Born and raised in Western Massachusetts Rafael grew up in New WORLD Theatre founded by Roberta Uno, and was mentored and instructed by artists such as Steven Sapp, Jamal Chasten, and Mildred Ruiz of Universes (Ameriville, Party People) Alice Tuan (Ajax, Batch) Jorge Ignacio Cortinas, Kwikstep and Rockafella, Sekou Sundiata, Rha Goddess, Constance Congdon, Gilbert McCauley.
Rafael created a Bachelor's Degree of Independent Concentration in Acting and Directing for Theatre and Film with a minor in Photography. During his Junior year Rafael attended Cal State Los Angeles as a domestic exchange student. There he met Tanya Kane-Parry who introduced him to physically avant garde theatre with a bold staging of Suzan-Lori Parks The America Play (promo trailer here).
As an Acting Apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville Rafael had the opportunity to work with writers A. Rey Pamatmat, Kia Corthron, Rolin Jones, Michael Jon Garces, Naomi Iizuka; directors KJ Sanchez, Chay Yew, Ron OJ Parsons.
In New York City Rafael became a member of New Perspectives Theatre company getting the chance to play Romeo, Horatio, and produce his own playwriting. Rafael became a hometown hero when his Dunkin Donuts commercial thrilled his friends, and family (Massachusetts folks love their DD!) Rafael won best film in a contest to create video supplements for Pearson Textbooks. For a year Rafael worked as Marketing Designer and Photographer for The Barrow Group Theatre. Rafael has worked with Classical Theatre of Harlem, Metropolitan Playhouse, Second Generation, Oberon Ensemble, Resonance Ensemble, was invited to a Master Class heightened text and rhetoric workshop with the late great Robert Neff Williams of the Julliard school, and went to Bali, Indonesia with Per Brahe and Aole T. Miller of Studio 5 for an intensive dance, mask, Michael Chekov conservatory and festival. He also enjoyed eight episodes on One Life to Live as a working class cop of few words!
Rafael was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the elite program at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. His Bay Area credits include work with Berkeley Rep, The Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, Aurora Theatre Company, Theatreworks, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Festival, and of course American Conservatory Theatre. Rafael's work with James Carpenter and Paul V. O'Connor in American Buffalo, directed by tony nominated Barbara Damashek, won them Best Production Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, and Theatre Bay Area Best Ensemble Acting Awards.
New York Credits: Apollodorus in Caesar and Cleopatra (Off-Broadway), George in Uncle Tom's Cabin during Metropolitan Playhouse’s Obie Award season, The Performa commissioned theatrical experience I Feel Your Pain created by Liz Laser, co-starring multiple Obie winner Kathryn Grody. The World Premiere of Thunder Above, Deeps Below by Lark Fellowship recipient A. Rey Pamatmat directed bt Pat Diamond.
Other favorite productions include: 365 Days/365 Plays and The Open Road at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Bobby in American Buffalo at Aurora Theatre Company. Dorante in David Ives' adaptation of The Liar at Livermore Shakespeare Festival. John in The Island by Athol Fugard, directed by Stephen Buescher. Watts in Chasing Mehserle by Chinaka Hodge, directed by Stephen Buescher. Kent in Stick Fly directed by Tyee Tilghman. Tom in The Glass Menagerie directed by Ryan Purcell.
Rafael has been involved in ensemble devised work with Campo Santo, Lisa Townsend, and is a member of Project 2050 Legacy.
Films(imdb): Me, You and the Road dir. Joshua Miller, Best Laid Plans dir. Matt Landin, Othello in Othello the Web Series at www.ReadySetGoTheatre.com.