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September 17 - October 9, 2022 , Allen Theatre

American Mariachi

written by JOSÉ CRUZ GONZÁLEZ
directed by HENRY GODINEZ

Run time: Approx. 100 min, no intermission

Familia. Amor. Tradición. These values are at the heart of mariachi music and the community where Lucha cares for her mother battling dementia. So when an old mariachi recording reawakens her mother’s memory, Lucha vows to learn and perform the song live. Join Lucha as she recruits band members, tracks down instruments, and stands up to long-held traditions to make her dream a reality. Set in the 1970s and performed with live music and plenty of humor, American Mariachi is a joyous, heartwarming story of family, memory, and the power of song.

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The cast of AMERICAN MARIACHI. Photo by Frank C. Williams. Courtesy of Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

The cast of AMERICAN MARIACHI. Photo by Frank C. Williams. Courtesy of Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Elizabeth Romero as Lucha and the Mariachi Band of AMERICAN MARIACHI. Photo by Hillary Taylor. Courtesy of Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

The cast of AMERICAN MARIACHI. Photo by Hillary Taylor. Courtesy of Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

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* Is there a piece of music or song that conjures up memories for you? What’s the song, and what does it remind you of?

* Have you ever done something to help your family that ended up putting you in direct conflict with other family members?

* What’s a dream of yours that you’ve never pursued? What’s keeping you from it?

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A LIFETIME OF MUSIC
by Anne Reed, The Music Settlement

The music plays. The song starts flowing through your mind. You hear the rhythm and melody and sense the tempo. You become mindful of the instrumentation, the lyrics, and reflect on the message. Your emotions and memory are engaged and your body starts to synchronize with the beat. You become immersed in the sensation. You laugh, you cry, you relax, you get angry; your relationship with music brings both pleasure and pain. You are moved to share a thought, a feeling, a memory. A conversation is sparked and a connection is made. The power of music! A power that touches the lives of all people, all ages, that is shared yet also unique and personal. This holds true for adults diagnosed with dementia and specifically Alzheimer’s disease. At The Music Settlement, we honor the power of healing with music.

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Studies in music therapy with older adults with dementia show that the prescribed use of music helps decrease depression and improve mood, decrease anxiety and agitation, and decrease use of medication. It can also increase alertness and orientation, enhance cognition and memory, improve communication and meaningful socialization, improve sleep and appetite, and reduce caregiver stress.* Studies have also shown increased connectivity in specific areas of the brain related to cognitive and motor functions.

Music therapists, when working with individuals with memory loss, are mindful of exactly which music is most constructive. It is recommended to use music that is preferred and is not associated with any traumatic event(s). Music therapy evaluation ensures the listener is able to adequately communicate their needs and preferences. Music Therapists also provide careful monitoring of non-verbal responses to music interventions, and ensure a manageable volume, while decreasing any unnecessary noise or visual stimulation. A professional music therapist holds a bachelor's degree or higher in music therapy from one of over 80 American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) approved college and university programs. According to the AMTA, “Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.” For caregivers and/or children of individuals diagnosed with dementia, considering events associated with the music, listening to songs together can open doors to increased interaction and reminiscing.

For more information about music therapy in the Greater Cleveland Area, please contact Anne Reed, Clinical Supervisor, areed@themusicsettlement.org in the Center for Music Therapy at The Music Settlement.

*AMTA Fact Sheet on Music & Dementia Care

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Interested in finding out more about The Day of the Dead, referenced in American Mariachi? Well, you're in luck because Cleveland hosts one of the biggest Dia de Muertos celebrations in the country - and it's coming up soon! Grab your friends and family members on October 29th and head on over to Gordon Square to check things out! More details at Dia de Muertos Ohio!

