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, B.F.A. in Theatre from University of Florida/New World School of the Arts Conservatory. She develops work as a writer, director, actor, dramaturge and is also a Butoh dance practitioner. 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 Latin American countries. Select play credits include: La Paloma Prisoner Arthur J. Harris Social Justice Prize/Arch and Bruce Brown LGBTQ Prize – workshop: Signature Theatre, readings: La Mama ETC, INTAR, Labyrinth and The Lark). CAFÉ (Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award, Columbia Stages workshop directed by Elena Araoz). La Negra (Workshop: BRIC Arts-directed by Mei Ann Teo, readings; Lincoln Center w/ Classical Theatre of Harlem, Teatro Iati). When I Came Home (Pregones- PRTT) La Migra Taco Truck and Dar a Luz (off Broadway NYC Theatre Row, Aspen Stage, New Theatre–FL). Does that Feel Good to you My Lark?: A Doll’s House Adaptation (Bushwick Starr reading/New Georges – Audrey residency, directed by Miranda Haymon). Cross//Roads: Re-framing the Immigrant Narrative (commissioned workshop: La Micro Theatre). Artistic Advisor of R. Piniella’s Bi-lingual Hamlet workshop (The Public Theater). She has been awarded a Professional Development residency with the Eugene O’Neill Center Playwrights Conference and Core Apprentice residency, affiliated writer with The Playwrights’ Center.
Select additional plays include: The Hopefulness/La Esperanza (recipient of the Kate Neal Kinley Playwriting Fellowship, workshops: Rising Circle Theatre Collective INKtank Lab- at Theatre Row off Broadway, Teatro Iati). El Odio De un Pais (commissioned workshop: Pangea World Theatre/New Theatre). Glossy Page Pimps (directed by Michael Garces, commissioned by Miami Light Project – workshop). Ur-Faust (performer/dramaturge for multi-media adaptation, New World Stages, FL 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, funded by NPN residency program) She Wolves: Women in Sex, Death and Rebirth (P.S. 122, NYC Fringe Festival).
Film: 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 (short – Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza in L.A. and Naked Angels Theatre Reading Series. Producer and content director for several short documentaries directed by young film makers: Sweet Home Chinatown?, Behind the Flavors of New York, (Smithsonian Shorts – commissioned by The Smithsonian Museum). Grants: (selected) NYC Women’s Fund, The Map Fund, Doris Duke Grant, NYSCA Grant, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, The Ford Foundation (associate artist), Bret Adams + Paul Reisch Foundation Playwriting Grant.
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 with Opera Philadelphia. She has performed in over 100 venues, including The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Actors Studio, La Mama, City Center, Repertorio Espanol, and films that screened at Cannes, HBO NYLIFF and several international film festivals.
As an Activist Artist, she works in collaboration with social movements and community partners and impacted individuals towards providing a platform for abandoned narratives and people: including (selected) United Nations World Health Day, (two time Aspen Institute Panelist), International Women’s Playwrights Conference (Stockholm, Sweden and Santiago, Chile) Hemispheric Institute Conference and in Rome, Italy for World Theatre Day -Performing Gender and Violence Conference and The National Arts Center of Canada. Collaboration with Patricia Ariza of La Candelaria Colombian Theatre. Playwright for Here to Be Seen: Women in Justice, collaboration with formerly incarcerated women & DA’s Re-entry task force. Performance Workshops: (Ana Correa- Yuyachkani Peruvian Theatre) 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 Dance, Biomechanics, Suzuki, Improv, Clowning and Mask Work. Writing Development Workshops: David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Theresa Rebeck, Charles Mee, Edward Albee, Horton Foote, Morgan Jenness, Julie Harris, Naomi Ilizuka, and Carmen Rivera.
Arts Educator to thousands of youth and adults, founding several original arts programs: Is the youth program director at City Lore. Teaches playwriting at Augsburg University with The Playwrights Center and Marymount Manhattan College. Has facilitated with Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, Carnegie Mellon, SUNY Purchase, Manhattan Theatre Club, Brooklyn Academy of Music, DreamYard, Art Spring to incarcerated women in prison; as well as with several marginalized communities through the Theatre of the Oppressed forum theatre process. NALAC Leadership Institute Fellow. Almazan is a proud member of The Dramatist Guild, NALAC, SAG-AFTRA, and is the Co-President of the board of Indie Space/The Independent Theatre Fund.