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NATIONAL QUEER THEATER
WELCOMES YOU

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A NOTE FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT - JAVIER RIVERA DeBRUIN

Luciérnagas came about during my Saturn Return. I was exploring and interrogating my relationship to my family, my gender, and the legacy of trauma that weaves its way through diasporic people. I was having lots of conversations with a close friend about mothers and motherhood; about the unfair expectations that get put on mothers to be more than human, and the ways that this can get projected onto their children. 

 

Through its development and evolution Luciérnagas has become a way for me to untangle many parts of myself and find a deeper love, compassion, and connection to all those parts, to family and to my ancestors.

 

But it is also a space for me to play, to explore: who can I be if I let myself? What kind of world can I create? What conversations can I make space for? 

 

I believe beneath everything the soul of who we are still has the capacity to experience the world with the wonderment and adventure of a child. This is what Xaratanga is all about. They are Mal’s inner child, but they are also our own. They are the messy and inconvenient parts of ourselves we hide away to survive. But in order to thrive we must be strong enough to be soft, to begin the journey to integrate these parts of ourselves. With vulnerability, compassion, and a little mischief we can access that inner child.

 

I hope audiences will join me in this journey, to step into a little slice of this magical world, to leave with curiosity and contemplation about our own family legacies, our own secret selves, and how we can be reunited with our own inner glow.

ABOUT THE PLAY

When Mal’s maternal grandmother Lupe dies, she inherits a mysterious cabin in the woods. While visiting this small house for the first time, Mal encounters her estranged mother Silvia, the ghost of her grandmother, and a bioluminescent child named Xara who lives in the walls. Silvia declares ownership of the cabin, Mal struggles to break free from old patterns, and Xara demands to be seen. All the while they parse through possessions, secrets, and family dynamics, over a weekend they won’t soon forget.

A MUSICAL OFRENDA

Luciérnagas is a sensorial play about family, memory, ancestral stories, and healing. In the spirit of honoring and uplifting those who came before us, please find this musical ofrenda in the form of a collaborative playlist. Check it out at the link below and add a song or two in homage to loved ones who have passed on or to lift up our queer and trans ancestors.

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ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT - JAVIER RIVERA DeBRUIN
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ABOUT THE DIRECTOR - CARLOS ARMESTO

Carlos Armesto is excited to be working with National Queer Theater.  He is the Producing Artistic Director of theatreC, a company dedicated to creating unique theatrical experiences, as well as the CEO/Lead Producer of PITCHBLACK Immersive Experiences, an international company that creates sensory theatre in complete darkness. He has worked as a director and producer on festivals, plays, musicals, concerts, and events around the country. Mr. Armesto was an Associate Curator at the inaugural Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts and Associate Artistic Director at The Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST). 
Through theatreC, which celebrated its 11th anniversary last November, he has created over 50 theatrical works. He has directed and consulted for several university programs, including Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Rutgers Theater Company, Fordham University, NYU's Drama Department, the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and the Dramatic Writing Program.  Currently in production: ODD MAN OUT, (with PITCHBLACK ), DIMES, and THE RITE. He is also Creative Director for theatreC's LGBTQ+ Party Series RETRO FACTORY at House of Yes.  MFA Directing Carnegie Mellon. BS Chemical Engineering & Theatre MIT. SDC. Princess Grace Award.

THE CAST
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ALEXANDRA TAYLOR as MAL

Alexandra Taylor (she/her) is an SAFD-certified actor combatant; she is thrilled and honored to be a part of Luciernagas. Some recent theatrical credits include San Diego Repertory Theatre's Black Mexican (Rafa), Barefoot Shakespeare Company's Julia Caesar (Antonia), and Henry VI, Part I (Bishop of Winchester). She has also been featured on the true crime podcast Criminal Broads, in the mockumentary web series The Ensemble Experience, and in the horror film Crimson Leaves Pt 2: First Blood. Alextayloractor.com, IG: @taylorrosealex.

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GABRIELA GARCIA* as SILVIA

Gabriela García (she/her) has an extensive international dance and musical theater career. She dedicated 12 years of her life at CHICAGO The Musical on Broadway as well as international companies.  Film credits include In The Heights and Enchanted. TV credits include “New Amsterdam,” “Succession” and “Jessica Jones”.  Recently she worked as associate director/choreographer for Viva Broadway... When We See Ourselves,  celebrating the return to Broadway.  Other associate projects are Twelfth Night at the Delacorte and Movement Associate for Sweeney Todd at the Barrow Street Theater. She has taught dance around the world and has recorded numerous voice-over commercials for radio and TV for the national Hispanic market in the US and has narrated over 100 audiobook titles.  She holds a BA in Performing Arts and is Co-Founder of R.Evolucion Latina. IG: @dancinvida

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TERESA YENQUE* as LUPE

Teresa Yenque (she/her) performs extensively in NYC Hispanic and American Theater, working closely with playwright and directors developing several new plays. Ms. Yenque made her Broadway debut with Streetcar Named Desire next to Natasha Richardson. She just completed a successful run of Like Water for Chocolate at the GALA theater in Washington DC and Amy Kazan’s After The Blast at the Lincoln Center. Currently, we can see her in The House of Bernarda Alba at the Spanish Repertory Theater and several Films and TV Programs. Website here.

