In the Heights
A sizzling musical from the creator of Hamilton!
August 31 – October 13, 2019
Winner of 4 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s (Hamilton) Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical takes us to New York’s vibrant Washington Heights, where the air is filled with the sounds of salsa, merengue, soul, hip-hop, and R&B. It’s a community on the brink of change, where a tight-knit group of friends and neighbors struggles to achieve their dreams.
Produced in association with Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
“The energy it gives off could light up the George Washington Bridge for a year or two.”
– The New York Times
In the Heights Synopsis & Character Guide
The People of Washington Heights
Usnavi de la Vega — Our protagonist owns the corner bodega and longs to visit his beloved Dominican Republic, where he has not been since his deceased parents immigrated where he was a child. He lives with Abuela Claudia, who is not actually his grandmother, but is as close as family to him. He is in love with Vanessa, but struggles to share his feelings. Usnavi serves as an unofficial ambassador for his community.
Nina Rosario — Nina, a first-generation college student, has just returned home from her first year at Stanford University. She is the daughter of Kevin and Camila Rosario, the owners of the local car service. The community looks to her as a symbol of success, as someone who has achieved great things outside "the Heights".
Camila Rosario — Camila is the co-owner of Rosario's Car Service and has a quiet, but strong hold on her husband Kevin. She fell in love with him at 19 and emigrated together to New York to open their business and raise Nina.
Kevin Rosario — The owner of Rosario's Car Service, Camila's husband and father to Nina. After emigrating from Puerto Rico, he has worked hard his entire life to build his business and provide for his family. He is stubborn and fiercely proud of his daughter's achievements.
Abuela Claudia — The matriach of the neighborhood, she emigrated from Cuba when she was very young. She has raised Usnavi since his parents died and still lives with him. She serves as the guiding light for many in the community.
Sonny — He is Usnavi's 15 year old cousin who helps at the bodega in the summer. Sonny hangs out with his friend Graffiti Pete, but also has a strong desire to make his community better and to be like his older cousin and mentor, Usnavi.
Vanessa — She is a shampoo girl at the local salon who longs to make her way out Washington Heights and away from her alcoholic mother. Vanessa grew up with Usnavi and Benny, and is now the object of Usnavi's hidden affection.
Benny — Benny is best friends with Usnavi, and in love with Nina, even though her father disapproves. Benny is a driver for Rosario's, who grew up a bit of a rough kid that Kevin took under his wing. Benny hopes to someday own his own car service.
Graffiti Pete — He is the nemesis of Usnavi, who is constantly hanging around the streets, listening to music and painting graffiti. He is friends with Sonny, much to Usnavi's dismay, as he doesn't want Sonny to follow Pete's example.
Daniela — She is sassy, savvy, and the owner of a salon. She has fought to create her own business, but cannot compete with the rent hikes as the neighborhood gentrifies.
Carla — She works at Daniela's salon and is her best friend. She is a kind, sweet, young woman, who cares deeply for her family and friends, but is a bit naive.
Piragua Guy — He makes his living walking the streets of Washington Heights selling flavored shaved ice. He is a representative of the islands so many of the residents once called home.
—Compiled and reprinted with permission by Milwaukee Repertory Theater PlayGuides
The Story of In the Heights
Please note, this synopsis contains spoiler alerts.
Welcome to summer in Manhattan: it’s stuffy, it’s sweaty, it’s hot. The air smells of fruity popsicles and taxi exhaust fumes, and everyone’s mildly annoyed all the time cuz their shirts keep sticking to their backs. But here, on a familiar corner in the Washington Heights neighborhood (whose inhabitants are a majority of immigrants and families of color, far uptown from the Times Square tourists and the bohemian chic boutiques of the downtown crowd), neighbors and friends are about to experience a momentous day in their community, and we’ve got front-row seats.
Our narrator, bodega owner Usnavi de la Vega, welcomes us to his home turf and introduces us to some of his people. We meet Abuela Claudia, a neighborhood matriarch who raised Usnavi, and Sonny, his sluggish cousin. There’s Daniela and Carla, proprietors of the local salon, as well as Kevin and Camila Rosario, who manage a cab service. Today, the Rosarios’ daughter Nina is coming home from Stanford University with a secret she’s ashamed of: She lost her academic scholarship because she couldn’t keep her grades up while working two jobs to maintain her tuition payments. Nina and her parents’ employee Benny, who runs the taxi dispatch, reconnect and dance around their long-repressed romantic feelings for one another — much like Usnavi and Vanessa, an employee at Daniela’s salon who’s trying to realize her dream of getting out of The Heights and into an upscale apartment.
When Nina comes clean to her parents, her father Kevin is thrown into emotional turmoil. Nina seeks solace in friendship, and the women at the salon give her a cheer-up makeover and gossip session. As the day turns to evening, Usnavi closes his shop and discovers that his bodega sold the winning lottery ticket worth $96,000. The whole ensemble sings about what they would do with that kind of cash. Quietly, Abuela Claudia reminisces about her difficult childhood in Cuba and her story of immigrating to the USA. She then reveals she’s the lottery winner.
