About

Mission

About…Productions creates original interdisciplinary theaterworks and educational programs that provoke new perspectives on history, humanity, and culture. The company is dedicated to generating new work through collaboration to create artistic and community dialogue.

 Board of Directors

 

Staff & Artists

Theresa Chavez, Producing Artistic Director

Chavez is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of About…Productions. She is an interdisciplinary theater artist whose work, as writer/director, producer and playwright, has been seen on national television, extensively in Southern California, throughout the U.S., and in Canada, including the Public Theater (New York), Hogg Auditorium (UT Austin), The Mexican Museum (Chicago), The Getty Center (L.A.), Banff Centre (Alberta, Canada), and the Mark Taper Forum (L.A.).

Under her direction, About…Productions has engaged with numerous communities, and cultural and educational institutions, locally and nationally, in the production of innovative theaterworks and educational programs. Over the past twenty-nine years this work has focused on uncovering buried cultural histories, exploring notions of cultural identity and authenticity, voicing new historical points of view, exploring the human spiritual and creative condition, and defining the relationship between memory, history, and cultural artistic practice.

Chavez’ artistic practice is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature. She has worked with many different artists from architects to singer/songwriters, and with historians and cultural critics in the realization of numerous theaterworks. These include the soon-to-be-remounted Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe, a collaboration with Louie Pérez of Los Lobos and her long-time collaborator Rose Portillo. Other notable theaterworks and collaborators include By the Hand of the Father (with Alejandro Escovedo, and Janice Tanaka), On earth as it is in heaven (with Anne LeBaron, and Noah Riskin), and They Shoot Mexicans, Don’t They? (with Quetzal, Francisco Martinez and Isaac Artenstein).

In addition to her training as a dancer and musician, she earned an interdisciplinary B.A. in the social sciences from UCLA, and her B.F.A. and M.F.A. in photography from California Institute of the Arts, where she directed and taught in the Interdisciplinary Studies program from 1991-2007. A published playwright, Theresa is included in Women Playwrights of Diversity, a sourcebook about the work of 90 women identified by professional theaters or scholars as significant theater voices. Other honors include La Opinionʼs 2013 Mujeres Destacadas (Exceptional Women) Award in the category of Arts and Culture, and Playwrightsʼ Arena 2012 Lee Melville Award for outstanding contributions to the L.A. Theater Community (w/ Rose Portillo).

On her mother’s side, Chavez is a 7th generation Californio. The Lugo family arrived in what is now California in 1771, and became one of the founding families of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles which eventually became the City of Los Angeles.

Heather Kelso, Administrative Director

Heather Kelso provides management and organizational support for all company operations. She holds a MPA from the University of Illinois and a BS in Arts Management from Northern Arizona University. She has previously founded and collaborated with educational programs, theaters, museums, opera, arts and entertainment organizations.

Angelita Moraga, Marketing Manager for Evangeline the Queen of Make-Believe, 2018.

Angelita Moraga has more than 15 years of experience as a reporter, public relations professional, part-time producer, and educator in both the Los Angeles and Chicago markets. She holds a degree in Communications from Cal State University, Fullerton and spent five years as a newspaper reporter in Orange County, California and Chicago.
During her time as an after-school educator, Angelita combined her background in journalism, public relations and education to produce and capture international media recognition for a youth-led play on non-violence. The high school dinner/theater, Hamlet in the Hood, was written up by the Associated Press and landed in more than 80 publications world-wide. Angelita returned home to California in 2006 to promote the performing and visual arts as a public relations/marketing consultant.

Nancy Gomez, Marketing Assistant

Nancy Gomez started as our 2017 Los Angeles County Arts Commission Education and Marketing Intern. She is currently working towards her Bachelors with a Business/Marketing major. Although she is not a performing arts major, she has performed in school and community shows. She likes to dance because it helps her express herself.

Juan Parada, Young Theaterworks Lead Teaching Artist

Juan Parada is an actor, director, producer and educator, born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles. Juan has performed internationally in El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. In the U.S., he has worked with such distinguished theaters as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Center for New Performance/Duende Cal Arts, Cornerstone Theatre Co., Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras, and San Francisco Festival of the Arts. As a teaching artist, in addition to About…Productions, Juan has worked with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Shakespeare Center LA, and City Hearts Kids Say Yes to the Arts! He is currently the Lead Teaching Artist for the Mark Taper Forum’s Zoot Suit production Student Matinee Program, and Community Engagement Program. Juan holds a BA in Acting and Directing from California State University at Long Beach, and an MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Off The Tracks Theater Company. Parada served as the Teaching Artist for Year 1 of About…Productions’ 2-year Chicano Legacy Project Residency, working side-by-side with
Lead Teaching Artist Sayda Trujillo; and as a Playwright Mentor for the company’s 2015 Young Theaterworks Pasadena residency at Blair High School.

Marlene Beltran Cuauhtin, Young Theaterworks Lead Teaching Artist

Marlene Beltran Cuauhtin is a Singer/Songwriter, Actor/Director, and Teaching Artist. She is a member of Los Angeles based performance groups, In Lak Ech: a Chicana poetry and song circle fused to the heartbeat of native drums, Las Ramonas: an all female sketch comedy trio and Cuicani: a World Soul music collective who recently released their debut double album, Now & Then. Marlene can currently be seen in the independent Queer Xicana feature film: Bruising For Besos. For About…Productions’ Young Theaterworks program she served as a Teaching Artist/Playwright Mentor and Actor for the 2016 Chicano Legacy Project residency at Pueblo de Los Angeles High School; and as a Teaching Artist/Playwright Mentor and Actor for the 2016 Young Theaterworks Pasadena residency at Marshall High School.

 

Noah Harmon, Young Theaterworks Music Mentor and Musician

Noah Harmon is multi-instrumentalist, songwriter/composer, performer and educator in Los Angeles. He is founding member of Indie rock band The Airborne Toxic Event (2007-2014) whose 2008 song “Sometime Around Midnight” is an RIAA certified gold single. Currently he can be seen performing and recording with international bands Summer Moon, Dhani Harrison and thenewno2. Harmon is a BFA 2005 graduate from the California Institute of the Arts and has participated in the schools C.A.P. program since 2004. He has worked as a Teaching Artist/Music Mentor and Performer with About….Productions Young Theaterworks programs since 2015. He is a Fender® endorsed artist, motorcycle enthusiast and proud father.