Liza Ann Acosta: Ensemble, Listerary Director, & Board Member: Earned her PhD in Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University in 2001. Her dissertation, “Standing at the Threshold: Ritual in Inter-American Women’s Drama,” analyzes the incorporation and recreation of ritual contexts in Inter-American Women’s theater.
Currently she is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at North Park University where she teaches a wide variety of courses such as Writing Creative Non-fiction, World Literature, Gender, Race and Post-Colonial Literatures. She is also working on a novel titled Ines in the Garden of Hopes.
For Teatro Luna, Liza Ann has been a contributing writer for Lunatic(a)s 2007, Machos!, Lunatic(a)s 2009, Gl 2010, and the upcoming production of The North/South Plays with Bailiwick Chicago. She can be seen reading/performing her work a at Story Point, the Hopleaf Tuesday Funk, and Proyecto Latina. Her work is featured in various publications including the Ascentos Review where her piece Holy Quincenera was featured both in print and as a live performance at the Bowery Ball Room in New York.
DESIREE CASTRO: I am a one-woman show here and the heart and hands behind Mano y Metal.
I am a self-taught jewelry artist, playwright, retired ballerina, & part-time believer in Vampires. I was born and raised in Little Village, Chicago and intertwine the urban influence, theater, writing, love for chicago, chaos, life, amor and I N S A N I T Y into my jewelry designs.
I launched Mano y Metal in October 2010 & have not been able to stop myself from creating jewelry since then! It reminds me of the time I discovered glow-in-the-dark nail polish as a kid and couldn’t stop using it to write all over my bedroom walls. Anyway, I love creating and I wish I could do this full-time but alas, I remain a cubicle hostage from 9-5 everyday still.. so the collection of work you see in my shop is created passionately in between my daily hustle of: motherhood, day job, netflix escapes, vampire novels, stressin’ grad school homework and while I am at it, I might as well admit that I shamelessly brainstorm new jewelry designs while people think I am listening to them talk.
TL Credits include: MACHOS (Actor & Writing Team Member), Writing Team Member for GL 2010, and Contributing Soloist to Solo TU.
Kristiana Colón: is a poet, playwright, actor, and educator living and working in Chicago. She has served as an adjunct English and Humanities professor at Chicago State University, Malcolm X College, and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. She is proud to see her work anthologized in Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web 2010 and Haven Books’ Not a Muse collection. Other recent publications include African American Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, the Logan Square Literary Review, and Organs of Vision and Speech, among several other online and print journals. Her short plays have appeared in Rebel Theater’s Sunday Reading Series in New York, American Theater Company’s The Silver Project, Teatro Luna’s 10 x 10 Festival in conjunction with the Goodman’s Latino Theater Festival, Dramatist Personae’s Artist Gumbo series and Simple Theater’s K.I.S.S. festival. Her most recent full-length project one week in spring was a finalist for Victory Gardens’ Ignition festival and had its first full staged reading in TL’s Lunadas Series in October 2010. Her first play but i cd only whisper was the 2nd place winner of the 2008 Theodore Ward Playwriting contest and was workshopped at the Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab in New York. Her play the darkest pit had its world premiere at the Prop Thtr in 2009. She is an MFA graduate from the School of the Art Institute and has been seen on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. More information about Kristiana, as well as text, audio, and video samples of her work, can be found at http://www.kristianacolon.com.
PETRUCIA FINKLER: is a Brazilian-American actress and writer currently living in São Paulo, Brazil, with her husband and their three kitties. She is very proud to be an artistic associate of Teatro Luna and also a participant in the company`s playwriting salon. Petrucia has been seen on the Chicago stage in productions with Halcyon Theatre, Terra Mysterium and The Moving Dock, among others, and a couple indie films that made the festival circuit. Her voice was also heard through her writing in Teatro Luna`s GL 2010 and a few other co-writing projects with Terra Mysterium. Her two individual plays “Brilliant Cut” and “Love at Lorena Apartments” received readings as part of TL’s Lunadas Series. She is also very passionate about tarot, astrology and anything that explores the depths of the human soul.
