Thursday, December 15, 2011

ON THE JOURNEY: 26 Miles is coming to a close...

If feels like the show just opened and here we are going into closing weekend! The excitement of Opening Night was incredible! We were ready & the response from the audience was thrilling. It's what we, as actors, work towards during rehearsals. We enjoy creating characters with a message & visual experience that will speak to the people sitting in the seats of the theatre, "sharing the human experience."

I sound very idealistic, but I am! I want people in those seats to enjoy a night of "live" acting & theatre, to forget for a brief moment, our daily worries & "see" first hand how others relate in similar ways to similar situations & revel in the fact that we are all connected in the same way we live, love, hurt, joy &... Fill in any word here about what it means to be a person with natural emotions. - To express another human's (the playwright, director & designer's) experience in this life on this place we call home!

That is why I can say the next two nights after Opening Night - I was sad! Our audiences were small in number. Yes, I can be grateful that people came & that should satisfy me, at least our message was heard, BUT it didn't. I selfishly wanted full houses for the following performances! I needed that energy to feed off. I needed people to hear me!

That is sometimes our dilemma, filling those seats, most especially when we have busy schedules with our family & friends & on top of that the Holiday season! It takes planning & effort to peel away from what we need to do & then there are the other elements we have to compete with like TV & the movies. Big spectacles that we most likely can't reproduce on stage unless you saw the 70 million dollar Spiderman on Broadway, which I did, but that's another story.

I think to myself what do I need to do to help bring in bodies to those seats? I invite my Friends & Family & most come, but what can I say to YOU, friendly Stranger, to encourage you to be here the next few performances/weekends or even for the next show at Rose Marine Theatre/Artes de la Rosa?

I was in New York when September 11th happened. And, in fact, in the middle of rehearsals for a show & when Opening Night came, we worried if we would have an audience. We were all in mourning. And who could ask people to come see a show at that time. But we did and we had an Audience! People came in droves to each performance! They needed to escape their sadness and reconnect to what we almost lost and did lose. They came to see theatre!

I encourage you to come see US, come see Theatre at its best! Come escape!

What else do I need to tell you to encourage you? Do I need to get on my knees?! Do I need to tell you a little more about myself so you can “see” why I do this? I am a recent Breast Cancer survivor; I have not been on the stage for a while because I was recovering AND going through a lot of other things, like a divorce, loss of a home, leaving New York, loss of my life as I knew it… and the only thing I wanted to do was to get back on stage, get back to my passion of sharing LIFE! That is what it means TO ACT for me… SHARING LIFE!

So here is my challenge to you… For those of you who may not want to spend the money during these times, I will gladly take some of my Christmas money and spend it on YOU as a MY GIFT TO YOU! Buy your tickets online at and use the discount code DEANNA and I will pay $4 dollars of your ticket! THERE IS NO LIMIT to this if 150 of you want to come, I'll be paying $4 off each of your tickets!

That's my gift to you! Everyone deserves to see this amazing show at Rose Marine Theatre... I DARE YOU! Please come! We need YOU there! Come escape with us! it's a wonderful drive!

DeAnna Gonzales*
26 Miles
Artes de la Rosa

Monday, November 21, 2011

ON THE JOURNEY - 26 Miles; So Long Sabbatical

After a weeklong “sabbatical” from rehearsal, I am eager to get back to our "play" world. I missed it. As actors, directors & designers, I realize how close the cast becomes while "working" on a play. For the actor, it's about how individually close we become to our character's journey, story & words. There becomes a need to see them, to be with them rehearsal after rehearsal... To keep working towards our goal, as theatre artists, to enliven the words, characters & relationships on the page into a visual story that needs to be heard & shared. Our short break made that longing unbearable! We return to our work on Sunday & I just think about how exciting it will be to see everyone in the cast, to hear what new things we each have discovered or polished while we were away! What new elements for the play our Director has to share with us! After all, that is what theatre is about! Coming together to share our experiences & stories as human beings in a tangible way. We are on the precipice of achieving that goal for our audience & that is the most exciting part. Our lines are learned, our blocking studied & now our remaining rehearsals are about putting the last puzzle pieces together...

I can't wait!!

-DeAnna Gonzales
Actress, 26 Miles

Friday, November 18, 2011

On The Journey - 26 Miles; BREAK TIME

This blog is written at the beginning of an entire week off from rehearsals. While not completely unheard of (particularly as we approach the busy holiday season), I am not used to having such a large block of time of in the middle of the rehearsal process. It would be far too easy to relax, enjoy the extra free time in the evenings, and lose focus on the show. And that would be tragic.

Fortunately, the break is well-timed. We have already done the initial character work, the rough blocking, and a stumble through- the bones of the show are in place. We are not yet in the crunch time of tech week, where the acting has to be locked in to accommodate lighting, sound, and other production elements.

It is nice to let the show percolate in my head for awhile. Sometimes in rehearsal, when i am on stage and in the moment, it is hard to take a step back and look at the larger picture. Rather than trying to remember which line was supposed to cue a cross or deciding what inflection should be placed on a phrase, I can look at the grander themes of the show and its imagery- how individual scenes and/or characters support the overall goals of the production.

It is a great cast and I am enjoying working with everyone. Each actor brings a unique perspective, great talent, great motivation, and a willingness to provide input to develop the show. I find it hard to lock in a charcter or a scene early in the rehearsal process, because so much depends on the other actors around you. At this point, however, I am comfortable with each of them and so I am confident in the direction that the show is going and in how I need to go in order to best support the show.

And the good news is that there is still time to further develop each character and each scene. There is little worse than realizing late in the rehearsal process that something on stage doesn't work or could be done better, only to conclude that nothing can be done about it because there isn't enough rehearsal time left to address it and fix it.

Rather than look at this week as a vacation from the show, then, I am looking forward to being able organize and refocus all of the thoughts from the work of the last couple of weeks. As I am confident that the rest of the cast is doing the same, I am excited to see how the show has progressed and matured even in the absence of a formal rehearsal. I think that it will be amazing!

-David Johnson

Thursday, November 10, 2011

26 Miles - On the Journey; A Family of Friends

As I ready myself for the eleventh rehearsal for 26 Miles, I have to take the time to smile at how different my character and I are. But also the similarities we share. But now I'm starting to see the similarities in how I connect with my fellow cast mates, and how my character Olivia is connects to the casts characters.

In rehearsals, I have take into account that I am the baby of the cast. In my character Olivia’s life, she is babied by her father, Aaron. The gentleman playing my father is David Johnson, who I’ve done shows with since I was quite young. So I almost do see David Johnson as a father figure. Playing his daughter isn’t so tough, and we had a parent-child connection faster than I thought we would. Oddly enough, in other shows we’ve performed in, we never played family members. So, now I’m glad to share the stage with such a talented actor like David, while playing his daughter.

I had only worked with DeAnna Gonzales once, and it was earlier in the year. I had never performed or even auditioned with her before. I stage managed The V-Monologues at Artes De La Rosa, and she performed the monologue “I was in the room." So the only connection I had with her, was mostly when I was telling her she had 5 minutes before she went on stage. Short, and small connections. I had only heard of how wonderful it was to work with her, on stage. In a way, this represents her character, Beatriz’s relationship with my character, Olivia. Beatriz is Olivia’s mom, but lost custody of her when Olivia was very young. They only had short, and small meetings after the custody battle. Suddenly, DeAnna auditions the same night I do for 26 Miles. We connect quickly, read well together, and chat the night away. Suddenly, Beatriz suddenly shows up at Olivia’s house at 4am, and takes her on a spontaneous trip across the nation. The two characters connect, and quickly want to know what they’ve missed out on. Now that I’m in this show with DeAnna, I find myself close to her, as if she is one of my long lost family members.

The newest connection in my life, and Olivia’s life, is Carlos Iruegas. Carlos plays the part of Manuel Torres, the boyfriend of Beatriz. Olivia has only seen him a few times, and has known him the shortest amount of time. I’ve only known Carlos for a couple of months, after seeing him play the role of the lawyer in A View From The Bridge. (another ADLR show, produced back in September). In 26 Miles, Olivia and Manuel share an unexpected friendship, and both have something to relate to; Beatriz. Both Carlos and I are going to the same college (Tarrant County College) and sometimes find ourselves running lines in between classes. I feel at times that Carlos and I have developed a brother and sister relationship.

