People

Company

Jump-Start Performance Co. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Founded in 1985, Jump-Start continues to produce original works for the stage.

We are working-class artists. We are writers, actors, designers, dancers, new media artists, and experimenters. We have one part-time staff person and four contractual support staff. Our artistic vision is led by a volunteer curatorial committee made up of four artistic company members.

Marisela Barrera

Marisela Barrera is a Tex-Mex writer and teatrista, currently working on a collection of short stories and a novella. She teaches writing at Northwest Vista College and is a Writer in Communities with Gemini Ink. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, the Concho River Review, the Rivard Report, Out in SA, Texas Matters, the San Antonio Current, HowlRound, and TheaterJones, among others. She is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop and a stage director. Chingos de directing credits include projects with AtticRep at Trinity University and the Tobin Center, Cara Mia Theatre in Dallas, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and Jump-Start. She has performed in Latino cultural centers in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. She earned a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University, and MA and MFA degrees in Creative Writing, Literature, and Social Justice from Our Lady of the Lake University. She’s a member of  Jump-Start Performance Co.’s artistic ensemble and board of directors. Marisela was awarded the National Association for Latino Arts & Culture’s (NALAC) Fund for the Arts Award for “Ruby Reds, Big Birds y Burras,” a linked story collection, and was named a finalist for the 2018 Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers. She is an alumna of NALAC’s Leadership and Advocacy Institutes and frequently volunteers for peer-review cultural panels at the local, state and national levels. She creates content for Radio Esperanza. Find her work at mariselabarrera.com.

Kim Corbin

Kim Corbin lived a bunch of places when she was a kid, ending up in SA to attend Trinity University where she got a degree in Art and Speech & Drama. A few years later she met some artists in a modern dance class. They kept in touch, working on various independent performance projects together until a couple of them felt compelled to create Jump-Start Performance Co., which has been Kim’s artistic home ever since. During these 30-plus years she has been a performer, costumer, creator of artistic work, event planner, volunteer, et cetera with the company. She remains excited and inspired by her artistic cohort and by the endless possibilities of original performance.

Sandy Dunn

Sandy Dunn is one of the founding members of Jump-Start Performance Co.  Over these many years at Jump-Start she has performed in, produced, choreographed and directed several shows. Long before Jump-Start she obtained a BFA in dance at Ohio State University and worked with a group of performance artists, We’re Just Like You, in Cincinnati, Ohio.  After moving to San Antonio she performed with Kista Tucker of DanceArt/SA, 24th Street Theater and Urban-15 and THEN started creating performance art with a few others who were interested in starting Jump-Start.  Sandy also studied Massage Therapy and Barrett Breathwork which she still practices in Austin where she currently lives in with her husband Paul when not tooling back and forth to Jump-Start on I-35.

Daniel Jackson

Daniel Jackson is an artist and designer working primarily in live performance and installation contexts at the intersection of technology and interactivity. Daniel worked extensively in San Antonio with Jump-Start Performance Co. before moving to New York to work and tour nationally and internationally with the experimental theater company The Wooster Group. In addition, he has worked with Young Jean Lee, Radiohole, and most recently Andrew Schneider to create performance works that are technically sophisticated and emotionally affecting. Currently, Daniel is based in Los Angeles, California but works often in San Antonio. Daniel holds an MFA in Interactive Media for Performance from The California Institute of the Arts and a BA in Drama from Stanford University.

Julie Marin

Julie Marin is a multidisciplinary artist with concentrations in theatre, creative writing, and photography. She holds a B.A. in theatre & stagecraft from the University of the Incarnate Word. She currently works as a teaching artist for Jump-Start Performance Co’s after-school Fine Art Education program and is a co-founder of the performing arts troupe, FIRE Collaborative. On the side, Miss Marin continues to engage with the community through her time spent working Estate Sales. She is a proud company member creating with an emphasis on sociopolitical awareness and empowerment regarding the human potential.

Mellissa Marlowe

Mellissa Marlowe is a native San Antonian who has participated in over 100 productions in the SA area. Mellissa works as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Drama Program at Northwest Vista College. She serves as the President of the San Antonio Theatre Coalition and as a board and company member of Jump-Start Performance Co. She lives on a quiet cul-de-sac with her husband, singer-songwriter and counselor Dr. David Rodriguez, their beautiful daughter, Paulina Esperanza, 2 cats, and 2 dogs.