The Rosarios host all of Nina’s friends for a dinner party, where Kevin announces he’s sold the taxi company to pay Nina’s tuition. Benny is furious Kevin didn’t give him a chance to buy the business, and Nina takes Benny’s side. Meanwhile, Usnavi’s date with Vanessa goes poorly. As many of the characters converge in the same dance club, all the tensions between them come to a head. Just as a fight breaks out in the club, a classic New York City electrical blackout shrouds the neighborhood in total darkness. Chaos ensues, with looters and dangerous individuals taking temporary control of The Heights. As the scary part of the night wears on, some good comes out: Usnavi and Abuela Claudia reunite and discuss the winning ticket, and Benny and Nina finally confirm their love.
The next morning, Kevin is frantic and furious because Nina spent the night at Benny’s place. Usnavi is dismayed to find his bodega was looted, but then Abuela Claudia tells him to take a third of her winnings and realize his dream of returning home to the Dominican Republic. It’s a hard decision, but he agrees. The heat remains oppressive, and the damage of the blackout has everyone on edge. Daniela calls for a neighborhood celebration to clear the air. The block party starts well, but then Vanessa faces the sad fact that Usnavi is choosing to leave the country. Usnavi’s cousin Sonny is having a tough time — turns out he’s in love with Nina too — but is comforted that Abuela Claudia and Usnavi plan to give him a third of the money and let him run the bodega.
Then, in a horrible moment of breaking news, we discover that Abuela Claudia has died suddenly. The residents immediately host an impromptu memorial service, and everyone comes together again. Vanessa finds out that Usnavi has secretly used part of Abuela Claudia’s money to help her lease a new apartment out of The Heights. She pleads with him to stay in New York, but he’s resolved to leave. Nina and Benny decide to pursue their relationship despite Kevin’s disapproval, and Sonny puts a secret plan in motion.
A day later, everything’s different: the car service is gone and the bodega is a mess. But as Usnavi prepares to leave, Sonny surprises him by having had a mural painted on the bodega honoring the life and legacy of Abuela Claudia. The gesture unlocks something inside Usnavi, and he decides to stay, having realized The Heights truly is his home, whether he was born there or not. The neighborhood residents reunite and resolve to move forward together and try to help one another make the future bright.
—Compiled by Literary Manager Benjamin Fainstein
From In the Heights to contemporary American theater icon.Learn More
In the Heights
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed by May Adrales
in alphabetical order
|Karmine Alers*||Camila, u/s Abuela Claudia|
|Yassmin Alers*||Abuela Claudia|
|Lillian Castillo*||Daniela, u/s Camila|
|Debra Cardona*||Abuela Claudia (Cover 8/31-9/6)|
|Tony Chiroldes*||Kevin Rosario|
|Chaz Alexander Coffin*||Partial Swing, u/s Benny|
|Alexander Gil Cruz*||Jose, Ensemble, u/s Usnavi De La Vega|
|Henry Gainza*||Piragua Guy, u/s Kevin|
|Alyssa V. Gomez*||Vanessa|
|Paola Hernández*||Carla, u/s Nina Rosario|
|Lily Leyva||Yolanda, Ensemble|
|Emily Madigan*||Ensemble, u/s Carla, u/s Daniela|
|UJ Mangune*||Graffiti Pete|
|Eddie Martin Morales*||Ensemble, u/s Sonny, u/s Piragua Guy|
|Claudia Mulet*||Ensemble, u/s Vanessa|
|Julien Valme||Ensemble, u/s Jose, u/s Graffiti Pete|
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
|Eugenio A. Vargas||Musical Director, Conductor, Keys 1|
|Mont Chris Hubbard||Musical Director, Conductor, Keys 1|
|Darian Anthony Patrick||Drums, Percussion|
|Marc Grafe||Reeds sub|
|William Carlos Angulo||Choreographer|
|Eugenio A. Vargas||Musical Director & Conductor|
|Tim Mackabee||Scenic Designer|
|David Israel Reynoso||Costume Designer|
|Robert J. Aguilar||Lighting Designer|
|Sharath Patel||Sound Designer|
|Nancy Lemenager||Associate Director|
|Gabriella Pérez*||Associate Choreographer|
|Mont Chris Hubbard||Associate Musical Director|
|Emily Schmit||Associate Lighting Designer|
|Kristen Mun*||Assistant Stage Manager|
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
Meet the Cast
Karmine is so excited to be joining the In the Heights family here at Portland Center Stage at The Armory, especially to once again share the stage with her sister Yassmin. Broadway: On Your Feet! (u/s Gloria Fajardo, Consuelo), Rent (Mimi). National Tour: On Your Feet! (Ensemble, Gloria Fajardo). Regional: In the Heights at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse (Camila), Aida (Aida), On Your Feet! (Gloria Fajardo). TV/Film: Bull (CBS), Fosse/Verdon (Fox), Naked As We Came (Netflix), Blood Bound (Independent), and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix). To the Romeos for their love. To her siblings, Jo-Ann, Yassmin, Papito, and Wally. The hydrants are always open with love. This and every performance is dedicated to her parents, with adoration, #5. Para Siempre.
