ARTISTIC PRODUCERS 2021-2022
MERLIXSE VENTURA is an Afro-Dominican artist born and raised in Washington Heights. She is an alumnus of SUNY Purchase, where she studied Theater and Performance, and Philosophy. Ventura is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting at Columbia University.
CINDY DE LA CRUZ (ARTISTIC PRODUCER) is a Bronx bred & Harlem based first generation Dominican American artist and producer. She is the creator and producer for Sharing Sessions a free virtual program where artists can participate in a Q&A with industry professionals as well as share and develop new work. She's most interested in raising the visibility of Black Latinxs and dismantling the anti-black rhetoric in the Latinx community. Most recently she was a top 12 finalist for the Nosotros Organization Ya Tu Sabes Monologue Slam presented by NBC. A proud graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School. Recent credits include: Off Broadway: Border of Lights (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Siblings Play (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); DreamHou$e (ArsNova); Storm Still (Sheen Center). Regional: The Niceties (Geva Theatre); Our Town (Olney Theater Center); Stupid Fucking Bird (Arden Theater & Urbanite Theatre); Joe Turner's Come and Gone (American Stage); TV: The Village (NBC); Blue Bloods (CBS). Film: Kilroy Was Here (Dir. Kevin Smith); What Doesn't Float (Dir. Luca Balser/ Gummy Films).
GINEIRIS GARCIA (ARTISTIC PRODUCER) is a New York-born-and-based freelance director. She has assisted directors such as Jackson Gay, Awoye Timpo, Saheem Ali, Lou Moreno and Arpita Mukherjee through MCC Theater, NYTW, Atlantic Theater Company, INTAR and Hypokrit Theatre Company, respectively. She is currently one of the executive producers of DAC's Dominican Love Letters as well as the director and co-producer of Black Women Are Scary, the podcast that celebrates people of color writing in horror. In addition to these projects, she is developing her virtual assistant business, Gineiris Assists! For more information, you can reach her at .
MARIBEL MARTINEZ ( ARTISTIC PRODUCER) is a Black-Latinx actor/storyteller based in New York City with Domincan and Puerto Rican roots. Pre-Covid, she worked on the Off-Broadway World Premiere of Guadalis Del Carmen's Bees and Honey; produced by LABrynth and SOL Project. Currently, she is a part of a group working on a methodology of theatre that centralizes Black artists produced by JAG Productions. She has worked at the Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. She is a proud member of the Dominican ArtistS Collective. www.maribel-martinez.com
ANDRES PIÑA (CO-FOUNDER/ ARTISTIC PRODUCER) is an actor and writer. Acting credits include: The Sun Always Shine for the Cool (Jacob Theater), Comedy of Errors (The Shakespeare Theater of NJ), La Puta Vida (La Tea), The Seagull (Circle in the Square Theater School), Tracks (Davenport Theater), Othello (St. Katherine Theater), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (St. Katherine Theater), Balm in Gilead workshop (The Labyrinth Theater Company), Medea (American Theater of Actors), Hamlet (St. Katherine Theater), Life is a Dream (The Inner Circle Theater), In the Red and Brown Water (Columbia University), Ms. Julie (Columbia University), Romeo and Juliet (Columbia University), and many more. Andres is a recent graduate of the Columbia University M.F.A Acting Program. Proud member of the American Theatre Group Play Lab.
LITTLE VERAS is a multidimensional Dominican-American artist from New York City. She is an alumna of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and the Diller-Quaile School of Music, where she became a classically trained musician. Veras has continued working on her craft at the renowned UBC, has trained with film director Pete Jensen, and continues under the tutelage of grammy-nominated opera singer and actress Monique McDonald. Little Veras has performed in comedy festivals and independent films such as the Dominican York Web Series, as well as sketch shows at the PIT, UCB and CAVEAT. You can also catch her singing your favorite jazz standards at open mics around the city. From femme fatale to your Latinx Daria - she's your gal.
Merlixse Ventura is an Afro-Dominican artist born and raised in Washington Heights. She is an alumnus of SUNY Purchase, where she studied Theater & Performance and Philosophy. Ventura is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Acting at Columbia University.
ANGELA "ANGY" ABREU
ANGELA "ANGY" ABREU is a Dominican-American writer and founder of Dominican Writers Association (Est. 2015). DWA is a 501c3 non-profit organization solely dedicated to highlighting/promoting the works of Dominican Writers (both non-traditionally and traditionally published) but also provides them with the tools and resources necessary for the growth and development of their craft. Angy is the Creative Director of Dominican Writers and along with the Board manages and creates content that serves a large population of writers. For more information visit the Dominican Writers Association's website.
CARLOS ANDRICKSON got his M.F.A. at American Conservatory Theatre in 2019. Born and raised in by a single mother in Brooklyn he went directly into the program after earning his BA in Psychology at Queens College. During his time at A.C.T. he has appeared in productions of Three Sisters, The Royale, The River Bride, Fuente Ovejuna, Both Your Houses, The Changeling, Twelfth Night, The Motherfucker with the Hat, Animals Out of Paper, Promiscuous Cities and An Octoroon at Berkeley Rep. Since graduating he’s been cast in roles in Blue Bloods and Lincoln Ryhme: Hunt for the Bone Collector. Carlos competed on the National level in Taekwondo pursuing a chance to qualify for the Olympics and got very close however during his senior year at Queens College he explored a newly found passion for acting and appeared in Queens Colleges productions of The Liar, The Cherry Orchard, Our Lady of 121st Street, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Queens Botanical Garden.
