Raíces Theatre Company Announces New Ensemble Members, Managing Director and Reading Series at Road Less Traveled Theatre

3 Oct

 

BUFFALO, NY (October 3rd, 2017) — Raíces Theatre Company, Western New York’s premier Latinx theater production company, announced the addition of four new members to the company’s ensemble of theatrical professionals. “Expanding the ensemble brings us great pride,” said Victoria Pérez, Artistic Director of Raíces. “As a theatre company, we are only as strong as the people with which we tell our stories. With the addition of these four new members, we are stronger than ever.” Raíces’ new ensemble members include:

Anthony

Anthony Alcocer

Anthony Alcocer – Anthony’s work with Raíces began with a play reading in 2014 when he read the part of Nene in Curse of the Puerto Ricans. In 2016, he read for the title character in Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue. 2016 also saw his stage debut with Raíces when he finished the Elliot Ortiz trilogy with The Happiest Song Plays Last. He also participated briefly as a guest in the stage reading for Barcelo on the Rocks. A four-time Artie Award-nominee, Anthony received the 2017 Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as Jackie in The Motherf**cker with the Hat, produced by Road Less Traveled Productions and directed by Raíces’ Artistic Director Victoria Pérez. Anthony also received Best of WNY recognition in 2015 from Buffalo Spree Magazine for his work as Adolpho in MusicalFare’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone. Locally, Anthony has worked with the Irish Classical Theatre Company, Buffalo United Artists, Second Generation Theatre, New Phoenix Theatre, Theatre of Youth, Torn Space Theater, Theatre Jugend, The ALT and Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Anthony opened the 2017-18 season as part of the cast for MusicalFare’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. He will also appear on the 710 Main Theatre stage for RLTP’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life as well as American Repertory Theater of WNY’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he’ll play the role of Judas. The first Chicano in the Raíces ensemble, Anthony credits his parents with instilling him with pride in his own heritage, a mixture of Andalusian, Yucatecan Maya, Sicilian and Bohemian Romani. He earned his BFA degree from Florida State University in 2011 before pursuing professional theater in Buffalo.

 

Melinda

Melinda Capeles-Rowe

Melinda Capeles-Rowe – Melinda has been working in the entertainment industry for almost 30 years and received her formal education from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the New School University. Locally, she has appeared in RLTP’s production of The Motherf**cker with the Hat (Veronica), Raíces’ Mariela in the Desert (Oliva), Stompin’ at the Savoy (Rachel) and Christmas is Coming Uptown (Young Mary). In the past, Melinda has also performed with Cirque du Soleil (Acrobat/Clown), Walt Disney World (Voice-over and Entertainment) and Disney Cruise Line (Entertainment). She has worked in various films as a stunt performer and actress. Melinda is also a professional consultant for the theater department at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf. A mother of three, she feels grateful and deeply indebted to her beautiful family.

Lissette

Lissette De Jesus

Lissette DeJesus – Lissette is currently a student at Buffalo State College, where she majors in fashion with a minor in theater, and is a theater graduate of the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Her BAVPA credits include Pippin (Leading Player) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Eunice). On stage, she was last seen in Raíces’ production of Mariela in the Desert, earning an Artie for Outstanding Debut for her role as Blanca. A self-taught painter and published fashion model, Lissette is a co-founder of LUNA, a seminar held in Buffalo designed to embrace underrepresented women in the fashion industry, offering workshops on brand building, motivational and theater exercises as well as talkbacks with industry leaders. She is excited to join Raíces and thanks the company for providing a platform for her to explore her Latina heritage and a venue to tell her story.

