Season Mainstage Productions Becoming Cuba
By Melinda Lopez
Directed by David Ellenstein
Previews: May 29 – 31, 2013
June 1 – 23, 2013
- "Passion, history and magical realism converge" - David Coddon, San Diego City Beat
- "heartfelt, creative… definitely an intriguing drama. The cast is excellent providing both laughter and tense moments."
- Diana Saenger, The La Jolla Light
- "a worthy and often witty work directed with a deft sense of tone by the theater’s artistic chief, David Ellenstein…evocative"
- James Hebert, SDUT
- "top notch…quite charming and appealing"
- Carol Davis, The San Diego Examiner
Commissioned by North Coast Rep, this World Premiere drama set in 1890s Cuba, introduces a family coping with a changing landscape of their country as it struggles for independence. Melinda Lopez's knack for dialogue and drama, mixed with her knowledge and research of the time, opens the door for issues of loyalty and family. Fighting for a cause and finding happiness to be interwoven through this powerful and often humorous drama. The birth of this new work of theatrical art will signal an artistic zenith in our season and in North Coast Rep's development as part of the national theatre community.
Melinda Lopez (Playwright) was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by the Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American Theatre.” She was a 2003 recipient of a Mass Cultural Council grant, and a resident playwright at the Huntington Theatre. Sonia Flew won the Elliot Norton Award for Best New Play, and the IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) for Best Play and Best Production. It has been produced at the Huntington Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival and the Summer Playwrights Festival. It will broadcast on NPR’s “The Play's The Thing!” next spring. Her other award-winning plays include God Smells Like a Roast Pig (Women on Top Festival, Elliot Norton Award: Outstanding Solo Performance); Midnight Sandwich/Medianoche, (Coconut Grove Playhouse); The Order of Things (CentaStage, Kennedy Center Fund for New Plays) and others. Melinda is also an actress; she has appeared at regional theatres across the country, and is featured in the movie “Fever Pitch”. She makes her home in Boston.
Aaron Acosta (Chucho)
Theatre: Becoming Cuba is Aaron's 6th equity production and his second world premiere. He was in the original cast of the Broadway musical Chaplin (formally Limelight) when it premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2010. In Chaplin, Aaron shared the stage with Rob McClure in the title role that ultimately earned Mr. McClure a 2013 Tony Award nomination. Aaron was most recently seen at the Old Globe Theatre where he played Danny Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He is the recipient of a 2008 National Youth Theatre Award for his portrayal of Gavroche in the musical Les Miserables. Film: Aaron recently completed principal photography for the feature film Slingers where he plays the lead role of Bradley. Music: Earlier this year, Aaron traveled to Miami where he recorded two Latin songs produced by Grammy Award winning producer Chino Nunez. Both songs and their music videos will be released this summer.
This artist sponsored by Dave & Heidi Hodges.
Richard Baird* (Davis)
Richard is thrilled to return to NCRT where he has played Gus in The Dumb Waiter, Tom in This, Osvald Alving in Ghosts, Tajomaru in Rashomon, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Valentine in Arcadia and many more. His regional credits include Nils Krogstad in A Doll’s House at the Old Globe Theater, Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Portland Center Stage), The Prince of Wales in The Madness of George III (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), the title role in Macbeth and Leontes in The Winter’s Tale (Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival) and productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Diversionary Theatre. Baird served as Associate Artistic Director of Southwest Shakespeare Company where he played the title roles of Cyrano de Bergerac and Tartuffe, Iago in Othello, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice and Leontes in The Winter’s Tale. In San Diego, Baird formed the award-winning Shakespeare troupe Poor Players, for whom he has acted and directed in over 20 productions. His favorites include the title roles in Hamlet, Macbeth and Coriolanus, Angelo in Measure for Measure (2004 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award), Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Hotspur in Henry IV, Part I. Mr. Baird is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.
This artist sponsored by Dr. Marianne McDonald.