Holly Nañes

Holly Nañes is a multidisciplinary artist that has done work as a director, writer, visual artist, stage manager, producer, performer, and more. She has lived in San Antonio for 7 years and is currently pursuing an MFA in Directing at Texas State University.  Her work, love for travel, humanity, different trees, and curiosity has taken her to New York City, Provincetown & Boston, Massachusetts, Oakland & San Francisco, California, San Antonio and Lubbock, TX. She hopes to continue working and traveling while developing as an artist, creating and collaborating with other artists, and teaching within the community.  She believes in humanity’s ability to contribute in a healthy and productive way towards the betterment of themselves, others, animals, the environment and generally speaking this beautiful Blue Planet. It’s up to us what’s in store for this planet. She is proud to be a member of Jump-Start and can’t wait to see what the next 5 years has in store for us.

Eraina Seri Porras

Eraina Seri Porras is a Tejana raised in El Chuco (El Paso) during her formative years. She holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of the Incarnate Word but also studied psychology and education. She has worked for the Guadalupe Cultural Art Center as the education assistant and loves performing on their stage. She has worked in several theaters around Texas and is passionate about education. Her career has led her to teach secondary theater arts for NISD. She is optimistic about our chaos and enjoys adventures.

Sheila Sisler-Currie

Sheila Sisler-Currie, a long time Jump-Start Performance Company member and a multi-faceted entrepreneur with a “Let’s do it!” attitude, teeming with character and whimsy, can be found most days working and wishing she had even more time for creating.

Chuck Squier

Chuck Squier has been working and playing with Jump-Start since the ’80’s. He has served in a variety of production, company, staff, and board of directors capacities over the years. He’s still fascinated by how other people’s creativity inspires him to respond and create his own work.  His next project, GAYLORD’S LAST HAPPY HOUR, premiers in June 2019.

Lisa Suárez
Lisa Suárez is a San Anto’ “teatrista” and longtime company member. She is an actress, singer, dancer and stilt-walker known for her portrayal of her own mother in I’ll Remember for You: An Alzheimer’s Story which she wrote and premiered at Jump-Start in 2010. She appeared and collaborated in many Jump-Start productions including High Yello RoseLa FronteraFinding Love in Wartime, and Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street. She was also in other local productions including Real Women Have Curves, Heroes and Saints, and Las Nuevas Tamaleras. She played Lydia Mendoza in Lydia Mendoza: La Gloria de Tejas. Suárez has toured and performed with other theater companies including the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, El Centro Su Teatro (Denver, CO), Mixed Blood Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN) and Cara Mia (Dallas, TX).  She has appeared in television and films including HBO’s The Leftovers, PBS’s Latino Americans series, From Dusk Till Dawn (the TV series), Lonestar, and From Mexico With Love. She is a graduate of Incarnate Word College (now known as the University of Incarnate Word) earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is a NALAC Leadership program graduate. Lisa currently teaches various group fitness classes including aqua fitness and Zumba and is a transcendental meditator.
Clint Taylor

Clint Taylor has been a theatre artist in San Antonio for more than 20 years and he continues to enhance his artistic practice by working with diverse companies and solo artists and by taking advantage of workshops and classes offered in San Antonio and New York. At Jump-Start, he is a member of the artistic company, he is a teaching artist, he serves on the Curatorial Committee and he is the organization’s Social Media Coordinator.

Company Members Emeritus

Jessica Arriola, Steve Bailey, Mark Blakeney, Cathleen Pollock Boehme, Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, Erik Bosse, Michael Cavazos, Laurie Dietrich, Kevin Evans, Michi Fink, Dino Foxx, Felice García, Skye Heather Daniels, Sterling Houston, Billy Muñoz, Anita Jones Owers Baker, Danielle King, Michael Marinez, Lisa Mellinger, Dianne Monroe, Max Parrilla, Glenna Park, Dennis Poplin, Robert Rehm, Diana Rodriguez Gil, Annele Spector, S.T. Shimi, Amanda Silva, Susan Taylor, Fabiola Torralba, Jesse Valadez López, Michael Verdi

Board of Directors

Mono Riojas Aguilar

Mono Riojas Aguilar is a playwright and an educator; he has worked in higher education since 1998 and has produced Chato’s Bridge and Adelita at San Antonio College, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and Jump-Start. His roots in Chicano theatre go back to performing in La Victima with Lanier High School at the Guadalupe Theatre in 1985. His next play, Hoops of Steel, will be produced in September 2018 by Jump-Start.

Linda Cuellar

Linda Cuellar is a native of the Arizona and Texas borderlands and grew up in Laredo, Texas. She taught Mass Communications at the community college level for 20 years. She worked as a broadcast journalist in San Antonio in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2012 she was Executive Producer of KLRN TV’s ARTS series. She was director of CineFestival in 1989 and 1996. She serves on the community board of JumpStart. She trains faculty in Cooperative/Collaborative Learning methods and teaches Writing the Artist’s Statement writing and video workshops.

