Members

To learn more about our members click on their headshot below.

Ever since 2018, our collective of artists, technicians, producers, developers & educators continues to grow. Every experience and every collaboration leading us to more doors awaiting to be opened. From performers and movement directors, to music composers and graphic designers, every member of the team has a say through each step of the way in each of our projects, moving away from the power-centric methods of classic western theater. In many ways, each of our projects has multiple directors, exercising the ideal that each team member is their own leader. We have proven time and time again that our method of collaboration works, and presents itself as a more fulfilling work environment for all involved.

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Angelina Castillo

Angelina Castillo is an artist and creator from El Paso, TX. She is inspired by beauty and blood. Credits in Austin and El Paso include King Lear (Goneril), Sons of the Prophet (Gloria), Steel Magnolias (Shelby), The Graduate (Elaine), Bloody Shakespeare (Lady Macbeth/Macbeth), Noises Off (Brooke). Angelina attended the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UT Austin. She currently works as a critical care pharmacist in Austin, TX.

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Grace Elaine

Grace Elaine (She/ Her, They/Them)is a professional artist, maker, and costume designer. She especially enjoys learning to make new things. Her lifelong career goal is to make her own versions of the rings of power.

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Merle DeWitt III

Merle DeWitt III has his BFA in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is currently pursuing his MFA in Drama focusing in Lighting and Projection Design at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and is on course for graduation in June of 2021. During his time at UTEP and UCI, Merle has further grown not only as a theatrical lighting and projections designer, but has also been fortunate enough to be able to branch out into video editing for theatre productions, as well as digital media creation.

Alongside his creative endeavors Merle is one of the founding members, and current General Manager & Technical Director, of K.B. Theatre Company, in El Paso, TX., a young theatre company that he runs alongside his collaborators and friends, artistic director Stephanie Carrillo and Managing Director & Associate Creative Director Jesús López Vargas. K.B. focuses mainly on supporting young local artists with their career development whilst providing experiences to exercise their training. In the summer of 2020, the company produced "Re-Creating the Stage: a Roundtable for our New Reality", a virtual, nationwide, and free summer program aimed at undergraduate/graduate-level students and young industry professionals in the United States who lost their internships, apprenticeships & summer work opportunities due to the COVID-19 crisis.

When not designing or working for K.B., Merle also produces works alongside his husband Jesús López Vargas. Merle and Jesús have been working together for more than 5 years now and they have produced several works to include live-performance productions and experimental short-films. The first was an original production, RED (2017), which was a thirty five minute, performance poetry piece that touched on themes of trauma & healing. The second original production produced by Merle and Jesús was, /Echo (2018), which opened on April 5th, 2018 for a 7-performance sold-out run; this hour-long production had a score & script involving lyrical narrative, performance poetry, contemporary dance & rap. In late summer 2020 Merle and Jesús started work on a short film titled Symptoma 20 (2020). This short film is a post-dramatic video project and was created in collaboration with Moon Collective and several international artists. This was digitally released for a limited run on October 31st, 2020 (Halloween) and is still in the works to have full release (dates still to be announced).

While finishing his degree this spring Merle will continue creating virtual projects with some of his close collaborators to include the expansion of a VR project currently planned as his MFA thesis. After graduation in June, Merle will be spending a brief time at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as an Assistant Lighting Designer after which he will continue his freelance career with plans to be based in the eastern United States.

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Nancy Batres

Nancy Batres is an actor and artist primarily based in San Diego, CA. She is a founding member of K.B. Theatre Company, an arts group & creative producing collective founded in El Paso, TX. Recent credits include reading stage directions in Saints Go Marching (TuYo Theatre/ Milagro Theatre’s INGENIO 2020 Live Virtual Theatre Festival) and The Displaced (Amigos del REP). Acting credits include Dream Hou$e (CSUSM & TuYo Theatre), Resistance Creates Beauty (Blindspot Collective), A Play About Something (Backyard Renaissance Theatre Company/ La Jolla Playhouse Without Walls Festival), Aztec Pirates & The Insignificance of Life on Mars - Reading - (San Diego Repertory Theatre Latinx New Play Festival), and A Mother's Mother (Playwrights Project).

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Pan Pan Gou

Composer, Sound Designer, Classical Singer

Currently finishing my double degrees in B.A. music and B.A Drama with an emphasis on sound design at University of California, Irvine.