Maritxell Carrero* (Martina)
Maritxell Carrero began to perform at a very young age. By the age of 14 she was performing around the island of Puerto Rico, South America and the Caribbean as part of a Traveling Theater Troupe dedicated to professional and community theater. She spent the next years formalizing her career as an actress and joined the academic world, which finalized with an MFA in Performance from University of California -San Diego. She has been seen in Spanish TV shows such as: Las dos Caras de Ana, Dame Chocolate, Bajo las riendas del Amor and Acorralada. She later starred as Senorita Reflejos in Latin Multimedia Corporation's episodic for kids Dos y Dos. Credits include: The Physicists, The House of Bernarda Alba, Danton's Death (UCSD), She incarnated the role of Patrice at the first production of Bureau of Missing Persons and Violet in Picked at the Baldwin's New Play Festival. She was also part of La Jolla Playhouse's Production of Midsummer Nights Dream directed by Tony Award winning director Christopher Ashley. Last seen on stage as Lydia at the Matrix Theater in Los Angeles production of All My Sons nominated for The Stage Scene LA and Ovation awards and winner of the 2012 NAACP Best Ensemble award. Maritxell Carrero is honored to be part of the North Coast Rep family and for the opportunity of bringing to life Melinda Lopez's Martina.
This artist sponsored by DMY Studio.
David MichaelCoffey (Chucho)
David Michael Coffey (Chucho) David is 12 years old and is making his North Coast Rep debut in Becoming Cuba. He began acting and singing one year ago. David is the recipient of a 2013 National Youth Arts award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Pasko in San Diego Junior Theatre's highly acclaimed production of A Little Princess directed by Desha Crownover. He also performed the lead role of Milo in SDJT's The Phantom Tollbooth, Dad in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Jay Bird in Honk! and was a performer in the this year's second annual JT Honors. David is featured in the television series, Haven's Light, produced by Turning Point television studios. David is excited and honored to be part of this amazing cast and premier stage production of Becoming Cuba!
This artist sponsored by Dave & Heidi Hodges.
Eileen Faxas* (Adela)
Eileen is honored to be originating this world premiere work of art by Melinda Lopez. Eileen was last in San Diego with the Broadway tour of Mamma Mia! Other interesting roles/shows include The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked Witch, Off-Broadway’s Hereafter Musical, FOX’s The Following and actual TV Journalist! Eileen is a 3-time Emmy Award winner for her work in her former life as a reporter. She would be delighted if you visit EileenFaxas.com to enjoy her videos, songs, and witty musings on life, acting and everything under the sun. Dedicado a mi pueblo….
This artist sponsored by Martin & Dr. Cynthia Davis
Steven Lone (Manny)
North Coast Repertory Theatre: Debut. Regional: Zoot Suit, Boom (San Diego Repertory Theatre).Recipe for Disaster, Frida Libre (La Jolla Playhouse); References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, The Listener (Moxie Theatre); Blasted, Jack Goes Boating, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, All In The Timing, La Gaviota, Punks, Glass Menagerie, Grapes of Wrath (ion theatre company); Bent, No Exit (Diversionary Theatre); The Vortex (Cygnet Theatre); Gam3rs (10th Ave. Theatre); Marat/Sade, As You Like It (UCSD Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Calaveras Repertory Theatre); Mrs. Warren's Profession (Pear Ave. Theatre); West Side Story, On The Town (Foothill Theatre).
This artist sponsored by Tina Simner.
Catalina Maynard* (Fancy)
NORTH COAST REP: Debut, Becoming Cuba*, Regional Theatre: Arizona Theatre Co., The Glass Menagerie; The Mark Taper Forum; Lydia, Electricidad; Yale REP and The Denver Center, Lydia*; TheaterWorks, Living Out; The Children’s Theatre Co. Minneapolis, Esperanza Rising*; PCPA, Anna in the Tropics, Much Ado about Nothing, Imaginary Invalid, The Heart’s Desire*, Sylvia, Invierno*; East LA Classic Theatre, Romeo and Juliet; Mixed Blood Theatre, Living Out; Teatro Campesino, Confessions of Women from East LA*. SAN DIEGO: Ion Theatre, Little Flower of East Orange, Julia* (Craig Noel Award), Angels in America (Craig Noel Award), La Gaviota*; San Diego Repertory Theatre, Zoot Suit, Mummified Deer*, Nuevo California*, Marriage is Forever*, A Quiet Love*, A Streetcar Named Desire, Hamlet, Burning Dreams*. TV: The Closer FILM: The Big Deal, Sunday Evening. *World Premiere
This artist sponsored by Julia & Eric Querin.