She received a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin (’77), an M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication from St. Mary’s University (’91) and a Doctorate in Education from Texas A&M, Corpus Christi (’09). Her research topic was a comparison of media use patterns among Latino and Non-Latino college students enrolled in regular and developmental courses.

Eduardo Juárez

Eduardo Juárez is a Supervisory Trial Attorney with the San Antonio Field Office of the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where he litigates civil rights cases dealing with employment discrimination. During the 1990s, Mr. Juárez was a Trial Attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and began his law career as an Associate with the law firm of Sidley & Austin in Chicago. Eduardo received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Michigan.  A native of San Antonio’s Westside, Mr. Juárez has served as a director on several nonprofit organizations and is currently the Jump-Start board president.

Steven López

Steven López is a lawyer and San Antonio enthusiast who spends his time advocating for social change and progressive values in our community. He is originally from the Rio Grande Valley and spent nearly a decade as a theater and film artist in Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profits in Bexar County, including Jump-Start. Steven hopes to widen Jump-Start’s footprint in the artistic and social justice landscape of San Antonio.

Teaching Artists

Anna De Luna

Anna De Luna received her training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She has acted in leading roles at the Guadalupe Theater, Jump-Start Performance Company, Attic Rep and appeared at the San Pedro Playhouse’s Anna In The Tropics for which she received a San Antonio Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has also been a recipient of grants from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and the City of San Antonio Office for Creative and Cultural Development to produce her original, one-woman shows, The AIDS Lady and My Arab Fall. Ms. De Luna has also served as a theater/arts educator for the YMCA H.Y.P.E. Program, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Grupo Animo, Discover Animo, Summer Youth Camp and the 21st Century Arts Program and for Jump-Start Performance Company’s Historias y Cuentos.

Laura Salazar

Laura Salazar believes that the creation of art enables her students to learn and grow as creative, critical and thoughtful generalists. As a multifaceted and largely self-taught individual in several mediums, Laura has taught children and adults in schools and arts organizations since 1999. When not in the studio or classroom, Laura enjoys working to share her knowledge about growing food using hydroponics, saving honey bees with her company, Honey Love Bee Removal, and learning about building homes with adobe with sustainable sensibilities. She is currently illustrating a children’s book on ecology through an internship with Ogallala Commons.

S.T. Shimi

S.T. Shimi  has been living and making work in San Antonio since 1994. Born and raised in Singapore, she  examines the intersections and contradictions of multiple identities in irreverent, provocative and visually intriguing ways. Shimi has created and collaborated on original performance works in multiple genres as a soloist and ensemble member, presented at major local arts festivals, and venues nationally and internationally. She is one of few Texas artists trained through Wolf Trap Theater to bring performing arts practices to Pre-K classrooms. Shimi was a long-time company and staff member of Jump-Start Performance Co., fulfilling the roles of Artistic Director, Resident Lead Arts Educator, Education Director and W-I-P Co-Ordinator/Critical Response Facilitator. Shimi graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in theater and women’s studies.

Erica R. DeLaRosa

Erica R. DeLaRosa is a Teaching Artist, Theater Director, Performance Poet and Activist.  DeLaRosa is a Co-Founder of the performance troupe, MAHINA MOVEMENT in New York City. She has also served as Casting Director for the independent short film, Bad Behavior. In 2013, DeLaRosa moved back to San Antonio, Texas. Now, she invests in her community & contributes her talents as a Teaching Artist with several community organizations in San Antonio and New York City.  DeLaRosa is also the Founder and Producing and Education Partner of CEIBA Arts Cooperative (Communities Enlivened and Interactively Building through the Arts). Erica’s activism takes place in her poetry and drama therapy workshops in juvenile detention and adult rehabilitation centers and in producing community events and mobile classrooms in her city. She serves on the Board of Directors for San Anto Cultural Arts and as a Judge for the annual Young Pegasus Poetry Contest.

Staff

Chayo Flores Zaldívar

Chayo Flores Zaldívar has been a staff member with Jump-Start Performance Co. since May 2005 and currently serves as Director of Operations. She is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 23, belongs to the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and is a voting member for the Grammys (NARAS) and Latin Grammys (LARAS).  Chayo is past Executive Director of the Academy of Tejano Artists & Musicians. Before that she was Associate Director of the Tejano Music Awards and Past President of that organization. With the support of Green Spaces Alliance, Chayo organized Labor Serena Community Garden and hosts the annual Spring Break Camp &  Earth Day Celebration for school-aged children in District 5 and surrounding community. Chayo attended and completed training for Non-Profit Management at U.T. Austin in 1996 and is a graduate of the MALDEF Leadership Institute. She has extensive experience with non-profit organizations.

Sabine Widen

Sabine Widen is a nonprofit consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She holds degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station and St. Mary’s University of Law in San Antonio.