I am passionate about exploring and creating fantasy through music and sounds.

Feel free to reach out for collaboration!

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Shelby Caughron

She has experience in various areas of theatre including acting, directing, choreography, theatre management & stage management. Her directorial credits include many devised pieces, most recently being Tzaqik with MOON Collective. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from UCI as well as an Associate Degree in Drama from MiraCosta College. She is the Box Office Manager and Production Assistant for the MOONlight Amphitheatre.

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Jesús López Vargas

Jesús is a founder and the current artistic director of MOON Collective. He has a M.F.A. in Stage Management from the University of California, Irvine and graduated with a BFA in Technical Theatre from UT at El Paso in the Spring of 2018. Jesús has professional experience as a director, production & project manager, lighting designer, publicity artist, entertainment journalist, translator (English-Spanish), freelance event and portrait photographer and as a video editor. He has worked professionally in the United States & México.

As a passionate producer of the performance arts, Jesús has produced, written & directed four live-performance productions and various experimental films. His first original live production, RED (2017), was a 35min. performance poetry piece that touched on themes of trauma & healing. His second performance production, /Echo (2018), opened for a 7-performance sold-out run in April 5th, 2018; an hour-long production with a score & script involving lyrical narrative, performance poetry, contemporary dance & rap. In 2019 Jesús presented a performative installation piece at the Segerstrom Center for the Art's Plaza, CA, titled In This Light | There is Silence (2019), showcasing projected animation, lighting design, dance, poetry & an original score created by Dimitri Soto. Jesús also wrote and co-directed the 90-minute movement operetta Tzaqik | a tale, of many (2020), a collaboration with dance, theater, music & visual artists, co-directed by Shelby Caughron & choreographed by Piper Bockstahler, which was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19 two weeks before its sold-out opening weekend. In July 2020 he released a short film titled Zu Sein (2020), with music compositions by Pan-Pan Gou, starring Erica Clark, followed by Symptoma 20 (2020), a post-dramatic full-length video project in collaboration with MOON Collective. Jesús is currently working in three new projects set to premier in 2021: A Trilogy on Duality, a short-film trilogy that explores various definitions on duality, Distance in its Movement, an responsive movement art-film, and WWW an immersive virtual limited-series.

Jesús is a founder, the current Managing Director & Associate Creative Director for K.B. Theatre Company in El Paso, TX., a young theatre company that he runs alongside collaborator and friend, artistic director Stephanie Carrillo. K.B. focuses mainly on supporting young local artists with their career development whilst providing experiences to exercise their training. In the summer of 2020, the company produced "Re-Creating the Stage: a Roundtable for our New Reality," a virtual, nationwide, and free summer program aimed at undergraduate/graduate-level students and young industry professionals in the United States who lost their internships, apprenticeships & summer work opportunities due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In 2020, Jesús also served as the Assistant to the Artistic Director for New Swan Shakespeare Festival & the New Swan Shakespeare Center before its summer cancellation due to the world-wide COVID-19 crisis.

In the Summer of 2016, Jesús published his first book of poetry & photography for young adults titled I See Red, under his blog penname K. Zakrevski, available worldwide for distribution through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. He is currently working on his second poetry & photography book, and multiple research and creative writing projects.

Jesús was proudly born in Sonora, México and grew up in San Luis Potosí, México. He has spent his life studying & working in both the US & México. He is bilingual in English (United States) & Spanish (México) - most of his written work is composed in both of these two languages. He is proudly married to technician & lighting designer Merle DeWitt III.

Some of his biggest inspirations in the arts are the photographers Duane Michals, Francesca Woodman & Arthur Tress as well as artists Nicola Samori, Marina Abramovic, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Roberto Ferri, Eugenio Salvador Dalí, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Anna Malina & the choreographer/director Damien Jalet. His literature & poetic inspirations, whom have motivated him to continue pursuing a new unconventional style for playwriting & experimentation for lyrical productions are Frank Bidart, Roberto Bolaño, Mary Oliver, Anne Carson, Sarah Kane, Benjamin Saenz, Mark Danielewski, Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, Dylan Thomas, Wisława Szymborska & the Wachowski Sisters.

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Armando Acosta

Born in August of 1995 in El Paso, TX - Armando Acosta is actor, rapper and recording artist.

