Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ana Isabelle, Luis Salgado, Jose Sepulveda and other Latin Broadway Performers and Will Play Sueño Pop: Baila, A Multi National Celebration of Latin Music in NYC on 8/8

It is not hard to find music concerts in NYC. You can find multiple clubs playing music every night of the week. In NYC there are almost one million Latin inhabitants and very little music concerts to show for the demographic. If you wanted to see Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Reggeaton, Tango, Latin Pop, Rock and Dance Music, you would be hard pressed to find a venue where you can find more than one of these genres in one week, let alone one night. If you are a Latin Music lover you are in luck., On August 8th, stars from stage, screen and music come together for Sueño Pop: Baila, A Latin Music Concert and Dance Party where you will be able to enjoy many Latin Music styles in multiple languages.
After three successful concerts with Sueño Pop: A Latin Pop Concert, Crossover and Pulso Latino; Jose Sepulveda, SepLo Productions and Quest New Media present SUEÑO POP: BAILA, the next installment in the #SueñoPop series. The one night only event will keep you dancing to the rhythms of Latin Music’s biggest names and upcoming artists. Take a tour of Latin America with music in multiple styles and languages from performers from all over Latin America including Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba among others.

The multinational cast includes: Ana Isabelle (Winner of Univision's Viva el sueño, El Cantante); Carmen Borla (El laurel de Apolo); Lizette Cruz (Sunfish); Yurel Echezarreta (Aladdin, West Side Story); Lawson Harris (Cats, Phantom, Grease); Claudio Lozano (Huella Music), Paloma Muñoz (El laurel de Apolo), Gil Perez-Abraham (Manuel vs. The Statue of Liberty); Christie Prades (In The Heights); Mauricio Pita (Yo, Tú, Baño, Sexo, Ahora (Cannes), Hidden Heroes, NBC); Gabrielle Ruiz (In The Heights, Evita); Luis Salgado (In The Heights, On Your Feet!); Jose Sepulveda (Altar Boyz, One Life to Live, ABC); Ricardo Stevan (WCopa LA); Alicia Tomasko (In The Heights, Evita); and Nyseli Vega (One Day, Improv Face Off). Musical Direction by Carlos Escalona. Graphic Design by Dustin Papow.

Sueño Pop.  Saturday, August 8th 10:30pm-4:00am at DROM, located at 85 Avenue A between 5th and 6th St. Tickets range from $15-$50.

Academy Award winner BENICIO DEL TORO to be honored at the 2015 HOLA Awards

Will join ALEXANDER DINELARIS (Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Birdman), SELENIS LEYVA (Orange is the New Black), ANDREA NAVEDO (Jane The Virgin), 
MARISA RAMÍREZ (Blue Bloods), and others The 2015 HOLA Awards will take place on Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Battery Gardens in NYC July 21, 2015 (New York, New York)

Las damas de Atenea

The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA), the nation’s longest running active arts advocacy organization for Latino actors, is pleased to announce that it will honor Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro with the 2015 Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award. He will join Orange is the New Black star Selenis Leyva, Jane The Virgin star Andrea Navedo, Blue Bloods star Marisa Ramírez, and others at the Sixteenth Annual HOLA Awards Gala and Benefit. The HOLA Awards will take place on Monday, October 14, 2015 at 6pm at The Battery Gardens, located on the waterfront overlooking New York Harbor in Battery Park (opposite 17 State Street in lower Manhattan). Sponsorship opportunities are still available. A limited number of individual tickets are available at $150 (if purchased before August 31, 2015) and $175 (if purchased from September 1, 2015 onward).

Benicio del Toro will receive the 2015 Raúl Juliá HOLA Founders Award. Del Toro won the Academy Award for his role in Traffic. Other film credits include Che, The Usual Suspects, Guardians of the Galaxy and Escobar: Paradise Lost. Upcoming films include The Little Prince, Sicario, Weightless, and A Perfect Day.

Andrea Navedo will receive the inaugural 2015 HOLA Elizabeth Peña Breakthrough Artist Award. The award is named after HOLA founding member Elizabeth Peña, who passed away in October 2014. Navedo, an HOLA member, is a veteran of television and film. She is currently playing Xiomara Villanueva in The CW’s Jane The Virgin.

Selenis Leyva will receive the 2015 José Ferrer HOLA Tespis Award. Leyva, a former HOLA Award theater winner, is a veteran of stage and screen. She is best known for playing Gloria Mendoza on the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

Marisa Ramírez will receive the HOLA Excellence in Television Award. Ramírez can currently be seen playing Detective María Báez in the CBS series Blue Bloods.

