The ONE Festival | Performers 2017
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Written and Performed by Mariposa, Directed by Cassandra “Cato” Louis, Choreography by Mark Broomfield


María Teresa “Mariposa” Fernández is an award-winning Puerto Rican poet and performance artist. Her work has appeared on HBO Latino’s critically acclaimed series “Habla Ya! Her theater credits include Eve Ensler’s V Day Harlem at The Apollo,  Ntozake Shange’s Lost in Language and Sound: A Choreoessay, Pedro Pietri’s El Livingroom and her own works.


Exotica Erotica: I Chloe written and performed by Mariposa:  introduces the ambitious owner of a dominatrix start up that offers diverse women freelance fetish work, while catering to high profile clients who crave the exotic.


The new boss you love to hate, is challenged when she tries to break in the new girl.


Written by Tere Martinez Performed by Edmi De Jesus, Directed By Gerardo Gudiño


Born in Santurce ,P.R. Edmi has two BA’s from the University of Puerto

Rico one in Neoclassical Languages and another in arts. She’s fluent in

Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian and has taken on the task of learning

Hindi. While in college she was part of the Traveling Theatre. She has

performed in more than 25 commercials as a principal, has appeared in soap

operas, TV shows and more than 10 movies in Puerto Rico. Edmi studied at

the Lee Strasberg Institute, in NYC for 3 years and participated in a acting

summer program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London.

She has been part of the internet show “The B.S of A”, the film “La Mala”

which was filmed in Spain with the acclaimed Cuban actor Jorge Perugorria

and in the HBO short film “Smell the Coffee”. Her repertoire as an actress in

NYC covers from regional plays to independent movies and nation-wide

commercials. Edmi recently finished shooting in Puerto Rico the movie “Dos

Caminos”. She has her own production company, Producciones El Barrio,

With 2 projects already under its belt, “Santa Barbara es una Femme Fatal” is

its first theatre play and soon will be seen in a short film format.



Esta pieza es la historia de Yanira Montalvo, una mujer que trabaja limpiando pisos en el

World Trade Center. Para poder sobrevivir los problemas de su vida diaria, Yanira ha

creado una fantasía amorosa con su ídolo, el cantante Rubén Blades. Yanira escucha

constatemente la música de Rubén en su “walkman” para olvidar la relación abusiva de

su esposo. Un día en el medio del trabajo, Yanira tiene un encuentro que la hace

examinar su realidad. ¿Será Yanira capaz de tomar la riendas de su vida y romper el

patrón abusivo?

This piece tells the story of Yanira Montalvo, a woman who cleans floors in an office

building. In order to survive her daily problems, Yanira creates a fantasy: her own love

affair with singer Rubén Blades. Yanira listens constantly to Rubén’s music in her

walkman. That is her way to try to forget her abusive relationship with her husband.

One day, at work, Yanira has an unexpected encounter that makes her examine the reality

of her life. Can she take control and stop the abuse?


Written and Performed by Juliette Jeffers, Directed by Denise Dowse.


Juliette Jeffers is a Caribbean-American actor, writer, director, producer and educator. She has appeared in 13 films, over 20 guest star TV roles and over 50 national commercials. This award-winning artist has written and performed in 4 highly acclaimed solo shows. Juliette also teaches solo show workshops.


What if God was held responsible for all of the injustices that African-Americans have endured? This powerful, thought-provoking piece questions faith, free will and culpability.




Written and Performed by Janis Astor Del Valle, Directed by Carolyn Kirsch


Janis Astor del Valle is a Bronx-born Puerto Rican lesbian writer/performer/filmmaker who uses her plays and films to promote discourse and understanding of LGBTQ issues and cultural diversity. She is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Purchase, and resides in New Haven, CT, with her wife, their cat and dog.


Joaquin struggles to gain acceptance from his family – and himself – as he transitions from a lesbian to a transgender man.


A transman’s arduous journey to acceptance unexpectedly leads him closer to home.

Playwright:  Janis Astor del Valle

Director:  Carolyn Kirsch



Written by Chris Aronsten and performed by Skye Wansey


Skye has played key supporting roles in many Australian films and TV miniseries, including Blue Murder and Chopper. Recent stage work includes Fences for Urban Theatre Projects and the monologue What would Cathy do? In 2012, she featured in Academy Award winning director Jane Campion’s TV series Top of the Lake.


