Raquel was born in Madrid – Spain, is also of Costa Rican descent and has lived most of her life in the U.S. As an interdisciplinary artist she holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University – Deans Fellowship recipient. B.F.A. in Theatre from University of Florida/New World School of the Arts Conservatory where she developed work as a writer, director, actor and dramaturge. Almazan is the Artistic Director of LA LUCHA ARTS, producing several of her original works, including LATIN IS AMERICA play cycle and lecture-performance, a collection of bi-lingual works in dedication to each Latin American country. Select play credits include: La Paloma Prisoner (recipient of thethe LGBTQ Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Prize, Workshop: Signature Theatre off Broadway – readings: La Mama ETC, INTAR, Labyrinth Theatre Company and The Lark). CAFÉ (recipient of Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award, Columbia Stages workshop directed by Elena Araoz). La Migra Taco Truck and Dar a Luz (off Broadway NYC Theatre Row, Aspen Stage, New Theatre-FL). El Oido De un Pais (New Theatre-FL). Junkyard Food (Louis O’Gerrits Theatre). Watermelon (Lone Star Co., off Broadway reading). She was awarded a Professional Development residency with the Eugene O’Neill Center Playwrights Conference 2015 and is a Core Apprentice Writer with The Playwrights’ Center 2015-16.
Her plays as writer/performer are The Hopefulness/Esperanza (recipient of the Kate Neal Kinley Playwriting Fellowship, workshops: Rising Circle Theatre Collective INKtank Lab- at Theatre Row off Broadway,Teatro Iati). Glossy Page Pimps (directed by Michael Garces, commissioned by Miami Light Project workshop reading). The Taco Truck Theatre Project (workshop commissioned by Pangea World Theatre). La Negra (Teatro Iati-reading). Ur-Faust (performer/dramaturge for multi-media adaptation, New World Stages and tour to Hyterio Theatre in Athens, Greece). Solo shows include: Porning the Planet: The De-Sensitization of a Nation (dramaturgy by Penny Arcade, Dixon Place and Pangea World Theatre-National Performance Network Tour) She Wolves: Women in Sex, Death and Rebirth (P.S. 122, NYC Fringe Festival).
Film: She made her feature directorial debut with the mockumentary White Alligator (International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival, Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, International Bled Film Festival Slovenia *Best Actress Award.) Writer’s Lab with National Association of Latin Independent Producers for her feature screenplay Death of the Doll, the short screened at Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza in L.A. and Naked Angels Theatre Reading Series. Grants: Map Fund, The Ford Foundation, Network of Ensemble Theatres Travel Grant, Deans Travel Grant, Manhattan Community Fund, Tropiculture Miami, Miami Dade Cultural Affairs, Florida Arts and The Artist Access Grant. Nominated for United States Artist Award- Innovative Theatre Artist.
Some noted roles include Alicia Watkins on Limitless opposite Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Rosa Heredia on The Blacklist, opposite James Spader; Maricela on Law & Order: SVU and Rita Campos on White Collar, a Cuban exile opposite Cristina Ricci on PAN AM, additional roles on Blue Bloods, Michael J. Fox Show. Lady MacBeth in MacBeth, and Mrs. Papov in Chekov’s The Bear. At El Museo del Barrio, she played the lead in Escaping Juarez, Deviant Borders as the male Chamuco, (New World Theatre Mass.) Reading of leading role in The Mother f**ker with the Hat directed by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Collaborating with Bill T. Jones on Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s libretto workshop for MOVE; playing the role of Glenda in development with Opera Philadelphia. She has performed in over 100 venues, including The Kennedy Center, The Actors Studio, La Mama, City Center, Pregones-PRTT, Repertorio Espanol, INTAR, and films that screened at Cannes, HBO NYLIFF and several international film festivals.
As an Activist Artist, she participates at social- political conferences, including the United Nations, (two time Aspen Institute Panelist), National Women’s Studies Conference, Alternate Roots, International Women’s Playwrights Conference-Stockholm, Bodies In Transit Articulating the Americas and Beyond with the Hemispheric Institute Conference and in Rome, Italy for World Theatre Day at the Performing Gender and Violence in Contemporary National and Transnational Contexts Conference. Performed an original monologue for Hillary Clinton’s Women’s Forum. Playwright for Here to Be Seen: Women in Justice, collaboration with formerly incarcerated women & DA’s Re-entry task force. Performance Workshops: Patricia Ariza, Susan Grace Cohen, Lee Michael Cohen, (Shakespeare with Adrian Noble, Peter Craze + Andy Goldberg + Ian Hersey), Laban, Grotowski, Movement and Directing. She has also trained in Butoh, Biomechanics, Suzuki, Improv, Clowning and Mask Work. Writing Development Workshops: Edward Albee, David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Theresa Rebeck, Charles Mee, David Mamet, Horton Foote, Morgan Jenness, Julie Harris, Naomi Ilizuka, and Carmen Rivera. Albee noted that Almazán “…sure can write.”
Arts Educator/Facilitator to thousands of youth/ young adults: with The International Theatre Collaboration summer program at Columbia University, facilitator with Art Spring organization to incarcerated women in prison, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Repertorio Espanol, Epic Theatre and Joker with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC. With LEAP, directed NYC Public school students off Broadway at New World Stages. With Manhattan Theatre Club and Educational Play Productions, she performs throughout NYC Schools. For Theatre East she founded the educational New Rites Arts Program. She is a proud member of The Dramatist Guild, SAG-AFTRA, League of Professional Theatre Women, NALIP, Chicago Dramatist Network, and the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors. She is a Founding member of LA Cooperativa of Latina/o Theatre Artists NYC.