MASSIEL ARMENGOT trained at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, where she was able to work on many plays such as Motherfucker with the Hat as Veronica, A Street Car Named Desire as Stella, and Crimes of the Heart as Meg. Upon graduating Massiel performed with the New York Shakespeare Exchange short play series, Estrogenius Short Play Festival, Prisoners Tongue as Hero and many more. As a poet she has performed all over NYC, spoke some good words at the great Nuyorican Poets Cafe. She is a member of the epic "Barz" family founded by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal housed at the legendary Public Theater. Currently she is working as an Executive Producer for Dominican Love Letters the first project by the Dominican Artist Collective and will have written her first short film by December 2020.
PAOLA ALEXANDRA SOTO (CO-FOUNDER) is a playwright and actress who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Harlem. She recently earned her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. Her writing credits include Lucha Libre, a one act version of the play was translated to Mandarin and performed at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, The Sosa Sisters, On The 1 Train, Tainted Lives, and Quisqueya Heights. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing from CCNY where she won the Jacob Weiser Playwriting Award for her one act On The 1 Train. Her acting credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antigone, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She wrote and performed in an original adaptation of Two Noble Brothers produced by Cornerstone Theater Company. She was the lead in Raksha’s Child and was a writer and actress in the original play Don’t See My Bones and Think I’m Dead. The production was featured in a documentary for PBS.
PAOLA ALEXANDRA SOTO
DANIELLA DE JESÚS is an actor/writer from Bushwick, Brooklyn. As an actor, she is best known for her role as Zirconia on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. A member of the Public Theater’s 2018-19 Emerging Writers Group, her plays include Mambo Sauce, which was a semi-finalist for Clubbed Thumb’s 2018 commission, Pa’ Ti Tengo De Todo (The Public Theater’s Spotlight Series), Untitled Puppet Show (or On The Other Side of Anchovy Avenue (commissioned by the Public Theater for Play At Home), Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back (FKA Columbus Play), and The Thief Cometh (United SoloFestival). She’s also the creator of the new web series "Talk To Me” on IGTV. De Jesús is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama.
GUADALÍS DEL CARMEN is an Ars Nova Resident Artist and Co-Artistic Director of the Latinx Playwrights Circle NYC. Her plays include Not For Sale (UrbanTheater Company, Jeff Award New Play Nominee 2019), My Father’s Keeper (part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s The Mix, The Kilroys Honorable Mention 2019), Bees and Honey (The Kilroys List 2019, LAByrinth Theater/The SOL Project 2020 production postponed due to COVID-19), Daughters of the Rebellion (Montclair State University 2019, The Kilroys Honorable Mention 2017, 50 Playwrights Project Best Unproduced Latinx Plays 2017), A Shero’s Journey or What Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me (Yale Magazine 2019, The Parsnip Ship Podcast Season 4), Blowout (Aguijón Theater 2013). She has performed as an actor in Chicago, NYC, and most recently with The Repertory of St. Louis in Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles.
MELISSA CRESPO is a NYC based director of new plays, musicals and opera. Favorite past credits include: Promenade by María Irene Fornés and Al Carmines (Artist-in-Residence at NYU Tisch), world premiere of Charly Evon Simpson’s form of a girl unknown (Salt Lake Acting Company) and her production of Karen Zacarías’ Native Gardens co-produced by Syracuse Stage, Geva Theatre Center and Portland Center Stage. She looks forward to someday continuing Guadalís Del Carmen’s Bees and Honey (LAByrinth Theater Company / Sol Project) postponed due COVID-19. Her play Egress, co-written with Sarah Saltwick, will receive a world premiere at Amphibian Stage in 2021. Fellowships & Residencies include: Time Warner Fellow (WP Theatre), Usual Suspect (NYTW), The Director’s Project (Drama League), Van Lier Directing Fellow (Second Stage Theatre), and the Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow (Arena Stage). Melissa received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama where she is now a faculty member. www.melissacrespo.com
YOHANNA FLORENTINO is an actress who was born in Bonao, Republica Dominicana, Yohanna came to the U.S. at the age of seven. It was while watching The Cosby Show that not only did she improve her English skills, she learned that she wanted to act and was impacted by the power of storytelling through a family that looked like her and her family. It is Yohanna's honor to share her artistry with DAC and foster new and authentic narratives about their shared cultural background and humanity. Yohanna is also a member of AEA.
XAVIER GALVA is a Dominican-American writer/performer/teaching artist born in Washington Heights and raised in the Bronx. He trained as an actor at the Atlantic Acting School. He is a founding member of The Rattlestick's apprentice company: The Middle Voice. He’s a member of the 2014-2015 Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group and Gingold Theatrical 2017 Speakers Corner Writers Group. He is a recipient of The Lark’s 2019-2020 New Voices Fellowship. His plays have been developed by MCC Theater, Clubbed Thumb, Rattlestick Playwriting Theater, The Lark, and The Middle Voice.
