National Queer Theater Presents

By Jessie Rivera DeBruin, directed by Carlos Armesto

A Virtual Workshop, November 20th, 2020

In partnership with The Parsnip Ship

LUCIÉRNAGAS is a play about shadows: our own, our family’s, and how they are linked. It is a story about heritage, legacy, and forgiveness. 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.

This virtual, pre-recorded workshop will premiere on YouTube on November 20th at 7pm EST. To get your free ticket, click the link below. Note that the workshop will be available online for three days.


Luciérnagas: Live Conversation

In this live conversation, streamed on Facebook on November 19th, director Carlos Armesto interviews playwright Jessie Rivera DeBruin and actor Simone Brazzini about Luciérnagas, magical realism, the intersection of trans/gnc and Latinx representation in theater, and the process of developing new queer works in the virtual space.

Luciérnagas premieres Friday, November 20th at 7pm and will be available online for three days.


Jessie Rivera DeBruin | Playwright

Jessie Rivera DeBruin (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, Latinx, playwright, and impact producer. Their work explores queerness, identity, gender, race, diaspora, and family. LUCIÉRNAGAS was a semi-finalist for the 2019 New Dramatists Princess Grace Award. Their play HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGEL DEAREST, will also stream on The Parsnip Ship podcast. Jessie is a member of the inaugural Radio Roots Writers’ Group, with whom they developed a six-part podcast play THIS IS WHERE WE GO, available to stream via MCC Theater On Demand, December 2020. As an Impact Producer, they have worked with acclaimed documentaries including DISCLOSURE (Netflix), TRANS IN TRUMPLAND (Amazon), BEDLAM (PBS), and ROLL RED ROLL (Netflix). They hold a BA from Smith College.


Carlos Armesto | Director

Carlos Armesto (he/him) is the Producing Artistic Director of theatreC, a company dedicated to creating unique theatrical experiences.  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, an Associate Artistic Director at The Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), and Co-Director for the EST/Sloan Project.  Through theatreC, he has created over 50 theatrical works. He is also Creative Director for theatreC's renowned LGBTQ+ Party Series RETRO FACTORY.  MFA Carnegie Mellon. BS Chemical Engineering & Theatre MIT. Princess Grace Fellowship., SDC.


Claudia Acosta | Mal

Claudia Acosta (she/her) is an actor, director, producer, and teaching artist. Has worked in Off-Broadway theater such as INTAR, WP Theater, New York Theater Workshop, HERE, and Rattlestick Playwright's Theater among others. Most recently appeared in Refracted Theater Company's audio play THE SWELL. Founding member of a Latino theater initiative, the Sol Project. She is a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Education, Manhattan Theater Club, NYTW, and Arts Connection. In Texas, she has worked with PAFW, FWSO, Hip Pocket Theater, Cara Mia, Rose Marine Theater and most recently remotely directed Teatro Dallas’s 1st covid safe live theatrical poetry event of A GRAVE IS GIVEN SUPPER at the Latino Cultural Center of Dallas. 

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Lina Sarrello | Silvia

Lina Sarrello (she/her) is originally from Miami, Florida, and has performed with several theater companies including Latinoflavored Productions, SEA, NY, LaTea, and Repertorio Español, among others. She is a two-time winner of the Latin ACE Award for her acting, and has also won awards for her playwriting and film production. Lina is an experienced teaching artist for the world-famous Apollo Theater as well as working continuously in Voiceover and Television for shows such as Amy Schumer, Russian Doll, and 30 Rock.

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Simone Brazzini | Xara

Simone Brazzini (they/them) is an actor/filmmaker born in Lima, Peru and raised in Dallas, Texas. Simone moved to Chicago to pursue a BFA in Acting with a minor in Film Production, and is currently on track to graduate from The Theatre School at Depaul University in 2022. The last in person show Simone did was Polaroid Stories by Naomi Iizuka. Recent online theatre credits include AJ in Sapience by Diana Burbano as part of the San Diego Latinx New Play Festival and an interactive/autism centered version of Macbeth with Spectrum Shakespeare. Upcoming, Simone will be playing Andy in Count Yourself Among the Lucky by Alicia Margarita Olivo as part of AlterTheater’s AlterLab First Acts. Other than acting, Simone is also passionate about inclusion in media. Simone believes that art and media need to reflect the current society when it comes to queer, bipoc, and neurodiverse representation. 

