Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.
Diana Burbano* (Amalia Morales/Doña Lola)
is a Colombian immigrant, a playwright, an Equity actor and a teaching artist at Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble and South Coast Repertory. Her play Ghosts of Bogotá, won the nuVoices for a New Generation Play Festival at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (2019), where it will be produced in 2022. Ghosts was commissioned and debuted at Alter Theater in the Bay Area in February 2020. Sapience, a PlayGround SF 2020 winner, will premiere at The Moxie Theatre in January 2022. Fabulous Monsters, a Kilroys selection was to premiere at Playwrights Arena in 2020 (postponed). She is in the Geffen Theatre’s Writers Lab in 2021 and was in Center Theatre Group’s 2018-19 Writers Workshop cohort and is under or has completed commissions for Artists Repertory Theatre, Latino Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, Lower Depths Ensemble and Livermore Shakespeare Festival. Burbano recently played Leona in Brian Quijada’s Somewhere Over The Border online at Arizona Theatre Company. You can also see her as Viv the Punk in the cult musical, Isle of Lesbos. She is the current Dramatists Guild rep for Southern California. Burbano dedicates this performance to Josie Dapar & Doreen Montalvo. dianaburbano.com
Gabriela Carrillo* (Lucha Morales)
is muy emocionada y agradecida to be, once again, a part of South Coast Repertory’s production of American Mariachi! What a joyful, triumphant return to theatre, in a role that is so dear to her. Growing up in Chicago, as the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, she finds it so meaningful to be telling this particular story on stage. She is especially thrilled to be able to sing and play violin in mariachi style in this show. Carrillo is a trained vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and alumna of Berklee College of Music in Boston, specializing in vocal performance and songwriting. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment. Since relocating to Southern California, some of her favorite roles have been Elsa in Frozen: Live at The Hyperion (Disneyland), Miriam in The Prince of Egypt (Tuacahn Amphitheatre), Cathy in The Last Five Years (International City Theatre, Long Beach), and Aurelia in Love Actually Live (Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center/For the Record Live). Aside from a theatre performer, she’s also is a songwriter, original music artist (find her on streaming platforms as Gabriela Francesca), a voiceover, film and television actor, and social media content creator, with more than 129K subscribers on YouTube! She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Follow her on Instagram @gfrancescamusic
Sol Castillo* (Mino Avila/Padre Flores)
is thrilled to return to SCR for the return of American Mariachi. He was last seen as Mino in the 2019 production at SCR, and also previously appeared in A Christmas Carol, The Night Fairy and The Hollow Lands. You may have also seen him here as Refugio/Buzzard in his eight-season run in Octavio Solis’ La Posada Mágica. He also appeared in Arizona Theatre Company’s production of American Mariachi. His other credits include Solis’ Quixote Nuevo at California Shakespeare Theater; Lord Chaac Ha in The Realm of the Maya at Plaza de La Raza; the Denver Center for the Performing Arts debut of Sunsets and Margaritas; Of Mice and Men at Pasadena Playhouse; Zoot Suit at San Diego Repertory Theatre; and in the national tour of Veteranos: A Legacy of Valor. He dedicates his performance to his family who inspire him to keep playing. Follow him at Instagram and Twitter @elsolcastillo.
Satya Jnani Chavez* (Hortensia "Boli" Perez)
returns to SCR to reprise her favorite character of all time. Her other recent credits include American Mariachi (Dallas Theater Center, SCR, Arizona Theatre Company); Empanada (The Public Theater of San Antonio); Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, Soul of the World, A Christmas Carol, Evocation to Visible Appearance, All of This Togetherness and You Across From Me (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Undesirables (Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); Life On Paper (Jackalope Theatre Company); The Happiest Song Plays Last (Curious Theatre); Othello and Twelfth Night (Colorado Shakespeare Fest); Ghost of Lote Bravo, Shoe, and Undesirables (John F. Kennedy Center); Jesus Christ Superstar (Arvada Center); Black Elk Speaks and Arabian Nights (The Aurora Fox). Chavez is a Chicago-based actress, multi-instrumentalist and composer, proudly represented by Paonessa Talent Agency. Follow her
@satyachachachale, or visit satyachavez.com.
