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Stella Ruiz plays Mo’a in Ghostbird’s ‘ORBS!’


Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production is ORBS!, a site-specific play written by FGCU Theatre Professor and Ghostbird Artistic Director Barry Cavin. Conceived as a music-filled procession that takes place on the groomed paths of the historic grounds of the Koreshan Unity Community, ORBS! revolves around Dr. Cyrus Teed’s a modern vision of a clean, electric utopia for a new Adam and Eve. Stella Ruiz plays the role of Mo’a.

Ruiz last appeared in Ghostbird’s production of Writing Shadows, a fascinating psycho-drama that centered on a St. Louis housewife by the name of Pearl Curran who began channeling a woman who lived in the 1600s after dabbling with a Ouija board one afternoon in 1913. Ruiz starred in the dual roles of Pearl Curran and the spirit she channeled. She staggered and mesmerized the Ghostbird audiences lucky enough to see her performance in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District.

Ghostbird audiences will remember her as Antigone in Antigonick.

Ruiz has a reputation for playing smart, surly and somewhat mercurial female characters. One of her most memorable was that of the acerbic Daphna in Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews. Another was the brutally judgmental Eva in Robert Caisley’s Happy. Ruiz’s other Lab Theater credits include Lucy in Mr. Marmalade, Amelia, Helen, Waitress 3 and Kim in Bob: A Life in Five Acts, Patsy in The Rimers of Eldrich, Desdemona in Othello, Candy Starr in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ophelia in Hamlet and Belinda Cratchit and the Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol. Other notable roles include Nina and Hildy in Relatively Speaking, Katherine in Taming of the Shrew and Hecate in Macbeth (both at Gulf Shore Shakespeare Festival).

Her appearances have not been limited to the local stage. Stella also portrayed serial killer Monique Avril in the 2012 indie film Redemption.

Stella has also distinguished herself as a director. She directed a limited engagement of Zalman Velvel’s 55 and Over, and people familiar with Lab Theater recognize her as the organizer extraordinaire of The Lab’s annual 24-Hour Playwriting Challenge. Stella also knows the boards as a stage manager, having functioned in that capacity in Amadeus, Five Kinds of Silence, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Extremities and Because Beauty Must Be Broken Daily.

A playwright, Ruiz has written four full-length and several one-act plays. She was also a co-author of Lab Theater’s groundbreaking Rauschenberg Project Play, which gave Southwest Florida audiences a glimpse into the challenges faced on a daily basis by teenaged and young adult members of our local LGBTQ community.

Because of her keen mind and analytic abilities, she is often invited by Eric Raddatz and Melissa DeHaven to serve as a guest celebrity at T.G.I.M. screenings, where she invariably offers insightful observations that draw upon her extensive film and theatrical experiences.

January 25, 2018.


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