The Workshop Team
I Don't Speak Spanish had its first public staged reading during the Shakespeare Theatre Association Conference on Monday, January 3rd 2022 before a sold-out audience on the Select Medical Mainstage at Gamut Theatre Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It featured the talents of the artists who appear below, each of whom was instrumental in the workshopping of this piece, which began in July 2021.
(LA MALINCHE, SAMANTHA, ADELA, MARIA REFUGIO)
Maria is originally from Toledo, Ohio. She studied theatre at Ohio Northern University, Performance at Arizona State University, and Theatre Arts with a Special Option in Devised Theatre at University of Pittsburgh. She also studied the techniques of Viewpoints, Suzuki, and Composition with the SITI Company in Saratoga Springs, NY. Through her studies, she has earned a BA, MFA, and PhD. She currently lives in Lancaster, and is a Professor of Theatre at Penn State Harrisburg, where most of her time is spent directing. She is also a company member of Teatro Paloma, Lancaster's Latinx theatre company. Recent credits include The Vagina Monologues, For We Were Strangers, and In The Heights (Camilla). She also serves on the IDEA Committee at the Fulton Theatre and on the Board of Directors for 717 Arts. I Don't Speak Spanish is such a special play to her because she identified with so many of its themes as a second generation Mexican American. It's also been wonderful for her to connect with fellow Latinx artists in the area. Special thanks to David for writing such an honest, beautiful piece. Also, special thanks to her grandparents who are the bravest people she has ever known.
D. Ross Carmichael
(MICHAEL, AYRES, SAILOR, CREAGER)
Ross is originally from Columbia, Maryland, and went on to earn a BA in Theatre from York College. Previous acting credits include Hamlet (Hamlet), The Outcast (Mr. X), Much Ado About Nothing (Claudio), and All The King's Men (Jack Burden). He currently serves as the Technical Director for Gamut Theatre Group and lives in Harrisburg. He loves bringing new works to life and feels getting to be involved in this project specifically is a real honor.
Grace Marisol Hoover
(YOMARIS, RAQUEL, GOVERNOR, MARTINA)
Grace is originally from Bolivia, but was adopted as a baby and has grown up in central Pennsylvania as a transracial adoptee. She currently lives and works in Carlisle. She earned a BFA in Acting from Otterbein University. Her recent acting credits include Hamlet (Rosencrantz), and My Name is Rachel Corrie (Rachel Corrie). In addition to acting, she is also a company member of the Unlikely Wonders Theatre Project, which operates under the belief that everyone deserves high quality theatre and that theatre can happen anywhere. Her interest in I Don't Speak Spanish stems from her own inability to speak Spanish, and feeling embarrassed and apologetic about it for a long time. Only in recent years has she realized the commonality of that feeling amongst other Latines when it comes to the loss of Spanish — and with it, a seeming depletion of culture and heritage. Talking with David before this play existed was her first time being aware that it was not only her who felt this way, and it has been therapeutic reading the words of this play. Wanting to laugh and cry because by reading and talking we can spread that light of validity and others will not feel they are alone. Her special thanks goes out to David for creating this, and all of those who have geeked out about it with her. This one is for anyone else who sits in the between.
(ROBERT, SILVERIO, TOMÀS)
Wilfredo is originally from Puerto Rico. He earned his B.A. in Spanish from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, and went on to earn his M.A. in Spanish from Western Michigan University. After going on to earn his Ph. D in Linguistics from the University of Michigan, he became an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Millersville University. Recent acting credits include Lydia (Claudio) at Millersville University. As an Hispanic linguist, he is very interested in all aspects related to the acquisition and use of Spanish in the United States, and is eager to examine all attitudes towards the language itself.
José Morales, Jr.
(GUSTAVO, CLEO, MANUEL)
José is originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey. He currently lives and works in Harrisburg. He has a wide range of performance experience including puppeteering, metal musician and vocalist, stand-up comedy, and live poetry. His interest in this project comes from his own experience as a Puerto Rican and poet. The themes within the play are themes he is currently exploring in his own work. As a second generation American, the loss of the Spanish language down a family line is an experience he knows personally.
(TONY, BUNDY, DESIDERIO)
Diego is a buckeye at heart, originally from Attica, Ohio. He currently lives and works in Harrisburg. He has earned his BA in Journalism and Theatre from Ohio Northern University, and went on to earn his MA in Communications from Penn State University. His recent acting credits include The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Mr. Beaver), Much Ado About Nothing (Antonio), All The King's Men (Mr. Frey, Man), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Theseus), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Pablo). He currently serves on the board of directors for Gamut Theatre Group. I Don't Speak Spanish is close to home for Diego, as he has lived it, studied it through his master's thesis work, and continues to discuss what it truly means to be Latin American with friends, family, and colleagues. Like the play, Diego is interested in exploring how to embrace and be embraced by a culture that's your own, even when it doesn't feel like it. He'd like to thank his parents and siblings for indulging in his theatrical world.
Aleax is originally from Brooklyn, New York and has earned a Bachelors Degree in Communications from Mansfield University. Her past acting credits include Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Various), The Lottery (Mrs. Watson), Symposium (Diotima), and The Vagina Monologues (The Woman Who Likes to Make Vaginas Happy). She also serves as House Manager for Gamut Theatre Group and Open Stage. Her interest in I Don't Speak Spanish came from a conversation her and David had years ago that always stuck with her. She knew she had to be involved in it once she realized how many friends shared the same experience David was writing about. She'd like to thank David for trusting her to guide the ship.
David Ramón Zayas
Gamut Theatre Group