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Carmela Full of Wishes

Adapted by Alvaro Saar Rios
From the book by Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson.
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Reader

It’s Carmela’s birthday, and she’s finally old enough to accompany her big brother on his errands. On their way to the laundromat, past fields of what her Mamí calls “flores de cempazuchitl”, Carmela finds a puffy white dandelion to blow, but her brother asks “Did you even make a wish?”

The Newbery award-winning team behind Last Stop on Market Street portrays Carmela’s migrant community as a vibrant place of possibility. Full of touching and funny fantasies, Carmela must decide what her deepest wish is and she must do it before her birthday is over.

  • Run Dates Jan 28 - Feb 13, 2022
  • Appropriate Ages All Audiences
  • Duration 50 minutes
Carmela Full of Wishes Photo

Show Program:



  • Carmela – Mireya Luna
  • Big Brother – Isaiah Ruiz
  • Mami – Tatiana Sandoval
  • Papi – Emmanuel (Manny) Oñate

Artistic/Production Credits

  • Director – Anna Skidis Vargas
  • Stage Manager – Lisa Krabbenhoft
  • Scenic Designer – Tara A. Houston
  • Lighting Designer – Matt Benes
  • Sound Designer & Engineer – Christy Hernandez
  • Composer & Music Production – David R. Molina
  • Costume, Hair & Makeup Designer – Zach Kloppenborg
  • Director of Production – Sarah Buck
  • Resident Costume Designer – Sherri Geerdes
  • Technical Director & Master Carpenter – Jackson Curtright
  • Props Mistress – Devon Denn-Young
  • Scenic Charge Artist – Trent Grooms
  • Swing Tech – Jeff Ludwig
  • Swing Tech & Run Crew – Jesse Groff
  • Lighting & Production Apprentice – Angel Hernandez
  • Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Zach Kloppenborg, Audio Helkuik
Mireya Luna

Mireya Luna

Carmela –

Mireya Luna (Carmela) is a theatre artist from Houston, Texas. Mireya has most recently appeared as Viola in Twelfth Night with The University of Texas’ Shakespeare and Dramaturgy, Maria/Lisa in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play and Ariel in The Tempest with UT’s Performance as a Public Practice Graduate Student Alliance. When she isn’t on stage, Mireya enjoys writing, baking and relaxing with yoga. Mireya is very grateful to The Rose Theater and her family for all the support and for making dreams come true!

Isaiah Ruiz

Isaiah Ruiz

Big Brother –

Isaiah is thrilled to be making his Rose Theater DEBUT! Isaiah is the brand-new Director Of Community Connections for The Rose. He joins us from Chino, California where he has built a career as an award-winning performer and director. Some of his favorite past roles include Fester in The Addams Family, the title role in Shrek and Bernardo in West Side Story. Isaiah has studied Communications and Theater Arts at a few different colleges and attended The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts where he had the opportunity to teach and perform around the country. For fun Isaiah loves to read, cook, and hang out with friends! Isaiah is extremely grateful to be able to play in a space full of Latinx creators and hopes you enjoy the show as much as he has!

Tatiana Sandoval

Tatiana Sandoval

Mami –

Tatiana is thrilled to be a part of her first production at The Rose Theater. After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa last spring with a B.A in Theatre, she is excited to dive back into the world of storytelling in Carmela Full of Wishes. Her favorite past roles in undergrad include Helga in Cabaret and the roles of Adventurer, Scientist, and Astronaut in the all immersive experience and devised theatre for youth production of To Touch the Moon. Tatiana’s favorite part of theatre has always been the community that is built within each project and she is grateful that The Rose Theatre has welcomed her in with open arms and an open heart. She sends out immense gratitude to everyone who helped her expand her love and knowledge of theatre and those who continue showing their support.

Emmanuel (Manny) Oñate

Emmanuel (Manny) Oñate

Papi –

Manny graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Musical Theatre in 2019. Since then he has been working at RESPECT writing, directing and acting in plays primarily for students. Manny also works as a Legal Assistant at Immigrant Legal Center. Manny has been involved in a number of productions in the Omaha area, some of which include "EPIC!" at GPTC, "Dairy Maid Right" at Shelterbelt, "Madagascar" and "Newsies" at The Rose, and "Sweat" at Omaha Community Playhouse, which he received the Elaine Jabenis Cameo Award. Manny is excited to be back at The Rose and to be performing such a beautiful script with such a talented cast and team.