CHRISTINA IGARAIVIDEZ: is a Chicago native and has been trained in acting and improv at several Chicago institutions such as the Second City, iO, and the Black Box Acting Studio. She has written and performed in variety of pieces from sketch to stand up as well dramatic theater at venues such as the Second City, Gorilla Tango, Chicago Center for Performing Arts, and the Greenhouse Theater. She has been an active member of the Latina theater company Teatro Luna for the past year and graduated from Depaul University with B.S. in Marketing. She has a passion for self-expression in every sense of the word and is constantly working on her craft.
TL Credits Include: Writing Team for North South Plays, Actor in Lullaby, and Touring Cast Member for S-e-x-OH! and other Teatro Luna Performances.
CHRISTINE PASCUAL: Is a Costume Designer. She most recently designed the costumes for El Nogalar at the Goodman. She is delighted to be an Artistic Associate of Teatro Luna. Additional credits: Madagascar at Next Theatre, 26 Miles for Teatro Vista/Rivendell, GL 2010: Not Your Generic Latina for Teatro Luna, Sizwe Banzi is Dead at Court Theatre, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens, Our Lady of the Underpass at 16th Street Theatre and for Teatro Vista, The House on Mango Street at Steppenwolf, Welcome to Arroyo’s for American Theatre Company, Lunaticas, Jarred for Teatro Luna, Relatively Close, The Romance of Magno Rubio, Hambone, Concerto Chicago, Symmetry and Blackbird for Victory Gardens, Sanctified, St James Infirmary, Seven Guitars, Elmina’s Kitchen, From the Mississippi Delta, A Soldier’s Play and Black Nativity for Congo Square Theatre, Ten Cent Night for Chicago Dramatists, Piano Lesson, The First Breeze of Summer, Flyin’ West for The Court Theatre, La Rondine for Roosevelt University, True West, Topdog Underdog, People’s Temple, Living Out for American Theater Company Elliot A Soldier’s Fugue for Rivendell/Teatro Vista at Steppewolf. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Second Stage Theatre off broadway, (exhibiting at Prague quadrennial 2011 and 2010 Henry Hewes Design Award Nominee for Noteable Effects)
KARLA ESTELA RIVERA: was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and raised on Chicago’s North Side. Her writing career began at the age of fifteen when she worked in conjunction with Chicago’s Gallery 37 program and Pegasus Theater to write her first play, Liberation Day. Her writing continued as a student staff writer and bureau chief for the youth newspaper New Expression and was recognized in the February 26, 1996 edition of The Nation magazine as “the paper’s most prolific North Side writer” for her pieces written in both English and Spanish. Karla entered the acting program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She later graduated with Honors from Columbia College Chicago’s department in Film & Video.
In the fall of 2007 Karla began her graduate studies at New York University’s, Tisch School of the Arts in the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing. Upon leaving NYU, she has had the pleasure of working with Northern Stage in White River Junction, VT as a Resident Playwright, teaching playwriting.
Karla continues to work as an Arts Educator, working with youth from Chicago’s Humboldt Park, Hermosa and Englewood communities, utilizing theater and storytelling as tools for social justice.
Karla is dedicated to telling stories that promote universal themes. While her writing tends to be rooted in an urban Chicago, Puerto Rican female perspective, her characters could be from any city, state or ethnicity in America. Her body of work balances comedy and tragedy, and at the core, her stories are about personal growth. She has a deep respect and love for the magic of theater and filmmaking, from a budding idea to the finished product. She currently resides in Chicago, where she continues teaching and writing. She is the Salon Director and North South Plays Writing Team Member. She is also a part of the S-e-x-OH! Touring Cast.
MAC VAUGHEY: Mr. Vaughey is a Chicago based lighting designer. Mr. Vaughey has designed Lunatic(a)s, Machos, Solo Tu, S-E-X-O!, and Jarred, Lunatic(a)s 2, GL 2010, and Lullaby for Teatro Luna. Mr. Vaughey is also the resident lighting designer at the 16thStreet Theatre in Berwyn, an associate artist with Premiere Theatreand Performance and a company member with Walkabout Theatre. Other credits include work with Collaboraction, Chicago Shakespeare, TeatroVista, Route 66, American Theatre Company and Infamous Commonwealth. Mr. Vaughey is also the master electrician for Light Opera Works, the Next Theatre, The American Theatre Company and Timeline Theatre.