Two+ Minutes with an ARTeater
Two+ Minutes with an ARTeater hosted by UCI Drama student Kayla Quiroz

Two+ Minutes with an ARTeater is UCI’s newest mini-podcast series, now entering its second year of content. It exudes content created by students, made for students. We interview CTSA’s aspiring artists from all fields through these episodes, whether that be someone affiliated with Art, Dance, Drama or Music. Through this digestible mini-podcast series, CTSA ARTeaters can make their opinions heard and talk about their upcoming performative endeavors. Within the show, there are question speed rounds, games and just a whole lot of fun in general. In Two+ Minutes with an ARTeater, you will learn about UCI’s wonderful programs, people, and performances. New episodes come out weekly, so stay tuned! 

Links below take you to the individual podcasts on our YouTube account page.


Kayla Quiroz

Introducing Kayla Quiroz, the host of Two+ Minutes with an ARTeater. She is a third-year undergraduate earning a B.F.A. in Music Theater and minoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In addition, she fell in love with performing when she was six-years-old and has never stopped since. Some of her favorite theatrical experiences include winning Show Choir Nationals four years in a row with her Alma Mater: Los Alamitos High School. Kayla has performed all over the United States - spanning from New York, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois, and others. One of her greatest achievements is singing at Grand Ole Opry. Furthermore, some of her favorite roles that she has had the opportunity to play are: Gabriella in High School Musical, Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Aziza Stewart

Introducing Aziza Stewart! Aziza is a fourth-year transfer student majoring in drama with honors in acting. Although her emphasis is in acting, Aziza has many hobbies on the side. In her free time, she loves to dance, play guitar, practice Jiu Jitsu and write poetry. In addition, she also works as a personal trainer and she hopes to get involved with Muay Thai in the future. Some of Aziza’s favorite roles that she has had the opportunity to play include Hamlet in Leah Jackson’s rendition of “Hamlet,” and being a mover in Chloe King’s DCP project “Out of the Void.” Come see Aziza in the Department of Drama’s next mainstage show, the world premiere production of “The Story of Biddy Mason,” opening December 1-4, 2022 at the xMPL Theatre.

Veronica Allen

Introducing Veronica Allen! Veronica is from Omaha, Nebraska, and is pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance at UCI. While being on campus, she has had the opportunity to be a part of a variety of department shows, including both virtual and live performances. Most recently, she was in a collaborative piece choreographed by Charlotte Griffin and Ariyan Johnson, which she was able to showcase both modern and house dance. Next, she’ll be performing onstage in the show “New Slate 2022” from UCI Dance, opening December 1-3, 2022 at Claire Trevor Theatre. In 2022, she received the Donald McKayle Dance Scholarship and the Claire Trevor Society Scholarship - two awards given to distinguished students for their talent and character. 

Sarah Soza

Introducing Sarah Soza. Sarah is the principal violist of the UCI Symphony Orchestra and is currently in her final year at UCI. She is a double major in viola performance and international studies. In post-grad, Sarah hopes to combine the two in a functional yet meaningful way. Sarah has been playing violin since the age of 2. Before entering university, she started playing the alto-reading instrument, believing that its traditionally supportive role has evolved within the last century, and wants to be a part of its evolution. From the start, Sarah has been involved in several chamber and orchestra performances but aspires to expand her playing style.

Jax Dean

Welcome to the stage, Jax Dean. Jax is a fourth-year transfer student receiving a degree in Drama; however, they are also engaged in the dance department. Jax is a member of Bare Bones Dance Theater, a student-run Dance club established in 1987 that is still running strong on campus and is open to all majors. Jax made their professional theatrical debut this summer in the repertory productions for the New Swan Shakespeare Festival. In addition, some of Jax’s most treasured shows they’ve been a part of include “Rebecca Oaxaca Lays Down a Bunt” (UCI) and “Into the Woods” (UCI). In addition to being an avid member of Bare Bones, they are also performing in Romeo and Juliet this quarter!

Heather Echeverria

Heather is an M.F.A. Acting student (Class of 2023) at the University of California, Irvine. She graduated from UCI's undergraduate drama program with Honors in Acting in 2020. Some of her past credits at UCI include: Plumas Negras (Aurora), Rebecca Oaxaca Lays Down a Bunt (Ella Elizondo), Silent Sky (Henrietta Leavitt), When We Were Young and Unafraid (Mary Anne). She is excited to play Juliet in Romeo & Juliet at The Irvine Barclay Theatre this November for her thesis role. Additionally, she serves as a graduate mentor for Brown Bag Theater Company, UCI's only Latinx theater student company. Most recently, she worked at the Great River Shakespeare Festival as Community Outreach Director for their Community Engagement Project, All The Town's A Stage: A Winona Story, while also appearing onstage as Laurie, acting alongside the community members of Winona.

