José Cheo Oliveras. Photo by Israel Franco Müller


by Carmen Rivera
Directed by Cándido Tirado

April 14-30, 2023
At Chain Theatre


José Cheo Oliveras,
Founding Artistic Director

Virginia Louloudes,
Development Director

Edna Lee Figueroa,
Marketing Director / Social Media Manager

James Figueroa,
Financial Manager

Eva Vásquez,
Co-Founder & Educational Program Director

Verónica Caicedo,
Facilities Manager

Marcela Álvarez,
Press & Community Relations Director  

Camila Caicedo,
Box Office Manager

Cinzia Meneghello,
Web Designer / Web Master            

Mariano de Paco Serrano,
Associate Artistic Director 

Dean M. Zayas,
Associate Artistic Director, Emeritus

Pablo Zinger,
Musical Director 

Israel Franco-Müller,
Resident Production Designer

Omayra Garriga Casiano,
Technical Production Director

Rubén Darío Cruz,
‘Abuelito, dime tú’ Program Director 


New York State Governor Kathy Hochul

New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council

New York City Council Members Carlina Rivera, District 2, City Council Member Shaun Abreu, District 7, Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, District 8, City Council Member Amanda Farias, District 18, City Council Member Francisco Moya, District 21 & City Council Member Sandy Nurse, District 37.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Daniel S. Goldman, U.S. House of Representatives

Small Business Administration

New York Community Trust

The Howard Gilman Foundation

The Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust

The Shubert Foundation

The Hispanic Federation

The Cory & Bob Donnalley Charitable Foundation

The Mid-Atlantic Arts, through USArtists International

Paula & Jeffrey Gural

The Kaplen Brothers Fund

Con Edison

Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment

The Michael Tuch Foundation

The Lucille Lortel Foundation

Fourth Arts Block

Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

For more information on how to make a tax-deductible donation visit:

La caída de Rafael Trujillo is made possible in part, by the generous support of:

For more information about touring productions contact us at
(347) 967-4761 or at

Our rehearsal space and theaters are available for rent at very affordable rates.
Contact us at (347) 967-4765 / or visit:

by Carmen Rivera
Directed by Cándido Tirado

April 14-30, 2023

The story of a man whose desire for absolute power poisoned his humanity and terrorized a nation.


(In Alphabetical Order)

Bill Blechingberg (Diplomat)

Bill has been acting in multiple Theatres all over New York for many years, including Repertorio Español, founding member of Teatro Latea and Rasgos, Pregones, Teatro Círculo, Teatro SEA, The Duke Theater, New Perspectives Theater, The Medicine Show and recently with Teatro Thalia.  Awards: Nominated Best Actor ACE Award – Monserrat, Isabel Three Sailing Ships and a Con Artist; Best Actor ACE and HOLA awards La lechuga. Skeletons, Zanahorias.  Film credits include: Bushwick, La vida inesperada, Ice Age, and The Undead. He has directed opera, musicals, and plays: Nominated Best Director for Hay que apagar el fuego. He is very excited to come full circle and be back with Teatro Círculo to work with an amazing cast in Carmen’s fascinating play, and first time with Cándido.

Fernando Contreras* (Don Paco Escribano)

Is mostly a life enthusiast, but also an actor, dancer, singer, whistler, and sleeper. Dominican Republic born, Jersey raised, and now living in Queens. He is a founding ensemble member of Pipeline Theatre Company and recently starred as Bruise in Pipeline’s NYT Critic’s Pick, Bruise & Thorn. He is a company member of Shiz: Broadway Meets Sketch Comedy and The Dance Cartel. Other credits: Love to Love You Baby: The Story of Dolores Verano (Teatro Círculo), Los Nutcrackers (BAAD!), Playing Hot (Pipeline, Off-Bway), Ghost, the Musical (1st US National & Asia Tours), ¡Mamita, llegó el obispo!

Love to FBI, family and friends. 

