Angel Gil Orrios | Executive/Artistic Director
Angel Gil Orrios (Director/Writer/Producer/Lighting & Set Designer) is the Artistic/Executive Director of the Thalia Spanish Theatre in New York since 2000 and has been honored with the New York 2009 MAYOR’S AWARD FOR ARTS AND CULTURE, and the Hispanic Leadership Award by the New York City Council. He received the 2017 Raul Julia HOLA Founders Award for Excellence, and the 2018 ACE Gold Award for Artistic Achievement from the Association of Latin Critics of Entertainment of New York. In 2015 he received the “Sunnysider of the Year” Award from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Artists, as well as Proclamations and Citations from the NY City Council, the NY State Senate and Assembly, and the United States Congress. On World Theater Day, March 27, 2021, he received the “Extraordinary Award for Distinction and Merit” from the Latin Alternative Theater Awards of New York; and in 2022 the NY Talia Life Achievement Award and the International Art Award. In Madrid, he received the 2022 Gold Medal awarded by the Academia de Artes Escénicas de España (Academy of Performing Arts of Spain) to the Alliance of Teatros Latinos NY, led by Thalia Spanish Theatre and eight other Hispanic theaters.
In 45 years he has produced, designed and directed more than 140 productions in the U.S., Spain, France, Korea and Latin America, which have met with international acclaim and have won him numerous awards, among them: the Silver Medal of the French Academie des Arts-Sciences-Lettres in Paris in 1987; the Prince Ferdinand Award in Zaragoza in 1975; the ACE (Association of Critics of Entertainment) Award for Best Director and Producer in 1989, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 in New York; the HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) Award for Best Director & Producer in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2022 in New York.
Considered an expert in LORCA, in 1992 he produced and directed García Lorca’s film script “Trip to the Moon” in New York with the famous actor Raúl Juliá, who was his partner in the production company Fuego Films, winning the XVIII San Francisco Poetry Film Festival Award in 1993. Commissioned by the heirs of Lorca in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, he translated into English the enigmatic play “Once Five Years Pass” which was published in New York in 1986 by American Theater Magazine, the main North American theater magazine, and in a bilingual edition by the Station Hill Press publishing house in 1989. Over the years he has produced, designed and directed with great success from critics and the public, both in Spanish and English, Lorca’s productions: “The House of Bernarda Alba”, “The Audience” and “Play Without a Title”, as well as the musical “Poet in New York”.
He is proud to be the only director “crazy” enough to take Pablo PICASSO seriously as a playwright and to have made the Bilingual world premieres (in English and Spanish) as FLAMENCO musicals of the three plays written by the genius painter from Spain: in 1988 “Desire caught by the Tail / El deseo cogido por el rabo” (ACE Award for Best Director of a Musical); in 2003 “The Four Litle Girls/ Las cuatro niñitas”, and in 2008 “Picasso”s Flamenconde de Orgaz / FlamenConde de Orgaz” (HOLA Award for Best Musical Production).
Likewise, he considers it a true privilege to have had the honor of being chosen by the great Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes to direct the Bilingual World Premiere of his play “El Tuerto es Rey (The One-Eyed man is King)” in 2002 (3 HOLA Awards & 2 ACE Awards including Best Director & Best Production). In 2007, he directed & designed his innovative Flamenco-inspired production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen for the prestigious Knoxville Opera at The Historic Tennessee Theatre, obtaining great critical and public success. In 2009 the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C. selected him as President of the Jury of the first Hispanic-American Playwriting Contest: “Hispanics in the USA but without stereotypes”; and produced/directed the Bilingual World Premiere of the winner, Jaime Espinal’s comedy “No Problemo Amigo”, invited to the Manizales International Theater Festival and on tour in Colombia in 2012. Also in 2009, he designed the set & lighting of Carlos Solórzano’s “Los Fantoches” for the National Theater Company of Guatemala and in 2010 for the Keochang International Theater Festival in South Korea.
He directed and produced on the main altar of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Calderón de la Barca’s “El Purgatorio de San Patricio / The Purgatory of Saint Patrick” in 1981 in commemoration of the Third Centennial of his death; and “El Gran Teatro del Mundo / The Great Theater of the World” at the United Nations, and at the Corral de Comedias de Almagro, Spain, with great critical and public acclaim. He has produced, directed and designed theatrical and musical productions at the Cathedral of Saint John The Divine and at Saint Malachy’s Church on Broadway, and at some of the most important and prestigious theaters in New York such as the Roundabout Theatre, the Public Theatre, the Merkin Hall, and the Madison Square Garden; and has co-produced with the great Spanish Cultural Promoter Aquiles Garcia Tuero unique concerts and dance productions at the Metropolitan Opera, the Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
Mr. Gil Orrios was Artistic Director of the Teatro Real Español (Royal Theater of Spain) from 1980 to 1985, and Artistic Director of IATI (International Art Theatre Institute) from 1995 to 1999 in New York. Among his many successes at Thalia Spanish Theatre in New York since 2000 are his productions & directions of 17 World Premiere musicals with Maestro Raul Jaurena (considered by Astor Piazzolla one of the best Bandoneon players in the world): I Love TANGO/TE AMO TANGO, which was recorded live at Thalia and released on CD by Soundbrush Records, winning the 2007 LATIN GRAMMY for BEST TANGO ALBUM; TANGOmenaje: LA CUMPARSITA 100 years (ACE & HOLA Awards for Best Musical Production); afroTANGO (HOLA Award for Best Musical Production); TANGO 5 senses; TANGO + Tango; the Best of TANGO; youTANGO?; Puro TANGO; Borges & Piazzolla TANGO (ACE Award for Best Direction of a Musical); he TANGO & she MILONGA (ACE Award for Best Musical Production); The 4 TANGO Seasons; 2018 Tango & Flamenco Fusion [with Diego Amador] (ACE & HOLA Awards for Best Musical Production) and 2006 Tango & Flamenco Fusion [with Daniel Casares] (HOLA Award as Best Musical Production); TANGOmania; Life’s TANGO; All that TANGO (ACE Award for Best Musical Production).