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April Ortiz | Lupe

April Ortiz (she/her) is a theater and camera actress. She was a principal standby in In The Heights on Broadway (Abuela)  and has performed around the country on the national tours of In the Heights (Daniela), Cats (Demeter), and La Cage Aux Folles (Swing). She has also worked with regional and off-Broadway companies, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Yale Rep, Theater Under the Stars, Lyric OKC, and The Public. Her film and television credits include Father Of The Bride, The Majestic, Golden Girls, Instinct, Braindead, Everybody Loves Raymond, Elementary, and many more.

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Doug Shapiro | George

Doug Shapiro (he/him) really loves breakfast.  He is also an actor and his experience with that is just all over the place. Singing with a 1940’s big band that toured the country; Voicing characters for Disney; Standardized Patient and Business Role-Playing work; Narrating Audiobooks; 20 seasons acting with The Barnstormers in Tamworth, NH; Broadway stuff and Yiddish stuff; and more new musicals than you can shake a stick at. Take me to breakfast and I’ll share the details. Come visit at and thank you for supporting National Queer Theatre! 

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Sofia Sam | Stage Directions

Sofía Sam (she/her) is a New York-based actor who is originally from Lima, Peru. She holds a BFA from New York University, where she double-majored in Drama and Politics. Her acting training was acquired through NYU’s partnership with the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. She also has extensive training in classical ballet and voice. Sofía co-founded and serves on the board of Imaginarium Theatre Company Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the fearless exploration of creativity and the pursuit of socially and environmentally ethical practices in the theatre.


Iyvon Edebiri | Producer

Iyvon Edebiri (she/her) is a Nigerian-American independent creative producer, company manager, and dramaturg hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Iyvon is the co-founder, Artistic Director, and Host of The Parsnip Ship. She is a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, Gilman International Scholarship, and The DO School’s Future of Audio Entertainment Fellowship in Berlin. Iyvon was the recipient of the 2019 Mark O’Donnell Prize awarded by The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons for emerging, anomalous theater artists. Iyvon has worked at Joe’s Pub, Sundance Institute Theater Program, The Public Theater, The Civilians, and as the Associate Producer at ArKtype. She is a member of the WP 2020 - 2022 Producers Lab.  B.A. Brandeis University. M.A. Baruch College (CUNY) Arts Administration. @iamiyvon

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Ariella Cooley | Sound Design

Ariella Cooley (she/her) is a sound designer and musician based out of Berkeley, California, a guest on unceded Ohlone land. Recent credits include Puppets & Poe: Devised Defiance (Theatre of Yugen, SF) and The Thanksgiving Play (American Conservatory Theatre, SF). She received a Theatre Bay Area award for Outstanding Sound Design in 2017 for her work on The Winter's Tale (Ragged Wing Ensemble, Oakland CA) and was nominated again in 2019 for her work on A Noh Christmas Carol (Theatre of Yugen, SF). When she's not making sounds, you can catch her daydreaming, playing with puppets, or making a mess in the kitchen.

Attilio Rigotti and Orsolya Szánthó | Video Editing

Attilio Rigotti and Orsolya Szánthó are international multidisciplinary artists and performers whose work moves between film, theater, video games, and interactive performance. As co-founders of the interdisciplinary arts company, GLITCH, their projects explore the space between the digital, the physical, and the spiritual. They have performed, taught, and created work around the world, including Cuba, Japan, Poland, India, Egypt, China, the UAE, and the US. Attilio and Orsolya have also led, supported, and designed collaborations with Broadway's Best Shows, Kaki King, The Juilliard School, Rutgers University, City Lyric Opera, Imagine Science Film Festival, and the Ludwig Foundation in Cuba. Attilio was an Associate Artist with experimental company Theater Mitu, and also served as Associate Producer with theatreC. 

About The Parsnip Ship

The Parsnip Ship is a podcast play company that amplifies bold artists for audiences who crave accessible stories and storytellers. The Parsnip Ship's live events and audio podcasts are eclectic and transformative, creating communities in person and digitally. The Parship Ship re-imagines the experience of the radio play by pairing underproduced playwrights and independent musicians for live episodes that are released as a free podcast. Through their work, they have revolutionized the way you hear theater.

Socials: @theparsnipshipny Website:

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Poster Design by Chris Cuadrado