Samuel Vega as Prisoner #10035. Samuel is currently a student at Northeastern Illinois University and collective member of the Batey Urbano. He has performed at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in CPS Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, both productions directed by Kirsten Kelly. Recently, he appeared in the feature film Humboldt Park. While part of the Batey Urbano, he has performed nationally including in New York, Washington D.C. and throughout Illinois.
Melissa Cintron as Prisoner #10035. Melissa Cintron is an actor, poet, artist and community activist who was born and raised in Humboldt Park. She has performed with Teatro Batey Urbano nationally as a poet and an actor. Her credits include The Spark, ’77 Division Street Riots and Chupacabra Sightings—all directed by the famed Nuyorican poet/playwright Tato Laviera and is currently a proud cast member of Crime Against Humanity.
José Pérez as Prisoner #10035. Jose I. Pérez has appeared in productions such as Chupacabra Sightings and ’77 Division Division Street Riots, both written by the famed Nuyorican poet/playwright Tato Laviera. He made his film debut in the 2007, starring in the short film Why are You Running. He has also performed as a poet throughout the country as part of the Batey Urbano’s poetry ensemble.
Guadalís Del Carmen as Prisoner #10035. Guadalís Del Carmen is an aspiring actress and student born and raised in Chicago. She has done various projects with Batey Urbano and People’s Theatre, including Tato Laviera’s Bandera a Bandera and Judy Veramendi’s Los Calices Vacíos. She is a cast member of the feature film Logos, to be released in early 2010.
Michael Reyes as Prisoner #10035. For the last seven years much of Reyes’ work has been dedicated to Café Teatro Batey Urbano, a project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago. He has been involved in a variety of youth lead projects, including the founding of Zócalo Urbano, a Chicano-Mexicano/Latino youth space located in the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village.
As part of Batey Urbano he has shared the stage nationally and internationally with many poets, artists and activists such as historical figures Lolita Lebrón, Delores Huerta, poets Tato Laviera, Pedro Pietri, La Bruja, and musical artists such as, Roy Brown, Dead Prez, Boca Floja, Luis Díaz of Intifada, and Grammy Award winner Malik Yusef.
As a poet and an artist he has been featured on HBO Latino‘s Habla Series, and the PBS documentary Dream Makers. He has released three chapter books of poetry and 3 c.d.s. His work has also been featured nationally in many magazines, anthologies and newspapers. He has worked with many established institutions including; Chicago Public Radio, the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Museum Of Contemporary Art and the Poetry Center of Chicago.
As an actor, his credits include roles in Miguel Piñero’s famed play, The Sun Always Shines for the Cool, Urban Poet, Why Are U Running? Chicago Boricua, Public Theater’s 365 Project written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and the feature film Humboldt Park starring John Leguizamo, Melonie Diaz, Freddy Rodríguez, Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, Jay Hernandez, and Luis Guzmán. He has worked directly with famed NuYorican poet Tato Laveria on three productions entitled The Spark, Chupacabera and the 1977 Division Street Riots. As part of his work with Tato he has served, both as an actor and a director.
Currently Reyes is touring the country with his new play Crime Against Humanity, co-written by former Puerto Rican political prisoner Luis Rosa. Reyes has played the role of actor, writer and director for the play. Crime Against Humanity has received incredible community support and it is scheduled to tour until March of 2009.
April Lee Castillo. April Lee Castillo was born on January 31, 1980, in the busy streets of The Bronx, New York. As a freshman at Hunter College, April quickly became enthralled with the art of improvisation and immediately changed majors. April landed her first major project in 2003 as the Yo Girl in Visa’s Super Bowl commercial next to NBA All-Star Yao Ming and Yankee legend Yogi Berra. Other roles followed, including Shayna Rosario in the award-winning drama series Law and Order, and playing a bicycle messenger for the winning commercial in 2004’s Coca-Cola Filmmaker’s Contest. Most recently, April appeared in the nascent ABC-TV series 6 Degrees. She had a six-episode arc as Nurse Inez on the NBC stalwart ER, and she guest-starred as Sal, an urban juvenile aspiring to be a professional boxer in Jonny Zero on Fox TV. She also appeared on ABC’s Blind Justice, and as a guest host on Mundos’ popular variety show, The Roof. She is well known for her role in the 2007 drama Freedom Writers, in which she played Eva, based on real-life high school student Maria Reyes.
Teresita Ayala. Teresita Ayala grew up in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community of Humboldt Park. In 2006, Teresita moved from Humboldt Park to the South Bronx, New York, the birthplace of Hip Hop. She became the education and youth organizer for Mothers on the Move. Currently with her experience in the Boogie Down Bronx, the Afro-Boricua emcee/songstress Lah Tere, joins Chilean brothers RodStarz and G1 to form Rebel Diaz. Rebel Diaz uses Hip-Hop as a tool of resistance against injustice in our Black and Latino communities. They are known and respected internationally as artist who successfully integrate bilingual political lyrics over hard-hitting beats with crunk, Caribbean, and world music influences. She is also the founder of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen.
Natalia Rodríguez. Natalia Rodríguez is a Theater major at Lehman College and a current member of the Bronx Repertory Theater Company. Her previous credits included Cyrano the Musical, Bronx Repertory Production of Caution: Actors Working, Duck Walls, Pirates of Penzance, Anna in the Tropics, and Life is a Dream. She was Stage Crew for Hip-Hop Theory Culture Shock/ Evolution and From the Mississippi Delta, Stage Manager for Lobby Hero directed by Stephanie Stowe, and Production Stage Manager for Hands Across the Sea directed by Marylin Sokol. She thanks her family and friends for all their love and support. “Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War y Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre y Socialista”
Albania Matos. Albania Matos is a graduate from Hostos Community College majoring in Liberal arts and Science. She is currently attending Lehman College double majoring in Theater and History. Her previous credits are Life is a Dream, Dwarf Brigade, and Sweat. She plans to continue acting in theater as well as on film. She thanks her daughter Emily, sister Crystal and brother Wuck7 for giving the motivation to pursue her dreams.
Graciano Matos. Graciano E. Matos’ acting experiences began at a young age by performing in several theater productions at schools and the Boys Harbor Music Conservatory. His most memorable were The Whiz during the Tony Awards, A Chorus Line, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, and an impersonation of Michael Jackson. Last year he performed in Gritando en Siliencio a silent play that demonstrated the dangerous of domestic violence. Graciano is also known in many circles as DJ Mellow G and has performed in many venues throughout New York City. Graciano remains active in his community as Vice-chair and Co-founder of the Junior Board of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, an award-winning non-profit educational organization.