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Dimitri Soto

Dimitri Soto is a composer & music producer for various genres. Dimitri has collaborated & produced alongside MOON Collective since its inception in 2018 as well as with various other artists in the southern california area. He has composed the full scores for In This Light There is Silence (2019), Tzaqik | a tale of many (2020), and Distance in its Movement (2021). He also works professionally as a carpenter & scenic designer, having worked with the University of Texas at El Paso, Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado, Playwrights Horizons in New York City, the University of California Irvine & Transversal Theater Company.

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Athziri Morales

Athziri is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso, where she has earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Design concentrating in Lighting Design. She has designed for theatrical, opera, musical and dance productions, including Mary’s Wedding and Bless me, Ultima. Her creative work has also expanded into different areas of design such as a costume design, sound design and also film. Most recently, she has worked with other artists in creating the short film, Symptoma 20. Through art and creation, Athziri has found liberation of expression, she believes that art has the ability to bring together voices and lift stories that need to be heard. Moon Collective provides artists with the tools to create without limitations and most importantly collaboration between like-minded individuals.

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Katherine Daniel

Katherine is a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso with her BFA in Theatre Performance. She's an actor, writer, and director. Currently, she resides in El Paso where she hopes to contribute to the growing artistic and creative scene in her home city. Having joined with Moon Collective on prior projects, their mission is one she takes to heart. With a heart for performance, she also loves to indulge in the writing and directing scene. While attending UTEP, she directed BENT for a student led production. Some of her title performance credits include Mary from Mary's Wedding and Jean from Deadman's Cellphone.

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Jessica Lynn Keasberry-Vnuk

Producer credits include: When We Watch, Tzaqik (Moon Collective); Re-Creating the Stage (K.B. Theatre). Stage and production management credits include: The Outsiders, Disenchanted!, She Kills Monsters, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Driving Miss Daisy, Clybourne Park, King of the Road (Laguna Playhouse); Peter Pan and Tinker Bell: A Pirate’s Christmas (Lythgoe Family Panto); ModelLand (immersive experience prod. by Tyra Banks); Ghosts, Summer’s Soldier, Orlando (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Glass Menegarie (International City Theatre); and the 2019 Ovation Awards. She holds a B.A. in Drama with Honors and Certificate in Arts Management from the University of California, Irvine.

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Félix José Colón

Félix is an actor, musician, singer and director born and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He is the founder and director of Taller Artistico Caguas, a non profit organization who train kids and teens from Puerto Rico in arts and musical theater. He is also a drama teacher and acting coach. Recents credits as a director includes: The Lion King Jr, Hairspray Jr, Frozen Jr, Jesuschrist Superstar, The Passion of the Christ. As an actor, credits includes: Spring Awakening, Fiddler On The Roof, Equus, Love's Labour Lost, The Crucible, Measure for Measure, and Tzaqik (Moon Collective). Félix have a BA in Acting from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus and is currently studying his MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine.

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Herman Gomez

Herman Gomez is a multidisciplinary artist with strong familiarity in stage management, dramaturgy, creative writing, and multi-media design. He has served as director, stage manager, dramaturg, make-up and effects designer, props designer, assistant costume designer, and playwright across a multitude of productions. He has also worked as a writing consultant, tutor, editor, web designer, and communications manager. His professional goal is to is to passionately serve in multifaceted, creative settings ensuring that he helps forge positive, inspired communities, empower the voices of minorities across the world, represent both the Hispanic and the LGBTQ+ community with humility and pride, and create an environment of love and acceptance wherever he goes.

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Brandon Ray Alba

MOON|Collective is an opportunity to work with and learn from others, to cry, to fight, and to love. Through my experience working with these friends I’m humbled to have learned what the stage and performance means to me. We are students in this journey together for a purpose and it’s our job to learn how to navigate through it.

The stage doesn’t have an address, so give them a show.

