HOTEL HAPPY

Winter 2024

Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of

HOTEL HAPPY

at 122 CC’s Second Floor Theater
(150 First Avenue New York)
from February 14th – March 3rd, 2024

Weathervane Theatre serves as Associate Producer

Welcome to HOTEL HAPPY! At this high-end erotic resort in Bogotá, Colombia, sex workers Sofi, Lulu, and Candela are hiding a displaced donkey after rescuing him from an unhappy fate. When three American mercenaries visit the hotel on a special mission, the women must protect their new friend at all costs because, as they will soon discover, he is no ordinary donkey.

A play about sexual tourism in Colombia and that industry’s close connection to the country’s ongoing armed conflict, HOTEL HAPPY explores U.S.-Colombian relationships using the power of absurdity to reflect how the decimating effects of war displace us all. This timely and ambitious project boasts a seven-person cast and an eighth character –a donkey – played by a life-size puppet!

Cast

Annelise Cepero

Candela

Annelise Cepero (she/her)- New York native and New York Theatre debut! Annelise is over the moon to be part of this production! TV/Film: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Holiday Harmony on MAX, Extrapolations on Apple TV+, Pose on FX, Awayy in competition at SXSW 2022, 911 on Fox, Law and Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, and Chicago PD. Theatre: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Prince Of Egypt, and Murder Ballad. BFA from Montclair State University. Love to Darius, Mom, and Amalia! @annelisecepero

Michael Frederic

Ron

Very, very happy to be part of this exciting world premiere.  National Tour:  The Great Divorce.  New York:  After (59E59), The New Morality, The Lucky One (The Mint), Bill W and Dr Bob (Soho Playhouse), The Eyes of Others (New Ohio), Summer and Smoke (Theatre Row), Night Over Taos (INTAR – dir. Estelle Parsons).  Regional:  Dorset Theater Festival, Public Theatre of Maine, Premiere Stages (Best Actor, BroadwayWorld.com), Penguin Rep, Hudson Stage Company, Fulton Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Florida Studio Theatre, Two River Theatre, Round House Theatre, Playmakers Rep, Stageworks/Hudson.  TV:  Law & Order: Organized Crime, Bull, The Blacklist, Odd Mom Out, Royal Pains.  A big thank you to my always-supportive wife and family and to all of you here for supporting live theater.  MFA from UNC-Chapel Hill.  www.michaelfrederic.com

Socials: FB — Michael Frederic, IG — @frederic.michael

Yadira Guevara Prip

Lulu

Yadira Guevara Prip is an NYC based actor known for her roles on SEE (Apple TV+) and Star Trek Discovery (CBS). Her most recent theatre credits are Tell Hector I Miss Him and  Street Children which was New York Times Critic’s Pick. She is delighted to be working with Houses on the Moon on their production of Hotel Happy. IG: @yerbnends

Ed Herbstman

John

Ed is an actor and writer originally from Chicago where he did a lot of improvising at iO and The Second City. Recent Theater credits include: What Else Is True? (Egg&Spoon), Kindness Committee, Six Feet (both RiverArts) — Film/TV: Imaginary Friends, Hustlers, The Big Sick, White House Plumbers, Manifest, Search Party. He’s written for Pixar, Public Radio and Da Ali G Show. Ed co-founded Magnet Theater, and teaches improvisation for the Syracuse Tepper Semester and Columbia University. He’s also a volunteer firefighter in Hastings-On-Hudson, NY, where he lives with his family. IG: eduardo73 FB: edherbstman

Tessie Herrasti

Madame Carlota (US)