HOLA is collaborating with R.Evolución Latina on the Dare To Go Beyond Award, an honor for one who is an inspiration to the Latino community and who gives back to it. This year’s inaugural honoree is director, playwright, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). In addition to winning the Oscar for Birdman, Dinelaris wrote the book for the Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical On Your Feet!, opening in Broadway this fall. He is also the Co-Executive Director of the Oberon Theatre Ensemble.

Special citations will be given to filmmakers Rocío Llado (for her feature film La novia del libertador), and Julio Ortega and Nitsy Grau for their feature film Medardo). In addition to the above awards HOLA will also continue its annual tradition of honoring the best of Latino theater in New York with noncompetitive awards encompassing multiple winners in each category. HOLA is at the forefront in recognizing the high caliber work being offered across New York’s growing and thriving Latino theatrical stages. A list of the 2014-2015 theater awardees is attached to this press release.

Individual tickets are $150 (or $175 if purchased on September 1, 2015 or later). Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (212) 253-1015 or by going to Sponsorships are also available and can be purchased by calling A.B. Lugo at (212) 253-1015 or via e-mail at The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is an arts service/advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the presence of Hispanic artists in entertainment and media through the cultivation, education and recognition of emerging artists. HOLA strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotyped portrayal of the full spectrum of Latino culture and heritage in the entertainment and media industries.

2015 HOLA Awards Honors

SPECIAL CITATIONS Rocío Llado, for her feature film La novia del libertador; Nitsy Grau and Julio Ortega, for the their feature film Medardo

2015 HOLA Awards for Excellence in Theater (producer[s] shown in parentheses)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR Francisco Fuertes, Abuse/Abuso (Thalía Hispanic Theatre) Alejandro Gil, Las pericas (Havanafama Theatrical Company/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado) Germán Jaramillo, Hierba mala nunca muere (Repertorio Español)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR Zulema Clares, Aire frío (Repertorio Español) Alicita Lora, El malentendido (ArtSpoken Performing Arts Center/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado) Adriana Sananes, Sueño (Teatro SEA/The Clemente/Teatro LATEA)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED MALE ACTOR Edward Azcorra, El barco ebrio (Teatro Vanguardia) Daniel Ojeda, La reina virgen (TEBA/Teatro del Aire) Juan Villarreal, Días eternos (Teatro LATEA)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED FEMALE ACTOR Liza Colón-Zayas, Between Riverside and Crazy (Atlantic Theater & Second Stage Theatre) Idalmis García, Hierba mala nunca muere (Repertorio Español) Laura Spalding, El barco ebrio (Teatro Vanguardia)

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE Mariela Brito, Triunfadela (El Ciervo Encantado/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado) Josean Ortiz, Bola de nieve (Amigos del Corralón/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado) Ricardo Santana Ortiz, El gran final (Teatro Círculo)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE CAST Pablo Andrade, Annia Bu, Zulema Clares, Idalmis García, Erick González, Sandor Juan, Ana Margarita Martínez-Casado, Mario Mattei, Frank Robles, Aire frío (Repertorio Español); Natalia Ivana Escobar, Jorge Luis Figueroa, Franco González, Aileene Pérez, San Salvador después del eclipse (United Productions/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado); Sully Bonnelly, Modesto Jiménez, Mathia Vargas, Yoleros (Teátrica)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICAL PRODUCTION/DESIGN José López (puppet and scenic design), Sueño (Teatro SEA/The Clemente/Teatro LATEA) Alex Moore (lighting design), Comida de P*ta [F#&king Lousy Food] (MultiStages) George Riverón and Antonio Reyes (costume design), La reina virgen (TEBA/Teatro del Aire)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN PLAYWRITING Julie de Grandy, Genios: Lorca y Dalí (Teatro del Aire) Pablo García Gámez, Las damas de Atenea (TEBA) Antonio Muñoz de Mesa, Abuse/Abuso (Thalía Hispanic Theatre)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTION Beatriz Córdoba, Días eternos (Teatro LATEA) Leyma López, Aire frío (Repertorio Español) Yoshvani Medina, El malentendido (ArtSpoken Performing Arts Center/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION Dimas González, for his performance in El rey de Francia (Corezón Productions/Festival de Teatro Hispano Del Comisionado) Soledad López, for 35 years of performing in New York City; OneHeart Production, for its production of El canto de Carlota; Héctor Luis Rivera, for 40 years of acting, directing and producing Sebastian Stimman, for the breadth of his performances during the 2014-2015 theater season

OUTSTANDING VISITING PRODUCTION El malentendido (ArtSpoken Performing Arts Center/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado); Las pericas (Havanafama Theatrical Company/Festival de Teatro Hispano del Comisionado); Julia de Burgos: criatura del agua (Angelbello Productions)

