Karina Casiano www.karinacasiano.com
BA in Drama, University of Puerto Rico. In 1999, Casiano premiered her first one-woman show, Qué me trajiste: Cabaret Boricua, about the political relationship between United States and Puerto Rico, which traveled to Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ecuador, Perú, Chile, Argentina and New York.
In 2000, she premiered her second solo show, Colonia 2007 o el cabaret de los días terribles, a futuristic play with music and video set in Puerto Rico, also seen in Ecuador and New York.
In 2010, Casiano premiered her fifth original play, The Orphans, for La Criatura Theater, and presented by La MaMa E.T.C., co-directed and co-choreographed by Daniel Irizarry. Their work was honored with a 2011 NY Innovative Theater Awards nomination for Outstanding Choreography.
The play returned in June 2011 (with Renzo Ampuero in the male lead) as part of the 5th Teatro StageFest at the Connelly Theater in the East Village. In September, "The Orphans" traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the first Latino International Theater Festival of New York/SESC-Sao Paulo International Cultural Engagement Partnership, sponsored by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
Casiano has received grants from the NYSCA, the National Endowment for the Arts (through the Legislature of Puerto Rico and the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture,) the Puffin Foundation, The Yip Harburg Foundation and the Esther B. Kahn Foundation.
In New York, she has collaborated with The Flying Machine, International WOW, Spanish Repertory Theater and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, among other companies.
In film, she recently appeared on Gun Hill Road alongside Esaí Morales, directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green (Sundance 2011,) and in Losin' It by Macdara Vallely, as well as in multiple independent short films in the United States, including Vallely's The Love Bite, winner of the 2004 Galway Film Fleadth in Dublin, Ireland. On TV, she has appeared in the TV series Law and Order, and, in Ecuador, in Pasado y Confeso.
In Spain, she has trained with Juan Carlos Corazza and José Olmo. In South America, Casiano has trained with Yuyachkani (Perú) and Malayerba (Ecuador.) In New York, with Austin Pendleton (acting,) Paul Gemignani (musical theater,) Norman Taylor (physical theater,) Penny Templeton, (camera acting,) Carolann Page (singing,) David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company (acting,) the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Second City (improvisation) and the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio (acting,) among many others.
Photo by Marlon Krieger.www.marlonkrieger.com
Performer, "The Orphans" 2011
Originally from Lima, Perú, he studied Drama and History at Colorado College, and received his MFA in Acting from the ART/MXAT Institute at Harvard University.
Ampuero collaborated with playwright Ellen McLaughlin to create "Ajax in Iraq," in which he played the role of "Odysseus/Pisoni" at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge.
While training in Moscow, Ampuero played "Cleonte" in "The Discreet Charm of Monsieur Jourdain" on the Moscow Art Theater School stage. In 2006, he played "Dorian Gray" in an original adaptation of Oscal Wilde's novel at The Flea Theater in New York City.
Ampuero has participated in several short films in New York City.
Ampuero plays "Fausto Aíza" in "The Orphans" since June 2011.
Photo by Marlon Krieger.www.marlonkrieger.com
Daniel Irizarry http://www.daniel-irizarry.com
Performer, Co-Director and Choreographer for "The Orphans"
Daniel Irizarry originated the role of "Fausto Aíza" in "The Orphans" during its world premiere at La MaMa in 2010. His work has been praised in the US and internationally, including Russia, China, Japan, Europe, and the Caribbean. He is currently collaborating with renowned director Andrei Serban's "Love's Labour's Lost" on movement and character work as part of a Columbia University Thesis production. Also, he is participating as movement and acting coach for "Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land," directed by Mabou Mines’ Terry O'Reilly for The New School Eugene Lang College.
Irizarry has performed with Kevin Augustine and Lone Wolf Tribe ("Bride," 2009 UNIMA Citation of Excellence;) Eduardo Machado ("Crocodile Eyes;") Terry O’Reilly and Jane Catherine Shaw ("Peter and the Wolf"); Andrei Serban, Niky Wolcz and James Levine ("Benvenuto Cellini," "Faust" for Met Opera;) Rachel Dickstein ("Betrothed," "Septimus and Clarissa," written by Ellen McLaughlin;) undergroundzero festival at PS 122 (performed and directed "The Proposal;") Rania Ajami ("Asylum Seekers," winner of best alternative Feature; at 2010 Garden State Film Festival.)
Irizarry holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University (the first Puerto Rican student to be accepted into the program) and a BA from the University of Puerto Rico. In 2000, he received the Best New Actor award by the Theater Critics’ Circle in Puerto Rico. He is part of the MFA Theater faculty at the Columbia University and of the Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts where he teaches Acting, and was a Mabou Mines RAP 2011 Artist in Residency.
