We take pride in the dynamic caliber of our family. From staff to ensemble artists to Board members and collaborators, their commitment to top quality Latino theater arts is unparalleled. Take a look:
ROSALBA ROLÓN • Pregones Theater’s Founder and Artistic Director, and a 2008 United States Artists (USA) Fontanals Fellow in Theater Arts, she’s an acclaimed performer, dramaturg, and stage director, credited for building an uniquely Latino musical theater repertory with emphasis on adaptations. Merit distinctions include: multiple HOLA and ACE awards, Cherashore Actor’s Award, and a Ford Foundation Visionaries Fellowship. Boards: United States Artists, and National Association of Latino Arts & Culture.
ALVAN COLÓN LESPIER • A seasoned stage director, playwright, and producer with 30 years of experience, and one of two Associate Artistic Directors at Pregones Theater. He is instrumental in the ongoing development of the ensemble’s original repertory, multidisciplinary Presenting program, and professional facility. He curates the March Is Music series. Pregones directing credits include: Voices of Steel, Fables of the Caribbean, La otra orilla, Medea’s Last Rosary, Peccatoribus, ¡Ay Jesus! Oh Jesus!, Game Over, and The Desire of the Astronaut.
JORGE B. MERCED • Pregones’ Associate Artistic Director and company member since 1987. An acclaimed theater artist, trained with Osvaldo Dragún, Eugenio Barba, Miguel Rubio and Teresa Ralli (EITALC 89 – Cuba), Augusto Boal (Brazil & France), and at the Alvin Ailey Center (NY). New York directing credits include: Fellini’s La Strada with René Buch, El huesped vacío and The Smell of Popcorn (IATI). Pregones directing credits include: Baile Cangrejero, El Apagón, Blanco, Aloha Boricua, Migrants!, Las facultades, Neon Baby, Marchers Trilogy, and 11 years of readings and workshop productions for the Asunción Playwrights Project. He is a graduate of City College-CUNY. Board member for the National Center for Creative Aging.
DESMAR GUEVARA • (Musical Director & Composer) A seasoned champion of new music idioms, he is also committed to writing experimental and Afro Puerto Rican music for the theater. In 20 years with Pregones, he has served as composer, arranger and performer of numerous productions, including, La Rosa Roja/The Red Rose and The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat, both issued as original cast recordings. He is also the founder and director of chamber jazz ensemble Taller Sicá, with whom he has a full-lenght CD, Del otro lado del espejo, featuring special guest Danny Rivera.
MIRIAM COLÓN VALLE (1936-2017) • Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Ms. Colón debuted as an actress in the 1953 film Peloteros (Baseball Players), starring Ramón (Diplo) Rivero, produced in Puerto Rico. She moved to New York City that same year, and was accepted into the Actors Studio by Elia Kazan after a single audition, thus becoming the Studio’s first Puerto Rican member. Her film career spanned 30 films and over 75 television series and appearances. Her life’s work continues to inspire multiple generations of artists and audiences.
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CHAD CARSTARPHEN • Theatre: BROKE-OLOGY (KTC), 1st national tour of the Broadway show, In The Heights. Off-Bway: Street Lights (ATA), The Conscientious Objector (Theatre Row). Workshops: Neon Baby, Tell Me Tomorrow, Basquiat, Bring It On. Film: Dumped. TV: Law &Order. BFA in Acting from NYU/Tisch. Pregones credits include: Neon Baby (workshop and premiere), The Harlem Hellfightes On A Latin Beat, From Breast Cancer To Broadway, Hey Yo! Yo Soy! and Call Me Esteban Only.