So here we are. A family. I see rehearsals almost as family dinners sometimes. Having only three other cast mates with me in the show, we can get a little intimate. We all share personal stories, a lot of laughs, and a lot of support for each other. I feel like I’m with my second family. I have love for each family member, including our director Adam Adolfo. Even if we do sometimes drive each other crazy.

-Georgia Marshelle Phillips
The Baby Gringa

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

26 Miles - On the Journey; The Power of an Intimate Family

I've done dramas, comedies and musicals; I've been in casts ranging in size from small, medium, and very large. But with only four actors, this is the smallest cast that I have ever been part of! While there is something majestic and awesome about seeing a cast of dozens executing choreography in perfect synchronization, there is something intimate yet powerful about a small, tight knit cast. And this is what excites me about the upcoming production of 26 Miles by Quiara Alegria Hudes having its Fort Worth Premiere at Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts.

It has been noted by others before me that 26 Miles is a story about journeys, families, identity, and belonging. Ironically, the same can be said of theater productions themselves. The actors each have a role to play - it must be authentic on an individual level but still fit within the overall fabric of the play; And through the journey of the rehearsal process, the actors become a family, even if only within the limited context of the show.

The nice thing about such an intimate cast is that time can be spent developing relationships between actors first, which then flows naturally into relationships between the actors' characters. This is a luxury not afforded to larger casts, where more time must go to crowd management - the shear effort required to keep so many elements in motion.

Even after only a few rehearsals, I think that this cast is becoming increasingly comfortable with each other. I am excited to see this projected onto the stage in the coming weeks. The audience will experience the onstage journey (and I think they will be rewarded for coming with us on that journey), but the cast and crew get the additional satisfaction of the joy of journey that is the production itself.

And this is shaping up to be a good one!

Monday, October 31, 2011

26 Miles - On the Journey;

I had a hard time working out what I wanted to say in today’s Blog. We are all very excited to be given an opportunity to show a story that a whole lot of people haven’t seen yet. And that is after all why we do this, because we love telling a story. This one will be especially touching to a lot of people. While we may not have many things in common with the main characters most of us have at some point in our live felt lost. That’s part of growing up sometimes, getting lost, and finding that place that you can call home again. See this story and you will see parts of your own story, regardless of what background you came from.

That is after all one of the reasons we see shows and movies. Not just to get away for a little while, but also because it helps us understand events in our own lives. It helps us look at our own past with a fresh set of eyes. Those old arguments and disagreements that you may have had in the past, which you thought you were over, well sometimes they can still haunt you. All our characters in our show have broken relationships. Seemingly shattered beyond repair, but life isn’t like glass. Stories like this one shows us that no matter what happens you always have hope to repair what was once broken. Come see the wonderful show, and let us tell you a story of hope, and of second chances. Who knows, afterwards you may see hope in something that you thought was broken.

Carlos Iruegas, Actor
26 Miles

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

26 Miles - On the Journey; Taking the LEAP

What can I say… I have recently had a tremendous life journey, one that was good and bad, but one that has taught me a lot about myself and how to approach the world around me. What person doesn’t go through these kinds of things in a lifetime? Most of us do! Well, I’ll admit, I’m still learning, but I’m a little closer… I’m learning to take LEAPS.

And that is how 26 Miles speaks to me. Both women in this play are discovering to be the women they want to be… Stretching their comfort level to take a LEAP: traveling across country and forcing themselves to relate to one another. They are finding HOME in the sense of being in a place where they can truly belong and it is realized in their relationship as Mother and Daughter, no longer estranged.

At first I thought I could not connect with the role of Beatriz, the mother. Why not? I’m a Mother and we are about the same age. But that was just it… I could and it wasn’t just about being a Mother! It was about taking a leap of Faith. I am just like her. Maybe not in the exact situation but I’m learning to recover from past choices, whether made on my own or not. And Beatriz realized she needed to take a leap to make a change. And that is how we can all relate to this story. So I am taking a leap in this role, hoping I can organically portray her emotional journey to becoming the woman she wants to be!

-DeAnna Gonzales, Actress
"Beatriz" in 26 Miles

Thursday, October 20, 2011

26 MILES - ON THE JOURNEY; And now a word from our token gringa...

And now a word from our token gringa..

When Artes De La Rosa announced their 2011-2012 season, I wanted to know what the December play was all about! I had read A View From The Bridge before, being an Arthur Miller fan. But I had only heard a little bit about Quiara Alegria Hudes’ play, 26 Miles. Not being a latina, I usually throw the chance of being in another ADLR show, to the back of my mind. I've always enjoyed the way ADLR takes pride in their culture, in beautiful and classic plays (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, View From The Bridge, The V-Monologues). Give the audience something they don't expect! But I'll tell you one thing.. It’s hard to find a theatre company that takes pride in Black Dutch/Cherokee Indian heritage!

Being a dance instructor for ADLR, 26 Miles kept my interest, seeing the season announcement on every brochure, poster, program, etc.. Something was calling me to read the script, and audition.

My best friend, who also works for ADLR, Rob Bosquez gave me a copy of the script one night at Stage West (A theatre also in Fort Worth). We also both work at SW in the Ol Vic’ Cafe. I sat down immediately, during my shift, and read the first few pages. I sipped on my ice cold diet dr pepper, snacked on veggie straws, in a dimly lit dinning area, and got lost in Hudes’ beautifully written piece. As my eyes traveled to the pages, the sentence that stuck with me, was the first in the script. It was a character description of Olivia. It read, OLIVIA: 15, looks white. Looks WHITE?! Did I read that right?! Well, I just might have a chance here..

Months later, I find myself at auditions, after reading the script dozens of times again. I read for Olivia, with a few ladies reading for the mother, Beatriz. A few days later, I read the email Adam sent offering me the role of Olivia, and all I could think was.. Well, they don’t call me the token gringa at ADLR, for NOTHING!

Half of the script, of 26 Miles, has to do with culture. It's important that the audience connects each character with where each character grew up. They all share different traditions, types of speech, manners.. And it all comes from their culture. I understand why Hudes' emphasizes why Olivia must look white, in the character description. She describes Beatriz as "Cuban, Dark Skin". It's very specifically written for each character's race.

It really is an honor to work with Adam Adolfo once again on the Rose Marine Stage. ADLR is great to work for, and they have never seriously offended me. Except for that one time the staff said my show proposition, "Cupcake; The Musical", wouldn't be a success. No hurt feelings, though.

-Georgia Marshelle Phillips
The Black Dutch, Cherokee, Gringa.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let the Journey Begin - it'll only take 26 MILES

So I woke up this morning...and there was a chill in the world... a crispness to the breeze... an aroma in the air... it's the feeling of change, more acurately it's the feeling of the change that comes with a long journey.

This journey will take us 26 MILES into the heart of a story from a Latina Jewish Woman as she shares the trials and tribulations of mother daughter relationships! Quiara Alegria Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize Nominated Playwright of the Tony Award Winning Musical IN THE HIEGHTS. Her intimate and passionate family comedy 26 MILES captures a very special realtionship that will be presented on stage at The Rose Marine Theater by Artes de la Rosa. The story is simple...

The custody battle left them estranged for eight years. The road trip will take them two thousand miles across the country. This family comedy follows an opinionated Cuban mother and her shy Jewish daughter as this pair reunite to escape their reality, chasing their dreams, reminding us that the best souvenirs on the road of life are the relationships we make along the way...

We're very excited to be presenting this play this Holiday Season in its FORT WORTH PREMIERE... it's an escape from the sugar plum fairies and Christmas Carols around the city, but still of that celebratory family life style! It's a story for Mothers and Daughters to celebrate and get lost in. Last evening, the cast settled around a table with a couple of pizzas to meet eachother for the first time and read this phenomneal play aloud. As the words came out of their mouths, the air in the office began to crackle and a sense came that a very special story was begining on what will be for the cast and myself a very special journey. A journey that will ask us a very simple question...


