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"Native Gardens" Cast & Creative Team

Native Gardens Cast And Creative Team Banner 1200X700
L to R: Erick González, Monica Rae Summers Gonzalez, Anne-Marie Cusson, and Paul DeBoy in Native Gardens at Syracuse Stage (photo by Michael Davis/Courtesy of Syracuse Stage)

Native Gardens

By Karen Zacarías
Directed by Melissa Crespo

The Cast

Anne-Marie Cusson*
Virginia Butley
Paul DeBoy*Frank Butley
Erick González*Pablo Del Valle
Monica Rae Summers Gonzalez*Tania Del Valle
Anthony GreenGardener
Martin HernandezGardener
Crystal Ann MuñozGardener
Lucas SalazarGardener

The Creative Team

Shoko Kambara
Scenic Designer
Lux Haac
Costume Designer
Dawn ChiangLighting Designer
Elisheba Ittoop
Sound Designer / Original Compositions
Kristen Mun* Stage Manager
Alexis Ellis-Alvarez
Molly Shevaun Reed

Production Assistants
Harriet Bass
Will Cotter
Chip Miller

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Meet the Cast

Anne-Marie Cusson, Virginia Butley
Anne-Marie Cusson, Virginia Butley

Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. Broadway: Magic/Bird (understudy). Off-Broadway: Stalking the Bogeyman; Echoes of the War; Far and Wide. Regional: Equus, Collected Stories (Palm Beach Dramaworks); Good People, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Philadelphia, Here I Come! (Asolo Repertory Theatre); All My Sons (Delaware Theatre Company); The Diary of Anne Frank (Virginia Stage Company); Arms and the Man (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); The Clean House (Geva Theatre Center); Defying Gravity (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); A Moon for the Misbegotten (New Repertory Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, The Count of Monte Cristo (Alabama Shakespeare Festival). National Tour: Steel Magnolias. Film: The Good Shepherd; My Dead Boyfriend; A Nice Girl Like You; several indie films. TV: Veep; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; As The World Turns.

Paul DeBoy, Frank Butley
Paul DeBoy, Frank Butley

Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. Broadway: Mamma Mia! (Broadhurst), Sight Unseen (Manhattan Theatre Club, cover). Tours: Mamma Mia!, North America; Martin Luther on Trial, Fellowship for Performing ArtsRegional: Native Gardens (Geva Theatre Center); The Christians (Syracuse Stage/The Wilma Theater); Appoggiatura (Indiana Repertory Theatre); All The Way (DCPA Theatre Company); Everything is Wonderful, We Will Not Be Silent (Contemporary American Theater Festival); The 39 Steps, The Pillowman, and 15 others (The Repertory Theatre St. Louis); My Fair Lady, The Real Thing (Pioneer Theatre Company); Sylvia, The Clean House, The Caine Mutiny (Cincinnati Playhouse); Blithe Spirit (Olney Theatre Center)Film/TV: All four Law & Orders, The Blacklist: Redemption, Royal Pains, The Following, A Dirty Shame. @pauladeboy 

Erick González, Pablo Del Valle
Erick González, Pablo Del Valle

Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. New York: El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba; Valor, Agravio y Mujer; En el Nombre de Salomé, El Loco por Fuerza, Aire Frio (Repertorio Español). Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth in Macbeth, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Iachimo in Cymbeline (Frog and Peach Theatre Company). Angelo in Measure for Measure, Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, Marc Antony in Julius Caesar, Orlando in As You Like It (Hip to Hip Theatre Company). Marfa Lights (INTAR Theater), Noche Tan Linda (Pregones/PRTT), Farragut North (Premiere Stages). TV: Madam Secretary, StartUp. Film: A Nice Girl Like You. Proud member of the Upstart Creatures. erickgonzalezactor.com

Monica Rae Summers Gonzalez, Tania Del Valle
Monica Rae Summers Gonzalez, Tania Del Valle

Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. Monica hails from New York and received her B.F.A. in acting from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts in the School of the Arts at Purchase College, State University of New York. TV: Orange Is the New Black and Shades of Blue. Off-Broadway: The Siblings Play (Cherry Lane Theatre). Regional: Scapino (Gulfshore Playhouse). Other New York credits include Ten Days in a Mad-House (Strangemen Theatre Company), Antigone (The Tank), Cost/Benefit (F*IT Club), and Tally Ho!, or Navigating the Future (Theater for the New City). Many thanks to HCKR Agency, Cathy Kanner, Harriet Bass Casting, and her phenomenal family and friends. @_monicarae_

Anthony Green, Gardener
Anthony Green, Gardener

Tony holds a B.F.A. in acting and a Master of Theatre Studies in Production and Design from Southern Oregon University.  Most recently, he was seen in the role of Leonte in The Island in Winter, or La Isla en Invierno at Bag&Baggage Productions. Tony won the 2018 OTAS Best Supporting Actor Award for his portrayal of Bob Ewell in Lakewood Theatre Company's production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Other Portland credits include Lydia, Into the Beautiful North, American Night: The Ballad of Juan José, ¡O Romeo!, How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, and Oedipus el Rey (Milagro Theatre); The Crackwalker (Sowelu Theatre); Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue (Profile Theatre); Hir (Defunkt Theatre); Davita's Harp (Jewish Theatre Collaborative); and King Lear, King John, and Mary Stuart at Northwest Classical Theatre Collaborative.

