Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coffee Talk with a Chola: Interview with Claudia Acosta, Star of ELECTRICIDAD

Recently Artistic Director Adam Adolfo sat down to have some coffee with Electricidad star Claudia Acosta to discuss her return to the North Texas Stage as a young and fierce chola in Artes de la Rosa's regional premiere of Luis Alfaro's passionate adaptation of the Electra Myth. Over coffee, the two laughed, joked, and talk about the special nature of this production.
Photo by Shannon Atkinson

Adam Adolfo: Welcome back to ADLR Claudia...it's been great having you back through our doors the last few weeks...

Claudia Acosta: Thank you - it's so great to be back.

Adam Adolfo: This is your return to North Texas as a stage actor, what is it about Electricidad that brought you back?

Claudia Acosta: Electricidad is strong piece for women and specifically Latina women. Those roles are very hard to come by in American Theater. This play's roots in Greek tragedy remixes a new myth for a culture in great need of exploring their own narratives as Americans. Having also returned to Bass Hall for Peter and the Wolf with Performing Arts Fort Worth, I was more than excited to do this play with my Rose family. An opportunity to play this part on stage that is near and dear to my heart, could not be missed.

AA: What attracts you to Electricidad?

CA: I love her. She is loyal to who she is and where she comes from. Electricidad embodies a history and embraces it with love. The devotion that drives her is her tragedy. The fight to hold on to who you are is within us all.

AA: How do you think this community will receive it?

CA: I hope North Texas audiences will be able access those themes. I think a lot of people may identify with her story and the play can inspire reflection of how our values can effect others.

AA: Being a New York actress, what do you miss about being a DFW actor?

CA: The people will always bring me back to DFW. When you grow with a community, it never leaves you. The amazing artists, performers, writers, directors in my families from Artes de la Rosa, Hip Pocket Theater, Fort Worth Theater, PAFW, Teatro Dallas, Cara Mia Theater Company all made me who I am today. We have such great memories creating theater in DFW that there is no question if I should continue making more.

AA: Any parting words of insight?

CA: I am very lucky to have expanded my professional and personal creative community in New York. New York may have a chunk of my heart, but I will always come home to my incredible powerhouse arts family living in Dallas-Fort Worth. I am blessed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Artes dela Rosa Announces Principle Castin for the Regional Premiere of the Tango Opera, MARIA DE BUENOA AIRES


Fort Worth, TX – February 27th – Artes de la Rosa is proud to announce principle casting for the Regional Premiere of Astor Piazolla’s Tango Operita, MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES which is receiving its Regional Premiere this May at Artes de la Rosa’s home The Rose MarineTheater.

Starring as Maria, is Grace Neeley making her Artes de laRosa debut. The actress has been seen through out the North Texas theatre community taking the stage at Circle Theatre (The Great American Trailer Park Musical) and Casa Manana where she played Linda Lou in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, starring Ruta Lee & Ed Dixon. “The role requires an epic journey ranging from youthful naïveté, to rambunctious sensuality, to frailty and despair without ever loosing a sense of hope. When we found Grace, we knew we had a woman who could not only embody the role, but truly define tango itself,” says Director Adam Adolfo.

Returning to the Rose Marine stage after glowing reviews for his turn as Valentin in Artes de la Rosa’s critically praised Kiss of the Spiderwoman is Keith J. Warren in the lyric tenor role of Maria’s love interest, El Payador. Most recently Keith was seen in Rags at Lyric Stage, under the supervision of maestro Jay Dias and Broadway composer Charles Strouse. A fixture of musical theatre stages regionally, performing with Casa Mañana, WaterTowerTheater, Garland Summer Musicals, ICT Mainstage, Bass Performance Hall, and The Jefferson Performing Arts Society in Louisiana, Keith rejoins the Artes de la Rosa family for this, his first “little” opera.

