For over 20 years Alisa has worked with birthing families in many capacities – mostly as a licensed midwife.  She is the owner and clinical director of the San Antonio Birth Center, a free-standing birth center specializing in mother-friendly prenatal care, out-of-hospital birth (including water birth), and postpartum care for low-risk women.  Alisa was inspired by the BOLD movement in 2006 at a production of BIRTH in Austin, Texas.  With no prior acting experience, she was part of the original team that performed BIRTH in San Antonio in 2009 and was honored to again be a part of the cast in 2013.

What is new for Alisa this 3rd time in the role of JILLIAN is that she is bringng a deeper personal knowledge to the role after giving birth to her daughter in 2014. And yes, she is really 25 weeks pregnant, and excited to welcome a son in early 2016.

Crista is a homeschooling mother to five boys ages 1-11.  She loves traveling with her super-hot husband of 15 years.  Although she has lived in California, Arizona, Georgia, and Mexico, she has been proud to call San Antonio her home for the past 3 years.

Her passion for supporting mothers began shortly after listening to a friend’s heartbreaking birth story.  Since then she became more informed with the various options available to pregnant and birthing women.  Crista had an unplanned, yet beautiful c-section experience, followed by four unique and powerful home births. After having the honor of playing “Beth” in the 2013 production of BIRTH, Crista is thankful to have the opportunity to participate once again with an amazing group of individuals and tell these stories that cry out for the ethical and safe treatment of birthing mothers everywhere.

Erika A. Casasola is a Retail Manager and Visuals Specialist for REI San Antonio and Visual Curator for her freelance business Akire.  She is passionate about making her surroundings beautiful, peaceful, accessible, fun and diverse. Additionally, she creates works of fine art in charcoal and has exhibited her work in local and statewide art exhibits. As a lesbian mother of two, Casasola values the importance in taking care of her family as well as others. She is dedicated to giving back to her community and gives back as the Co-Founder and Treasurerof LezRideSA, a volunteer at local children’s homes. In 2013, Casasola acted in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues.

JAN OLSEN (director)
Birth is truly a labor of love for Jan as it combines her two passions of birth and theatre. Jan recently retired after 28 years as a Nurse-Midwife and has been a part of Lone Star Nurse-Midwives since she helped start the practice in 1996. Jan was so inspired by the 2009 production of BIRTH here in San Antonio, that she decided to take on the challenge of directing a revival in 2013. The response to BIRTH 2013 was so amazing that Jan and Suzanne in a moment of weakness and inspiration decided to do it again!!!

Jan has been amazed and moved by the experience of working with this group of volunteers who have given so much of their time and talents to bring this very
important work back to the stage. Their commitment is not only to BIRTH but also to changing the culture of childbirth in our community. Jan would like to thank her producer, stage manager and dear friend, Suzanne de Leon for being brave or foolish enough to take this journey with her a second time. Finally, love and gratitude goes to her partner, Therese Huntzinger, who listened, encouraged and always had that glass of wine waiting.

Janet’s explorer instincts have taken her to seek out her own authenticity and be a pioneer into her own truth, thus creating space for women to find their personal authenticity, empowerment, and transformation through Red Tent – SA, Bodysex – a body image and pleasure workshop, and the creation of a new podcast called Mommy Sex Confessions.

She’s also actively facilitating sex education at the Megaplex-SA and is skilled at intuitive, one-on-one coaching.  Find her at her Facebook page or periscope @Janettrevino210. She also writes for a SA local, monthly publication, StreetTalk.

When not catapulting ideas and powerful experiences into the world, she’s raising 4 kids whom she birthed at home.

Originally from California, Kara has lived in San Antonio for nearly 20 years where she practiced as a midwife for many of those years. She now works as a nurse in a transplant ICU. The things she likes best about herself tend to make her “ungoogleable,” but very happy. She enjoys making small, artful paper boxes; spending time friends who also have
similar ideas about mixing laughter, meaning, and intention; and drinking champagne. She has a compost pile, is part of a writing group and is a work in progress in nearly every way. At this time, the love of her life is David, an Australian shepherd who is also “ungoogleable.”

Rebecca began her motherhood journey as a single mama striving to earn her
Bachelor’s degree with a toddler in tow. With the love and never-ending support from her family, Rebecca earned her degree.  In graduate school, she fell head over heels in love with her husband, Blake Harrington and welcomed another beautiful daughter into the family.

Rebecca became a certified doula, joined Birthing from Within San Antonio and became a Birthing From Within Mentor. It has been a perfect fit. This is Rebecca’s second time performing in BIRTH and she hopes that everyone watching is touched like she is by the intensity of birth.

SONDRA GERVASI (stage manager)
Sondra began her theatre obsession in 2010, working the soundboard in the Cellar Theatre at the Playhouse. Since then, she has worked behind the scenes for many shows in community theatre all throughout San Antonio. She has a BA from UTSA in early childhood education and worked many years as an Assistant Director for child development. Now, she spends her time with her own small business, working theatre, and being an avid volunteer for San Antonio. She is a member of the Green Spaces Alliance board and a mother of three young adults.

Giving birth to her three children was the greatest act in her life and she is honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the production of BIRTH.  She hopes that many women will find support and strength in listening to these shared stories.

SUZANNE DE LEON (producer)
After 20 years of working in the legal field, Suzanne was inspired to change careers to work with pregnant women, with a focus on at-risk teenage and low-income mothers. In
1999, she and Cait Womack co-founded San Antonio Birth Doulas (SABD) as a nonprofit
organization and she has served as executive director.  In 2005, SABD merged with Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio. Since then, Suzanne has also served as executive director of Guadalupe Home, a transitional shelter for homeless mothers and babies.

Suzanne was part of the BIRTH play in 2013 and is returning as producer and co-stage manager in BOLDSA2015’s production of BIRTH, a play by Karen Brody. Being part of the BIRTH play for two productions, depicting what happens to so many vulnerable mothers
during their labors and births, has been another highlight of her career. These birth stories and memories presented on stage need to be told to remind us that by using our voice, change can be made in how our babies will be born. Suzanne has personally assisted in the births of over 650 babies and her true desire is that every baby be born into a loving, peaceful and welcoming environment.

Another side to her is that she is serving her third term as mayor of the City of Balcones Heights and is helping to revitalize her city into a vibrant, urban community. Suzanne is the mother of two sons, two step-daughters, 10 grandchildren and has been married to
her husband, Robert, for the past 31 years. Suzanne’s mantra . . . It All Begins at

Tonya is a 1998 graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word.  Throughout her early and college education, she was very active in the music community and studied under the top piano performance instructors in the San Antonio area.

As an advocate for women and the LGBT community, she began volunteering with the Human Rights Campaign and actively fights for the individual voices and experiences of those in the San Antonio community who have not been heard.  Tonya is married with one son, and as a native to San Antonio, she wants to be an active part in making this city even greater.

Xelina has been acting off and on since she was 19, works as a birth doula and educator, and is a freelance journalist and photographer. She is very happy to be acting in BIRTH for the third time. For her, saying the phrase, “The baby was knocking on my Butt,” never gets old!

Xelina would like to thank the cast and crew for their commitment and hard work toward getting such an important message out. She would also like to thank her 3 boys for being patient through the preproduction and production of the show.