Heaven or Hell Cast (all shows)
Coming from diverse backgrounds in the arts, the cast of Heaven or Hell have performed in many theater venues, here and nationally. Singers, dancers, actors, poets and musicians will delight you whether in Heaven or Hell 1, a hilarious, honest musical comedy about real characters and hooligans who walked our streets, today and in yesteryear or In 2019's more serious Journey of Memorie, again about real San Diego characters and four ghosts.
In rehearsal for Heaven or Hell 2: Journey of Memorie. Cast: Athena, Charlene Penner, Minaqua McPherson, Vixen and Efren Limbag (not shown: Ari Lecadieux, Jennifer Klat and Alanna Deleon) Photo by Barbara McGehee
World-renowned dancer, choreographer, director and teacher/Body Ritual Movement Diego Pinon has consulted with Golden Corpse since the company first presented in the SD International Fringe Festival in 2012. Currently he is performing with the GC company as the Mute Child in Heaven or Hell 4: Bones Abide. Diego has been teaching and performing internationally since 1996, integrating his artistic approach with the sense of ritual of different cultures. Diego has established a training program both at his school in Tlalpujahua and San Diego. This vision for the stage is to use public offerings to go beyond personal limits, beyond the ego, and without pretension, to renew the highest purpose of the sacred language of dance. Through the universal symbol of the beauty of the inner-self, many of us could assume the subtle inspiration to develop our own path, and to create conditions to let our spiritual selves dance without attachments to models, patterns, stereotypes or particular methods. We now have the chance to explore our darkness, ugliness, and craziness as well as their dualities of the light, the beauty and the joyful sides, all through a high level of consciousness. (Diego Pinon 2021)
Efren Limbag just embarked on his creative endeavors over the last several years. Most of his life his focus was on non-artistic and non-creative goals, which led him into the legal profession. The last five years, Efren has undergone an “awakening” process, discovering and nurturing his soul’s desire to be creative and artistic, while working towards higher frequencies. His love of painting, drawing, found objects, and mixed media combines his fascination with creating art focused on the those struggling with the darkness of density while working towards the light in finding their true soul’s purpose in this physical existence. Efren has had the privilege of having his art shown at Industrial Grind Coffee (“Density” solo exhibition in September 2017), Mesheeka Art Gallery (“Phallasy” exhibition in July 2018 and “Behind Closed Doors” exhibition in September 2018), and U31 (“The Hump” live art and music in February 2019). He continues his artistic path as Sailor in Heaven or Hell 2: Journey of Memorie in June 2019.
John Diaz San Diego-based dance artist, John Diaz, balances the worlds of collaboration, performance, choreography, and education. Since 1990, John has been a longtime associate of Jean Isaacs, functioning as a performer of her works, a demonstrator of her movement style, and an assistant in setting her choreography on San Diego Dance Theater, and other professional companies. Alongside of his enduring involvement with SDDT, John has contributed choreographically to Voices of San Diego Dance Theater, ManDance, Damaged Goods, Trolley Dances, and various summer workshops. He has also completed 10 seasons with City Ballet of San Diego, performing in productions of Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet. Additionally, John has worked with Wendy Rogers on her projects, MAKESHIFT dancing (1991-2000), WENDY ROGERS dancing (2001-2010), and the current See What Happens (2011- present). John has served as lead choreographer for the San Diego Gay Mens Chorus and directed the first incarnation of their dance troupe. When not on stage or in the studio, John nurtures his 40-year relationship with yoga and meditation, deepens his understanding of Ideokinesis (movement and imagery), continues his investigation of cultural attitudes toward the body and its place in the world, and shares these ideas through public and private instruction.
Patti Coburn has been a performer since high school and has a degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in modern dance from San Diego State University. Dance has always been a passion of hers and she was anticipating teaching dance as a career. However, after graduation she took a job with The Union Tribune and spent 17 years honing her advertising and marketing skills. Leaving the performance world behind she found the creativity of advertising stimulating and fullfilling. Hired away by a local magazine she spent a year streamlining and implementing production guidelines before launching her advertising and marketing firm which specialized in consumer marketing for commercial real estate companies. For 20 plus years Patti plunged her creative energy into marketing strategies for the shopping center clients; organizing local events, branding the centers in print, radio and online advertising and developing websites. During the last ten years of her business career she returned to her love of performing and joined the cast of the San Diego Follies as a showgirl and company dancer where she discovered through other cast members San Diego Dance Theater’s Aging Creatively program. With tap, modern and jazz classes now availble to her she dove into her love of creative movement and performance. At the same time Patti returned to acting in local community theater playing diverse roles in many productions and taking dance and acting workshops. In 2018 she retired her company and began dancing and acting full time. Patti is excited to be debuting on the Les Girls stage in the Heaven or Hell Production, Bones Abide. Patti also writes poetry, paints, sketches and crochets. She and her husband love to travel and several times a year explore beaches, food and cultures around the globe. She’s been married over 38 years and has two children and two grandchildren.