Rounding out the principle cast is JP Cano in the role of the Goblin Ghost Storyteller, El Duende. A trained dancer, JP has been seen on the stage at Teatro Dallas in La Máscara que Hablaba, Don Juan, the Vampire, Blue Beach, and last year’s The Maiden of the Used Books. Other stage credits include MBS Productions at Adam and Eve… and Kiss the Boys. TV appearances include the Bravo’s show Most Eligible Dallas, My Style’s Big Rich Texas, and NBC’s Chase. Cano debuted at the ADLR Cultural Center last year as part of the American Classics Theatre Initiative production, A View from the Bridge.

When asked to comment, Maria… star Grace Neeley offered, “"When I heard Piazzolla's score, I knew I just had to be part of this production. The music, the art, the dancing, it's one of those once in a life time opportunities for a performer."

“The production team and I are so excited to bring together three of the most talented individuals in this singular storytelling event. Their poise, passion,and perfection are precisely the traits we so tirelessly searched for in performers. Grace, Keith, and JP are stars, and their performances will be North Texas epics,” offers Artistic Director Adam Adolfo. Production begins May 11th at the Rose Marine Theater in Fort Worth for a strictly limited 3 week engagement through March 25th.


Born in the slums, luredby the city, surrendered to the bordellos, Maria's life is the story of the tango. Through song, dance, and poetic narration, Artistic Director Adam Adolfo transforms the historic Rose Marine Theatre into a dark haunted bordello in Argentina. The ill-omened María, born "one day when God was drunk", heads to the center of Buenos Aires, where she is seduced by the music of the tango and becomes a streetwalker. Thieves and brothel keepers, gathered at a black mass resolve her murder. After her death, Maria becomes a wandering ghost, until she is spectacularly reborn through the power survival, freedom, and above all things, love.

Artes de la Rosa’s Adam Adolfo directs with Elise Lavallee choreographing. Joshua Bradford serves as music director and conducts the 7-piece orchestra, who are part of the staging of this production, which has set design by Artes de la Rosa Technical Director Oliver Luke, costume design by Justin Kailer, lighting design by Michael Cole, and sound design by Adam Adolfo.


MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES opens Friday May 11th and plays Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday Matinees at 2:30 pm through Sunday May 27th. Opening Night Gala Tickets are $25 for which includes Maria’s Midnight Milonga: a Private Gala after Party with the cast, staff, and donors of Artes de la Rosa. General Admission tickets for the rest of the run are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors, matinee prices are $15 and $10 respectively. For tickets or more information, call the Rose Marine Theater Box Office at (817) 624-8333. Special ticket prices are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased online at www.artesdelarosa.org.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Q&A with Lee Castro!

Today spend some time with Lee Castro who plays Abuela in the upcoming production of ELECTRCIDAD recieving it's regional premiere at Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts!

Q & A with Lee Castro
• Born & Raised: San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Education: Associated Degree Paralegal, Applied Art Degree in Performing Arts.
• Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
• Audition Song: Big Spender
• First Play/Musical You Ever Saw: La Charca (The Pond) de Manuel Zeno Gandia.
• Must See TV Show: Modern Family, Game of Thrones, & Dexter.
• Why you work in theatre: Theater is magic, anything can happen, you just become whatever character you wish and your on for a free ride.
• First Role: Adela in The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca
• Favorite Play: Los Cuentos de Juan Bobo.
• Pop Culture Guilty Pleasure: American Idol, Project Runway, Chopped.
• Pre Show Rituals: Open Chakra's; pray be in peace, in harmony with all staff and cast, I need everybody’s energy - I cannot do it alone.
• Any Theatre Superstitions: Respect the Theater no matter how old, new, humble or state of art. They have a lot of Characters born and died in the Theater because of the energy that the actor gives to them and sometimes they are still around. I believe in Energy because you are open when you gave life to them.
• Something you're REALLY bad at: Math. I'm nothing with out a calculator.
• Stage or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Barbara Stanwyck or Robert Moose.
• Music that makes you cry, any genre: I love all kind the music, but Evanescence "woke me up inside" and " Immortal"
• Last book you read: Realiza tu suenos/ Realize your Dreams
• Last good movie you saw: The Help.
• Favorite liquid refreshment: Super Cold Beer. (Dos X, Negra Modelo, Coors light and Presidente).
• Most challenging stage role you've performed: The one I'm working on right now!
• Three things you can't live without: Music, On Demand, and Hot Comb.
• Best thing about Fort Worth & the North Side: Culture, History, architecture, old buildings and of course, the people.

