Breath of Fire Leadership and Ensemble
Adriana Alba, President
Maricela Jauregui-Hernandez, Secretary
Yolanda Montoya, Treasurer
Rigo Maldonado, Sara Guerrero, Elizabeth Isela Szekeresh
Quince Committee Chairs:
Yolanda Mendiveles and Angela Estela Moore
Sara Guerrero, Founding Artistic Director
Sara Guerrero is a Southern California native. She’s the founding artistic director of the award-winning, Santa Ana-based Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble (breathoffire.org), and has been recognized as one of the “People to Watch” by American Theatre Magazine, and “Best [Artistic] Director” and “Person of Interest” by OC WEEKLY. A CalArts alum, Guerrero is a professional versatile theatre artist whose mission is to model, share and create theatre-making opportunities for and with her community. She holds an extensive list of work and credits with many major institutes, organizations, universities, schools, and communities. www.teatroguerrero.com
Elizabeth Isela Szekeresh, Managing Director
Elizabeth Isela Szekeresh is a playwright and actor. She is a founding member and Managing Director of Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble. Elizabeth performed her solo show Songleader Gone Bad! nationally including as part of the 2013 SCR Studio Series. An excerpt was published in the Latina Studies Journal (2014). Her solo show Paper Plastic Clothes was part of UCR Segundo Jueves Latina/o Play Project (2015). Her play Pussy Paradigm was part of the Frida Kahlo Theater 10 Minute Play Festival (2016). She also co-wrote The Mexican OC (2006). Elizabeth received a B.A. in Women’s Studies from UC Davis. www.elizabethisela.com
Diana Burbano, Literary Director
Diana Burbano is a Colombian immigrant, is an Equity actor, a playwright and a teaching artist. Her written work includes:
Policarpa, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Brown Swan Lab 2017, Drama League Rough Draft series May 2017, Honorable Mention, Jane Chambers Award 2017, Parsnip Ship 2017 Fabulous Monsters, Latinx Play Festival, San Diego Rep 2017, Festival51 2016 winner, about women in Punk Rock,Picture me Rollin’ (featured at the 35th annual William Inge Festival and Inkfest at 2cents.), Silueta, (about the Cuban artist Ana Mendieta), with Tom and Chris Shelton, and the TYA Shakespeare mash-up, Caliban’s Island winner 2017 Headwaters New Play Festival at Creede Repertory. (Published by YouthPLAYS). Libertadoras, Vamping and Linda were written for the 365 Women a Year project and have been performed around the world, with Linda featured in more than 20 festivals over the last year, including Center Theatre Group’s community library series. Her short play Rounds Per Second is in Smith and Kraus’s 5-minute play anthology. She is currently writing material for Center Theatre Group’s Chisme y Queso series, for Rogue Artists Plummer Park project and for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational touring show.
Adriana Alba, Creative Associate Director
Ms. Alba graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in English from Chapman University. She completed a Single Subject credential in English at the University of California, Irvine and has been teaching high school English Language Arts for Garden Grove Unified School District since 2008. She has been recognized for her contributions to equitable school environments by OC Department of Education, the California League of High Schools, and she was Garden Grove Unified School District’s “Teacher of the Year” for 7-12 in 2015. She has been an active member of several community based arts organizations and initiatives and currently serves as a Board President and active participant of Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble Writers, a Santa Ana based theater organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding and building a visual arts community that inspires both personal healing and social justice.
Angela Apodaca, Ensemble Member
Angela Apodaca is an actor, writer, teaching artist, and Reiki master who follows the paths that have heart. She has been an ensemble member of Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble since 2014. Her solo piece inspired by Frida Kahlo’s photographs was featured during the Frida Kahlo- Her Photos exhibit at the Bowers Museum. She has performed with South Coast Repertory (The Long Road Today/El Largo Camino de Hoy), Native Voices at the Autry (ABC Casting Workshop Week), Teatro del Pueblo (Curious), and Costa Mesa Playhouse (Real Women Have Curves ). Angela earned her B.A. in Theater Arts and English from Boston College.
Jacqueline Castañeda, Ensemble Member
Born and raised in East LA, Jacqueline Castañeda is a music obsessed actress, singer, writer and artist. She found theater and performance at a young age and pursued the arts well after high school. she is currently attending her final year at Cal State Fullerton with a BA in Theater Arts and a minor in Chicana and Chicano Studies. Along with being involved at Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, Jacqueline has produced projects with other young theatre and film artists in the LA/OC area as well. She is a firm believer that art is essential to promote a sense of growth, community, and activism. Jacqueline is grateful to her familia at BOFLTE and is honored to be able to support our community’s artistic creativity.
