"La Gringa" or acting like a TIA

Photo of Julían Marenco, Rosa Navarrete, Sharlee Taylor, Veronica Maynez (already in character)


 Play by Carmen Rivera
Selected scenes directed by Mara Minchillo

It seems that all I do nowadays is work, which is why once in a while I also make time for art, writing and dance. In the case of La Gringa, it is THEATRE! Mara Minchillo approached me randomly one night as I was sighing through some emails about a role she needed to fill for a Director Showcase production of La Gringa, a play by Carmen Rivera. The story is about a Puerto Rican-American girl who leaves New York to visit her family in Puerto Rico for the first time, so that she can return to her roots. And then, as you may be able to guess -- chaos ensues. As if this poor girl needs more identity issues, her own family begins to mistrust her visit to the island. I play, auntie Norma, who suffers from what millions of people all over the globe do -- immigrant traumas -- but this role is super interesting because it's the trickling of trauma from her older sister who immigrated to the states at a young age, leaving small Norma behind to take care of her parents and her sick brother. Now Norma and her niece Maria (the representation of her older sister, Olga) have to make peace with the distorted family history, and the fragmented miscommunication that happens when families live far away from each other. 

Pick up the play at your local library, or purchase it! It's worth the read, it's actually really funny, and above all it has a lot of heart. 

Mara Minchillo, our young and talented director, is limited to 13-15 minutes of the entire play, yet despite that she has found three precious moments to bring to life. I am extremely proud of this production, and super excited that we'll be showing it this Thursday and Friday, May 8-9 during the Program B of the Director's Showcase at the Durham Studio Theater in the Dwinelle Building. We will be performing alongside other wonderful excerpts including a musical about rats and a mad woman. Come check it out!


Well first of all because it's FREE, and second of all because you will be making a lot of young directors super happy to have an audience. They've worked really hard to make their visions come to life. Additionally, this has been a blast. Thanks for the chance to play with you fellow thespians! Join the fun. For details see below. 

The cast of La Gringa: Chagil Guiab,  Julían Marenco, Rosa Navarrete, Veronica Maynez, and Sharlee Taylor.Photo by Mara Minchillo
Program B
Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Department at UC Berkeley
Location: Durham Studio Theater
Date & Time: May 8, 7pm & May 9, 2pm

Other selected scenes from the following plays will be shown: Redux Medea - Matthew Bratko, La Gringa - Mara Morgantti Michillo, Topdog/Underdog - Lorenz Angelo Gonzales, Bumblescratch - Adam Niemann, The Woolgatherer - Sophia Brady, The Crucible - Beth Hitchcock

Click here for FB event!

Julían Marenco, Rosa Navarrete, Sharlee Taylor, 
Veronia Maynez and director, Mara Minchillo