Sandia Performing Arts Company's newest adventure! Filming ANONYMOUS at Studio 519 in Albuquerque! This lighthearted play was written by Ruben Muller and stars Joelle Yann, Daniel Lucero, Julie Nelson, and Beatrice Villegas. This play will eventually be available online and will also be presented as a play at a community center in September. Please keep checking back for up-to-date information!

Sandia Performing Arts Company hosted a 'thank you for being such a great board member' party last weekend at El Pinto for Margie Maes and Rhonda Backinoff! Thank you so much for your hard work and best wishes for the future!

Please check out Sandia Performing Arts Company's newest film production! NOW IS NOT THE TIME by Nicholas Richards. Adapted for screen by Sandia Performing Arts Company. Filmed at 519 Studios Albuquerque. Directed by Tim Maxwell. Technical Direction by Ruben Muller. Edited by Tim Nenninger - Timbojo Productions. Starring Debi Ciddio, Ludwig Puchmayer, Keith Druyor, Jim Pinkston, Lacey Bingham, Rhonda Backinoff. Dedicated to Lacey Bingham. Link at

Many thanks to the Albuquerque Theatre Guild for having us read Ruben Muller’s play, ANONYMOUS, at The Box Performance Space! Thanks to those who attended in person and via Zoom!

Rhonda Backinoff has been a Sandia Performing Arts Company board member since 2016! She is retiring from the board and, hopefully, will be taking more worldwide vacations in the future! She has been a huge asset to the board with designing and implementing creative costumes for various productions. She also contributed her knowledge and sense of humor to help make board meetings more enjoyable! We are going to miss you very much, Rhonda!❤️

"Here come da judge!" The judges (played by Maria Teresa Herrara and Daniel Cruz) are judging Abuelo (our own Ruben Muller) in the TACOS RICOS karaoke contest! This is the last weekend for TACOS RICOS at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Tickets at

Come see Rhoda (played by Joelle Yann) sing about her favorite food....a TACOS RICOS at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this Friday night, March 15 at 7:30! Tickets at

Check out our Ruben Muller and Tim Maxwell on New Mexico Living talking about TACOS RICOS! 

Kathleen Welker has been acting and directing around Albuquerque theatres since 2014. Her most recent project was THE GIN GAME starring Lacey Bingham and Ruben Muller which was produced by SPAC in July 2023. She loves living in New Mexico, especially for its vibrant and diverse theatre scene. Kathleen says to her husband, “My love to Jim, always.”

Julie Nelson (SPAC secretary) speaking: Sandia Performing Arts Company was very fortunate to be able to have Kathleen as our director for this production! Her knowledge and passion for theatre is very evident in the productions she directs. As a director, she is very approachable and wants the actors to enjoy all aspects of the show. Kathleen has a wonderful sense of humor and she really cares! Thank you, Kathleen, from Sandia Performing Arts Company board!

Ludwig Puchmayer plays the part of My Oh My in TACOS RICOS.  Over the years he has appeared in a few productions at the Vortex Theatre, Adobe Theater, and the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival.  This is his second theatrical production with Sandia Performing Arts Company.  He has recently discovered birria tacos but admits that a burtaco sounds interesting.  Ludwig said, “And if you don’t know what a burtaco is, then come and see TACOS RICOS and find out.  Beep, beep.”

Beatrice Villegas (or "B") plays the part of Ruby in TACOS RICOS. B has been involved with theater since around 2005.  She likes giving a voice to Ruby, one of the ladies who works Rita's Burritas food cart! B loves theatre because she loves how she is able to bring to life stories that can sometimes mean a lot to her and audiences. Discovering traits about characters with other fellow actors is a fun process for her! She said, “My favorite thing about TACOS RICOS is the funny lines her fellow castmates have!” You'll catch her laughing backstage! After all, laughter is the best medicine for almost any ailment!

María Teresa Herrera plays Juanita in TACOS RICOS. María is from Albuquerque's South Valley.  Her energy and love for the arts has guided her to express herself through music, dance, theatre, and film. Some of her acting credits include SPIDER WOMAN STORIES with Two Worlds Native Theater and Performing Arts, HURRICANE DIANE and REZ SISTERS with the Vortex Theatre, and HONKY TONK HISSY FIT with the Adobe Theater. María is a founding member of Hembras de Pluma, a collective of women artists.  María was in LOS LOBOS, a film directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo, released on HBO Max in August 2020.  María is always looking for ways to craft her artistic vision to invigorate and promote performance art.  When she is not teaching or working on an artistic venture, you might find her spending time with family, gardening, or dancing to salsa. 


