RAMONA – NYC Appointments

Furnace Festival-The Center at West Park
New York, NY 10024

Job Details


Creative Team:
Kayla Friend – Creator, Book/Lyrics
Jaime Lozano – Music/Lyrics
James Rushin – Music/Lyrics, Music Director
Jessy Tomsko – Music/Lyrics
Duane Minard – Music, Translations (Yurok/Paiute Tribes)
Andres Maldonado – Music
Allison Mosier Sheff – Director
Brian C. Jones – Choreographer  

Furnace Festival at The Center at West Park, performances August 24 and 25, 2019.  All artists are paid a stipend; housing will not be provided for any out-of-town artists. Executive Producers of the Furnace Festival are Madelyn Paquette and Zachary Tomlinson.   

Native American, First Nations, and Latinx actors strongly encouraged to apply.   

California Territory, 1850; a young Ramona does not know who she is or where she came from – she only knows that the Señora Moreno raises her, grudgingly, as the only daughter of a wealthy family determined to live by rules and customs. Ramona’s story of loss, love, and destruction explodes under the sharp heel of war, and carries us through her desperate journey in search of family, legacy, and home. This is a brand new musical take on a beloved California classic, based on the original novel by Helen Hunt Jackson. 

RAMONA ORTEGNA – Native American/Mexican female, 18-25, mezzo soprano

Raised as a pious Catholic in an upper-middle-class Mexican household
in the mid-1800’s, Ramona was taken in by the Senora Moreno as a young
girl; she does not know of her real family, and has been raised to
believe she is Mexican. She discovers her true mixed heritage – Native
American and Scottish – and elopes with her Native American love,
Alessandro, hoping for a better life with his people. She is brave and
wise beyond her years, but has always yearned for a mother figure to
love her and a family to treat her as their own. Must be comfortable
with some Spanish dialogue and singing. Native American and/or First
Nations applicants strongly encouraged to submit, please note tribal
affiliation if this applies to you.

ALESSANDRO ASSIS – Native American male, 25-30, baritenor

Son of the chief of a small band of Luiseño Indians, he is
well-educated and a skilled violinist; to others, he appears stoic
much of the time, but he opens up his true charm and humor to those
closest to him. A fierce defender of his family and loved ones. A
young man troubled by the sudden loss of his customs and identity as a
Native American. Deeply in love with Ramona. Must be comfortable with
some Spanish dialogue and singing. Must be comfortable with learning
some Cahuilla dialogue and singing. Only accepting submissions from
Native American and/or First Nations applicants, no exceptions. Please
note tribal affiliation. Please also note if you play any instruments.

SEÑORA MORENO – Mexican female, 45-65, alto/mezzo soprano

The matriarch of the Moreno family and a widow, she is a rock for the
family and a pious Catholic. She has a deep love of plants and the
Franciscan order, and an even deeper love of her only son, Felipe, of
whom she is extremely protective. She is strict and no-nonsense around
others in the rancho, but she is also witty and extremely smart. She
values protecting her family and her legacy above all else. Must be
comfortable with some Spanish dialogue and singing.

DON FELIPE MORENO/SHERIFF MERRIL – Latinx male, 25-30, tenor

Handsome, charming, and generous, Felipe is the Senora Moreno’s only
surviving beloved child. He is a natural leader – strong, charismatic,
and merciful; he becomes suddenly ill while out working one day and
spends time recovering and being cared for by Ramona and Alessandro.
He develops a deep affection for Alessandro that he does not
understand, and chooses to remain a bachelor. Doubles as Sheriff
Merril in Act II, a young sheriff who checks in on the happenings in
town. Must be comfortable with some Spanish dialogue, singing, and a
southern accent.

LUPE – Mexican/Native American female, 18-30, alto/mezzo soprano

Vibrant and thrilled about life, she is a mixed Mexican and Native
American maidservant and friend to Ramona. She too was taken in by the
same family as a young girl, but she works in the kitchen, whereas
Ramona was specifically taken in by the immediate family. She is
boisterous and not afraid to show her feelings, even if sometimes she
may appear a bit foolish. Must be comfortable with some Spanish
dialogue and singing.

YOUNG GIRL/JOS – Mexican/Native American, 7-12, soprano

Daughter of Ramona, also doubles as the spirited son of Aunt Ri in Act
II. Must be comfortable singing and speaking in Spanish and also have
a good southern accent.

JUAN CANITO – Mexican/Native American male, 45-65, baritone

Husband of Marda and head of the ranch workers, he is feisty and likes
to drink. A good sense of humor and genuine love, he is the Senora
Moreno’s favorite person to tease. May double as a tribal elder in Act
II (we will only consider Native American and/or First Nations
applicants if we double the role – please note tribal affiliation if
this applies to you).

MARDA – Mexican/Native American female, 35-50, soprano

Wife to Juan Canito, Marda is the head cook and queen of the kitchen.
She is brassy and has a keen sense of humor. She supervises Lupe and
helps Ramona. May double as a female tribal elder in Act II (we will
only consider Native American and/or First Nations applicants if we
double the role – please note tribal affiliation if this applies to

PADRE SALVADIERRA/HENRY SANDHAM – Latinx/Native American male, 40-55, bass

Franciscan padre who makes a special journey to see the Moreno family
before his illness makes him unable to travel. He is kind and
generous, wise and forgiving. Doubles as Henry Sandham, a companion to
Helen Hunt Jackson as she travels to conduct interviews for her book.
Also may optionally double as the Native American Bird Singer (please
note tribal affiliation if this applies to you – only Native American
and/or First Nations applicants will be considered for this potential
doubling, no exceptions).

NARRATORS – Female, Latinx/Native American/First Nations/Any Ethnicity, 18-40

Four women form a narrating quartet that help to inform the audience
of the time, place, and setting throughout the story. They represent
the diversity of California today. These performers should feel
comfortable with tight harmonies and part-singing and should be
comfortable with singing in Spanish and English. Multi-ethnic
performers, Latinx performers, and Native American/First Nations
performers strongly encouraged to apply. Please note your vocal range
in the submission.

ENSEMBLE – Native American/First Nations, any gender, 18-45

Three ensemble members who identify as Native American and/or First
Nations members; must be willing to learn Cahuilla bird songs, please
note if you have any drumming experience or instrument experience. May
double as Marda/Juan Canito, depending on acting experience (see
description above). Please note tribal affiliation.


July 22, 2019 – August 25, 2019



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