MCC faculty member tapped as costume designer for off-Broadway production celebrating the life of an Arizona Dreamer 

A sepia photograph of a woman with straight, dark chin-length hair. Adriana Diaz MESA, Arizona – April 18, 2022 – Adriana Diaz, design and production faculty and staff in the Theatre and Film Arts Department at Mesa Community College, is designing costumes for “Americano: The Musical” officially opening April 21 for a 12-week limited run through June 19 at New World Stages in New York. Previews started March 31.

This is her off-Broadway debut – when the lights of off-Broadway beckoned, Diaz couldn’t say no. “I am overwhelmed and proud to be a part of this project and elevating and celebrating Latino voices,” she said. “It’s something that people work towards for their entire career.”

“Americano: The Musical” is based on the true story of Tony Valdovinos, a Dreamer who grew up in Phoenix and discovers he’s an undocumented immigrant when he attempts to enlist in the Marines on his 18th birthday. A graduate of Camelback High School, Valdovinos had been brought to the U.S. at the age of two. The play chronicles his emotional journey and uncertain status in the country he loves.

For the play’s costume design, Diaz said it was important to make the characters capture the beauty of Arizona and Chicano culture, “but also really help us feel like we are part of Tony’s journey.”

Her greatest inspiration for the production, though, were many of her MCC students.”This story reflects them,” she adds. “As faculty at a community college, I have been able to watch many students go through some major transitions on their path and this story reflects that. I hope my design is able to reflect the path and growth that a person goes through as they face adversity and grow and develop their own voice, passion and strengths.” Diaz said she managed to “sneak in” a shirt from MCC and Gateway Community College into her designs.

Two renderings, drawings, of Adriana's costume designs for Americano: The MusicalRenderings of tow of Adriana Diaz's costume designs for Americano: The Musical Diaz is a regional designer who has designed multiple shows across the Valley including shows at The Phoenix Theatre Company, Childsplay, Arizona Opera and in other states. Diaz was asked to design the production’s costumes by Michael Barnard, the play’s co-author and director. He is also the producing artistic director of The Phoenix Theatre Company, the first company to produce “Americano: The Musical” which had a record-selling run. “I’ve worked with Michael for many years and have designed many shows for him,” Diaz explains. “I actually first moved to Phoenix to be The Phoenix Theatre Company’s very first costume intern years ago, sewing on buttons and running wardrobe backstage. But after graduate school I returned to Phoenix and began regularly designing for the company.”

Diaz recently returned to MCC from New York to prepare students for the Immersive Total Patient Management Experience at the college, teaching and overseeing students in costume design, moulage makeup, choreography and stage management for the enactment of medical emergencies for the event which serves as a capstone for future paramedicine professionals. She is also working with the costume shop to prepare for the college’s mainstage production of “Peter and the Starcatcher” opening April 29 at the MCC Theatre. For more information on the performance visit

# # #

Poster with a finger forward fist holding a chain with an American flag dog tag. Text: We're all dreamers. Americano: The Musical, in association with Chicanos Por La Causa.

Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892,

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Monday, April 18, 2022