#TalentedTuesday is here once again. This week we are highlighting an actor who has graced various Chicago stages, a playwright who is pushing boundaries, and a person who tells it like it is. If you thought we were talking about three different people, we're not. With all of her powers combined, we are excited to highlight:
Originally hailing from Miami, Krystal may have traded in the beautiful beaches and warm weather for the cold Chicago winters, but she definitely shines in all the projects she is a part of. She has performed for companies including: Lifeline Theatre, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens Theater, and Griffin Theatre. In August 2019, she was named one of the Chicago Tribune's Hot New Faces. Come March, you can catch Krystal in the Victory Gardens world premiere production of Dhaba on Devon Avenue playing 3/27- 4/26.
On top of Krystal's amazing acting talent, she is marking her debut as a playwright with the staged reading of her play Los Frikis. This story was inspired by the wave of 80s and 90s Cuban punk rockers who injected themselves with HIV-positive blood in an attempt to live a higher quality of life in government-sanctioned hospitals. You can rock out with Krystal at the free readings on Monday, March 16th and Sunday, March 22nd at 7pm at the Den Theatre.
Without much further ado, we are thrilled you
What is your hometown?
I am from Miami, FL -- otherwise colloquially known as North Cuba.

What brought you into Chicago Theatre?
I moved to Chicago to attend the Theatre School at DePaul University. During my time at TTS, I steeped myself into Chicago theatre by seeing a storefront show on just about every night off that I had. I quickly became enamored with the scene and I’ve now lived in Chicago for almost 8 years.

How long have you been involved in Chicago Theatre?
I’ve actively worked in Chicago theatre for 4 years.

Where would you like Chicago Theatre to be in 5 years?
What I want for 5 years from now is what I want from today: for the theatre community to not rely on praise from white critics and outdated awards systems, and actually give honest feedback within our own communities so that we may grow to our fullest potential. It is, of course, much easier said than done when the systems in place currently make it so difficult for us to rise into the rooms we want to be in, or even receive funding, without receiving accolades and being featured on “Best Of’ lists-- like Coya Paz masterfully discusses in her op-ed piece in the Chicago Reader about gatekeeping via arts journalism. But the responsibility also rests on us to not blindly and blanketly praise a piece of work just because it is the work of our fellow (Latine) community members. We must be critical and push each other to create our best, and always treat each other the best. Additionally, we must also speak up about bad experiences in the theatre. Keeping quiet protects no one except the people who have done the harm; we must be bold and we must serve those who come after us.

What inspired you to choose theater as your career?
One of my favorite moments as an actor on the stage is when the entire audience reacts unanimously, even though they may span a wide range of demographics. Theatre is a service, not a product, and I want to serve as many different kinds of people as possible by bringing them together. Stories save lives!

How do you choose the projects you want to work on?
Oh, there are so many factors! I think about the role that I would be playing-- if it’s something I’ve done a lot or something I haven’t had the opportunity to explore as much, if it would be a fun challenge or extremely emotionally draining and what I am willing to endure at the time. I also think about the story the play tells and whether it is a story I endorse being told in today’s Chicago. Then I consider the people that I would be working with and if it would be a fun and enriching room to be in for a few months of my life. Logistically, I also consider pay and venue, but I luckily have the privilege of stability to be able to consider those things towards the bottom of my list.

What advice would you give emerging actors?
The right things will happen at the right time. Just be a kind person and enjoy yourself.