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Is there a piece of music or song that conjures up memories for you? What’s the song, and what does it remind you of? Do you have any pictures of yourself enjoying this song or piece of music? Share your answer and image with us by posting to your social media and tagging the post with #AmericanMariachiCPH, or by e-mailing us at cjoseph@clevelandplayhouse.com.

experience experience

Making A Piñata
by Erica Carla Joziuk

Things you will need:
Flour
Water
Salt
Cooking pot
Stirring utensils
Balloon (balloon size depends on how big you want your piñata)
Newspaper
Paintbrush 1 ½ inches
Scissors
Tissue paper/crepe paper
A bowl that is a little smaller than the circumference of your balloon. This bowl will be the stand that holds the balloon as you start to make your piñata.
Patience
Imagination

experience

Let’s begin:
Start the Piñata process by making the glue. This glue holds the paper together and is the most important ingredient.
Pour 4 cups of water into the pot and let it boil, then add 1 cup of flour. You can add a tablespoon of salt, as this will prevent mold. Stir it occasionally after 3-4 minutes. The flour should thicken. Make sure it isn’t lumpy. Let it cool down.

While letting the glue cool down, you can begin the next process by blowing up the balloon and cutting the newspaper into strips. The bigger the strips, the faster it will be. Make sure to have your bowl, for this is your stand and will hold your balloon in place.

Now that your newspaper is cut into strips and the glue has cooled down, its time to start the fun part! It can get messy, so make sure your work area is clear and you aren’t wearing your Sunday best =)
Blow up your balloon and tie it. Put the balloon with the tail (knot) into your bowl. Take a strip of paper, dip your paintbrush into the glue, and cover the entire strip, then place the covered strip on the top of the balloon horizontally. Make sure to go over the strip with your fingers to smooth it, so the paper is flat on the balloon and not completely drenched in glue. Repeat the process with the strip right next to the first strip until the entire top of the balloon is covered and looks like a helmet on a head. Flip the piñata, repeat the process, and put another layer on top of it or triple-layer it if you want it to be sturdy. Do not cover up the tail(knot).

Now let it dry completely for 48 hours. If you want the piñata to be hard to break, let the piñata dry for 24 hours and add some more layers, but make sure it is somewhat dry before adding more layers so the balloon does not pop. Then, let it completely dry for 48 hours.

While it is drying, make sure to prepare your tissue paper so you can begin decorating it once it is completely dry. Now that the piñata is dry, you can pop the balloon and remove it. This hole is where you will put the candy and how you will hang it. You can hang the piñata by inserting two holes on each side of the piñata, right by where you insert the candy. Next, add a string and make a handle. I found it easier to make the handle before decorating it.

You can then decorate your piñata with tissue paper and the same “glue” you made to cover your piñata. This glue sticks to the paper faster and is less time-consuming than Elmer’s glue, although that is optional. You can use a smaller paintbrush on the tissue paper. Remember, this is your piñata, and there is no wrong way you decorate it (however, I gave three examples of the BEST way to decorate it and make it look awesome). Have fun and be proud of what you have made because not everyone has the patience for this crafty work! Now add your candy =)

Artists

Gloria Vivica Benavides

Gloria Vivica Benavides

(Soyla) is thrilled to make her Cleveland Play House debut! Regional credits include: Somewhere Over the Border (Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre Center); American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Real Women Have Curves, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (Dallas Theater Center); Scrooge in Rouge (Stage West); Dracula (Theatre more(Soyla) is thrilled to make her Cleveland Play House debut! Regional credits include: Somewhere Over the Border (Syracuse Stage and Geva Theatre Center); American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Real Women Have Curves, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit (Dallas Theater Center); Scrooge in Rouge (Stage West); Dracula (Theatre Three); A Doll’s House, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (WaterTower Theatre). She is currently the voice of Scarlett on One Piece with FUNimation and is represented by the Campbell Agency. She earned her BFA in Theatre from the University of North Texas. @gloriavivica

Gigi Cervantes

Gigi Cervantes

(Amalia) is excited to make her Cleveland Play House debut and reprise the role she previously performed at Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Gigi recently appeared as Mrs. Webb in Dallas Theater Center’s Our Town; other theatre credits include A Christmas Carol, The View Upstairs, more(Amalia) is excited to make her Cleveland Play House debut and reprise the role she previously performed at Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Gigi recently appeared as Mrs. Webb in Dallas Theater Center’s Our Town; other theatre credits include A Christmas Carol, The View Upstairs, Glorious!, so go the ghosts of méxico, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, and Cowgirls. She dedicates this performance to her mother Vera, and to all those caring for someone with dementia.

