Elsa Menéndez is a writer, director, producer and performer with Tricklock Company (since 2001). She is the Director of Education at the National Hispanic Cultural Center where she also served as the Outreach Coordinator for 11 years. She has spent the last 30 years working in theatre around the world, including teaching acting, clowning and circus skills in Connecticut at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre (where she also served for six years as program manager and associate artistic director); teaching children’s theatre in England and Norway; serving as an associate producer in London for BBC movie shorts; and teaching, writing, and directing in a men’s medium security prison (also in CT), which lead to the co-founding of BOOM!theatre, a theatre company within the prison comprised of individuals serving the longest sentences.
Menéndez trained at Boston University School for the Arts, Smith College and the University of New Mexico as well as with Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover, Vermont and the May Hill Puppet Theatre near Gloucester, England. She has studied with Daniel Stein of Dell’Arte, the Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices of Poland, Mariana Sadowska of EVOE, and Myra Platt of Book It! Theatre in Seattle, among others. Menéndez has written and performed in many original shows, including her solo shows The Last 3 minutes Of Happiness in 2004 and Cloud Cover or Conversations with Harry which premiered in September 2011. She co-created and performed in Black River Falling, which toured internationally in May 2007. Elsa has enjoyed wearing many creative hats in the original productions of Tricklock Company, including being a co-creator and assistant director for The Glorious and Bloodthirsty Billy the Kid – The Greatest Serial Killer of Our Time! A Wild West Show and Cabaret and a co-director and dramaturge for Juli Hendren’s solo show Rot. She directed and co-wrote a new original work, Catgut Strung Violin (which premiered in April 2009 and toured to the Canadian Fringe in June 2009 to critical acclaim), with fellow company members Kevin R. Elder, Alex Knight, and guest artist Charles Gamble of Santa Fe’s Theatre Grottesco and worked as dramaturge on Juli Hendren’s Waste Her which opened in March 2010. Her recent roles include “Stella” in Tricklock’s adaptation Vessels by Kevin R. Elder based on A Streetcar Named Desire and “Peg Leg Peg” in Billy the Kid. She directed the world premiere of The Menu – an adaptation of a book of poetry of Jim Linnell which debuted in April 2013.
Menéndez served as associate artistic director and co-artistic director of Tricklock Company from 2004-2009. At the National Hispanic Cultural Center in 2006 she founded and directs the annual programs Circo Latino and Circo Radical Summer Youth Institute. She served for five years as a producer for UNM’s Words Afire! New Play Festival, and now works as a curator of Tricklock’s Revolutions International Theatre Festival. Menéndez regularly teaches theatre in the Municipal Detention Center here in Albuquerque and is a facilitator with Practicing Engaged Presence. Elsa served as a Co-facilitator for the Cultivating Women’s Leadership retreat in Ocamora, New Mexico in July, 2014.