Please meet the cast of the FORT WORTH PREMIERE of Quiara Alegria Hudes 26 MILES.

Starring as the fiery Cuban mother Beatriz, DeAnna Gonzales makes her Artes de la Rosa debut. Returning to the Rose Marine stage in the role of the sensitive misunderstood Jewish/Cuban daughter is Georgia Marshelle Phillips. Rounding out the cast as Father Aaron & StepFather Manuel respectively are Carlos Iruegas and David Johnson. Mr. Iruegas was last seen in Artes de la Rosa’s A View From The Bridge while Mr. Johnson is making his first appearance on the Rose Marine stage. Artes de la Rosa’s Artistic Director Adam Adolfo will direct & design this production with Lighting Design by Juan Gonzalez and Stage Management by Oliver Luke.

Photo of the Cast of 26 Miles after their First Rehearsal!

Over the next few weeks you'll get the opporutnity to meet the members of the cast as they blog for you their journey through the rehearsal process. If you have questions you'd like them to answer please feel free to comment here or on our Facebook and we'll make sure they answer those questions for you!

So, we've got a full tank of gas, a mixed cd of great songs, and our map... let the journey begin.

-Adam Adolfo
Artistic Director
Artes de la Rosa

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Preshow Actor Rituals and Superstitions!

Ever wonder what goes through an actor's head before they go on stage? Well wonder no more! Today the cast of A View From The Bridge, now open at Artes de la Rosa takes us through their preshow rituals and superstitions.

Alyssa Maldonado – “Before a show I like to do a lot of little stretching exercises! And i usually pray either on my way there or backstage like 15 minutes before the show. While I'm doing hair & makeup i like to just clear my mind of everything & just think about the show & each one of my scenes...Oh & breathing exercises help me stay calm too. ”

Fredy Edward Quiroga – “I usually workout before a show and then meditate…”

Laura L Watson – “I pray on the drive there- about 30 minutes worth- for everyone and everything. Once at the theatre, I do my hair and make up. Then I do my warm up on the stage- a mixture of dance stretches, pilates, and Linklater vocal work. It takes about 45 minutes. Once I'm warmed up, the house is open and I am banished to backstage where I finish dressing and review my entire script. I am often asked to lead a group warm up and energizer, which is always fun. Right before the SM calls places, it's breath mints, breath mints, breath mints! I am a creature of habit- it comfort and calms. I have no superstitions per se, but I respect and participate in any others have.”

Stephanie Cleghorn – “Prayer and lucky underwear.”

Eddie Zertuche – “Health first. Make sure I am fed and rested. Early in the day, I will scan my script for reinforcement of lines, blocking, direction, notes, etc... There is usually prayer/meditation all day long....basically trying to let my will go and put in the hands of something greater. This prevents any unnecessary thinking from occurring lol. The thinking is inevitable sometimes though. Warm ups prior to the show are helpful... stretching, breathing, vocals, etc. I do my best to welcome in the nerves. I treat it like its a normal, good thing because it is. No superstitions. Right before the show starts, I will find a quiet place, all to myself, and I will snap my fingers in comfortable rhythm and chant the words "It's gonna be right" over and over again. Smell the roses. Blow out the candle.”

Jacqui Rash - “This is my first play so I will pray for a wonderful show and that everyone will be happy with their performance. No stressful work, "Well, take it easy."

Jp Cano – “A lit bit of everything... some pray to God/Universe and some stretching/vocalization. I always have that Love/hate feeling for opening night that is amazing...I always feel like I need to go to the bathroom just before my first entrance to the stage, so I do go to the bathroom hehe!! No superstitions at all... life is acting... acting is life!! Oh something else...just before we start I really like to express to my cast members "break a leg" or "mierda" (I know, disgusting, but that's a Spanish ritual word)."

Carlos Iruegas – “I spend time with family and friends and make sure I laugh, so i remember to have fun and not take myself to seriously.”

Yvonne Duque – “I burn sage and face the four directions…”

Cole Spivey – “I used to be afraid of the color purple. I am no longer afraid of the color purple because I was overloaded with so much purple during this show that I became cured. On the other hand, I'll never say The Scottish Play cursed name anywhere near a stage. It starts with Mc. . .”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with Chorus Member Laura Watson

One of Director Adam Adolfo's goals in the bold staging of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE includes the inclusion of a 'community Greek chorus'. Today we blog with a member of the chorus, Laura Watson, as she share's with us her insight into this take on the modern Greek Tragedy.

One of the many hats I wear, in addition to working actor, is the as the (dreaded) theatre critic. But the reason I do it (despite the obvious conflict of interest it can create inside this tight knit theatre community of DFW) is more than a compulsive need to share my humble opinion which I respect very much. Imagine- it’s actually my job to sit and watch theatre! To react as I see fit- with laughter or tears, and at times loathing. I am asked by both the production and my readers to go with complete abandon on whatever journey lies ahead of me. The review is simply a reflection of this journey in hopes of making future journeys better.

Ironically, the job of the Greek chorus is, among others, “to show how an ideal audience might react to the drama” (August Wilhelm Schlegel). Now, not only am I part of this amazing production, but my job night after night as a member of the chorus is to sit and watch it- reacting as I feel motivated to, and thereby guiding the audience through the multiple reactions they themselves might be experiencing. All of this heightens the experience for both the audience and the actors.

As the ever excited about her latest project actor, I find myself constantly promoting the show to family, friends, and complete strangers on the street.
“How wonderful!” they all say, “I love A View from the Bridge. What role are you playing?”
I proudly beam and say, “Chorus.”
Dead silence follows.
“Did you make it into a musical?”
“No, it’s the original text.”
“Um, Laura? There’s no chorus in A View from the Bridge.”
“There is now!!”

In his research, our Director Adam Adolfo came across interviews and essays by Arthur Miller about how A View from the Bridge was his attempt at a modern Greek tragedy. Adam took it one step forward by adding the traditional Greek chorus. Not just a traditional Greek chorus, but a purposefully multi-racial chorus centered on a Dominican family.

This is only the tip of the iceberg- Adam is adding layers upon layers to this production, all of which we as actors are discovering were within this text all along.

As the Irish chorus girl, I might stand out a little in a play about Dominican immigrants. However, my cast mates made me an honorary north side Latina, and Adam makes sure that I’m in the head of my character- a recent 20-something Irish immigrant new to life in Red Hook so that I can give the Irish viewpoint and reactions to the story.

As actors, we often sit around talking about things we observe during rehearsals, new revelations that are fueling a brief moment in the play. Perhaps over a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Clusterfluff ice cream, the different racial, ethnic, and cultural viewpoints are all openly and honestly discussed. It’s enlightening to me, both as an actor and as a member of this diverse society. This may not be 1957 Red Hook, but, relatively, few things are different.

In the end, our audience- regardless of color- will have a wide variety of reactions to this story. Some will love Eddie, others will hate him, and others will simply mourn for him. There is a character for everyone to identify with, and their personal attachments will shape their ultimate judgment of both these characters and this production.

So, come see Artes de la Rosa’s A View from the Bridge. It is our modern Greek tragedy. Or justice. Or absurdism. It depends on what your view is.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A View of COSTUMES with A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Costume Designer Carl Ramsey

Today Costume Designer Carl Ramsey returns to blog about the continuing process of costuming A View From The Bridge and shares a few preliminary pencil sketches, called renderings, that served as inspiration and the start of discussions with Director Adam Adolfo.

It is interesting, after so much research on one topic, the subject begins to become automatic. Especially in terms of fashion history, you become so accustomed to seeing certain silhouettes, certain lines and shapes, that things become readily identifiable. So when shopping for apparel, regardless if the clothing is vintage or modern, one can confidently grab or pass on a garment that may or may not be suitable for the period, only with a quick glance. This is all fun and games, however, when it comes to the real challenge; narrowing things down to the color palette and thematic elements of the play.

Something perhaps more challenging is trying to understand costumes from the audience’s point of view. One can argue that a particular ‘look’ did exist in the period, but if the audience does not recognize it, then its presence in the play becomes pointless. Therefore, in selecting costumes, I am learning that literal translations are not always the prerogative, but audience perception is key. In the theatre, the audience assumes things are present on stage for a reason, and if something looks like it is out of place, it is perceived either as a mistake or having some function at some point in time of the production.

