CREATIVE AND TECHNICAL TEAM

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GREGORY VAN ACKER

Playwright & Lyricist (English)

NYC-based playwright/lyricist, director, and educator who specializes in imagination-based exploration with preschool and lower-elementary aged students, as well as the development of original musicals that place brown, queer, trans and/or non-binary characters firmly in leading roles. Gregory's original work has been developed with Musical Theatre Factory, Fresh Ground Pepper, and Goodspeed Musicals as part of the 2020 Johny Mercer Foundation Colony.

www.gregoryvanacker.com

SINUHE PADILLA

Original Music Arrangements

Sinuhe is a Mexican musicologist, producer, composer, and artistic director. He has led multiple compelling artistic and social projects around the world, including Jarana Beat, winner of Best Folk Contemporary Band at the
Mexican Music Awards 2015. His journey championing and strengthening the Mexican music scene in New York has led him to music direct projects with Mexico Beyond Mariachi and others.

www.jaranabeatmusic.com

SCOTT LILLY

Set & Projection Design

Scott is a New York-based theatrical director, designer and performer - as well as a concept, caricature and graphic artist.  A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (NY), Lilly is delighted to offer his distinctive and Trademarked style in helping to  develop new, unique, and important works like SUGAR SKULL!  Check out DoodlesByScott on Instagram for more! 

www.scottmlilly.com

ELENA ARAOZ

Director

Elena is a stage director of theater and opera as well as an actress and writer. As a director, she works internationally, Off-Broadway and across the country. The New York Times has praised Araoz's productions as "striking," "primal," "wild," "stirring," and "refreshingly natural". Time Out New York mentions, “Elena Araoz is a director with deep wells of imagination; she seems drawn to magical realist work.” She is a faculty member at Princeton University.

www.elenaaraoz.com

 

ANNA CARHART

Lighting Design

SCOTT NUCKOLS

Technical & Production Manager

KRISTIN RION

Assistant Director

JORDAN LINGREEN

Company Manager

JULES PEIPERL

Costume Design

JESSICA SCOTT

Puppet Design (El Coco)

NATHAN LEIGH

Sound Designer

JOEL ESHER

Vita's Song Composer

CAST

Past and Present

 

RHYTHM OF THE ARTS

Producers

Rhythm of the Arts was founded in 2005 in NYC to provide a platform for culturally specific performing arts companies to reach greater audiences.  We celebrate authentic storytelling, multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations, and live music.  


We produce. We connect.

We provide consulting services for artists, cultural institutions, and performing arts centers.  

PETER BOGDANOS

LEAH KEITH

JOHN GILLILAND

 
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RAFAEL RODRIGUÉZ

Sugar Skull

Originally from Córdoba, Mexico, Rafa is a graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in NYC and and awarded Cultural Representative of Veracruz. Rafa is always thrilled to represent his beloved Mexico through his artistic work as actor, dancer, and singer. @rafareyeshdez

www.rafareyes.com

ZAHAIRA CURIÉL

Vita

A native New Yorker, with Dominican and Puerto Rican roots, Zahaira has a BA in Music from Hunter College.  She is an actress, producer, and advocate. You can catch her improvising with The Code Switch, and working with non-profits Statement Arts and S.T.A.R. which offers health education through theater. @zahairacuriel

ARGELIA ARREÓLA

Choreographer, Marigold, Bruja, Calaca, Chaneque, Viejito

Born in México, Argelia is a dancer, instructor, and choreographer specializing in Contemporary, West African, Afro-Cuban & Mexican Folk Dance. Argelia is a sought after instructor, teaching in NYC, Mexico, Cuba, Chile, and Costa Rica and is a former professor at the School of Dance of the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico.

VICTOR PICHARDO

Music Director, guitar, violin, jarana

Victor is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and folklorist from Mexico City, now based in Chicago. His compositions have been performed by the Orquesta Tipica de la Ciudad de Mexico, the Filharmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, and Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. He is committed to education, and has collaborated with the Lincoln Center Institute, Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian.

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XIMENA VIOLANTE

Assistant Music Director, violin, jarana, vocals

Ximena (they, them, theirs) is a Philly-based Mexican violinist, jarana player, singer, teacher, and organizer creating spaces for people to celebrate their roots, re-imagine their futures, and expand their communities. They are the frontperson and songwriter for Interminable a futuristic fusion project that brings together son jarocho, jazz, rock, funk, classical and electronic musics. Ximena is a member of Mexico Beyond Mariachi.

ALDA REUTER

Mamá, Abuelíta, Calaca, Chaneque, ocarinas, percussion

Born and raised in Mexico City and now based in NYC, Alda is the co-founder of Mexico Beyond Mariachi. She is a multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and a prolific teaching artist with over 20 years experience, partnering with Arts Connection, Ballet Hispanico, Midori & Friends, Young Audiences NJ & NY, Global Arts and Community Works.

 

www.mexicobeyondmariachi.com

BENJAMIN PEREZ HIDÁLGO

Percussion, jarana, vocals

Born and raised in Mexico City, Benjamin has been an independent professional musician and touring artist for over 30 years. He has toured with Mexican pop artists Ana Gabriel, Emmannuel, Mijares, and other. He currently lives in NYC and is a member of Mexico Beyond Mariachi, sharing an appreciation of Mexican folklore, culture and traditions to thousands of students and audiences of all ages.

 QUETZIQUETL ANGULO ALEMÁN

Ancestor, Calaca, Chaneque, Viejita

Quetzi is an indigenous Mexica woman born and raised in Mexico City. Participating in traditional Mexica/Aztec Dance and preserving the Indigenous way of life is one of her professional and personal missions. She specializes in leadership development through dance and healing through traditional practices and is also an artisan.

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ANIBAL NOBEL

Sugar Skull

Originally from Uruguay, Anibal now resides in NYC. Through a holistic approach, he has embraced Physical Theater, improvisation, singing, yoga, sketch comedy, acting for the camera, and contemporary dance. Anibal has a BFA in Acting from the Escuela Maldonado de Arte Escenico.

CECILIA MACUILXOCHITL

ORTEGA

Dance Captain, Ancestor, Calaca, Chaneque, Viejita

Ceci is a free-lance artist, dancer, choreographer, musician, artisan, community leader, mother, and doula to her friends. She was born in Veracruz, with Totonaca lineage into a family of teachers and came to the US when she was 14. She is a proud advocate of Son Jarocho, Son Tixtleco and the Fandango tradition as well as preserving Mexican indigenous ways. 

YURIANA SOBRINO

Vocals, percussion, jarana

From Veracruz, Mexico and currently living in NYC, Yuriana began at the age of 6 as a percussionist and singer.  She is self-taught in a wide range of Latin American instruments and is equally comfortable with jazz, where she has developed her own style as a drummer. Yuriana has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Gene Perla, Gabriel Hernandez, Tyler Mitchell, and many others. She is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music.

GOUSSY CÉLESTIN

Marigold, Bruja, Calaca, Chaneque, Viejito

Comfortably weaving between the roles of pianist, composer, arranger, vocalist, and dancer, Goussy has received favorable reviews in a variety of publications, including  the NEW YORK TIMES, where she was called a "renaissance woman". 

www.goussycelestin.com

©2020 by Sugar Skull! A Dia de Muertos Musical Adventure.