"Here directed and choreographed by Elena Araoz…This staging is refreshingly natural. In Act I when Violetta, feeling faint, invites her party guests to begin dancing in the next room without her, Ms. Mitchell, as Violetta, rests in a chair at the salon table. When Mr. Pomeroy's Alfredo, who is smitten with Violetta, comes alone to see her, he pulls up another chair close to her and straddles its backrest. The two remain seated realistically during their first romantic exchanges. And in the last act, when Violetta is dying, she does not stand up in a last flush of excitement on the return of her penitent lover, Alfredo, the way this scene is almost always staged...Ms. Mitchell sang the whole act, giving an affecting performance of the aria "Addio del passato," from her deathbed."

The New York Times by Anthony Tommasini, February 13, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM
original production Sir Jonathan Miller

"Some of the most affecting moments of acting you're likely to find in a contemporary Traviata…Here you believe that a love that percolated for a year comes to fruition in one duet, caressingly sung in part by David Pomeroy whose caramel-hued tenor allowed each note to stretch out in a buttery blend of dark and light, barely touching Violetta in observance of contemporary social mores…When Violetta faints, her protector in the Baron Douphol checks in on her as he would any other investment, before going back, disaffectedly, to his newspaper. The revelries for which he presumably pays are maintenance costs for his love life…Social consciousness permeates the opera, with Downton Abbey–style interactions between courtesans, the men who keep them and their servants…There's a moment following Violetta's duet with Alfredo's father in which the two look a downward, desolate glance at each other, and then stare ahead once again before Violetta sighs, "Ebben?" ("Well, then?"). And you don't dare breathe when Alfredo, after cursing out Violetta, turns to find himself face-to-face with his father…Violetta is bedridden, barely moving throughout the final act. When Alfredo enters, he is struck in the doorway, dumbfounded, and you can imagine the stench of death and the shock of seeing a loved one wasted away. It's riveting when Violetta actually does make subtle movements or pulls herself up by the footboard to let out a ringing "Gran dio!" True to character, her final note is cut down in its prime, and you have to stare hard to see the moment at which she expires, making for one of the most affecting Violetta deaths I've seen."

WQXR by Olivia Giovetti, February 13, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM

"Staged at BAM by Elena Araoz, the production flowed…Stage pictures stirred the imagination…an opening hoop-skirted tableau conjured a field of restless pastel haystacks."

New York Daily News by Joe Dziemianowicz, February 14, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM

"…provided just the sort of intimacy, realism, and honesty that the company needs to distinguish itself not only from the Metropolitan Opera but from its own history…strips away 169 years of excess and provides us with the skeleton of the opera, focusing on the contrast between the public and the scandalous, and the private and brutally complex. Public spaces – Violetta's house, Flora's party – become spaces for private contemplation or confrontations, always with the feeling that everyone is listening, gossiping, and judging. This is most effective during Violetta and Alfredo's Act I duet "Un dì felice" and their Act II confrontation "Invitato a qui seguirmi," when we see the other guests in the interior rooms, eavesdropping on their confessions of love or running to witness the painful spectacle of accusation. Using the public to highlight intimacy of the private relationships around which the opera revolves, the production creates an intimacy and a spontaneity that is amplified by the close quarters of the Howard Gilman Opera House. Every vocal nuance, facial expression, and gesture reads as if the audience were watching it on a wide movie screen, forcing the audience's engagement."

Opera Pulse by Steven Jude Tietjen, February 18, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM

"Doors in the walls are ajar, revealing the outside world where people dance, and visitors come and go. When society impinges on intimate lives, problems like those in La Traviata arise. As the world constricts in the final scene, Violetta, the fallen woman of the title, dies in the presence of those she loves most, all doors shut to ward off the world. Under Violetta's bed is a bedpan, reminding us that this is verismo opera...In NYCO's production, the story seems very fresh."

Berkshire Fine Arts by Susan Hall, February 13, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM

"La Traviata was the best possible news for the company…clear, unfussy verismo. It sets the time and place, opens up the context into social values that are normally strange to us, and then stays out of the way of the music, singing and acting. The dramatic conflict in the story is silly to all but the most stuffy and anachronistic listeners — we believe in, and are moved by, the drama because Verdi's music makes it work. And because the artist made it work. Laquita Mitchell was a sweet, clear-voiced Violetta. She's a lyrical, graceful singer with a human presence, and her characterization was of a loving young woman cut down by tragedy, and facing it with empathetic equanimity, not one whose internal fires begat the consumption that fells her…If a measure of an opera company is the quality of what they put on stage, City Opera remains world class."

