which she was a core developer and performer. Maya’s story “Down the Side of the Mountain” is featured in Teatro Luna’s Audible Original audiobook, Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts which
can be downloaded at bit.ly/twfaudiobook. Her online blog series “Learning With Maya” can be found at Teatrolunawest.org/blog. Maya is also a company member with Cara Mia Theatre, where she was last seen performing in Deferred Action and De Troya. Maya received her BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University with a concentration in Latino Studies.
ALEXANDRA MEDA (Director)
As a stage director, culture-producer, disrupter for social justice, and a digital media creator, Meda generates original works through collective/ ensemble practice that is engaged both in person and virtually with artists and changemakers across the globe. As a devised theatre maker she nurtures female-driven spaces that center WOC in rich collaborations between the community, performers, scholars, designers, thinkers, and artists. She is the Artistic Director for Teatro Luna + Teatro Luna West, a national Latinx/WOC collective that tours internationally with ensembles founded in 2000 in Chicago and 2014 in Los Angeles. This spring she directed and co-produced an Audible Original called Talking While Female & Other Dangerous Acts, featuring 25 short solo plays with original music with a forthcoming podcast of the same title. She has a forthcoming book project on the relationship between collaboration, failure, and innovation with Dr. Liza Ann Acosta, contributes to the National Cultural Navigations Project, is a steering committee member of The Jubilee and the Latinx Theatre Commons- both National movements for equity and parity in Theatre. She was recently named as a finalist for Center Theatre Group’s Sherwood Award. www.alexandracollaborates.com
MICHAEL CAVAZOS (Stage Manager)
Michael is a theatre maker. He is the author of the play Gritos y Chismesitos and co-author of Chic & Sassy and The Higher the Hair, the Closer to God. He directed and performed in Joaquin Lopez’s Universo and was also seen on stage in Milagro’s production of The Mermaid Hour. He stage-managed several shows including Imago Theatre’s productions of La Belle, Savage/Love, and Medea; Crave Theatre’s productions of Crossing and Red; and Hand2Mouth’s Dream|Logic and Object Karaoke. You can hear Michael deejaying every Wednesday on opbmusic.
SYDNEY DUFKA FORCHIELLI (Costume Designer)
Sydney is a visual storyteller and costume designer from Arch Cape Oregon. She is interested in exploring the motivation of characters through the details in the clothing. Educated in Chicago and based on both coasts, Sydney spends her time jet setting across the continental 48 with her husband Anthony Dufka Forchielli. Select credits include Translation of Likes directed by Ron OJ Parson at DePaul, Fences directed by Lou Bellamy at Portland Playhouse and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed directed by Stan Foote at Oregon Children’s Theatre. In addition to designing, Sydney
assists the Costume Shop Manager at Portland Center Stage. Upcoming projects include Dragons Love Tacos at Oregon Children’s Theatre, The Corrido of the San Patricios and The Living Life of Daughter Mira later this season at Milagro. Sydney holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University where she studied under Nan Cibula-Jenkins. See more of Sydney’s work at: sydneydufkadesigns.com.
JON FARLEY (Lighting Designer)
Jon is a technical designer, software engineer, actor, and clown. Recent designs have included Universo for Hand 2 Mouth, Pebble, Leonard Cohen is Dead, Human Noise, The Reunion, Medea, and Savage/Love, all for Imago Theatre, Kristin Olson’s Going On, and Thara Memory’s Sherman: A Jazz Opera. He holds an MFA in Technical Design and Production from Yale School of Drama.
STEPH LANDTISER (Music Director)
Steph recently musically directed and/or conducted Evil Dead the Musical, Seussical, Once Upon a Mattress (Theatre in the Grove), The Good Woman of Setzuan (Pacific University), and the 2018 workshop production of A Xmas Cuento Remix (Milagro)! They’re grateful to join a team of such talented artists. Love to their friends and family, and to Calvin, for helping them breathe and grow.
LAWRENCE SIULAGI (Sound Designer)
Lawrence is in his fifth season with Milagro Theatre as a sound designer. Notable shows include Wolf At The Door, Judge Torres, Astucias por Heredar Un Sobrino a Un Tio, Bi–, El Payaso, Mijita Fridita, and El Muerto Vagabundo as well as composing original music for Corré Corré, Super Ana! and El Tesoro. He is also a performer, director, playwright, and projection designer originally from San Diego where he pursued a Bachelors degree in the Dramatic Arts (directing emphasis) at San Diego State University; and film editing and marketing at the University of Southern California. When he’s not performing or designing he works as a web developer at Lewis & Clark College. He dedicates this to his beloved sister, Annette.
DANIEL VALDEZ (Arranger/Composer)
Daniel is a third generation musician from El Teatro Campesino, this marks Daniel’s first endeavor as a musical director and composer for musical theater.
EMILIANO VALDEZ (Arranger/Composer)
Emiliano is a second generation music composer and performer whose career has spanned 25 years of professional theatre and music production work.