Yassmin is thrilled beyond belief to be reunited with this loving cast and her sister Karmine. Theater credits include On Your Feet! (Broadway, Gateway Playhouse), In the Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Women on Fire (Royal Family Productions, New York), The Rocky Horror Show (Broadway), Paul Simon’s The Capeman (Broadway), Rent (Broadway, National Tour), The Ten Commandments (Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles), The Who’s Tommy (European premiere), As Much as You Can (Celebration Theatre, Los Angeles), The Third From the Left (Edinburgh, Scotland). Film/TV credits include West Side Story (Steven Spielberg, Dir.), The Code, Madame Secretary, The God Committee, The Americans, High Maintenance, Elementary, The American Mall, and Across the Universe. Represented by Avalon Artists Group. Yassmin dedicates every performance to her parents: “Seguiras en mis recuerdos para siempre.”
Ryan is thrilled to be back in the barrio! National Tour: Hamilton: An American Musical (1st Broadway National Tour). Regional: In the Heights (Midtown Arts Center, Westchester Broadway Theatre, Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); The Tempest, Antigone, and Macbeth (Classical Theatre of Harlem); American Idiot, Henry V, and The Rocky Horror Show (Roxy Regional Theatre); Salomé and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Hair and Godspell (Seacoast Repertory Theatre); Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, and Young Frankenstein (Mac-Haydn Theatre); and Will Power’s The Seven (Columbia Stages). All love and thanks to his family and friends, te amo mucho! @_ryanalvarado_ ryanalvarado.net
Maria Bilbao is absolutely thrilled to be joining the cast of In the Heights! Regional credits include the role of Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet (Westchester Broadway Theatre) and Evita (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). She would like to thank the creative team and cast for their overwhelming support and for welcoming her with open hearts; she would also like to thank her dream team at The Mine, and her family (chosen and not) for their unconditional love — los amo con todo mi corazón.
Lillian’s heart is super stoked to make her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. Goodman Theatre: Music Man. Milwaukee Repertory Theater: Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, In the Heights. MCC Theater: Ride the Cyclone. Alliance Theatre: Ride the Cyclone. Chicago Shakespeare Theater: The Taming of the Shrew, Seussical the Musical, and Ride the Cyclone. Marriott Theatre: Mamma Mia!, She Loves Me, Man of La Mancha, and Sister Act. Drury Lane Theatre: Hairspray and West Side Story. Paramount Theatre: In the Heights. Arkansas Repertory Theatre: Glorious! and Hairspray. ACT: Ride the Cyclone. Phoenix Theatre: Hairspray. Utah Shakespeare Festival: The School for Wives, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Taming of the Shrew, and Macbeth. Thank you to her husband, family, and Stewart Talent for all their support. @lilithca5tl3
New York credits include A Christmas Carol (Madison Square Garden), Temple of the Souls (Innovative Theater Award nomination) and Soul Doctor (Off-Broadway). Debra has toured the U.S. with On Your Feet!, Mary Poppins, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, and Fiddler on the Roof. Favorite regional credits include In the Heights (Ordway, Fulton Theater, Pioneer Theatre Company, PCPA Theaterfest), Ragtime (Paper Mill Playhouse), Candide (Guthrie Theater), and The Light in the Piazza (Pioneer Theatre Company). TV credits include Hector’s Mom on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, RENT: LIVE, Pose, Fresh Off the Boat, and Scandal. Twitter/Instagram: @debracardona
Portland Center Stage at the Armory Debut. Originally from Northern Virginia. National Tour: ELF the Musical; Regional: John W. Engeman Theater at Northport: Aida; Signature Theatre: The Scottsboro Boys; Arizona Broadway Theatre: Hair; Short North Stage: Dreamgirls; Derby Dinner Playhouse: Sister Act, The Addams Family; Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: The Wiz; Bigfork Summer Playhouse: Shrek the Musical, Grease, 42nd Street, Young Frankenstein; ECU/Loessin Playhouse, Machinal, Las Meninas, RENT, Kiss Me, Kate, The Great God Brown; Interlakes Summer Theatre: 42nd Street, Miss Saigon, Hello, Dolly!, The Wiz. B.F.A. East Carolina University. chazalexandercoffin.com @chizzie82 #blacklivesmatter
Tony is an original Broadway cast member of In the Heights and Paul Simon’s The Capeman. This is his Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut, having performed in this production at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. International/regional credits: Carmen La Cubana (Théâtre du Châtelet, arranged by Alex Lacamoire), Señor Discretion Himself (Arena Stage), Elemeno Pea (Pittsburgh’s City Theatre). He’s the Hulamouse in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Voice-over work: hundreds of English/Spanish commercials, audiobooks including The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Earphones Award for narration) and Ricky Martin's autobiography Yo, as well as the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Bioshock, The Walking Dead, and Red Dead Redemption 2. He regularly performs simultaneous translation into Spanish on HBO’s Real Sports. tonychiroldes.com
Alexander is thrilled to be living his American dream in such an important show with an even more important message. His past roles include Bernardo in West Side Story (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, North Shore Music Theatre, Ordway, Theatre By The Sea), Paul in A Chorus Line (National Tour, North Carolina Theatre, Surflight), Ensemble and Hook u/s in Peter Pan (North Shore Music Theatre), Mercedes and Jean Michael/Jacob u/s in La Cage Aux Folles (Goodspeed Musicals), Ensemble in In the Heights (Ordway), and Ensemble/Diesel Cover in West Side Story (National Tour). TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon), The Get Down (Netflix), Saturday Night Live. Alexander is also a budding choreographer with credits such as Holiday Inn (The 5th Avenue Theatre) and In the Heights (Ordway). He will be the associate choreographer for the 2020 production of Evita (The 5th Avenue Theatre). He’s beyond proud to tell this story and to be a part of the legacy. Thanks to Derick and Dom.
