top of page

PRESS RELEASE: La Madre Amable (a pesar de ella misma)/ The Kind Mother (in spite of herself)

Updated: Feb 25


Contact: Renee Browne /

Angel Rose Artist Collective

presents a staged reading of

LA MADRE AMABLE (A PESAR DE ELLA MISMA) English Translation: The Kind Mother (in spite of herself)

By Petrona Xemi Tapepechul

Co-Directed by Veronica Gomez Giraldo and Elle Sullivan Dramaturgy by Elle Sullivan

Washington, DC - Unceded Piscataway Land -

Angel Rose Artist Collective continues its 2023-2024 season with their Second Stage Production, a staged reading of La Madre Amable (a pesar de ella misma) by Petrona Xemi Tapepechul, Co-Directed by Veronica Gomez Giraldo, and Elle Sullivan (who also acts as Dramaturg). This staged reading will be presented in American Sign Language, Spanish, and English, on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at Rhizome DC, 6950 Maple St NW, Washington, DC 20012. This staged reading is being produced as a benefit event for Black & Indigenous Transgender Safehaus (BITS), and presented in celebration of International Commedia dell'Arte Day 2024. Rhizome DC is a nonprofit community arts space in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington DC, dedicated to promoting creativity as a force for personal empowerment and community engagement. They also strive to provide a home for non-mainstream programming in the DC area. Rhizome DC is currently located at 6950 Maple St. NW, a few blocks from the Takoma Metro station (Red line). There is a ramp leading up to the backdoor. The only bathroom is upstairs. Please feel free to email [] with specific questions / to let Rhizome know how they can help accommodate your needs.

La Madre Amable (a pesar de ella misma) is a commedia dell'arte teatro-novela about La Señora Magdalena, the wealthiest Trans Woman in all the New World, and the House Mother of Casa Magda. La Señora is Deaf and reads lips. She communicates through ASL and a voice interpreter. She forbids the Spanish language be spoken in her home and requires all house servants and clients to speak in English or ASL, including her monolingual House Daughter, Flor, whom La Señora intends to marry off. This story is a commentary around language-access, Trans justice, and queer joy.

“In 2020, we had a staged reading of The Kind Mother (in spite of herself) for International Commedia dell'Arte Day,  because we wanted to produce a comedy that centers Transgender Women of Color, specifically Native American and Black Transgender Women.” Managing Artistic Director & Playwright Petrona Xemi Tapepechul says, “This play is by far our largest we have done, with a cast of 7 characters, 3 languages, 2 interpreter teams, and bilingual captions; and so we wanted to continue developing this story. Our production of La Madre Amable (a pesar de ella misma) aims to remind audiences that Trans people deserve joy, access, acceptance, and respect; by creating a space where this conversation can happen through physical comedy and the power of multilingual theatre.” This play, inspired by classical commedia dell'arte scenario, celebrating International Commedia dell'Arte Day, is made possible with financial support from 360Healthx, Cascadia Deaf Nation, and Trans Justice Funding Project, and language interpretation & captioning services provided by TransTerps DC and Independent Professional Interpreters.

Stage Reading presentation will be on Sunday, February 25 at 5:00 PM.


Petrona Xemi Tapepechul from the Nawat people of Guxgatan, the land known internationally as El Salvador, is se Siwayul- a heart of a Womxn. She is the Managing Artistic Director of Angel Rose Artist Collective. She is the author of Metzali: Siwayul Shitajkwilu and My Woman Card is anti-Native & other Two-Spirit Truths. Xemi has written various plays, including: The Cosmic Twins, Timumachtikan Nawat/Aprendamos Nawat/Let’s Learn Nawat, Kanshul (Act of Faith), Protect & Preserve, Yek Tunal Kuskatan, Illegal NDN, Yultaketzalis, and Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn). Her work has been featured across various theatre companies, universities, community groups, and the internet. She can be found on Facebook and Instagram at XemiNeSiwayul, and can be found on Patreon at


La Madre Amable (a pesar de ella misma) is co-directed by Veronica Gomez Giraldo (she/her) and Elle Marie Sullivan (she/her), who also acts as Dramaturg.

Veronica Gomez Giraldo is a dynamic theater director and community leader originally based in Cali, Colombia, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Dramatic Art from Universidad del Valle. Veronica has dedicated her career to using theater as a tool for social change and community engagement. Her diverse experience includes roles as a teacher, producer, actress, and director, showcasing her multifaceted talents and unwavering commitment to her craft. At MasterPeace Cali and the University of el Valle, Veronica mentored aspiring artists and championed initiatives promoting peace and reconciliation. Past Projects include: "Project Kwai," "Su-Frida," "Derechos en la cuadra: Monólogos de vida," "Adultas Asintomáticas," and "Mulatos Rec." Veronica Gomez Giraldo's tireless dedication to using theater as a catalyst for social transformation continues to make a profound impact, to push boundaries, and to inspire change. Elle Marie Sullivan is a theatre artist based in Washington, DC. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando with her degree in Theatre Studies with a minor in Music and certificate in Women's Studies. There she developed a love for devising and developing new pieces of theatre. She has also studied with Stella Adler Studio of Acting, International Performance Arts Institute, and Heartland Intimacy Design and Training. She has directed for George Mason University, Round House Theatre Young Artist Performance Company, Westland Middle School, Cabin John Middle School, Westbrook Elementary School, Artstream and Voices Unbarred. Currently she teaches with Round House Theatre, Artstream and Arts on the Horizon. She is a Shakespeare in Schools company member with Educational Theatre Company, on the leadership team with Voices Unbarred and is also a registered yoga teacher. Amanda Rodriguez (she/her) is Stage Manager, Andrew Robertson (he/him) is Production Photographer, and ARAC PR & Marketing Manager, Renee Browne is House Manager.

(Top: Browne, Gomez Giraldo, Robertson; Bottom: Rodriguez, Sullivan)

The staged reading stars Asteria Summers (she/her) as La Señora Magdalena, and features Petrona Xemi Tapepechul (she/her) as La Señora Magdalena's Voice Interpreter, Bri Houtman (they/she) as Mari, Sofia Ramos (she/her) as Flor, Alexa Rodriguez (she/her) as Conchita, Yahaira Guzmán Medina (she/her) as La Curandera Paz, Wilmer Xuarez (he/him) as El Anciano Roberto, and Michael Basillas (they/them) reading Stage Directions.

(Top: Basillas, Guzmán Medina, Houtman; Middle: Ramos, Rodriguez, Summers; Bottom: Tapepechul, Xuarez)

Veronica Gomez Giraldo, Yahira Guzmán Medina, Bri Houtman, Sofia Ramos, Andrew Robertson, Amanda Rodriguez, Elle Sullivan, and Wilmer Xuarez make their Angel Rose Artist Collective debut.


Regular tickets are $25. Sliding scale tickets are betwen $5-$25. Black & Indigenous Transgender People of Color. To purchase tickets, visit Rhizome DC's withfriends ticketing page, and visit for more information. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Benefitting:

Financially supported by:

Language Interpreting & Captioning Services by:

In Celebration of:

106 views0 comments


bottom of page