After being offered the role of a lifetime, an actress fully immerses herself in the life of her character – with tragic consequences.


An actress realizes too late that fully becoming a character means losing her real self.




Written and Performed by Thomas Ellenson, Directed by Christopher Hanke.


Thomas Ellenson is a 19-year-old actor who has appeared in several Off-Off Broadway productions, a network TV episode, and many news segments. Aside from have talent and ambition, Thomas also has Cerebral Palsy. Due to his disability, Thomas uses a power wheelchair and speaks using an iPad.


“It Is What It Is” shares the experiences of a young man with cerebral palsy, who wants to let people know that disabilities can actually be interesting and funny.


People need to realize that a guy with a disability is, first of all, just a guy.




Written and Performed by Hamza Zaman


Hamza Zaman is an award winning filmmaker and critically acclaimed playwright and actor. Best known for his film “Vemana” which was an official selection to the New York Film Week and won the Lovecraft Arts Film Festival. He was also nominated for best director for “Blue Skies” by the Brightside Film Festival where it was selected for runner up for Best Short Short.His theatrical debut was with his play “Fresh Meat” which premiered at the 20th Anniversary FringeNYC Festival.


In this harrowing and at times humorous play from Zaman we are confronted with our preconceived notions of right and wrong and the true nature of redemption.


An outcast brings you into his dark world where friends are the ones who betray you and the only way out is six feet under.


Adaptation by Walter Ventocilla Performed by Emily Cabrera, Directed by Walter Ventisilla


Dominican-born Emely Grisanty has performed for audiences across the East Coast, Latin America and Europe in both English and Spanish. She has won multiple awards for her work from the Latin theater community in New York, including the ATI, ACE and HOLA awards for both leading and supporting actress.


An elemental re-telling of the dark myth of Oedipus Rex, all resting on the shoulders of one fearless actress.


The inescapable destiny of a king, and the self-blinding that echoed through the centuries.


Written and Performed by Tova Katz, Directed by Tricia Brouk


Tova Katz is a playwright, musician, and performer. She premiered See You at the Funeral! at The Club at La Mama in June 2016, directed/choreographed by the incredible Tricia Brouk. Tova has been performing her original work across NYC since 2011. Imagination saves her life every day. AEA-SAG-AFTRA


See You At The Funeral!—A dark musical comedy about grappling with the seductive illusion of control, taking the audience on a twisted, howling, unforgettable ride.


A live concert. A deadly crime…See you at the funeral!

Playwright: Tova Katz

Director: Tricia Brouk


Written and Performed by Nancy Ma


Nancy grew up in Chinatown New York on Hong Kong TVB soap operas. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has worked on several independent films, web series, commercials and the Investigation Discovery show Tabloid hosted by Jerry Springer. She’s excited to continue creating and collaborating on works that celebrate voices typically silenced.


An immigrant, Asian American hustle. Follow Nancy as she navigates her Toisan Chinese family and wrestles with the American struggle, in hopes of finding her way home.


A Chinese girl trying to find home in America.


Written and Performed by Marilyn Torres



Marilyn Torres graced the stage in plays such as Water By The Spoonful at The Old Globe, Breath Boom at Yale Rep, Agony of the Agony at The Vineyard, Bike America at The Alliance Theater and Ma-Yi Theater. Ms. Torres was part of The Tribeca Theater Festival in Late Night, Early Morning, produced by Robert De Niro. Film credits include Maid in Manhattan, Lady in the Water, Bella, Bernard & Doris, The Arrangement, Musical Chairs and Home. She’s had principle roles on Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, The Unusuals, Flight of the Concord, Third Watch and The Chris Rock Show. Her most recent role was Marvel’s Dare Devil.


Sometimes you have to take steps back in order to know what Love is.


Written and Performed by Ernie Desilva


Oshea Luja is a producer, director, author, educator, holistic life-purpose coach, and award-winning poet. Oshea is also the co-founder of The Still Waters Experience and Vibrations Enrichment Network in Southern California.


