Theresa Chavez, Founding Artistic Director
Under Theresa Chavez’s 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. Theresa’s artistic practice is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary; she has worked with singer/songwriters Alejandro Escovedo and Quetzal Flores, composer Anne LeBaron, composer/musician Vinny Golia, choreographer Francisco Martinez, filmmakers Isaac and Jude Artenstein, cinematographer Claudio Rocha, video artist Janice Tanaka, architect Gustavo Rincon, historian and writer Norman Klein, and experimental lighting designer Noah Riskin.
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 book about the work of 90 women identified by professional theaters or scholars as significant theater voices.
Recent honors include La Opinionʼs Mujeres Destacadas 2013 Award in the category of Arts and Culture; Playwrightsʼ Arena Lee Melville Award (2012) for outstanding contributions to the LA Theater Community (w/Rose); and a City of LA Certificate of Recognition for her work on Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe. In spring 2006, Theresa and Rose were the first Artists-in-Residence at UC Merced during its inaugural year.
Heather Shelton, About…Productions’ Administrative Director
Heather Shelton 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 Chicano Legacy Project
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.
Past productions include: Cabrillo Music Theatre’s productions of Oklahoma ! and Damn Yankees, Vox Lumiere’s The Phantom of the Opera, About…Productions’ Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe, Comedian John Leguizamo’s Broadway play Ghetto Klown, Broadway’s West Side Story at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, Broadway’s In the Heights, at the Pantages Theate in Hollywood.
Leah Jung, Marketing Assistant
Leah Jung provides support to About Production’s marketing department. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Visual Communication from California State University Los Angeles, and holds a certificate of completion in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.
Juan Parada, 2017 Lead Teaching Artist/Premiere Production Director
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.
Jose A. Garcia, Teaching Artist
Jose A. Garcia is an actor, musician and activist. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, the Drama Studio London at Berkeley, and a member of SAG/AFTRA and the Interact Theater Company. Jose, along with Emmy Award winning director and producer Paris Barclay, was the recipient of a Cornerstone Theater Company Bridge Award for his work in the arts and in social justice when he served as Executive Director for Inquilinos Unidos, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to empowering low income tenants through community organizing, education and advocacy to fight for safe, decent and affordable housing in Los Angeles. In 2016 he was an Actor/Musician for About…Productions 2016 Chicano Legacy Project residency at Pueblo High School. He has appeared in numerous stage productions with many Los Angeles theatre companies including: Frida Kahlo Theater, Company of Angels, CASA 0101, Cornerstone Theater, Knightsbridge Theater, 24th Street Theater, Stages Theater, Fountain Theater, and the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts. He also performed in the premiere of Brown and Out at the New York Fringe Festival.
Marlene Beltran Cuauhtin, Teaching Artist and Actor
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, 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.
Abel Alvarado, Costume Mentor and Designer
Abel Alvarado is an alumnus of LACC’s Theatre Academy. He has an extensive costume design background, has worked with youth for The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, lead educational workshops for CASA 0101 Theater company, served as Associate Artistic Director for the L.A. based Teatro Nuevos Horizontes/Theatre New Horizons, and worked with the “Eastside Queers Stories” theatre festival as Associate Producer. His work as a costume designer includes the award winning “Untitled: Warhol Project” and the West Coast regional premiere of “In The Heights.” Recent design work also includes “Teatro MOZ,” “Mariela In The Desert” Disney’s “Aladdin The Musical DLE,” and “Real Women Have Curves” at the Pasadena Playhouse. He designed for the original works “It Happened in Roswell,” “A Force To Be Reckoned With,” “An L.A. Journey,” “Little Red,” “Drunk Girl,” “Boyle Heights,” and “Bad for the Community.” In addition, Abel’s designs have been used for a state wide educational campaign, “Raising California Together: GAPBUSTERS” for the SEI Union.