Mark Pinter* (Isidore)
North Coast Repertory: The Lover, The Lion in Winter, Becky's New Car, Off-Broadway: My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon/Hypothetical Theatre Company, Three on the Couch/Soho Rep. Regional: Zoot Suit, Clybourne Park, Federal Jazz Project for San Diego Rep, The Price/Northern Stage, Follies/Little Theatre on the Square, Book of Days/Arena Stage, The Sound of Music/Syracuse Stage, Hamlet/Old Globe, Charley’s Aunt/Carter Center Stage, Equus, Black Comedy, Shadow Box/Arizona Theatre Company, Victor/Victoria/North Shore Music Theatre, Hello! Dolly/Bucks County Playhouse, Television: NCIS: Los Angeles, Law and Order, SVU and CI, and long running roles on All My Children and Another World. Film: Other People’s Money, Eden Myth, Season of Youth, Vanilla Sky and the short, Play. MFA/Hilberry Theatre. Proud member of AEA.
This artist sponsored by Arthur & Molli Wagner.
Thank you to ALL of our sponsors! You help make productions like this possible!!
David Ellenstein (Director)
Born into a theatrical family, David has worked in theatres across the country. Before joining North Coast Rep in 2003 he served as Artistic Director for the Los Angeles Repertory Company and the Arizona Jewish Theatre Company (AJTC). A veteran of over 200 theatrical productions, directorial favorites include: North Coast Rep – Time Stands Still, Words by… Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook, Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Dumb Waiter, HENRY IV Part 1, Heroes, My Name is Asher Lev, The Drawer Boy, Becky’s New Car, Ghosts, The Tempest, Talley’s Folly, Over the Tavern, Old Wicked Songs, The Dresser, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,Madagascar, A Shayna Maidel, The Honky Tonk Angels, Rashomon, A Moon for the Misbegotten,Tuesdays With Morrie, Collected Stories, Halpern and Johnson, Romeo and Juliet, Amy’s View,Einstein Comes Through (also co-author), The Chosen, A Life in the Theatre, Story Theatre and Charley’s Aunt. Coconut Grove Playhouse - Sonia Flew starring Lucy Arnaz; Halpern and Johnson starring Hal Linden and Brian Murray. Papermill Playhouse - The Chosen starring Theodore Bikel and John Lloyd Young. Portland Stage - ;Halpern and Johnson. Renaissance Theatre -Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix - Rabbit Hole. Alabama Shakespeare Festival - Rocket City (world premiere) and Honky Tonk Angels. Laguna Playhouse - Alexandros (world premiere). Southwest Shakespeare Company - Cyrano de Bergerac. AJTC - Awake and Sing. Meadow Brook Theatre - A Christmas Carol. Pirate Playhouse - Old Wicked Songs and Talley’s Folly. Kingsmen Shakespeare - Hamlet. Portland Rep - Conversations With My Father and Gaslamp Quarter Theatre - A Shayna Maidel. Favorite roles as an actor include Jacob Kahn in My Name is Asher Lev, Matt in Talley’s Folly at North Coast Rep, title roles in Hamlet at Los Angeles Theatre Center and Los Angeles Repertory Company; Richard III at California Shakespeare Festival; Tevye in Fiddler on the Roofat Moonlight Stages, Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Laguna Playhouse; Calisto in The Illusion and Harker in Dracula at the Arizona Theatre Company; Jonathan in Sight Unseen atNorth Coast Rep and Portland Repertory Theatre. Film and television credits include over three dozen roles including Star Trek IV, The Practice,Foul Play, Christine Cromwell, Renegade, Eight is Enough, and General Hospital. David has also been guest faculty for numerous universities including California State Northridge, Cal Arts, and Shakespeare workshops privately. David lives with his beautiful wife Denise and their amazing sons Jamie and Will.