Joshua (Josh) Neustadter plays the part of Lupe in TACOS RICOS. A newcomer to theater, his most recent work was alongside other talented individuals in the SPAC-sponsored ROY G BIV short play festival. Previously, there were numerous positions on and off stage with the Southwest Rural Theater Project. A fan of crispy tacos and menudo most anytime, he thanks the TACOS RICOS cast as he has had a heck of a time learning some Spanish and refining his boogie steps as many toes were lost! On an unrelated note, Josh wants to give a personal shout out to his former girlfriend/now fiancé, Teena Tyler, and he hopes everyone enjoys the show!

Joelle Yann plays the part of Rhoda in TACOS RICOS. Joelle is a film and stage actress born in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently represented by Dee Talent Agency. Credits include the television movie ON THE PRECIPICE, the film SOUR, and the episodic series THE INEVITABLE GUIDE TOAVERAGE ADULTING. Joelle said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, a way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” 

Ruben Muller plays the part of Abuelo in TACOS RICOS, in addition to writing the play! Ruben is a SAG-AFTRA actor represented by the O’Agency in New Mexico. His most recent role was a rancher playing alongside a robot in the independent film NEON VOWELS directed by Sergio Callabero. His television credits include two seasons in the recurring role as the mall janitor in BETTER CALL SAUL, ROSWELL, and  LOUDER HOUSE. Ruben was chosen as one of only ten screenwriters to participate in Stowe Labs 2022 New Mexico retreats to help develop his original screenplay FREEDOM. His funny and heartwarming stage play featuring children, ROSALIE’S MAGIC ROCKS, was produced in partnership with the National Hispanic Cultural Center in 2019 and then a second production was produced in 2022 by Lincoln County Theatre Company in Ruidoso to delighted audiences. He’s appeared in numerous plays, BLESS ME ULTIMA, BUS STOP, LA DOLOROSA, ESTOY EL EN RINCON, THE GIN GAME, SHADOW BOX, and many other theatre productions. 

Jesus Banuelos plays the part of Rico in TACOS RICOS. Jesus has played a variety of unique roles after starring in the sketch comedy show, PAPERBACK RHINO, directed by Dani Belvin. Evoking emotion in comedy and drama, Jesus brings energy to both the stage and camera. Some of his roles have been the Caterpillar in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Verges in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, and Billy Robbins in AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER. Jesus also has experience working with such great directors as Lauren Dusek Albonico and was taught by the talented Susan Erickson. Jesus plans to burst on the scene by taking on numerous roles in both theatre and film. He thanks his family and loved ones for their unparalleled support!

Vivian Fernández is the music director for TACOS RICOS. A multi-instrumentalist and singer, Vivian was co-founder and musical director of the Latino theatre group Las Meganenas. She wrote the original score and performed Río de Lágrimas and La Chupacabra Cantina. She wrote original music, arranged music, and created live sound design as music director for HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, BLESS ME ÚLTIMA, THE FAROLITOS OF CHRISTMAS, OUR LADY OF THE TORTILLA, THE YELLOW BOAT, and the stage reading of TACOS RICOS. Currently, she writes and arranges music and sound for television and film. Vivian said, “I’m Cuban and I like to cook Cuban food, but I do enjoy Mexican and New Mexican food! Enjoy!”

Daniel Cruz plays the part of Rudolfo in TACOS RICOS. Daniel is an experienced theater and film actor from Taos where he was a member of Metta Theater under the tutelage of Bruce McIntosh, as well as performing frequently at the Taos Center for the Arts. He is happy to be making his theatrical return to the NHCC after previously performing there in EL CORRIDOR DE JORGE in 2018.

Rhonda Backinoff has done costumes for various theaters in the Albuquerque area.  She has costumed and designed for Sandia Preforming Arts Company, Vortex, Adobe Theater and West End Productions.  Her costumes were used at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for ROSALIE'S ROCKS as well as REASONS.  Rhonda has been a board member of the Sandia Performing Arts Company since 2016.  Rhonda says, "Working with actors and directors to make costumes that enhance the productions and utilize creativity on a budget are challenges that I enjoy!"