ROSAL COLÓN • Rosal is a proud member of both Pregones Theater Ensemble and The LAByrinth Theater Company. Broadway credits include: The Motherf$#ker With The Hat directed by Anna D. Shapiro, A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center) directed by George C. Wolfe. Off- Broadway: Between Riverside And Crazy (Atlantic Theater), Ninth and Joanie (LAByrinth Theater Co. at The Cherry Pit) directed by Mark Wing- Davey, Palabra De Mujer (PRTT) directed by Miriam Colon- Valle. Film: The House That Jack Built . TV: Law and Order: SVU. She is a graduate from LaGuardia High School for The Performing Arts and SUNY Purchase BFA Acting Consevatory.
SOL CRESPO • For Pregones: Neon Baby, Aloha Boricua, Las facultades, Game Over, The Red Rose, Dancing in My Cockroach Killers, among others. Other NY credits (partial): Deinde, Menders, Ajax in Iraq (Flux Theatre Ensemble); Wizard of Oz (Full of Noises), Closer (La Tea), Kennedy’s Children (Duo Theatre). Sol was named NYTheatre.com’s Person of the Year in 2012. She is a recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship for Career Advancement, 2008. She also won the 2005 HOLA award for Outstanding Performance of a Featured Actress. Her short film, Old Maid, will be screening soon at a film festival near you. www.solmarina.com
GABRIEL HERNÁNDEZ – Gabriel is an actor, rapper, musician, and burlesque performer with the troupe Bad Apple Boylesque. He was previously seen in the Pregones/PRTT productions of The Marchers, and The Desire of The Astronaut. Some of his other favorite roles are in Aaron Jafferis’ Kingdom, Cándido Tirado’s La Canción and Momma’s Boyz, and José Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. He is also an accomplished voiceover artist, having done narration for Bacardi, Dewar’s, Miller Light, Jell-O, Honey Maid, and many others. Gabriel hails from Hoboken, NJ and holds two degrees from Yale University, where he met his wife Rachel, with whom he writes plays and makes nostalgic 90’s hip-hop.
YARANÍ DEL VALLE • Studied at University of Puerto Rico Drama Department.Training: Golden Age, Commedia dell’arte,Theatre of the Oppressed, Modern Dance, Experimental Dance, Yoga & Alexander Technique. Voice training at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico and Music Department of the University of Puerto Rico. Internships with theater companies Yuyachkani in Perú and Malayerba in Ecuador. Stage: Off-Broadway’s Borinquen Vive en El Barrio. With Pregones Theater: Game Over, Aloha Boricua, Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat among others. Film: Maldeamores/Lovesickness. TV: Host for Mi pequeño Músico (PBS PR), Actress for Esto está cañón (Telemundo) and CHAMACAS web series on Nuevon Channel
SHADIA FAIRUZ • Shadia has had the honor of performing with celebrated theater companies such as Pregones Theater, Repertorio Español, Teatro SEA, and PRTT. Highlights: NYMF-Les the Least at the Signature Theater; Bésame Mucho; World Premiers of Aloha Boricua; Harlem Hell Fighters on a Latin Beat; Jazz Nativity at B.B. King’s; Until We Win; Dancing in my Cockroach Killers, Hey Yo! Yo Soy!, Call Me Esteban Only, and the NYC premier of Songs of the Pomegranate Garden. She is the Vocal Program Coordinator for the Harbor Conservatory and has been an educator with the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Musical Training: MM Voice-Mannes College, BM Piano PR Conservatory, BA Communications UPR. www.shadiafairuz.com
YAREMIS FÉLIX • Actress, dancer, singer and puppeteer. With Pregones: Baile Cangrejero and Call Me Esteban Only. Founding Member of Caborca Theatre: Zoetrope, Open up Hadrian, El correo de la noche, El médico de su honra, Las minutas de Martí, FLORIDITA my Love, Barceloneta de noche, among others. Other credits include: Othello Project (Limon Dance Co.), Decíme que escuchás (PAM), Night over Taos (INTAR), Mestizo “Heartbeat of Latin America” (Thalia Spanish Theater). DC7 The Roberto Clemente Story, Corretjer 3 Amores, The Toothache of King Farfán (Center for Puppetry Arts) SEA. House of Bernarda Alba and Blood Weddings (Spanish Repertory Theater). B.A. in Drama from the University of Puerto Rico; RL Shakespeare Project with Ian Hersey; professional studies in musical theater (AMDA).