Eloise Coopersmith, Ensemble Member
Eloise Coopersmith has been a performer and a playwright for a LONG time. Breath of Fire has brought a freshness and a passion to this playwrights writing for which I am forever grateful. Thank you Sara, Kristina, Diana, Elizabeth and all the fiery partners for igniting my imagination and this wonderful gift of being included in this cohort . Thank you for the freedom, for the community and for the willingness to speak up for those who are not typically heard from- including the more mature members -of our theater community.
Victoria Flores, Ensemble Member
Victoria Flores is a member of the BOFLTE. In 2014 she auditioned for the play “A Long Road Today” “El Largo Camino Hoy” written by playwright Jose’ Gonzalez . Without acting experience was cast and began her new journey the arts. Her family has been in Santa Ana since 1847 and she is native American of the CA Pauma Tribe. Orange Coast Magazine selected her story and featured it in their November 2014 video issue. She is now in the business of bringing her “culinary arts” to the public with her signature empanadas “Chula Empanadas”.
Estela Garcia, Teaching Artist
bio to come…
Shanelle Garcia, Ensemble Member
Shanelle Darlene is a local Xicana artist about to graduate from UC Irvine. She is grateful to be able to do her favorite thing in the world which is to tell stories through the art of performing and playwriting. Currently Shanelle works with UCI’s Brown Bag Theatre Company, who aims to engage and impact the Latinx community. She is also involved with Breath of Fire Latina where she got her first taste of playwriting under the great Diana Burbano. This is her debut as a playwright and is very excited to share her work at the Chance-A-Thon Play Festival!
Kristina Leach, Teaching Artist
bio to come….
Yasmin Madadi, Ensemble Member
Yasmin Madadi is author of Cage of Angels, based on the life of Victoria Arellano, a transgender woman who was detained to a San Pedro detention facility in 2007 and died of AIDS-related complications; Whack-Awake, a ten minute play about a terrorizing alarm clock; and Mitra’s Suitcase. Yasmin is currently completing her Master’s of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing at California State University, Los Angeles. Between 2005 and 2012, Yasmin worked as a freelance reporter for The Los Angeles Times, The Nation Magazine, Free Speech Radio News and KPFK Radio in Los Angeles. She has also published in Her Saturn Returns: Queer Women of Color in Transition.
Yolanda Mendiveles, Ensemble Member
Yolanda Mendiveles is a native of California, she attended the Academy for New Musical Theatre as a Bookwriter and had her fifteen minute musical “Ahead or Behind” performed at the Colony Theatre. Her Christmas play, “Blanca Nieves Christmas” two at Breath of Fire Latina Theater and one at Common Ground. Yolanda participated in Casa 0101’s – Chicana, Cholas, y Chisme 2014 performances, as playwright, director, and assistant stage manager. Yolanda is now an Board Member of Breath of Fire Latina Theatre.
Bio to come….
Angela Estela Moore, Ensemble Member
Angela Moore is a proud Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble member, and a Southern California based actor and singer. She recently debuted as a playwright and director for Chicanas Cholas y Chisme 2017, and her play, Miscarriage of Justice, has been selected for Teatro Frida Kahlo Theater’s 2018 10-Minute Theater Festival II. When not in the theater, Angela plays drums, sings, and writes original music with Daisy Unchained. She offers vocal coaching to children and adults preparing for the audition, performance, presentation, or who simply want to connect with their authentic voice, and decluttering and organizing sessions to those who want to make space for creativity.
Lorna Silva, Ensemble Member
Lorna Silva started her journey with the performing arts in 2010 with improv comedy in an attempt to keep her social skills alive from countless hours of brain splitting work in front of a computer. She is a Spanish translator by trade, and has facilitated leadership trainings in English in Spanish. Thanks to BOFLTE she is finally realizing her dream of writing for the stage. In honor of her Honduran roots, she hopes to bring improv comedy to the Latino community of the greater Los Angeles area and Orange County teaching improv in Spanish through her own school www.improla.com.
Richard Soto, Teaching Artist
bio to come….
Anatalia Vallez, Ensemble Member
Anatalia Vallez is a performer, artivist, proud daughter of migrants, and UC Berkeley graduate passionate about theater and performance as a tool for creating consciousness and community. After falling in love with Latinx theater in 2011 thanks to Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, she’s had the honor of performing in Arizona, México, and all over California. Currently, she is working on developing zines with artist friends, a short one-woman show: “Y Si No Me Quieren”, a series of self-care theatre workshops in the community, and her first chapbook. anataliavallez.weebly.com
Victoria Yvette Zepeda, Ensemble Member
bio to come….