Instagram: @omgitzfern & Twitter: @omgitzfern

*Appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Erick González* (Joaquin Balaguer)

NYC Theatre: La dama boba, El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, Valor, agravio y mujer, En el nombre de Salomé, El loco por fuerza, Aire frío (Repertorio Español); Marfa Lights (INTAR); Noche tan linda (Pregones/PRTT). A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline (Frog and Peach); Measure for Measure, Pericles, Julius Caesar, Othello (Hip to Hip). Regional: Twelfth Night (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Native Gardens (Portland Center Stage, Geva Theatre and Syracuse Stage); Farragut North (Premiere Stages). TV/Film: Evil, Madam Secretary, StartUp, A Nice Girl Like You

*Appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Iván Goris (Johnny Abbes)

Mr. Goris is grateful to Teatro Círculo, Cándido Tirado and Carmen Rivera. Thank you! Iván is a well-seasoned talent shining as bright as he can in this fast-paced industry. Iván is Dominican American actor and writer/producer born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side with a strong connection to his Latino community. Iván has graced the stages all over NYC. His film and television credits include, HBO’s Vinyl, Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia, Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It and CBS Madam Secretary. Iván is also a Co-founder of B.I.P (Barrio Independent Productions).

Instagram: @Ivan_Goris537_

Amneris Morales (Doña María Trujillo)

A respected actress in the Puerto Rican theater, television, and film scene with vast experience as an actress, producer, director, and writer.  She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of film production and direction with studies in psychology and acting. Her career includes many performances in plays, TV shows, soap operas and films in Puerto Rico and Argentina, among other Latin American countries. In the United States she has appeared in television shows and on New York stages, receiving ACE, HOLA ATI, and LATA Awards for Best Actress (Theater) and The Official Latino Film Festival, Best Comedy Actress. Some of her recent works are the feature film, Venus de Macho, and the plays Dominique, and La casa de Bernarda Alba. She is the Co-founder and CEO of Barrio Independent Productions.

Instagram: @amnerismorales1

Altagracia Nova (Lover of Trujillo)

‘Anova Nova’ is a proud Dominican American established actress, singer & songwriter. Her accolades also include being an accomplished graduate of the highly esteemed Boston College in Boston, MA, where she earned degrees in Theatre Arts, Business Management and Communications, which successfully prepared her for the entertainment industry. Within the music industry alone she has proven to be a relentless force of nature apart from being a noted actress with an impressive acting career spanning over 10 years. Her latest works also include the role of Lola, in La breve y maravillosa vida de Oscar Wao currently running at Repertorio Español. One can also add the role of director and producer to her repertoire. She’s been known for directing and producing her own music videos amongst other productions currently in the works.

Instagram: @IAm_ANova & Twitter: @IAm_ANova

Facebook: @altagracia.nova.9

José Cheo Oliveras (Rafael Leonidas Trujillo)

Holds a BA in Theatre and Public Communications from the University of Puerto Rico and ABD at CUNY Graduate Center where he studied Spanish and Luso‐Brazilian Literatures. He has worked as an actor and director at most of the established Latino theatre companies in New York City including Repertorio Español, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and Thalia Spanish Theatre, among others. Cheo has received multiple ACE, HOLA, LATA, and ATI awards for his work as an actor and director and several awards from BORIMIX and “Comité Noviembre” for his contribution to the Latino Arts in NYC.

Johary Ramos* (Dr. Jesús de Galíndez, Soldier, Senator, Porfirio Rubirosa, June 14th Soldier)

University of Puerto Rico and The Actors Center graduate. Credits with Teatro Círculo: La caída de Rafael Trujillo (2014 & 2015), Los titingós de Juan Bobo (ACE Best Actor Award), Puerto Rico ¡Fua!; with The Puerto Rican Traveling Theater: Women in Piquant Farse (ACE Best New Actor); with Pregones Theatre and IATI Theatre: Blanco (HOLA Best Ensemble Award), The Blackout, and Medea’s Last Rosary (ACE Best Ensemble); with Wings Theatre: Tango masculino (OOBR Award for Excellence). Dance credits with Ballet Concierto, Ballets de San Juan, Fosse, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and New York City Opera. SAG-AFTRA/AEA 

“Dedico estas funciones a Hilda Seguinot Fuentes, mi alma gemela, confidente, apoyadora #1; y el más dulce y valiente ser humano que he conocido.”