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YASHA LELONEK as XARA

Yasha Lelonek (she/they) is an actor, director, model, and multi-media visual artist from Atlanta, based in Brooklyn. She holds a BFA in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Through film, photo, live performance, and fine art, Yasha tells gender-expansive stories in the Black Trans dreamscape. She is the director and star of the multimedia film short Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair, creator of the painted-photograph series The Muses, author of the choreopoem FIEBRE, and star of the upcoming short films Pretty Boy and Las Tres Chicas. Since workshopping Jeremy O’Harris’ Tell Me If I’m Hurting You at Playwrights Horizons and being selected and interviewed as a Trans cultural leader for The Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America series, Yasha makes her NYC theatrical debut in a principal role with Luciérnagas. She enjoys painting, voguing and writing poetry in her free time.

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GARY DOOLEY* as GEORGE

Gary Dooley (he/him) Recent NY Theatre: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Blanche in a Wheelchair (Vineyard Theatre), Trial on the Potomac (reading) and F*ck Off, Julia (Reading). Film/TV: The Good Fight (Donald Trump), Sweet Tooth (short), and Gossip Girl. Member AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

*Denotes Actors appearing courtesy of the Actors Equity Association.

PRODUCTION TEAM

MELISSA BARRY - STAGE MANAGEMENT


Melissa Barry (she/her) is a New York-based stage manager who originally hails from New Jersey. This is her first collaboration with the National Queer Theater and she is so excited to be a part of this wildly kind and creative team. Select recent stage manageme nt credits include [title of show] (The Bridge Production Group), I AM YOUR MASSEUSE (The Bridge Production Group), Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Players Circle Theatre, N. Fort Myers, FL), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Players Circle Theatre), Assassins (The Secret Theatre), and The Tempest (The Secret Theatre). In the spring, Melissa will be migrating south to Daytona Beach, FL to stage manage Beach Street Repertory Theatre’s inaugural season! https://www.beachstreetrep.org/




ORIANA SOPHIA - COSTUME DESIGN


Oriana Sophia (she/her) is a Costume Designer and Actress based in NYC. She graduated Hunter with a BA in Theatre and later studied the Meisner Technique at the Maggie Flannigan Acting Studio. She is the founder and artistic director of La Diaspora Theatre, which produced its first production in 2020 of "Ay Fefa, Where is the Wind '' which she directed and starred in. Oriana is very excited to be back in.a theatre!. Some of her design credits Include, Into the Woods (Davis Shakespeare Co.), Sydney The Webseries (Webseries), Birthday in the Bronx (The Tank), El Yunke (Boundless Theatre), Brief Exchanges (Webseries). Feel free to follow her on IG where you can watch some of her projects @0rianasophia.




GAYA MARIA CHATTERJEE - SET AND PROPS DESIGN


Gaya Maria Chatterjee (she/her)is a scenic designer, theater maker and artist based in New York City. She is a recent graduate from NYU-Tisch Drama's Production & Design Studio. Select credits include Memorial (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center), Urinetown (TISCH DRAMA STAGE's All Department Festival), Legally Blonde (Tisch New Theater), Blue Stockings (NYU Tisch Meisner Studio), and Much Ado About Nothing (NYU Tisch Playwrights Studio). www.gmcdesigns.com




GERMÁN MARTÍNEZ - SOUND DESIGN


Germán Martínez (he/him) is a NYC based Sound Designer and Audio Engineer. He received his BFA in Production and Design in Theatre, with a concentration in Management and Sound, in 2018 from Montclair State University. Recent Credits: A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet (Daryl Roth) [Associate Sound Designer], The Visitor (The Public) [Assistant Sound Designer], The Chief (The Pittsburgh Public Theatre) [Sound Designer], LUCIÉRNAGAS (National Queer Theatre) [Sound Designer]. Germán is motivated to uplift stories that explore the topics of, queer experiences, immigrant and first generation stories, and BIPOC narratives. He would like to share his appreciation and gratitude to Greg for trusting him on this project.




ADAM ODSESS-RUBIN - PRODUCER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR


Adam Odsess-Rubin (he/him) is a director, playwright, actor, and teaching artist. At NQT, Odsess-Rubin directed his play DREAMers (NYU), based on interviews with undocumented LGBTQ youth in Queens, NY, for which he received the title ‘Emerging Playwright’ from Theater for the New City and Pint-Sized Plays at The Eagle NYC. He also wrote and directed Speechless (Theaterlab), a play exploring HIV narratives in 2018, to sold out audiences. He produced the Queer Village Reading Series and Criminal Queerness Festival. Formerly the Education and Community Programs Fellow at the American Conservatory Theater, Odsess-Rubin is now Education Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. His work as an actor, director, and playwright has brought him to The Guthrie, BAM, The Civilians, Theater for the New City, A.C.T., New Conservatory Theater, Faultline Theater, and ArtsEmerson. He has also worked as a teaching artist with refugee youth, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers, and taught in juvenile halls. In 2016, Odsess-Rubin served as personal assistant to AIDS Memorial Quilt Founder Cleve Jones, a protégé of Harvey Milk.