Broadway: On Your Feet! (Original Cast/Cast Album). Off-Broadway/NYC: 4 Guys Named Jose … (Original Cast/Cast Album), I Am Harvey Milk (Lincoln Center), Jose Limon (Symphony Space), The Mapmaker’s Opera (Pearl Theatre Company), Zapata (Signature Theatre). International: Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Regional: The Kennedy Center (In the Heights), Goodspeed Opera House, Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Zoetic Stage, Actor’s Playhouse. TV: Saturday Night Live, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, GMA, The View, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Stephen Colbert, and the Tony Awards. Concept Albums: Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland and Tears of Heaven. Henry is also an award-winning songwriter, having been honored by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the USA Songwriting Contest, and the International Songwriting Contest. ¡Para Papi ... Para Siempre!
Nicolas is from Helotes, Texas, and is making his Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. National Tour: Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol Live!. Regional Theater: The Buddy Holly Story (The New Theatre), In the Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, ZACH Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher, Evita, and A Christmas Carol (ZACH Theatre). Other credits include Forever Plaid (Mountain Repertory Theatre); Avenue Q, Altar Boyz, and Godspell (Jean’s Playhouse); West Side Story (Georgetown Palace); and three summer seasons at SeaWorld San Antonio. B.F.A. in Theater Education from The University of Texas at Austin. nicolas-garza.com @nicolasgarza
Alyssa is honored to make her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut in a show so close to her heart! Originally from New York with a B.A. in Acting/Directing from Emerson College, Alyssa was last seen on Samantha Bee’s, “Not The White House Correspondent’s Dinner”. Tour: Motown the Musical (2nd Broadway National Tour). Regional: In the Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Musical Theatre West), Rent (Ivoryton Playhouse), American Idiot (Roxy Regional Theatre). Much love to mi familia and many thanks to Avalon Artists Group. “No pare, sigue sigue!” alyssavgomez.com @alyssavgomez
Making her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut, Paola is really excited to be part of this beautiful familia! Born and raised in Puerto Rico. Proud Circle in the Square Theater School Alumna. Recent credits: Man of La Mancha (Antonia) at Westport Country P layhouse, Rent National Tour (Mimi Marquez), Rent National Tour (Swing, u/s Mimi, Maureen), Twelfth Night (Viola) at Circle in the Square Theatre, Spring Awakening (Martha) at the Victoria Espinoza Theater, Legally Blonde (Vivienne), Hairspray (Dynamite), Godspell at Centro de Bellas Artes, Hair at Manship Theater. Gracias to her familia. This is for the dreamers. Paciencia y Fe, siempre. paola-hernandez.com @p_vhernandez
Lily is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada where she grew up training at Inspire Dance Company and Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a B.F.A in dance and currently resides in New York City. She has performed works by Robert Battle, Travis Wall, Stacey Tookey, and Alexandra Damiani. Her professional credits include: Mr. Abbott Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Madonna’s MDNA Skin, and Sonya Tayeh’s “You’ll Still Call Me By Name”. Lily is thrilled to be making her musical theater debut with In the Heights and she is so grateful for the constant support from her family, friends, and agents at MSA! @lily_leyva_
Theater credits include West Side Story (Guthrie Theater and Ordway); In the Heights (Ordway, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Cabaret (Theater Latté Da); Footloose (Marriott Theatre); Micha: Visions (Joe's Pub); Still Dance the Stars (Yellow Tree Theatre); Hairspray (Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and Artistry); Bye Bye Birdie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Little Mermaid (Chanhassen Dinner Theatres); Promise Land (Transatlantic Love Affair); Queens (Sandbox Theatre Company); Calvin Berger (Minneapolis Musical Theatre); and CABARAVE: #sexuality, MadHaus, Love.Trumps.Hate, Light the World, and Love Languages (Rathaus Productions). Choreography credits include A Raisin in the Sun (Park Square Theatre); Leap of Faith and Toxic Avenger (Minneapolis Musical Theatre); and CABARAVE: #sexuality, MadHaus, Love.Trumps.Hate, Light the World, and Love Languages (Rathaus Productions). @emilydmads
A proud artist and activist from Seattle, UJ is honored to share such an important American story with this talented cast. After moving to a rural city, UJ found an outlet in dance training through YouTube videos. His work has since been featured at The Fifth Avenue Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre, Ordway, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, and the Marriott Theatre. Commercial credits include Amazon, Macklemore, T-Mobile, and the Filipino game show Wowowee. These experiences provided him with the education he never would have been afforded, and he has since prioritized providing youth and youth of color the same opportunities. Shout out to them and love to his mentors Ioana and William. Make him check his Instagram: @ooo.jayyy
Eddie is ecstatic to be back en el barrio and making his Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut in In the Heights! Eddie is an alumni of the New World School of the Arts Conservatory, where he received a B.F.A. in Music Theater. Eddie is from south Florida and was last seen as Abe in The Maltz Jupiter’s production of Disgraced. Some of his other credits include Into the Woods (Baker), Gypsy, Sweet Charity, and Curtains (Ensemble). He would like to thank the incredible team at The Armory for giving him the opportunity to tell this beautiful story about family and community once more! You can follow Eddie and all of his future endeavors on Instagram: @spaghedddiee