Taylor Fagins

Introducing the wonderful Taylor Fagins. He is a UCI alumni who graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Drama. He is currently attending Graduate school at Berkeley College NYC, earning his M.F.A. in Creative Technology with a specialization in Writing in Musical Theater Design. Taylor dabbles in songwriting, filmmaking, and playwriting. He is truly a jacque of all trades! Most recently, Taylor made his American Idol Debut. The judges, including Lionel Richey, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, went as far as to say that his audition performance was simply magical. Taylor sang an original song, “We Need More,” which spoke about issues of injustice revolving around black lives in America. Taylor is a bright light in the entertainment industry who hopes to pursue the arts for the rest of his life. Listen to this podcast to learn more about Taylor and his various artistic endeavors!

 Michael Thomas Holmes

Welcome to the stage, Michael Thomas Holmes. Michael earned his M.F.A. in Acting at UCI. He also attended Washington University in St. Louis for a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. He has been featured in a plethora of Broadway National Tours, Films, and TV Shows. Some of his credits include being a part of The Broadway National Tour of “Phantom of the Opera,” The Broadway Production of “Oklahoma!,” and regional productions such as “1776,” “South Pacific,” and “The Rocky Horror Show.” In addition to performing, he also teaches on the side and dabbles in graphic design. Listen to this podcast about Michael’s post-graduation career and future creative endeavors.

Jessica Spruiell

Introducing the phenomenal Jessica Spruiell! She is a third-year earning her B.F.A. in Music Theater and minoring in Management. Jessica has done a plethora of Musical Theater and straight theater. Some of her favorite roles include The Witch in "Into the Woods," Belle in "Beauty and the Beast," and Roz in "Moon Over Buffalo." Her specialty is singing in a soprano register, which makes sense that her dream role is Christine in "Phantom of the Opera." Some of her hobbies include drinking coffee, going to the "Rocky Horror Picture Show," and binge-watching reality TV. As a talented and adventurous creative, she is embarking on her journey in the New York Satellite Program. Listen in to hear about her experience with this exciting CTSA opportunity.

Jackie Diaz

Welcome to the stage, the amazingly talented Jackie Diaz. Jackie will be graduating in the Spring of 2022 with a double major in Vocal Performance and Drama. She believes that music is the strongest form of expression and continues to inspire her daily. Jackie is truly a jack-of-all-trades as she is skilled in all angles of the industry. She will be ending her college career with a bang via Chamber Singer’s final recital, in which she holds the title of Co-President. Some of her other hobbies include hiking, cooking, and painting. In the future, Jackie hopes to move to New York and pursue Musical Theater. Listen to this podcast to hear about life and college through the lens of Jackie Diaz.

Natalie Aronno

Natalie Aronno is a Dance Major studying Modern, Ballet, and Jazz. She became involved with dance at a very young age and aspires to pursue this magnetic art for the rest of her life. Some of her favorite dance performances include her Spring Concerts in high school, being cast in the Debbie Allen Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, and UCI’s most recent New Slate 2021. She claims that New Slate 2021 was a very emotional return to the stage, as it was her first in-person performance during her college career. In her spare time, some of her hobbies consist of cooking, watching movies, and spending time with loved ones. After college, Natalie plans to tour with a professional dance company. After traveling the world, she wishes to be a choreographer or be in a company that encourages its dancers to create their own works. Through this episode, Natalie speaks on her experience with the Dance Department’s upcoming show: Dance Visions!

Chloe King

Meet the lovely Chloe King! Chloe is a Third-Year Graduate student earning her M.F.A in Directing. Chloe previously attended Capital Stage Directing Apprenticeship from 2014-15 and received her B.F.A. in Theatre and Dance at the University of Wyoming. She has had a passion for the arts since she was a kid and dabbles in a wide variety of artistic endeavors, including Directing, Fight Choreographing, and even creating visual arts! Chloe maintains a very busy schedule but also finds time for lifting, traveling, and playing on her crew rowing team. Chloe claims that her most rewarding directorial experience was “Out of the Void,” which was performed at UCI in the fall! Listen in to hear more about Chloe’s style of directing and some insight on the UCI Drama production of “The Effect!”

