Deirdre the Queer Queen
Deirdre begins where the existing story ends: The now-dead Deidre arrives in the Underworld where she meets other female mythological figures, who have also been victims of misogynistic ideology: Izanami, the Goddess of Death (in Japanese mythology,) Eurydice, an oak nymph and Orpheus’ wife (in Greek mythology,) and Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld and Hades’ wife (in Greek mythology,) are there, all having been abandoned and confined by their husbands. It’s a story about friendship among the women/goddesses from different cultures and traditions (who however share similar experiences) and their struggles to rise above the pain, rage and humiliation and to resist and fight their ill-starred destinies.
Ai Aida is a Japanese-born playwright, poet, translator, illustrator, puppet-builder and multidisciplinary theater-maker who is a winner of the Austin International Poetry Festival and the Leonard Isaacson Award Browning Monologue Contest and a semifinalist of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020 and the Beverly Hills Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition. Ai’s plays have been produced or staged-read at the Shelton Theater, Exit Theater, San Francisco Olympians Festival, Z-Space, Piano Fight, Theatre of Yugen, Fringe Festival, Breach Once More, 9×9 Festival and GreenHouse Festival; and poetry, short stories, photos and illustrations have appeared in various literary magazines as well as in National Geographic, which published Öyku Denizi/The Sea of Stories, a children’s book she wrote and illustrated.
Michael Torres co-founded Campo Santo where he originated roles for Dave Eggers, Denis Johnson, Jose Rivera, Jessica Hagedorn, Octavio Solis and more.
An award winning actor, Michael has played at The Aurora Theater, Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire, Word for Word, Berkeley Repertory, Teatro Campesino, California Shakespeare,The Magic,
TheatreFirst among others and has toured the U.S.A. and Europe in shows. Recently, he co-directed with Elaina Wright (nomination for Best Directors from TBA) The Farm by Jon Tracy for TheatreFirst.
Michael is the Chair of the Laney College Theatre Arts Department where he founded The Fusion Theatre Project.
Ying Yu is a 20 year old college student living in Oakland, California. She has done set design and board op during Disbelief for The Fusion Theatre Project at Laney. This summer, she did carpentry at CalShakes which includes working on sets for Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players and Berkeley Playhouse. She also did scenic painting for Aurora Theatre’s production of Wives.
Video Director of Photography
Christy Sangpolsit (she/her/they/them) is an artist residing in California. She is preparing to transfer majoring in Psychology and Theatre and completing varying AA degrees in Humanities, Music, Sociology, English, Art, American Asian Studies, and Mathematics, and History. She has participated in both acting as Chorus 3 and production in Garret Jon Groenveld’s Disbelief, and now diving into acting as Deirdre and Lebharcham in Dierdre the Queer Queen by Ai Aida. She hopes to acquire a wide range of knowledge that she can apply to her art forms and activism and aid to those in her community.
Juliann Lathung made her acting debut with The Fusion Theatre Project at Laney College in their production of We Are Pussy Riot or Everything is P.R. by Barbara Hammond where she played the roles of the Defense and the British Feminist Lecturer. She reprised these roles for performances at TheatreFirst with The Holy Fools. Her other performance credits include a virtual reading of Deirdre the Queer Queen by Ai Aida in collaboration with the Aurora Theatre Company as Chorus Girl A and Demeter, a student short film, and a commercial spot for the California Community Colleges. She will be continuing her education at San Francisco State University as a Theater Arts major and as a recipient of the Toni K. Weingarten Youth in Theatre Scholarship in Fall 2022.
Sonia Marquez (she/her) is a 25 year-old actress living in Oakland, CA. Working on an AA-T in Theatre Arts at Laney College and plans on pursuing a BA in Theatre Arts. She is interested in acting in film in the future. Her previous works include Garret Jon Groenveld’s Disbelief. She is playing Chorus Girl A in Deirdre the Queer Queen.
Alejandra Lorenzo is currently a student at San Francisco State University. She received a two year free ride scholarship for one person studying Theatre Arts. She graduated from Laney College with an Associates for Transfer in Theatre Arts. At Laney she played multiple roles in their virtual production of Macbeth. She was a Weird Sister, a murderer, an apparition, Lady Macduff’s son and the gentlewoman. She’s had experience with film as she was cast in “Not Just Another Zombie Film” a Zombie comedy movie coming this year on Amazon prime. She is grateful for the opportunity to act at the Mile High Theatre with her fellow artists.
Abigail Arias (She/Her) 24 years old is a student living in Oakland, California. She is majoring in animation while pursuing a AA degree in Language Arts at Laney College. Acting credits include William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Garrett Jon Groenveld’s Disbelief, and Ai’s Aida Deidre The Queer Queen. Abigail uses theater to give birth to drawings that help with the study of animation and in return it helps with giving inspiration in developing character persona’s.
CJ Young is a 23 year old Actor who is a bay area native. He is currently a theatre major at Laney college who is looking forward to transferring to a university in fall 2023. He found a passion for theatre during his his high schools production of Pitch Perfect the musical. He played Apollo in The Fusion Theatre Projects production of Disbelief by Garrett Jon Groenveld. He is playing Naoise and Waiter in DaMTspace’s production of Deirdre the Queer Queen.