Claudia was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She is a graduate of Cuba’s prestigious Superior Institute of Arts and soon after graduation was cast in The Nederlander’s historic Cuban production of RENT in Havana, directed by Andy Señor Jr. in collaboration with Michael Greif. Three years after arriving from Cuba, Claudia made her U.S. professional debut in the First National Tour of On Your Feet!. She is thrilled to be part of the In the Heights family! @claudiamulet89 claudiamulet.com
Alex is beyond grateful for the opportunity to step into the world of a dream role like Benny. This is his Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut! Off-Broadway: Vanity Fair (Pearl Theatre), The Mutilated (New Ohio Theatre), The Taming of The Shrew (TP&co), As You Like It (Shakespeare Off Broadway). Regional: Ragtime (Barrington Stage Company). National Tour: We The People (TheaterWorksUSA). Many thanks to his friends and family who continue to support this crazy dream, especially his beautiful wife, Amanda. Shout out to his Talenthouse team (Megan Lohne, Peter Kaiser). Proud Circle in the Square graduate. alex-nicholson.com Twitter/Instagram: @cyrus_alexander
Gabriella is an actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer. National Tour: Kathleen Marshall’s Anything Goes. Off-Broadway: Prospect Theatre’s 1000 Nights and One Day. Concerts: Radio City Music Hall, Joe’s Pub, Newport Music Festival, and Second Stage. Regional experiences include Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, PCPA TheatreFest, Geva Theatre, Westchester Broadway Theatre, In The Heights (Nina; Carla in the U.S. Spanish premiere), My Fair Lady (Eliza Doolittle), West Side Story (Anita), The Music Man (Marian Paroo), Henry IV, and Julius Caesar. Gabby teaches at Geva Theatre, and her choreography has been seen at Forestburgh Playhouse, Geva Theatre, and The Tank. A Helen Hayes nominee, Gabby holds a B.F.A. from New York University. She thanks her parents, Sean, Dulcina Eisen, May, and William for bringing her into this family. gabbyperez.com
Julien is from Miami, Florida. Julien graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance at the University of South Florida. After college, Julien moved to Chicago to dance with River North Dance Chicago and DanceWorks Chicago, with Julie Nakagawa. Most recently, Julien has been working with Dance Lab New York, as well as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Meet the Band
Eugenio A. Vargas, Musical Director, Conductor, Keys 1
Eugenio is so glad to be back in the barrio with this amazing company. Music direction credits include In the Heights (Ordway, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); The Wedding Singer (The Secret Theatre, NYC); Women of the World (Feinstein’s/54 Below); My Whitelist Cabaret (The Thalia at Symphony Space); Carousel, The Rocky Horror Show, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Northwestern University); among others. Acting credits include Evita (Che) at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and Actors’ Playhouse, Carousel (Enoch Snow) at Olney Theatre Center, and Altar Boyz (Juan) at Tent Theatre. Thanks to this incredible familia for all the love and support. To Mom and Dad, thank you for everything I know. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the American Federation of Musicians. eugeniovargas.com @DMJazzyHands
Mont Chris Hubbard, Associate Musical Director, Keys 2
Mont Chris is an accomplished Portland composer, performer, and music director. He is the creator and host of Portland's most endearingly strange variety show, The Mont Chris Hubbard Bonus Show, and hosts an occasional late-night piano bar around town. He has released five CDs of solo piano improvisations, and his band Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags won the 2012 Portland Music Award for their final album, We Will Be Forgotten. He is a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians, the union of professional musicians, and a proud supporter of the labor movement. montchrishubbard.com
Mieke Bruggeman-Smith, Reeds
Mieke is a performer, educator, composer/arranger, and the education coordinator for the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble (PJCE). She performs regularly with the all-female sax quartet, Quadraphonnes; the Afro-Cuban band, Melao de Cuba; the 12-piece jazz chamber orchestra, PJCE; the Ezra Weiss Big Band; as well as performing in musicals. Recent Portland Center Stage at The Armory productions include: The Color Purple, Fun Home, and Ain't Misbehavin'. Mieke also enjoys teaching private lessons at her home studio and co-teaching at Roosevelt High School, Beaumont Middle School, and the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra. She is heavily involved in promoting music education and loves collaborating with her music community. Music is the one outlet that (as author Tom Robbins might say) keeps the oxygen from leaking out of her life!
Ryan Meagher, Guitar
Originally from San Jose, California, Ryan launched his international reputation as a jazz guitarist and composer in New York City in 2003. He has seven albums under his own direction and has been an in-demand sideman for a wide range of notable and legendary jazz artists. He is currently based in Portland, Oregon, where he is active in the jazz and creative music scenes as an artist, educator, and organizer. He teaches guitar at the University of Portland and Mt. Hood Community College, and runs the jazz programs at Lower Columbia College and the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. In addition to his teaching duties, he is also active as an administrator in important cultural outlets like the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble as its director of operations and director of the PJCE Records label. He is also a co-founder of Montavilla Jazz Festival, where he is the programming director.