DOUGLAS DUBIOS-CARD SEBAMALA - MANAGING DIRECTOR


Douglas Dubios-Card Sebamala (he/him) is an Advocacy Artist, Producer, Multimedia Journalist and Communications Manager who prides greatly in works that empower marginalized communities. His advocacy work challenge social inequalities, racial injustice, gender based violence and all forms of discrimination, oppression and suppression of free expression. Devoting to empowerment and communication for development, Douglas has over the decade served in Public Relations and Arts Management for non-profits in East Africa. He has a record of excellence at Silent Voices Uganda, Youth Arts Movement Uganda and the Nation Media’s Daily Monitor. He co-founded ELESmode Productions which offers digital training and employment to young and aspiring LGBTQ artists and youth from marginalized communities. He researched and edited a publication on Mental Health of Queer Communities, Invisible Scars, published in 2018, supported by Voice.Global. Offering creative support to Rainbow Riots Uganda, he developed Rainbow Riots Radio which serves as an international free expression podcast for LGBTQI+ People around the world.




CAMILLE WITT - MARKETING MANAGER


Camille Witt (she/her) is a senior at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where she studies theatrical design and sociology. Originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, she has trained and worked as a carpenter and technician at Playmakers Repertory Company (Bye Bye Birdie, Cabaret, Bright Star, The Amish Project). She served on the board of One Song Productions, an independently student-run production company in Carrboro, NC, where she produced, promoted, designed, and/or built roughly a dozen productions. Beyond the formal training she receives in her design/technology courses, she is actively involved in her program and is a leader in the student theater community at CWRU. She has designed and stage-managed for Players' Theater Group (Circle Mirror Transformation, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.) and is President of the CWRU's premier short-form musical improv comedy troupe, IMPROVment. She is passionate about representation and social justice and is currently working alongside theater department faculty in coordinating community efforts to make the department more inclusive and diverse. Camille started at NQT as an Artistic Engagement Intern and in her year with the company has worked on promoting readings of work-in-development, launching the New Visions Fellowship for Black and Trans Playwrights, and much more. She was the Marketing Coordinator for the 2021 Criminal Queerness Festival.




JORDAN DELISE FLEMING - ARTISTIC ENGAGEMENT INTERN


Jordan (they/she) is a writer, theatre artist, and producer based in Harlem, New York. She has performed at The United Nations, The Schomburg Center, The Pulitzer Center, and Carnegie Hall. Her work has been highlighted around the world and in publications including Afropunk, Broadway World, Vagabond City, Glass Poetry Press, and Huffington Post. Her book tenderhead. published by Waterloo Press, debuted at #1 in bestselling poetry audiobooks. Jay is a poet and a teaching artist, but more importantly, she is black and magic.




LEIGH FONDAKOWSKI - PRODUCER & BOARD MEMBER


Leigh (they/them) is a playwright and director. Leigh was the head writer of The Laramie Project, co-writer of Laramie: Ten Years Later, and an Emmy Nominated co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of Laramie with HBO Films. Their other original plays include, I Think I Like Girls, The People's Temple, SPILL, and her current work-in-progress, Casa Cushman. Their plays have been produced under her direction at American Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Encore Theater, EnsembleStudio Theater, The Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Perseverance Theater, SwinePalace, TimeLine Theater, and Z Space Studio. Awards include The Glickman Award for Best New Play in the Bay Area (The People’s Temple); Bay Area Critics Circle nomination for Best Production (I Think I Like Girls); and a Jeff Nomination for BestChicago Production (SPILL). Leigh is a 2007 recipient of the NEA/TCG TheatreResidency Program for Playwrights, a 2009 MacDowell Colony fellow, and a 2018 recipient of The National Endowment of the Arts Residency for Collaborative Teams at Yaddo. They held a Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Minnesota in 2010, and is the author of the creative non-fiction book, Stories from Jonestown, which they are currently adapting to film. They teach and lecture around the country, including New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 1995. Leigh was the recipient of a Next Stage Drama League Fellowship in 2018 and was a participant in the Orchard Project’s pilot theater development program Orchard Project Greenhouse.




ANDREW PEREZ - PRODUCTION MANAGER





JACOB ETTKIN - COVID SAFETY/ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER






LUCIÉRNAGAS IS CO-PRESENTED WITH THE 14th STREET Y

The Theater at the 14th Street Y focuses on social awareness and change through big picture narrative. Inspired by works that welcome artists of all backgrounds, we place artists at the heart of our community and seek to create an inclusive and open cultural experience for all. Art is incubated here.

We are a vibrant community center grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families we serve throughout Downtown Manhattan. We focus on health and fitness, education and enrichment programs, and innovative arts and cultural programming. We are committed to the development of the whole person and bettering people’s lives and strengthening individual and family connections by building an inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable community.

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Luciérnagas is an Equity-approved showcase production.

Luciérnagas is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by LMCC. This production is also made possible by the generous support of The Sparkjoy Foundation.