Alicia Coca* (Isabel Campos)
returns to SCR after having appeared previously in She Loves Me (2020) and American Mariachi (2019). A 2018 theatre arts graduate of the University of California, Davis, Coca’s recent work includes SCR’s 2021 Samples From the Lab, Latino Theatre Company’s 2020 virtual productions of Just Like Us (Clara) directed by Fidel Gomez and August 29 (Young Lucero) directed by Alberto Barboza. She was a featured soloist in the 2018 Graham-a-Rama Cabaret (hosted by Graham Sobelman) at Sacramento Capital Stage. In 2019, she performed in downtown Los Angeles as a lead Angel vocalist in the 17th annual performance of La Virgen de Guadalupe: Dios Inantzin (written by Evelina Fernandez and directed by José Luis Valenzuela). Coca made her Actors’ Equity debut in March 2019 in American Mariachi at Arizona Theatre Company.
Eduardo Enrikez* (Mateo Campos/René/Rubén/Los Muchachos)
is excited to return to South Coast Repertory with American Mariachi. He previously graced the stage as Sebastian in Destiny of Desire, which went on to the Goodman Theater, as well as productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Cincinnati Playhouse. He was in the original London West End production of the musical, On Your Feet, the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan (London Coliseum); this fall, he will reprise his role as Emilio in a production at The Moonlight Amphitheatre. His West End/European credits include The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, Eating Raoul, Time Square Angel, Saturday Night Fever and Hair. His regional credits include Destiny of Desire; American Mariachi; Chris in Miss Saigon (Inland Empire Award for Best Actor, Broadway World nomination); Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity (Inland Empire Award for Best Actor, Broadway World nomination); Emcee in Cabaret (Garland Award nomination); Mickey in Blood Brothers (Ada Award for Best Actor); Is This Any Way to Start a Marriage; Ragtime; The Musical of Musicals, The Musical!; Love Songs—A Musical; Bat Boy: The Musical; Hercules On Normandie and Schoolhouse Rock. His film and television credits include Sin Frontera (Best Actor Award, Seattle Film Festival; Best Actor Nomination, Beaufort International Film Festival), Stigma, Emilio, Jornada al norte, Dog Tags, Immigrant, Infertile Hearts, “The Bridge,” “Locked up Abroad” and “Bluff.” He has been elected as an associate of The Royal Academy of Music in London. Visit eduardoenrikez.com and follow him on Instagram @eduardoenrikez.
Crissy Guerrero* (Soyla Reyna/Sister Manuela)
is thrilled to return home to SCR for American Mariachi. She originated the role of Soyla in the world premiere of American Mariachi at the Denver Center for Performing Arts and the Old Globe Theatre. She was last seen as Camila in In the Heights at Dallas Theater Center, and as Helen in Fun Home at Theatreworks Silicon Valley. Her other theatre credits include Black Butterfly (Mark Taper Forum), La Posada Mágica (South Coast Repertory) and Wild in Wichita (Bilingual Foundation of the Arts/LATC). She produces and co-hosts two web series and a successful variety show for Studio C & C. Guerrero also stars in the Emmy Award-nominated web series, “Home for Mom.” Her other TV credits include Conan O’Brien, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and George Lopez’ “Mind of Mencia.” Her voice is heard on “Parks and Recreation,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Handy Manny” and “Big Mouth.” IG: @crissyg1 and @cncvarietyhour Twitter: @crissyg & @StudioCandC. This performance is dedicated to the memories of Doreen Montalvo Mann & Laura Mann.
