Raíces Theatre Company Announces New Ensemble Members, Reading Series at Road Less Traveled Theatre
BUFFALO, NY (October 3rd, 2017) — Raíces Theatre Company, Western New York’s premier Latinx theater production company, announced the addition of four new members to the company’s ensemble of theatrical professionals. “Expanding the ensemble brings us great pride,” said Victoria Pérez, Artistic Director of Raíces. “As a theatre company, we are only as strong as the people with which we tell our stories. With the addition of these four new members, we are stronger than ever.” Raíces’ new ensemble members include:
Anthony Alcocer – Anthony’s work with Raíces began with a play reading in 2014 when he read the part of Nene in Curse of the Puerto Ricans. In 2016, he read for the title character in Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue. 2016 also saw his stage debut with Raíces when he finished the Elliot Ortiz trilogy with The Happiest Song Plays Last. He also participated briefly as a guest in the stage reading for Barcelo on the Rocks. A four-time Artie Award-nominee, Anthony received the 2017 Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as Jackie in The Motherf**cker with the Hat, produced by Road Less Traveled Productions and directed by Raíces’ Artistic Director Victoria Pérez. Anthony also received Best of WNY recognition in 2015 from Buffalo Spree Magazine for his work as Adolpho in MusicalFare’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone. Locally, Anthony has worked with the Irish Classical Theatre Company, Buffalo United Artists, Second Generation Theatre, New Phoenix Theatre, Theatre of Youth, Torn Space Theater, Theatre Jugend, The ALT and Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Anthony opened the 2017-18 season as part of the cast for MusicalFare’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher. He will also appear on the 710 Main Theatre stage for RLTP’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life as well as American Repertory Theater of WNY’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he’ll play the role of Judas. The first Chicano in the Raíces ensemble, Anthony credits his parents with instilling him with pride in his own heritage, a mixture of Andalusian, Yucatecan Maya, Sicilian and Bohemian Romani. He earned his BFA degree from Florida State University in 2011 before pursuing professional theater in Buffalo.
Melinda Capeles-Rowe – Melinda has been working in the entertainment industry for almost 30 years and received her formal education from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the New School University. Locally, she has appeared in RLTP’s production of The Motherf**cker with the Hat (Veronica), Raíces’ Mariela in the Desert (Oliva), Stompin’ at the Savoy (Rachel) and Christmas is Coming Uptown (Young Mary). In the past, Melinda has also performed with Cirque du Soleil (Acrobat/Clown), Walt Disney World (Voice-over and Entertainment) and Disney Cruise Line (Entertainment). She has worked in various films as a stunt performer and actress. Melinda is also a professional consultant for the theater department at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf. A mother of three, she feels grateful and deeply indebted to her beautiful family.
Lissette DeJesus – Lissette is currently a student at Buffalo State College, where she majors in fashion with a minor in theater, and is a theater graduate of the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Her BAVPA credits include Pippin (Leading Player) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Eunice). On stage, she was last seen in Raíces’ production of Mariela in the Desert, earning an Artie for Outstanding Debut for her role as Blanca. A self-taught painter and published fashion model, Lissette is a co-founder of LUNA, a seminar held in Buffalo designed to embrace underrepresented women in the fashion industry, offering workshops on brand building, motivational and theater exercises as well as talkbacks with industry leaders. She is excited to join Raíces and thanks the company for providing a platform for her to explore her Latina heritage and a venue to tell her story.
Alexia Rose Guzmán – Alexia is a 2016 graduate of Hilbert College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in digital media and communications. In 2012, she was named Miss Borinquen of WNY. Alexia has been involved with the arts from a young age and the largest production she participated in was High School Musical: ON STAGE! (Martha Cox) with the Niagara Fine Arts Program. Alexia served as the stage manager for Raíces’ Summer 2017 production of Desde el Puente. As an ensemble member, Alexia hopes to gain more theater experience and to learn more about her Latina heritage, of which she is very proud. Working with Raíces is very special to her because, on the stage, the company tells the herstory of which she is a part. She thanks her parents and brothers for their great support.
Raíces is also announcing a return to its roots to Road Less Traveled Productions, which will host the company’s 2017-18 play reading series. “The Voces Latinas reading series started at Road Less Traveled in 2012,” said Victoria Pérez. “After the first year of the series, Raíces was born. Since then, we’ve found a new home at the Manny Fried Playhouse but but this season we go back to our roots with the reading series at RLTP.” The Road Less Traveled Theater, 500 Pearl St. at Pearl and West Tupper, will host three Raíces readings: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz on October 8th, 2017; Mojada by Luis Alfaro on January 28th, 2018; and Gorditas by Gustavo Ott on March 18th, 2018 (Gorditas is entirely in Spanish). Raíces’ main productions of Desde el Puente – La Parranda and La Lupe will remain in the Manny Fried Playhouse, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor.
Finally, Raíces is proud to announce that it has promoted ensemble member Steve Brachmann to serve as Managing Director of the theater company. Steve has worked with the company since the Voces Latinas reading series was established and has served various roles with Raíces over the past five years as a stage manager, actor, playwright and director. In recent years, Steve has also taken on marketing and communications work on behalf of Raíces to help grow the company’s profile in Buffalo’s theater industry. “As the lone Spanish/English bilingual theater company in the Western New York area, Raíces has a unique opportunity to connect with the tens of thousands of Latin and Spanish-speaking people in Buffalo and across the region,” Brachmann said. “Going forward, I will be focusing on solidifying Raíces’ foundation in Buffalo to grow our ensemble’s opportunities for artistic expression throughout the community. This theater company is a wonderful family which keeps growing and it will be my job to see that our roots grow deep and far into the wider world of American theater.”
About Raíces Theatre Company
Raíces Theatre Company is based in Buffalo, NY, and operates as Western New York’s premier Latinx bilingual theater company. Raíces – which means “roots” in Spanish – was chosen as the company’s name as it perfectly reflects the belief that, in order to truly understand who we are as Latinx people, we must celebrate the present while always looking at who we have been in the past in order to have a clear vision for the future. Its mission is to provide original theatrical entertainment for the WNY region which is specifically geared towards nearly 30,000 Hispanic people living in Buffalo and 10,000 more living across Erie County. The company is dedicated to develop, nourish, and produce modern and original works dealing with the Latinx experience in order to preserve our “raíces.” Raíces has also earned great recognition from the Buffalo theater community, having won one Artie Award and receiving five Artie Award nominations during its existence. It has also partnered successfully with many local theater companies including MusicalFare, Subversive Theatre Collective and Road Less Traveled Productions.