Seen and Heard International, by George Grella, March 7, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM

"Araoz did have a deft hand with…the staging. The gypsy and matador choruses were exquisitely choreographed and a real highlight of Act II. The New York City Opera chorus also deserves mention for carrying off first-rate singing and some lively dancing during all the party scenes."

Bachtrack, Gale Martin, February 16, 2012
about La Traviata with New York City Opera at BAM

"Villano's new play features two pairs of upwardly mobile parents whose initially civil encounter steadily degenerates into nerve-shattering combat. But Company goes to further extremes, and its quartet of 40-something characters are not strangers but longtime friends. That means they have plenty of shared history, including a few seamy chapters whose details spill out during the course of an explosive afternoon. All of them have law degrees, too, so the dialogue has the strategic, hyper-verbal flavor of courtroom maneuvering and argumentation…Director Elena Araoz maintains a headlong pace, and all four cast members deliver vividly etched performances. Your attention is unlikely to flag."

The Boston Globe, by Don Aucoin, October 9, 2012
about The Company We Keep at Boston Playwrights' Theatre

"A well-crafted new play with high strung characters who snap, dialogue that crackles, and scenes that pop in unanticipated ways. Director Elena Araoz takes advantage of the script's inherent tension and discomfort to create suspense and many surprises in this cross between Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Marianna Bassham, John Kooi, Bill Mootos, and Jessica Webb breathe life into Villano's characters who are not such nice people, but whose flaws and neuroses provide rich fodder for conflict and plot…The Company We Keep is a black comedy with biting, stinging humor delivered with impeccable timing by this stellar cast of veteran actors…Ellie is all about appearances and keeping a lid on things. Her kitchen is pristine and even the contents of her cabinets are lined up like soldiers…When circumstances shift in the second act, Ellie's control becomes more manic and Webb channels Lady Macbeth scrubbing out a spill on the counter. Katherine is multi-faceted and Bassham has a field day bringing her different aspects into focus. Although she seems friendly and malleable, she is the steeliest of the four and ultimately takes control to get what she wants…Their nuanced performances will grab you and tighten their grip as the play careens to its conclusion…Set Designer Cameron Anderson gives us much that we need to know about Ellie with his spare, white kitchen. Jeff Adelberg lights everything brightly, leaving no safe place for hiding secrets…I'm not sure what I expected when I entered the theater, but I got more than I bargained for and enjoyed every word, twist, and turn. To quote Margo Channing in All About Eve, "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night."

Broadwayworld.com, by Nancy Grossman, October 11, 2012
about The Company We Keep with Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Lucia di Lammermoor, the 19th-century Italian opera by Gaetano Donizetti, which is being given a stellar production at the Lebanon Opera House, has nearly all the elements required of a pot-boiling tragedy…This Opera North production sets the opera in Richmond, Va., at the end of the Civil War. The city is in ruins, and Enrico Ashton hopes to marry off his sister Lucia to a wealthy suitor, Arturo Bucklaw. But Lucia has fallen in love with a Union officer, Edgardo di Ravenswood, and resists her brother’s plans…Lucia is what feminist scholars have called the “Madwoman in the Attic,” the woman whose sanity is questioned because she objects to having her future controlled by others. Donizetti wasn’t a feminist, of course, but the opera, and this staging by Elena Araoz, does raise provocative questions about where the line of madness lies. Lucia has a mad scene, but is she mad? Or is she a young woman who has come through a long war in a bombarded city, who has also recently lost her mother and is under the thumb of a dictatorial brother? She snaps but whether this is the result of chronic mental instability or a kind of blunt force trauma is ambiguous. Opera North has done first-rate work in recent years but this production is exceptionally well-sung and acted. It has two star performances by [Angela] Mortellaro and DongWon Kim as Enrico Ashton, who bring not only power and a purity of line to vocally demanding roles but the kind of emotional conviction and truthfulness that sets the best opera singers apart. Are they acting singers or singing actors? They’re both, and you don’t want to miss them if you can help it.”

Valley News, by Nicola Smith, August 8, 2013
about Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera North, NH

"Both productions showed what can happen when a smart director and talented casts revitalize works that can become weighed down by musty cliches...Opera North’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Lebanon Opera House this summer took an intensely Gothic tale of family, revenge and doomed lovers, which was originally set in 17th century Scotland, and moved it to Richmond, Va., during the Civil War. The two warring families became Union and Confederate...The direction by Elena Araoz gave a florid melodrama new life by suggesting that the heroine Lucia, who has one of the great mad scenes in opera (or anywhere, really), is as much the unwitting pawn of a patriarchal society as she is a fragile flower... At this stage in its development, Opera North is, judging by the caliber of this production, just about where it wants to be."