Also other highlights are: in 2022 the Bilingual World Premiere of Eduardo Galán’s dramedy “Life Lessons/Lecciones de Vida” (HOLA Award, 3 ATI Awards, 3 LATA Awards, 7 NY Talia & Premio Talia Internacional); a bilingual world premiere and two bilingual American premieres written by the late Jaime Salom: La CALLAS & MEDEA, The Ladies of Avignon (2 HOLA Awards & 6 ACE Awards including Best Director and Best Production), and Almost a Goddess (4 ACE Awards & 4 HOLA Awards including Best Director and Best Production). The bilingual world premiere of Ramirez de Haro’s Secret Weapons of FAT Destruction/Tu arma secreta contra la CELULITIS rebelde (3 HOLA Awards); the bilingual World Premiere of Antonio Muñoz de Mesa’s “Abuse/Abuso” and the Bilingual American Premiere of Juan Carlos Rubio’s “Apartment for Sale (Tenant Included)/Se vende apartamento (con inquilino)”; the Bilingual World Premiere of the flamenco musical Amor Latino (HOLA Award for Best Musical Productions); DON JUAN through the Centuries (three 2009 ACE Awards including Best Classical Director). The U.S. premiere of Ramos Perea’s We Women Do It Better than Men; the bilingual American premiere of Jardiel Poncela’s Brake 4 Hearts (And Put In Reverse) (ACE Award for Best Director and two HOLA Awards); the bilingual world premiere of Lopez Mozo’s Picasso’s Guernica with music by Pablo Sorozabal and Teddy Bautista; and his bilingual adaptation of Calderon’s The Great Theatre of the World (4 HOLA Awards & 2 ACE Awards, including Best Production and Best Director).
He was born in Cariñena (Zaragoza, Spain), where in 2019 the City Council made him Town Crier of the Major Festivities of the Town and re-inaugurated the Olimpia Cinema-Theater in his honor, bearing his handprints at the entrance and a commemorative plaque. He has an M.F.A. in Directing with “Premio Extraordinario” from the School of Dramatic Arts in his native Zaragoza, Spain, where he founded the Carro de Tespis Theater Company directing his first productions, among them “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” by García Lorca, which won the National Second Prize for Social Theater. At only 18 years of age, he was hired as Assistant Director of José María Morera by the María Guerrero National Theater in Madrid in the productions of Shakespeare’s “Julio Cesar”, with which he made his debut at the prestigious Roman Theater in Mérida, and Francisco Nieva’s “Sombra y Quimera de Larra”, touring Spain at the head of the 30 actors and 20 technicians of the National Theater Company. In 1977 he directed for the Bardo Musical Actors Cooperative the musical comedy “Angelicamente vuestra” by Alberto Miralles with music by José María Guzmán and choreography by the prestigious American dancer/choreographer Gene Collins, which toured Spain. In 1977-79 he directed and designed the LA CHANA Flamenco Dance Company that went on tour in Spain, South America and Australia. In 1979 a grant from the U.S.-Spain Joint Committee for Cultural Affairs enabled him to research Broadway musicals in New York, where he remained ever since, becoming a U.S. Citizen in 2003.
He has written, produced & directed 17 audiovisual Tango music & dance productions, a documentary, and three short films, including A Poet in New York (Trip to the Moon) with the late Raúl Juliá, winning the 1993 Award of the XVIII San Francisco Poetry Film Festival. His screenplays include: KACIKE Enriquillo and The Race [with Kathy Barrett], ¡Yo No Fui! [with Luisito Martí], Pishtakos [with Ana Maria Estrada], Donde los perros se vuelven lobos (Where Dogs Become Wolves) [with Luis Argueta], Serra: The Man Who Never Turned Back, A Hunger Artist; the RTVE LA CHANA Special Creacion: Genesis Flamenco; the Sitcom Portero 24 Horas; and the bilingual TV mini-series God, Gold & Glory/Dios, Oro y Fama (U.S. Hispanic Roots/Raices Hispanas) [with Judith Escalona]. His poems and short stories have received various literary awards, including the Reyes Católicos Prize and the Ramón Pignatelli Prize in his native Zaragoza.
