Timestorm and Martina and the Musician

Happy autumn!

Timestorm, the children’s audio fiction series Michael and I are producing through Cocotazo Media, launches next month. We’ve had a blast recording the first five episodes. The cast is incredibly talented – and it includes many dear friends and family members!

When twelve-year-old twins Alexa and Beni Ventura are sucked into an inter-dimensional portal, they meet a distant cousin who presents them with an incredible mission: travel through time to uncover hidden moments from their culture’s past. Along the way, they meet people from Africa, Europe, and the Americas who have left their mark on Puerto Rican heritage…only their names aren’t found in history books.

In the twenty-first century, Alexa and Beni navigate middle school, friendship, and home life while keeping their time-traveling pursuits secret. When a natural disaster devastates islands across the Caribbean, the twin’s come to understand just what’s at stake for their ancestral home. As Puerto Rico faces an uncertain future, Alexa and Beni do all they can to witness, find, and remember its past. 

The series launches on November 25 and is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Here are the trailers:

You can subscribe now on PlayerFM or Radio Public. Links for Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, and Overcast coming soon.

I also had a couple of short scripts, Martina and the Musician and Crap, produced by Cocotazo Audio Theatre. Martina and the Musician has been nominated for a few Audio Verse Awards: Audio Engineering (Michael Aquino), Writing (Me!), and Production. You can check out all of the amazing shows in the AVA nominee showcase and then vote for your favorites in the first round here.

And, finally, publication update! The 7th Grade Sleuths Book #2: Ignacio in the Dark (Overdue Books, 2019) is coming this winter! Check back soon for more details and a cover reveal.

Artists United for Puerto Rico, Cocotazo Audio Theater, and Women Rising

I'll be taking part in Step1 Theatre Project's Artists United for Puerto Rico, a benefit performance of poetry, music, and theatrical pieces. An excerpt from my play Hielo will be featured along with other theatre pieces by Nelson Diaz-Marcano and Desi Moreno-Penson, music by Aquino and Tanya Perez, and poetry by Maria Aponte, Isabel Pask, and Richard Perez. The event will take place on 11/13 at 7pm at The Physics Theater (Times Square Arts Center). There'll be a post-show reception with a live DJ, Coquito Bar, giveaways and a silent auction. All proceeds from the evening will go toward direct relief efforts and distribution of goods on the ground in Puerto Rico. Tickets $20, purchase here.

Can't attend, but want to donate? Go here. For more information on how you can donate and for resources about Hurricane Maria relief and recovery visit this page I've created.

 
 

In other news, I'm proud to announce that the Cooctazo Audio Theatre podcast has been nominated for several Audio Verse Awards! This includes writing, production, music, and acting nominations for my script Hot Drinks. You can vote (here!) in the semi-final round until October 30. (The password is pancakes.) 

This month also marks the return of Women Rising: Stories of Hope produced by Speranza Theatre Company. It runs through 10/29 at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City. You can purchase tickets and find details here.

From Speranza: "WOMEN RISING, Stories of Hope, is a 75-minute original play created by Speranza Theatre Company with the help of our community partner WomenRising.org. Directed by Mikaela Kafka, featuring original music by Drama Desk Nominated composer Estelle Bajou, WOMEN RISING is a compilation of stories written by 7 playwrights under the guidance of lead writer, Jennie Contuzzi." Recommended for ages 15+. Wheelchair accessible.

 
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Women Rising and the Puerto Rican Book Expo

Speranza Theatre Company’s production of Women Rising: Stories of Hope opens tonight and runs through October 23 in Jersey City. I’m proud to have contributed a monologue for this important project that raises awareness about domestic violence. WOMEN RISING: STORIES OF HOPE Directed by Diana Basmajian Written by Merri Biechler, Jennie Contuzzi, Megan Lohne, Dania Ramos, Lia Romeo, Caren Skibell, DeLora Whitney Starring Larissa Adamczyk, Jason Faust, Laura Gourdine, Vanessa Rappa, Alicia Rivas, Samille Ganges Art House Productions, 136 Magnolia Avenue, Jersey City 10/20 @ 7:30pm; 10/21 & 10/22 at 8pm; 10/23 a@ 2pm For tickets visit: SperanzaTheatreCompany.org. (Recommended for ages 15+)

Next month I’ll be participating in the Puerto Rican Book Expo on Saturday, November 19 from 12:00-7:00pm at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Comité Noviembre sponsors this annual event held in conjunction with the National Puerto Rican Artisan Fair and Exhibit. Come get an early start on holiday shopping while showing your support for local artists and authors!

Gallery: Mi Casa Tu Casa Stages Festival 2015

MI CASA TU CASA had a great run at this year's Stages Festival! The cast and crew did an amazing job under the guidance of our fearless director Jane Mandel. Shout out the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Dreamcatcher Rep, Boyd Elementary School, and Giggles Theatre for helping bring the magic to life. Pictured below: Alicia Rivas, Chris Kent, Michael Aquino, Jane Keitel

Mi Casa Tu Casa Returns as Part of the 2014 Stages Festival

 
 

The mini-tour of a new version of Mi Casa Tu Casa kicks off this Saturday, 3/1 at 11am at Luna Stage. It's presented as part of the 2014 New Jersey Stages Festival with generous support from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the HMS Foundation. Luna will host another show on 3/8 at 11am. The other venues are Abington Avenue School in Newark, NJ (3/7 @ 6pm) and the Institute of Music for Children in Elizabeth, NJ (3/22 @ 3pm).

The production is directed by Jane Mandel and features Michael Aquino, Jennica Carmona, Jane Keitel, and Chris Kent. It's a fun show for the entire familia! And super affordable - children 12 and under get in FREE or for $4, depending on the location. Come check it out...

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