la llorona

Written by Cecelia Raker

Directed by Stephanie LeBolt

May 5 - 20, 2017

The Boston Playwrights' Theatre


When Maria, Rachel, and Molly got thrown together on a school project about the local urban legend, they didn't quite bargain for some horrifying teary murderess ghost lady to start messing with their lives. La Llorona, with her irreverent, haunting advice and constantly changing faces, seems intent on steering them away from her fate--or is she just luring them to a watery, weeping demise?


Cast and Production Team

David J. Castillo as Gatekeeper and Maria Hendricks as La Llorona

David J. Castillo as Gatekeeper and Maria Hendricks as La Llorona

Maria - Alessandra Esparza Wichtel
Molly - Chantie Parrilla
Rachel - Katie Grindeland
La Llorona - Maria Hendricks
Gatekeeper - David J. Castillo
Mom - Tess Degen


Playwright - Cecelia Raker
Director - Stephanie LeBolt
Dramaturg - Ramona Ostrowski
Stage Manager - Benjamin Janey
Assistant Director - Mara Palma
Assistant Stage Manager - Phil Esposito
Scenic Design - Lindsay Fuori
Lighting Design - Read Davidson
Costume Design - Angelina Raquel Morales
Prop Design - Stef Tivnan
Sound Design - Chris Larson
Composer and Instrumentalist - Geraldine Barney
Special Effect Design - Lynn Wilcott
Fight Choreography - Samantha Richert
Spanish Language Consultant - Cristhian Mancinas-García


Production Photos

Photos by Paul Fox

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Alessandra Esparza Wichtel (Maria) is from Lima, Peru and a recent graduate from Emerson College with a BA in Performing Arts and a Minor in Psychology. During the fall, she worked with True to Life Training as an Actor and Facilitator – an inspiring, unique and enriching experience. Her three favorite roles include: taking on the life-changing character of Antígona with the first Latino theatre group at Emerson; being a part of Life is a Dream’s ensemble with Emerson Stage; and performing at the Oberon, A.R.T’s second stage, as Odysseus’ Crew in Cyclops: a satyr play. She enjoys writing, performing slam poetry, dancing, travelling, long hours on a film set and floating in the ocean. She grew up hearing stories of La Llorona and has always been fascinated with mystical legends like hers. Alessa is proud to take on the role of Maria with this wonderful team of artists and storytellers. She feels grateful to be working with Fresh Ink as she shares their drive to tell stories that reflect current times and that portray underrepresented groups.

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Chantie Parrilla (Molly) is a Salem MA based actor/artist currently in her senior at Salem State University, where she studies Theatre Performance and 3D art. Her first exposure to Boston performance  is attributed to Escena Latina (Latin Scene) where she performed in Bodas de Sangre in 2015. Continuing her work with Escena Latina, Chantie participated in the staged reading of Marriage, Mantras, and Mentiras in January 2017. Being a part of Fresh Ink Theatre's La Llorona is a thrill and an honor.


Katie Grindeland (Rachel) is elated to make her on-stage debut with Fresh Ink. Previously her play, Rabbit Rabbit, received a 2015 Ink Spot reading with them. Other credits include New Repertory Theatre's touring productions of Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio) and The Scarlet Letter (Pearl), Hampshire Shakespeare Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hermia), and Emerson Stage's Richard III (Murderer II), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Abilene/Lucy the Dog/Sarah Ruth), and more. She is a proud graduate of Emerson College's BA Theatre Education and Acting program.

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Maria Hendricks (La Llorona) a multilingual performance artist, is contentíssima to be collaborating with the talented & devoted individuals of Fresh Ink Theatre! Past/Favorite credits include Matilde in the staged reading of A Clean House (Umbrella Center for the Arts), Trix in The Drowsy Chaperone (NortonSingers),and the blessing of originating such roles as Imania in Hidden Faces of Courage (OWLL/Fort Point Theatre) as well as Ruby & Loretta in Six Nights in the Black Belt in both NH & NYC (YTP, M&M productions, Negro Ensemble Company, Theatre at St Clements). Most recently she has been fusing arts, language and culture in The Table/La Mesa: The WELCOME PROJECT.


David J. Castillo (Gatekeeper) is an actor, model, and pop culture enthusiast native to Boston, MA. Area credits include Edward II (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), Baltimore (New Repertory Theatre/Boston Center for American Performance), The T Party (Company One Theatre), Blood Wedding (Apollinaire Theatre Company), and The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth (TC Squared Theatre Company). Currently in his senior year at Boston University, his collegiate credits include The Cradle Will Rock, Changes of Heart, and Water By The Spoonful. He is forever grateful for his graduating class’ continued support. #busot2017

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Tess Degen (Mom) was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and has been working and living in the US for the past 25 years. Her artistic endeavors have taken her from Modern Dance in NYC to acting, singing and teaching all over the Boston area. Her most recent credits include Matchless and The Happy Prince at Central Square theatre, Laundry and Bourbon with CAT collaborative, The Fence at Boston Center for the Arts and many musicals, staged readings and films. She is excited to work with Fresh Ink for the first time.




Cecelia Raker (Playwright) is a playwright based in Boston, by way of New Mexico. She is currently at work on an immersive bread-baking play about identity and privilege. La Llorona, which she developed as part of Company One's 2016 PlayLab Fellowship, was a runner-up for the 2016 Princess Grace award and received honorable mention on the 2016 Kilroys' List. Cecelia's also a core member of the Project:Project devising collective, whose last piece Shiver premiered at the Boston Playwrights' Theater in June 2015. Her play dry bones rising premiered at Venus Theatre in Laurel, MD in May 2015. Her work has been developed and produced with Landing Theater's New American Voices series, One Bird Productions, the Boston Theater Marathon, the Great Plains Theater Conference Playlab, the ART’s Loeb Experimental Theater, Harvard Playwrights’ Festival, The One-Minute Play Festival, Bostonia Bohemia, and a variety of other venues. Cecelia is a 2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing, and she's starting an MFA at the Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin in the fall.



Stephanie LeBolt (Director) is delighted to be back directing at Fresh Ink with Cecelia Raker's beautiful play La Llorona. Recent directorial work includes Franklin (Boston Playwrights' Theatre), Melancholy Play: the Chamber Musical (Umbrella Center for the Arts), The Ordinary Epic (Podcast), That Time the House Burned Down (Fresh Ink Theatre), One Minute Play Festival, Boston Theatre Marathon, and Solas Nua in Boston. Recent choreography and assistant directing credits include work with the Huntington Theatre Company, Stoneham Theatre, the Lyric Stage, and Bad Habit Productions. She is a director, choreographer, producer, and artist-administrator based in Cambridge and a proud graduate of the University of Virginia. 

Ramona Ostrowski (Dramaturg) is thrilled to be working with Fresh Ink on her third production! Dramaturgy credits include The Clytemnestriad, 1 2 3 (Fresh Ink); An Octoroon, Colossal, Shockheaded Peter, Astro Boy and the God of Comics, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation... (Company One Theatre); Knock Down, Drag Out (SpeakEasy Stage, upcoming). She is the Associate Producer of HowlRound, a member of LMDA, and a graduate of Boston University.

Ben Janey (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant team for his first show with Fresh Ink! Previously he's worked with BPT on the Boston Theatre Marathon (multiple years), the Mill 6 Collaborative, Rough and Tumble Theater Co, Shakespeare and Company, and others. He is eternally grateful for his wife Nicole for making him lunches when he's tired, and their dog, Willow, for still recognizing him as part of the family. Their hamster, Ramona, is somewhat indifferent towards him. He'll take it.

