Pia's Wondrous Adventures in Tlaxlandia


Date: 2021-06-03to
Time: 5:00 - 7:00PM


Pia's Wondrous Adventures in Tlaxlandia
Online IDEAS performance with the UC San Diego Chicanx Teatro Ensemble
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Host: Shahrokh Yadegari
5:00pm-7:00pm PST
5:00pm Intros
5:10pm Performance followed by Q&A
Register for the event at https://bit.ly/3hZE6wj.
YouTube Live stream: https://youtu.be/p8d-Zsee2n8
IDEAS websiteIDEAS.ucsd.edu

On Thursday, June 3rd, join the Qualcomm Institute online for a sneak-peek of "Pia's Wondrous Adventures in Tlaxlandia," a new play by Chicanx playwright José Cruz González.

Thursday's seven-minute episode is the first installment in the play and is perfect for young audiences and families. Pia travels to the mythical Kingdom of Tlaxlandia and encounters Nopaliztli, a young apprentice wizard bird assigned to care for her. Together, Pia and Nopaliztli must venture across Tlaxlandia to find and free the Hummingbird Wizard.
As art, "Pia's Wondrous Adventures in Tlaxlandia" is a recalling and reclaiming of ancient, indigenous wisdoms and philosophies for the 21st century. The play fuses art, culture and technology to create a narrative experience with a singular Chicanx cosmo-vision.

Pia’s Wonderous Adventures in Tlaxlandia (Credits)
(A Musical Toy Theatre, Puppetry, Graphic Novel Mash-Up for a Brief Digital Time)

Book, lyrics and music by José Cruz González

Episode 1: “The Hummingbird Wizard Seeks a Hero”

Created and performed by UC San Diego Chicanx Teatro Ensemble

UC San Diego Chicanx Teatro Ensemble


Elizabeth Barrett

Elizabeth Barrett is a Video and Scenic Designer currently based in San Diego, CA. They are currently pursuing their MFA in Scenic Design at the University of California San Diego. They have a wide range of experience working in many facets of theater alongside their design work. They enjoy the challenge of working on new works and devised pieces and are always looking for an opportunity to grow as a designer.

Stewart Blackwood

Stewart Blackwood is a composer, sound designer, and creative coder. In his sound designs he focuses on creating ambient atmospheric soundscapes, live effect processing, and crafting delicate audio spatialization. In his compositions he blends digital synthesis, acoustic studio recording, and field recording in an attempt to evoke original tonalities and specific emotions. Places his work has been experienced: Center Theater Group, Island Shakespeare Festival, Cygnet Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, Hangar Theatre, Black Lives Black Words, Kent State University, Maelstrom Collaborative Arts, Factory of Terror, Rubber City Theater, Black Squirrel Radio, UC San Diego.

Bryan Ealey

Bryan Ealey is a first-year MFA Lighting Design student. He was born and raised in Houston, TX and holds a BA in Drama from Prairie View A&M University. Following undergrad, he went on to work at local Houston theatre’s as an audio and lighting technician and has toured across the country in large concert venues such as The Fox Theatre (Detroit) and Madison Square Garden (New York) as an Audio Assistant with International R&B Artist, Teena Marie - all while being an Audio Engineer and Lighting Designer at House of Blues - Houston and Lighting Director for River Pointe Church in Richmond, Texas. In the 14-year span of his professional career, he has also worked as the AVL Supervisor and Associate Production Coordinator at Stages Theatre (Houston) until his arrival at Sam Houston State University - Dance Dept. (2015 - 2020) as their Dance Technical Coordinator / Director. Along his career, he has been fortunate enough to design for several theatres and dance companies such as: Main Street, 4th Wall, Stages, The Landing Theatre Company, Houston Grand Opera, Unity Theatre, Horse Head Theatre, Classical Theatre Company, NobleMotion Dance, Open Dance Project, Social Movement Contemporary Dance, Houston Contemporary Dance, Urban Souls Dance, and Von Ussar Danceworks (New York Dance Festival) at the Alvin Ailey Theater. Bryan’s passion for lighting design is rooted in the fundamental ability to shape the stage in a frame that supports, gives focus, and elevates the performance. As technical and visual artists, we are here to service the story being told, whether it’s being presented through theatre, dance, or music.

