The Magic Flute (2019)
Daniel acted as translator, adapter and dramaturg on Mozart’s timeless classic. The production was later awarded two regional awards from the Kennedy Center and LMDA, a national award from the Kennedy Center, as well as recognition by ATHE. All were for dramaturgy.
See the “Cheat Sheet” and Mesta’s award-winning program note by clicking here.
Romeo y Julieta (2018)
Daniel played Teobaldo (Tybalt) in this bilingual adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which toured to schools with large Spanish-speaking populations. Mesta also composed a number of interludes and background music, which he played on the violin in the production. A critic noted “Each of the members of the Capuleto household have their own distinct flair of character… and Mesta shines representing Mexico.” (Read the full review here.) The production was also the centerpiece of a conference on diversity in theatre, and was workshopped in conjunction with playwright Jose Cruz Gonzalez.
To watch KUTV interviews with Daniel Mesta and others, click here.
To read BYU magazine’s short article on the production, click here.
To read an interview with Daniel Mesta and other cast members, click here.
To listen to the cast’s appearance on The Apple Seed radio show, listen here.
The Elixir of Love (2019)
Daniel Mesta acted as dramaturg and supertitle creator on this Donizetti masterpiece. Because there was not a sizeable program, he created a QR code to promote the show and answer audience questions.
See the “Cheat Sheet” and other work done by Mesta by clicking here.
Daniel Mesta both directed and performed in this chilling and contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Reviewer Kathy Curtiss called it a “A highly recommendable production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth directed imaginatively and with authority by Daniel Mesta.” (Read the full review here.) Following the changing power dynamic of a religious cult set against the backdrop of the end of the world, Macbeth explored questions of fate, destiny, power and greed.
Directing and scoring for this piece was done by Daniel Mesta. Antigone by Sophocles was a Greek classic turned upside down by spare visuals, modern costuming, a haunting score and a radical cutting of the text. Reviewer Tina Hawley remarked “…under Daniel Mesta’s direction, the sparse scenery and nearly colorless costume palette of the small cast only serve to bring this play’s passionate emotions and conflicted characters to the forefront of the audience’s attention.” (Read the full review here.)
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2020)
A part of the Contemporary Voices Festival at Brigham Young University, Mesta had the opportunity to perform as Vanya in a concert reading of Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Though it may seem conventional, the festival actually marks the first performance of texts of this nature. For a campus that had previously banned LGBTQ+ characters, strong language and sexual references of all kinds, it was a moment of progress towards a more inclusive future for the institution. A lover of all things Chekhov, Mesta’s performance was called “witty” and “comedy gold” by reviewers, and sparked a number of questions from the audience during talkback sessions.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2020)
Adapted for radio and recorded remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mesta helmed this production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and also provided the voice of Oberon. The classic tale is reset in 1930s New Orleans, and scored with jazz hits both familiar and obscure. Gender-neutral casting and a range of dialects all bring this universal favorite up-to-date.
Read an interview with Daniel Mesta about this production here.
Listen to the first episode here.
Letters from Cuba/Manual for a Desperate Crossing (2021)
These two one-act plays by María Irene Fornés beautifully depicted the tragic plight of those seeking to flee oppression in Cuba during the mid-twentieth century. Mesta’s performance as Gerardo/Jerry in Letters from Cuba and as the Third Balsero in Manual for a Desperate Crossing earned him an Irene Ryan Award Nomination through the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Read more about the production here.
BIPOC Critics Lab @ John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2022)
This application-only lab, which featured training and insight from some of theatre and media’s top critics, was held over a 10 week period from January to March of 2022. Here, Mesta had the opportunity to interview and dissect culture with a variety of artists from all kinds of BIPOC backgrounds- from Oscar nominees to viral video makers.