This is story about the awake voices all of us have. Smoke is the ultimate result of fire when it’s done cleansing. What happens when we learn to use our voice? The show takes the turbulence around us and offers a look at the deep seeded meanings….albeit it outspoken..there are always eyes watching us…..are we aware?


Smoke is a result of fire. With the world ablaze these days. Nothing becomes more important than stoking the flames because when fire burns clarity returns.


“Temporarily Yours”

Written and Performed by Claudine Bryant


Claudine is an Actress, Writer, Teaching Artist and part time DJ in New York City.  She received her BA in Communications and Fine Arts Theatre from Ramapo College of New Jersey and later continued to study acting at William Esper Studio and Primary Stages in New York City. Claudine is currently developing a web series based on “Temporarily Yours” and she still continues to develop and perform “Temporarily Yours” at various venues.


“Temporarily yours” is a humorous and sarcastic look at several different office personalities, as seen and portrayed through the eyes of “Corrine”, a struggling actress who supplements her income as an office temp.


The office tales of an actress who refuses to starve and her relationships with workplace personalities that we all know too well.



2008 ONE Winner Written and Performed by Susan Damante

Here’s what TIME OUT said:
**** (four stars) Susan Damante is a woman unafraid to tell her story, and her one-woman show pulls no punches. She arrives onstage healthy, vibrant and unafraid, but it has not always been that way—as Damante makes clear in describing her bouts with bulimia and Crohn’s disease, her on-and-off relationship with her heavy-drinking parents and drug-using brother, the ups and downs of her life in Southern California in the ’60s and ’70s, and her self-reinvention as a manager, mother and actor. Interspersed original songs—…embellish her inspiring tale, which proves that while life may not start at 50, it sure doesn’t end there.—Andrew Frisicano, Freelance Copy Editor ‘Time Out’



“One woman’s journey of rising up out of the sh*t to victory…”



5th Annual ONE Winner Written and Performed by Ernie Silva


Ernie Silva can be found these days teaching theater to incarcerated youth as well as to children around the inner city of Los Angeles. He is a product of Bushwick projects in Brooklyn New York where he grew up the youngest of 13 siblings; he’s hardly typical in any sense of the word. His creative career started at the age of 12 when one day while break dancing in the streets he and his crew Love Disco Style were discovered by radio station 98.7 KISS FM where Eddie Rivera chose them to be the station’s resident dancers. It was there Ernie got his first tastes of life in front of  live audiences as they immediately began performing all across the city in shows with some of street music’s hottest acts. As Ernie grew so did his taste for performing, but now with a more eclectic edge.

He left breaking and became fascinated with performers like Flip Wilson, Freddie Prinze, and Richard Pryor. These raw and brutally honest performers seemed to fuel the mischievous juvenile delinquent in Ernie! His new found inspiration for comedy began resulting in obscene amounts of hookie-playing; causing the train passes he should’ve been implementing to get to school to become tools he instead used to travel around the city with, while dodging truant officers, as he scoured the city looking for comedy clubs he’d seen listed in the newspapers. Consequently, the desire to make people laugh drew him back to the stage at places like the upper west side’s Stand Up New York, The Comic Strip in the Upper East Side, and the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. At age 17 standup became his new voice. However, while he enjoyed the exhilarating feeling that came with being a stand up, his fascinations with performance still had wider places to spread. Eventually his musical side came calling to be recognized.

It was then that the voices of people like Andres Segovia, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, Son House, and Jimi Hendrix began to join all the other voices he loved. These also began intriguing Ernie to mimic them as much as he could.  While embarking on his tutelage in guitar styles which ranged from classical to blues (most of which he taught himself while sleeping on odd couches, spending random nights at youth hostels and homeless shelters, and even a few nights riding freight trains around the country.) All these exploits and years of traveling, playing guitar, his innate abilities for both dramatic acting and doing comedy in stand up and sketch comedy forms first earned him a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in Acting, and eventually the amazing honor of being bestowed a full scholarship to the newest Graduate Acting Program at the University of Southern California. In fact, after a worldwide search conducted by the school of over 360 applicants, he was given the only full scholarship awarded that year to a class only housing ten students. Ultimately stand up comedy’s voice eventually began to feel too limiting an art form. It was then that the world of one man shows moved into his sights. It was in this realm that Ernie would find the creative room for all of his individual abilities to coincide in harmony in whatever capacities he chose. There is where he has been ever since. Heavy Like the Weight of a Flame has enjoyed a n myriad of successes both in the states and internationally.