CEDRIC LEIBA JR. • A proud member of the Pregones/PRTT Ensemble Company, where he has performed in the productions of Neon Baby (lead role); The Call – in collaboration with Hawaii’s Pa’I Foundation, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and La Mama, and The Marchers at the PRTT. Cedric has toured nationally with Miss Saigon, Rent, and Go Diego Go Live! He recently played Tato in the musical Carmen La Cubana, at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Paris France. He also performed the role of Jacob in Goodspeed Musical’s La Cage Aux Folles. Some of Cedric’s other NYC Theatre credits include Kingdom – Public Theatre, Yellow Brick Road – Lucille Lortel, Sweet Charity/Caridad (2013 HOLA AWARD Outstanding Performance by a Featured Male Actor), NHAT. Film credits include: Millie and the Lords, Elliot Loves and Last Night at Angelo’s. www.cedricleiba.com
JESÚS E. MARTÍNEZ • Three-time HOLA Award winning actor and voice-over artist, Jesús is a member of Pregones Theater, Repertorio Español, SEA (Society of Eudcational Arts) and Say What? NYC Comedy Improv. NY stage credits: Call Me Esteban Only, Dancing in My Cockroach Killers, Flybabies/Piojos, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat (Pregones), Secret Weapons of Fat Destruction (Thalía Spanish Theatre), Títeres de Cachiporra (SEA), El Quijote (Repertorio Español). Jesús is also an accomplished voice-over actor and with work spanning from several audio books, to being the announcer for multiple campaigns for Macy’s and Wendy’s. www.JesusEMartinez.com
FLACO NAVAJA • singer, poet, actor, born and raised in the Bronx. If Héctor Lavoe Boxed Rubén Blades and KRS-1 was the referee you’d get Flaco. Navaja’s original style of poetry combines singing, beat-boxing, and spoken word. He was the host of the open mic showcase; “All That! Hip Hop Poet- ry & Jazz” at the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe. In 2003, he toured internationally with the Tony Award winning Russell Simmons’ DEF POETRY JAM and he has appeared on four episodes of the HBO series. Nava- ja is a member of Screen Actors Guild and has ap- peared in several films & television shows. Includ- ing PRIDE & GLORY, FIGHTING, GUN HILL ROAD, LAW & ORDER, CSI NY and new webseries EASTWILLYB.
OMAR PÉREZ • Omar Perez has worked as an actor in NY since 2003. During this time he has worked as a company member of the internationally recognized Pregones Theater. Other stage credits include The Wizard of Oz, Man of La Mancha, Spinning into Butter, and Singing wid a sword. His film credits include Shut up and do it, Broken Hearts, and Evergreen. He is also a former company member of Say What? Improv and a former company trainee of the American Mime Theater. In addition to his work on stage, Omar has worked as a director with Dreamscape Theater and Truant Arts. As a Teaching Artist, he has collaborated with Lincoln Center Art Institute, ArtsConnection, Manhattan Theatre Club,The Peoples Theatre Project and the Creative Arts Team. His work as a T.A. has included using educational drama with prison inmates at Riker’s Island and women in domestic shelters.www.omarperezonline.com
YARITZA PIZARRO • A graduate of the CUNY City College Department of Theater, her many professional credits include Klub Ka at La MaMa Etc., Don Quijote De la Mancha with National Theatre for Arts and Education, and the films August The First and The Scrolls. With Pregones she has appeared in La Caravana, Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/ 365 Plays, Betsy, Aloha Boricua, Hey Yo! Yo Soy!, Chuy Sánchez’s God’s Creatures, and Pregones 2013 production of Magdalena Gomez’s Dancing In My Cockroach Killers at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
DANNY RIVERA • A multiple-time Grammy® nominee and a tireless advocate for peace and social justice. Known as “The National Voice of Puerto Rico,” he has sold millions of records, headlined major venues throught the world, and shared the stage with stars like Julio Iglesias and Plácido Domingo. He received the citizenship of the Dominican Republic in 2008, and in 2009 he performed at the Paz Sin Fronteras concert in Havana, Cuba, in front of over 1,150,000 people and broadcast internationally. Pregones credits: The Red Rose, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat. He received the Master Artist Award from Pregones for his unparalleled music career and dedication to promoting the importance of arts and culture in our society.
