Read about the phenomenal roster of Latinx artists who joined us at our 2018 production of Yo Soy LOLA titled Colores. Our vision is to mobilize Latinas to create social change through the arts and be the role models we wish we'd had.
Alex Casillas is a local Boston-based actor and theatre artist. Originally from New Jersey, she came to Boston to gain her B.F.A in Acting from Boston University. Being a part of Yo Soy LOLA has brought her back to her roots. Creating art for marginalized voices has always been and will always be her passion.
Angelica is an aspiring sound designer. She grew up in Long Beach, California, and then moved to Boston for college. She is currently studying sound design as a sophomore at Boston University. She is excited to work with such an amazing team on a project that connects deeply with her own culture and beliefs.
Audrey Guerrero was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Boston in 2002. At the age of 4, she began training in jazz, hip-hop, and Latin dance, eventually discovering a passion for the Afro-rooted arts. Currently, Audrey continues her training in Afro-Latin dance at Masacote Dance School and Afro Brazilian martial arts at Sinha Capoeira.
Audrey is proudest of her work at Hyde Square Task Force as the Dance Programs Coordinator. Through dance she is able to coach and mentor immigrant students of color who have a passion for the arts, teach Afro-Latin dance classes for kids in the JP/Roxbury community, and coordinate Learning Through Dance, a program that brings Afro-Latin Dance to Boston Public Schools.
Director of Performance
Desiré Graham proudly hails from Harlem, New York. She moved to Boston to work on her major in theatre arts and to minor in African-American studies at Boston University. Piece by piece she is discovering what it means to hold space as a brown woman for brown women from various backgrounds. She will be carving her way through life to make this her top priority. For Desiré, LOLA is beautifully brown, family driven, challenging, bright, strong, and everything in between and all around.
Inés De La Cruz
Inés de la Cruz is a Boston-based actor. Born in NYC to Dominican parents and raised in Boston, she has performed in various productions with TC Squared Theatre Company and is a member of the Boston Straeon Acting Studio as well as a board member and actor for the Spanish-language theatre troupe Escena Latina Teatro. She has been featured in various student films, ESL and Spanish language educational videos. You can catch Inés as Catalina De La Cruz in seasons one and two of the comedic web series “The Pineapple Diaries” on YouTube, and as Agustina in the short film “Si No Te Vas," an official selection of the 2017 Boston Latino International Film Festival.
Jadira is a Puerto Rican, Boston-based stage manager and actor. Some of her most recent stage managing credits include Crossing Flight with TC Squared Theatre, Speculum with The Theatre Offensive, and Bola de Nieve with The Theatre Offensive. She is excited to join Yo Soy LOLA and this group of talented artists for this year's production.
Karen Alejandra Salazar
Karen Alejandra Salazar was born in Barranquilla, Colombia where she first discovered her love of dance. She grew up in Miami and moved to Boston two years ago. She is a graduate from Lesley University with a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Dance Movement Therapy.
Born and raised in Boston, MA, Kathy Lebrón started dancing and acting at the age of 8. At 16, she played Joanie in the American Repertory Theater’s stage adaptation of Donnie Darko. One year later, she danced at the White House with her dance troupe Ritmo en Acción. Kathy studied theater at Smith College where she acted in stage productions of Las Meninas, Polaroid Stories, and Nickel and Dimed.
Lisette Santiago-De Faria
Paloma Valenzuela is a playwright, screenwriter and director originally from the city of Boston. She is the creator of La Gringa Loca Productions, a multi-media production operation based in the Dominican Republic and the United States. She studied dramatic writing at the New York University Tisch Summer Program and majored in Writing for Film and Television at Emerson College. Paloma is currently working on video and film projects in the United States and the Dominican Republic.
Yo Soy LOLA will be featuring an excerpt from her play QueSeYoCuanto.This scene has been cut-down from it's original length by Tatiana Gil.
Priscilla Cerdas is a clinical mental health counselor with a specialization in dance/movement therapy. If she is not engaged in her clinical work, she is teaching yoga or spending time with her pug, Garbanzo. Priscilla earned her bachelors in arts administration and psychology. Throughout college and grad school, she has searched for paths to blend her passions for the arts and health as these two entities have always been interconnected for her. Priscilla is honored to be part of such an empowering cast and is grateful to connect in greater depth with her Latinx roots.
Queen Laura, known as Queen, was born and raised in Lawrence, MA. An artist, singer, painter, dancer and teacher of the arts, she has worked in Lawrence Public Schools as an enrichment teacher. At the age of 28, Queen is a creator of moments. Her performances consist of energy, groove, and above all else good company. She works hard to create that vibe and makes sure you feel it from the start until when she exits the stage. Although growth is slow, she hopes to make plenty slow and honest growth in life.