His theatre translations include: Garcia Lorca’s Once Five Years Pass & other dramatic works, and Valle-Inclán’s Wild Works (the trilogy: Angel Face, Sign of the Eagle, and Ballad of Wolves) [with William Bryant Logan]; Carlos Fuentes’ (In the Land of the Blind…) The One-Eyed Man is King, Calderon de la Barca’s The Great Theatre of the World, and Pablo Picasso’s El Deseo cogido por el rabo (Desire Caught by the Tail) [from the original in French].
From 1988 to 1992 he was Cultural Correspondent in New York for EL PAIS, the main newspaper of Spain. From 1993 to 1997 he was Advisor on Film, Television and Theatre in the United States for the Spanish Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SGAE) and for the Ministry of Culture of Spain until 2000, organizing, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes, Spanish Film Series with the Lincoln Center in New York and with the American Cinematheque in Hollywood.
Mr. Gil Orrios has imparted Master Classes, lectured and taught at several universities, cultural centers and theatres in the United States, Spain and Latin America including Harvard University, New York University, Columbia University, City University of New York, Instituto Cervantes in NY, the Menendez Pelayo International University in Santander, University of Zaragoza, National University of Manizales, EAFIT and Colombo-American Center in Medellin, UNITEC in Bogota, and The National Theatre of Guatemala.
He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers (SDC), The Dramatists Guild (DG), the Spanish Society of Authors, Composers & Publishers (SGAE) and the Academy of Performing Arts of Spain (AAEE).
Soledad Lopez | Managing Director
SOLEDAD LOPEZ (Managing Director) is an award-winning bilingual actress born in Avila, Spain where she began appearing in the theatre at an early age. Since 2000, she is the Managing Director at Thalia and directs the Bilingual Theatre for Children & Youth Workshops.
In New York, she has performed in numerous theatre productions, among them: La Visionaria (Public Theater), El Purgatorio de San Patricio (St. Patrick’s Cathedral), The Misunderstanding (LATE), The Audience & Play Without A Title (Haworth Shakespeare Festival). In 1989, she performed with critical acclaim the monologue Verde doncella asalta un cine. In 1984 she received the Best Actress Award at the Golden Age Theatre Festival of El Paso, Texas, for Don Juan Through the Centuries. She received ACE Best Actress Awards for Palomas Intrépidas in 1996, for her monologue Las Prostitutas os precederán en el Reino de los Cielos in 1994, and for Entre Mujeres in 1995 (also winner of an HOLA Award in 2000) at Thalia, where she also appeared in 2010 in the world premiere of Borges & Piazzolla Tango, and in 2008 in Don Juan Through the Centuries, winning the ACE & HOLA Best Featured Actress Award.
In 2019 she starred in the New York Premiere of the LGBT drama La Golondrina; in 2013 in the bilingual world premiere of Ramirez de Haro’s secret weapons of FAT destruction for which she received the ACE Award for Best Actress; in 2012 in the bilingual world premiere of Jaime Salom’s La CALLAS & MEDEA (ATI Award for Best Actress); in 2007 in the American premiere of Salom’s The Ladies of Avignon (ACE and HOLA Awards as Best Actress); in 2004 in the American premiere of Salom’s Almost a Goddess (ACE and HOLA Awards as Best Actress); and in the world premiere of Ed Lopez’s Fireflies/Luciérnagas (HOLA Award for Best Ensemble Cast). In 2003, 2007, 2014 and 2017 she starred in the American premiere of Ramos Perea’s We Women Do It Better Than Men which won her the ACE and HOLA Awards as Best Actress; in 2002 in the American premiere of Carlos Fuentes’ The One-Eyed Man Is King, in 2001 in Jardiel Poncela’s Brake Four Hearts (And Put in Reverse), and in 2000 in Picasso’s Guernica, and in Calderon’s The Great Theatre of the World, for which she received the HOLA Award as Best Actress.
In film, she starred in Francisco Lupini’s Sufrir como dedos que no sangran, El Nido Vacio and Blackout, which were showed at several International Festivals winning several Awards, and in Tony Wakefield’s Exilios, a USA Network production which won the Best Short Film Award at Mexico’s International Film Festival. She also starred in the hit comedy Webseries ¡Madre Mía!
In 2005 she was awarded the VERMEIL MEDAL of The French Academie des Arts-Sciences-Lettres in Paris.
Fabricio Saquicela | Technical Director
Fabricio Saquicela (Technical Director) was born in Cuenca, Ecuador. He completed his studies in the University of Azuay, earning a degree in Electronic Engineering. Since 2000 he has developed his skills as a computer technician, implementing and maintaining databases computer equipment and networks, while completing various courses specializing in programming and development of robotic computers, and theatre lighting design.
Since 2008 he has been Thalia Spanish Theatre’s Technical Director, where he applies his skills in managing the computerized lighting board and projections system for its theatrical and musical productions. He won the ACE Award for Best Lighting Designer in 2013 and received the NY Talia Award for Best Technical Director in 2023.