Jeremy Levin is Stage Manager for TACOS RICOS and this is his first production with SPAC and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.  Previous Albuquerque stage management credits include THE BOOK OF WILL and MORNINGS AT SEVEN at the Adobe Theatre, as well as MARY STUART at the Vortex Theatre.  Los Angeles credits include ACCOMPLICES and GEM OF THE OCEAN at The Fountain Theatre, SLIDING INTO HADES at the Odyssey Theatre, and SATURDAY SCENE at the Geffen Playhouse.  Touring credits include IT HAD TO BE YOU and IF YOU EVER LEAVE ME, I’M GOING WITH YOU! with Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna, VANITIES with Linda Blair and Erin Moran, and THE ODD COUPLE, THE FEMALE VERSION with Barbara Eden and Larry Thomas.  Other credits include Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre, BayShore Lyric Opera, The Group Repertory Theatre, and the Carmel Shakes-Peare Festival. Jeremy studied Stage Management at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and received his BFA in Theatre from Boston University.


Frida Mercury is an American actress and fashion model. She is represented by the O' Agency. She is best known for her roles in THE CLEANING LADY as Soledad (2024). THE MAID as the lead actor in an award-winning indie film (2022). BRIARPATCH as Mirna (2020). WATER BY THE SPOONFUL as Orangutan (2019). PERPETUAL GRACE LTD as Eva (2019), and much more. She loves film, fashion and theater! Frida is a published model, and has had the opportunity to work with many fashion designers. Additionally, she has worked with many respected photographers from around the world. She has also started her own podcast on YouTube. She is pleased to take part on this hilarious play, TACOS RICOS! Frida plays the part of Rita. Frida says, “I hope you enjoy the show!”

Mike Rector plays the part of DOR. Mike has been involved in plays at Black Cat Theatre and Vista Grande Community Center in Sandia Park. Mike prefers 

crispy (not soft) tacos, and likes having a fork to finish them off! Mike enjoys all aspects of the theatre including the magic that always happens in the theatre. This is the first time Mike has done anything in conjunction with the National Hispanic Cultural Center.  Mike said, “TACOS RICOS will be a fun time thanks to Ruben Muller's creativity!” 


Daniel Lucero is very excited to be a part of the cast for TACOS RICOS. Daniel plays the part of Lopez. Daniel has been involved in theatre and film since high school, and moved to Albuquerque to pursue his passion. This is his first time working with the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Daniel was a part of the original reading of TACOS RICOS in August at North Fourth Theatre. He is very thrilled to be back for the NHCC production. Daniel said, “My favorite thing about the play is how immersed it is in Albuquerque culture, and how it represents the people and history of this city.

Tim Maxwell plays the part of the security guard in SPAC's newest production. Tim has a favorite street taco recipe made with ribeye steak and a special blend of seasonings that feature chipotle pepper - so tasty! This is Tim's first event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and he is very honored to be a part of this fun production. Tim's favorite part of theatre (after the laughter and applause) is being able to use his imagination in developing a character. Tim said, "I love the delightfully zany script of Tacos Ricos, especially the variety of characters and the dialogue! But most of all, I get to make my singing debut!"

Sandia Performing Arts Company presents EXTINCT The Trilogy written and directed by Ruben Muller! This 15 minute movie stars James Pinkston, Katheen Welker, Julie Nelson, and Lacey Bingham. Filmed at Studio 519, the editing and special effects were done by Tim Nenninger of Timbojo Productions. Link to the film:

Reasons and Roy G Biv have been live streaming on Cable Access Channel 27. Channel 27 can be seen on Comcast, or at the link below. 

Check the Broadcast Schedule  at the above link to find when 

Reasons or Roy G Biv are being broadcast!

New Voices • New Mexico is designed to support emerging screenwriters from New Mexico as they develop feature film or television scripts. Details about the three-part program can be found here.

Rosalie's Magic Rocks

SPAC premiered Rosalie's Magic Rocks at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in 2019. It is now going to be the centerpiece of a children's theatre workshop in Ruidoso, NM. 

SPAC is proud that Ruben Muller's play will be part of introducing children to theater through the Lincoln County Community Theatre Workshop For Kids.