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DR JIMMY A NORIEGA

Dr. Jimmy A. Noriega has directed over 30 productions in English and Spanish, including invited performances at theatres and festivals in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Israel, Romania, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, and New York City. As a scholar, his research areas include Latin American and Latina/o/x theatre and performance, theatre as social change, directing, and acting. He is the co-editor of Theatre and Cartographies of Power: Repositioning the Latina/o Americas (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018) and has published essays in Theatre Topics, Latin American Theatre Review, Review: The Journal of Dramaturgy, and Lateral: The Journal of the Cultural Studies Association. He is the recipient of the 2013 Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas; 2013-2014 ATHE/KCACTF Prize for Innovative Teaching; 2015 ASTR Collaborative Research Award; 2015 Michael Lynch Service Award Honorable Mention for Activism and Mentorship from the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Languages Association; and 2018 Missouri Southern State University Outstanding Alum Award. He holds a PhD from Cornell University and is currently Associate Professor of Theatre at the College of Wooster.

JANNA M HAYWOOD

Janna Haywood is an international artist and theatremaker dedicated to creating thought provoking and meaningful theatre. Haywood has been with theatre company Teatro Travieso/Troublemaker Theatre since its fruition, serving as playwright, director, and actor.  She has previously worked with Actor's Express in Atlanta, GA and Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland, OH. Her directing credits include Sarah Kane's Crave, Kaufman's The Laramie Project, Christina Quintana's The Great Lonely Roamer (...), among several new works. She is also committed to youth development and rehabilitation through the arts. Primarily trained in Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints, Janna uses the rehearsal room as a haven for exploration and further understanding. Working as actor, playwright, crew, and director, Haywood seeks to understand theatre in all capacities.

STEPHANIE CASTREJON

Stephanie Castrejon currently works with underserved communities and the Chicago public schools as a counselor, as well as with outreach & enrollment at Heartland Health Centers. Her passion is working with marginalized and disenfranchised groups seeking autonomy and social justice. As an extension of this work, Stephanie has worked with Albany Park Theatre Project as a full time staff member and an assistant to the directing team, as well as a fellow leader for APTP’s summer workshops. She previously acted in two APTP productions, her most recent project being Learning Curve, which had a 5-month run (the production highlighted the discrepancies in the Chicago public school system and offered transformative solutions to the public). 
 

SUMMIT STARR

Summit J. Starr is a full-time performer at ShadowboxLive in Columbus, OH. From sketch comedy, to rock n’ roll tributes, to musicals, she is performing in over 400 shows a year in 19 different original productions, in addition to administrative work during the days as a marketing representative, box office assistant, and service staff manager. Starr has a passion for playwriting and devising, and had two productions produced at The College of Wooster in 2016: Now She Lives Alone on Chester Avenue (directed by Vincent Meredith) and This is not a play… this is a GRRRL REVOLUTION!, a solo devised project. Both productions speak about the feminine condition. Intermittently, Starr enjoys writing music and performing under the pseudonym VoxFox.

AVIVA NEFF

Aviva Helena is Ph.D. student and an international artist and theatre facilitator. Drawing from her multiracial, Midwestern background, Aviva’s solo performances have focused on nostalgia and what it means to yearn for places that no longer exist. Aviva's scholarship focuses on Black American and mixed-race performance, the Southern Gothic literary trope, and contemporary protest movements. Aviva holds a Master of Arts in Applied Theatre from Goldsmith's University of London and a Bachelor of Arts in U.S. History from the College of Wooster. Aviva’s work as an actor and artist has been staged in cities such as London, England, Manizales, Colombia, Ypsilanti, Michigan, and Columbus, Ohio.

HELEN ROOKER

Helen Rooker is a recent graduate of the College of Wooster. Originally from Vermont, she is currently working as an electrics intern at Northern Stage in White River, a company she has been returning to for several years in many capacities. Rooker is something of a theatrical jack of all trades, finding opportunities to learn from every department she is able to work within. Despite this varied skillset (or perhaps because of it), she works to build the lessons she has learned from the members of Teatro Travieso into all of her endeavors. Her passion for theatre for social change began with her early work with the company and has expanded into all of her work and life. She seeks daily to learn how to continue to enact the positive change she has observed her colleagues creating. This ongoing education is the basis for all of her continued theatrical work.

CARLOS-MANUEL

Carlos-Manuel is a Playwright, Director, and an Actor. He's also an Associate Professor of Theatre and the Chair of the Drama Department at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, CA. Carlos-Manuel’s plays focus on social justice within the US/Latino experience and the Jot@ experience. His directing and acting ranges from 10-minutes to full-length dramas, comedies, musicals, ballets, and showcases. His plays and articles have been published as single units or as part of anthologies. "Vaqueeros, Calacas, and Hollywood: An anthology of Latin@/Chican@ Plays," through Bilingual Press, is his most recent book. Carlos-Manuel is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Dramatist Guild of America, and a member of La Associación Mexicana de Investigadores Teatrales.