KELVIN GRUILLON is a Dominican American actor and filmmaker from Washington Heights, New York City. An architecture graduate from the University of Virginia (2013), he launched his theater career with the SOLO-show The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a performance in which he plays 10+ characters from Junot Diaz's Pulitzer Prize winning novel. You may have seen him on indie films such as Ivanna en Elias Piña, La Tierra, and A Nice Guy, on various national commercials, as well as on the YouTube web series DominicanYork. He is a multi-talented artist with interests in various art forms, including spoken word, visual arts, and modern deejaying.
KATHERINE GEORGE is an Afro-Latina performer, director, writer, and educator from the Bronx, NY by way of the Dominican Republic. She received a BA in Theater from Brooklyn College and is currently getting her MFA in Acting at Columbia University. Recent acting credits include: Locked Up B*tches (Flea Theater), The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph’s Baby (NYC Fringe Festival). She is also starring in the web-series, #LoveMyRoomie. As a director, she has assisted directors, Liesl Tommy and Niegel Smith, and recently made her debut with, This Is How We Heal (Wild Project). She was recently a background vocalist for Jennifer Lopez at her NBC Fourth of July performance and her Live Spotify Studio Session. She is passionate about serving her community through her faith and her love for the arts and is beyond excited to be a member of the Dominican Artist Collective.
DILSON HERNANDEZ's talents include playing various instruments, spoken-word, singing, audio engineering, and beat making. Though self-taught in many of these skills, he received a Bachelor's of Arts in both English and Music from the University at Albany. He also received a certification in audio engineering from the Institute of Audio Research. Dilson wishes to change the world with his art and community work, striving for a more progressive future. In addition to music, Dilson facilitates artistic workshops for NYC youth and is employed by Friends of Island Academy, an organization that provides services and advocates for sixteen to twenty-four year olds who are justice-involved people.
GLENÍS HUNTER is a New York actress, writer, and filmmaker. From a young age she discovered the performing arts as a way of freedom and self-expression. Growing up in the Dominican Republic and then moving to New York in 2001, she got the opportunity to embrace her half-Dominican, half-Black culture through spoken word and activism. After graduating from SUNY New Paltz she decided to pursue acting full-time and has appeared in dozens of commercials and indie films. Years later, she is on a new journey that involves not only expressing herself in front of but also behind.
Yaissa Jiménez Santo Domingo, 1986. Escritora, poeta, performer y guionista adicta a la observación. Ghost writer, editora, reseñista y desarrolladora de contenido. Es reseñista musical en el medio especializado en música alternativa, discolai.com Realiza ensayos de opinión y análisis desde la perspectiva racial en el medio Contra Narativas. Sus ensayos y artículos de opinión exploran temas de afro-descendencia, caribeñidad, feminismo y protección medioambiental. “Ritual Papaya” 2018 es su primer libro, un compendio de poesía rabiosa, leve isleña y sincrética. Los poemas de Ritual Papaya también han formado parte de antologías como Isla Escrita, de Amargot Ediciones (España), Liberoamericanas (compendio de escritoras latinoamericanas) y I (antología bilingüe, inglés y español, escritoras caribeñas). Así también transitado por encuentros literarios como la Conferencia de Escritores Dominicanos en Nueva York ‘Dominican.ish’, Feria del libro de Puerto Rico 2019, Feria del Libro de República Dominicana 2019, Feria Marginal de República Dominicana 2019.
MICHELLE RAMÍREZ is an enthusiastic, fun-loving Director/Writer/Actor from Washington Heights and Co-Founder of Ramirez Squared Productions. She studied at several NYC acting studios, and has been trained by Monique McDonald, Maggie Phillips, and Brooke Bundy. Her credits include several short films, a music video directed by Jay Rodriguez, an Uber Grammy’s commercial, and currently stars in the hilarious, new web series Dominican York, which she wrote and directed. Her strengths as a writer and properly treating a script, were pivotal in bringing Dominican York Series to life. She will bring depth, experience and charisma to any project she is invited to partake in.
SASO is a Dominican artist from The Bronx, New York who is bringing a niche sound and energy like no other. From growing up in both Dominican Republic and New York, Saso brings his musical influences by mixing Brazilian Baile Funk, Jersey Club music and Trap while rapping in Spanish, English, and Portuguese expressions. With his recent record "Diaspora EP" and his Sophomore project on the way, Saso has been touring all across the country and is assured to bring his charisma, funk, and a revolutionary presence to every performance.
EDISON VENTURA MATA DIAZ
EDISON VENTURA MATA DIAZ is an Afro-Latino writer/actor/finesser born in Providence, RI and raised in the Boogie Down. His work is an exploration of the hood, class, spirituality, and all things wavy. He’s had his work developed with LAByrinth Theater Company, Curious Theater Company and the MCC Youth Company. He was a 2018 Space on Ryder Farm Greenhouse Resident. Recent acting credits include The Siblings Play (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater).