Kayla Friend is an actress, director, and writer in New York City. She originally hails from Hemet, California - home of the Ramona Pageant- and was part of the play from 1998-2009. She is the Artistic Director and Creative Producer of Moxie Arts New York, and a resident artist at The Center at West Park and former resident of The Access Theater in Manhattan. Kayla received her B.A. in Theatre and Cultural Anthropology from California Baptist University and completed post-baccalaureate education through The Center for Alternative Theatre Training (Athens) and the City University of New York.
Kayla is an Irene Ryan Nominee and is a member of the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors, as well as an Associate Member of the Dramatists Guild. Her work with Ramona was workshopped with the New Ambassadors Theatre Lab (2018-2019) and with the Furnace Festival in New York City (2019). She is a proud southern California native of Mexican, German, Irish, and Native American descent.
KAYLA L. FRIEND
Born in Monterrey, Mexico. Jaime is an accomplished musician, vocal coach, composer, arranger, orchestrator, musical producer and musical theatre director considered by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda as the “next big thing” on Broadway. Works: Tlatelolco, Myths, Lightning Strikes Twice (Off-Broadway), The Yellow Brick Road (Off-Broadway and National Tour), Carmen La Cubana (Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France), Children of Salt (New York Musical Festival 2016 “Best of Fest” Production), A Never-Ending Line (Comédie Nation in Paris, France and Off-Broadway). Albums: “Tlatelolco” (producer, composer, lyricist), “Carols for a Cure 2010” (arranger, orchestrator), R.Evolución Latina’s “Dare to Go Beyond” (arranger, orchestrator, music director), Florencia Cuenca’s “Aquí – Los Nuevos Standards” (producer, arranger, music director), Doreen Montalvo's “American Soul / Latin Heart” (producer, arranger, orchestrator, music director), “A Never-Ending Line”(producer, composer, arranger, orchestrator). Director: The Last Five Years (Spanish World Premiere), Into the Woods, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fantasticks, Jekyll & Hyde (Mexican World Premiere), Songs for a New World (Spanish World Premiere), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; as well as his very own works Tlatelolco, Myths and Con Amor…Isa Colibrí. He is a teacher and activist for the New York City based not-for-profit organization R.Evolución Latina. BFA: Music & Composition, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León; MFA: NYU/Tisch, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program; part of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Mex-Am Cultural Foundation Grant recipient. Proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, BMI and GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY voting member. Twitter/IG: @jaimelozano
Music, Spanish Lyrics
Michael Meketa is a composer/orchestrator/music director from Johnstown, PA currently based in New York City. He has always had a love for musicals, and has music directed and performed for numerous productions, cabarets, and workshops in the New York metro area. Some favorite credits include Yet Another Funeral (2016 Orchestrations) Murphy’s Law (2016 Orchestrations) and Kalopsia (2017 Music/Co-Lyrics.) He recently developed The Axeman's Jazz (2019 lyrics/book Briana Whyte Harris) as part of his masters thesis for the NYU graduate musical theatre writing program in May, 2019.
Andres Maldonado holds a Masters degree in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and a Bachelor of Science in Music Composition from Hofstra University. As an active pianist, he performs as a soloist and collaborator. He has appeared with the American Chamber Ensemble, and accompanied the Wyandanch Youth Center Chorus in their inaugural concert, sponsored by Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. He was the recipient of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Scholarship; in 2016 he received the Marvin Hamlisch Award for Composition; and in 2017, received the Gabriel Fontrier Memorial award. As a composer, Mr. Maldonado is dedicated to blurring the divide between classical, jazz and Latin music. His music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe. He was commissioned by the American Chamber Ensemble (in collaboration with the Eglevsky Ballet) at The John Cranford Adams Playhouse, and was a composition fellow at the Talis Music Festival in Saas-Fee Switzerland. He is currently an adjunct professor of music at Hofstra University.
Music, Add'l Lyrics
Jessy Tomsko is a composer, singer/songwriter, music teacher, and vocal coach in New York City. She has independently released several albums, EPs, and singles, and has performed at many of the prominent East coast music halls and festivals, such as Musikfest Cafe, World Cafe Live, Rockwood Music Hall, Club Passim, The Rams Head On Stage, Pittsburgh Winery, Sellersville Theatre, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (Emerging Artist Finalist), Musikfest, and the NJ Folk Festival (Emerging Artist Winner). She was a featured vocalist and soloist on The Book of Rounds by October Project, was a featured performer in Sesame Street’s Leslie Carrara-Rudolph’s Halloween Cabaret “Moonlight Madness”, and in 2017 Jessy made her Carnegie Hall debut. She is a co-founder of NYC semi-professional a cappella group The Lost Keys, and she is now combining her love of folk music, musical theatre, and history in her first original musical BOLEYN.
Duane is a Paiute/Yurok California Native American originating from the Paiute Reservation in Bishop and he is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe. He was seen in the mini-series The Men Who Built American: Frontiersmen. His other recent projects have been the independent short film Open Season and the Independent film, City of Dogs. Mr. Minard’s theater credits include Ramona (Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre), They Don’t Talk Back (Equity), Off the Rails (Equity), and The Bad Seed, for which he received an Inland Theatre League Award.
Duane speaks his native languages of Paiute and Yurok. Mr. Minard as participated in numerous singing, dancing, and blessing events throughout his lifetime. He as been a member or a number of native singing and dancing groups, mostly recently the Redtail Spirit Dancers and Singers. Performing Pow-wow dancing, singing , and California Bird Songs.
Native American Music & Language Consultant
Jessica Wu is a NYC-based writer, director, songwriter, dramaturg, occasional performer, and all-around theatre-maker. She is the founder of Inspirate Creative Consulting and Development, dedicated to providing clients with purposeful creative coaching and open-hearted, collaborative development sessions for works in-process. | | FB/IG/Twitter @woohoojwu
Developmental Dramaturg, Script Consultant
Mireya I. Ramos is a violinist, vocalist, composer and arranger is of Dominican and Mexican descent raised in Puerto Rico, who embodies all of her musical influences from mariachi to salsa, from jazz to hip-hop, always creating a warm and refreshing new sound. She has performed with Chucho Valdez, El Prodigio, Café Tacvba, Mariachi El Bronx and more. In 2008, she founded Mariachi Flor de Toloache, New York City’s first and only all female mariachi band, one of the NYC’s most exciting and unique bands.She is the recipient of a Latin Grammy award for Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album for her work with Flor De Toloache on the album ‘Las Caras Lindas’.
Mariachi Music Advisor
Anitra Bishop is a curator, archivist, and historian at the Columbia Memorial Space Center located in the greater Los Angeles area. Anitra received her B.A. in History from the University of California Riverside, and her M.A. in History and Archival Studies from Claremont Graduate University. She is also currently working toward her PhD in U.S. History from Claremont Graduate University. Her research expertise includes Los Angeles History, History of the American West, Cold War History, Archival Studies, Museum Studies, and Food Studies. Her work experience includes fellowships and internships at respected institutions such as the Huntington Library and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
California History Consultant
Phil Brigandi is an independent scholar who specializes in the history of Southern California, especially Orange County, and for thirty years served as the historian for the Ramona Pageant.
In Memorium - Phil was one of our consultants and a personal friend of the librettist. Phil passed away in December 2019.
California History Consultant
Alyssa’s producing debut will be Ramona, coming to San Antonio, TX later in 2020. As a performer herself, she is especially excited to share stories of women of color. She was inspired to begin producing when she performed as Cristina in La Casa Azul the Musical and got to work with other latinx creatives.