Alexia

Alexia Rose Guzmán


Alexia Rose Guzmán – Alexia is a 2016 graduate of Hilbert College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in digital media and communications. In 2012, she was named Miss Borinquen of WNY. Alexia has been involved with the arts from a young age and the largest production she participated in was High School Musical: ON STAGE! (Martha Cox) with the Niagara Fine Arts Program. Alexia served as the stage manager for Raíces’ Summer 2017 production of Desde el Puente. As an ensemble member, Alexia hopes to gain more theater experience and to learn more about her Latina heritage, of which she is very proud. Working with Raíces is very special to her because, on the stage, the company tells the herstory of which she is a part. She thanks her parents and brothers for their great support.
Raíces is also announcing a return to its roots to Road Less Traveled Productions, which will host the company’s 2017-18 play reading series. “The Voces Latinas reading series started at Road Less Traveled in 2012,” said Victoria Pérez. “After the first year of the series, Raíces was born. Since then, we’ve found a new home at the Manny Fried Playhouse but but this season we go back to our roots with the reading series at RLTP.” The Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. at Pearl and West Tupper, will host three Raíces readings: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz on October 8th, 2017; Mojada by Luis Alfaro on January 28th, 2018; and Gorditas by Gustavo Ott on March 18th, 2018 (Gorditas is entirely in Spanish). Raíces’ main productions of Desde el Puente – La Parranda and La Lupe will remain in the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor.

 

 

Steve

Steve Brachmann

Finally, Raíces is proud to announce that it has promoted ensemble member Steve Brachmann to serve as Managing Director of the theater company. Steve has worked with the company since the Voces Latinasreading series was established and has served various roles with Raíces over the past five years as a stage manager, actor, playwright and director. In recent years, Steve has also taken on marketing and communications work on behalf of Raíces to help grow the company’s profile in Buffalo’s theater industry. “As the lone Spanish/English bilingual theater company in the Western New York area, Raíces has a unique opportunity to connect with the tens of thousands of Latin and Spanish-speaking people in Buffalo and across the region,” Brachmann said. “Going forward, I will be focusing on solidifying Raíces’ foundation in Buffalo to grow our ensemble’s opportunities for artistic expression throughout the community. This theater company is a wonderful family which keeps growing and it will be my job to see that our roots grow deep and far into the wider world of American theater.”

 

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Raíces Sings-Our Annual Fundraiser

13 Aug

 

Raices Sings Official

Raíces Sings with RNSM-Annual Fundraiser. This year we will have the pleasure of remaking popular songs of yesterday and today into latino infused songs. Think Post-Modern Jukebox but with a Latino feel! Raíces members will sing with WNY’s hottest new band RNSM (Ransom). All songs will be specially arranged by the band for the fundraiser. The fundraiser will also include basket raffles and a the new members of the Raíces ensemble will be introduced! Tickets are $30 General admission or $50 per couple. Call 716-381-9333 or click here for tickets.

Reseña-Desde el Puente

11 Jun

Desde el Puente …¡Hay que ver!

Raíces Theater Company promete una experiencia excepcional con el estreno de Desde el puente, una serie bilingüe de diez obras breves de la comunidad Latinx.  Este es el segundo año de la serie y el primer año que los miembros del grupo decidieron escribir, dirigir y representar sus propias obras.  El reparto incluye Steve Brachmann, Marta Aracelis, Alejandro Gabriel Gómez, Rolando Martín Gómez, Smirna Mercedes-Pérez, Dewel Pérez, María Pérez-Gómez, Carlos Rafael Maggiolo, y un inolvidable debut del joven Alejandro Pérez en la obra “America Habló.”  El indiscutible éxito de la serie, elogiada por su representación excepcional por varios críticos de la comunidad teatral, es un verdadero testimonio que ningún reto es demasiado difícil para el grupo bajo la dirección artística de Victoria Pérez, co-fundadora y prodigiosa actriz del grupo.  Las obras se estrenan en Manny Fried Playhouse en 255 Great Arrow, y habrá funciones hasta el 11 de junio, el jueves a las 7:30 (paga lo que pueda), el viernes y sábado a las 8:00, y el domingo a las 6:00.