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Bianca Chauntell Taylor

Bianca Chauntell Taylor is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) earning her BFA in Theatre Performance in which she was selected as the Department of Theatre & Dance's 2020 outstanding BFA/Theatre Performance student. Recent roles from UTEP included, Jocasta in Oedipus El Rey, and Aimee in The Humans. She was last seen acting in Titan Theatre Company's production of Genesis, in which she played Lena. She has worked professionally in film and theatre, acting in local commercials and short films and won first place for the short film, Last Anniversary, at the 2018 El Paso 2-day movie challenge. Lately, she has been exploring writing and was chosen to perform her original piece titled, Planting the Seed, for the Dramatist Guild El Paso Strong Reading Series. The event created a space of community and healing and it was there where she realized the responsibility that she has as an artist. "As an African American artist in the field of theatre I believe that I have a responsibility to serve my community and provide opportunities, especially for the little black girls who look like me. Through my work I hope that I can raise questions that can initiate a response and start a conversation around issues that matters most to me. The stories that I tell will always be dedicated to and for my people. If the little dark skin black girl could look on television and see all that she could be, she would leave no space for doubt but know that anything is possible. My overall hope and goal as an artist is to be that representation where the little black girl would no longer have to wonder where are the girls that look like me."

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Ernesto Figueroa

Hello my name is Ernesto Figueroa. I am a performer and writer. I have joined Moon Collective to do my best in being a conduit for expression. I myself am concerned with exploring the depth of candor between performer and viewer, or any two people in dialogue with one another. I want to champion people to look on with affection at each other and to blur the lines between projection and empathy. For I believe, like mirrors, two people at the right angle can be infinite.

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Nada Nader

Nada Nader is an actress, singer, and dancer from Cairo, Egypt. She is a graduate of the Mass Communication Department at Misr International University. She has participated in several performing workshops. She also conducts acting workshops for both children and adults. She studied acting through many acting workshops with Luke Lehner, Gerald James, Ahmed Kamal and others. As an actress, she has participated in many performances, television and social media advertisements, as well as short movies, two long movies and a TV drama series. She works as an acting coach assistant with Acting coach “Luke Lehner”. Nada has also worked as an acting coach in the Access program for teenagers with Noon organization.

Nada also studied dancing in a full time professional dance program for 3 years at Cairo Contemporary Dance Center, and done dance performances as a dancer and as a choreographer.

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Hannah Tran

Hannah Tran is a stage designer for theatre and dance. Originally from Pomona, CA, she currently resides in New Haven, CT. She obtained a BA in Theatre with a concentration in scenic design, from the University of California, Irvine in 2019. She is currently a M.F.A. candidate at the Yale School of Drama, studying projection design.

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Arielle Singer

I graduated in June of 2018 from Union College in Schenectady, NY with a B.A. in Marketing Engineering Products and a minor in Digital Media. Throughout my undergraduate experience I was heavily involved with the Mountebanks theater club where I did everything from stage managing and designing to conducting, directing, and producing six musical productions.

In June of 2021, I graduated from the University of California, Irvine with an M.F.A in Stage Management. Throughout the three year program, I had the opportunity to stage manage a mixture of stage and virtual productions, projection design, and create and teach undergraduate student courses.

Currently, I reside in Boston, MA and am the Museum Theater Coordinator at Plimoth Patuxet Museums in Plymouth, MA. Here I have helped to create the first ever theater program for the English Village site experience.

In my free time I enjoy watching a lot of baseball, listening to musicals, and color-coding spreadsheets.

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Aliya Kerim

Aliya Kerim was born in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China and is the Uyghur People. She has studied and worked in many different dance styles from ballet to modern dance, hip-hop, Korean traditional dance, Uyghur dance, Tibetan dance, Mongolian dance, Central Asian dance, somatic movement studies. She has had the opportunity to perform and/or choreograph in internationally recognized dance venues in Asia, North America and Europe.

She holds a BFA in dance education from Minzu University of China in Beijing. She received her MA in dance education from New York University, and MFA in dance from University of California, Irvine.

Her teaching and research focus on somatic approach to the interconnection between self and environment. She incorporates movement, writing, filming into her dance class to create a student centered open learning environment.

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Evan Lugo

Evan is an actor, choreographer & dancer currently residing in Southern California.

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Erika Clark

Erika Clark is an actor, performer, writer & director currently working and residing in the Southern California area. She holds a drama degree from the University of California, Irvine with honors in directing.

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Jaime Salvador Lupercio

Hello I am Jaime Salvador Lupercio, but most people call me Jim. I've been working in theatre since I was 10 years old, and in my journey I found that the media I do my best story telling in is sound. I love telling stories, and as a queer indigenous person of color, I love the stories that story, or of people like me. I'm excited to be working with Moon Collective, because even after working with most of these people close to a decade, we still impassion each other to keep pushing that artistic envelope and move forward in our art.

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Héctor Baltazar Torres

I am a donkey, no me se rajar.

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