*Photos by Shannon Atkinson

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Today we blog with a favorite among the Artes de la Rosa actress's. Danielle Reboli who has been seen in the past in shows at the Rose Marine Theatre including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Kiss of the Spiderwoman.

Friends have asked me, why “Electricidad”, why a Greek play, why now? Well that’s like asking me, why a Shakespeare, why a musical, why jazz and why gothic rock? They are all my passions. They are all big, larger than life, soulful, spiritual, dramatic, and have something to say, if you’re willing to listen. I never embraced video, perhaps, because while you play it “real”, the real was always too small for me.

Some of my closest friends know my aka is Athena. I was fortunate enough to play her during a Greek production while studying at Baylor. The actor playing ‘Zeus’, and I had to learn to walk on 3’ painter stilts for the opening and closing scenes. The effect was awesome but, have you ever tried to spin around, dance like, on 3’ stilts?! We wore them as often as possible while in the theater building, for a couple of weeks. Yes, that included other classes too, crazy fun.

While playing Athena, I dug into the myth and history of her and love that she’s a brilliant woman, always wanting to solve conflict with reason and negotiation, but if it comes down to it, she can kick some ass if she needs too! I challenge myself to keep that mantra in my professional and personal life, and it has served me well. Inspiring me to “go for it” and picking me up on a sad day.

When I’m not acting (and while I am), I’m a belly dancer as well. I Co-Direct ‘Brazen Bellies’, where my dance name is, you guessed it, Athena. www.brazenbellies.com

I challenge you to think of someone real, fictional, or mythological who inspires you to live big. Even if you’re not an actor with the opportunity to be in a Greek Tragedy, discover your own passions, and live them.

*Photo by Shannon Atkinson

Monday, February 13, 2012

Inside Electricidad with Cesar Hernandez!

Today we play Q&A with actor Cesar Hernandez who plays Nino from the upcoming production of ELECTRICIDAD by Luis Alfaro.


· Born & Raised: El Paso, TX

· Education: A little in Chuco, a little in Austin, & a little bit here in the Metroplex.

· Zodiac Sign: Born in the year of the Dragon! (also a Capricorn)

· Must See TV Show; Dexter, Breaking Bad, Epitafios.

· Why you work in theatre: It's a great feeling to lose yourself on stage...teatro is a rewarding way to reach the community and stay grounded in your roots.

· First Role: Don't remember the character's name but it was the guy who gets the plate of sardines glued to his hand and loses his pants in Noises Off.

· Favorite Play: Favorite I've been in thus far has been Nuestra Pastorela with Cara Mia Theatre Co.

· Pre Show Rituals: Driving to the theater and doing vocal warm-ups.

· Special Skills: I can knit a scarf of cherry stems with my tongue.

· Favorite Post Show Meal: Negra Modelo

· Biggest On Stage Mishap: Smoking a huge Cheech & Chong joint (tobacco) on stage and parts of it falling out & leaving a smoky trail behind me.

· Something you're REALLY bad at: Snorkeling.

· If you could go back in time and catch any performance, what would it be? Either the Beatles or the Doors live at the peak of their careers.

· Stage or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with:
Giulietta Masina, Tin Tan

· The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Dralion by Cirque du Soleil

· Most played song on your iPod/mp3/cd player: I listen to so much different music on shuffle all the time that it sould be anything.

· Last book you read: The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi.

· Last good movie you saw: Sukiyaki Western Django

· Some films you consider classics: Goodfellas, 8 1/2, Seven Samurai, Dazed & Confused

· Favorite liquid refreshment: Cerveza

· Three things you can't live without: Sex, Cultura, y Familia

· Best thing about Fort Worth & the North Side: Rose Marine Theater & tacos

Cesar Hernandez, who plays Nino, pictured with James "Jimmy" Moreno who plays Orestes.

