A young passionate girl, Valentina, has been recently inspired by the first Latina astronaut, Dr. Ellen Ochoa. Valentina is now dreaming of a big, bright future of becoming an astronaut—one that many think is impossible, especially for a young Latina. Some of Valentina’s classmates cast her off, because she’s a girl and enjoys ballet. Even people in her family won’t support her ambition to become an astronaut. Just when it seems that she’s better off giving up on her dreams, Valentina finds confidence and inspiration in her new (imaginary) best friend, Dr. Ellen Ochoa. Valentina and Ellen navigate the world of big dreams, doubt, and education together. They find out how the sciences and the arts work together and to never let fear get in the way of learning!
Suleyma (she/her/hers) is a recent BFA Theatre Arts (Performance) graduate from the University of Idaho. She hails from the countryside town of Rupert in Southern Idaho. She has worked in both theatre productions and short films. Some of her more recent work include Steven Dietz’ This Random World, Gobo Fango, and On The Way To The Sawmill with international director Marco Magoa.
She enjoys dancing, sewing, and being active. She’s also a huge fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers! She is excited to announce her debut as the lead actress, Valentina for Teatro Milagro. She will perform in this year’s production of Blast Off, Huinca, and Huelga. She is grateful for the opportunity to perform and work in a bilingual theatre. She thanks her family and friends for believing in her passion and sticking by her side through this adventurous journey.
Cati’s pronouns are they/them. They were born in Georgia and grew up living in rural towns all around the Pacific Northwest in a multicultural, multiracial family. They now live with their girlfriend and cat in Portland. They found their love of theatre in their sophomore year of high school and their love of acting their junior year. They recognize that this pivotal moment of their life is all thanks to their theatre teacher, Blair Cromwell-Fawcett, and their English teacher, Aaron Fawcett. Cati graduated from Western Oregon University in 2019 with a Theatre Arts BFA in Acting. As well as being a trained actor, they are trained in stage combat and have voice training in opera and musical theatre. They began working with Milagro in December of 2019, originating the roles of Javiera and Ailen in Huínca. Cati is continuing their work with Milagro Theatre this year as a touring artist and will be performing in Milagro’s new upcoming play Blast Off. Cati is grateful to be working in the Latinx Community with Milagro, connecting and working with people like them. Equality and justice are the motives of all that Cati does.
Black Lives Matter. Abolish ICE. Love is Love.
Pedro (he/him) is a theatre artist who is excited to share the wonders of storytelling to young audiences. He graduated with his BFA in Acting and Directing from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, during his training, he also studied abroad at Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, England. He’s happy to be a part of the Teatro Milagro team right after completing his acting apprenticeship at Portland Playhouse. He’s an avid gamer, who one day hopes to voice a character! He currently resides in Portland with his best friend and their dog, Hero!
Ajai is an actor, a director, and playwright, and OSU graduate from Corvallis. He has worked as an Education Director and Tour Manager at Teatro Milagro, appearing in over fifteen productions including Searching for Aztlán, Frida: un retablo, Cuéntame Coyote, Duende de Lorca, and El Payaso. He has also written three shows for young audiences ¡Corre! ¡Corre!, Sueños de Fútbol, and Mijita Fridita. He is a member of PDX Playwrights, where he produced his one person show Osho Returns, and has also worked with Theatre Vertigo, Northwest Children’s Theatre and School, Salt and Sage Productions Original Practice Shakespeare, and Speculative Drama.
Teatro Milagro is Milagro's national touring company. Four teaching artists perform the programs and lead workshops and residencies. In the 2018—2019 season, Milagro teaching artists reached over 15,000 students from kindergarten to graduate school. Workshops and residencies are designed with existing curricula of teachers in mind.
Teatro Milagro’s Touring & Arts Education Programs for schools embrace a cradle to career approach in arts education. As members of the Coalition of Communities of Color, the OYE Sexual Health Coalition and an Oregon Arts Commission model of best practices, Milagro’s educational bilingual plays, and workshops address a broad range of themes that include socioeconomic disparities, racism, environmental and health-related inequity and loss of culture. Through workshops and residencies, Milagro engages students from elementary through college to foster self-determination, wellness, and cultural pride.
Maya Malán-González is a multidisciplinary artist focused on performing, writing and ensemble collaboration. She’s a lifelong member of Milagro in Portland, Oregon where she recently performed in the world premier of “Wolf at the Door”. Through her history with the company, Milagro commissioned her holiday play, “A Xmas Cuento Remix”, which had a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere Winter 2019 with Milagro, 16th Street Theater and The Cleveland Public Theatre. In addition, Maya is an ensemble member with Teatro Luna, her story “Down the Side of the Mountain” is featured in Teatro Luna’s Audible Original audiobook, “Talking While Female and Other Dangerous Acts”. Maya is also a company member with Cara Mia Theatre, where she was last seen performing in “Deferred Action” and “De Troya”. She has performed at The Edinburg Fringe Festival (Edinburg), Fury Factory Festival (San Francisco), One Theatre World (Chicago), Carnaval of New Work (Chicago), and The Encuentro De Las Americas (Los Angeles). Maya received her B.F.A in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University with a concentration in Latino Studies.
Mandy Khoshnevisan is an actor, educator, improvisor, and multifaceted theater artist. She first worked with Milagro directing “Judge Torres” (2019) and is delighted to be back. She is currently based in Portland, OR, where she is a Resident Artist at Bag&Baggage Productions and a member of the performing ensemble at Funhouse Lounge. As an improvisor, she worked with BATS Improv and The Un-Scripted Theater Company (both in SF), specializing in improvised full-length plays and musicals, and has performed at festivals around the country, with shows she created. On the scripted theater side, recent favorite acting roles include Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet/Layla & Majnun, Paulina in Death and the Maiden, Margaret/Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Mae Coleman in Reefer Madness, and Biff Tannen in Back to the Future: the Musical Parody. Recent favorite directing projects include Triassic Parq, and the fighting and choreography for A Clockwork Orange. She also builds puppets, designs costumes and lighting, does some voice acting, and in general is usually pretty busy (although less so, at this exact time in history). (And regarding the protagonist in “Blast Off!”, Mandy wanted to be a ballerina/astronaut when she was little, too!) Mandy studied literature, theater, and history at Stanford University (BA 2000/MA ’01). She recently published her first book, Managed Mischief, about improvisation and creativity.