ELISE SANTORA • Pregones company member since 2001. BROADWAY credits include In The Heights, Man of La Mancha, The Capeman, and Adventures of Tom Sawyer. National Companies include Man of La Mancha with John Cullum and A Chorus Line starring Bebe Neuwirth. Toured internationally as a vocalist for such legends as Bowie, Julio Iglesias and Danny Kaye’s Unicef in Africa tour. She was one of the first Latina dancers on the nationally syndicated program, Soul Train. In addition to extensive commercial/voice-over work, she features in national commercials for Bank of America and Aleve. Elise has served as teaching artist, acting/voice coach and audition coach for such varied venues and participants as Manhattan Theatre Club, Henry Street Settlement Center, Theatre Development Fund, Frank Sinatra H.S., Professional Performing Arts H.S. and York College. She is a professional speech coach for various entrepeneur and corporate executives including coaching the TED talk for Barnard College’s Athena Center candidates and the Entrepeneurs in Training 2013 summer session.
ANTONIO VARGAS • A theater artist whose credits include acting, directing, and choreographing. Pregones: Until We Win, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat with the legendary Danny Rivera, Baile Cangrejero. Pregones Assistant Director: Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, and Neon Baby. GALA Theatre, D.C.: Casa de los espíritus, El desdén con el desdén, Puerto Rico ¡Fuá! (Helen Hayes Award nominee). Other favorite credits: Diego in the national tour of Dora the Explorer Live!, A Chorus Line. Commercial and tv work has featured him nationally and internationally. Much love to all. Antonio-Vargas.com
ANTHONY CARRILLO • A master percussionist of great prowess, his credits read like a who’s who of Afro Caribbean music and Latin Jazz: Familia Cepeda, Eddie Palmieri, Giovanni Hidalgo, Batacumbele, Harry Belafonte, Andrés Jiménez, Paul Simon, and more. His classic Mis Raíces CD is in the Top 100 Indies of Latin Beat Magazine. Pregones Theater credits: Game Over, Cuento que me cuentan, El Apagón, Migrants! Cantata a los emigrantes, Until We Win, and Aloha Boricua.
JORGE CASTRO • Born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Jorge studied at “Escuela Libre de Música”; an institution that boasts distinguished alumnus throughout the musical world. Performance credits include: L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Denver Symphony Orchestra, Foreigner, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ruben Blades, Steve Turre, Eva Ayllon, Latin Jazz All-Stars, Randy Brecker, Giovanni Hidalgo, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Valentin, The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, Hilton Ruiz, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Tito Puente Orchestra, The Mambo Legends, Giovanni Hidalgo, Joe Baione, Timbalaye, Arturo O’Farril Big Band, Tito Puente Jr., Candido, etc.
NICHOLAS LABOY • Born in Spanish Harlem, he is considered one of the top young percussionists in NYC. His mentors include Johnny Almendra and Ramón Rodríguez. Niko earned a Tito Puente Scholarship for 3 years at Boys Harbor. He is a founding member of Afro-Caribbean music collective Ilú-Ayé. Other music credits include: Frankie Morales, Louie Vega, Latin Sensation, Lou Gorbea, Ashe Productions, Yerbabuena, Stefanie Renee, and Kafele Bandele. Pregones credits: Game Over, Flybabies/Piojos, Baile Cangrejero, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, and El Apagón.