Julian Diaz

Julian Diaz

(Understudy) is making his Cleveland Play House debut. Other roles include: Chicago: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Oil Lamp Theater); Richard III (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre); As You Like It (CenterStage Lake Forest). California: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of The Great Nome Gold Rush, King O' more(Understudy) is making his Cleveland Play House debut. Other roles include: Chicago: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Oil Lamp Theater); Richard III (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre); As You Like It (CenterStage Lake Forest). California: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of The Great Nome Gold Rush, King O' The Moon (North Coast Rep); Noises Off! (The Welk Resort Theatre); Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Torrance Theatre Company); Big Love (The Complex Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare by the Sea). TV: Days of Our Lives. Commercial: Rock the Vote's #CareLikeCrazy campaign. Julian is represented by BMG Talent. www.julianrdiaz.com

Lucy Godínez

Lucy Godínez

(Boli) is so happy to be bringing this show to Cleveland Play House after appearing in the role at the Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Other regional credits include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha at Fulton Theater, Nancy in Oliver! and Ariel in Footloose more(Boli) is so happy to be bringing this show to Cleveland Play House after appearing in the role at the Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Other regional credits include Aldonza in Man of La Mancha at Fulton Theater, Nancy in Oliver! and Ariel in Footloose at Marriott Theatre, Little Red Riding Hood in Into The Woods at Writers Theatre, and Nina in In The Heights with Porchlight Music Theater. A Chicago native, she is a graduate of Northwestern University. Que siga la lucha!

Ricardo Gutierrez

Ricardo Gutierrez

(Federico) is pleased to make his debut at Cleveland Play House. He was most recently seen in American Mariachi at Goodman Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Mother of the Maid at Northlight Theatre. Other recent credits include Ah, Wilderness! and Destiny of Desire (Goodman), In The Heights (The more(Federico) is pleased to make his debut at Cleveland Play House. He was most recently seen in American Mariachi at Goodman Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Mother of the Maid at Northlight Theatre. Other recent credits include Ah, Wilderness! and Destiny of Desire (Goodman), In The Heights (The Paramount), and the world premieres of Song For The Disappeared and Fish Men (Goodman). Gutierrez has appeared on stage at South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Denver Center Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, and Lookingglass Theatre. Recent television credits include Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Chicago MD, Sirens, and Boss. An accomplished and award winning director, Ricardo is the former Artistic Director of Teatro Vista in Chicago, Nosotros in Los Angeles, and the Canterbury Theatre in Indiana.

Molly Hernández

Molly Hernández

(Isabel) (she/her) is a graduate of the Actors Gymnasium Professional Circus Training Program and is represented by Gray Talent Group. She also has a BA in Spanish from Loyola University Chicago. Recent credits include Alice Through the Lookingglass (Lookingglass Theatre), American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theater Center), Into the more(Isabel) (she/her) is a graduate of the Actors Gymnasium Professional Circus Training Program and is represented by Gray Talent Group. She also has a BA in Spanish from Loyola University Chicago. Recent credits include Alice Through the Lookingglass (Lookingglass Theatre), American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Dallas Theater Center), Into the Woods (Writer's Theatre), Into the Breeches (Northlight Theatre), Masterclass (TimeLine Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (American BluesTheater - Jeff Award), The Most Happy Fella (Theo Ubique - Jeff Nomination), and Carousel (Timber Lake Playhouse). Molly can be seen on Power: Book IV (STARZ), Chicago Med (NBC), Chicago PD (NBC), and APB (FOX). Proud member of AEA and SAG. For Audrey. @mollymhernandez