Martin Hernandez, Gardener
Martin Hernandez, Gardener

Martin is excited to be making his debut at Portland Center Stage at The Armory! Previous Portland theater credits include his Drammy-nominated portrayal of Seth in John Hughes High: The 1980s Teen Musical with Staged!, Wilbur in Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Musical at Oregon Children’s Theatre, and several mainstage productions at Northwest Children’s Theater. Martin thanks Clara, Chip, and Will for this opportunity, and his family for their endless love and support.

Crystal Ann Muñoz, Gardener
Crystal Ann Muñoz, Gardener

Crystal is honored to make her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. Hailing from Oregon, Crystal is a two-time Drammy Award winner whose Portland credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, A Civil War Christmas (Artists Repertory Theatre), Olivia in Twelfth Night (Portland Shakespeare Project), Water by the Spoonful, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Orlando, Eyes for Consuela (Profile Theatre), The Huntsmen (Portland Playhouse), Guapa (Milagro Theatre), A Pigeon and a Boy (Jewish Theatre Collaborative), Kiss of the Spider Woman (triangle productions!) and In the Heights (Stumptown Stages). In her spare time, Crystal enjoys reading scary novels and playing tag with her dog Diego.

Lucas Salazar, Gardener
Lucas Salazar, Gardener

After six years bouncing around Asia, Lucas is thrilled to finally have a city as beautiful as Portland to call home! In a former life, Lucas studied theater at the University of Iowa, acted and composed music with small theaters in Los Angeles, trained with Blue Man Group, and stilt-walked along with anyone who would have him. More recently, he's been traveling abroad, writing children's music, and creating educational programs for ESL learners in China and Taiwan. All the available creative energies have taken him on a path he'd have never foreseen, but he's beyond grateful that it has lead him to being invited to perform at Portland Center Stage at The Armory! Many thanks to everyone involved. Here's to the road ahead. 

Meet the Creative Team

Karen Zacarías, Playwright
Karen Zacarías was recently named by American Theatre Magazine as one of the 10 most-produced playwrights in the United States. Her award-winning plays include The Copper Children, Destiny of Desire, Native GardensThe Book Club Play, Legacy of LightMariela in the DesertThe Sins of Sor Juana, and the adaptations of Just Like Us, Into the Beautiful North, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. She is the author of 10 renowned TYA (Theater for Young Audiences) musicals, including Ella Enchanted. She is a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons and founder of the award-winning Young Playwrights’ Theater. She is an inaugural 2019 Sine Fellow for Policy Innovation at American University and just received the 2019 Lee Reynolds Award. Karen lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and three children. karenzacarias.com 

Melissa Crespo, Director
Melissa is a New York-based director of theater, opera, and film. Upcoming: world premiere of Daughters of the Rebellion by Guadalís del Carmen (Montclair State University) and form of a girl unknown by charly evon simpson (Salt Lake Acting Company). Recent: Wickedest Woman by Jessica Bashline (Strange Sun Theatre), graveyard shift by Korde Arrington Tuttle (San Francisco Playhouse), Brother Toad by Nathan Louis Jackson (Kansas City Repertory Theatre), ¡Figaro! (90210) by Vid Guerrerio (The Duke on 42nd Street and LA Opera). Fellowships and residencies: Time Warner Fellow (WP Theatre), Usual Suspect (New York Theatre Workshop), The Director’s Project (Drama League), Van Lier Directing Fellow (Second Stage Theatre), and the Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow (Arena Stage). melissacrespo.com 

Shoko Kambara, Scenic Designer
Musicals: Little Girl Blue (world premiere, George Street Playhouse); Next to Normal (Syracuse Stage); Holiday Inn, Always … Patsy Cline, and Guys & Dolls (Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival); Chicago (Hangar Theatre); Nice Work If You Can Get It (National Tour, Worklight Productions). Plays: A Christmas Carol, Dégagé (Hangar Theatre); Animals Out of Paper (Hudson Stage Company); The Turn of the Screw, The Bombitty of Errors (Syracuse Stage); Shining City (Nevada Conservatory Theatre, Las Vegas). Opera: The Prince of Players (world premiere, Houston Grand Opera); The Little Mermaid (Arkansas Repertory Theatre); The Barber of Seville (Opera Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, St Louis Theater Circle Award for Outstanding Set Design, Opera Omaha); Don Pasquale (Juilliard School). shokokambara.com 

Lux Haac, Costume Designer
Lux is a New York-based costume designer for theater, film, opera, and dance. Credits include: Between Two Knees (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Ajijaak on Turtle Island (New Victory Theater/Ibex Puppetry); Well Intentioned White People (Barrington Stage Company); ¡Figaro! (90210) (The Duke on 42nd Street/ Ragman Ventures); Destiny of Desire (The Garden Theatre); Nibbler (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/The Amoralists); Crossing the Line (Amphibian Stage Productions); A Lesson from Aloes (Juilliard School); The Road to Damascus (59E59 Theaters/The Directors Company); Leave Me Green (The Gym at Judson); The Erlkings (Theatre Row); Powwow Highway (HERE/Amerinda). Education: M.F.A. in design for stage and film from Tisch/NYU. luxhaac.com 