Levis Dragulin, Trumpet
Levis began performing on trumpet when he was 11 years old. In 2006, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Music from Portland State University. His work on Royal Caribbean cruise lines as lead trumpet for the theater band allowed him to travel the world for four years to places such as Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. In the last six years, Levis has been involved in around 30 musical productions in the Portland area, including Annie Get Your Gun, Bye Bye Birdie, South Pacific, La Cage aux Folles, Cats, My Fair Lady, Beauty and the Beast, Show Boat, The Music Man, Dreamgirls, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma!, Anything Goes, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Chicago, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy, and Billy Elliot.
Amy Roesler, Bass
Amy is thrilled to be making her debut with Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Favorite past highlights include being in the pit for West Side Story and Guys and Dolls at Broadway Rose Theater Company. Since moving back to Portland, Amy has also performed on violin, viola, and bass for shows at Lakewood Center for the Arts, Stumptown Stages, and Pixie Dust Productions. She has also played for cabarets and variety shows, as well as local orchestras, with genres ranging from classical, jazz, rock, and bluegrass. Amy is especially grateful for the many people in the theater community who have helped her find her footing in Portland.
Darian Anthony Patrick, Drums/Percussion
Darian is a multi-instrumentalist based in Portland. Focusing on percussion, with training in classical and jazz vocal performance as well as electric and bass guitar, Darian performs a broad range of musical styles with specialization in African diasporic traditions, including Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian styles. He has studied percussion in Portland with masters Israel Annoh (Ebo Taylor, E.T. Mensah, Obo Addy, Ghana Broadcasting Orchestra) and Caton Lyles (Obo Addy, Nu Shooz, Janice Scroggins, Mel Brown), and performs regularly throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Marc Grafe, Reeds sub
Marc hails from Portland and is a performer, conductor, composer, and sound designer. While working at The Kitchen in New York, he toured with the Robert Ashley Ensemble and John Cage's Song Books. Locally, he has worked with Columbia Symphony, Newport Symphony, Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra, Felicidades, and Arundo!, a reed quintet. Pit work includes The Color Purple, Guys and Dolls, Beauty and the Beast, Billy Elliot, Addams Family, West Side Story and Man of La Mancha. Marc has taught at Warner Pacific University and Reed College; is the recipient of a Meet the Composer, Inc. grant; collaborated with Ursula K. Le Guin; and recorded for Lyrichord, Nonesuch Records, and CRi: Music. A specialist in the repair of professional flutes and clarinets, his favorite music is what's on the stand in front of him.
Meet the Creative Team
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Music & Lyrics
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient. Broadway: composer/lyricist/Alexander Hamilton of Hamilton (11 Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance and Outstanding Production of a Musical), composer/lyricist/Usnavi of In the Heights (four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score, Grammy Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist), Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer/co-lyricist, Tony nomination for Best Musical), West Side Story (2009 revival, Spanish translations). Off-Broadway: Hamilton (ten Lortel Awards, eight Drama Desk Awards, among others). With Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel received an Emmy Award for “Bigger” from “The 67th Annual Tony Awards.” TV/Film: Freestyle Love Supreme, How I Met Your Mother, Smash, Do No Harm, Modern Family, House, The Electric Company, Sesame Street, The Sopranos, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, 200 Cartas, and Disney’s Moana (2017 Academy Award nomination for Best Song, “How Far I’ll Go.”). linmanuel.com
Quiara Alegría Hudes, Book
Quiara Alegría Hudes is a playwright, professor of writing and theater at Wesleyan University, and native of West Philly, U.S.A. Hailed for her work’s exuberance, intellectual rigor, and rich imagination, her plays and musicals have been performed around the world. They are Water By the Spoonful, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; In the Heights, winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and Pulitzer finalist; Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, another Pulitzer finalist; Daphne’s Dive; The Good Peaches; Miss You Like Hell; and The Happiest Song Plays Last. Hudes is a playwright in residence at New York's Signature Theater and a proud alum of Philadelphia Young Playwrights.
May Adrales, Director
May is thrilled to be back at Portland Center Stage at The Armory after directing Chinglish. She has worked nationally, primarily directing new plays, including Qui Nguyen’s award-winning Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Seattle Repertory Theatre). Her work has been seen at Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Second Stage Theater, Old Globe, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Goodman Theatre, Two River Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, and Syracuse Stage. She proudly serves as an associate artistic director at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She is a former director of on-site programs at the Lark Play Development Center and artistic associate at The Public Theater. She received an Alan Schneider Director Award, TCG New Generations Grant, Josephine Abady Award, Denham Fellowship, and Drama League Fellowship. She has taught and directed at Juilliard, ACT, ART/Harvard, Brown and served as an adjunct professor at Yale. M.F.A., Yale School of Drama. mayadrales.net
William Carlos Angulo, Choreographer
Choreography includes Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in The Park, Chicago Shakespare Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Paramount Theatre and more. He was given a Joseph Jefferson Award for his original choreography for Paramount Theatre’s revival of West Side Story, and he was honored with an ALTA Award for his work on La Havana Madrid at Steppenwolf 1700 and The Goodman Theatre. Directorial credits include East O’ West O’ at Steppenwolf 1700, MICHA: VISIONS at The Public Theatre’s Joe’s Pub, and Seussical! at Marriott Theatre. He has served as Teaching Artist and Choreographer at Indiana University, Millikin University, and Northwestern University. He was a founding teaching artist and developed dance curriculum for the first ever musical theatre training programs at The Goodman Theatre’s Center for Education and The Arts Academy of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and Drama from Indiana University and trained on scholarship at Hubbard Street Dance Center and Ballet Chicago. Para Elena y Édmond.