Eréndira Izguerra

Eréndira Izguerra

(Tía Carmen) is a multi-instrumentalist and educator who graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a degree in violin performance. During her time there she formed Illinois’ first collegiate Mariachi, UIC Mariachi Fuego (2014), later co-founding Chicago’s first all-women Mariachi, Mariachi Sirenas (2017). Izguerra has performed more(Tía Carmen) is a multi-instrumentalist and educator who graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a degree in violin performance. During her time there she formed Illinois’ first collegiate Mariachi, UIC Mariachi Fuego (2014), later co-founding Chicago’s first all-women Mariachi, Mariachi Sirenas (2017). Izguerra has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with artists such as Grammy-nominated Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Emmy-award winning Orbert Davis, and Jalisco’s Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlán. She debuted as Tia Carmen in American Mariachi at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

Amanda Raquel Martinez

Amanda Raquel Martinez

(Gabby) is excited to bring this vibrant show to life at Cleveland Play House! Some of her regional credits include: Somewhere Over the Border (Teatro Vista); American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); American Bottom, 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre); Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (The McCarter Theatre in more(Gabby) is excited to bring this vibrant show to life at Cleveland Play House! Some of her regional credits include: Somewhere Over the Border (Teatro Vista); American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); American Bottom, 33 to Nothing (A Red Orchid Theatre); Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (The McCarter Theatre in association with Lookingglass Theatre); Ghost Quartet (Black Button Eyes Productions); La Ruta (Steppenwolf); Big Lake, Big City (Lookingglass Theatre); Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes (Hypocrites); Pirates of Penzance (Pasadena Playhouse, Skirball Theatre Center, Olney Theatre); Kitty Hawk (Adrienne Arsht Center); The Mikado (Olney Theatre Center); As You Like It; Love, Loss and What I Wore (First Folio Theatre)

Melinette Pallares

Melinette Pallares

(Understudy) is an NYC-based actor, singer, and entrepreneur. Regional credits include: American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Evita (Lyric Stage Dallas); Man of La Mancha (Lyric Stage Dallas); A Chorus Line (Riverside Center for the Performing Arts); West Side Story and More (Newport Music Festival); In the Heights more(Understudy) is an NYC-based actor, singer, and entrepreneur. Regional credits include: American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Evita (Lyric Stage Dallas); Man of La Mancha (Lyric Stage Dallas); A Chorus Line (Riverside Center for the Performing Arts); West Side Story and More (Newport Music Festival); In the Heights (GALA Hispanic Theatre). Her education includes a BA in Theatre and Dance from The University of Texas at Austin, The Folster Studio, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and CAP 21. @melinettepallares melinettepallares.com

Bobby Plasencia

Bobby Plasencia

(Mino) is excited to be making his Cleveland Play House debut and sharing the stage with such a talented group of artists! Stage credits include: Syracuse Stage, Geva Theater, Goodman Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center, Old Globe, Humana Fest, San Diego Rep (Craig Noel Award), South Coast Rep, more(Mino) is excited to be making his Cleveland Play House debut and sharing the stage with such a talented group of artists! Stage credits include: Syracuse Stage, Geva Theater, Goodman Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center, Old Globe, Humana Fest, San Diego Rep (Craig Noel Award), South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Interact Theater, ISCLA, Mark Taper Forum, MITU580, BRIC Brooklyn, Working Theater, INTAR, LaMama, Drilling Company. Film & TV include: House of Cards (Netflix), General Hospital (ABC Television), Fidel (Showtime), Maria, Full of Grace (Sundance, HBO Films), Angelfish starring Princess Nokia. He received his MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Christopher Llewyn Ramirez

