About  Ariana     [she/they]
ArianaValdes-Bushnell-Mortensen Hall.jpg

From the first time she saw the musical Annie, Ariana knew she wanted to give 'the hard knock life' of theatre her best shot! In 1995, she auditioned for her dream role of an orphan, but Hartford Children's Theatre had different plans for her.  Instead, at age nine, she was cast as Charlie Bucket's dad, Mr. Bucket, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, beginning what would become a long standing trend of playing character roles at least 15-30 years older than her!

 

Growing up in Connecticut, she was immersed in the performing arts, singing in vocal competitions and with various choral groups, as well as performing in several musicals at school and throughout her community. In high school, she was selected as one of six singers to participate in the Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT, a scholarship program providing voice lessons and coaching, music theory and piano training, as well as monthly masterclasses and yearly recitals. Ariana went on to continue her collegiate vocal studies with Chair of Voice & Opera, Patty Thom at The Boston Conservatory where she studied Vocal Performance with an Opera Emphasis.

 

Ariana ultimately found roots in New York, where she continues her career as a professional singer and actress, working as a freelance soloist for special events and churches, and traveling to perform in theatrical productions throughout the country and abroad! As an actress, Ariana has toured throughout the United States, Canada and Singapore with National and International Touring productions and has performed in several regional productions at theaters across the country including Paper Mill Playhouse, The Gateway Playhouse, The Palace Theatre, Arizona Broadway Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Prather Entertainment, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Westchester Broadway Theatre, La Comedia Dinner Theatre, Theatre Three, White Plains Performing Arts Center, and the John W. Engeman Theater.

After traveling and performing around North America in the NETworks National Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, Ariana went on to make her Off Broadway debut as Divonne Bruder in the NYC premiere of The Green Room at the American Theatre of Actors. After the pandemic hiatus and several virtual readings and cabarets later, Ariana finally safely returned fully vaccinated to the in-person theatrical stage playing Gertrude in Hamlet at Scranton Shakespeare Festival over the summer and Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in the fall. Up next, Ariana will direct and sing the role of Viola in a developmental concert presentation of Love is Love is Love the Musical with Music and Lyrics by Michelle Lee, presented at 54 Below on January 3, 2022. She is also ECSTATIC to rejoin the ensemble cast of Paper Mill Playhouse's previously postponed and rescheduled production of Sister Act running throughout June 2022!

In 2019, Ariana was recognized and featured as one of "New York's Latinos 40 Under 40" in the inaugural New York City edition of the Chicago based publication Negocios Now magazine. In addition to performing, Ariana has served as a director, guest teaching artist, vocal director, and voice coach, having contributed to various productions at the John W. Engeman Theater, Bayway Arts Center, Studio Theatre of Lindenhurst, Conard High School, George F. Baker High School, and Take A Bow Playhouse.

 

With The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Ariana has served as a Guest Teaching Artist for The Bushnell's Musical Explorers program, created in conjunction with the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Having lead several Masterclasses with the Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship throughout the 2020-2021 season, she went on to make her directorial debut with EDVF, conceptualizing the end of year virtual concert Time, Dreams, and the Changes Between, filmed in The Belding Theater and streamed online in August. Ariana is honored to oversee the next generation of aspiring young artists as the newly appointed Artistic Director of EDVF presents the Ensign-Darling New Voices vocal talent development program at The Bushnell!

 

News & Upcoming Events

 

  • Ariana will be heard as Viola in 

Love is Love is Love the Musical by Michelle Lee

presented at 54 BELOW on January 3, 2022!

www.LoveisLoveisLoveTheMusical.com

Love is Love is Love The Musical