In The Heights

Creative Team

Catherine Scott Burriss Director

Catherine Scott Burriss, Associate Professor of Performing Arts at CSU Channel Islands, has been teaching, studying, and creating theater and performance for most of her life at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, UC Santa Cruz, the Montréal Fringe Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Thick Description (San Francisco), New Langton Arts (San Francisco), UC Berkeley, CSU Channel Islands, Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica), Working Artists Ventura, and Namba Arts (Ventura). She has pursued her adventures in performance and pedagogy at Cal State Channel Islands since the Performing Arts Program’s inception in 2006. Her research areas include gender and sexuality in early modern English and Italian theater and contemporary performance. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies, with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, from UC Berkeley.

Cassie Nichols-Gonzalez Music Director

Cassie is thrilled to be music directing In The Heights, her first production with CSUCI.  An LA native, Cassie has become a sought-after accompanist, musical director, performer, teacher, and coach, winning such accolades as Most Outstanding Graduate from the Thornton School at USC after completing her Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance, and being Ovation-nominated for her musical direction of Memphis at Cabrillo Music Theatre. Her performances have taken her to New York and London and range from solo classical recitals to rock concerts to conducting pit orchestras for musical theatre. She has also been the accompanist for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles since 2015 and continues to love every minute of her versatile musical career! Credits: Musical Director: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Five Star Theatricals); Evita (Cabrillo); Children of Eden (Cabrillo); Damn Yankees (Cabrillo), In the Heights (Candlelight Pavilion); Company (Cabrillo); Memphis (Cabrillo); Assistant Musical Director: The Little Mermaid (Cabrillo); In the Heights (Cabrillo), Next to Normal (La Mirada).

Heather Castillo Choreographer

Heather Castillo, Assistant Professor of Performing Arts at CSU Channel Islands. She was most recently awarded the President’s Awards for Teaching Innovation at CI. Heather has received critical acclaim from the LA Times, Backstage and in 2009 received the Best Choreography award from for the SoCal region.  She has choreographed for Cabrillo Music Theatre, Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities, Musical Theatre Guild and International City Theatre. She has performed for Disney, Saban, and even recently danced on the AMA’s with Selena Gomez. Heather is  building an oral history database and archive  which focuses on documenting prominent people in the commercial field of dance. She holds and MFA in dance and choreography from UC Irvine.

Layla Perez Stage Manager

In the Heights marks Layla’s twelfth production at CI, and she couldn’t be happier to be back in the Malibu theatre, her home away from home. She is immensely proud to be involved in this show, and gives giant thanks to her family for all their support.

Laura Covault Vocal Coach

Laura Covault is thrilled to have worked with this amazing cast, crew, and creative team. Laura is a theatre lecturer at CI, director, and runs a private voice and piano studio in Ventura. Laura is also founding her own theatre company, Unity Theatre Collective with her colleague Layla Perez. Break a leg, everyone!!!

Carlo Maghirang Set Designer

Carlo is a scenic and production designer based in Los Angeles, working internationally in multiple fields from theatre, film, live events, and installation art. Previous credits include the French national tour of ‘Fore!’ by Aleshea Harris, and directed by Arnaud Meunier (St. Etienne, Paris, Nice, FR. Brussels, BE). West Coast premiere of Erin Courtney’s ‘A Map of Virtue’ (Atwater Village Theatre), Rosanna Gamson’s ‘Still/Restless’ (REDCAT), and ‘The Enormous Wound’ with Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (Boston Court Theatre). Production design credits include ‘WINGS’ by The Black Eyes Peas, and Kristianne Bautista’s (formerly of Kan Wakan) upcoming EP ‘Woman.’ He is also often in collaboration with event design companies, such as GES Events, Entertainment Design Corporation, and Vizier Productions.
Website: Instagram: @chromatose

Alex Freer Lighting Designer

Alexander Le Vaillant Freer (Lighting Designer) A Los Angeles based lighting designer, Alexander’s work tends to be multi-faceted and includes traditional theater, immersive and installation-based work, and architectural. He holds an MFA in Lighting Design from California Institute of the Arts. Previous design credits include: Miracle on 34th Street (Pasadena Playhouse), The Two Kids that Blow Shit Up (Lounge Theater, LA), Plunge, Elizabeth Hammond-A Eulogy, Archipelago (Son of Semele, LA), Fantômas-Revenge of the Image (Whuzen, China), Francesca Francesca (Edinburgh, Scotland), Ocean of Milk (Prague, CR), of Light (Reykjavik, Iceland), Titanic-A Devised Piece (Moscow, Russia)

Brian Gilmartin Technical Director

Denise Blasor Costume Designer

Denise Blasor is a Puerto Rican director, actress, artist and designer who moved to Chicago to be part of Steven Schacter, William H. Macy and David Mamet’s St. Nicholas Resident Theater Company. She later was Artistic Director of the multi-cultural theatre alliance LADiversified Theater Company where she served as executive producer, director, designer, adapter and performer. She was a founding member of Latin Actors and a Few Others, KOAN and ELAC Theater, and is now Associate Artistic Director of Bilingual Foundation of the Arts.
Plays designed include LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, MACBETHX5, A Taste of Honey, Tempest Redux, Life Is A Dream, Pedro Infante y La Viuda Triunfante, The Greeks, La Posada Magica, Princess Of Burgundia, Faust, Wild in Wichita, Good Woman Of Setzuan, Cumbia De Mi Corazon, The Wide Wide Sea, No Exit.
She’s appeared extensively on stage as an actress, recently in THE MADRES at Skylight Theatre and in Chicago at the Victory Theatre and has directed in Los Angeles for over twenty years. Some of her favorites include THE GHOSTS OF LOTTE BRAVO, HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, THE THREE SISTERS, WILD IN WICHITA, THE BLADE OF JEALOUSY, BLOOD WEDDING, THE LOST CHILD, MARISOL and ANNA IN THE TROPICS.
Recently she directed/choreographed the Multi Media piece TORMENTA OMNIS at the Craft & Folk Art Museum in collaboration with artist GRONK and the Passion Play CRISTO VIVE at the historic Million Dollar theatre & at the Orpheum Theatre. TV & Films include SNOWFALL, COCO, A PLACE AMONG THE DEAD directed by Juliet Landau, NORIEGA; GOD’S FAVORITE with Bob Hoskins, DEATH IN GRANADA with Andy Garcia. She’s a recording Voice artist and her film, Dentro De La Casa De Bernarda Alba, was nominated by the Imagen Award Foundation in 2015 as Best Short.