KIMI EISELE, director, is a dancer/choreographer, writer, and visual artist. Her work is grounded in explorations of place and environment, community collaboration, and civic participation. She has directed multiple dance projects for New ARTiculations Dance Theatre, exploring issues such as endangered species, water, urban revitalization, and food systems. She received the 2012 AZ Commission on the Arts’ Artist Project Grant for her novel-in-progress and the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s 2014 “Lumie” Award for Established Artist. Learn more about her at www.KimiEisele.com.
SHARON O’BRIEN, assistant director, manages to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground as she moves through her rich world of imagination. As the founding artistic director for Stories that Soar!/Literacy Connects, she tends to both the creative output and vision while also helping manage the non-profit business operations. A native Tucsonan, Sharon grew up with pet tarantulas, snakes, tortoises and a rescued Gambel’s quail thanks to her mother’s role as a docent of the Sonoran Desert Museum. Having saguaros as friends only seems natural.
JOSE BELISARIO has always enjoyed acting. He joined drama clubs and partook in small skits but has not began performing until college in Florida. When he moved to back home to Arizona, he auditioned for Stories that Soar and has been with that company for three years. He continues to seek opportunities to perform and express his passion for theater.
NATALIE BREWSTER NGUYEN is a performance artist, activist, writer, actor, movement artist, educator, and musician. She currently works independently and as an acrobatic performer and creative director with Flight School Acrobatics in Tucson, AZ, and as an affiliate member of the acclaimed experimental performance art troupe La Pocha Nostra. Locally, she works with Cirque Roots, Borderlands Theater, and others. A certified yoga teacher, she regularly teaches yoga, slackline, and acroyoga in multiple studios and cities, and is most often in Chicago, LA, Tucson, and Montreal. She is profoundly moved by the possibilities and personal power we can uncover when addressing the body as a geographical site for change. nataliebrewsternguyen.com
GREG COLBURN has a bachelor’s degree in dance therapy from the University of Wisconsin Madisond and Citations, and. He has performed with nearly every Tucson modern dance company, including New ARTiculations, ZUZI!, and O-T-O, and also as an aerialist with the All Souls’ Procession and as a performer with Geneva Foster Gluck. He currently teaches Bikram Yoga at Yoga Vida Tucson and performs with Stories That Soar! and Movement Salon, a dance improvisation group.
MILTA ORTIZ came to Tucson as an NNPN playwright in residence at Borderlands Theater, where she wrote and developed Más, a docu-drama based on the dissolution of the Mexican-American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. The play was selected to the Latino Theater Commons Carnaval play festival and was nominated for an American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and a Tucson Mac award for best drama. Milta earned an MFA from Northwestern University. She is the outreach and marketing director for Borderlands Theater and teaches theater at Pima Community College. Her current projects include Solving for X (playwright/director) for the Working Classroom, the 20th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, and Sanctuary.
ANEL SCHMIDT is a native of Sonora, Mexico. She hold a B.A. in Theater from La Universidad de Sonora. In 2000, Anel was awarded “The Best Actress in the state of Sonora” for her role in “El Monje.” Anel’s passion is acting, singing, dancing, and doing Acro Yoga. Anel moved to Tucson 2004 and continued her career in the US with Borderlands Theater and began a new life with her beautiful family, proud mother to Renee and Liam Schmidt. Since 2009 she has been an actor with the children’s production company Stories that Soar! bringing young authors’ stories to life.
HEIDI WILSON is a multi-disciplinary improvisational performing artist. She plays saxophone in two Tucson music groups, Baba Marimba and the Temenos Quartet. She is an actor with Tucson Community Playback Theater and teaches Tai Chi and a creative class called Qi Dance. Heidi is also a successful instructor and practitioner of Craniosacral and Shiatsu Therapies. All of these arts are a vehicle for her expression of appreciation for the Beauty of Life.
ABOUT BORDERLANDS THEATER
Borderlands’ mission is to develop and produce theater and arts education programs that reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Southwest border region. Borderlands is recognized nationally for our theater and educational programs reflecting the diverse voices of the U.S./ Mexico border region. Recent productions include Más, about the people involved in the movement to save Mexican American Studies Classes in the Tucson Unified School District, and Barrio Stories, a site specific promenade style theatrical event honoring Tucson’s first Mexican American barrio.
Borderlands views the border not only as a physical demarcation but also as a metaphor opening up our work to explore the borders of theatre and performance. We are interested in how performances and activities in the park can reframe standard notions of “audience” and “performer” and contribute to a broader sense of community belonging and “place-keeping.” Learn more about the company at BorderlandsTheater.org.