Un tributo a Rafael Pérez escritor, activista y líder de la comunidad hispana de Búfalo y su radionovela con el mismo nombre que celebraba las historias de la comunidad Latina, Desde el Puente también cuenta las historias de la comunidad Latina de hoy en día.  Cabe destacar la asombrosa habilidad del grupo de balancear una variedad de sentimientos con obras como “Restitution” que le acaricia al corazón del espectador por su profunda ternura y otras como “El Muerto,” que le hace soltar unas carcajadas incontenibles.  Como la posición precaria de una persona mirando la vida que le entorna desde un puente, las obras están a la vez suspendidas en el tiempo y espacio, breves y etéreas, y firmemente atadas, sostenidas una a la otra por ir al grano de lo que significa ser Latinx.  Además, cabe señalar que las obras penetran los espacios más íntimos de la vida donde las relaciones entre desconocidos se forman por vez primera y las entre familiares se fortalecen.  Como resultado, los espectadores gozan de un viaje voyerista de la experiencia Latina.  En “Application,” por ejemplo, somos testigos de una plegaría angustiada a Dios; en “Tradición” aprendemos de los miedos que una madre confesa a su hija de los tiempos de antes; en “Anniversary” disfrutamos de un encuentro entre tres mujeres que transcurre en el baño de un club asqueroso; en “El Muerto” asistimos a un velorio y en “Como si no estuviera,” observamos un parto.  El espacio teatral del Manny Fried Playhouse es tan acogedor que aumenta la intimidad entre espectador y actor como si fuéramos todos parte de una familia, y de activos participantes de la comunidad Latina.  A pesar de los regionalismos, coloquialismos y bromas privadas que abundan en la serie, estas obras se relacionan a todos por su humanidad, y los mensajes se transmiten fácilmente gracias a una actuación y dirección teatral sin par.  El escenario es también muy sencillo con muy pocos cambios de vestuario y casi desnudado por completo de utilería salvo unos cuantos objetos.  La única pieza que queda constante son los dos paneles en el fondo del escenario inscritas cuidadosamente en letra cursiva e iluminadas de vez en cuando a lo largo de la producción en diferentes tonos.  ¿Unas entradas en un diario, o quizás las originales semillas de inspiración de una historia que urge repetidamente al dramaturgo de contarla al público?  – pregunta que queda para Usted de descifrar.

Desde el puente es estupendo, y permanecerá como siempre como una de las mejores representaciones artísticas de las voces de nuestra comunidad Latina.  No me queda más de decir, excepto … “¡Hay que verlo!”

 

Lo siguiente es un breve resumen de cada obra:

“Application”

Daisy Horta es una mujer llena de remordimientos que le ruega a Dios de darle una segunda oportunidad de regresar a la Tierra y arreglar “las cosas” de su vida especialmente con su madre.

“Tradición”

En esta obra, una hija decide tomar el tiempo necesario para aprender de su madre a preparar pasteles como los hacía su abuela.  El diálogo que empieza algo tenso entre una madre que insiste comunicarse en español y una hija que favorece el inglés se suaviza poco a poco a lo largo de los recuerdos de la madre y la misión entre madre e hija de recrear los mismos pasteles de la abuela.

“El Muerto”

Los secretos de la vida del difunto Jacobo se van revelando a través de las visitas que recibe y del tumultuoso intercambio de insultos y gemidos que se abundan.

“Restitution”

El trauma que una madre siente al perder a un hijo se enfrenta y se trata a través de las persistentes reflexiones y apoyo firme de una amiga compasiva.

“Como si no estuviera”

El parto del bebé de Isabel se ve bastante eclipsado cuando el doctor toma un inesperado descanso de sus obligaciones y se permite saborear un plato de arroz con gandules y el histriónico padre trata en vano de estarse quieto.

 

“Anniversary”

Separadas literalmente al principio de la obra por las salas de baño, las mujeres protagonistas logran salir de los baños y como extensión de sus problemas fortalecidas de un apoderamiento extremamente femenino.

“La Bella y la Bestia”

Distinta obra que trata de dos actores que se detestan pero que por su integridad profesional entierran momentáneamente el odio y por fin montan la escena.

“America habló”

Dos presentadores de noticiarios se descomponen poco a poco al tratar de aceptar los resultados alucinantes de la elección presidencial estadounidense 2016.

“My Latino Experience”

La experiencia del único gringo del conjunto teatral “Esteban Blanco” revela unas lecciones muy duras al enterarse del significado verdadero de sus “inocentes” articulaciones en español.