Christopher Llewyn Ramirez

(Mateo) is a resident acting company member at the Dallas Theater Center and a director in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Stage credits include: American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival), In The Heights, SWEAT, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, HAIR, HOOD (Dallas Theatre Center) and Stede Bonnet: A more(Mateo) is a resident acting company member at the Dallas Theater Center and a director in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Stage credits include: American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival), In The Heights, SWEAT, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, HAIR, HOOD (Dallas Theatre Center) and Stede Bonnet: A F*cking Pirate Musical (Theatre Three). Chris recently co-wrote and directed a Mexican pro-wrestling play, Lucha Teotl, with Prism Movement Theatre and co-directed Luchadora! at Cara Mia Theatre. Assistant directing credits: A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center). He is currently the voice of Seth in the new anime Radiant with Crunchyroll. @chrisllewynramirez

Elizabeth Romero

Elizabeth Romero

(Lucha) is thrilled to make her Cleveland Play House debut. Regional credits include American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Beauty and the Beast (Paramount Theatre); Ragtime (Park Playhouse); and Into the Woods and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Rose Center Theatre). She is a graduate more(Lucha) is thrilled to make her Cleveland Play House debut. Regional credits include American Mariachi (Goodman Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Beauty and the Beast (Paramount Theatre); Ragtime (Park Playhouse); and Into the Woods and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Rose Center Theatre). She is a graduate of Northwestern University where she pursued Musical Theatre Performance and Arts Administration. She formerly interned with Baseline Theatrical where she worked on the Broadway productions of Hamilton and The Great Comet of 1812. Elizabeth received the 2012 Jimmy Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Diego Lucero

Diego Lucero

(Guitarrón) (he/him) is an interdisciplinary multi-genre artist. He plays eight instruments including the guitar, keyboard, and guitarrón. He makes all sorts of music like mariachi, rock, rap, and EDM. He's performed on Nickelodeon, won Chicago's Rising Star Award, and most recently played at Lollapalooza. He also loves to work more(Guitarrón) (he/him) is an interdisciplinary multi-genre artist. He plays eight instruments including the guitar, keyboard, and guitarrón. He makes all sorts of music like mariachi, rock, rap, and EDM. He's performed on Nickelodeon, won Chicago's Rising Star Award, and most recently played at Lollapalooza. He also loves to work on psychedelic visual art. To check out his work, please follow @iamdiegolucero on Instagram and follow his Spotify, Diego Lucero.

Daniel Ochoa

Daniel Ochoa

(Vihuela) is a Mariachi, Rock, and Pop musician born, raised, and based out of Tucson, Arizona. Originally starting out as a pianist, he took to Mariachi music playing guitar, vihuela, and guitarron. He also performs frequently in Spanish rock bands as an electric guitarist, bassist, keyboard player, and vocalist. more(Vihuela) is a Mariachi, Rock, and Pop musician born, raised, and based out of Tucson, Arizona. Originally starting out as a pianist, he took to Mariachi music playing guitar, vihuela, and guitarron. He also performs frequently in Spanish rock bands as an electric guitarist, bassist, keyboard player, and vocalist.

Ayan

Ayan "Yaya" Vasquez-Lopez

(Violin) (she/they) is a transfemme Latinx mariachi musician, drag artist, and online media producer based in Los Angeles, California. Through her work, Yaya strives to create authentic representation for queer, brown, gender non-conforming Latinx people in online media and in real life. She is ecstatic and humbled to be more(Violin) (she/they) is a transfemme Latinx mariachi musician, drag artist, and online media producer based in Los Angeles, California. Through her work, Yaya strives to create authentic representation for queer, brown, gender non-conforming Latinx people in online media and in real life. She is ecstatic and humbled to be a part of such an ICONIC show like American Mariachi at Cleveland Play House! You can find Yaya performing online and IRL as The Makeup Mariachi (@themakeupmariachi). Follow for more!

