Join us for an evening featuring one-act plays and performances, followed by a panel conversation with the performers, directors, and Q Youth Foundation founder, Ana Bernal.
Flower of Anger, written by Edwin Alexis Gomez and directed by Abe Zapata Jr.
The Sacrifice, written by Simone Nibbs and directed by Brandon English
Maia “Vik Floyd” Villa
Q Youth Foundation is an organization that promotes LGBTQIA+ storytelling, playwriting and community advocacy by creating a safe space environment for youth and community members, by offering resources, education and outreach for the under-served LGBTQIA+ community.
Ana Bernal is a Gender Non-Conforming artist born and raised in East Los Angeles. Founder of Q Youth Foundation, a nonprofit organization using the power of storytelling to connect the LGBTQIA+ community on the Eastside. They earned a master’s degree in Non-Profit Management at Antioch University. Inductee to Honor 41 national list of LGBTQ Latino/a role models for 2015. Currently, they are a professor at Humboldt State University.
Edwin Alexis Gomez is a Queer Nicaraguan-American writer, director, producer and actor. His directorial debut “Quédate Callado” won a Grand Jury Award at the 2018 Outfest Fusion Film Festival. His second short film “La Sad Boy” is an official selection of Outfest 2019 and is currently making its rounds via the festival circuit. His third short film “Joyride” won best screenplay from the Latino Screenwriting Academy and was selected for the Latino Public Broadcasting New Media Production grant, and is currently in post-production. Gómez is currently developing his digital series “Frenemigas”. Most recently he was selected as a 2019 playwriting fellow for Lambda Literary Foundation Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices and is currently working on his full-length play “Flower of Anger”.
Abe Zapata Jr. is a playwright, director, and actor, whose work tackles issues of race and sexuality with a slant to camp and pop culture. Abe has performed at Highways Santa Monica, directed for the 2017 Eastside Queer Stories Festival at the Aerial House in Alhambra, and for the past two years has been the workshop facilitator for the Eastside Queer Stories Workshop presented by the Q Youth Foundation. In 2019, Abe co-produced The Eastside Queer Stories Festival with Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA and was featured as a storyteller for The Houses on the Moon Q-Story Stream at the LA LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre. Borracho: Spanish for Drunken Bum is Abe’s first full length play won an award with their play premiere at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019.
Marlene Beltran is an actor, director, singer, songwriter, teaching artist and an alumnus of the California Institute of the Arts. As an actor, she can be seen in the AdeRisa Productions independent short film La Serenata, which won the “Best Short Film” Imagen Award in 2019 and will begin screening on all HBO platforms in March of 2020. She recently served as a director for the National Hispanic Media Coalition 2019 Latino Showcase, which took place at the El Portal Theatre. Her musical collaborations are as a member of performance groups, In Lak Ech: a Chicana poetry and song circle; fused to the heartbeat of native drums, and Cuicani: a World Soul music collective that released their debut double album, Now & Then in 2016. She is a dedicated teaching artist with The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company and About Productions; working with underserved and incarcerated youth in Los Angeles and surrounding communities.
Jorgie Goico is a Puerto Rican actor based in Los Angeles. He trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has continued training with coaches and at Groundlings. As an actor Jorgie challenges himself by marrying comedy and drama. His latest film “La Sad Boy”, in which he’s the lead, is currently on the festival circuit. With determination, drive and passion he continues to push his boundaries as a performer on stage and in front of the camera.
Eduardo Anguiano is an actor that hails from Mexico and just celebrated his third year in Los Angeles. The characters he builds transcend borders, dancing between English and Spanish, stage and screen, Meisner and Stanislavsky.
Simone Nibbs is a performing artist currently based in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she moved out west to attend Pomona College in Claremont, CA, fell in love with a little known artform called Corporeal Mime, and decided to relocate so that she could continue to study it in a more serious capacity. She enjoys learning new skills, creative outlets of almost every variety, and not taking herself too seriously. She is currently working on two solo pieces: Other (please specify): which tackles mixed-race identity through the stories of others she has interviewed, and Blue Room which was born of another pet project. She is also a nerd who thinks there should be more queer fantasy.
Brandon English is a Pilipino-American actor, producer, and writer who enjoys bringing community together and creating theatre for change. Some of his favorite performances include Polaroid Stories (Narcissus), Measure for Measure (Pompey), and his solo show of Juan Luna: Savage in Paris, which made its premiere at Art of Acting Studio, and was later extended to The Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018. Aside from acting, he is a plant enthusiast, loves watching Schitt’s Creek and RuPaul’s Drag Race, and having deep conversations with his mom over the phone.
Maia “Vik Floyd” Villa is a fifth generation Chicanx Los Angeleno, most at home between taco trucks and boba tea. They’re a lifelong performer and writer, particularly in love with sketch comedy, memoir, historical reparation, and rock’n’roll. They graduated from Bennington College in 2015, with a focus in Marginalized Identities in Performance. They have performed in various productions with Eastside Queer Stories Festival; CASA 0101 Theater (Los Angeles); The Playground Theater (Chicago); The Second City Hollywood; United Citizens Brigade; Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica); and the Hollywood Fringe Festival. They have volunteered with Q Youth Foundation for the past three years as an actor, playwright, and director with fellow emerging LGBTQ and QTPOC storytellers. They’re expanding a solo performance (workshopped at Bennington College) about ancestral grievance, spiritual endowment, and their love for their late father.
Rosa Lisbeth Navarrete is a Peruvian immigrant and Storyteller raised in Los Angeles. Rosa freelances as Writer, Actor, Director and Movement Teaching Artist in Southern California. She’s honored and grateful to open the new year with a Q Youth Foundation performance working alongside such talented artists.
Janice Robinson is a stage, screen, and voice actor based in Los Angeles, California. Her most recent projects include a lead role in the short film José (2018) alongside acting veteran Pepe Serna, voicing Ophelia, the main character in a time-looping adventure game based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet called Elsinore (2019), and, in December of 2019, closing another run of the play Billie: This Ain’t No Billie Jean King Story after having reprised her role as the titular character, one that she has been playing since the spring of 2016. In 2017, Janice was cast in the East Side Queer Stories festival and got the opportunity to explore a number of characters during the fest. One of the roles was that of Rue Farmer in The Sacrifice which Janice has been asked to reprise for you all tonight; she is both excited and grateful to be able to be a part of this piece once again!
Jean Decay is a drag performer from a westside San Bernardino barrio who currently resides in Los Angeles with her partner. Jean’s work focuses on reimagining and challenging the Chicanx connection to indigenous ancestry. By retelling forgotten history, Jean challenges the nature of storytelling and the ways in which erasure plays into marginalization. Coming from the punk drag scene of DTLA, Jean’s work highlights how gender constructs affect her community and its history. From lip synching to critical essays, Jean engages with her community in every medium at her disposal. She currently hosts a yearly event “POCHA!” alongside her family that works to give space for QTPOC artists in Los Angeles.
An Evening with Q Youth Foundation is presented in conjunction with No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake, on view from September 29, 2019 to January 26, 2020, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
The exhibition and related programs are made possible thanks to lead support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Generous support is provided by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Marieluise Hessel, Linda Janger, Matthew Marks Gallery, and Friends of Nayland Blake.
ICA LA is supported by its Curator’s Council, Fieldwork, and 1717 Collective.