Photo by Marius Chira. www.zbabam.com
Co-Founder, Set Designer
Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Dieppa moved to New York City in 2002. A founding member of La Criatura and the Set designer for The Orphans, he holds an MFA in Set Design from Brooklyn College-CUNY (where he is currently Adjunct Professor for the Theater Department) and a degree in Mechanical Engineer from the prestigious Mayagüez college of the University of Puerto Rico. In 1993, Dieppa won the the first prize in the nationwide ImagiNations design competition sponsored by Walt Disney’s Imagineering.
Among his set design credits are: The Taming of the Shrew, Sight Unseen, Urinetown, The Crucible, La Celestina, Into the Woods, City of Angels, The Snow Queen, Lysistrata, and the New York premier of Five Kinds of Silence by the playwright Shelagh Stephenson for Boundless Theater Company.
In film, has worked as Art Director for the feature Civil War epic Legged Red Devils and the TV pilot Accidental Heroes, both for C-Squared Productions.
A multifaceted artist, he is also an experienced actor with credits in theater, film, television and radio. His credits include dozens of plays and TV series in Puerto Rico. In 1996, Dieppa won the New Actor of the Year award granted by the Theatre Critics’ Circle of Puerto Rico. As a radio actor, he worked for the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Puerto Rico for several years.
In New York, Dieppa has collaborated as an actor with Karina Casiano in her independent projects ¿Qué me trajiste?: Cabaret Boricua and Colonia 2007 o el cabaret de los días terribles at HERE Arts Center, and has appeared off- Broadway at Repertorio Español in The Dog in the Manger. Along with Casiano, Dieppa originated the germinal idea for The Orphans in 2003. He also starred in the feature film Reasons for Exxxile by Juanma Calderón.
Dieppa is also involved with Spaeth Design, where he collaborates in the design of the world-renowned Holidays windows for Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and Sak’s. He is currently Resident Set Designer at the Elisabeth Irwin High School.
Ms. Fusté has designed numerous shows for off-Broadway, Regional Theatre, Modern Dance and Spanish Theatre. She toured at more than 100 venues on the east coast, Colorado, Texas, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and the Dominican Republic with the Spanish Repertory Theatre. She shares her free-lance work between New York and her native Puerto Rico.
NY credits: “Yo Soy Latina” at Crossroads Theatre directed by Ricardo Khan. “The feast of the Goat” & “El Quijote” (ACE nomination for best Lighting Design 2007) both directed by Jorge Ali Triana at the Spanish Repertory Theatre. Other credits in NY include “Germans in Paris” directed by José Zayas at 59E59, Vision Festival ’08, ‘09 created by Patricia Parker, and “Clytemnestra’s Tears” at La MAMA, among others.
Ms. Fusté is the Resident Lighting Designer and Managing Director at Teatro Círculo (NYC and PR). Her credits include: “El caballero del milagro” (NY and PR), “Lágrimas negras” (NY and PR), “Lorca Federico Lorca” (NY and PR), “Juan Bobo” and “La Celestina” (NY, PR, TX) earning her the ACE award for best lighting design (2008).
She is the artistic director of Boundless Theatre Company. Credits: “Bug” by Tracy Letts, “Boundless Exposed” (NY), “Mujer Invisible” (NY and PR), “Five Kinds of Silence” by Shelagh Stephenson (PR and NY), “Tropical Tree” by Yukio Mishima (PR), “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” by Bernard Shaw (PR), “Madre el Drama Padre” (NY) directed by José Zayas. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Lighting Design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
An architect, scenic designer and muralist, Riollano was born in Puerto Rico and resides in New York City. As a graduate from the College of Architecture at Cornell University and with a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Design from New York University, she has spent the past ten years nourishing both art forms by cross-referencing one discipline with the other. Her architecture work has focused mostly around hospitality applications such as theatres, restaurants and casinos.
In the theatre world, she has worked both as scenic and costume designer on various productions in NYC including “The Dog in the Manger” for Spanish Repertory Theater, “Hanjo” and “Ripples” at HERE Arts Center, “90 Miles of Separation” at The Producer’s Club, “Thyestes” at the Riverside Church Theatre, and various others. In addition, she was co-founder of the group Agora Theatre in Puerto Rico and designer/executive producer of their production “Medea: Amurallada”.
Awy is thrilled to join the production of “The Orphans” as costume designer.
Special Effects and Prop Designer
With over 30 years of experience as a multidisciplinary visual artist and administrator, his wide range of skills allows him to perform several diverse roles in the Theater, also including Scenic Design.
A native of Galicia, Spain, Lago has collaborated with several independent troupes in Europe and the U.S. This is his second time joining forces with La Criatura Theater.
For the past three years, Lago has been a Set Designer consultant for the New York City Housing Authority’s community programs for teens.
Music Composer and Arranger..