Harry Foster

Harry is a second year MFA Lighting Designer at UCSD. A Pennsylvanian at heart, he holds a BFA from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Selected lighting design credits include: Tijuana Estuary Dance Thesis (UCSD), Red Hot Patriot (Creede Rep), and Cornell Vet Dance Collective (Hangar Theatre). Other credits include: The Velveteen Rabbit (UCSD/Animator), and As You Like It (UCSD/Video Designer) Assistant Credits include: Orestes 2.0 (UCSD); The Who’s Tommy (Pittsburgh Playhouse).

Shelby Thach

Shelby Thach is a first-year MFA lighting design student from San Gabriel, California. She received her BA in Drama with Honors in Lighting Design and Technology from the University of California, Irvine. Throughout her undergraduate and freelance careers, Shelby has worked on a variety of different shows, ranging from plays, musicals, and dance concerts. UC San Diego credits: Trojan Women: A Version (LD), Winterworks ‘21 (LD), As You Like It (LD), Letters from Cuba (ALD). Other select credits: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (ALD, South Coast Repertory), The Diary of Anne Frank (LD, Crean Lutheran HS), I Love You So Much, Squeeze Me to Death (LD, Bootleg Theater/Wisdome LA), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (LD, UCI)

Zoë Trautmann

Zoë Trautmann- A UC San Diego MFA Theatre Designer. She received her BA in Theatre Design/Technology from the University of North Texas. See resume and portfolio at zoetrautmann.com.

Michael Wogulis

Michael Wogulis is a first-year MFA scenic design student from Laguna Beach, California. He holds a BA in both Theatre and Communications from UC San Diego, having graduated in June of 2020. UC San Diego credits include winterWORKS (Scenic Design), Town Hall (SD), The Nether (SD) Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play (SD), Much Ado About Nothing (SD), Dry Land (SD), Our Town (SD), Balm in Gilead (ASD), Peer Gynt (ASD), and A Raisin in the Sun (ASD).

Salvador Zamora

Salvador Zamora is a first-year MFA Sound Design student and Producer, born and raised in Southern California. He holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts Major from UC San Diego. UC San Diego credits: Meladi Thive and Her Words of Comfort (WNPF '21), winterWorks '21, Town Hall, Heap (ASD), Letters from Cuba (ASD), Balm in Gilead (Sound Coordinator), Classical Women (SD & Composer), Joshua (ASD, WNPF ’18).



Jorge Huerta

Prof. Huerta is Chancellor’s Associates Professor of Theatre Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. He joined the faculty in 1975 and retired from UCSD in 2009. Huerta has directed in regional theatres throughout the United States and is a leading authority on contemporary Chicanx and Latinx theatre who has lectured throughout the US, Latin America and Western Europe. He has published many articles and reviews in journals and anthologies and has edited three collections of plays. Huerta published the first book about Chicano theatre, Chicano Theatre: Themes and Forms (Bilingual Press, 1982); as well as Chicano Drama: Performance, Society and Myth (Cambridge, 2000). 

Steve Llamas

Steve Llamas is a third year transfer student, majoring in Theatre and minoring in Chicanx/ Latinx Studies. He is thankful to be part of the process and to be in the same Zoom room as Jorge Huerta. It is important to honor and recognize the land that allowed him to record this piece which belongs to the Kizh and Tongva nations.

Ángel Nieves 

Angel Nieves is a third year transfer student majoring in Theatre and minoring in Chicanx Latinx Studies. He's proud and thrilled to share and take part in this collaborative project. Most recent works include: Trojan Women, #TakeBackGrafittiHall, and the Sparks showcase. 