Devin Wilson

Introducing the multi-talented Devin Wilson! They are a first-year graduate student here at UCI earning their M.F.A. in Art. Devin previously earned their B.F.A. at Boston University. Devin perceives themself as an “AI for artistic content”. They are obsessed with studying creative material and then producing their own art. Something that is very important to them is researching art and attending conferences. One of their other favorite hobbies is baking bread, pretzels, and bagels! In addition, they are a DECADE representative for the upcoming Open Studios Event. Devin hinted that they will be performing in drag at this event. Don’t forget to come support CTSA’s M.F.A. Artists!

Aejin Yi

Introducing Aejin Yi, a first-year undergraduate majoring in Art. Aejin is a bubbly and intuitive creative who is making her official artistic debut in the 17th Annual Undergraduate Art Exhibition at UCI in March. She keeps a busy schedule and loves to immerse herself in a plethora of subjects, whether that be embroidery, songwriting, or making collages. One of her long term goals is to start a small business where she produces her own art. In addition, she hopes to one day spread her works internationally and head to Korea to be involved in graphic design and music production there! Listen to this episode to learn more about the multi-talented Aejin and her current endeavors.

Summer Session

Introducing Summer Savonna Session. They are a Graduate student here at CTSA, who is earning their M.F.A. in Directing. They previously attended Fresno City College for an Associates Degree in Theater Arts and also California State University, Fresno for a Bachelor's Degree in General Theater. Summer is a true lover of the arts and hopes to pursue directing for the rest of their life. In Summer’s free time, they enjoy reading, painting, and watching anime! However, the majority of their current time is spent on perfecting the upcoming UCI mainstage production of The Seagull. Summer is thrilled to be spearheading this endeavor, which comprises an extremely talented cast and crew. Listen to this episode to learn more about Summer.

Joseph Wong

Welcome to the stage, Joseph Wong, a diligent undergraduate student who is double majoring in Music and Computer Science. His instrument of choice is the violin and he is also the concertmaster of his orchestra. By holding this title, he is the leader of his team and is the second-hand-man to the conductor. Joseph was a child prodigy and has been playing since he was 5-years-old. In addition, he has performed all over the United States. His favorite venue he’s had the chance to perform in is Carnegie Mellon’s Weill Recital Hall. Listen to this episode to learn more about this creative and his passion for music. Also, don’t forget to go see the upcoming CTSA Symphony Orchestra!  

Ian Bowers

Introducing the phenomenal Ian Bowers. Ian is a fourth-year transfer student earning his degree in Drama and is on track for a B.F.A. in Music Theater. Ian is drawn to comedic theater and enjoys playing into tragedy and dramatic pieces (a true jack-of-all-trades)! Some of his favorite roles include: Satan in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Leaf Coneybear in The Putnam County Spelling Bee, Bat Boy in Bat Boy the Musical, and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliette. That being said, his dream role is Emcee in Cabaret. In his free time, Ian loves going on beach trips, adventuring with friends, and eating way too much sushi! After graduation, he plans to move to New York to kickstart a career on the East Coast. In this episode, Ian shares a little bit about his first UCI mainstage production, Rebecca Oaxaca Lays Down a Bunt, which opens in early March.

Leah Jackson

Welcome to the stage, Leah Jackson. Leah is a graduating senior earning her degree in Drama. She has an emphasis on Directing and Music Theater. Leah enjoys keeping a busy schedule and is also a part of UCI’s Campuswide Honors Collegium. In addition, she will be writing her thesis about her upcoming directorial endeavor, Hamlet. She loves to work with actors who follow their instincts and lean into comedic timing. Leah Jackson is an exuberant and kind human being who hopes to create a long lasting career within the entertainment industry. We hope you enjoy this episode of Two+ Minutes with an ARTeater, where she gives us insight on how her rendition of Hamlet is coming along!

Tony Garcia

Introducing Tony Diego Garcia, a UCI Drama undergraduate, earning his B.F.A in Music Theater. Tony is a hardworking creative who loves to dance, sing, and act. He is attracted to rock-pop theater and dance-heavy shows. His favorite roles that he has had the privilege to play include: Emmett in Legally Blonde, Doody in Grease, and Charlie in Merrily We Roll Along. He hopes to eventually book musicals on Broadway and perform internationally. In his spare time, he loves to build LEGO sets and complete puzzles. Tony has a jovial and outgoing personality, which made him a perfect fit as our first interviewee. Listen to this episode to learn more about the amazingly talented Tony Diego Garcia and his upcoming performances!