GILBERTO ZALDÍVAR AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION Betsy! (Pregones Theater-Puerto Rican Traveling Theater); El apagón (Pregones Theater-Puerto Rican Traveling Theater); Sueño (Teatro SEA/The Clemente/Teatro LATEA)

GILBERTO ZALDÍVAR AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC PRODUCTION Abuse/Abuso (Thalía Hispanic Theatre); Aire frío (Repertorio Español); El barco ebrio (Teatro Vanguardia)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

RHA Theater presents, as part of FringeNYC 2015 Curing the Void

“We are strange fruits–the ones that fall and nothing more!” 
“It takes practice and dedication. You don't just wake up one day knowing how to pray. It’s hard work.” 

Curing the Void, a three-act play devised by RHA Theater, was an official selection of FringeNYC 2015. The show will be presented at Venue #2: Flamboyan Theater at the Clemente on SUN 8/16 4:30pm, WED 8/19 7:00pm, SAT 8/22 12:00pm, MON 8/24 4:45pm, SAT 8/29 7:00pm. 

Running time is 65 minutes. Tickets ($18) are available at 

On a cold Thursday night, an angel falls into a junkyard. Pretty and Daisy take it to a doctor–but the worst may not be over for this celestial being as it becomes the object of love, obsession and jealousy. 

When faced with the desires that fill the void of our existence, extraordinary things awaken. Curing the Void is an excavation into the heart of solitude, a see saw of love and cruelty, a cacophony of use and abuse, a peculiar account of the things we do to fit in, find a purpose and fulfill our dreams—no matter how strange. 

 Curing the Void 
 Written by Martin Balmaceda, Haydn Díaz and Bettina Hoffmann, in collaboration with Gabriel Garcia and Alex Moreno 
 Directed by Martin Balmaceda 
 Starring Haydn Diaz, Gabriel Garcia, Bettina Hoffmann and Alex Moreno 
 Video and projection design by Bettina Hoffmann 
 Sound design and music by Haydn Díaz and Gabriel Garcia 
 Light design by Paul Tilson 
 Dramaturgy by Haydn Díaz 

MARTIN BALMACEDA is a co-founder of RHA Theater. He is a director and a performer that has worked at La MaMa, Dixon Place, The New Ohio Theater, INTAR Theater, Studio Theatre in the Row, IATI Theater, The New School University, Repertorio Español, the Pan Asian Repertory Theater Company, The American Dance Institute in Washington D.C., Northwestern University in Evanston IL, and Sarah Lawrence College. Recently, Martin directed Yoleros for Teatrica at IATI Theater, the show will have a second run in December of this year at The Bushwick Starr Theater. Martin is a Lincoln Center Directors' Lab alumnus with an MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College. 

HAYDN DIAZ is a cofounder of RHA Theater, the frontman of Profeta Poeta, a Dramatist Guild of America member and IATI Theater’s Literary Manager. He strives to create theater, music and literature that is heavily informed and influenced by the three different disciplines. FIU Honors graduate, B.A in English Literature and Theater. Playwriting credits: Au Courant Gothic (2010, NCUR and FCHC); Like An Angel (2011, KCACTF); It All—Almost—Makes Sense Now (2011, Miami’s Stage and Soundstage); Existing for Prolepsis (2012, IATI Theater); N.Y Madness Playwright (2013, Cherry Lane Theatre); Curing the Void (2014, Dixon Place). Directing credits: Two Midsummer Nightsmen (2012, The Tank); Sfumato (2013, La Mama E.T.C Studios). Sound design credits: IATI Theater’s PAM (2012 & 2013); After the Fire (2014, INTAR); Curing the Void (2014, Dixon Place); Flor de Lirio (2014, IATI Theater). La Gran Semíramis (2015, Repertorio Español). Stage managing credits: Age of the Android (2012, Secret Theater); Light of Night (2013, IATI Theater). 

GABRIEL GARCIA has worked through the years with IATI Theater, LaTea, The Fringe, La Estrada, Borrow Group Theater, Prospect Theater, The Park Theater, among others, in various technical roles. He began his theater journey with The Hudson Explioted Theater Company (HExtc) as tech specialist. He studied Devised Theater under Martin Balmaceda in a workshop at IATI theater in 2012. Being part of the music project Profeta Poeta with Haydn Diaz, the three ultimately met on his acting debut of Curing the Void at Dixon Place in 2014. He played Jas in a staged reading done in Spanish of Winter of April at La Nacional in 2015 and has worked with directors Arian Blanco (Cuban Operator Please...), Rene Bush (La Strada), Mariana Carreño (Light of Night), and Ramiro Sandoval (Winter of April). Drummer, poet, musician, sound designer and–above all–artist, Gabriel Garcia received his B.A in philosophy from Rutgers University. 