Andres Rotmistrovsky (also known as Andy Rot) is a bassist, producer, composer and arranger. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he started his musical career from a very young age upon discovering and completely falling in love with the bass guitar. No one could stop him from practicing; very soon after at the young age of 14 he began his career as a professional musician playing Jazz and Rock in different venues and festivals. Graduated with honors from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachussetts, in 2007, majoring in Jazz Composition. He was the recepient of several scholarships, including the International Award 2003, the Charles Mingus Award 2007, and the competitive Outstanding Performer Award 2007. Studied in college with Matt Garrison, Joe Lovano, Terry Lyne Carrington and Oscar Stagnaro, among others.
Andrés performs bass guitar almost every night of the week in the New York music scene, displaying versatility in playing virtually all styles of music from traditional and contemporary Jazz to R&B, Gospel, Pop, Rock, Celtic, Afro Beat, Flamenco, and Middle Eastern to Latin folkloric music from Peru, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina. His band, The Andres Rotmistrovsky Trio or Quartet, includes a set of Solo-Bass music (in addition to playing with others).
He has played with such musicians as Paquito D' Rivera, Joan Báez, Leon Gieco, Turkish Pop-Star Sertab Erener, Teresa Parodi, El Bahiano, Piero, Eva Ayllón and Marta Gómez. He has appeared in a variety of venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Latin Grammys, and Boston Symphony Hall, and has toured the U.S. and the world (e.g., Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia) with various jazz/world and Latin groups.
Andrés has also worked with Leo Blanco, Alex Brown, Terri Lyne Carrington (Herbie Hancock's drummer,) Dontae Winslow, Gabriel Guerrero, Franco Pinna, Juancho Herrera, Fernando Brandao, Thaddeus Hogarth, Jon Hazilla, Oscar Feldman, Antonio Arnedo, Alain Mallet, and with groups such as the Fernando Brandao Quintet, Peru Mestizo, La Timbística and Bernardo Monk Mass Tango. In Argentina, he has played and/or recorded with Leon Gieco, Juan "Pollo" Raffo, Axel, Miguel Cantilo, Victor Heredia, Juan Carlos Baglietto, Roque Narvaja, and Juan Cruz de Urquiza.
Edna Lee Figueroa
An actress and stage manager born in Puerto Rico, Edna Lee moved to New York in 2009. Possesses a BA in Theatre from the University of Puerto Rico and an MA in Arts Administration from Turabo University of Puerto Rico.
Aside from “The Orphans,” Figueroa has been a stage manager for Teatro Círculo (“Sabina y Lucrecia,” "Carmen Loisaida" and "El caballero del milagro," where she was also Assistant to the Director;) La Micro Theater (“Working la Vida,” “Dreaming Red”) and NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute (“Stuck Elevator,” also Production Manager.) She is an Associate Artist for Boundless Theater Company.
In Puerto Rico, she was a founding member of the theater group Deikelestai, Inc., where she multi-tasked as performer, producer, director’s assistant and props and costume coordinator.
As an actress, Edna Lee has participated on stage in over 40 plays in Puerto Rico with several companies. She has also appeared in New York on “Love Dot Com” by Dramatic Question Theatre Company at Theatre for the New City; “Oh de Sea!”, by The Internationalists, at LPAC; and “Seven Days, Seven Plays” for Boundless Theatre Company at Teatro Círculo. In Raleigh, North Carolina, she collaborated with the Burning Coal Theatre Company (“Way to Heaven” and “Inherit the Wind.”) She has also performed in Colombia at Teatro La Candelaria.
On film, Figueroa had a supporting role in the film “Maldeamores,” produced by Benicio del Toro and directed by Carlitos Ruiz (Tribeca Film Festival 2007 premiere, HBO Latino.) She also had a speaking role in “Main Street” by Horton Foote, directed by John Doyle.
On television, Figueroa appeared on several sitcoms and commercials in Puerto Rico, and has also lent her voice for several projects, including computer software and the animated TV show “Ven a ver” as the voice of Gaia.
She recently appeared in the play "Out in the Open" at The Barrow Group Theater.
Lighting and Technical Director for "The Orphans"
Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Miguel Ángel joined the "The Orphans" team during the Connelly Theater run in June 2011.
He has designed lights and performed as technical director for several theater companies and festivals in New York City, including Teatro StageFest 2009, 2010 and 2011, and plays such as "They Call Me La Lupe," "Looking Glass Rewondered," "Cuban Operator, Please…", "Hunting the Reinosos," "Oh! Yantai," "I Want You by My Side," "The Foolish Disciple," "Lemay," “Tell Them Not to Kill Me,” "Nesting," "Work in Progress," "Taking a Chance in America, " “Once on This Island,” "Paso del Norte," "Pawn Shop Accordions" and "Ephigenia at Aulis," among others.
Miguel Ángel has also collaborated with several lighting teams for live music, TV, video, film, fashion, architecture and a wide variety of corporate events.
He is a senior student in the Department of Entertainment Technology at New York City College of Technology.