Dawn Chiang, Lighting Designer
For Portland Center Stage at The Armory, Dawn designed the lighting for Other Desert Cities and The Old Settler. Her designs for numerous regional theaters include Arena Stage, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theater, and Syracuse Stage.  On Broadway, Dawn designed the lighting for Zoot Suit and was co-designer for Tango Pasion. Off-Broadway, she has designed for Roundabout Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club. Dawn was resident lighting designer for New York City Opera, where her designs included A Little Night Music. Awards include two Dramalogue Awards, two Syracuse Area Live Theater Awards and nominations for the American Theatre Wing/Maharam Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award, and San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critics’ Award. 

Elisheba Ittoop, Sound Designer/Original Compositions
Elisheba’s designs and original music have been heard at The Kennedy Center, The Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC Theater, Guthrie Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf Theatre, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, National Gallery of Art, Soho Rep, Huntington Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, DCPA Theatre Company, Two River Theater, Woolly Mammoth, Ford’s Theatre, Folger Theatre, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and Bonnaroo Music Festival. Elisheba was a recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at the Kennedy Center and winner of the 2008 USITT Rising Star Award. She has produced podcasts and written music for NPR, CNN, Audible, WGBH, WFMT/Glimmerglass, and Spotify Bootcamp. Education: NYU, North Carolina School of the Arts. elishebaittoop.com 

Kristen Mun, Stage Manager
Kristen is originally from the island of Oahu and holds a B.F.A. from Southern Oregon University. She is excited to return for her sixth season at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Previous credits at The Armory include stage manager for Until The Flood, Sense and Sensibility, Constellations, and Major Barbara; assistant stage manager for The Color Purple, Fun Home, and Astoria: Part Two; and production assistant on many others. Kristen is also a freelance fight choreographer and teacher. Thank you to Adam and her family for always having her back. 

Alexis Ellis-Alvarez, Production Assistant
Alexis is thrilled to be working as a stage management apprentice for Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Credits at The Armory include The Color Purple, A Christmas Memory/Winter Song, Buyer and Cellar, and Crossing Mnisose. Outside of Portland, credits include Huntington Theater Company as the production assistant for Tartuffe; ArtsEmerson as the assistant stage manager for the world premiere of Mala; and Cygnet Theatre as the production assistant for Animal Crackers. Alexis studied stage and production management at Emerson College, where she worked on Antigone Project as the stage manager and Guys and Dolls as the production assistant. Alexis would like to send love to her parents and sister, who have always been extremely supportive of her. 

Molly Shevaun Reed, Production Assistant
Molly is thrilled to join Portland Center Stage at The Armory this season as a stage management apprentice, where credits include Until The FloodSense and Sensibility, Twist Your Dickens, and The Color Purple. Originally from Denton, Texas, Molly has worked in stage management, props design, and has developed new work as a director in Dallas and Portland. Local credits include stage manager for Spectravagasm X, director/designer/producer for Endless Oceans, and assistant director/production assistant for The Few at CoHo Productions. Dallas credits include stage manager for Dry Land at Upstart Theater and director/designer for the world premiere of Nomad Americana at WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival (formerly titled Rooting at Nouveau 47 Theatre). Love and thanks to Cam, Fam, Lyss, and Bear. 

Syracuse Stage, Co-Producer
Originally constructed as the Regent Movie House in 1914, the physical space of Syracuse Stage has seen many films, musicians, actors, and artists pass through its doors over the course of the past century. The Syracuse Stage that exists today is a non-for-profit professional theater company founded in 1974 and a longstanding member of the League of Resident Theatres. Since its inception, Syracuse Stage has produced over 300 shows. It now produces six to seven shows per season, while offering educational programs, pre- and post-show events, and fundraising events each year. As Central New York’s only LORT theater company, it is one of the largest performing arts organizations in the area. Syracuse Stage has a strong commitment to giving the community access to a range of high-quality productions; it brings in actors, designers, and directors who are among the leading theater professionals locally and across the nation. syracusestage.org 

Geva Theatre Center, Co-Producer
Now in its 46th season, Geva Theatre Center is a professional theater company dedicated to creating and producing productions, programs, and services of a national standard. As Rochester’s flagship theater, Geva is the most attended regional theater in New York State, and one of the 25 most subscribed in the country, serving up to 160,000 patrons annually, including 20,000 students. As one of the country’s leading theater companies and a member of the League of Resident Theatres, Geva produces a varied contemporary repertoire celebrating the rich tapestry of our diverse community. The theater draws upon the talents of some of the country’s top actors, directors, designers, and writers who are shaping the American theater scene. Geva offers a wide variety of educational, outreach, and literary programs, nurturing audiences and artists alike. Since 1995, the organization has been under the artistic direction of Mark Cuddy. gevatheatre.org

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