Cast and Designers Set for THE SOCCER PLAYER IN THE CLOSET

Nothing Without a Company has announced the cast and design team for the world premiere of THE SOCCER PLAYER IN THE CLOSET by Ryan Oliveira, and directed by Christopher Sylvie

The cast includes Rolando Serrano as Cristiano, Amelia Bethel as Leona, Viviana Uribe as Milena, Alex Roggow as Bastian, and Kyle Mayes as Cobi.

Pictured (top, l to r): Amelia Bethel, Rolando Serrano.
Bottom, l to r: Viviana Uribe, Kyle Mayes, Alex Roggow

The production team includes Heather Jencks (Asst. Director), Hannah Herrera Greenspan (Dramaturge), Hayley Wallenfeldt (Scenic/Props Designer), Xavier Lagunas (Sound Designer), Kate Lass (Violence Choreographer and Intimacy Choreographer), and Satoe Schechner (Costume Designer).

THE SOCCER PLAYER IN THE CLOSET tells the story of Cristiano – a top-ranked online soccer player – who has never stepped out of his apartment. He finally leaves the apartment, but leaves a strange stench his cousin, friend, and landlady can’t seem to get out. Through Internet magic and video games, they work to unearth the root of the rotten juju.

“I wrote this play in 2015 in a depression after moving to Chicago,” comments Oliveira. “I recently came out to my mother, which didn’t end well. I lay in bed a lot over several months, trying to recover from personal failures as a playwright and human being. From those failures sprung this play. Gay men of color don’t have many healthy models of masculinity so we often have to create them from damaged goods – machismo, colorism, silence. Depression is rarely talked about in Latinx communities; it’s often received as inadequacy. ”

“Ryan’s ‘The Soccer Player in the Closet’ has a lot to offer to modern day audiences,” says Sylvie. “One it’s a queer story that follows a person of color, which is narrative we, unfortunately, do not get to see on stage or in the media. But even though it’s a queer person of color’s story there is something for everyone because the play is ultimately about moving on. Moving on from pain, the past, loss, guilt, etc. And in doing so finding community through futbol, video games, friends, family, a relationship, even spiritually. That’s why I am excited to embark on this journey. To discover what is lying between the text, as well as the words already on the page.”

THE SOCCER PLAYER IN THE CLOSET runs February 11 – March 10. For more information visit

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