ALBERTO TORO • An accomplished flutist, saxophonist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator, he earned his BA at Berklee College (Boston) and his MFA at the Aaron Copland School (NYC). A founding member of acclaimed bomba y plena group Viento de Agua, his many credits include Yomo Toro, Oscar Hernández & Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Ray Santos, and Bobby Sanabria. Pregones credits: Baile Cangrejero, Medea’s Last Rosary, The Blackout, and Aloha Boricua.
BENJAMIN WILLIS • (Bass) is a member of Juan Carlos Formell’s trio Formellx3. Since moving to New York in 2010 he has produced a number of recordings for Los Chamanes, Isabel Alfonso’s InCubismos, and children’s theatre work Cantanica. He has performed and recorded with Lila Downs, Mary Wilson, Ismael Miranda, Nicholas Payton, and Von Freeman. Theatre credits: Heiner Müller’s Quartet with ¡Publik! Teatro Contemporaneo (Mexico); Mexican representative in the World Solidarity Conference in Havana, Cuba; Sandy Hackett’s production of The Rat Pack (Royal George Theatre, Chicago). Pregones credits: Flybabies/Piojos, Baile Cangrejero, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, Call Me Esteban Only, and El Apagón.
JESSICA MOYA • Associate Production Manager. A graduate of City College-CUNY, Department of Theater. Pregones credits: El Apagón, Brides, Blanco, Sissy, Betsy, El bolero fue mi ruina, Game Over, El último rosario de Medea, The Beep, The Blackout, La Caravana, Migrants!, The Phone Call; Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays, The Red Rose, Aloha Boricua, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat, Neon Baby, Hey Yo! Yo Soy!, Call Me Esteban Only, and all of Pregones Theater’s Presenting productions since 2006. Lighting Designer for all Pregones’ Asunción Playwrights Project Workshop Productions since 2007. She is recipient of a TCG New Generations/Future Leaders Mentorship.
HARRY NADAL • Set and Costume Designer. Resident designer for Pregones since 2005. NY: PRTT, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center Institute, Atlantic Theater Co., LAByrinth, Hostos Repertory Theater, Teatro Círculo, INTAR, Repertorio Español, R.Evolución Latina, SEA, Theater for the New City, HOME, HERE, Spectrum Stage, Miranda Theater, Ensemble International Theater, among many. Regional and international: Arena Stage (Washington DC), Boise Contemporary Theater, UrbanArias (Arlington, VA), Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, TheaterWorks (Hartford), Open Stage (Harrisburg), Danza del Alma (Cuba), Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Teatro del 60 (PR), Aleph (PR), and Ballets de San Juan (PR), among others. Assistant Costume Designer: A Class Act and The Capeman, both on Broadway. Assistant: Hedwig and The Angry Inch (Off-Broadway). Assistant Curator: Lincoln Center’s exhibit, Curtain Call: Celebrating a Century of Women Designing for Live Performance. Has co-produced and designed the musicals Chicago and Hedwig in Puerto Rico. Eductation: MFA, NYU-Tisch. www.harrynadal.com
MILTON RUIZ • Sound Designer. He earned a degree in Music Performance and Audio Engineering from the University of Massachussetts Lowell. Stage credits include lead guitar for rock-opera The Eggmobile (1999-2004). Pregones credits: The Beep, La Caravana, Migrants!, Game Over, Aloha Boricua, Piojos/Fly Babies, Dancing In My Cockroach Killers, Neon Baby, The Harlem Hellfighters On A Latin Beat, Hey Yo! Yo Soy!, Call Me Esteban Only, as well as the March Is Music concert series.He plays rhythm/lead guitar for the Zulu Kings and Abrazos Orchestra. Currently working freelance for The Greene Space at WNYC, and Chesky Records.