Artists at Play and FilAm ARTS Teatro present a reading of
The Butterfly of Chula Vista
By Giovanni Ortega
Directed by Jesca Prudencio
Dramaturgy by Carolina San Juan

Stage Manager Karin Naono

Malou ‘Malunggay’ Ongpin Evie Abat
MacArthur Quintanilla Richard Azurdia
Libertad ‘Tad” Batungbakal Espinosa Brandon English
Divina Amorosa Randy Guiaya
Mitchie Novaliches Hazel Lozano
Luningning ‘Ning” Batungbakal Espinosa Belinda Panelo
Stage Directions Sergio Perez

Monday, May 1, 2023 at 7:30 pm
2220 Arts + Archives, Los Angeles

Giovanni Ortega (Playwright, FilAm ARTS Teatro Artistic Director) is deeply honored to work with Artists at Play, where they presented his play ALLOS: The Story of Carlos Bulosan and directed The Last Firefly in partnership with Center Theatre Group’s Library Reading Series. Commissioned plays: Sama Sama: Solidarity in the Fields, Criers for Hire and ALLOS: The Story of Carlos Bulosan (East West Players); The Butterfly of Chula Vista (San Diego Rep); Simula – A New Beginning, Fall in Winter, Tug of War, Wayne Kalani – A Soldier’s Tale, Jonah, Mutyang Kalayaan – Beloved Freedom, Tao Po: We Are Here, Lost in the Margins, El Pescador y La Lluvia and The Sea. In Singapore, Giovanni devised/directed The Body Series, Evolution, Kabaret Singapura at Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity. Poetry Festival Singapore also commissioned Giovanni to write the plays Benches and Palindromes, followed by films “Belonging,” “Atlas” and “Nomads.” Giovanni is currently the Artistic Director for FilAm Arts Teatro.

Jesca Prudencio (Director) is a director and choreographer dedicated to developing new theatrical works that humanize issues nationally and internationally. Currently: Exotic Deadly: Or the MSG play (Old Globe). Recent: Dot, Dot, Dot (TheatreWorks USA), Bald Sisters (Steppenwolf), King Liz (Geffen Playhouse), It’s A Ship Show!, We Fancy (Virgin Voyages). Other credits: Can We Now?, PDA (La Jolla Playhouse WOW Festival), Interstate (Mixed Blood, East West Players), The Great Leap (Steppenwolf), Vietgone, Actually (San Diego Rep), Calling (La MaMa ETC), A&Q (Pineapple Lab, Philippines), FAN (B-Floor Theatre, Thailand). Film: “American Quartet” (Filmelodic), “Birdhouse” (forthcoming). Other: Head of Directing at San Diego State University’s School of Theatre, Television, and Film; inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellow. Education: BFA from NYU Tisch, MFA from UC San Diego.

Carolina San Juan (Dramaturg) received her doctorate from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. She taught extensively at UCLA and CSUDH and is now the Director for UCLA’s AAP Graduate Mentoring unit. As a long-time arts organizer and theater and performance scholar, she served as the Arts Education Director for East West Players from 2017-19 and is currently a Board Member for Suarez Dance Theatre and Teada Productions. Having grown up in San Diego with a father who served 30 years in the US Navy, she’s thrilled to work on a piece close to home and heart.

Karin Naono (Stage Manager) began her professional career amidst the pandemic, and is a freelance stage manager and stage technician that has found her home within theatrical works and occasional event works. She works at the historic San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, while working gigs around the LA area, with some credits in the Boston area. Play and event credits include: Radio Golf (A Noise Within Theatre); Latina Christmas Special (Atomictuna Productions); Kamioroshi, the Descent of the Gods (BU Arts Initiative); Incredibly Annoying Women at Pao Arts Center; Produced by Conference 2022, PGA.

Evie Abat (Malou ‘Malunggay’ Ongpin) is happy to reconnect with her fellow Butterfly actors! She is an actor-writer-director-producer, whose first short is currently in post-production. Her feature rom-com is now in pre-production. She is currently directing the West Coast premiere of Survivors, a touring play about survivors of the Holocaust. She has appeared on TV, Film, and many stages throughout Southern California. Thx to Gio, Jesca, and Team Butterfly for another opportunity to play a Tita!