Tessie Herrasti is a multifaceted actress, writer, and filmmaker who uses her diverse talents and experiences to create diverse stories. Born in Mexico and based in NYC, she has a unique background that blends her love for languages and community with her expertise in drama, conflict resolution, and expressive art facilitation. She is passionate about promoting mental health awareness, justice, and equality through her work. Tessie has performed professionally on stage and in film in various cities around the world, including Mexico, Paris, Los Angeles, Sydney, El Paso, and New York. She is currently developing a TV series, Jewels of Light, based on her original novel, and a short proof of concept that has received over 26 awards, including Best Female Empowerment Short, Best Fantasy Short, and an honorable mention for original story. The main theme, composed by Omar El Deeb (The Mandalorian, The Sound of Silence) with her lyrics, won Best Original Soundtrack and Best Original Song. Her dream is to turn her project 85’ into a theater piece that pays tribute to the devastating earthquake in Mexico City. She is a certified Social-Emotional Arts Facilitator and a frequent staff member for the Expressive Therapies Summit for Mental Health. She believes that compassion and kindness are the keys to positive change. She has studied at The National Dramatic Art Conservatory in Mexico City, The Tom Todoroff Acting Conservatory in New York, The Acting Class with David Gideon (Lee Strasberg’s Mentee), and Shakespeare with Mary Lou Rosato and Andrew Wade. She has also completed the Drama Therapy Principles with international Drama Therapist Armand Volkas. In her free time, you can find her playing the Irish harp, reading and exploring her curiosity for myths and folklore from different cultures and playing goofy inventing songs for her cat Lenu. She is thrilled and grateful to join Hotel Happy as her first Equity Contract and to collaborate with its amazing team of creative artists.

Eddie McGee

Bob

Eddie McGee, a Long Island local, didn’t let life’s twists hold him back. After losing his left leg at 11, Eddie earned a college scholarship, playing wheelchair basketball and studying broadcasting and theater. In 2000, he snagged his first lead role in “Drop Dead Roses,” opening doors to soap operas, music videos, and feature films. Magazine covers and noteworthy TV appearances followed, including roles in The Equalizer, Hunters, FBI: Most Wanted, Chicago Med & Law & Order. He currently has a recurring role on ABC’s “911.” Off-screen Eddie works as a voice over artist and is excited for the release of “The Creepy School Bus” audio books (also starring Christina Hendricks & Erika Alexander), based off his own YouTube Channel “Don’t Turn Around”

Isabella Orrego

Sofi

Isabella Orrego is a Colombian born and raised Actress. She came to the USA in 2019 to get her bachelor’s degree in Acting and to pursue her career as a performer. She is very excited to make her off-Broadway debut with this production and to portray a Colombian character. Last year she had the incredible opportunity to be Angel in the production of Alma, at The Spot Performing Arts in Sun Valley, Idaho. Her college credits include Calpurnia in Julius Caesar, “M” in Red Bike, and the ensemble in The Trojan Woman and The Other Shore. Outside of Theatre she enjoys spending time with her family back home, cooking and baking and takes great pride on her sourdough. She is a proud Ithaca College Graduate and family-oriented person. Insta @isabellaorregom; Tiktok @isabellaom

LIDIA PORTO

Madame Carlota

LIDIA PORTO is a Los Angeles based actor who was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She started her career in Houston, TX,  acting in and directing plays, and appearing in commercials, industrials and TV shows like Prison Break, Friday Night Lights and Walker, Texas Ranger, and films like Mike Judge’s Idiocracy and Extract. 

In 2013 she moved to Los Angeles, CA. Recent films include Horrible Bosses 2, Running Wild, Dope and Queenpins. She is best known as sexy Cartel boss Amara de Escalones in Get Shorty on MGM+, and no-nonsense nanny/housekeeper Lupe in Home Economics on ABC, hulu and Disney+. 

The Gulf Coast Film and TV Festival awarded her it’s  2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2022 she received the International Actor Award from the Bilingual International Film Festival. She has one son, and is happy to be here!

Socials: Lidia Porto/@lalidiaporto/@lalidiaporto/@piliporti

Artistic Team

Estefanía Fadul

Director

Estefanía Fadul (Director) – Estefanía Fadul is a Brooklyn-based Colombian-American director, and co-Artistic Director of Ensemble Studio Theatre. Recent projects include the world premieres of Eva Luna by Caridad Svich (Repertorio Español), The Garbologists by Lindsay Joelle (Philadelphia Theater Company), Carla’s Quince created with The Voting Project (Drama League Award nomination), Zoom Intervention by Noelle Viñas (Weston Playhouse, NYTimes Critics Pick), The Same Day by Stefan Ivanov (Sfumato Theatre, Bulgaria), and C. Quintana’s Azul (Southern Rep) and Scissoring (INTAR). Estefanía has developed new work off-Broadway and regionally at the Public Theater, Playwrights’ Realm, NYTW, Chautauqua, Audible, Goodspeed, Juilliard, and more. She is the inaugural recipient of New York Stage and Film’s Pfaelzer Award, and an alumna of directing fellowships at Clubbed Thumb, the Drama League, O’Neill/NNPN, Williamstown, and Repertorio Español. She serves on the Drama League’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the Leadership Circle of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, the Latinx Theatre Commons advisory committee, the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and SDC.