Todd Mitchum Mitchum Todd’s career is vast and rich. As an artist-in-residence with the California Center for the Arts, Escondido California, he joined CCAE, following a ten-year association with the New York based Lincoln Center Institute of Arts Education. He has provided educational and motivational workshops to such divergent businesses and art agencies such as SONY, San Diego’s LEAD, Arts for Abused Children in Los Angeles, Performing Tree, California State University Leadership Institute and the McCallum Theater Institute in Palm Springs among others.
He has served as an “arts coach” with CSUSM in an innovative program called SUAVE. (SUAVE is an acronym for Socios Unidos Para Artes via Education / United Community for Arts Education.) He has written “Dance Time Travel,” an educational curriculum that tours Southern California providing fourth graders the opportunity to explore and learn history through movement and dance aesthetics. DTT is a well-integrated curriculum addressing the needs of kinesthetic, visual and auditory learners integrating the California Challenge Standards in dance and academics. As a 1999-2000 recipient of Fulbright Hays Scholarship, he toured the continent of India documenting dance and puppetry role in education. As a physical theater artist, he has demonstrated professional talents and depth with such national and international concert dance troupes such as; Hamburg Ballet of Germany, Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble with Clive Thompson, Ze’eva Cohen and Dancers, Eleo Pomare Dance Company, Anna Sokolow and Pearl Lang Dance Company. He has dance for many noted choreographers, Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, Clive Thompson, George Faison (The Wiz) Jean Erdman (wife of the famous Joseph Campbell.) He has danced and performed for television and commercials, including the miniseries “North and South and for many dance educational documentaries including the most recent Ze'eva Cohen: A Life in Dance 2013. Founder and Choreographer of “be still” physical theater group for children, his published works of art are held at the New York Public Library Dance Collection. In 2013-14, he has taught at the Raleigh, NC School of the Blind, teaching skills sets through movement integration. Currently he is a Teaching Artists with CoTA, Collaborations with Teachers and Artists in San Diego and Minding Motion for Graceful Aging. Todd choreographs and performs with the San Diego Dance Theater Aging Creative Program at Liberty Station.
Charlene Penner: Charlene graduated with an MD from the University of Saskatchewan in 1976. Since then she has studied nutrition, local native plants and medicines, sound vibrational healing, many forms of energetic movement, Contact and Butoh Ritual Dance, and massage therapy. Her current ‘Art and Practice of Medicine’ is to heal through the awakening of consciousness using all these tools. She brings years of exploring “health as a total living concept” to her teachings in Butoh, local native plants, Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology. "Our daily living habits of eating, sexuality, exercise, rest, posture, and chemical product usage are at the root of illness in America, along with the fractures of our spiritual, emotional, mental aspects. My work with Kata’s 2013 La Femme Traqique exposes and explores one of these nightmares. " My first years in San Diego, I lived in the now North City West Development in a homemade scrap-lumber and plastic lean-to, cooking on an open fire what I gathered from trash. I laughed how the big city could provide for me, and my mother described me as an opportunistic rat living in the gaps of American civilization. I pray for those gaps to expand and finally engulf this civilization. I pray that the American people can begin to find the awe and majesty in a simple communion with the land and each other rather than the ever increasing, isolating need for comfort and material, technological consumption. Today’s cast of Heaven or Hell coming together creatively is an example of a little gap expanding."
other rather than the ever increasing, isolating need for comfort and material, technological consumption. Today’s cast of Heaven or Hell coming together creatively is an example of a little gap expanding."
Kata Pierce-Morgan (Producer/ScriptWriter) is a 71 year old award-winning poet, who began dancing at the age of 6 at the Wetzler School of Dance in Waukegan. Catholic-school educated, she spent as much time as she could with her Italian grandmother, who at 16, was quickly hired for the vaudeville stage. Her immigrant parents from Capo Basso nipped those dreams in the bud, yet the genetic disposition to dance the illicit dance was passed on to Kata. A UCLA graduate, Kata majored in Art History, did graduate work in special education and psychology, and later presented research on subcultural lifestyles at various medical conventions. Her writing landed in the Kinsey Institute and other unusual places around the world. Her dance poetry has been published in prestigious literary press throughout the US. For the last 20 years, she has expanded her artistic horizons through Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater. Through Isaacs, her SDDT Trolley Dances photography appeared in Dance Magazine. In 2012, Kata enjoyed dancing with SDDT’s Intergenerational Project The Door Is Open for which Artist Kira Corser received a Creative Catalyst Grant. She has also worked with Butoh Master Diego Pinon, as his 2002-2005 manager in the US, Canada and Mexico. In her La Femme Tragique and ARTBurlesque series, she has un-layered her paradoxical qualities through its characters, often aspects of her rebelliously, reverent personality and spirit. She thanks Jean Isaacs for her choreographic mentorship, allowing Kata to present her own work in 2018 Live Arts Fest. She thanks Kevin Charles Patterson for his vibrant San Diego International Fringe Festivals which brings International and National theater to San Diego Audiences each summer since 2012. Kata will be presenting Heaven or Hell at the Fringe in 2019, her fifth full-night production, since 2012. She thanks her multi-talented Heaven or Hell cast for their willingness to work as an ensemble,, while at the same time taking creative risks as artists, as they address social issues of prejudice towards diversity and abuse of power.