Mauricio Mendoza* (Federico Morales/Chuy "Pepe" Bravo)
appeared at SCR previously in American Mariachi, Destiny of Desire and La Posada Mágica. His select theatre credits include In the Heights, Water & Power, School of the Americas, Nine, Into the Woods, Zoot Suit, Anna in The Tropics, Man of La Mancha, Evita, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet and Cesar and Ruben. He appeared for three seasons as a series regular on “Resurrection Blvd.” (Showtime), as well as “Angeles,” “Hacienda Heights” “La Quinceañera” and the second season of “The Unknown Hitman” (Netflix). His other television and film credits include “Adam Ruins Everything,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “The Rookie,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Criminal Minds,” “East Los High,” “Hit the Floor,” “Law & Order: LA,” “The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” “Judging Amy,” “24,” “King of Queens,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: LA,” “Lincoln Heights,” “Cold Case,” “Undercovers,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” Zephyr Springs, Dawn Patrol, Seized, The Shifting, Quinto Piso, Blow, After School and Ladrones. He owns a film production company, True Form Films and educational platform, Shortcut2hollywood, with his wife Yeniffer Behrens-Mendoza
Luzma Ortiz* (Gabby Orozco)
is beyond excited and can’t believe she gets to return to the theatre after such a devastating year-and-a-half. She is incredibly honored to reprise her role as Gabby for this very special remount of American Mariachi in this inaugural season with OutsideSCR! Her previous SCR include Rosamond in Nate the Great (Theatre for Young Audiences family show), Gabby Orozco in American Mariachi and Hospital Worker in Aubergine. Some other favorite roles include Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray (Palos Verdes Performing Arts’ Norris Theatre), Gladys/Bolero Singer in In the Heights (Musical Theatre West), Isa the Iguana and Dora understudy in Dora the Explorer Live! (Equity national tour), Fosca’s Mother in Passion (directed by Kent Nicholson), Eva Peron in Evita (Irvine Barclay Theatre), Cynthia in Contra La Corriente (Brown Bag Theatre Company), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Performance Riverside), Emma Goldman in Ragtime (directed by Gary Krinke), and Maria in West Side Story (directed by Denise Dales-Jacobs, Inland Theatre League Award). Ortiz’s education and training include a BFA in musical theatre, with honors in acting, from the University of California, Irvine, and a certificate in musical theatre from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (New York City). Keep an eye out for her in some commercials later this summer and as she breaks into the TV and film world. Always grateful for the love and support from familia and amigos, but especially my love, Peter, without whom I would never have survived the quarantine. I love you and our son, James, so much! Los amo! For more information/por mas información, visit/visita: LuzmaOrtiz.com and follow me/siga me on Instagram as LuzmaOrtizActress.
Esteban Montoya Dagnino (Trumpet)
was born and raised in Tucson, Ariz., began playing mariachi in 2009 with Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson and immediately fell in love with the music. After attending many mariachi conferences and learning the art of the music, he decided to pursue the music genre as a career and is now an ambassador of mariachi as are all of his “compañeros” who portray the art and carry on the music. Dagnino currently carries on the tradition in Los Angeles with Mariachi Santa Monica.
Francisco Javier Molina (Violin)
has a music BA in vocal performance from the University of Arizona. He began mariachi music in 1985 with the youth mariachi Los Changuitos Feos and has performed professionally with various prolific mariachi ensembles throughout the United States. He performed for a decade in Los Angeles with Mariachi Garibaldi and Mariachi Tlaquepaque where he accompanied various Latin singing artists on stage, film and television including Vikki Carr, in the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Mexican morning show “De Buen Humor.” Molina can be heard singing as a soloist and backing vocals on various mariachi recordings including artists such as Pedro Fernandez. As a baritone, he sang classically in Paris, France, at both the Notre Dame Cathedral and the L’église de la Madeleine, as a featured soloist in 2016. He sang for the Orlando Opera Camerata for the opera Aida. He directs Mariachi El Quinto Sol and teaches and directs mariachi for elementary, middle and high school curriculums, along with youth community mariachi in Tucson, Ariz. He appeared in the 2019 American Mariachi production with Arizona Theater Company.
Stephanie Swift Molina (Violin/Tia Carmen)
is a mariachi and a soprano from Tucson, Ariz. She previously appeared in American Mariachi as Tia Carmen with the Arizona Theater Company. As a singer, she has performed abroad in Paris, France, at the Notre Dame Cathedral and L’église de la Madeleine. Molina has been a mariachi performer for more than 20 years, and is co-founder and co-director of Mariachi El Quinto Sol and a youth group, Mariachi Sensacional. She has taught mariachi throughout the Tucson community, schools, mariachi conference festivals and other mariachi programs in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Connecticut. She currently teaches music with the Arizona ESA program to students with special needs throughout Arizona and performs with Mariachi El Quinto Sol in Tucson. She received her BA from the University of Arizona.
Antonio A. Pró (Guittarrón)
returns to SCR to perform again in American Mariachi. Born and raised in Tucson, Ariz., Pró has performed professionally as a mariachi musician more than 30 years. His musical journey began in 1989, at the age of 12, with the youth group Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson. During his career, he has appeared on national and international television programs, most notably, “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” and on Spanish-speaking programs such as “¡Despierta America!” and “Sábado Gigante.” He has also performed and recorded with the Tucson-based rock group, Calexico, with whom he has toured Europe, Canada and the U.S. His performances include the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Reading and Leeds festivals in England. Pró also takes part in the Tucson International Mariachi Conference, where he has been an instructor for nearly 22 years. He takes pride in sharing his knowledge of and his love for mariachi music with the new generation.