Camilo Almonacid

Writer/Creator

Camilo Almonacid is a multi-talented artist based in New York City with over ten years of experience creating dynamic stories that explore the diverse voices of America. Some of his notable plays include The Assignment (A.R.T/NY Theatres 2017), Westpine Myopes (Rita Goldberg Award 2014), Checkin In (Irv Zarkower Award 2012), For the Flies (Here Arts 2015), Church Of Why Not (Theatre 167 2015), After the Crowds (Queen’s Museum, NY times Critics Pick 2014), and Shithole (Here Arts 2010). In addition to being a playwright, he is also a skilled freelance writer who has collaborated on branded content projects with major media outlets like Netflix, Remezcla,  and Vice Media. Camilo Almonacid holds a BFA in acting from Rutgers University and an MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College. He is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild. You can find more information about his work at camiloalmonacid.com.

Matt Acheson

Puppet Director

Matt is a puppet and theater artist who was based in Brooklyn for 20 years and now lives in Pittsburgh. He is a founder of AchesonWalsh Studios, a kinetic creation studio providing design, fabrication, direction and performance services, whose clients include Amazon Studios, Broadway, Radio City Music Hall Lincoln Center Theater,  The Alliance Theater and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Long Wharf Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Disney Cruise Lines, Cirque Du Soleil, and the Yale School of Drama. Matt has had the pleasure of working with many exceptional artists including Basil Twist, Dan Hurlin, Mabou Mines, Lee Breuer, Paula Vogel, Chris Green, Metropolitan Opera, The Swedish Marionette Cottage, MTV, Lake Simons and Nami Yamamoto and directed and curated The Puppet Lab, an experimental puppet festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse for over a decade. He was the Puppetry Director for Warhorse, during its run at Lincoln Center Theater and for the North American tour. Matt designed, built, and directed the marionettes for Rinna Groff’s Compulsion, original production directed by Oscar Eustis and the recently remounted production of Compulsion directed by Johanna Gruenhut at Theater J in DC.

Carolina Ortiz Herrera

Lighting Design

Carolina Ortiz Herrera (Lighting Design) is a Mexican-born and New York-based Lighting Designer for theater, opera, and dance. Broadway: Good Night, Oscar (Belasco & Goodman Theatre); Regional: American Mariachi (Alley Theatre & Arizona Theatre Company); Born with Teeth (Guthrie & Alley Theatre); Native Gardens (Dallas Theatre Center); Everything Rises (BAM & Royce Hall); 4000 Miles, Doubt, A Parable (Westport Country Playhouse); I & You (Bristol Riverside Theatre); Macbeth, Until the Flood (Merrimack Theatre Repertory); All’s Well That Ends Well (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Railroad Children (Northern Stage); Seven Guitars (Yale Repertory Theatre). Other theatre: Hedda Gabler & Winter’s Tale (Bedlam Theatre Company); Yellowman, an Audelco Awards Best Lighting Design Nominee (Billie Holiday Theatre); Sweeney Todd (Yale Dramat); Titus Andronicus,and The Skin of Our Teeth (Yale University Theatre). Dance & Opera: Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (Minneapolis Opera); I as Another (BAC); Florencia en el Amazonas (Shubert Theatre); The Silent Lyre (Lighten Theatre); and The Cunning Little Vixen (Opera Theatre of Yale). Carolina is the Lighting Director for Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, and she worked as a Lighting Supervisor for the Santa Fe Opera for three seasons. Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829. Education: MFA, Yale School of Drama. www.carolinaeortiz.com

Haydee Zelideth

Costume Design

Haydee Zelideth is a Chicana artist and costume designer. Clothes carry on public conversations with others and share stories about who we are, who we are not, and who we wish to be. They are a means of exploring how image can open up perceptions of race, class, socioeconomic status, and more – all of which is what most interests her. She grew up on both sides of the Mexican border and these experiences inform her point of view and how she approaches her work, giving depth, dimension and color to the specificities of someone’s life. www.haydeezelideth.com

