Tony Valdovinos – His True Story and A Consulting Producer
¡Americano! is the true and inspiring life story of Tony Valdovinos. ¡Americano! is based on Tony’s life and the challenges, perils — and promise — faced by DREAMers. Tony wanted to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps on his 18th birthday after 9/11 to serve the country he loves only to learn of his undocumented immigration status. Valdovinos is a graduate of Camelback High School. Tony was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when he was two years old. Like other DREAMers, Valdovinos grew up American and did not know of his undocumented status. ¡Americano! chronicles his emotional journey and uncertain status in the country he loves. ¡Americano! also shows how Tony and other DREAMers serve their country in other compelling and inspirational ways.
Carrie Rodriguez – Composer
Carrie Rodriguez, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, finds beauty in the cross-pollination of diverse traditions. A passionate performer, she melds fiery fiddle playing, electrifying vocals and a fresh interpretation of new and classic songs with an “Ameri-Chicana” attitude. Her most recent release, the critically-acclaimed bilingual album, Lola, was named as one of NPR’s top 50 albums of the year. Carrie has performed on stages across North America and Europe for the last decade, as well as on programs such as Austin City Limits, The Tonight Show, A Prairie Home Companion, and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. In the words of author Brené Brown, “She’s the trifecta for me – beautiful singer, soulful songwriter, and kick-ass fiddler.”
Michael Barnard – Co-Author and Director
Michael Barnard is currently entering his 20th season as The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Producing Artistic Director. Barnard is also the head of The Phoenix Theatre Company’s New Works Incubator, which assists in the development of new plays and musicals.
He is the co-author and director of ¡Americano! after recently directing West Side Story and Cookin’s a Drag for The Phoenix Theatre Company. Barnard, who has a master’s degree in theatre from Northwestern University and a fine arts degree from Arizona State University, was a senior show director for The Walt Disney Company. Barnard’s nine-year tenure with Disney included producing stage productions of Pocahontas and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Barnard has directed more than 560 productions and more than 1,000 special events. He has directed and choreographed for Disneyland, Universal, Osaka Japan, Donny and Marie Xmas Show, 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, National Tour of Veggie Tales, Childsplay, San Jose Rep, PCPA, Santa Barbra CLO, Arkansas Repertory, Phoenix Theatre Company and many more.
He received National Arts and Letters Award for outstanding contribution to the field of Musical Theatre in 2011 and was named Artist of the Year by the Governor’s Art Awards in 2008. He has honored with the Leadership in Arts Award from the YWCA, the Arts Leader Award from the Phoenix Boys Choir and in 2018 won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor award for his commitments to tolerance and diversity.
Jonathan Rosenberg – Co-Author
For over four decades, Jonathan Rosenberg was an educator and administrator involved with Special Needs children. In addition to having his Masters degree in Special Education and Doctorate in Psychology, Jonathan has been a radio personality, arts reporter and lead singer/songwriter in San Diego rock bands. His most recent musical, the critically acclaimed 33 1/3 – House of Dreams, broke attendance and box office records at the San Diego Repertory Theater in August, 2019.
Sergio Mendoza – Musical Arranger
Sergio Mendoza is a singer, guitarist and Latin music pioneer. Mendoza was born in the Arizona border town of Nogales. He is the founder of Orkesta Mendoza, a band in Tucson that melds Indie Rock with Latin music. Mendoza’s musical influences come from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sergio Mejia – Choreographer
Sergio Mejia has served as a choreographer and creative director for events around the world. He has been a choreographer for Christina Aguilera, Leann Rimes as well as for productions for the Walt Disney Company, MTV, Nickelodeon, the NCAA, Clear Channel and Universal Studios Japan.
He has also been the choreographer for Disney Channel’s Spanish-language productions Violetta and Soy Luna.
Fernanda Santos – Creative Consultant
Fernanda Santos is an award-winning author and journalist with a long reporting career, including 12 years at The New York Times. An immigrant from Brazil, Santos has reported in three languages (Spanish, Portuguese and English) on immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border, race relations, public policy and criminal justice, among other topics.
Her first book “The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,” won the Western Writers of America 2017 Spur Award for Best First Nonfiction Book and was one of two finalists in the Contemporary Nonfiction category.
She is a professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, a board member of the Arizona Latino Media Association and vice president of The Sauce Foundation, which raises money for journalism scholarships and pancreatic cancer research.
Ken Davenport – Executive Producer
Ken Davenport is a two-time Tony Award winning producer and writer. Davenport is the founder of Davenport Theatrical Enterprises (DTE). He has created and produced numerous shows the past 15 years.
Davenport has produced more than a dozen Broadway shoes including the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots, the first Broadway revival of Godspell, Altar Boyz, Macbeth, Once on This Island and Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening.
Jason Rose – Producer
Jason Rose is one of the driving creative and motivational forces behind making ¡Americano! and the true story of an Arizona DREAMer a reality. Rose is the president of Rose + Moser + Allyn Public & Online Relations. Rose and his firm are recognized as one of the most creative and cutting-edge public relations and public affairs firms in the Southwest. Rose is also the creator of the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships. The Scottsdale event is now the most attended polo event in North America.
Alexandra Jimenez – Artist
Alexandra Jimenez is a native Arizonan artist and researcher. Jimenez combines hand illustrations with photography, printmaking and watercolors to create unique designs. Jimenez has a background as a scientist which has helped influence her artistic focuses on the Sonoran Desert and Arizona’s changing landscape.
Phoenix Theatre Company
Phoenix Theatre Company is the largest regional theater production company in the Valley with close to 500 performances on multiple stages. Phoenix Theatre Company entertains and inspires more than 100,000 theater and performing arts fans each year.
The Phoenix Theatre Company was originally founded in 1920 as the Phoenix Players. It is the oldest art organization in Arizona and one of the oldest arts organizations in the country.
The Phoenix Theatre Company is forged with the mission of creating theatrical experiences that use the arts to inspire hope and understanding. The Company believes the arts are an essential vehicle to fostering the ‘hero within’ and cultivating greater understanding of our cultural and political differences. The arts are where anyone can go (the popular, the geeks, the affluent, the broken down) and be welcomed and learn to empathy and what it is like to walk in another’s shoes.