Richard Azurdia (MacArthur Quintanilla) Theater credits include: Fountain Theatre, Latino Theater Co., Independent Shakespeare Co., Theatricum Botanicum, Denver Center Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Company of Angels, Ghost Road Co., Rogue Artist Ensemble, Circle X Theatre, Sacred Fools Theatre, Echo Theatre & Son of Semele Ensemble. He’s been nominated for the Ovation Awards, Stage Raw Awards, Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards & Broadway World Awards. His film and TV credits are numerous. He’s a recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship and was named one of L.A. Weekly’s 54 Fascinating People in 2015.

Brandon English (Libertad ‘Tad” Batungbakal Espinosa) is a Filipino American actor, writer, and in-house Casting Producer for Roundabout Entertainment. He is currently part of the Ignite Project at Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles, where he’s workshopping his first full length play Tara! Brandon has cast many projects for Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Studios, such as: “Small & Mighty”, “Summer Time Rendering”, and “Sayen.” Founder of Morenx Media, he is most known for his critically acclaimed short film “Bakla.” Some of his favorite recent theatre credits are: The Inheritance at Geffen Playhouse, March at Playwrights’ Arena, and Comfort Women: A New Musical at Los Angeles Theatre Center. IG @BrandonUniverse

Randy Guiaya (Divina Amorosa) has appeared in productions at South Coast Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, East West Players as well as various other companies throughout Los Angeles. His TV credits include: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “9-1-1,” “General Hospital” and “The Office.” He divides the rest of his time as a musician and voice teacher as well as a voiceover guy (he’s a Waze guide who gets you lost through the streets of L.A.).

Hazel Lozano (siya/they/she) (Mitchie Novaliches) is a 1.5-gen Fil-Am queer neurodivergent artist. Hazel produced the Intimacy Choreography In Conversation podcast, hosted by Ann James and Carly D. Weckstein (please listen and subscribe!), and is on social media too often @atypicalhaze. L.A. theater: America Adjacent (Skylight), Othello (Griot Theatre), An Octoroon (Fountain). So, so much gratitude and honor to my growing artistic family, and to you for supporting new voices in old spaces. Maraming salamat!

Belinda Panelo (Luningning “Ning” Batungbakal Espinosa) is former MTV-Asia VJ and discovered her passion for acting on stage in the Philippines. After a brief career in Filipino showbiz, she moved to New York to study at the Atlantic Theater Company Conservatory. Several winters later she moved to L.A. and eventually San Diego. Belinda had the pleasure of playing Luningning for a reading held at the San Diego Repertory last year. Most days Belinda works as a research and policy specialist, and when the opportunity arises to share space with creative artists in the community committed to elevating Filipino/a/x stories, then you can count her in.

Sergio Perez (Stage Directions) is an actor and writer from Los Angeles. He has been a part of Occidental Children’s Theater for the last five years, and is currently working as a producer’s assistant in Los Angeles. Sergio also spends his time teaching theater and improv to elementary schoolers in East L.A.

Stefanie Lau (Artists at Play Producing Artistic Leader) is an arts administrator whose work over the last 20 years brings equity, diversity and inclusion to Los Angeles theatre. As a co-Founder and co-Producing Artistic Leader of Artists at Play, Stefanie produces mainstage shows, new play development programs, Theatre for Young Audience performances, fundraisers, and other special events. She is a Development Associate at the Latino Theater Company, and previously worked at Center Theatre Group, East West Players and Ford Amphitheater. Stefanie joined Cold Tofu Improv as a student in 2003, and has since served many roles including Managing Director, Board Member and Producer. A graduate of UCLA, Stefanie sits on the national board of the Consortium of Asian American Theatres and Artists, and is a member of the Artistic Directors of Color Alliance – Greater Los Angeles and Theatre Producers of Southern California.

Artists at Play