Sandra Marcelino, or “Sasi," is a multifaceted performer and historian who maintains a lifelong passion for the cultural investigation and preservation of Afro-Caribbean traditions and folklore through dance and music. With over 20 years of performance experience in ballet, jazz, modern, African, salsa, hip-hop, bomba and plena, she currently teaches within the Boston Public School and Cambridge School systems. She educates youth in Afro-Caribbean lore and history through dance, music, and theater to promote cultural healing and individual expression. Sasi is co-founder and director of the KECOSA Collective, which are among the Boston Foundation's 2018 Live Arts Boston grantees. The collective brings together diverse musicians, poets from across the globe for an exchange and live performance. Sasi is driven by her passion for social change, cultural awareness, and the arts.
Shamara AKA DJ WHYSHAM
Shamara, AKA DJ WHYSHAM, is a Dorchester Native and the visionary behind Bringing Back Boston (BBBMA) and co-creator of "Boston Got Next" listening sessions for local artists' music. She is the resident DJ for Haley House Slam Poetry. Her background in criminal justice and community outreach has led her to merge her artistry as a DJ with an effort to make positive changes and provide adequate resources in disenfranchised communities in Boston.
DJ WHYSHAM believes in bringing music, hardship and pain together, while creating events as a release for collective trauma.
Born in San Andres Island, Colombia, Sharon immigrated to Florida at a young age. In middle school, she found dance to be a vehicle for profound self-reflection and communication with others.
Her love for dance grew and the power of movement intrigued her throughout the completion of her bachelors in psychology at the University of South Florida. She is in her final year at Lesley University earning her masters in dance/movement therapy.
She's excited to be a part of this production and humbled to be share all these important stories.
Soerny is incredibly passionate about nurturing spaces for learning and healing. She works as a community health educator for middle school students in Somerville where she teaches a comprehensive health curriculum with a racial and health equity lens. She is also a consultant and board member with VISIONS Inc, a national diversity and inclusion firm. Latin dance has always been an important part of Soerny's life whether it was as part of building community on and off the stage or cleaning the house. This is her first time back as an actress since high school. She is a proud native of Jamaica Plain.
Stephane was an artistic gymnast for more than 14 years. She has coached at Woodward West and multiple gyms in San Diego, upstate NY, and Boston. Stephane has also worked under De Leono Production, and Merlin Entertainment as an acrobat and stunt performer. In 2009, she retired from gymnastics and began dancing, becoming well versed in everything from jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary to hip-hop. She's been a company member of San Diego-based companies such as Urban Fx, KINology, head company dancer at Visionary Dance Theater, scholarship dancer for Culture Shock San Diego, Jean Isaacs' San Diego Dance Theater, and Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company. Stephane has her masters in mental health counseling and dance/movement therapy and a bachelors in creative arts therapy with a concentration in dance. She strives to be a catalyst for change using the arts in the work she does as a mental health therapist and advocate.
Victoria Sagardía Calderón is a dancer, writer, capoerista and choreographer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is also a youth worker and member of the Boston-based dance theater company Danza Orgánica as well as a member of Sinha Capoeira. Growing up during the resurgence of carpeteo in Puerto Rico, Victoria sees art as a vehicle to tell untold stories. Her work is rooted in body positivity, self acceptance, and social justice/responsibility.
Wren Romero-Gilhooly is a performer and poet from Phoenix, Arizona. She currently studies theatre as a junior at Boston University. After Yo Soy LOLA, Wren will be releasing music with The House or Blair, preparing to compete in the second annual Feminine Empowerment Movement (FEMS) Slam Poetry Tournament, and getting ready to travel in the spring.
Yvette Modestin is a writer, poet and activist who focuses on shedding light on the Afro descendant experience in Latin America. She was born and raised in Colon, Panama, and is the founder and executive director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro in Boston, MA. She was named in the 30 Most Influential Afro Latinas of the world. She is the diaspora coordinator of the Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diaspora a national and international network of Afrolatinamerican women. She sits as the representative of this network at the UN office for Women and the African Union. Modestin was the 2009 recipient of the Drylongso Award by Community Change Inc. for her extraordinary anti- racism work. As an artist, licensed mental health clinician and wellness facilitator, Modestin speaks to the acknowledgement of the historical pain of people of African descent and the awareness of the connection that would lead to the healing of our communities.