This artist sponsored by Marilyn & Lou Tedesco.
Marty Burnett (Scenic Design)
Marty has designed for North Coast Rep for the last 145 shows. Mr. Burnett has designed sets for the Union Plaza, Sahara, and Hacienda Hotels and Casinos in Las Vegas; Harrah’s Lake Tahoe; The Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ; The Grand Hotel in Anaheim; and The Drury Lane in Chicago. Mr. Burnett is the resident designer and technical director at North Coast Rep.
Matt Novotny (Light Design)
Matthew recently designed the lighting for The Odd Couple, Time Stands Still, Educating Rita, The Underpants, Dames at Sea, Two by Pinter: The Lover and The Dumb Waiter, THIS, Visiting Mister Green, Lend Me A Tenor, Five Course Love, My Name is Asher Lev, King O’ the Moon, Ghosts, Glorious, I Love You Because, Old Wicked Songs, Rabbit Hole, Shipwrecked!, The Dresser, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Mornings at Seven, Baby and Rashomon at North Coast Rep. He’s currently the Director of Production for Lyric Opera San Diego. Lighting designs include: Iolanthe, The Merry Widow, The King and I, Countess Maritza, and The Mikado. San Diego: Das Barbecu, The Wiz, West Side Story and Rumors. Regional: Yankee Doodle Dandy (Seattle), Noises Off! (Boston), The Game, (Washington DC) and Primal Twang, a guitar concert featuring six Grammy-winning artists. Matthew holds a BA in Technical Theatre from San Diego State University, and an MFA from Boston University.
Alina Bokovikova (Costume Design)
Alina is thrilled to work with this great theatre again. Her last credits include: The Odd Couple, The Underpants, THIS ( North Coast Rep), The Man His Wife and His Hat (Moxie Theatre), Henry IV (North Coast Rep), A Raisin in the Sun (Moxie) , Les Noces (ballet), The Great American Trailer Park Musical (SD Rep), Hedda Gabler, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Stereoblind (Dance film), Phantom Band, Camino Real (Patte Award), Beehive the Musical, Good Doctor, La Traviatta. Alina has a MFA in Costume Design from UC San Diego and Masters Degree in Education from Russia, so teaching theatre is one of her favorite activities. She is an instructor for Costume Design at UC San Diego and for History of Costume at FIDM.
Melanie Chen (Sound Design)
Melanie is thrilled to be working with North Coast Rep! She is a 2nd year MFA Candidate for Sound Design at UC San Diego. She has worked extensively with ion theatre company in downtown Hillcrest. Select ion theatre company credits: Grey Gardens, Punk Rock, The Little Flower of East Orange, Blasted (Craig Noel Award 2012 nomination), Angels in America (Craig Noel Award 2011); Select UC San Diego credits: Tonight We Improvise, In the Red and Brown Water, Hookman, Salamander Leviathan.
Angelica Ynfante (Props and Set Dressing)
Angelica is a Texas State University graduate with a BFA in theatre. She made her way around the US and Mexico for five years working in Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky and Cancun until she made it to sunny California where she is currently the props mistress with San Diego Rep for the 5th season. She is the props mistress for Scripts Ranch for 2 seasons, Cygnet theatres props designer this season and has worked with moxie as a props designer and or a technical director for almost 3 seasons, this is the first show that she has worked at North Coast Repertory theatre.
Peter Herman (Hair and Wig Design)
Peter Herman has previously designed wigs for over 30 NCR productions including Honky Tonk Angels, Travesties, I Love You Because, Little Women, My Name is Asher Lev, Five Course Love, Lend Me a Tenor and recently Educating Rita. He has also designed costumes for past NCR productions of Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Big Bang, Madagascar, and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Peter teaches wig and makeup design at San Diego State University. He is glad to be part of the creative team on this show.
