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Thursday, February 27, 2014

‘Mi Casa Tu Casa’ Returns as Part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival

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A touring production of Mi Casa Tu Casa will be presented in partnership with Luna Stage and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance for four dates in March 2014. Luna Stage will host two shows on March 1 and 8 at 11:00 am in its theatre in West Orange, NJ. The other two performances will take place on March 7 at 6:00 pm at Abington Avenue School in Newark, NJ, and on March 22 at 3:00 pm at the Institute of Music for Children in Elizabeth, NJ.

Mi Casa Tu Casa is a vibrant blend of music and stories for the entire family. This bilingual play highlights the universal elements of Latin American folklore and opens doors to a wide range of world cultures. Musicians and storytellers are your guides on a journey through time, place, and imagination. Even audience members become part of the fiesta in this unique interactive experience.

Mi Casa Tu Casa was co-created by Michael Aquino, Deivis Garcia, Jane Mandel, and Dania Ramos. The original version, a bilingual holiday show, premiered at Luna Stage in December 2011 (poster above) and was remounted in 2012. READ OUR 2012 REVIEW.

The touring version of Mi Casa Tu Casa offers favorite tales and songs in a new form that celebrates joy and magic found throughout the year. The current production, directed by Jane Mandel, features Michael Aquino, Jennica Carmona, Jane Keitel, and Chris Kent. It is presented as part of the 2014 New Jersey Stages Festival with generous support from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the HMS Foundation.

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March 1 and 8, 11:00 am: Luna Stage, 555 Valley Rd, West Orange, NJ - Adults $8, children 12 and under free (limit 4 children per adult). | March 7, 6:00 pm: Abington Ave School, 209 Abington Ave, Newark, NJ - Adults $2, children free. | March 22, 3:00 pm: Institute of Music for Children, 780 Salem Ave, Elizabeth, NJ - $6 adults, $4 children 12 and under; Institute Members $3.00 Adults, $1 children 12 & under. For tickets visit: http://www.stagesfestival.org/

Michael Aquino is an actor, musician, and singer-songwriter. At Luna Stage, he was featured in Sheldon Harnick’s musical Dragons and Ibsen’s Ghosts. Michael served as the Summer Camp Director for Luna and collaborated with students in writing the score for their original musical. In 2008 Michael created Indie Music Circus, a showcase for independent musicians. 2010 saw the release of his band Sirs’ debut album, The Black Friday Sessions. Michael will be showcasing original music this spring at The Singer-Songwriter Cape May Festival.

Deivis “Deivito” Garcia is a Spanglish singer-songwriter based in Jersey City, NJ. He enjoys learning folkloric music of the Americas and synthesizing their sounds into music that reflects his perspective as a New Jerseyan of Puerto Rican and Bolivian descent. He is a co-creator of Mi Casa Tu Casa and a member of The Casa Band and Jersey City’s Spanglish super-group The United States of Boogaloo. He hails from Elizabeth, NJ.

Jane Mandel holds an MFA from New York University and has had a career in the theatre as actress, director, teacher and producer. She is the founder of the non-profit theatre, Luna Stage Company, and served as Artistic Director for over twenty years (currently AD Emeritus). One of her passions is creating devised theatre. She created and directed In the Name of the Woman (the first production done at Luna Stage), “We don’t have enough sugar for the public” (an exploration of Racism), The American Project (which asks the question “what does it mean to be an American?”), and co-created Mi Casa, Tu Casa (a bilingual Latino based play with music).

Dania Ramos is a writer and a theatre professional. Her writing has been featured at Repertorio Español, Luna Stage, Playwrights Theatre of NJ, Passage Theatre, and the Rose City Project Literary Reading Series. She was a runner-up in the 2013 MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition and a recipient of a NJ State Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. She was a participant in Playwrights Theatre of NJ’s Emerging Women’s Playwrights Project. Dania is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and a BFA in Theatre Performance from Montclair State University.

Luna Stage was founded in 1992 by Jane Mandel, Artistic Director, and became an Equity Theater in 1995. Its mission is to produce thought-provoking theatre that gives voice to emerging American playwrights and re-examines contemporary and classic plays that speak to our times. As producer, educator and innovator, Luna Stage is committed to collaborating with artists of multiple disciplines and partnering with our community to illuminate the diverse perspectives of our society. The current Artistic Director of Luna is Cheryl Katz.

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Founded in 1981, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance supports a thriving professional theatre community with a wealth of resources. The Alliance provides innovative, collaborative and engaging programming for theatres and their diverse audiences. The New Jersey Theatre Alliance is committed to working with its membership to make live theatre accessible to everyone and serving as a cultural access resource for the state’s theatres and cultural community.

Websites: http://www.casaproductions.wordpress.com, http://www.lunastage.org, https://njtheatrealliance.org, http://www.stagesfestival.org

Photo: “Mi Casa” cast Dec. 2011(LSC)

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