*Photos by Shannon Atkinson

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ACTING 101: Learning how to be a Real Chola, when you are not really a Real Chola

Today we blog with New York Actress Claudia Acosta on her upcoming stint as ELECTRICIDAD.
In case anyone wondered, I am not a chola or ever was. I was a big geek when it mattered to be anything in high school. Califas born, I grew up on the eastside of El Paso, otherwise known as El Chuco. It is the birth place of the forefather of the Cholo, el Pachuco, but there was no chuco or cholo or chimigangas in my house growing up. Unlike Electricidad, I was under lock and key.

I wanted to be on the drill team and wear GAP clothes, but couldn’t. I didn’t own a pair of Vans, went to church and I raised my hand in class. Not an eastside Loca, but a walking bullseye. Luckily, I knew how to deflect the glares under intimating eye-brows and incessant insults from those burgundy lined lips. I pretended they didn’t exist while I got rubber bands in my hair, but I watched them closely.

In my process with Electricidad, I learned five things about myself and a culture I had to run away from growing up. Just because I can use black eye liner like I am some Diego Rivera doesn’t automatically make me a chola. I had to dig deep.

• I couldn’t play this role if I was younger. The imagination is a powerful thing, but when coupled with experience you get the Google Earth of road maps for any performance. In my life, I think I have some reference to grief, betrayal, pain, and want for vengeance…ok maybe a lot.

• Look for the chola inside. Isn’t everybody loyal, protective, tough, and committed to a code of honor, pride and style? Or is it just me? I too have learned how to smile now and cry later.

• Being a chola means you can kick someone’s ass if you needed to. Despite some people’s assumptions, I have never raised a fist to anyone (accept on the occasions when a loco tried to get fresh). How do I find the street fighter inside? Pos training at the 24hour fitness with my old kick-boxing routine.

• Embrace the voice. I worked hard as an actor to be regionally neutral only to find, that is what casts actors that look like “us”. When I talk to anybody from El Paso, I speak more Spanglish than a Tide commercial on Univision. The musicality, cadence, and sounds come back. Luis Alfaro captures the voice of his Califas and mine where my sisters gave me the oldies and feathered bangs. It is the voice of an American who straddles the fence. The voice like a cruise on a boulevard. It is the voice of two cultures and a history wrestling with economics for place to call home.

• Instead of seeing a Young Chola, see a Young Woman. A young woman who believes in ideals. A young woman who wants to preserve honor and dignity the best she knows how. A young woman who loves her father. Electricidad sees and feels nothing else, but loss. Her world has left her betrayed. I shudder to think of life when my parents are gone. I don’t know how I would move on if I thought I lost my brother. What if no one was there to believe in my grief? Electricidad has love beyond all bounds. That is something, I know very well. I hope the audience does too.

Photo by Shannon Atkinson

Monday, February 6, 2012


Today, we blog with Director Yvonne Duque on the upcoming REGIONAL PREMIERE of Luis Alfaro's ELECTRICIDAD!

Worth the wait…

In 2006, when Electricidad was first brought to Teatro de la Rosa, the timing wasn’t right. I had pushed to put it on the season, but it was met with a number of obstacles. Now I know why. Teatro had to run its course and Artes de la Rosa needed to experience its renaissance under new leadership. A friend of mine sent me a message last week - "Electricidad...I know that's a long one in the making". This couldn’t be truer.

Sometimes it is hard to release your dream project and wonder if it will ever find you again. In the arts, we often act on instinct, on the here and now. This is a great idea and I will do this now matter the odds! This kind of conviction can fall either way. It can (1) create exciting, innovative art or (2) compromise your vision by becoming a personal crusade, ultimately watering down what’s most important – the play.

Getting to direct Electricidad, NOW, means doing it for the right reasons and with the complete support of Artes de la Rosa. The personal journey is about the work, the play and not about proving myself as an artist. Ultimately, I’ve already won, DFW is going to have the chance to experience a story that has its roots dating back some 2500 years.

The Cast of ELECTRICIDAD By Luis Alfaro at Artes de la Rosa
...so worth the wait!

Photo by Shannon Atkinson