Raquel Almazan 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. 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 each Latin American country. Select play credits include: La Paloma Prisoner (Arthur J. Harris Social Justice Prize/ workshop: Signature Theatre, off Broadway – readings: La Mama ETC, INTAR, Labyrinth and The Lark). CAFÉ (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 Odio De un Pais (Pangea World Theatre/New Theatre). Does that Feel Good to you My Lark?: A Doll’s House Adaptation (Bushwick Starr reading/New Georges – Audrey residency) 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.
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). La Negra (Classical Theatre of Harlem, Teatro Iati-reading). Glossy Page Pimps (directed by Michael Garces, commissioned by Miami Light Project workshop reading). 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) 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, the short screened at Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza in L.A. and Naked Angels Theatre Reading Series. Grants: NALAC, Map Fund (associate artist), The Ford Foundation, Network of Ensemble Theatres Travel Grant, Deans Travel Grant, Manhattan Community Fund, 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 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 (two time Aspen Institute Panelists), International Women’s Playwrights Conference (Stockholm, Sweden and Santiago, Chile) 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 Transnational Contexts Conference, National Women’s Studies Conference, National Performance Network and Alternate Roots. Playwright for Here to Be Seen: Women in Justice, collaboration with formerly incarcerated women & DA’s Re-entry task force. Performed an original monologue for Hillary Clinton’s Women’s Forum. 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 to thousands of youth/ young adults: Is the youth program director at City Lore. Has facilitated with Columbia University, NYU, Manhattan Theatre Club, Brooklyn Academy of Music, DreamYard, Repertorio Espanol, Epic Theatre and Art Spring to incarcerated women in prison. With LEAP, directed NYC Public school students off Broadway at New World Stages. She is the founder of several original art programs. She is a proud member of The Dramatist Guild, NALAC, SAG-AFTRA, League of Professional Theatre Women, NALIP and the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.