Anna Skidis Vargas

Anna Skidis Vargas

Director –

Anna Skidis Vargas is a director, actor, and playmaker who subverts stereotypes through myth, spirituality, and humor with a focus on Latinx and mixed identity stories. Skidis Vargas holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin (UT), and a B.A. in Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is part of the 2018-21 Rising Leaders of Color cohort with TCG, and is the Founding Artistic Director of Theatre Nuevo. Skidis Vargas has directed for Mustard Seed Theatre and Theatre Nuevo (St. Louis, MO), First Stage (Milwaukee, WI), Texas State University, UT Austin, St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX) and has upcoming productions at Cape Fear Regional Theatre (Fayetteville, NC), and Children’s Theatre of Madison (WI). She is absolutely thrilled to to be making her debut here at The Rose with Alvaro Saar Rios’ incredible adaptation of Carmela Full of Wishes!

David R. Molina

David R. Molina

Composer & Music Production –

David R. Molina is a musician, sound artist/designer/engineer, and instrument inventor. He works nationally and internationally in the performing arts, multimedia, and film productions. His work focuses on social justice and working with marginalized community members. Recent credits include: Regional: King Lear (STL Shakespeare Festival), Quixote Nuevo (Hartford Stage, Huntington Theater, The Alley, Round House), Mojada (Rep of St. Louis, CTG, OSF), Two Trains Running (Seattle Rep, Arena Stage), Macbeth (Next Chapter Podcasts, Play On! Shakes). Resident Artist: Brava Theater, NAKA Dance Theater, Human Shakes. Awards: LA Ovation, Creative Capital Grant, Wattis Fund, InterMusic SF MGP, San Francisco Arts Commission Grant. Instrument design and multimedia art: SFMOMA, The Broad, Oakland Museum of California, McLoughlin Gallery. Music collaborations: Tau (Berlin), Emanative (UK), El Paso (Peru), The Pyramids. Molina’s bands: Impuritan, Ghosts and Strings, Transient.

Show Photos

Know Before You Go


Everyone deserves a chance to experience the magic of theater. Performances are open to children and family members of all abilities. Click here to learn more about accessibility at The Rose.

Social Stories

A social story is a tool that helps individuals better understand the world around them so they can plan for a positive experience, even if they are going into an place that is unknown to them. Social stories help individuals know what to expect and what to do in unfamiliar situations by walking them through the experience. They are often used by individuals on the autism spectrum, children with sensory needs or those with other special needs. They can be very helpful for very young children anticipating their first theatrical experience. The Rose’s social stories feature photos of all areas of the theater to help children of all abilities with a step-by-step explanation of what it is like to visit The Rose, as well as answering questions they may have. Click here to access The Rose’s show-specific social stories.

Theater Location

The Rose is located in downtown Omaha at 2001 Farnam Street on the southwest corner of 20th & Farnam Streets.


From west Omaha, take I-80 East to 1-480 North and exit onto 20th Street. The Rose is located on Farnam Street, approximately three blocks south of the 20th Street exit.

Convenient Parking

The closest and most convenient parking is available for $2 in the garage at 19th & Harney, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission (1910 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102).

Parking meters surrounding the theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with free parking available on Sundays and holidays. A variety of parking lots are available around the theater, as well, ranging in cost from $2-$5.

Safety at The Rose

For generations, The Rose has been a trusted friend for children and families. We may be doing things a little differently this season, but our commitment to you is still the same.

Throughout this pandemic and in the days that follow, we promise that we will continue to be the place where families can be inspired by the magic of theater.

As our community begins to re-open, we re-commit to being a place where your family can enjoy the performing arts safely and securely.

From onstage performances to classroom experiences, we are dedicated to the health and well-being of every individual — young people, parents, grandparents, educators, artists and staff. This may mean that you encounter some changes during your Rose experience, and we ask for your cooperation and partnership with us to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Here are just a few examples of our commitment to your safety:

Enhanced cleaning procedures

The auditorium and lobby will be thoroughly cleaned before and after each performance for your family’s safety.

Masking Policy

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Rose has been committed to creating a safe space for our students, audiences, families, staff and volunteers. As we move into the latest phase of COVID-19, we recognize the need to re-evaluate our policies and procedures.

With the recommendation of the CDC, and vaccinations not being available for our target and most vulnerable audience members, The Rose is REQUIRING masks to be worn at all times in our building. This includes audience members during mainstage performances.

Thank you for your support of The Rose! We appreciate your help in making The Rose a safe place for all.

While the world around us changes, you can be assured that The Rose remains committed to you and your family, and that we continue to be a place where you and your children can experience the joy and spectacle of the performing arts together.