BETTINA HOFFMANN is a cofounder of RHA Theater and a visual artist originally from Berlin, Germany, living in Montreal, Canada. She creates videos and performances located at the intersection of photography, sculpture, film and dance. In her work she reconstructs and subtly dramatizes everyday situations to facilitate the examination of the underlying mechanisms of social relations, conflicts and communication and interrogates our notions of subjectivity, interiority and exteriority. Her work was shown in galleries and museums and in film festivals in Europe, the USA, Canada and Asia. She has received numerous grants and awards and her work is in several private and public collections in both North America and Europe. e.g. the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and Berlinische Galerie in Berlin. Hoffmann received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hochschule der Künste, Berlin and attended the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles and the Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. 

ALEX J MORENO currently works out of New York. He has collaborated with The PIT, Dixon Place, IATI Theater, NYU Writers lab, Columbia's MFA Directors & Writers program, the Robert Moss Theater, and The New York International Fringe Festival. Focusing mainly on creating new works for the modern day canon: writing, devising, and improvisation has become a part of his process towards each creation. In Miami he studied Theater at Florida International University and would go on to help establish "The Front Yard Theater Collective" a Miami based Improv & Sketch group that currently works with the City of Miami. 

Cross-cultural and multinational, RHA Theater experiments with techniques used in devised theater to explore new work and expand the limits of staged productions. Combining the elements of theater, puppetry, sound design and video projections, RHA Theater aims to create worlds where human introspection becomes visceral and a view of modern society is amplified.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Triunfadela en NYC

(Foto: Jacky Laxmi)

(Publicado en el blog El Ciervo Encantado, La Habana 30 de junio, 2015) 
Pablo García Gámez

Domingo 21 de junio, Nueva York.  Alto Manhattan, Calle 145 y Broadway, enclave dominicano.  Cierre del Festival de Teatro del Comisionado de Cultura Dominicano con Triunfadela, de El Ciervo Encantado.  Presentación pautada para las 6:30pm, hora inusual para convocar en el teatro hispano de Nueva York.  Además llueve un pelín: la presentación comienza pasadas las siete.  Al subir hacia el segundo piso donde se encuentra el teatro, en las escaleras se ven letreros alusivos a concentraciones, marchas como “Pa’ lo que sea” o “Fieles a nuestros principios”.  

Se inicia la función como una toma abierta.  Se proyecta el documental Materia Prima, de Sergio Fernandez Borras, sobre una marcha en La Habana.  Pancartas con los cinco héroes cubanos, el monumento Martí; dos mujeres llevando gorras venezolanas.  Calles inundadas de gente, de caras lindas como cantaba el gran Maelo.  En el video se juntan el discurso oficial y el carnaval batjiano, seriedad e irreverencia, compromiso y juerga.  

Termina el video y comienza la toma cerrada. Aparece Porompompón, líder que se dirige a los manifestantes: nosotros.   Posteriormente nosotros nos convertimos en líderes y nos dirigimos al pueblo.  La palabra toma otros matices; no es que pierda su significado: es que se encuentra con otros significados.  Es reunirse en el acto “formal” y hablar sobre todo lo que queramos y podamos y a fuerza de palabra desarrollamos un mundo alterno.

Mariela Brito es una actriz excelente. Al final de la pieza recibe un montón de aplausos más que merecidos.  Su Porompompón con sus pausas, movimientos, entonaciones, miradas es uno de esos trabajos meticulosos que celebran el oficio de la actuación.

Otro punto a remarcar.  El montaje de Triunfadela es sencillo; no obstante, su conceptualización es profunda por lo que se puede leer desde diversas ópticas.  Al terminar la función alguien gritó “¡Viva Fidel!” mientras que un amigo se me acercó para decirme “Igual que tu Maduro”.   

Carlos Sánchez al final tomó la palabra e insistió aclaró que era una obra que se presenta en La Habana -no Miami- porque la función del artista es criticar su contexto. 
2015 HOLA Awards Announcement Ceremony
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 4pm

Repertorio Español, 138 East 27th Street
(between Third and Lexington avenues), NYC

Find out who will receive honors (plus the award recipients of the HOLA Awards for Excellence in Latino Theater) at the sixteenth annual HOLA Awards ceremony (scheduled to take place on Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Battery Gardens in Battery Park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, New York City).

Free admission, but please call (212) 253-1015 or (888) 624-HOLA to RSVP.