Joyce Ann Martin has performed with various community arts groups in San Diego and as far north as Santa Cruz. She continues to train and perform with San Diego Dance Theater Aging Creatively Program. Joyce first performed with Kata in 2014’s Courtesan Cafe, presented at the SD International Fringe Festival. Most recently, Kata featured Joyce as the lead in Ganesha: Take One, presented at 2018 Live Arts Fest. Whether she is the vaudeville vamp of Courtesan Cafe, the Elephant God Ganesha or Calamity Jane in Heaven or Hell 1, Joyce is a hoot, often seen performing around town with her band Wild Older Women.
Bingh studied literature and creative writing with Jim Crenner at Hobart College, where he founded and edited SCRY! A Nexus of Politics and the Arts (Anne Carson was among the contributors). Bingh conducted an interview with the American novelist-poet Katherine Towler and co-translated the poems of Mario Bojórquez for Poetry International. He writes theater reviews for the San Diego Reader (under the name Binh H. Nguyen). Bingh holds an MFA degree in poetry writing from SDSU and is the founder and curator of Thru a Soft Tube, a monthly reading series in San Diego. His poems have recently received attention from The Common and Crab Orchard Review.
Athena is a San Diego native that has had dance in her blood since day one being Colombian, Mexican and Turkish, she has always had moving to the music in her heart. Athena attended a summer intensive in New York and studied dance at Southwestern college, performing in various musicals and dance showcases. She has also been featured as a dancer in San Diego shows including the Young Choreographers Project.
Ari Born and raised in Southern California and happy to call Ocean Beach, San Diego her home for the last decade; Ari draws inspiration from classic rock, personal stories and an all-around California lifestyle. Whether she is performing in front of thousands of people or in an intimate coffee shop you can guarantee a powerful raw emotion that will peak your listening ear.
Tiffany (understudy) joins Golden Corpse cast for Heaven or Hell 2: Journey of Memorie for the first time. A seasoned Les Girls dancer, she is excited to take her dance background to the next level as she comes in as an added Doll, last minute. She is a trouper! Hopefully, she will join us for Heaven or Hell 3, the next show in the series, in November 2019, as the cast hits the streets of 1971 San Diego.
Alanna Deleon (Mother Superior)
Although Alanna has been working behind the scenes with Golden Corpse LLC, Heaven or Hell 2: Journey of Memorie marks her first time on stage with the company. Alanna is a dedicated weightlifter and former fitness model. An avid collector of theatrical costumes and props, she has provided, from her arsenal, feathered headgear, fancy dresses and sparkly masks..
Vixen A San Diego Performance artist, Vixen is often seen at local fairs throughout San Diego County. After playing an 1891 Poppy in Heaven Hell: Sex, Hypocrisy & the Good Ol' Boys, this is Vixen's second performance with Golden Corpse. She can be seen now, as Catholic Girl, in Heaven or Hell 2: Journey of Memorie during the SD International Fringe Festival in June 2019.
Michael Stephens Noisician M.J. Stevens is a product of suburban America. Having grown up in the shadow of the San Bernardino Freeway, his character and aesthetic sensibilities were subtly but irreversibly formed by the sights, smells, and sounds of the East San Gabriel Valley.
Moving to San Diego in 1989 he eventually began his career as an amateur Noisician, occasionally performing as part of the Stay Strange noise music collective. In trying to describe his work M.J. explains: “It’s kind of like music- but you have to use your imagination.”
Leslie Carter is a La Jolla-based writer, actress and dancer. She owns Wild Rose Writing and most recently did a story on California Chrome while interviewing his trainer Art Sherman and photographing this amazing racehorse. She actively participates in theater productions throughout San Diego County. Witty and quirky, Leslie is perfect for the Queen Ant in her first performance with Golden Corpse Ensemble.
3790 Riley Street San Diego CA 92110