Instagram: @joharyramosseguinot
Twitter: @joharyramos  & Facebook Page: @joharyramos 

*Appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association


Carmen Rivera (Playwright)

Holds an MA in Playwriting and Latin American Theatre from New York University.  She is very excited that Teatro Círculo has brought La caída de Rafael Trujillo (The Downfall of Rafael Trujillo) back to the stage. It was first produced in 2014, winning the ATI Award for Best Production. It is also published by NoPassport Press.  Her play, La gringa, was part of the OBIE Award Winning Series New Voices in 1996 and this year, celebrated its 27th year anniversary in repertory at Repertorio Español.  It is now the longest running Spanish-language play in Off-Broadway history. It was published in both English and Spanish by Concord Theatrical Productions (Formerly Samuel French.)   

Off-Broadway productions include Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (Co-written with Cándido Tirado) – (HOLA Award, Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting); La Lupe: My Life, My Destiny (ACE Award – Best Production); Julia de Burgos: Child of Water; To Catch the Lightning (Nomination ACE Award – Best Production.)  Carmen was the subject of a doctoral dissertation written by theatre scholar Dr. Jason Ramirez – Latinidad: The Theatre of Carmen Rivera.  Her work can also be found on the online archive, ProQuest.  Carmen has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), ATT On-Stage and New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA).  She is a mentor playwright for the Latinx Playwrights Circle.  Carmen is also a Teaching Artist with Manhattan Theatre Club.

Cándido Tirado (Director)
Playwright/Director. As a director, he has directed over 25 plays, including the Off-Broadway hit Made in Puerto Rico by Elizardi Castro; The Downfall of Rafael Trujillo by Carmen Rivera, (Teatro Círculo, 2014 and 2015); El grito del Bronx by Migdalia Cruz; The Broadway of the Bronx, a one-person show by Juan Ramirez; and Elizardi Castro’s one-person show Law and Disorder.
His play Fish Men was produced at the Goodman Theatre in collaboration with Teatro Vista where it received four Jeff nominations and was also Steinberg nominated. It also received a production at INTAR in NYC. His musical, La canción, with music by Hip Hop artist Vico C, was produced at Repertorio Español in NYC. Momma’s Boyz was produced by Teatro Vista and was chosen as Chicago’s Top Ten plays by the Huffington Post. First Class was produced by Urban Theater Company in Chicago and later selected by Theater on The Lake Festival. His Off-Broadway productions include Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (co-written with Carmen Rivera), which premiered at The New World Stages and had a 9-month run. It was also presented in Chicago’s Athenaeum Theater, Centro de Bellas Artes in Santurce, Puerto Rico; Tenerife and Miami: King Without a Castle (also workshopped at Sundance Theater Lab)Checking OutFirst Class (Puerto Rican Traveling Theater). The Barber ShopMomma’z Boyz (Repertorio Español). Other productions include: The Missteps of a Salsa DancerFrom Dating to Death in Five Easy StepsIlka: The DreamSome People Have All the Luck was produced at the National Theater of the Dominican Republic and New York. Heart Stopping Sex was produced by Soho Rep. His other plays include Two DiamondsRising from The AshesThe Kid Next DoorHey There Black CatAbueloThe Missing Colors of the RainbowThe Pursuit Of Happiness, and his latest play 40/20House of SoulsFever and Palladium are co-written with Carmen Rivera. Ramon’s Magic Garden was commissioned by the Sol Project. He co-wrote award winning short film with Alfredo Bejar, Getting to Heaven. He was a staff writer for the TV show Ghostwriter where his episode was nominated for a Humanitas Award. He wrote for the hit web series East WillyB. He’s a four-time winner of the New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. He co-founded EDUCATIONAL PLAYS PRODUCTION with his wife, Carmen Rivera, who tours the public schools presenting social issues – oriented plays, concerning inner-city youth. He has taught playwriting at Fordham University and is a playwriting professor at The New School.
Eliana Michelle Yost (Assistant Director/Stage Manager & Costume Designer)