As the production grows, so do the people involved with it. This show is beginning to come together, and interestingly enough, what the characters in the script learn about themselves, and about each other, so do the actors, the designers, and director, walk away with some notion that the qualities of these characters are not distant from what they would find within the real world, andpotentially, within themselves. Of course, nobody wants to admit to being an Eddie, having gone raging mad at the thought of losing his ward, Catherine. But we all must admit that we possess emotions that can overtake us, if it wasn’t for that fine line of control within our minds, that which we call ‘sanity’.

In terms of costumes, I am not saying that the character’s emotions and thought processes are going leap onto their clothing (giving another meaning to wearing one’s heart on their sleeve), but the fact is their clothes do make up an integral part of them, and they do make up some kind of subconscious character trait as a result. Eddie is always checking his watch, and so the watch has a purpose for his character. Catherine wears high heels at the beginning of the play, which tells us she is in transition into becoming a woman. Eddie forces her into a shorter pair of heels, giving us clear indication of his willingness to subjugate her and make her his own. Miller left no stone unturned when it comes to details, and things like pocket watches and high heels are embodied with important meaning for their respective characters; and as a result for the play as a whole.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Actor JP Cano plays the fiercely loyal immigrant Marco in Artes de la Rosa's production of Arthur Miller's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. Today he blogs to us about the experience he's having in rehearsal and how personal of a story this is for him. Also at the bottom see a sneak peak photo from the photo shoot featuring the cast of A View From The Bridge.

Every time I step onto a stage, I always remember myself, in my hometown of Parral Mexico, doing my first play when I was 11yo. Now almost 2 decades later, I feel the same love for acting that I did then. That love of story-telling is an aspect of acting that is more then just a great feeling. By telling stories we try to find out and define who we are and also what we aspire to be. On a personal level, during a performance, I love to connect with other human beings (my fellow actors) in a way that I don’t get to connect with in “real” everyday life. I get to love, hate, inspire and experience life to the fullest, like no human being can in “normal” life. This August Artes de la Rosa and director Adam Adolfo makes my acting dream to be reborn come true again.

When I read for a first time “A View from the Bridge”, I was not familiar with the script. Being born and raised in México, as an actor I grew up with writers like Lope de Vega, Garcia Lorca, Cervantes, Jose Revueltas ,and Emilio Carballido but never Arthur Miller. Director Adam Adolfo made such a great effort at research that I felt I knew Miller for years. The story could be so simple but complex at the same time; very unique, and of course full of a beautiful real life drama.

Family and Immigration are the subjects of this award winning masterpiece. Being an immigrant myself, I felt so connected to the story and of course with my character. Marco is not the good guy or the bad guy. He is just a normal person with such strong brotherhood feelings and family bonds that have put him into a very difficult situation. The main character, Eddie, has so many shades that it is impossible not to love and hate him at the same time. That’s what is so wonderful about this play, its complexity of the human condition. All the characters are so normal, searching for their own dreams or may I say nightmares; also they make mistakes like everyone else.

Immigration has been a subject and issue for so many decades and theater is not the exception in talking about it. Miller’s vision about immigration is so wonderful that makes the narration for all type of immigrants accessible no matter the nationality. Adam makes a great twist with Latinos and a good investigation of history to be believable. The cast is magnificent… actors with very different backgrounds and natural talent that make you fall in love with the story telling of Miller. Don’t miss this beautiful, but dramatic “View from the Bridge”.

Actors Abel Flores Jr. and JP Cano play brothers Rodolpho & Marco in Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge. Photo by Shannon Atkinson on location at the Trinity River Bridge in Dallas.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with Star Eddie Zertuche

Today we blog with actor Eddie Zertuche as he talks abit about the rehearsal process, the journey, and the hope for our lavish staging of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge.

Well I'll start by saying I am completely looking forward to this production of A View From the Bridge. We got a fine cast, a fantastically imaginative director, and a wickedly fierce design team! My journey into this play has been one of excitement, a little fear (the good kind), and an anxiousness that just doesn't want to cease. I am playing the character of Eddie Carbone. Not to divulge too much of this man, but I will tell you this...He's all heart! I think that is what I love about him the most. What you see is what you get. If you're gonna say something, then say it. If you're gonna do something, then do it. I'll leave him alone for now.

Rehearsals have been going as smooth as can be for the most part; getting the show on its feet, sinking our claws into the script, and staying focused on the task at hand. I feel that a very healthy bond and trust are on the horizon as our cast members get more and more familiar with this show and its importance. I think that is crucial to have a "family" type feeling when putting a show together. For one thing, it makes the progress that much more enjoyable. I think we have a cast that is chomping at the bit to put this show up. I mean, come on, its Arthur Miller; its strong, its compelling, its intense, and its live baby! I will admit, this is one of the more complicated roles that I have ever had to play in my life, but being the competitive person that I am, my words are simple; bring it on!!!

I think I want to talk about that theatre a little, The Rose Marine. That place holds a pretty good chunk of my heart in it. I used to perform there a lot years back and I can't seem to stop feeling the gratitude for being able to perform there again. I walk in that place and it seems to blanket me with a comforting homey feeling (no pun intended). I love it. I love what it does for the Hispanic community and I love what it does for Fort Worth. I don't ever want to see it go away. So, I don't want to share to much about the show itself for I want you to come and see what we are doing. The production is innovative. It might seem a touch unorthodox, as we are stylizing it up some. Arthur Miller had a few ideas up his sleeve and I think we are going to look up it and see what we see. But again, I won't get too detailed. I want to lure you in so you can make your own decision. It will be entertaining though for that is what we do! Our cast consists of 13 wonderfully talented people and I hope I don't get in trouble for my nicknames; their not too bad. We got Alyssa Maldonado (the princess), Yvonne Duque (the mom), Jacqui Rash (the clown), Stephanie Cleghorn (the beauty), Tyler Cochran (the teacher), Abel Flores (the hot 'Rista'), Laura Watson (the 'working' actor), J.P. Cano (the stud), Cole Spivey (the actor's actor), Fredy Quiroga (el guapo vato), Carlos Iruegas (the brain), and Jimmy Moreno (the hustler), and me (the insurance man) We got a nice mix in this cast; ages, colors, etc... I really love watching, sharing, and being a part of the process with this group. I think this show definitely requires the right kind of focus.

As far as our production team goes, I am completely confident that the skills and talent they bring to this show wil be as magnificent as they will be fascinating. Adam Adolfo has found some very creative people to work on this show and it will be reflected in our final product. Oliver Luke is in charge of creating our physical "world" as it were. Carl Ramsey will come in and make sure we got our best 1957 gear on. And let us not forget Justin Treece who will be providing the illumination to what has been called a 'living watercolor' stage. Adam Adolfo, of course, will be doing something that we like to call "Directing!" Come and check it out!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A View of A View From The Bridge with Scenic Designer Oliver Luke

Today we spend a few minutes with Scenic Designer Oliver Luke as he discusses the long journery he and director Adam Adolfo have had in getting a firm grasp on design for A View From The Bridge.

In approaching the design for A View from the Bridge my first thought was to start literal and make it a traditional set.

However after pouring over designs of previous productions, reading the script and researching the time period, I had hit a roadblock. The designs I was working on just didn't feel right. The designs seem to be missing something. The designs just didn't seem to flow, or feel inspired.

When director Adam Adolfo first asked for the designs he had given me a packet of research and a color scheme, he wanted something to embody this dark oily image of dirty water, yet still containing some muddled blues and greens. The problem was the feel of the colors and the designs of the set just didn't seem to work in a traditional setting and design.

So after weeks of racking my brain trying to come up with something interesting but conventional I was still stumped. Then one Sunday morning weeks ago Adam and I sat down and started discussing our concerns and the fact that we both just weren't happy with the looks of my designs - they all just seemed to be missing something we could not put our fingers on. Then suddenly it hit us both - but at different times.

