An appreciation message
As a lifelong educator, I have always believed that there is incredible power in helping students find their place in this world and find their voice amidst all the noise of life. That is exactly what Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club did with the phenomenal hit show, True Colors. The show was a huge success with standing-room only, sold-out performances, rave reviews, and an audience that loved the show. With incredible acting, signing, and dancing, the cast delivered amazing performances, and with an innovative production design, the crew set the stage for a one-of-a-kind production. So, it comes as no surprise that, as with many previous productions from the school’s Theatre Club, everyone laughed, everyone cried, and everyone was inspired. It was truly a fitting way to celebrate diversity, promote equity, and ensure inclusion for everyone in our community.
Given the show’s huge success, I felt it would be important to thank and recognize the many people and organizations that contributed, in one way or another, to the production.
First, as we always do at Mount Carmel School, we thank Almighty God for gracing us all with the spirit to have told this important story. We also thank Bishop Ryan Jimenez, +Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho, Mount Carmel School’s board of directors, Mount Carmel School administrators, faculty, and staff, AlumKnights and the Mount Carmel School family, and audience members for supporting our Theatre Club and the show. In a special way, we also thank the parents of cast and crew members for their untiring support and for lending us their talented children.
Second, a number of businesses, organizations, and individuals contributed to specific aspects of the show. We thank Eileen Babauta, the director for the CNMI’s University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and disability self-advocates from the CNMI’s Consumer Advisory Committee, who worked with our students to help them learn more about creating a more inclusive and accessible atmosphere for everyone. We also thank Ann Zapata, Dominic Travilla, and everyone at Pacific Islands Club who ensured that the venue was accommodating for our show. Rico Pabalan and his team Soundhire, as always, made sure the singing and music sounded perfect. The following individuals and companies also contributed to key elements of the show: Audreyann Flores-Albuen, Sofia’s Dress Shop, Shawn Camacho and Tropical Instant Press, Rob Travilla and TRIBE MARIANAS, Ed Calvo and Island Apparel, and Northern Marianas College. The following media outlets also helped with news coverage of the show: Gary Sword, Rosemond Santos Sword, Gordon Marciano, and KKMP, Sally Limes and KSPN2 News, Zaldy Dandan, Hazel Nichole Sadian, and Marianas Variety, Jayvee Vallejera and Saipan Tribune, and Rommel Buenaflor and the North Star. We also thank the CNMI Department of Community & Cultural Affairs, the Commonwealth Council for Arts & Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their support.
Third, in a special way, I want to thank my co-advisers, my former students, and Theatre Club AlumKnights Victoria Deleon Guerrero and Zeno Deleon Guerrero. With nicknames like “V,” “Z,” and “G,” students call us the Single-Letter Mentors. I, myself, prefer to think of us as the club’s Lion Warriors who fight tooth and nail to help and support our phenomenal students. Victoria and Zeno have done so much to elevate the professional quality of our work and bring the Theatre Club to another level. Thank you “V” and “Z” for coming back home to give back to our precious club.
Fourth, last, but definitely not the least, we thank our amazing cast and crew members for shining on and off stage as true dramatic professionals. While the list of the cast and crew members is long, it is worth recognizing every single person for the talent, creativity, and passion that they invested into the show.
Director: Kyla Monique B. Cabrera
Vocal director: Amber Mendiola Romolor
Choreographers: Donnie James Jr. Calma Militante, Seungeun Ha, and Jill Anne Mallari
Stage manager: Chealzka Navarro
Assistant stage manager: Jessiana Borja Tenorio
Floor manager: Nicole Erin Pineda Mariano
Set designer: Claire Regina Kautz
Assistant set designer: Laizza Mallari
Costume designer: Jazmyn Phoeme Del Rosario Lopez
Assistant costume designer: Raeka Shereen A. Lantin
Props master: Ashley Jo Sablan
Assistant props master: Elisa Blanco
Tech master: Leyonne Tolentino
Set crew: Juno Dela Cruz, Quimari Liwerscheng Duenas, Mauri Ann Riney Fenis, and Aryana Taimanao
Costumes crew: Francine Monique F. Albuen, Gerald John Inos Deleon Guerrero Jr., Nyla Jordan N. Deleon Guerrero, Ayanna Faith Matsumoto, and Leunyce B. Regalado
Props crew: Jasyleen Arriola, Lwinalynn Delacruz Atalig. Krissy Cepeda, Kayla Rose Larson, Remiegem Melchor, Layla Palacios, Jadine Pangelinan, Maria Yoshie Torres, and Jhazmyn Nhicole C. Valiente
Make up/hair: Jada Chang, Chelsy Anne Palacios Reyes, Aubriana Sablan, and Malina Rose Bermudes Tenorio
Floor crew: Jose John Iglesias Mafnas, Devin Propst, Jared Terlaje, and Arturo Travilla
Tech crew: Oscar Bien R. Buenaflor, Xinwen Jin, Mingi Jung, and Quince Emanuele Olanda Tizon
Business manager: Jennifer Mallari
Ushers: Quimari Liwerscheng Duenas, Mauri Ann Riney Fenis, Nevaeh Taisacan, and Mia Yobei
Iris: Bernice Shane Sabino
Luke: Eunkyu “Joey” Hong
The Thespie Besties
Ally: Kinamarie M. Dela Cruz
Kyle: Brent Matthew Estacio Ortizo
Kim: Jill Anne Mallari
Kin: Manuel Jacinto M. Pangelinan
Regina: Brissa Concepcion Hunter
Karen: Kayannie Ilifighár Borja Peter
Kara: Moeisha Eleanor F. Cruz
Karol: Maili Ilareyo’l Borja Peter
Wayne Dominic Año
Carly Kate Dela Cruz
Heleyna C. Dela Santa
Carlo Crisdeo H. Diaz
Patricia Denielle Guillo
Ayanna Faith Matsumoto
Donnie James Jr. Calma Militante
Therese Joy O. Ogo
Tricia Juni Palacios
Mathew Adrian A. Sablan
Gavril Myles Santiago
Peige Morgan N. Tomokane
Every single one of these cast and crew members did their part to bring the beauty of True Colors to the stage and to our community. They are all to be commended for giving their heart and soul to the show.
Above all, I appreciate Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club. This club endured throughout the pandemic, never once missing a beat by presenting four new productions during that time: We Drank Our Tears: The Stories of Visitacion, Henry, and Dave in February 2021, William Shakespeare’s As You Like It in May 2021, Zero2Hero in May 2021, and The Sound of Music in January 2022, all to sold-out audiences. They were able to do this because the club is more than just a club: it’s a family, one that is near and dear to my heart and the hearts of everyone in our family. Indeed, this is where my true colors can shine, alongside the beautiful spectrum of colors of other storytellers, which is simply “beautiful…like a rainbow.”
Northern Marianas College president Galvin Deleon Guerrero, Ed.D. is the Mount Carmel School Theatre Club adviser and is the writer and producer of the club’s latest production, True Colors.