Tim Mackabee, Scenic Designer
Portland Center Stage at The Armory: Chinglish. Broadway: The Elephant Man (starring Bradley Cooper), Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (dir. Spike Lee). West End: The Elephant Man. Off-Broadway: Describe the Night, Guards at the Taj (2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Set Design); Our New Girl (Atlantic), Vietgone, Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (Manhattan Theatre Club); Heathers: The Musical, Luce (Lincoln Center Theater); Gigantic (Vineyard); Much Ado About Nothing (The Public Theater). Regional: Geffen, A.C.T. San Francisco, Ford’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Center Stage Baltimore, DCPA Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Geva Theatre Center, and Yale Repertory Theatre. Dance: Doug Varone and Dancers, Cedar Lake Dance. TV: Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, Gotham, Smash, and The Today Show. Education: North Carolina School of the Arts, Yale School of Drama. timothymackabeedesign.com
David Israel Reynoso, Costume Designer
David is an internationally renowned costume, scenic, exhibit, and immersive designer pleased to be making his Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. He is the Obie Award-winning costume designer for Punchdrunk’s Off-Broadway sensation Sleep No More (New York and Shanghai) and is also the creator/director of the innovative Waking La Llorona (Optika Moderna). David is recognized for his widespread theatrical designs for The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, The Finnish National Ballet, Moscow Art Theater, The Kennedy Center, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, The Gloucester Stage Company, and Lyric Stage Company, among others. Concert Tours: Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, Juan Son’s Mermaid Sashimi. His scope of work extends beyond theater to include exhibit designs such as PostSecret and Living with Animals (The San Diego Museum of Man), as well as immersive/experiential design for brands and theme parks. davidreynoso.com IG:@designreynoso
Robert J. Aguilar, Lighting Designer
This is Robert's first design for Portland Center Stage and he's delighted to be here! Other Pacific Northwest credits include: In the Heights, Tiny Beautiful Things, MAC BETH, A Raisin in the Sun, I Am My Own Wife and Lizard Boy (Seattle Rep); Bulrusher, Native Gardens, Hir, Barbeque, and Angels in America (Intiman Theatre); The Year of Magical Thinking, Romeo and Juliet and The Wolves (ACT); Urinetown and Little Shop of Horrors (ACT/The 5th Avenue Theatre); The Pajama Game, How to Succeed in Business..., and Jasper in Deadland (The 5th Avenue Theatre); Spelling Bee, String, Trails, and Afterwords (Village Theatre); Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, and The Three Sisters (The Seagull Project); Next to Normal (Contemporary Classics). Regional credits include Marjorie Prime (Pittsburgh Public); Dancing at Lughnasa (Tantrum Theatre); Full Gallop (The Old Globe); In the Heights, Seven Spots on the Sun (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); In the Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). Robert is the managing director and resident lighting designer of Contemporary Classics. He is the lighting director of Seattle Repertory Theatre. robertjaguilar.com @fake_robert
Sharath Patel, Sound Designer
Before arriving in the Pacific Northwest, Sharath spent nearly a decade as a lead sound designer in New York City. Recent work includes The Breath of Life, The Color Purple (Portland Center Stage at The Armory); Wolf Play, Teenage Dick, Skeleton Crew (Artists Repertory Theatre); Nina Simone: Four Women (Alabama Shakes); Christmas at Pemberley Pt. 2 (Marin Theater Company); Ibsen in Chicago, Tiny Beautiful Things (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Pass Over, The Crucible, The Royale (ACT Theatre); As You Like It (California Shakespeare Theater); Free Outgoing (East West Players); WIG OUT! (American Rep/CompanyONE). Regional/international credits include designs in Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Raleigh, Aspen, Dublin, India, France, England, Germany, and Romania. Sharath is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829, IATSE, as well as the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. He is an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Department of State and a resident artist at Artists Repertory Theatre. M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama. sharathpatel.com
Nancy Lemenager, Associate Director
Nancy’s theater credits, as a performer, include the Broadway productions of Chicago, Movin’ Out, Never Gonna Dance, Kiss Me Kate, Dream, How to Succeed in Business …, and Guys and Dolls. Regionally she has appeared in Sweat (Cleveland Playhouse), Sex with Strangers (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Other Desert Cities (Pioneer Theatre Company), God of Carnage (John Engeman Theatre), and Sense and Sensibility (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Nancy has been seen on film/TV in Ocean’s 8, The First Purge, FBI, Blindspot, Power, Jessica Jones, Madame Secretary, Gypsy, Elementary, Girls, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, and Law and Order. As an associate director or choreographer, Nancy has worked on Animal Farm (Milwaukee Repertory theater), Camelot (Lincoln Center), and In the Heights (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park).
Emily Schmit, Associate Lighting Designer
Emily is a lighting designer and assistant designer raised in Lake Oswego and living in Brooklyn. She has worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Guthrie Threatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She has designed for the Downtown Urban Arts Festival NY and collaborates on immersive events, fashion shows, and festivals in New York and around the country. She is excited to be returning to her hometown to share this production.