One of the reasons I like designing for Adam is that we both seem to be on the same page when it come to creative inspiration. Adam suddenly turned to his computer and started looking up images of early New York, picture after picture the ideas started to form between us and he handed me one image in particular. It was a picture done in charcoal of the cities building and the bridge, and then he handed me a second picture one of just the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

At that moment we both come to the conclusion, it needed to be the bridge. We would take the title and idea behind it literally creating a beautiful metaphor, the set would be the bridge. So as I sit writing this blog I now have the daunting, yet exciting task of interpreting and recreating the bridge for this show. It will be fun!

~Oliver Luke

Monday, July 25, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with Actress Yvonne Duque

Today former Teatro de la Rosa's Artistic Director Yvonne Duque talks about returning to the stage at the Rose Marine Theater, this time as an actress and not a director. We also hear about one of director Adam Adolfo's post rehearsal rituals that leaves everyone asking themselves a rather personal question.

"How do you feel?"

"Yvonne, How do you feel?" How do I feel? After rehearsal our director likes to ask the actors this simple question. It's a kind of round robin, check-in, if you will... It was interesting hearing the responses from the other actors and to hear the new responses at rehearsals to follow. The first time, as the answers were coming around the circle, I tried to focus not on my own answer, but listen to the others. Suddenly, it was my turn to respond. "So, Yvonne, how do you feel?" asked Adam Adolfo. After a quick self evaluation, the word resurrected came out of my mouth. Resurrected?? A bit dramatic, perhaps I overshot?

It has really stuck with me and continues to be true. I feel like I've been brought back to my self. I haven't been on stage in a long time and never have I been on the Rose Marine Theatre stage as just an actress for Artes de la Rosa. My theatre life for Artes de la Rosa, formally known as Teatro de la Rosa, and further formally known as The Latin Arts Association has had many twists, turns and responsibilities that far reached just acting. What a joy to be part of the renaissance of theatre at the Rose. What a joy to be working with a director who has really done his homework. What a joy to be working for a organization that has such passion for the arts. So, how do I feel? That's right, resurrected, like I've been brought back to life.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with actor Abel Flores Jr.

In today's blog, actor Abel Flores Jr., who last appeared on the Artes de la Rosa stage as Father Tooker in last years Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, talks about the relevancy of the story and the importance of seeing ourselves in this story. Abel returns to ADLR as the young, romantic (and illegal) immigrant, Rudolpho. As a special treat, he's included some photos from rehearsals thus far!

When I read plays, I often find myself empathizing with one or two characters. Finding the relationship between yourself and a character in a story is important when studying a script or being cast in a role. What’s so powerful about the story and characters in A View from the Bridge is that not only is every character relatable but every element of the story is too. This play is one important story with many different sides to it. I’ve read this script multiple times and I find myself hoping for each character to achieve what they so desperately want each time. Real people exist in this story. The issues brought to light by this show and how our director, Adam Adolfo, transforms them through Latin eyes, makes them local, relevant, and applicable to where we as a community find ourselves today. Artes de la Rosa’s production of A View from the Bridge is an ambitious and important one; with the consistent dedication and hard work that each member of the company gives, it is a story worth telling and listening to.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with Actor Carlos Iruegas

Today's blog is a truly special. One of the highest compliments an actor can be paid is the one that comes from a fellow actor. After all, who better would understand the in's and out's of the creative process then a fellow collegue. Spend a few minutes with the talented and charming Carlos Iruegas who plays A View From the Bridge's formidable voice of reason, the lawyer Alfieri.

In the coming weeks you’ll hear much about the production of A View From the Bridge. You’ll hear a lot about the production and the idea behind the show. It is ambitious and it is very important. You’ll hear about the intentions that Miller had in the show and hopefully debate the relevance that it still has on the current immigration issues facing our cultures. But today I wanted to talk about something a little different.

I cannot add a word about the Production itself. I fully trust in the vision of director Adam Adolfo and the costume designs of Carl Ramsey and the many people behind the scenes. You’ll see and hear the impact of Miller’s word as you witness the saga itself on the stage.

I wanted to take a few minutes and walk you through our amazing cast. These are the people that will come together and tell you a very powerful story on the stage. Miller is not easy, because Miller is real. These amazing actors will have to draw from tough places in order to tell a story that is not easy to tell, and watching them do it in rehearsal has been a very special treat.

Our Chorus is amazing. Simply put. We have a cast of people who each can tell a story given an hour or only a minute.

Our youngest is a very promising young actress named Alyssa Maldonado. Her innocence and bright smile and her willingness to take on difficult material give her scenes an energy that can’t be put into words. When she is on stage you want the story to turn out all right because you don’t want to see her frown.

Ms. Jacqui Rash is an amazing person to be around. Her bevy of experience makes each scene she is in very real and very powerful. Regal yet warm she is one of those that can tell a whole story in only a few words.

Tyler Cochran very talented and very energetic actor who is able to completely step outside himself and be anything you need him to be. An actor without limits is incredibly hard to come by.

Laura Watson is literally one of the smartest actresses or actor I have ever known. She has an amazing gift of being able to analyze and understand any material given to her and break it down to its very raw and very real form. She is able to draw from a wealth of knowledge few actors have but all should strive for.

Cole Spivey digs very deep into everything he is given. Not a single word or movement is wasted on him as he delves to completely understand each moment he is given. Each second on stage is important and he completely understands that.

Fredy Edward Quiroga has an energy that doesn’t just come from being young but also young at heart. An actor who shows no fear in the material he is given he is willing to work as hard as he can and push himself to best tell a story.

Jimmy Moreno has been a pleasure to work with. Laid back and undaunted by the heavy work ahead, he keeps things fresh. A great listener who doesn’t lose any bit of detail in the material he has.

The chorus is amazing and just as amazing is the rest of the cast. With an array of talents and experience they have the task of bringing Millers characters to life.

JP Cano himself is funny and energetic, but as Marco transforms into a pillar of strength. His presence on stage is powerful and felt from the instant he makes his entrance. He brings dignity and passion that the role needs and that the show cannot survive without.

Abel Flores, Jr. is perfectly cast as Rodolpho. He is that light that everyone wants to be close too. His warmth and likeability translates perfectly to the stage. Abel takes every scene and every rehearsal at a pace and energy that is hard not be motivated by it.

I dare you as an audience member not to fall in love with Stephanie Cleghorn. She brings such wonderful innocence and awe to the role of Catherine. Within a few moments of seeing her on stage you complete understand the motivation that drives this story and it will bring you to tears.

Yvonne Duque is a kind and honest and loyal cast member. Those are the qualities that bleed into this story and make Beatrice one of the most heartbreaking roles I have ever read. Yvonne is able to turn Bea’s story into the forefront and it will break your heart

Last but not least is Eddie Zertuche. I have had the pleasure of being on stage with Eddie before. Eddie is a powerful actor who brings passion and intensity to each role he is given. He has the ability to bring out all the layers of each character so that they are never one dimensional. In this show you will Love Eddie and you will Hate him, you will also never forget him.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with actor and chorus member, Cole Spivey

Today we spend a few minutes with actor Cole Spivey who plays Tony in A View From The Bridge and is also a member of the chorus ensemble.

I've worked with many directors in my life and have done well over fifty plays across the States, including one in Europe. I have had the honor to study with Marjorie Hays at UNT, Diane Salinger in Hollywood, and a group of risk takers that still hangs out at a little place called The Actors Studio in NYC. I got in through the Actors Studio Drama School's MFA program many moons ago. This gives me a little credit to give kudos to directors. It also makes me excited about approaching real people again, and a playwright that once worked with members of the Studio.

Director Adam Adolfo is a very organized director and absolutely, without doubt, knows what he wants. In the audition stage, I was a little afraid of him becomes he seemed like a tyrant and liked to bang on objects to speed up tempo. On the other hand, it brought emotion to the room and an operatic flair. Also, I thought this was sign of a director that used his time wisely and in relevance: an economist of emotional need of rhythm in auditions. Adolfo likes to kill two birds with one stone.

Now, about A View From the Bridge. Currently, we are mostly doing table talk, and some stage talk in the early stages. But mostly reading over material and research, about the setting Red Hook (Brooklyn New York), Arthur Miller's point of view of The Hook, and a sense of community, i.e. Latino and Dominican with a touch of Italian and even Irish. Yesterday we focused on the crime that lives in Red Hood and off the shores. Also, revealing the community blood of the environment around our narrating character Alfieri.

