ALICIA MENA (Doña Mercedes)

After working with many of the major theaters in the Houston theater community for years, Alicia Mena relocated to San Antonio in 1993 where she worked at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center as a writer, director and actor. In 1995 she founded Burras Finas Productions with the mission of staging the annual production of Las Nuevas Tamaleras which is included in an anthology of works by Latina writers published by the University of Arizona Press entitled Puro Teatro.  Mena’s full-length comedy, There Comes a Time was developed and produced by Teatro Esperanza for the First Annual Festival Latino in San Francisco, CA. The play has also been produced in Houston at Stages Repertory Theater and a Talento Bilingue de Houston.




Ruby is celebrating 50 years of working as a Chicana Cultural Worker. Recently she was featured artist in JumpStart Performance Company’s sold-out showcase of Tejana Atomica. She participated in a Film Review Committee as part of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center 44th CineFestival. In her career as a touring artist, she has performed in numerous venues including the Whitney Museum in New York, El Rancho Perez, Smithsonian, backyard of poet raulsalinas’ Resistencia Bookstore and the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As a noted cultural warrior, she has also performed in prisons, juvenile detention centers, women’s shelters, political rallies, schools and universities. According to Ruby, “Thank you to our amazing and loyal fan-base for making Las Nuevas Tamaleras a San Antonio success story, we would be nothing without you.”


Patricia is a multifaceted storyteller that has been a member of the Tamalera family since 2015. Most recently she appeared on stage at The Public Theater of San Antonio in the musical Footloose as VI MOORE. Writing projects include a screenplay collaboration titled, The Devil’s Mare and The Sandia which will be featured in the Somos Tejanas Anthology to be published by UT Press. Her play, Un Nuevo Capitulo: An American Novela, was an official selection of the 2021 Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Teatro Salon Readers Theater Series and was subsequently produced in 2022, by Aria Creative Productions. She was a 2023 Public Theater SoTex playwright for her play, The Chismosa Mysteries and a 2019 Artist in Residence at The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Teatro Salon for her original solo show, Curanderas & Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life, which was later produced by Teatro Audaz and Stage Left Theater.  A voiceover actor for Audible Parade Productions, Patricia has a BA in Theater from St. Edward’s University and a Masters Degree from The University of Texas Pan American. She wishes to thank her family and the fans for their constant love and support. Visit for more information.



Rodriguez has been with Las Nuevas Tamaleras since 1993. She graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1999 with a BFA degree in acting and theatre education. Sonia has been acting professionally since 1987. She currently teaches theatre arts and directs the  UIL One Act Play at Pleasanton High School. Sonia was named Pleasanton ISD Teacher of the Year in 2006-2007. She graduated from Walden University with a Masters in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Sonia would like to thank her parents, family, friends and the Tamaleras fans for all their love and support these past 29 seasons. She looks forward to many more!



Jillian Sainz, a dedicated local actress, is overjoyed to join the cast of Las Nuevas Tamaleras in the role of Patsy.  Having developed a fond appreciation of the San Antonio theatre community, Jillian is deeply honored to contribute to this cherished show and the city’s beloved tradition. Her journey as a community theatre actress has blossomed into a thriving career, with standout performances such as Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet! (ATAC Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical) and Diana Morales in a A Chorus Line at the Woodlawn Theatre. Most recently, she graced the stage as Mimi Marquez in RENT at the San Antonio Broadway Theatre. Jillian holds deep gratitude towards her supportive friends, loving family, and the inspiring theatre community in San Antonio that has propelled her her passion for the arts!

SHELBY SMITH (Stage Manager)

Shelby is passionate about all things artistic and expressive, from music and poetry to production and theatre. She has had the honor of acting in The Glass Menagerie, The Groundlings, and multiple performing arts showcases, as well as deck-managed multiple shows at North East Lakeview College. Shelby is immensely grateful and blessed to be a part of the Las Nuevas Tamaleras family and is joyous to enter her fourth year as stage manager for this heartfelt and wonderful production.