CATCO Presents Luchadora!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2022
Contact: Sarah Mills Bacha
The magical worlds of China and Mexico merge in this modern retelling
of a classic legend set in the world of Lucha Libre – Mexican wrestling
CATCO will present Alvaro Saar Rios’ Luchadora!, a heart-warming, magical story set in the
world of Lucha Libre – Mexican wrestling – that parallels the Chinese legend Hua Mulan, Feb.
Luchadora!, which will be presented at the Van Fleet Theatre, Columbus Performing Arts
Center, 549 Franklin Ave., breaks down gender boundaries, explores the importance of heritage
and family bonds, and emphasizes why we should strive to be true to ourselves.
“Can Mascara Rosa defeat the great El Hijo? And who is behind that pink mask? You’ll have to
see the show to find out! This empowering story offers drama, surprise, and plenty of heart,” said
Chris Leyva, director. “I can’t wait for Columbus audiences to witness this vibrant and powerful
celebration of family and heritage that uses the flashy and riveting backdrop of Mexican masked
DC Metro Theater Arts called Luchadora! “an inspiring tale that teaches children to work hard
for their dreams,” praising the play for “flying in the face of gender norms and stereotypes.” Says
GMToday.com: “An absolute gem. ... A beautiful story with an upbeat message for young
people and their parents."
Luchadora! is recommended for ages 7 and up. Tickets are $25 for adults; $15 for children up to
age 12. To purchase tickets online and learn more about the show, please visit
The cast of Luchadora! contains both adult actors and young performers. Adult cast members
• Sara Pardo Fishburn, (Nana Lupita)
• Elena Foulis, (Mask Maker)
• Cory Velazco, (Father)
• Byron Reyna-Corzo, (El Hijo/Blue Luchador)
• Tom Murdock, (Ring Announcer/Green Luchador)
Youth performers appearing in the production are:
• Alexis Foulis, (Vanessa)
• Neo Gallegos-Samuels, (Lupita)
• Vincent Maneri, (Leopold)
• Keegan Hardin, (Liesl)
• Kennedy Spitzer, (Hannah)
• Oliver Jap, (Newspaper Kid 1/Ensemble)
• Jude McGonigle, (Newspaper Kid 2/Ensemble)
• Victoria Ramirez, (Newspaper Kid 3/Ensemble)
Director Chris Leyva is a playwright and director based in Columbus. Previously he directed A
Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail and co-directed Sunshine at CATCO. His previous plays have
been commissioned and developed by CATCO, CLIMB Theatre, MadLab Theatre, Alliance
Theatre, Curtain Players New Play Initiative, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and the
Columbus School for Girls, among others. His plays, The Throne of Oz and Cowgirls Don’t Ride
Zebras, both premiered at CATCO is Kids. He received an M.F.A. from the Playwrights
Workshop at The University of Iowa, a B.A. in Directing from Coe College, and is a member of
the Dramatists Guild. His work can be found at http://www.chrisleyva.com.
Other members of the creative team are: Sara Pardo Fishburn, music director; Kaitlyn Pfeifer,
rehearsal stage manager; Hannah Pohlman, rehearsal ASM/performance stage manager; Arnold
Bueso, set and lighting designer; Mary Yaw McMullen, costume designer; Ben Sostrom, props
designer; Donnie Hoover, wrestling choreographer; Shawn "Onyx,” wrestling choreographer;
Rowan Winterwood, co-master electrician; Brendan Michna, co-master electrician; Tony
Koehler, production manager, Isaac Steinhour, technical director; Tabitha Abney, costume
coordinator; and Braden Graves, assistant set designer.
CATCO is Kids’ production of Luchadora! will premiere Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.
Performances throughout the run are Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays
at 2 p.m.
Students may purchase $20 tickets two hours before any performance at the Riffe Center box
office, 77 S. High St., Fourth Floor. One ticket per valid student ID can be purchased based upon
As part of CATCO’s commitment to ensure that theatre is accessible to every member of the
central Ohio community, the theatre offers a Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) ticket option for the
first performance of every production at both mainstage and theatre for young audience
productions. For Luchadora! the first performance is Thursday, Feb. 17., 7 p.m.
PWYC tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 614.469.0939 or visiting the CBUSArts
Ticket Center at 39 E. State St. Downtown. The ticket center is open Monday through Friday, 10
a.m. to 3 p.m., and the telephone center receives calls Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Same-day tickets are available two hours before the show in-person at the Riffe Center box
office, 77 S. High St., Fourth Floor.
For the safety of our staff, actors and audience, CATCO will require proof of COVID-19
vaccinations or proof of a negative PCR test within 72-hours of attending a production for all
patrons 12 years of age and older. We will additionally require mask-wearing indoors at our
theater for all audience members and staff until further notice.
Remaining shows in CATCO’s 2021-22 season include Head Over Heels, March 17-April 3,
2022, and Prima Donna, April 29-May 15, 2022.
Presenting sponsor for Luchadora is The Painting Company.
CATCO’s 37th season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio
Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), a state agency that funds and supports quality arts
experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. They
also are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
CATCO also appreciates the support of the William C. & Naoma W. Denison Fund of The
Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the
benefit of all of its citizens, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists
and arts organizations since 1973. Other supporters include The Shubert Foundation Inc. and
Nationwide Insurance Foundation.
CATCO is central Ohio’s professional Equity theatre company, providing quality theatre and
educational programs for all ages with CATCO is Kids, CATCO’s imaginative, captivating
theatre program for central Ohio’s young theatre lovers and their families. Together, the theatres
have adopted an innovative strategy, building creative alliances that can sustain growth and
CATCO Mission Statement
Theatre is a shared experience that illuminates the mysteries of our humanity. Its magic has the
power to transform us whether on stage, in the classroom or in our diverse communities.
CATCO creates theatre that delights, challenges, and transports. For more information, visit