Criminal behavior began to take on a body and movement of the super-objective of the community surviving in Red Hook. The honor code was higher than legalistic rules. I mentioned that, "The white community focuses on the law biding citizen and the promise of money for the good and hardworking" I mentioned that, "the gangster is only finding a more creative way to earn that promise."

Adolfo, wanted us to focus on how, as a community, we were going to survive. There’s a great sense of exploring the lives of the characters beyond the text. Small thoughts like = what were our jobs. He also asked us, "What was the immigrant population promised when coming to America?" One actor responded in saying, "Give us your hungry. . . .etc. . " from the statue of Liberty. But is this true or a lie? Did America welcome immigrants?

Adolfo is more than just organized, but he likes actors to think hard in creating a role. The most helpful hint he gave, was "What did you do to survive in Red Hook?"
I've read once in some older dictionary, that an Actor "is a person portraying someone's occupation."

I think Adolfo is on the right note in asking us, "What do you do to survive in Red Hook." It really begins to bring to play to life. Also, it helps you step out of third person and into first.

A View of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE with Costume Designer Carl Ramsey

Today we spend a few minutes with Costume Designer Carl Ramsey as he talks vision for Artes de la Rosa's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.

The vision for Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, is an exciting venture, not only because we have set it in one of my favorite time periods, the late 1950's, but also because, working with Director Adam Adolfo, it offers the challenges necessary to grow and experience the design process with a professional company, well equipped for the task at hand.

When meeting with Adam, it was important to discuss the concept for the show in immense detail. I am learning in this field how crucial it is to communicate, to exchange ideas, and to make sure that both director and designer are both 100% on the same page. It is easy for the slightest ambiguous idea to transform the concept of a show in a different way, which is not necessarily bad, but perhaps undesirable by either party. So especially for a production with this kind of intensity, it was important to get all the details right.

In discussions with Adam, he wanted the heightened sense of drama found in opera; the set design especially offers this drama, with its grandiose scale. But in a conceptual set design how do you match the dramatic scope with costumes while still maintaining the dignified 50’s look? At the same time, the challenge comes to create costumes that are, well…not costumes at all. They are real clothing that real people would have worn at this particular time period.

The answer to such questions, after much discussion, is this: clean cut silhouettes and maintaining true to the period. Nothing should suggest an ambiguous design; nothing to sway or create uncertainty of the moment marked in time. ‘True to period’ is certainly not a new concept, but many designers may justify their cause, saying that because it ‘looks’ period, it must ‘be period'. Another justification is that budget and time may chop away at the designer’s definitive concept, and one sometimes has to resort to such an option; it may not be a bad idea in some cases. But if the costumes, as previously expressed, are to be apart of the dramatic influence of the play, the clothing must be spot on in quality.

Texture is another key player of the drama. Especially if we are in the 50’s we are free to play with many different types of fabrics. The texture should appeal to the audience, to tease them, as if people should want to reach out and feel what the actors are wearing. Texture in a sense, becomes its own character, apart of the play itself.

Adam and I are particularly fond of using color for dramatic effect, and in typical Adam Adolfo form, he is pushing me out of my comfort zone. I fight and insist that my colors are quiet enough, but he is adamant that they are still too ‘hot’. After all, colors like dull mustard never comes off as hot in my opinion, and the fear creeps up as the costume designer that the color palette may come off as boring and uninspired (perhaps the designer’s worst nightmare!) However, after a long discussion, and after providing more examples of his vision, he leads me to confidently agree that the play deserves an all over cooler color palate. The color still pops if presented in front of an even quieter neutral scheme, and the overall effect is one that not even the brightest colors can compete with, in terms of this dreary, rainy world that these characters inhabit.

Overall, this production provides the perfect opportunity to grow as a designer, and learning to communicate in this process has become the key feature in creating a successful production.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A View from the cast of A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE

Today actress Stephanie Cleghorn talks to us about her VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE and what it was like auditioning and how excited she is for the community to share in this powerful drama.

Why am I excited about Artes de la Rosa’s upcoming production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge? Because Artes de la Rosa’s production is going to blow your mind!

When I first read this script before I auditioned it was literally an edge of your seat, gasp out loud kind of show. The characters were alive and passionate and I immediately fell in love with the role of Catherine. Miller gives his readers a tragic tale that is beautifully chaotic, intensely heartbreaking yet encouragingly romantic. What an incredible experience as a Latina woman to be given the opportunity to tackle the renowned work of Miller. With a cast full of heart and a director full of wisdom, I feel that this production is going to be inspiring while challenging the audience to feel deeper emotions than we usually feel comfortable.

In regards to Catherine, the role I am gratefully blessed to play, what a dream role this would be for any young actress! The dialogue between Catherine and Rodolpho, her young lover and fiancé is so poetically heart wrenching. These two young lovers are such dreamers and so lost in their hopes of love and escape. Their love story is likened to that of other cherished forbidden love tales where there is no fairy tale ending. What I find so endearing about Catherine is that I see so much of myself in her, unfortunately what I find most disheartening are the similarities in our weaknesses. Catherine exhibits some of the qualities in myself that I feel are strengths. Her desires to please and to love are two traits I admire. Her innocence and complete surrender to these new overwhelming feelings that represent her maturing as a woman and her understanding love in a new light are beautiful to witness. However her naïveté is frustratingly on the border of ignorance, and at times I feel she uses it to be manipulative and live in the comfort of what she has always known.

“You think it’s so easy to turn around and say to a man he’s nothing to you no more?” To be able to utter these words was an electrifying experience for me during auditions and words that I will always keep in my heart. During auditions Mr. Adolfo, our exceptional director, recognized the potential of each actor and was able to tap in to their capabilities. I know for me personally having a director that knew what buttons to push to immediately let all of my walls come down and to embrace complete vulnerability was one of the most liberating and cathartic experiences ever.

One simple visual of a very special person was all I needed to make a monologue come to life and to show my soul to all who were watching and Mr. Adolfo knew that and used it to get something out of me that I was aching to share. The vulnerability that will be asked of me is a challenge in which I am thrilled to accept.

The familial feeling of the cast of A View from the Bridge, the intimate story telling of this brilliant piece, and the risks the actors are being asked to take makes for a joyous journey that I am beyond excited about!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The American Classics Series: WHAT & WHY?

Today's blog comes to us from stage director and choreographer and ADLR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, ADAM ADOLFO.

A year ago, I launched the American Classics Theatre Initiative with Artes de la Rosa at the Rose Marine Theater. I said it was “In an effort to celebrate the universal themes and theatrical history found in the American Theatre canon”. But honestly, I wanted the Latino culture to claim a portion of history and arts that is traditionally not seen as theirs.
As a child, I thought things like DEATH OF A SALESMAN and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF were ‘old white people theatre’. As I continued to grow and eventually become active in theatre arts and pursue a career as an actor, I became jaded with the opportunities available to me in the classics. In most cases I couldn’t even play a servant. The opportunity for me to play Big Daddy in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF or Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN would never be granted to me, or so I believed. That was also part of the spark in me to create the American Classics Series. I wanted to provide Latino actors the opportunity to see themselves in iconic roles most usually cast with non ethnic actors.
Last season, Artes de la Rosa presented the sultry Cuban retelling of the Tennessee Williams Classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Not only was it praised by critics for it’s boldness in reimagining of ‘the classics’ but by the audiences who were excited to see the work they had only acquainted with ‘old theatre’ or glamorous movies stars like Elizabeth Taylor.
What is so great about these plays also is the opportunity to address social and political issues that are prevalent but frequently undiscussed in the Latino community including gender issues, immigration, sexuality, and economic stress.
The second play to grace the stage at the Rose Marine Theater as part of the American Classics Series addresses several of those issues. A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE is by the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who gave us THE CRUCIBLE and DEATH OF SALESMAN, Arthur Miller. This fast-paced production of Miller’s 1956 award winning drama soars on the strength of the story of Eddie, a Brooklyn longshoreman, obsessed with his 17-year-old niece Catherine. When Catherine falls in love with a newly arrived immigrant, Eddie’s jealousy erupts into a rage that consumes him, his family, and his world. The second in our bold 5 Year American Classics Theater Initiative, this story explores the trials of immigration in a corrupt society and how a family becomes tangled in a web of misplaced honor and possessive desire.
Immigration and family responsibility are strong components of this piece and their relationship with the Latino community made it a wonderful choice for Artes de la Rosa to produce. Together with a cast of 15, we are embarking on an ambitious and conceptual staging of this story with the passion and fire you’ve come to expect from our theatre performances. Be on the look out in the coming weeks as we have blogs written by members of the production staff, cast, and crew about the process of bring A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE to the stage at the Rose Marine Theater.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CASTING NEWS! A View From The Bridge