CHRISTIAN A REYES

Christian graduated with a BS in Education and Social Policy (with a concentration in human development and psychological services) from Northwestern University. He is passionate about understanding the experiences of others in order to create networks that fight for collective liberation and social change. He is committed to creating spaces where people feel comfortable with each other and has created programs/spaces of healing for oppressed communities through the Presence Health: Mental Health Services Center (in Melrose, IL). As an artist, Christian is passionate about writing music (R&B and soul). He has also acted, directed, and produced the Pinot Show, an annual variety show held at Northwestern that showcases moments of resistance against oppression in Filipinx history. 

JESI ROJO

Jesi Rojo (they/them) currently studies Education Policy (with a minor in South Asian Humanities and Asian diasporas) at Northwestern University. Jesi is a former member of the Chicago based youth theatre ensemble, Albany Park Theater Project, where they performed in multiple productions, including Feast (with Goodman Theatre) and Learning Curve. In addition to Teatro Travieso, they currently perform with Wave Theater Company in Evanston, IL. Additionally, Jesi serves as a mentor to first-generation and low-income first year university students. Jesi’s passion for youth extends into their work with education research and reform, having been an intern at Chicago Public Schools and working alongside experts in the field. Jesi’s passions are centered around youth, education, collaboration, and social justice.

AFFILIATED MEMBERS

DAVID GRUNFELD

BEN PFISTER

TASHIYANAH HUTCHINS

JORGE SILVA

COLIN MARTIN

KEVIN GLASS

VINNY MEREDITH

JACKSON SIEGEL

OUR PRODUCTIONS

Teatro Travieso/Troublemaker Theatre is constantly evolving and developing new works through collective creation, ensemble work, and artistic collaborations. We are currently touring three of our productions and adding to our repertoire. We are available for bookings (performances, workshops, and/or lectures) year-round.

WOMEN OF CIUDAD JUÁREZ

Women of Ciudad Juárez (by Mexican actress Cristina Michaus) uses the theatre as a space to examine, reflect on, and speak about the femicides taking place in Juárez, Mexico. This English-language debut of the text, which was created in collaboration with Michaus, has been on tour since 2014. The production offers a voice and a space for the countless female victims whose murders have been reduced to contested numbers and a gross display of injustice. Showing multiple female perspectives of life in Juárez—from mothers and daughters, to factory workers and prostitutes—the production speaks out against all forms of violence against the female body and psyche. In this staging of the show, four actresses take on the roles of the women, their families, and the officials investigating the murders. This play has been performed multi-nationally: 34 times, in 17 locations, 4 countries (Belgium, Colombia, Canada, and across the US), and has been seen by over 12,000 audience members.

ENCUENTRO: PERU!!

The company’s first production, Encuentro: Peru!!, was based on a five-week research trip to Peru and is about being a stranger in a foreign land. It is a self-reflective and artistic critique on border crossing, the commodification of culture, exoticism, and cultural and individual identity. The show was presented at four different locations in Peru: The Metropolitan Museum of Lima; Casa Teatro Arena y Esteras; La Universidad Científica del Sur; and Teatro Ensamble. In the U.S., it was performed at The College of Wooster. The cast of Encuentro: Peru!! was also invited to perform as the official U.S. delegation to the UNESCO/ITI World Festival of Theatre Schools, which was held in Romania.

JOTO! CONFESSIONS OF A MEXICAN OUTCAST

Created in collaboration with playwright/performer Carlos Manuel, this show explores what it means to be a queer, undocumented Latino living in the United States. It touches upon the often “invisible” difficulties of living on the margins of multiple communities. It is the first play to take on the intersections of mixed-status (undocumented/citizen) gay relationships in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. It debuted in 2016 and has been presented to sold-out crowds in Ohio and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as for a one-week run at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in Ireland.

TROUBLE DOWN SOUTH

Trouble Down South, by Janna Haywood, is an autobiographical one-woman show. It  follows the protagonist’s journey through adolescence and into adulthood as she realizes she is nothing like the women around her. It explores sexuality, class, and being raised in a family where ladyness was close to godliness. Her story is a comic one, mixed with moments of pain and discovery, in which she finally realizes that there is no way to be her true self and the southern belle that her family wants her to be. It debuted in 2017. 

WALKING MY DREAM

Teatro Travieso created this performance specifically for Cleveland Public Theatre's Station Hope in 2017. It is based on interviews and research into the experiences facing Latinx and African American students in higher education. The piece mixes artistic styles and genres to educate audiences about the challenges that "minority" college students face as they strive to dream big. The play examines the journey and personal commitment necessary for young people to survive in a system that often works against them, while also giving an intimate look into the struggles they face as they work toward a degree.