Pay What You Can Tickets Available for our 2022-2023 Rise Youth Performance!

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Carlos Cruz (he/they)

Carlos is a Cleveland-born, San Lorenzo, Puerto Rican-raised actor and teaching artist who has collaborated to develop and perform educational theatre works all over NEO and Puerto Rico. They have performed with Near West Theatre, The Beck Center, Karamu House, Cleveland Playhouse, and many other organizations. Carlos has taught theatre making to folks ages 5 and up in an array of disciplines including improv, writing, monologues, scene work, movement, and voice however, their focus is musical theatre techniques. Carlos has a deep belief that the tools for making theatre should be accessible to everyone. It has been a joy spreading their love for the creative process by working with both like and differing-minded artists. Carlos learns just as much from their students as they hope their students learn from them. 


Connor Karboski (he/him)

As a Cleveland local and 2021 Cleveland State University theatre graduate, Connor is so excited to continue making theatre in this amazing city. He has been a member of the Near West Community since 2017 and is feeling so blessed to have this opportunity to share his passion for theatre as a teaching artist with the RISE! program. When not at the theatre, Connor can be found serving the community as a barista, writing, reading, star gazing, or hanging out with his two cats.


Amani Green (she/her)

Amani is the lead teaching artist for our Rise! Program. She grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and spent seven years in California before moving to Cleveland in 2016. She has been involved in several casts and production teams of shows at Near West Theatre since 2017. Part of why she loves Near West Theatre is its commitment to its youth participants. She previously worked in higher education prior to her new role as Program Manager at Near West Theatre. She is very excited to work with the students in this program!


Alexis Maxine (they/them)

Alexis is a graduate of Notre Dame College with a BA in Theatre Entrepreneurship. Alexis has been very busy this season from THE COLOR PURPLE (Nettie), SPONGEBOB THE MUSICAL (Sandy), to RENT (Joanne), and an educational tour with Cleveland Playhouse called TEDDY BEAR MOUNTAIN (The Women)Alexis Maxine is currently working at Beck Center For The Arts in ELF as Deb the assistant to the head! Alexis Maxine prides herself on pouring back into others through sharing the gift of theatre. She is excited to be joining individuals who strive for the same. They have worked with Mercury Theater Company, Cleveland Public Theater, and Playhouse Square; and they are humbled to be returning HOME to Near West where their theatre journey reactivated itself.

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