“Pa que tu lo sepas”

La serie concluye con una obra que destaca la complejidad de entender lo que significa ser Latino y celebrar tu propia identidad frente al persistente aislamiento que te rodea.

 

Escrito por Dr. Paola Kersch, Associate Professor of Spanish, D’Youville College

Raíces to Produce 2nd-Annual Desde el Puente Completely Written by Ensemble Members

4 May

Poster Desde el puente 2017

Buy your tickets here!

Raíces Theatre Company will open its 2nd annual production of Desde el Puente on Friday May 26, 2017. The show will feature a bilingual series of 10 one-act plays which offer stories that are culturally specific and relevant to the Latinx culture. These one-acts encompass the Latinx experience in this country including issues of struggling with Latinx identity, the importance of traditions, finding empowerment by overcoming struggle and religious influences on family dynamics. Desde el Puente will feature works that are dramatic, comic and seriocomic with language ranging from mostly English with light Spanglish up to full Spanish dialogue.

“As a Latinx theatre company, we have a responsibility to tell our stories and to develop the skills of our talented ensemble,” Pérez said. “It brings us great pride that Desde el Puente is completely produced, written, directed and acted by the ensemble. That in itself is a great feat!” Pérez notes that the theatre is a powerful vehicle for self-reflection. “And the power of seeing ourselves on stage in a positive light is priceless,” she said.

Desde el Puente will open on Friday, May 26th and run for three weekends until Sunday, June 11th. Friday, Saturday shows are at 8 PM, Sunday at 6 PM. There will also be Pay-What-You-Can performances on two Thursdays, June 1st and June 8th at 7:30 PM, followed by a talkback with the ensemble. Performances take place at the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor. Desde el Puente stars Alejandro Gómez, Rolando Martín Gómez, Smirna Mercedes-Pérez, Dewel Pérez, Maria Pérez-Gómez, Marta Aracelis and Steve Brachmann. Most of these ensemble members, as well as Raíces’ Artistic Director Victoria Pérez, will also serve as directors for the series of one-acts. General admission tickets are $20 each while student tickets are $15 each. Tickets can be reserved by calling 716-381-9333 or by clicking here!

Raíces Proudly Presents a Reading of BARCELÓ ON THE ROCKS by Marco Antonio Rodríguez

28 Feb

pic-collage

After receiving unexpected news, Nino Antonio Cruz, a Dominican man living in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood with his two sons, is forced to confront his mortality and the dark secrets that have plagued his family for generations which are intrinsically tied to the Caribbean island’s political history.

Starring Rolando Martín Gómez, Alejandro Gómez, Jordan Rosas, Chris Vasquez, Dewel Pérez and Jake Hayes. Directed by Victoria Pérez.

Sunday, March 12th 6pm 
Manny Fried Playhouse
255 Great Arrow Ave. 3rd floor
Buffalo, NY 14207
Call 716-381-9333 for reservations

FREE FREE FREE FREE

Meet the Cast-MARIELA IN THE DESERT

9 Jan
melinda-headshot

Melinda Capeles-Rowe (Oliva)

Relatively new to Buffalo and recently enrolled in Buffalo State, Melinda is extremely grateful for the opportunities that continue to be afforded to her here and looks forward to an abundance of work in Buffalo Theater. She would like to thank her family for supporting her through her dreams and hanging in there through all the personality changes. “I love you, eternity!” She would also like to thank the wonderful students and staff members of Saint Mary’s School for the Deaf for routing her on…“kiss fist!”.

lissette-head-shot

Lissette DeJesus (Blanca)

Lissette DeJesus (Blanca), a Buffalo native, is a local artist that has performed in Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Art’s productions of Pippin (Leading Player), A Streetcar named Desire (Eunice) and Frankenstein. She’s also played the part of Baby in the reading of The Curse Of The Puerto Ricans by Rosa Fernandez. This is her first production with Raíces Theatre Company.