Ali Pizarro (Vihuela)
returns to SCR having previously appeared in American Mariachi in 2019. Originally from Los Angeles, Pizarro began his mariachi career in 2004 in Tucson. Having worked with artists such as Ana Bárbara, Paquita la del Barrio, Ángela Aguilar, Pedro Fernández and many others, he has been inspired to continue spreading the beautiful culture of Mexico through mariachi music.
Christopher Acebo (Director)
is thrilled to return and reimagine American Mariachi for this exciting new venture of OutsideSCR. He previously designed sets at South Coast Repertory for Culture Clash (Still) in America, La Posada Mágica, The Beard of Avon, The Countess, My Wandering Boy, Hold Please, Habeus Corpus, California Scenarios and The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. His directorial debut production of American Mariachi for Arizona Theatre Company was the biggest-selling production in ATC’s 50-year history and his production of Sweat for Profile Theater was selected as the Best Production in Portland (Ore). On Broadway, he designed All the Way (2014 Tony Award, Best Play). His regional design credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival—where he was associate artistic director for 12 seasons—with world premieres of All the Way, Equivocation, Head Over Heels, Fingersmith, Mojada and more than 30 other productions; The Clean House (Lincoln Center Theatre); Throne of Blood (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Zoot Suit, Electricidad, Chavez Ravine, Water & Power and Living Out (Center Theatre Group); West Side Story (Guthrie Theater); and The Year to Come and Zorro in Hell (La Jolla Playhouse). His other design work has been for Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Arizona Theatre Company, among others. He was a recipient of the inaugural Latino Theater Commons Award for Outstanding Advocacy for Latinx Voices in the New American Theater. He currently serves on the Oregon Arts Commission and as the CEO of Broken English, a film production company whose first film, 7th and Union, premiered at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival last month. Acebo earned his MFA from UC-San Diego. acebocreative.com
Efren Delgadillo Jr. (Scenic Design)
has designed American Mariachi (2019, 2021) and Kings for South Coast Repertory. His notable New York productions include The Three Musketeers (The Acting Company) and Mycenaean (Brooklyn Academy of Music). His regional theatre credits include American Mariachi (Arizona Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); BLKS (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company); Bordertown Now (Pasadena Playhouse); Smart People and Indecent (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Othello (Hartford Stage); DJ Latinidad (Mixed Blood Theatre); Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (The Getty Villa, Boston Court); and Prometheus Bound (The Getty Villa/Center for New Performance). He has had the incredible honor of working with directors and artists such as Nataki Garrett, Christopher Acebo, Dámaso Rodríguez, Diane Rodriguez, Jessica Kubzansky, Karin Coonrod, Melanie Joseph, Casey Biggs, Mark Valdez, Michael Michetti, Alex Torra, Jesse Bonnell, Travis Preston, Culture Clash, Thaddeus Phillips and Carl Hancock Rux. A recipient of LA Weekly Theatre Awards for both production design and lighting design for Poor Dog Group’s Brewsie and Willie, Delgadillo has also been nominated for an Ovation Award in Best Scenic Design for Culture Clash’s Bordertown Now, as well as a Barrymore Award in Outstanding Scenic Design for Bienvenidos Blancos with Team Sunshine Corporation. He earned an MFA in scenic design from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in studio arts from University of California, Irvine.
Kish Finnegan (Costume Design)
is delighted to return to South Coast Repertory, having designed SCR’s American Mariachi in 2019. She makes her home in Tucson, Ariz., where she is the resident costume designer for Arizona Theatre Company. Her recent ATC design credits include Silent Sky, American Mariachi, Outside Mullingar, Chapter Two, Low Down Dirty Blues, King Charles III, Hair and Romeo and Juliet. Her other credits include the world premieres of The Kite Runner at The San Jose Repertory Theatre and The Tutor at Village Theatre in Washington, D.C., as well as The Yellow Boat; Go Dog. Go; Jingle Bells, Batman Smells; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Seussical; NeverEnding Story; and, most recently, a one-woman version of A Christmas Carol, with Phoenix-based Childsplay. Finnegan is a graduate of California Institute for the Arts. She began her career designing costumes for Team USA Synchronized Swimming and for aquatic shows in Las Vegas, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.
Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz (Lighting Design)
is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, where he is the head of the lighting design program. He has designed for various regional theatres such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Utah Shakespeare Festival. Among the productions he has designed at SCR are Outside Mullingar, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Whipping Man, Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy, 4,000 Miles, Three Days of Rain, La Posada Mágica, Saturn Returns, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, Doubt, a parable, and My Wandering Boy. His recent designs include Opera Festival on Ice for Bietak Production (Muscat, Oman); All is Calm at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Macbeth, Cymbeline and No Child at Great River Shakespeare Festival; Mojada at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Portland Center Stage; Murder for Two at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Center REPertory Company (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and SEED: A Weird Act of Faith for Cornerstone Theater Company, where he is an associate artist. He is a member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829/International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. His complete design portfolio can be found at lradesigns.com. Alcaraz was recently made an associate artist and the resident lighting designer at SCR.
Paul James Prendergast (Sound Design)
returns to SCR, where he previously composed music and designed sound for Lovers and Executioners, Habeas Corpus, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, The Little Prince, My Wandering Boy, The Happy Ones and Culture Clash in America. Broadway credits include All The Way, The Great Society and Julius Caesar. Regional theatre credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival (25 productions), La Jolla Playhouse, Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light, Hartford Stage, California Shakespeare Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alley Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Great Lakes Theater and Arizona Theater Company. He is a former ensemble member of Cornerstone Theater Company. His theme park credits include Universal Studios, Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm. His museum credits include J. Paul Getty, Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Autry National Center. His dance credits include Diavolo Dance Theatre, Momix and Parsons Dance. Accolades include a Grammy and Drama Desk nominations and he is the recipient of Broadway World, Ovation, Drama-Logue, Garland, Gregory, Footlight and Gypsy awards. Prendergast’s work as a singer/songwriter has been featured in films, on recordings, and in music venues nationwide.
Cynthia Reifler Flores (Music Director)
began as a classical violinist but has played with mariachis ranging from bar bands to the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas. She is best known for her 10-year role as the leader of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first all-female mariachi of international import. She continues to perform locally with the female group Corazón de México. Flores directs the mariachi programs at University of California, Riverside, and California State University, Los Angeles, where she earned her MA in Latin American studies; her thesis was entitled, “Origins and Continuance of Women’s Participation in Mariachi and the Cultural and Transnational Implications: California.” Flores edits a column on women in mariachi in The International Journal of Mariachi Education and Performance, a bilingual publication. She has performed as musical director, arranger and performer on other works by José Cruz González including the world premiere-joint production of American Mariachi for Denver Center Theatre and The Old Globe Theatre (San Diego); Arizona Theatre Company; Dallas Theatre Center and South Coast Repertory’s 2019 production. She lives in California with her son, Bruce, her husband, Pedro Flores—a renowned mariachi musician—an albino rabbit, and an enthusiastic dog.
Sophia Sanchez* (Stage Manager)
is a native of East Los Angeles and a graduate of UC-Berkeley. Upon returning to Los Angeles from the Bay Area, she fell in love with stage management at CASA 0101 in Boyle Heights and, for the past 11 years, has honed her craft as a stage manager at theaters throughout southern California including the Latino Theater Company at the Los Angeles Theater Center, 24th Street Theater, Laguna Playhouse, Pacific Resident Theater, and Cornerstone Theater. She has also worked nationally in San Francisco with Youth Speaks on the production of Try/Step/Trip and toured the Brown and Out Theater Festival in New York at the New York International Fringe Festival and Dublin, Ireland for the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. She is excited and thankful to be working on her first production at South Coast Repertory.
Natalie Figaredo* (Assistant Stage Manager) is a production stage manager whose credits include With Love and a Major Organ (Boston Court Pasadena), The Cake (Geffen Playhouse), The Cake (Echo Theatre), Reasons to be Pretty, The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Long Beach Playhouse) and Tender Napalm (Six01 Studio). Her credits as an assistant stage manager and production assistant include What You Are (The Old Globe), Poor Yella Rednecks, Amos and Boris, Little Black Shadows, Junie B Jones is Not a Crook, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Yoga Play, Orange, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Going to a Place where you Already Are and A Year with Frog and Toad (SCR) and Closer (The Macha Theatre).
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.