Ricardo Vejar

Ricardo Vejar

(Trumpet) most recently worked as the primary trumpet player and singer for Tucson's own MARIACHI SONIDO DE MEXICO. Over the years he has also worked with several Mariachis including: Mariachi Tapatio, Mariachi Sol Azteca, Mariachi Herencia De Cucuo Del Cid. He plays trumpet and sings for Ballet Folklorico Tapatio more(Trumpet) most recently worked as the primary trumpet player and singer for Tucson's own MARIACHI SONIDO DE MEXICO. Over the years he has also worked with several Mariachis including: Mariachi Tapatio, Mariachi Sol Azteca, Mariachi Herencia De Cucuo Del Cid. He plays trumpet and sings for Ballet Folklorico Tapatio and Compania De Danza Forlklorico Arizona.

José Cruz González

José Cruz González

(Playwright) Mr. González’s plays include If by Chance, (South Coast Repertory commission), The Extraordinary ZLuna Captures the World (Denver Center Theatre Company commission), Under a Baseball Sky (The Old Globe commission), American Mariachi (Arizona Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, The Goodman Theatre, The Old Globe), more(Playwright) Mr. González’s plays include If by Chance, (South Coast Repertory commission), The Extraordinary ZLuna Captures the World (Denver Center Theatre Company commission), Under a Baseball Sky (The Old Globe commission), American Mariachi (Arizona Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, The Goodman Theatre, The Old Globe), Sunsets & Margaritas (Denver Center Theatre Company, Theatre Works), September Shoes (Geva Theatre), The San Patricios (PCPA), Among the Darkest Shadows (Wharton Center for Performing Arts), The Long Road Today (South Coast Repertory), The Magic Kite (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte), The Sun Serpent (Childsplay), Super Cow Girl and Mighty Miracle (Metro Theater Company), and Tomás and the Library Lady (Childsplay). Mr. Gonza?lez was selected as one of the inaugural 2022 Kennedy Center’s Next 50, a new initiative celebrating cultural leadership with 50 trailblazing leaders and organizations. Mr. González was also a grantee of the 2021 ReImagine: New Plays in TYA, a joint effort of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, The Kennedy Center, TYA/USA and Write Now to support in part the development of Pia’s Wondrous Adventures in Tlaxlandia. He has written for PAZ, the Emmy Award nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. The Astronaut Farmworker (La Jolla Playhouse) was a 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist. A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by Jose? Cruz Gonza?lez Magical Realism & Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences was published by the University of Texas Press. He is a Professor Emeritus at California State University Los Angeles, a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Dramatists Guild of America, TYA/USA, and a board member of the New Harmony Project, dedicated to a desire to support stories of hope, optimism, and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Henry Godinez

Henry Godinez

(Director) is the Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre, where he most recently directed Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, by Cheryl West for Goodman, Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The ASOLO, and Arena Stage. Godinez has also directed the works of Luis Valdez, Charise Castro more(Director) is the Resident Artistic Associate at Goodman Theatre, where he most recently directed Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, by Cheryl West for Goodman, Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The ASOLO, and Arena Stage. Godinez has also directed the works of Luis Valdez, Charise Castro Smith, José Rivera, Karen Zacarias, Regina Taylor, Luis Alfaro, Cheryl West, and Nilo Cruz. Other directing work includes The O’Neill Theatre Center, Yale Rep, Signature Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Children’s Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, and Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Godinez is a professor at Northwestern University.

Linda Buchanan

(Scenic Designer) is glad to be back at Cleveland Play House after designing at theatres throughout the country and abroad. Her work has been seen in Chicago at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Paramount, and regionally at Arena Stage, Alley Theatre, Indiana Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Kansas more(Scenic Designer) is glad to be back at Cleveland Play House after designing at theatres throughout the country and abroad. Her work has been seen in Chicago at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Court Theatre, Paramount, and regionally at Arena Stage, Alley Theatre, Indiana Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Kansas City Rep, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Yale Rep, Resident Ensemble Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre, and many others. Buchanan is Professor Emeritus, DePaul University, where she headed the Scene Design program. Recent: Gem of the Ocean (Goodman Theatre), Stick Fly (Writers Theatre), Murder on the Orient Express (Resident Ensemble Players), You Can’t Take It With You (Indiana Rep), and Having Our Say (Goodman Theatre) Awards: Merritt Award for Design and Collaboration, Jefferson Awards (House, Goodman Theatre; Black Snow, Goodman; I Hate Hamlet, Royal George), Helen Hayes Award (Dancing at Lughnasa, Arena Stage)