Mara Elissa Palma (Assistant Director) is proud to be part of the La Llorona team! Previous directing credits include assistant directing for Dawn M. Simmons on Warrior Class and directing for the Boston Theater Marathon. Mara can also be found on-stage, most recently as Cynthia in The Real Inspector Hound (Bad Habit Productions), or holding the playwright's pen, most recently with Octavia and Kleopatra (C1 PlayLab/Boston Podcast Players). Thanks so much to Stephanie, Louise, the LL cast and crew, my mentors at Wellesley College, and mom, forever and always. Twitter/Instagram: @marselissapalma

Lindsay Fuori (Scenic Design) is currently pursuing her BFA in Scenic Design from Boston University and is thrilled to be making her Fresh Ink Debut. Previous design credits include Every Piece of Me (Boston Playwright’s Theatre), The Cherry Orchard(Boston University), and In the Heart of America (Boston University).  

Read Davidson (Lighting Design) is a recent Boston/Cambridge transplant, currently working at the Harvard Book Store. Ze graduated from Smith College in Spring 2016. Zir recent lighting credits include Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All Night Diner (The Wild Project, Fresh Fruit Festival), and Orlando (Smith College). Ze is excited to be making zir Fresh Ink debut.

Angelina Raquel Morales (Costume Design) is very honored to be working on such a gorgeous play with a talented collaborative team! Morales was the resident designer at East Brunswick Young Adult Charity Players for two years and designed Julius Caesar for Emerson's Shakespeare Society and Miss Electricity and Ivy and Bean for Emerson's Kidding Around, and has worked in countless costume shops. Angelina is also an actor who studied at Emerson College. She wishes to congratulate the cast, crew and entire production team on beautiful work.

Chris Larson (Sound Design) is thrilled to be returning to work with Fresh Ink Theatre! Recent sound designs include Big Love (Brandeis University); Mr. Burns (Opera House Arts); Laura (Stoneham Theatre); Orlando, O Ship Aboard The Ship, and The Real Thing (Bad Habit Productions); Betty Bam and Knock (Imaginary Beasts); Macbeth (Huntington Codman Showcase); and Chalk (Fresh Ink Theatre).

Geraldine Barney (Composer and Instrumentalist) is originally from Northwest New Mexico, the eastern part of the Navajo Nation. Geraldine’s work explores the relationship between the traditional Navajo values and beliefs she grew up with on the Navajo Reservation and contemporary city life off the reservation. Straddling two cultures is a prominent theme in her art and her music. She currently resides in Roslindale, MA. Geraldine studied printmaking at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM and at the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO. Geraldine is also a singer and song writer.  She was selected by ethnomusicologists from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to be one of the artists on two CDs: “Music of New Mexico: Native American Traditions” and “Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women”, both on the Smithsonian Folkways label. She performs her music to both local and national audiences. She is currently working on a CD entitled "The Eastward Path.” Listen to an NPR excerpt.

Lynn Wilcott (Special Effects Design) is thrilled to design for the first time with Fresh Ink! Her most recent effects credits include Revolt, She Said. Revolt Again, An Octoroon, and Dry Land for Company One. She has also designed effects for Theatre on Fire and Improv Boston, as well as several short films for the Boston 48 Hour Film Project. She would like to thank her gorgeous family and hilarious friends for their continued support and inspiration, and drooly snuggles to her Most Favored Weirdo.

Samantha Richert (Fight Choreography) is a New England-based actor, educator, director and fight choreographer.  She currently teaches at Northeastern University as well as providing her eclectic background and skills to Stoneham Theatre & its Young Co., Wheelock Family Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre and Noble & Greenough School to name a few.  Sam most recently did fight and dialect work for Gabriel at Stoneham Theatre and is thrilled to work on her first fresh ink project on this brilliant piece of work, La Llorona. She holds an MFA from Brandeis University and is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association.

Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia (Spanish Language Consultant) is excited to join the Fresh Ink team. La Llorona is Cristhian’s first time as a language consultant, and he has truly enjoyed the challenge. Cristhian is an active performer in the Boston theatre scene.