Rolando
Rolando Martín Gómez (Jose)

Rolando Martín Gómez’s credits Man of La Mancha, Romeo and Juliet, Blood Wedding, Riff Raff, References to Salvador Dali Makes Me Hot, A Streetcar Named Desire, Four Guys Named José and a Woman Named Maria, Marc Anthony and Cleopatra, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Death and the Maiden; he was most recently seen at MusicalFare in In The Heights for which he is nominated for Outstanding supporting actor in a musical Rolando is the co-founder of Raíces Theater Company where he has performed recently in Happiest Song Plays Last. He has performed throughout the U.S., Latin American and Spain, including performing for the internationally renowned Spanish Repertory Theater in NYC. He is a graduate of Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Theater with credits in radio, television commercials and films such as The American Side, Raymour & Flanigan, Kaleida Health and the voice for the Paradise Fall exhibition at the Buffalo Zoo.  In 2012, he was the recipient of the Mayor of Buffalo Art Award for his artistic contributions.

 

sean-heashot

Sean Marciniak (Adam)

Sean Marciniak, born in Buffalo, NY, is a local actor and comedian who has appeared with The Subversive Theater’s production of The Shape of Things (Adam), Buffalo United Artists’ production of Cock (M) and Load More Guys, and the American Repertory Theater’s production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Picasso) and Rustbelt Grotesque.  As a comedian he has performed with the stand-up showcase Laugh & Other Drugs in the 9th Ward at Babeville, weekly as a sketch and stand-up performer with the Rustbelt Comedy Showcase at Nietzsche’s, and with Helium Comedy Club’s Comedy Smackdown .

carlos-rafael-headshot

Carlos Rafael Maggiolo (Carlos)

Carlos Rafael Maggiolo is a 5th grade student at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts studying theatre. We has worked as an actor with Theatre for Change and with Subversive Theatre in their production of GRAPES OF WRATH.  He was last seen as Pinocchio in BAVPA’s production of Shrek, Jr.

Victoria

Victoria Pérez (Mariela)

Victoria Pérez is the Co- Founder and Artistic Director of Raíces Theatre Company. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC studying Musical Theatre. Victoria is an ensemble member of Road Less Traveled and a company member of O’Connell and Company and Subversive Theatre. Among her favorite theatre credits are, In the Heights (Daniela)Water by the Spoonful (Odessa) Death and the Maiden, (Paulina), The Clean House (Matilde), Botanica, (Millie), La Gringa (Iris), Last Days of Judas Iscariot( Mother Theresa), Superior Donuts (Randy), Twilight, (One Woman Show), No Child, (One Woman Show), References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, (Cat). Favorite director credits, Real Women Have Curves, A Raisin In The Sun, Radio Golf, Parallel Lives: The Kathy and Mo Show and La luz de un cigarillo, Ordinary Days, Happiest Song Plays Last. Victoria has been nominated several times for Buffalo’s Artie Awards, and won for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her performance in Four Guys Named Jose and Una Mujer Named Maria at O’Connell and Co. She also received the Arts Award   from Hispanics United of Buffalo and the Community Arts award from Senator Antoine Thompson. Victoria is a vocalist for the Buffalo Tango Orchestra and is a teaching artist having taught with many local and state arts organizations.

MARIELA IN THE DESERT
January 20-February 5
For tickets click here

MARIELA IN THE DESERT by Karen Zacarías

16 Dec

mariela-in-the-desert-flyer-3rd-option

Mariela and José were once the golden couple of the Mexican artists’ inner circle. Together they built a family and an artist colony to host friends Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Rufino Tamayo. But now their daughter has grown up and run away, their friends are too famous to call, and artistic inspiration has been strangled by isolation and lies. Set in the northern Mexican desert in 1950, Mariela in the Desert is a deadly mystery—a layered yet profoundly honest story of what happens to a family when creativity is forced to dry and wither away.

Directed by Rebecca Ward and Starring Melinda Capeles Rowe, Lissette DeJesus, Rolando Martín Gómez, Sean Marciniak, Carlos Rafael Maggiolo and Victoria Pérez. January 20-February 5. Call 716-381-9333 for reservations or click here for tickets!