Artes de la Rosa
at the Rose Marine Theater is pleased to announce its cast for their
2011 Season Opening production,


Directed by Adam Adolfo
Scenic Design by Oliver Luke
Costume Design by Carl Ramsey
Lighting Design by Matt Wasson

EDDIE: Eddie Zertuche
BEATRICE: Yvonne Duque
CATHERINE: Stephanie Cleghorn
RUDOLPHO: Abel Flores, Jr.
ALFIERI: Carlos Iruegas
LOUIS / ENSEMBLE: Jimmy Moreno
MIKE / ENSEMBLE: Fredy Edward Quiroga
TONY / ENSEMBLE: Cole Spivey

In an effort to celebrate the universal themes found in American Theatre, Artes de la Rosa continues its ambitious multi year American Classics Initiative that sees the production of plays that have most profoundly impacted the American theatre refocused through Latin eyes. These productions will re-explore the timeless classics for a Latino audience. The goal is to not only show the universality of the work but to explore their stories when given Latin themes with which to experiment. Last season, Artes de la Rosa presented the sultry Cuban retelling of Tennessee Williams’, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Artes de la Rosa next offers up the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who gave us The Crucible and Death of Salesman, Arthur Miller. This fast-paced production of Miller’s 1956 award winning drama soars on the strength of the story of Eddie, a Brooklyn longshoreman, obsessed with his 17-year-old niece Catherine. When Catherine falls in love with a newly arrived immigrant, Eddie’s jealousy erupts into a rage that consumes him, his family, and his world. The second in our bold 5 Year American Classics Theater Initiative, this story explores the trials of immigration in a corrupt society and how a family becomes tangled in a web of misplaced honor and possessive desire.

This production of Arthur Miller's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE
runs August 26th through September 11th, 2011 at the
Rose Marine Theater, 1440 North Main Street.
Ticket information can be found at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inside the ROSE MARINE LATINO FILM FESTIVAL with Creator & CoProducer Claudia Acosta

Pioneering in the Wild West: Fort Worth, Texas welcomes American Latino filmmakers.
By Claudia Acosta

Fort Worth, Texas is known to be “where the west begins” and has remained as unclaimed territory to the American Latino filmmaker till now. The Rose Marine Theater will host the first ever Latino independent film festival May 19ththrough the 21st. The Rose Marine Latino Film Festival will introduce a new paradigm for the unrecognized film industry of North Texas. The non-profit arts organization, Artes de la Rosa, currently manages the theater and produces cultural programming under Artistic Director, Adam Adolfo.

“We are amid a Renaissance of the Rose itself and we are proud to reclaim a portion of its cultural history by bringing Latino filmmakers home to the Rose Marine Theater.” Listed on the National Register of Historic places with landmark status since 1999, The Rose Marine Theater continues with its legacy.

THE ROSE: A SENSE OF PLACE (2009 Telly Award) opens the festival. The documentary that inspired the festival aired on KERA PBS. It tells the history of the theater that began in the 1900’s. As a survivor of segregation, the Rose Marine Theater became the only Latino entertainment hub of Mexican cinema, music and culture, attracting industry renaissance icons from the 1920s to the 1960s including Pedro Infante, Dolores Del Rio and Cantinflas.

Adam continues, “As we continue to explore untapped artistic boundaries and reinterpret the stories of a rich heritage, it is with a sense of community that Artes de la Rosa is proud to have its first independent film festival as it celebrates our diversity by laying claim to cinematic art by saying that each one of us has a voice and it will be heard here at the Rose Marine Theater.”

Headlining the festival’s New York Night is THE MINISTERS written, directed, and produced by Franc. Reyes. The director of EMPIRE and ILLEGAL TENDER reflects on his third feature.

“The Ministers is one of many NY stories I set out to make when I chose to make movies. I'd like to be able to make films that are commercial in its ability to entertain and still absorbed in human drama just enough to capture the imagination.”

In THE MINISTERS, an NYPD detective attempts to avenge the death of her father, but unwittingly becomes involved with one of his killers. The film stars John Leguizamo, and Harvey Keitel. This was Franc.’s second collaboration with Leguizamo.
“I believe that John Leguizamo is one of the most versatile and courageous actors the Latino entertainment community has. I recently went to see his new one man show "Ghetto Klown", which is my favorite of all the ones he's made. The work he's done so far in his career is staggering. His best work is in front of him and I intend to be a part of it.”

The festival closer, CRUZANDO (Silver Palm Award Mexico International Film Festival, Jury Prize San Antonio Film Festival) written and directed by Mando Alvarado and Michael Escamilla will screen on the eve of its DVD release by Vangaurd Cinema. Days before the birth of his first child, Manuel learns his long-lost father is about to be executed in Texas. Against his wife’s wishes, he heads north with videocam-toting pal, Diego on a life-changing journey. Many earnest films have been made recently about the struggles of Latin American migrants trying to cross into the U.S. for a better tomorrow; CRUZANDO isn't one of them. The story poetically rides on the border between comedy and drama much like the film’s cinematography of the Texas/Mexican border.

As the bridge between states, country, and culture, two films share a common narrative about relationships between father, son, and inner demons.

SALUD (Best Screenplay Beverly Hills Film Festival) written & directed by Cesar de Leon, a Brooklyn native of Guatemalan decent tells the story of Carlos, a father and failed husband who slowly descends into a downward spiral of alcoholism. His son’s refusal to lose his father leads both of them to discover the true and sometimes painful meaning of unconditional love.

THE FINDING (CAANES Short Film Selection) by Fort Worth’s Julio Cedillo and Mexican director Alonso Alvarez tell the tale, on the other side of the border, of an impoverished father and son trying to make sense of life after they lose their beloved wife and mother. Brutally and lovingly told, the film remarkably speaks with little to no words. Julio Cedillo has done numerous roles for television, commercials, and films including as the title character in THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA and as Bronco in the upcoming Favreau flick, COWBOYS AND ALIENS.

As Opening Night Guest Presenter Cedillo adds, “This festival allow us to have strong and valid discussions about avoiding the perpetual Latino stereotypes and focus on the work itself through its universal themes. It will bring together Latino and non-Latino professionals to enlighten and educate new comers about the film/tv business as well as celebrate the art form.”

Presenting American and International films, the festival hopes to highlight the perceptions about Latino filmmakers: those that are American and those that are not. “It's another opportunity to celebrate our various Latino cultures and not homogenize each other. At the end of the day, it truly isn't about being Latino artists, but artists who happen to be Latino.” Cedillo said.

Artes de la Rosa honors the nation’s young voices of tomorrow with SCENARIOS USA, a non-profit organization that uses writing and film to foster youth leadership, advocacy and self-expression in under-served teens. The festival will screen three shorts written by young Latinas from New York and Texas directed by Joel Schumacher, Cruz Angeles, and Joshua Marsten. Scenarios USA founder, Maura Minsky believes “It's important to make media inclusive because it plays a big role in defining the American narrative landscape - that's a defining principle in our work at Scenarios USA. Giving youth from marginalized communities’ access to telling their stories through film gives them a seat at the table and allows them to share who they are and who they want to be.”

These new platforms for inclusive media are now more important than ever. In the ‘State of Cinema Address’ at SFIFF, Producing juggernaut veteran Christine Vachon said, “We are now in a new place of trying to figure out who we are making movies for and are the ways we are consuming media actually changing the kind of stories we’re telling? And if so, how are we reaching out to those audiences that we hope will want to celebrate and enjoy the kind of films - media - that we’re making.”
As these filmmakers continue to pioneer in the face the most difficult distribution and financing terrains, RMLFF hopes to garner support for them in Fort Worth from untapped audiences where one-third of the population is Latino. Franc. Reyes has produced three star-studded features on the higher end of independent budgets and understands this too well, but his focus is on craft.