Heavy Like the Weight of a Flame is a sea-green version of the blues! It’s a one-man show that is like watching a bar fight go on between our lead character’s demons, influences, and aspirations. It’s a sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious journey filled with echoes of Shakespeare, Lightning Hopkins, Jack Kerouac, and your local Brooklyn New York archetypes and philosophers. It’s raw, it’s funny, it is universally human and it is above all intelligent!

The story surrounds Ernie our main character who finds himself to be a square peg (albeit a cool one) trapped in an octagon! He proceeds to engage us with 17 severely distinctive and unforgettable characters we will laugh at, cry with and ultimately lie down and dream alongside. It is a real life, autobiographical, to the core American story that at best reinvents even the established folklores of our society and at worst reintroduces them with a fresh new twist! Heavy Like the Weight of a Flame challenges our soul in the way we like!!!

This show walks the spiritual alleyways previously stomped through by people like John Leguizamo in “Freak” and Danny Hoch in “Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop” but with an extra element not even found in those two pieces, the enthralling ingredient added by Savannah our main character’s beloved guitar! Accompanying Silva’s verbal eloquence, from her mouth come voices ranging from the likes of Jimi Hendrix to Andres Segovia, not to mention his own very distinct music. The show is unquestionably not your average thing, it is a New York street kid’s walking, talking proof that high concept tales are also found in broken yet crystal clear street poetry! That same type of heart-filled imagery that can be found enrapturing minds within the writings of Donald Goines just as easily as it can be seen gripping souls when found screaming in a subway, or anywhere you happen to be lucky enough to catch this one of a kind artwork! 


8th Annual ONE Winner Written and Performed by A.R. Garcia


In April of 2013 A.R. Garcia wrote and performed his first one-man show entitled “I LOVE THEM ALL,” directed by Leslie Daniels. “I LOVE THEM ALL” was entered into the ONE Festival at LATEA Theatre and won his first Off-Broadway Award. A.R. Garcia entered the ONE Festival in 2014 with a play he wrote entitled “MY TIME” also directed by Leslie Daniels, performed by Teresa Anne Volgeneu. In 2015 he entered again with his one-man show entitled “THE BROKEN BACHELOR” which he wrote and performed and was directed by Marilyn Torres.

A.R. has written advertising campaigns for Robert DeNiro’s new product VODKA 6100. In addition he has written and co-stars in SAINT NICHOLAS; his first screenplay an adaptation of “I Love Them All,” which has been produced as an independent feature film and currently in distribution by Summer Hill Films. A.R. Garcia is currently in pre-production with a couple pilots for TV.

A.R.’s love and passion for writing has grown into all avenues as a playwright, screen writer, actor, poet, and blogger as well as an author of his upcoming short story/novel/poetry book set to be released in 2018 entitled; The Broken Bachelor.


Nicholas De La Cruz a high-powered defense attorney, Who also is a functioning addict. While preparing to defend his childhood friend Juan Suarez, who is a noted criminal. The stress of the case drives Nicholas into a tailspin of self abuse. This leads to him confiding in a therapist, who can hold her own against the dominating Nicholas. What Nicholas discloses about his past, present, and future, will change his life forever.


A drug and sex addicted criminal attorney tries to regain control of his life through therapy he believes he has no use for.


11th Annual ONE Winner Written and Performed by Marlene Villafane, Directed by Byron C. Saunders, Dramaturge by: Jeff C. Oppenheim



Peppered with her impressions of original characters, her favorite TV & film characters & celebrities, such as Eartha Kitt, Julie Andrews & even Fran Drescher, and through her storytelling and songs, Marlene Villafane takes you through a ride of the events that led her to find her personal power and voice again while growing up gawky, and painfully shy in the Upper West Side. “Hello Everyone, this is Eartha Kitt and I want to thank all of you and this fabulous city. Rrrrrrrrrrrr”!


Marlene Villafane takes us on a journey of her life growing up a gawky and shy Puerto Rican in NYC.