Meet the Cast of God’s Work
In Rehearsal

Meet the Cast of God’s Work

God’s Work features a multiethnic cast that ranges in age from 14 to 18 and will surely be one of the most diverse ensembles on any Chicago stage this spring.

Lizbeth Acevedo

Lizbeth is fifteen years old and a freshman at Amundsen High School. She made her APTP debut last spring in I Will Kiss These WallsGod’s Work is her first appearance at the Goodman. Lizbeth writes: “APTP changed my way of thinking by expanding my thoughts into something deeper. APTP pushed me to become the best that I can be, and because of that, I have learned more than ever before. I now see myself as a young woman who wants to change the world, and that wouldn’t have happened without APTP in my life.”

Maidenwena Alba

Maidenwena is a fourteen year old freshman at Amundsen High School. Maidenwena makes her APTP and Goodman debut in this spring’s production of God’s Work. Maidenwena writes: “APTP changed my life starting the very first day I joined its workshops at Albany Park Multicultural Academy in seventh grade. I used to be a really shy seventh grader and didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I am honored to be a part of theGod’s Work cast. I always look forward to working with such a talented ensemble and group of directors in every rehearsal. On a scale of 1 to 10 on how supportive they are, I would say an 11. Without the support and love from APTP, I don’t know where I would be right now.”

Lesley Albarrán

Lesley Albarrán is a junior at Amundsen High School. She was born in Chicago and raised in Albany Park. This is her third production with APTP and second time performing at the Goodman, following last summer’s Home/Land. Lesley writes: “One of the reasons I like APTP is that I like to learn. I like being in school, even though I struggle with ADHD, and I really want to go to college. APTP has helped me learn not to let anything stop me.”

Gibran Carrisoza

Gibran Carrisoza is a senior at Von Steuben High School. God’s Work is his third production with APTP and his second appearance at the Goodman, after Home/Land last summer. Gibran writes: “I first found out about APTP when my sister took me to see Home/Land in its original production at APTP’s home theater. I immediately asked if there was any way I could join. The past two years have been among the best of my life. I would not be here and would not have accomplished all that I have if it wasn’t for the support, patience, and understanding of APTP’s directors.”

Marilyn Carteño

Marilyn Carteño is a seventeen year-old senior at Von Steuben High School. She made her APTP debut in the original production of Home/Land in 2012. Her credits also include I Will Kiss These Walls at APTP in 2013 and the remount of Home/Land at Goodman in 2013. Marilyn writes: “Throughout my years at APTP I have transformed into an actor, activist, musician, storyteller and powerful young adult. Being in God’s Work is another opportunity for me to change minds and move hearts. I hope to continue everything I have learned at APTP in my college career as a psychology major and philosophy minor. I would like to thank my family, who have inspired me and fully supported me through my APTP journey into my future.”

Gustavo Duran

Gustavo Duran is fifteen years old and attends Lane Tech College Prep High School. He is in his second year with APTP and God’s Work is his second production, after I Will Kiss These Walls last spring. Gustavo writes: “It’s difficult to imagine myself without APTP. I’ve grown beyond my expectations with my APTP family. It has been a home and a blessing. I’m living with APTP in the present but I’m excited to see what it holds for my future.”

Liliana Duran

Liliana Duran is a seventeen year-old junior at Roosevelt High School. She joined APTP nearly two years ago along with her brother, Gustavo, making her debut in I Will Kiss These Walls in 2013. Liliana writes: “Coming into the company with my brother made it that much better, sharing this experience with him has brought us closer together, and opened our eyes to things we didn’t already know about one another. APTP has also introduced me to many new opportunities and I’m extremely grateful to all my ensemble members and directors for making this journey such a memorable experience.”

Ely Espino

Ely Espino is sixteen years old and a junior at Roosevelt High School. She became part of APTP at the end of her seventh-grade year and has been an ensemble member for nearly four years now. God’s Work is her third APTP production after Home/Land (including Goodman Theatre) and I Will Kiss These Walls. She writes: “APTP is not a only a theater company of teens, it’s a theater company of people who care, love, respect, and accept you for you. I can confidently say there’s no place like APTP, where you don’t have to worry about being your true self. I’m glad a place like this exists and that I was able to bring my little brother here and know he’ll have the same amount of love for APTP that I do.”