Danielle Nieves

(Costume Designer) (she/her) is honored to be making her Cleveland Play House debut. Regional costume designs include Clean/Espejos (South Coast Rep), Beauty and the Beast (5th Avenue Theatre), Public Works The Winter's Tale (Seattle Rep), American Mariachi (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Goodman Theatre), and Real Women Have more(Costume Designer) (she/her) is honored to be making her Cleveland Play House debut. Regional costume designs include Clean/Espejos (South Coast Rep), Beauty and the Beast (5th Avenue Theatre), Public Works The Winter's Tale (Seattle Rep), American Mariachi (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theater Center, Goodman Theatre), and Real Women Have Curves (Dallas Theater Center). Off-Broadway: Pity in History, No End of Blame, Gertrude – The Cry, and Lovesong of the Electric Bear. Danielle holds an M.F.A. in Costume Design from the University of California-Irvine and a curatorial certification for Japanese and Western costumes from the Kyoto Costume Institute. www.daniellenieves.com

María-Cristina Fusté

(Lighting Designer) has credits in New York, Puerto Rico, major cities in the U.S., Bolivia, Colombia, México, and the Dominican Republic. She is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of BOUNDLESS Theatre Company. Broadway: Associate on Jagged Little Pill (2021). Regional: American Mariachi (Dallas Theatre Center/Goodman Theatre/Alabama Shakespeare Festival); more(Lighting Designer) has credits in New York, Puerto Rico, major cities in the U.S., Bolivia, Colombia, México, and the Dominican Republic. She is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of BOUNDLESS Theatre Company. Broadway: Associate on Jagged Little Pill (2021). Regional: American Mariachi (Dallas Theatre Center/Goodman Theatre/Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Airness (Geva Theatre Center, NY); Children of Eden (Aurora Theatre, GA); Sweat (People’s Light Theater, PA); Anna in the Tropics (Colorado Spring Performing Arts Center); In The Heights (Westport Country Playhouse, CT); Fur, Mud, and The Conduct of Life (Boundless Theatre Company, NYC); ABIGAIL/1702 and The Heath (MRT, MA). Opera: Cecilia Valdés (Teatro Colón, Bogotá). Tosca, Bluebeard’s Castle, Madama Butterfly, Don Pasquale, and L’Elisir d’Amore, (Ópera de Puerto Rico, San Juan PR). Training: BA in Theater from University of Puerto Rico, MFA in Lighting Design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. mcfuste.com

Ray Nardelli

(Sound Designer) Off Broadway credits include Lookingglass Alice at The New Victory Theatre. Regional theatre credits include Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Milwaukee Rep Theatre, The Court Theatre, Hartford Stage, The Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Congo Square, Buffalo Arena Stage, more(Sound Designer) Off Broadway credits include Lookingglass Alice at The New Victory Theatre. Regional theatre credits include Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Milwaukee Rep Theatre, The Court Theatre, Hartford Stage, The Alliance Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Congo Square, Buffalo Arena Stage, The Alley Theatre, American Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Notre Dame Summer Shakespeare, Shakespeare On The Green, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Dolphinback Theatre, American Girl Theatre (New York, Chicago), Skylight Opera. Ray has over 400 Film, TV, DVD, and computer game credits worldwide. He has been nominated 7 times for a Jeff Award, garnering 4 wins. He’s also done production work on Jersey Boys National Tour, Billy Elliot, pre-Broadway Addams Family and All Shook Up. Mr. Nardelli’s memberships include USA #829, ASCAP, and IATSE #2.

