RICARDO GAMBOA (Conceiver, Hood Host) is an artist, activist and academic working in his native Chicago and New York City. In Chicago, he is a company member of Barrel of Monkeys, Southside Ignoramus Quartet and Free Street Theater. He is the founding Artistic Director of Teatro Americano and founding adult partner of the controversial youth ensemble The Young Fugitives. In New York, he was a fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics EmergeNYC program, company member of the New York Neo-Futurists, and has performed at a range of institutional and underground venues. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana; received his Master’s in Arts Politics from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in American Studies at NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. His short film “The Southside Has Many Beauty Queens” was winner of the Best Short at Chicago Latino Film Festival and his feature debut “Maydays” received standing-only crowds and critical praise from the festival. Gamboa is the winner of several awards, fellowships and grants including a Joyce Award, NEA Artworks Award, MacArthur Foundation International Connections Award and Latino ImPACT Playwrights Award. He is a Playwright-in-Residence at Chicago Dramatists. This year, he was a finalist for Sundance Film Festival Latino Film Fellowship and Latino Screen Writing Project. He is a Critical Collaborations Fellow at NYU’s Global Network University (2016-2018). He has worked with over 5,000 young people in the United States and Latin America.
STEVEN BEAUDION (Hood Ride-or-Die) received his Conservatory Degree from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. He is an actor and teaching artist for the National Museum of Mexican Art’s Yollocalli ArtsReach, and is currently teaching theater at Foreman High School. Steven has held teaching residencies at Free Street Theater, where he directed the youth ensemble play Crazy. He is a company member at Barrel of Monkeys Theater Company and performs in their weekly review That’s Weird Grandma, and is a member of the Southside Ignoramus Quartet. Other credits include Ricardo Gamboa’s Real Life Adventures of Jimmy De La Rosas and Chicago Fire.
LILY BE (Hood Ride-or-Die) has been telling stories since May 2010. She got into storytelling and performing completely by accident and stayed on purpose. Born and raised Chicagoan and HBIC, Lily Be thanks storytelling for saving and changing her life. Catch her spittin’ her realness at The Stoop, the show she created and hosts with her bff Clarence every month at Rosa’s Lounge. She’s an artist in residence at Free Street Theater and teaches storytelling at Second City and very soon at Northeastern to teach her magic there. This Woman is voodoo and magic and proof that there is no bad from which good cannot come.
CHRIS “PIPCRAZ” LARA (Resident Deejay) was born and raised in Chicago where House Music was in every neighborhood. Growing up in the Pilsen neighborhood, Pipcraz had the latest Bad Boy Bill, DJ Funk, Julian Jumpin’ Perez, DJ Payback Garcia amongst other DJ mix tapes. Those mix tapes enclosed the music developed by the pioneers of Chicago House Music such as Farley Jackmaster Funk, Frankie Knuckles, Cajmere, Mr. Fingers, CZR, Chip E., Paul Johnson, and many more. Pipcraz took the hobby of learning to DJ from scratch. The indirect mentorship from DJ Lego, Boolumaster, DJ Gantman, and everyone in the House community, Pipcraz learned the art of keeping the crowd in the groove. Pipcraz’s music went from a private hobby to a musical experience to share with all House-heads.
LUIS ANTONIO PEREZ (Producer) records and edits of the Hoodoisie podcast. He is a freelance multimedia producer born and raised in Chicago. He is formerly of Vocalo Radio 91.1 FM at Chicago Public Media where he served as host-producer of daily news talk programing from 2007-2015 and as an instructor of the Vocalo Storytelling Workshop. He is a board director of the Association of Independents in Radio and is currently a graduate student at Northwestern University. You can find him on social media @northsidelou.
TARA BRANHAM (Producer) is a Chicago based freelance theatre and opera director, producer, casting director, and extreme voice teacher. Recent credits include: octagon by Kristiana Rae Colón at Jackalope Theatre, good friday by Kristiana Rae Colón at Oracle Productions and BARS and MEASURES by Idris Goodwin at Prop Thtr. Tara is a recipient of the Puffin Foundation Ltd. grant. For more info check out www.tarabranham.com.