Kito Espino

Kito Espino is a fifteen year-old freshman at Lane Tech High School. Kito first joined APTP when he was thirteen years old and in eighth grade. He made his debut in I Will Kiss These Walls and then joined the cast ofHome/Land at the Goodman last summer. Kito writes: “APTP has opened my eyes to so much. APTP allows me to be who I am, not be afraid of being judged, and to trust myself and others.”

Kiara Lyn Manriquez

Kiara Lyn Manriquez makes her Goodman debut in God’s Work after making her APTP debut last spring in I Will Kiss These Walls. A fifteen year-old freshman at Von Steuben High School, Kiara writes: “I didn’t know what the definition of a home or a family was until I arrived at APTP. Without my middle-school reading teacher, Mrs. Dillon, I wouldn’t be involved in this beautiful environment with amazing people that I can call family. She brought APTP to Albany Park Multicultural Academy for theater workshops and introduced my friends and me to two of the directors. I remember walking into APTP as a shy, timid girl not knowing where life would take me. Now, I have big dreams and high hopes. The best part of it all is that we are able to raise up unheard voices and tell stories that don’t get told.”

Justin Martinez

Justin Martinez is a sixteen year-old sophomore at Global Citizenship Experience (GCE) High School. He made his APTP debut in I Will Kiss These Walls. Justin writes: “I am interested in creating works of art with people and also in strengthening relationships among people. APTP is the perfect place to meet people and create amazing relationships and art, and to gain new knowledge about yourself and the world. God’s Work has been an inspiring adventure for me, pushing me to my limits and helping me learn to believe in myself. I plan to do the best I can in high school and then to go to college like my older sister and APTP alumna, Nichole. I would like to thank my family (friends, blood relatives, teachers, leaders in my many communities) for teaching me to never give up and to make the best of everything.”

Vincent K. Meredith

Vincent K. Meredith is seventeen years old and a senior at Amundsen High School. Vincent joined APTP in the summer of 2008, making God’s Work his fifth production with the company. He previously appeared at the Goodman with APTP in Feast and Home/Land. Vincent writes: ” I entered APTP as a child and will be leaving as an adult. I’ve become an eager ethnographer, a passionate activist, and an imaginative writer. APTP has taught me what community means. Although my APTP performing journey comes to a close with God’s Work, I look ahead to starting a new journey in college in the fall.”

Paloma Morales

Paloma Morales joined APTP when she was thirteen years old, four years and three plays ago. Paloma writes: “Walking into APTP’s theater, I felt the energy bouncing off the walls. By the time my first workshop ended I fell in love and I was hooked. I am now seventeen years old, and my love for APTP continues to grow. APTP has opened my eyes to many new things and has helped me realize how much strength and courage one person can have. APTP introduced me to so many great people, people I now can’t imagine living without. They have brought what I thought was just my childish imagination to life. Now a junior in high school, I have struggled with trying to figure out what my future plans will be. APTP has shown me that it is okay to be afraid of the future. And every day, APTP helps me get one step closer to knowing what I want out of life, what I want to become, and what I want to do to help people. APTP is a place I am proud and grateful to call my second home.”

Chelsee Nava

Chelsee Nava is a sophomore at Amundsen High School and makes her APTP and Goodman debut with God’s Work. Chelsee writes: “I joined APTP with the excitement of being able to express myself and to play someone other than myself. It was such an honor when I found out I was going to be a part of the God’s Work cast. This has been such a great experience, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for me at APTP. I’d like to thank God, my family, the APTP ensemble for being like a second family, and the APTP directors, whose comments and praise have inspired me to thrive.”

Alyanna Parajado

Alyanna Parajado is a sophomore at Amundsen High School and is making her APTP and Goodman debut inGod’s Work. Alyanna writes: “I joined APTP to find my true self. I used to have a low self-confidence and I was afraid to talk in public. After I joined APTP, little by little, all the fears started to fade away! Being a part of theGod’s Work cast, working with all the ensemble members and the directors, is truly a blessing. They’ve given me more confidence and have helped me crack out of my shell. I would like to thank APTP for providing me with a second home and an opportunity to express who I really am.”