Jason P. Hayes

(Wig and Hair Designer) returns to Cleveland Play House after his terrific work on last season’s The Three Musketeers. Jason is a 2016 and 2017 Drama Desk Award Nominee for Outstanding Wig & Hair Design for his work on The Legend of Georgia McBride and The View Upstairs. Hayes more(Wig and Hair Designer) returns to Cleveland Play House after his terrific work on last season’s The Three Musketeers. Jason is a 2016 and 2017 Drama Desk Award Nominee for Outstanding Wig & Hair Design for his work on The Legend of Georgia McBride and The View Upstairs. Hayes was the Hair Supervisor for The Present, starring Cate Blanchett. His Broadway theatrical design credits include Casa Valentina, The Realistic Joneses, Spring Awakening, Blithe Spirit, 13 The Musical, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular for 10 years. His Film and TV credits include: iMordecai, The Mysteries of Laura, Smash, Hostages, 30 Rock, Mercy, Gossip Girl, Saturday Night Live, Transamerica, Camp, The Savages, and Party Monster, to name just a few. His celebrity clients include Cate Blanchett, RuPaul, Angelica Huston, Debra Messing, Toni Colette, Dylan McDermott, Jennifer Hudson, Liza Minelli, Angela Lansbury, Paul Rudd, Patrick Stewart, and many more.

Cynthia Reifler Flores

(Music Director) began as a classical violinist but has played with Mariachis, ranging from bar bands to the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas, but is best known as the leader of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first all-female Mariachi of international import. She continues performing with the female group more(Music Director) began as a classical violinist but has played with Mariachis, ranging from bar bands to the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas, but is best known as the leader of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first all-female Mariachi of international import. She continues performing with the female group Trio Corazón. Flores directs the Mariachi programs at University of California-Riverside, and California State University-Los Angeles. She edits a column on women in Mariachi in The International Journal of Mariachi Education and Performance, a bilingual publication, and has served as musical director, arranger, and performer on other works by José Cruz González. Cynthia lives in California with her son, Bruce, her husband, Pedro Flores (a renowned Mariachi musician), an albino rabbit, and an enthusiastic dog.

Ana Muñoz

(Stage Manager) After growing up in Montgomery attending countless Alabama Shakespeare Festival Schoolfest shows, Ana was thrilled to finally stage manage American Mariachi there, and then travel with the show to Cleveland. Most recently, Ana was a Seasonal SM at TheatreSquared in Arkansas, working on shows including Matilda, American more(Stage Manager) After growing up in Montgomery attending countless Alabama Shakespeare Festival Schoolfest shows, Ana was thrilled to finally stage manage American Mariachi there, and then travel with the show to Cleveland. Most recently, Ana was a Seasonal SM at TheatreSquared in Arkansas, working on shows including Matilda, American Mariachi, The Heart’s Desire, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and Miss You Like Hell. Other credits include HGTV’s Home Town Takeover, and Trans Theatre Fest Madison. Ana is a proud Purple Side graduate of the University of Montevallo. This show is dedicated to her Meemaw, Rena Dispennette, and all others suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Cassandra Whitt

(Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to travel with the American Mariachi team to Cleveland from Alabama. She is a recent graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BS in Theatre, and some of her favorite shows there includes Stop Kiss, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Chicago. She more(Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to travel with the American Mariachi team to Cleveland from Alabama. She is a recent graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BS in Theatre, and some of her favorite shows there includes Stop Kiss, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Chicago. She would like to thank her family for supporting her through this chapter in her journey, as well as all the ones to come.

CPH Celebrates Community at Van Aken District

CPH Celebrates Community at Van Aken District

CPH DAY AT VAN AKEN DISTRICT Saturday, September 119:00 AM - 7:00 PM Cleveland Play House and the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights join forces to...

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