Mark Tynan, Stage Manager
Imagine being in a room full of artists, watching the birth of an idea, a movement given purpose, a sentence, phrase, scene, act given life. Then imagine that room translating to the stage with lighting, sound, costumes, scenery, and props; then you can imagine what Mark’s job is like. Special thanks to the stage management apprentices, Dana Petersen and Macarena Subiabre. Prior to Portland Center Stage at The Armory, Mark toured nationally and internationally with musicals including Dreamgirls, The King and I with Rudolf Nureyev, How to Succeed …, Grand Hotel, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and Jersey Boys. Other Portland credits include several summers with Broadway Rose Theatre Company in Tigard. Regional credits include Alley Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Casa Mañana Theatre.
Kristen Mun, Assistant Stage Manager
Kristen was born and raised on the island of Oahu and holds a B.F.A. from Southern Oregon University. She is excited to return for her seventh season at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Previous credits at The Armory include stage manager for Native Gardens, 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 a proud member of Actors Equity and is a freelance violence designer and teacher. She sends her love to Adam and her family for always having her back.
Macarena Subiabre, Production Assistant
Macarena is excited to join Portland Center Stage at The Armory as a production assistant this season. She graduated in 2018 with a B.F.A. in Stage Management from the University of Utah where she stage managed productions such as: Arcadia, Cats, Into the Woods, Good Kids, and the U.S. premiere of The Beautiful Game. Other credits include: A Comedy of Tenors (Pioneer Theatre Company); How I Learned to Drive (Salt Lake Fringe Festival); You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Salt Lake Shakespeare); and Steel Pier, Dogfight, and A Funny Thing Happened … (University of Utah). She was also lucky to complete an internship with Cirque du Soleil where she worked on Zumanity and the Cirque Cabaret 2018. She thanks her family, Bruce, and cat for all their love and support.
Dana Petersen, Production Assistant
Dana is thrilled to beginning her first season at The Armory as a stage management apprentice! Dana graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2019, where she stage managed shows such as: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Michael Von Siebenberg Melts Through the Floorboards, Four People, Execution of Justice, Beyond all Recognition, Stupid F***ing Bird, and 7 Ways to Say I Love You. In addition, Dana interned at The Old Globe where she was a production assistant on Much Ado About Nothing. Dana sends all of her love to Mom, Dad, Carmen, and Murphy!
Andrea Zee, CSA, Additional Casting
Off-Broadway/New York City: Neurosis; Syncing Ink; Elf. National Tours: The Sound of Music; Bullets Over Broadway; Elf; Finding Neverland (Youth Casting). Regional: In The Heights (TUTS); Around the World in 80 Days (Alley Theatre); The Christians (Alley Theatre). Credits as Casting Associate include Broadway: Chicago; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; On The Town; Pippin. Off-Broadway/New York City: Puffs; The Apple Boys; Radio City Christmas Spectacular. National Tours: Fiddler on the Roof; The King and I; Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Film/TV: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix); Y: The Last Man (FX); Blue’s Clues and You (Nickelodeon). Commercials: Comcast; Grammarly. Proud member of the Casting Society of America and Artios Award nominee. For Filff and Alan of OR/ME.
John Tanner, Musical Supervisor
John scores, arranges, and composes music for television, radio, advertising, film, and theater. He creates original music and sound design for many of the world’s most well-known brands and companies. His work has won numerous international Golden Reel Awards; Telly Awards; national, regional, and local American Advertising Federation “Addys,” Silver Microphone, and RAC awards. John has also garnered both Gold and Platinum sales certification for his studio engineering work.
Daniel Kazemi, Original Music Director
Dan is a New York-based composer, actor, music director, director, and is an associate artist at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. His recent credits include Ring of Fire (Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville), In The Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Murder for Two, Guys and Dolls, Man of La Mancha, Dreamgirls, and A Christmas Carol at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. In Philadelphia, Dan recently musical directed See What I Want to See (Barrymore nomination) and Herringbone (Barrymore nomination), and orchestrated and musically directed the world premieres of Queens of the Night (Opera Philadelphia), Field Hockey Hot (Barrymore nomination), and Tulipomania. He received Barrymore Awards for 11th Hour Theatre Company’s Avenue X and LIZZIE. Dan’s music has been performed at the Cirque de Demain in Paris, Ballet Fleming, and in 213 Productions collaborations Untitled Project #213 and Your Attention Please!. Dan is also the composer of a new musical, The Tapioca Miracle.
Megan B. Henninger, Original Sound Designer
Megan is a Milwaukee-based designer and has served as designer and assistant designer on shows large and small. Favorite designs include In the Heights (Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), The Bridges of Madison County (Peninsula Players), Sweeney Todd (Skylight Music Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams Street Rep), R.R.R.E.D (New York Musical Theatre Festival), The Martian Chronicles (Fordham University), and The Turn of the Screw (Lyric Opera, Kansas City). Assistant designs include You’re Welcome America, Ghetto Klown, Stick Fly, and Blithe Spirit (Broadway) and Company (Lincoln Center).
Preview the exuberant dancing of In the Heights, as choreographer William Carlos Angulo describes how the characters choose to celebrate their community and heritage through dance.