Jamie Rose Bukowski

Production Stage Manager

Jamie Rose Bukowski graduated from the Pace University School of Performing Arts, with a B.A. in Stage Management. She’s had the pleasure of working with HOTM since 2016. Some other credits include: US TOUR: A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage, Rockin’ Road to Dublin. NYC: Día Y Noche (Labyrinth Theatre Group,) Pound (Theatre Row,) Pillowtalk (The Tank,) SOLSTICE PARTY! (Live Source Theatre Group), Otello and Macbeth (LoftOpera), and DISENCHANTED! (Theatre at St. Clement’s.) She has also PSMed for Drunk Shakespeare, Live In Theater, AMDA, and Quisisana Musical Theatre Resort.

Uptown Works

Sound Design

UptownWorks Sound is a dynamic team of designers that creates collaboratively for theatre, film, podcasts, music production and other media. Select sound design highlights include Working: A Musical (CUBoulder); Tiny Father (Barrington Stage/Chautauqua); BMLD (NBT); Avaaz (South Coast Rep); Singularity Play (HarvardTDM); Black Odyssey (Classic Stage); Chicken & Biscuits (Asolo Rep); Espejos:Clean (Hartford Stage/Syracuse Stage); Which Way To The Stage (Signature DC); the ripple, the wave…(Berkeley Rep/Goodman); Complicity Island (Audible); Blues Clues & You! (Round Room Live); Queen (Long Wharf Theater/A.R.T.NY); Choir Boy and Today is my Birthday (Yale Rep); Fires in the Mirror (Baltimore Center Stage/Long Wharf Theatre); already there (The REACH, Kennedy Center): First Down (59E59). This design was led by Daniela Hart (uptownworksnyc.com), Bailey Trierweiler (btsounddesign.com) and Noel Nichols (noelnicholsdesign.com). Daniela, Noel & Bailey received their MFAs in Sound Design from Yale School of Drama.

Bleu Zephra Santiago

Assistant Stage Manager

Bleu Zephra Santiago (pronouns: they/them) is a Jack of All Trades in the theater and very excited to be joining HOTM for another wonderful production. Some of their credits include: Boombox Burlesque: a Hip Hop Burlesque Festival, SM (Signature Theater, 2023); Dia Y Noche, ASM (Labyrinth, 2023); Share Sentences, ASM (HOTM, 2022); high functioning x.0, SM (HERE, 2022); GUMIHO, SM (moxiearts, 2022); Micro-face: a podcast musical, SM (Planet Money x NPR, 2022); In the Name of the Mother Tree, PSM (Double Edge Theater, 2021); Mad Deep BK: QPOC Drag Kings and Burlesque show, SM (The Cell Theater, 2021); Girl of Glass, SM (American Theatre of Actors, 2018); Jack of Cups, PSM (The Flea, 2018); Infinite Love Party, SM (The Bushwick Starr, 2018).

Tanya orellana

Scenic Design

Tanya Orellana (she/her) designs performance spaces for theatre, opera and immersive experiences. Collaborations include For The People by Larissa FastHorse and Ty Defoe at The Guthrie Theatre, Big Data by Kate Attwelll directed by Pam MacKinnon at A.C.T., Oedipus directed by Jenny Koons at The Getty Villa,  We the Peoples Before directed by Roberta Uno at The Kennedy Center,  The Industry’s Sweet Land, an immersive opera directed by Yuval Sharon and Cannupa Hanska Luger at LA State Historic Park,  Long Beach Opera’s Voices from a Killing Jar by Kate Soper, directed by Zoe Aja Moore,  LEAR by Marcus Gardley directed by Eric Ting (Calshakes), and The Kind Ones by Miranda Rose Hall directed by Lisa Peterson (Magic Theatre). She is a member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and an organizing member of La Gente: The Latine Theatre Production Network. She received her MFA in Scenic Design from CalArts and is a recipient of the Princess Grace Fabergé Theatre Award. www.tanyaorellana.com

Amanda Shive

Props Designer

Amanda Shive makes tangible real and imaginary worlds, by various means, for a number of contexts and reasons. She is delighted to joining the HOTM team for this dreamy show.