Natalia Quintero-Riestra

Natalia Quintero-Riestra is a second-year MFA Acting student at UC: San Diego and graduated with a BFA in Acting from Florida International University. Born and raised in Miami, FL, she credits her passion, warmth, and joyful personality to her Cuban, Colombian, and Spanish roots. Natalia is strongly committed to advocacy, equity, and producing radically authentic and culturally specific stories. San Diego credits: WOW Festival: Calafia at Liberty (La Jolla Playhouse), Power New Voices Festival (The Old Globe). UCSD credits: Kate in Backwaters, E in Town Hall, Enriqueta in Letters from Cuba, Nurse 3 in Orestes 2.0. @nqrstar.


Sam Gerdes

Kyle Johnson

Anngelise Reyes

Artistic Team:

José Cruz González, Playwright

José Cruz González's plays include Under a Baseball Sky, American Mariachi, Forever Poppy, Tomás and the Library Lady, The Highest Heaven, The Magic Kite, The Sun Serpent, Super Cow Girl and Mighty Miracle.  Mr. González was a 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist.  He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Professor Emeritus at California State University Los Angeles. 

Robert Castro, Director

Murry Hepner, Dramaturg

Mireya (Murry) Hepner is the founder of In Other People’s Shoes Productions, a new company that tells impactful, imaginative and artistic stories for young people and families from all walks of life. Her theatre career over the past 35+ years includes work on Broadway, Off Broadway, in Regional Theatre, and on tour, working on diverse projects in various artistic, production and management capacities. As Artistic Producer of Rancho Cucamonga’s MainStreet Theatre Company, she curated and collaborated on 40 innovative shows geared specifically for children and family audiences. She proudly serves on the board of TYA/USA, the national service organization for Theatre for Young Audiences.  

Johanna Smith, Puppeturg

Johanna Smith is a Professor of Puppetry, Theatre Education, and Entrepreneurship at California State University, San Bernardino and the author of Puppetry in Theatre and Arts Education: Head, Hands, and Heart (Methuen Drama). She has directed puppet shows that have taken her and her college students around the world, but she is just as happy playing with puppets in a room full of preschoolers.  She believes in the power of laughter and creative re-use to inspire a love of learning. You can see what she’s up to at www.professorjohanna.com. 

Juliana Kleist-Méndez, Community Liaison 

Juliana Kleist-Méndez is an Iowa-born Cuban American committed to the power of resurrected stories.  She is on the cusp of graduating with an MFA in Theatre Directing at the University of California: San Diego. Selected projects include Rain Upon Remembrance(Cornell University); La Hija del Pirata at The Flagship Brewery (La Pirata Productions), and Calafia at Liberty at the U.S.S. Recruit (La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival), Far From Canterbury (Winner of Best Musical: New York International Fringe Festival; and selected for Encores! at The SoHo Playhouse); and Club Silencio with the Cuban Cultural Center of New York. During her time in California, she has partnered with San Diego Rep, assistant directing on The Humans and directing a reading of Aztec Pirates and the Insignificance of Life on Mars. At UCSD, she has directed An Iliad; Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! (Wagner New Play Festival); Elektra; and collaborated on the intimate, immersive Zoom performance, The Gathering, and her live, digital thesis production of Letters from Cuba. 

Community Partners
In Other People’s Shoes Productions

Murry Hepner, Founder/Producing Artistic Director

UC San Diego Department of Theatre & Dance

UC San Diego Center on Global Justice

Fonna Forman & Teddy Cruz, Directors:

Fonna Forman a professor of Political Theory and Founding Director of the UCSD Center on Global Justice. A theorist of ethics and public culture, her work focuses on human rights, climate justice, border ethics, and equitable urbanization. She was Vice-Chair of the University of California’s 2015 Bending the Curve Report on climate change solutions; and with UCSD Visual Arts Professor Teddy Cruz co-directs the UCSD Community Stations.

Teddy Cruz is a professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the UCSD Department of Visual Arts, and Director of Urban Research in the UCSD Center on Global Justice. He is known internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and public space. With UCSD Political Science professor Fonna Forman, he co-directs the UCSD Community Stations.

Yesica Guerra Acevedo, Associate, Center on Global Justice Associate

Casa Familiar Community Station

Andy Sturm

UC San Diego Initiative for Digital Explorations of the Arts & Sciences (IDEAS), Qualcomm Institute/California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)