Argentinian actress, model, set & costume designer, playwright. She possesses a BA in Performing Arts, UNC. Creation Scholarship 2020 grantee (National Art Fund, Argentina). Member of Teatro Círculo. Credits: Magníficas (UNC), Cama adentro (Intrus teatro), Vamos al rescate (Magníficas Teatro), La clínica de la doctora Lola (Magníficas Teatro), Pluvium (UNC), Transversión (UNC), ¿Y cómo no se pudrió Blancanieves? (Intrus teatro), Humanidad expuesta (UNC), ¿Dónde está mi zapato? (Potrero Teatro), El náufrago (Potrero Teatro). 

Instagram: @eluyost

Omayra Garriga Casiano (Lighting Designer)

NYC based theater maker. Born and raised in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. Holds a BA in Theater Education from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Theater Design from Brooklyn College. Production design of Teatro Círculo’s CALLBACKseries 2023 and DANCEseries2023. Associate artist with Boundless Theatre Company. Lighting design: La Carta-Danza (2021). Set Design: Mercado Libre (2022) El Barrio Raíces (2018- 2021). Credits in lighting design: Teatro Círculo’s CALLBACKseries (2016-2021), The One Festival (2017-2021), La celestina (2019). Credits in set design: Teatro Círculo’s CALLBACKseries (2015 & 2022). El barbero de Sevilla (2019), The Lesson (2018), The Waters of Friendship (2018), Nanas (2018). Holds a BA in Theater Education from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Theater Design from Brooklyn College. Omayra has taken classes with international groups like Theater of the Oppressed (Brazil), Malayerba (Ecuador) and Yuyachkani (Peru). 

Israel Franco-Müller (Set Designer & Props Master)

Production Manager and Set, Lighting & Costume Designer. International theatre designer whose works have been seen in: Alcalá and Almagro’s Classical Theater Festival in Spain 2022, Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival in Scotland, Cuba, Mexico, among other countries. Awards: Outstanding Production Designer-El caballero de Olmedo (Teatro Círculo, HOLA 2018), Best Set and Costume Design-El burlador de Sevilla (Teatro Círculo, ATI 2019). Franco-Müller holds a Ph.D. in Theater Design and Technical Production from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Historical Consultant: José Novas
Spanish Translation: Bersaida Vega
Makeup Artist: Jei Fabiane

Assistant Stage Manager: Romina Tejerina

Lighting Designer Assistant: Victoria Alexandra
Painted Backdrop: Félix Vega Miranda
Scenery Frames Construction: Omayra Garriga Casiano
Painting of Scenery Frames: Israel Franco-Müller
Sound / Technicians:Omayra Garriga Casiano | Eliana Michelle Yost
Overtitles / Technician: Romina Tejerina
Graphic Design: Edna Lee Figueroa


Teatro Círculo; José and Julia Novas; Luz Martínez, Frank Moya Pons, René Fortunato, Julio César Valdés, César Jenevera, Nikaury Rodríguez, Denia Brache, Anna María Correa, Mona & Luis, Bersaida Vega, Ralph Mercado, David Maldonado, Juan Toro, Prof. Jason Ramírez, Prof. Christiane Schlote, Mateo Gómez, Sol Miranda, Ricardo Puente, Jorge Merced, José Febus, Gil Ron, Armando Riesco, Louis Leonardo, Milly Quezada, Andrés Munar, Felix Solis, David Crommett, Maria Helán, Annie Henk, Athena Colón, Eddie Torres; Cándido Tirado; and from the CUNY Dominican Institute – Prof. Sarah Aponte, Prof. Ángel Estévez, Dr. Ramona Hernández 

Teatro Círculo would like to thank you, our audience, for your continuous support. ¡Gracias!