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By Brian Robin

Meet the “Quixote Nuevo” Creative Team

There are often familiar faces that are part of any given production, but Quixote Nuevo is something special. Many members of the creative team, including Director Lisa Portes, have been with Quixote Nuevo for previous productions at the Denver Center and Round House Theatre—and some, like Music Director Jesse Sanchez, have been with it since its inception in 2018. With the addition of a handful of talented new members, this award-winning creative team is building an exciting new Quixote Nuevo that will eventually journey up the west coast.

A well-known figure in the Chicago theatre scene, Portes returns to SCR after directing the bilingual world premiere of Clean/Espejos by Christine Quintana, in 2022. She has directed work at Cal Shakes, the Denver Center, Guthrie Theater, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Victory Gardens Theater, among many others. This is her third production of Quixote Nuevo, having developed and directed it previously for the Denver Center and Round House Theatre. In 2016, she received the Stage Directors and Choreographers Zelda Fichandler Award which is dedicated to “an outstanding director or choreographer who has transformed the regional arts landscape,” and is the first freelance director to have been honored. She is a co-founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, a national advocacy network that seeks to celebrate and transform the narrative of American theatre.

Jesse Sanchez makes his SCR debut with his fourth production of Quixote Nuevo. He is an award-winning composer-lyricist, writer and music director, with recent collaborations that span Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre around the country, including Hartford Stage and Arizona Theatre Company. In 2018, he became the Resident Music Supervisor for Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Set Designer Efren Delgadillo, Jr. returns to SCR for his eighth production. His work has supported all three summers of Outside SCR, recent productions of Kingsand Our Town and SCR’s original production of American Mariachi. He received a Henry Award for the Denver Center production of Quixote Nuevo.

This is Costume Designer Helen Q. Huang’s first time at SCR but her third production of Quixote Nuevo, having previously designed the costumes for the Denver Center and Round House productions. Her award-winning credits span the world, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to the Guthrie Theater to the National Opera House of China.

Lighting Designer Pablo Santiago returns for his second production at SCR, as well as his second production of Quixote Nuevo after his involvement at the Denver Center. His designs aim to find images that embody the emotions of the show, which can spark the imagination of the audience to worlds beyond the stage. He was worked at many venues, including the Teatro Municipal São Paulo and the Kennedy Center.

David R. Molina, the sound designer and composer, has worked on Quixote Nuevoproductions since its 2018 premiere, as well as other multimedia productions that focus on social justice and working with marginalized communities. His multimedia concert The Long Walk Home: A Mayan Family’s Journey in Search of Refuge will premiere this December at the Brava Theater in San Francisco.

Co-composer Eduardo Robledo makes his SCR debut. He began his musical theater career as a teenager at Obie Award-winning El Teatro Campesino (ETC) in San Juan Bautista in 1969 and has been involved in writing music for many ETC productions ever since. He had the honor of accepting the Tony Award for “excellence in regional theater” on behalf of the San Francisco Mime Troupe in 1987.

Choreographer Marissa Herrera also makes her SCR debut, but this is her second production of Quixote Nuevo, having been nominated for a Henry Award for her work at the Denver Center. She is a third generation Chicana and Los Angeles native and a passionate advocate for sharing authentic and diverse stories on stage and in TV and film.

Michael Polak returns to SCR as Fight and Intimacy Consultant after his previous work on Appropriate and The Little Foxes. He has choreographed stage violence for La Mirada Theatre, 3-D Theatricals, The Electric Company Theatre and others. Also an actor, he has performed in Shakespeare festivals across the country and can be spotted in numerous soaps, web series and shorts.

This is Dramaturg Bernardo Mazón Daher’s first SCR production. He has been teaching and working in the arts around the country, both for prestigious companies and grassroots, community-based projects. He recently wrote and performed Taxilandia: San Diego as a vehicle to motivate people towards supporting local causes.

Cynthia Santos-DeCure, the vocal and dialect coach, returns to SCR for the second time and to Quixote Nuevo for the third time, following the Denver Center and Round House Theatre productions. She specializes in accents, dialects and culturally inclusive pedagogies, and is an Associate Professor of Acting at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University.

Puppet Consultant Estela Garcia returns to SCR after serving as puppetry director for the 2014 production of The Long Road Today. She is a Los Angeles native, theatre artist-performer, director, deviser, community engagement worker and tinkerer of materials. She is currently on the faculty at CalArts, and is a resident teaching artist for Center Theatre Group, specializing in Mask Performance and The Six Viewpoints.

Jean Carlo Yunén A. makes his SCR debut as Quixote Nuevo’s associate director. He is a theater and augmented reality director, with credits including the Arkansas New Play Festival, the Williamstown Theater Festival and San Diego Rep.

About the author

South Coast Repertory

South Coast Repertory is a Tony Award-winning theatre is known for producing classics, contemporary hits and world premieres, for having the largest new-play development program in the nation and for advancing the art of theatre in service to the community. 

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