Paola Rico

Paola Rico is fifteen years old and a freshman at Roosevelt High School. Despite her young age, God’s Work is her third production with APTP and second appearance at the Goodman, following I Will Kiss These Walls last spring and Home/Land last summer. Paola writes: “I came into APTP not knowing what to expect. Once you come up those stairs to our second-floor theater, you become an artist, an activist, and an ethnographer. I experience something new each and every day, physically and emotionally. APTP is home for many of us and, just like the trust exercises we play so often, if you ever feel like you are being pulled down, APTP is there to lift you right back up. We stick together to tell the stories of those who are hidden among the crowd and to amplify the voices of the voiceless.”

Jalen D. Rios

Jalen D. Rios is a five-year veteran in the APTP ensemble and a senior at ChiArts. He plans to become a theater major in college next year. About making his final play with APTP, Jalen shared: “It’s a strange feeling realizing this is the last time I’ll be part of making this specific type of work. It’s something I appreciate, it’s something I embrace, and it’s something I don’t take lightly.”

Kyra Mae Robinson

Kyra Mae Robinson is sixteen years old, a junior in high school, and a third-year ensemble member of APTP. Her previous APTP credits include Home/Land and I Will Kiss These Walls. Kyra writes: “APTP has built within me a confidence that will continue to support me as I venture through life. I am so proud to join this beautiful cast once again in the Goodman Theatre.”

Jessica Rolon

Jessica Rolon is a sophomore at Roosevelt High School and makes her APTP debut in God’s Work. Jessica writes: “After seeing APTP perform I Will Kiss These Walls, I was inspired by the work the company members did. When I first started, I was nervous, but now I’m more open with my creativity thanks to the members of APTP. I truly love acting and I am excited for my future with APTP. I’d especially like to thank my mom, the APTP directors, my fellow cast members, and my best friends for their support.”

Christina Saliba

Christina Saliba is fifteen years old and makes her Goodman debut with God’s Work, after her APTP premiere last spring in I Will Kiss These Walls. Christina is a freshman in the International Baccalaureate program at Amundsen High School, where she shares the number one rank in her class with another APTPian and member of the God’s Work cast. Christina writes: “APTP is where changing the world begins for me. As an ensemble member, I give voice to other people’s stories – by doing so, I have found my own voice and a passion to make a difference. APTP also motivates me to stay strong in my academic life by showing me that, if I really want to help change the world, I need a good education. I have also become more confident about my life and future, and I have gained the courage that we need to speak up about bad things, even when we feel scared to say something.”

Jeremy Sebastian

Jeremy Sebastian is one of the newest members of APTP and makes his debut in God’s Work. Jeremy writes: “APTP has given me the opportunity to work, gain experience, and develop performing skills. It has expanded my creativity and allowed me to see performing arts in unique ways. APTP involves movement, thinking, teamwork, passion, music, rhythm, and finding oneself in creativity and community. APTP cares for one other and we encourage each other in a positive environment to be confident about our ideas. Aside from APTP, I apply my creativity through drawing, listening to music, dancing, watching movies to analyze their artistry, and just simply playing around. The show God’s Work has taught me to dream big like a child. I thank my friends Justin and Nichole for inviting me to take part in this special group. I also want to thank my family and friends for their encouragement.”

Electra Tremulis

Electra Tremulis is an eighteen year-old senior at William H. Taft High School. Electra made her APTP debut in the spring of 2013 in I Will Kiss These Walls. She debuted at the Goodman later in the summer with APTP in Home/Land and now returns to the Goodman with God’s Work. Electra writes: “When I first joined APTP, I wasn’t sure exactly who they were or what they did. Now, I have a home with beautiful and inspiring artists, constantly pushing me and showing me new ideas. I am so proud of my ensemble and the work we put into God’s Work. Exploring this story has been an intense and amazing journey, and I am so glad to share it with everyone.”