Manuel Huillipan, Mapuche Longko of the Lof Rankilko community, has been wrongfully jailed, accused of setting fire to land illegally purchased by the Arauco Forestal logging company. Millaray Cayancura, the Machi healer of Lof Rankilco, has tried prayers and offerings to her spirit guides to no avail, so she implores the help of a Huinca lawyer. She recruits Javiera Quintana, daughter of a Chilean exile, who has returned to Chile to help support the fight of the Mapuche. Javiera meets her match in Karl Carver, Arauco Forestal’s corporate lawyer, who will stop at nothing to keep Manuel in jail and ensure the logging goes unchallenged. A chorus of ancient Araucaria trees will connect the past with the present to ensure the survival of the land, the trees, and the Mapuche’s future.
Inspired by true events, Teatro Milagro’s original production of Huínca will expose audiences to the history of the Mapuche and share with them the indigenous Chilean people’s unique relationship to their land. The play will also frame the Mapuche’s struggle in a larger global context, relating their conflict to other indigenous’ groups efforts to preserve their native land in a common struggle against global industrialization and colonialism. Huínca will tour nationally, and be accompanied by UNIDAD workshops that focus on environmental health.
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.
Aurora (she/her) graduated with a BA in theater performance, costume design, and a minor in music from the University of Portland. She has worked around the Pacific Northwest as an actor, dancer, and designer; and, is excited to continue expanding that reach. The challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic have been overwhelming for everyone. She, however, sees those obstacles as reminders that creativity is energy to help us to connect in new ways. Theater equips us with the vehicle to bring people together, start and further conversations about critical topics such as the excruciating effects of the pandemic, and promote solutions to benefit us all. She is thankful to be a link of a theater that shares the voices of those often silenced. In that role, she hopes to enlighten audiences while also delivering joy to them through the screen. This season, she invites you to see her in Huinca, A Xmas Cuento Remix, And Huelga.
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.
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!
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.
Marilo Nuñez is a Canadian-Chilean playwright. She was Artistic Director of Alameda Theatre Company, a Toronto company dedicated to new work by Latinx Canadian playwrights. She won the 2018 Hamilton Arts Award, Established Artist in Theatre, and has been shortlisted for the KM Hunter Artist Award in Theatre twice, nominated for the Most Influential Hispanics in Canada, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Spirit Awards. Marilo traveled to Chile in June 2019 and met with Mapuche leaders and families who welcomed her into their homes as they taught and exposed her to their culture and land. She wrote this play for them, to tell their stories and spread word of their struggle to preserve their land and autonomy.
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.