Company Meeting Day — First of Season 11

First Company Meeting of the new season, and boy are there things to talk about at this meeting! And I am so superdeduper excited because three new girls that we are quickly falling in love with will be joining our meetings! I don’t really have much to say except that I wanted to document my excitement at the first meeting of the new season. Its a nice milestone and follow up to our great season kick off event (photos/vido blog coming soon)! So much is changing at Teatro Luna— so many new hurdles (CCPA– more on that soon) and on and on that we haven’t been able to fully RE-LAUNCH as promised.

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Fake It Til You Make It

FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT… We’ve all heard that phrase before, especially us actors out there. I’ve never felt so tied to that phrase before though, until very recently.  As Chicago actors, we can become limited in our acting opportunities here. As a Chicago Latina actor, we are even more limited — which is why you may understand why I go through with the ”opportunities” I’ve been having lately in the Chicago commercial acting scene (trust me that wasn’t a run on sentence).

Meet our new Artistic Associate: Karla Estela Rivera

I am very excited to introduce to you our newest Artistic Associate!

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, where she played Martirio in The House of Bernarda Alba, Olga in Three Sisters, and the Rabbi & Angel in Angels in America. She also directed student actors in Speed the Plow. She later graduated with Honors from Columbia College Chicago’s department in Film & Video where she wrote, produced and directed three short films and wrote three feature-length screenplays. In 2006, her short film Unstoppable Jackie Nava was produced.

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 to 5th and 6th graders in Vermont and New Hampshire for the 2009 & 2010 Northern New England Primary Playwright’s Festival (Project Playwright).

In Chicago, Karla has production managed/coordinated UrbanTheater Company’s recent, Jeff-Recommended productions – Cuba and His Teddy Bear by Reinaldo Povod and Jose Rivera’s Brainpeople. She has also worked as a Director and Education Consultant for ¡Salsation! Theater Company and directed Teatro Luna’s December 2010 Lunadas reading of Please Hold by Jenny Saldaña. 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 currently a Company member of UrbanTheater Company and is the current Play Lab Director and Artistic Associate of Teatro Luna.