Rosalee Barrientos* (Stage Manager)
NCRT credits include Time Stands Still, Fuddy Meers, As Bees in Honey Drown, First Night, Moon Over Buffalo, The Rivals, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Arcadia. Theater credits: Parade, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (2007, 2009, 2011), The Glass Menagerie, Our Town, The Tragedy of the Commons, The Norman Conquests trilogy, Sweeney Todd, Noises Off, A Christmas Carol, The Receptionist, A Number, Turn of the Screw, Arcadia, Desire Under the Elms, Yellowman, Copenhagen, Biedermann and the Firebugs, The Invention of Love, A Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Pageant, and Bed and Sofa 2004 (Cygnet Theatre); Redwood Curtain (Asian American Repertory Theatre); Master Class (Alpine Theatre Project); A Dream Play, Macbeth, Nu, [sic], Berzerkergäng, and The Universal Monster Show (Sledgehammer Theatre). Ross holds a BA in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University and has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 2008.
This artist sponsored by Jeffrey Strauss.
Sylvia Trinh (Assistant Stage Manager)
Sylvia earned her Bachelor Degree in Communications and minored in Theatre at the University of California, San Diego. She is living her dream and continues to work with many theatres in the San Diego area! Her most recent work: La Jolla Playhouse's newest workshop production of Being Henrietta (PSM) and John Doe the Musical (ASM), a brand new production at the Lyceum Theatres. Ion Theatre Credits: The Mystery Plays (PSM); Angels in America (ASM), a recognized production within the San Diego Critic's Circle 2011. UCSD Credits: Finesse Dance Showcase 2012 (PSM), Being Henrietta - Staged Reading (PSM), Bodies in the Park - BNPF 2011 (PSM), The Threepenny Opera (PA), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Asst. Scenic Designer), Danton’s Death (Spot Op.). Other Credits: TedxSemesterAtSea – Morocco (PSM), Bye Bye Birdie (Light Board Op.) – Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel, CA.
Jason Nall (Production Manager)
Jason is in his first season with North Coast Rep. Previously, he was production manager with The Cutting Ball Theatre, where he worked on their award-winning Pelleas and Melisande, Tontlawald, and Tenderloin, a documentary piece of the famous San Francisco neighborhood. He was also the resident PM for Crowded Fire Theatre Company (Exit, Pursued by a Bear; Songs of the Dragon Flying to Heaven; The Secretaries) and served as production manager for Boxcar Theatre (Clue), and Lamplighters Music Theatre (Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, Mikado). He is also an AEA stage manager, working for San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, The Magic Theatre, and Berkeley Playhouse. He has also participated in several new works, including Cybil Shepherd’s one-woman show Curvy Widow, Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar with Ensemble Parallèle, and Mark Foeringer Dance Project’s Bitter Fruit.
Originally from Claremont, CA, he has a BA in Criminology from UC
Ryan Ford (Associate Production Manager)
Ryan is thrilled to be on staff here at NCRT as the Associate Production Manager. Previous works at NCRT include: as a sound mixer; Dames at Sea, Honky Tonk Angels, and Back to Bacharach and David; as ASM or PA; Dracula, String of Pearls, Madagascar, A Shayna Maidel, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Leading Ladies. Around San Diego, Ryan has worked as a stage manager at several theatre companies including Moxie, ion, Diversionary, Cygnet, Playwrights Project, and San Diego Rep. Favorite productions include Twist (Diversionary), A Hammer A Bell and A Song to Sing (SDRep), and Angels in America (ion). Ryan holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from UCSD. Love and thanks to his fabulous fiancée, Sammi, for long days and late nights.
John Finkbiner (Scenic Artist)
John has been a member of the NCR staff for nearly three years. His favorite shows are Halpern and Johnson, SHIPWRECKED!, The Dresser and Jacques Brel. John received his BA degree at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television in 1991. John is also an accomplished singer/songwriter and performs with his band, the Stereotypes. His music has been featured on Showtime’s “Californication”,
Fox’s “Bones” and NBC’s “Knight Rider”, among others. John lives with his
wife Judi and his son John Gibson in Leucadia.
Thank you to ALL of our sponsors! You help make productions like this possible!!