“The one constant challenge will always be the writing. I've written everything I've directed. I wish to get better at both. The industry has changed in dramatic ways. It's exciting because like in the golden days of film making (1960's thru 1970's in my opinion) directors and writers were at their best. They were challenged by the change in the Hollywood studio system which lent to improvisation, both in front and behind the camera. It's a great time to challenge yourself and the "system" especially for the fastest rising American demographic....Latinos.”

Rose Marine Latino Film Festival is in collaboration with Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, Endeavor Cinema Group, and Lone Star Film Society. For tickets, schedules and more information, please visit or call the Rose Marine Theater Box Office at (817) 624.8333.

*I am creator and co-producer based in NYC. Having served Artes de la Rosa as actor, writer, director, educator, and co-founder, I am member of the National Association of a Latino Independent Producers and NALAC.

Artes de la Rosa is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and interpreting the art, culture, lives, and history of the Latino community by: (1) establishing a venue for Latino art and cultural performances; (2) offering educational art/culture programs to the community including youth in low-income neighborhoods; (3) providing opportunities and support for established and emerging artists and performers; and (4) serving as the central support organization and resource center for Latino art and culture in the City of Fort Worth.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meeting the Spiderwoman.

Saturday March 26th, we finally got to meet THE SPIDERWOMAN. A spectator captured it on video with her digital camera... looks to be thrilling, no?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Emily Kate Hardy is the Spiderwoman.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A New “Sound” For A New Kiss Of the Spiderwoman

It is hard to believe it has been almost a decade since I was first introduced to the music of Kiss of the Spider Woman. I used to hear the original cast recording interspersed between equal parts Madonna and Bjork in an apartment I shared nine years ago. The man I lived with at the time said it was his favorite musical, and after hearing the recording of it week after week, I have to confess, it grew on me. I then had the opportunity to see the regional premiere of the work when it was performed in Dallas in 2003, and that began the emotional attachment I have had with the show ever since. It seemed it would be the only time I would ever experience a live version of Kiss.

I never imagined it would be a show I would one day be offered the chance to be a music director for. At that time, my experience was limited to mostly rock musicals and revues, and my work as a pianist/vocalist for jazz groups in the area. Then last year, I saw that Artes De La Rosa had a brochure announcing the show as part of its new season and I immediately contacted the director, Adam Adolfo, to see if there was a music director for the show yet. When he said they were accepting resumes, I sent mine as soon as I could. 3 months later, I was offered the opportunity that only seemed a dream 8 years ago.

Since the director knew that I had a background in composition and arranging, the possibility of a new sound for Kiss was always in the forefront of early discussions. This was going to be to be reinvention of Kiss. Not Chita, not Vanessa, but something new: grittier, dirtier, more brutal than previous productions. When I started seeing set sketches from Oliver, costume drawings from Justin, lighting designs from Matt, and hearing all sorts of what I interpreted “deconstructionist” ideas for staging from Adam, I immediately became attached to the idea of a Kiss that would have a more “unsettled” sound than I had heard before. Yes, our orchestra was going to be smaller to fit budget and space constraints, but I wanted to go a step further. Although I knew I was dealing with a primarily jazz show by the great Kander and Ebb, I really desired to put my stamp on it as a music director and bring a sense of “now” to it. And it was only helped along when Adam informed me he really wanted to do this show without mics and as few electronic sounds as possible.

I have made some bold decisions for this production. The standard jazz trio (piano, bass, drums) setting is still on stage, but as a keyboardist, I decided to add two more instruments I would play during the show: the toy piano and the melodica (a keyboard instrument the performer plays much like a woodwind instrument that sounds like a mix between an accordion and harmonica). Since much of this show dwells in the memory of the characters, I thought what better way to illustrate this than to use instruments that get labeled as toys, things from my own past. The toy piano and melodica literally follow the three main characters throughout the show. It made for a more difficult performing experience for me, but I felt the piano alone was not going to provide enough of that “new sound” I was going for.

The rest of the ensemble consists of trumpet, cello, and a percussionist playing anywhere from 5 to 15 instruments during the course of the show. The trumpet had to be a part since two very significant solos exist for the instrument. The cello was a decision I made after realizing no woodwind instrument had the range and depth I was looking for, and after deciding to play the melodica, I turned to my second favorite instrument, the cello, for inspiration. Indeed, much of the music the cello plays for this production has been rearranged, giving the cello a much more forward role in the ensemble then it would in a 24 member orchestra. The percussionist was a no-brainer to me in this show. Much of what makes Kiss unique, even in its original orchestration, comes from all the percussive sounds one hears throughout it. Plus, it allows for even more “toys”, the “sound of memory”, to have a more prominent place in the sound of the show.

I’ve even tampered a bit with the vocals. Two acappella men’s chorus sections have been added to this version. The chorus sounds a bit harsher, less polished. Even several of the songs for the leads are less about trying to sing all the notes correctly, but allow for moments of whispers, yells, even what could be interpreted as screams.

I have not changed any notes that exist in the show. The Kander score is still all intact. I’ve just switched and rearranged sections of it around, and quite literally, allowed audible holes to be heard in the ensemble to give it that feeling of something that may not be quite finished, providing an atmosphere of distress. My goal has been to support the visual and psychological world this show dwells within. It may be a bit uncomfortable and jarring to the ears at first, but my hope is that the audience will be able to settle into the sound much like they will have to settle (or be unsettled) with all the other elements going on around them.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Woman With The Answers: The Art of Stage Management (In a Fierce Pair of Shoes!)

When I first accepted the position as Stage Manager for this show, instant regret followed by a long conversation with my inner voice debating if this was something I could “put up with” again. However, seeing the colossal ideas that were unveiled to me for scenic design, costumes, lighting and music, I know that I just signed on for something incredible!

As the Stage Manager for a production of this magnitude, you have to be prepared for anything and everything, be consistently informed with everything that the production team is doing as well as the actors. This ranges from extra pencils and highlighters during the blocking/staging process to keeping your production team and actors constantly informed of what is coming next and being at the directors “beck and call”. I was working on this blog beginning a few weeks ago and in that time, everything was fairly predictable. The past week has thrown us a couple of curve balls in which I did not expect; but with that it has kept me on my toes and I am even more prepared for this week. Armed with patience, versatility, chocolate and a great pair of shoes I am ready and actually incredibly excited for this week to begin.

The maintain harmony within a production of this grandeur requires the experience, knowledge and the patience of a bomb diffuser; especially when the title role is your sister and you have just added another level of stress to your job. (Sibling rivalry happens anywhere). I am so excited to see Emily Kate Hardy, my sister, take center stage in this phenomenal role.

From the start of the rehearsal process, as the Stage Manager not only do you become the director’s “right-arm” but you become the emissary between the director and everyone else involved in the production. You have all the information of the show from lighting sequences to an actor’s sore throat, the needs of the director combined with the needs of the actors, you become the beacon of knowledge for the show. Everyone comes to you for answers for everything, whether it’s about schedules, props, costumes, choreography, blocking or set pieces. You name it, and I only pray I know the answer. To date, this has been the most demanding show of my time, energy, patience and sanity, but seeing this show come to life has made it worth my while, to say the least.

We are less than two weeks from opening and usually this is the time that I get extremely stressed and cranky. For some odd reason, when I left the theatre the other night. I told Adam that I am really excited for this week. I got a funny look from him as if he thought I was nuts, but the actors and production team on this show are truly extraordinary people and I look forward to seeing them every day.

And just because I'm the most awesome stage manager ever to rock killer heels, I snapped a couple of pictures in rehearsal the other day...

Chorus Men Drew Sifford and Carl Ramsey with Spiderwoman Emily Kate Hardy

"Marta" Michelle Foard and "Molina" Jason Robert Villarreal

Chorus Member Ian Lewis and Spiderwoman Emily Kate Hardy you want to feel THE KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN now!