Dominican actor advocates for actors of color


Alexandra Simon (Caribbean Life News) writes about Rafael Moreno a Bronx-born actor and playwright of Dominican-heritage, who is trying to change the theater industry with a new production company. He seeks more representation for Latino and other actors of color with his own Construct Theater Company.

“I founded Construct with the mission to write, direct, and produce original works that tell the kinds of stories that continue to elude the main stage, especially those concerning culturally diverse communities,” said Moreno.

With his entity he plans to help emerge a new kind of visibility for people of color in the industry and showcase the talent that has yet to find a stage to strive.

“The whole idea has always been to introduce a new and emerging audience to the theater, by creating a platform where their voices and concerns are being echoed,” he added.

Moreno studied theater at Stony Brook University. He also moved to Los Angeles and lived there for some time as he pursued careers working with Sony, Warner Brothers, and CBS, while also working on his individual projects.

He recalls the experience as an eye-opening one, that only pushed him further to create Construct. Because what he saw was not what he previously envisioned.

“What l learned in those years was pretty invaluable — if I wanted to see more stories with people like myself, about people like myself, I was going to have to do it myself,” said Moreno.

He returned to New York City to start the company because he feels the city offers a higher level of respect for theater, and has the quality of actors to support it.

Without theater Moreno would have found himself in the wrong crosshairs of life, but theater and his company saved him from spiraling into that world. And he wants it to be the place where other aspiring creatives can turn to, as a haven to produce their work.

“I want to make Construct a brick and mortar place where artists come and develop,” said Moreno. “I can honestly say had it not been for theater, I may have been dead or in jail — so I know the type of power art has.”

His focus currently is raising awareness about the way the film and theater industry works, while also creating plays that will give actors of color a chance to shine. [. . .]

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