"How the Arts Moved Us in 2013: Our Favorite Moments in Books, Art, Music, Movies and Theater"

Valley News, by Nicola Smith, December 28, 2013
about Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera North, NH

"The opening night of A Midsummer Night's Dream showed that the festival is as skilled with comedy as with history. This was a well-paced and well-executed performance directed by Elena Araoz and utilizing scenic and lighting designs by Broadway designer Justin Townsend that transformed the picturesque outdoor theater at Vyšehrad into a truly enchanting setting…Uniquely suited to this theater, A Midsummer Night's Dream utilized every inch of this very specific performance space, with actors climbing up and over walls and peeking at times through the tree branches that arch over the stage."

The Prague Post, Stephan Delbos, June 20, 2012
about A Midsummer Night's Dream with Prague Shakespeare Festival, Prague

“The troupe not only gave its audiences something different; it gave them juicy morsels to chew on, each very different from the others and pretty novel in and of themselves...Horrocks (and Toutatis too), written by Mac Wellman and directed by Elena Araoz, is a solo piece featuring a character know as ‘A very tall young girl...’ Erin Mallon...does delicious, delicate justice to Wellman’s purling riot of wordplay. This is a piece that is, or might as well be, written in what literary scholars call ‘schizophrenese,’ a style of language that has an immediate clarity, but that seems to defy focused scrutiny. It seems, at times, like a metaphor for sexual politics, but its specific imagery -- detailing, as it does, deliberately vague notions -- doesn’t stand still long enough to take on any definite labels. This is a composition... and yes, it does have a lyrical and compositional music about it... that forces you to lie back and surrender to it. Act Two is a single presentation, also written by Wellman and directed by Araoz, a musical tour de force in which the four-piece band Electric Chamber Music takes the lyricism of the second play and brings it to literal, musical life, as a futuristic (or fantastical? Or psychotronic?) emcee -- or rather, M.C.R. (Timothy Siragusa) -- narrates and sings in a long howl of articulate frenzy, tinged not only with madness but also with bluegrass, classical, and neoclassical. It’s a tale about the ‘erasure of identity,’ complete with ‘telepathic transparencies,’ a ‘hay ride’ into either solipsism or Nirvana... and maybe both at once...For aficionados of the slanted, the atonal, the minimalist, and the hyper-shapely, super-smart edge of the arts, this The Madness of Small Worlds was better than your standard dose of Darjeeling. It was even better than a double shot of rye.”

Edge Boston by Kilian Melloy, October 29, 2013
about Wu World Woo and Horrocks (and Toutatis too) with Sleeping Weazel at ArtsEmerson

“Sleeping Weazel Production Company is celebrating its second season in Boston, and is starting off with a bang by introducing us to the off-the-charts works of Mac Wellman...The acting here was top notch...Special kudos to Ms. Mallon, who delivered an incredible monologue as the tall, thin girl….on the charcoal road...It is a mind bending experience, so much so you may hear a snap.”

didyouweekend.com by Richard DiMaggio, October 26, 2013
about Wu World Woo and Horrocks (and Toutatis too) with Sleeping Weazel at ArtsEmerson

"This new play, based on (or at least inspired by) Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Christabel" (1797-1800), is a diverting, idiosyncratic little fable that turns primal…Coleridge never finished the poem, so Ms. Bustamante and the director, Elena Araoz, are free to go wild at the end. And they do. The big finish, which puts Susan Zeeman Rogers's clever set to the test, is both tragic and optimistic. The last word goes to the poem's mastiff, played by a flat dog statue, whose growls and other vocalizations are comic high points."

The New York Times by Anita Gates, March 19, 2009
about Thirst: a spell for Christabel with First Light Theatre Group and HERE Arts Center

"The production does succeed beautifully in its stagecraft. Set designer Susan Zeeman Rogers captures both the drabness of Christabel's day-to-day life and the looming power and mystery of the forest and of Enid. The stage is framed with rough, burlap-mesh covered cutouts of trees, and tree silhouettes as a backdrop. But everything hides a secret and a potential for transformation— trees contain drawers and cupboards; Enid emerges from a drawer in a piece of furniture that mutates from a burly kitchen table to a girl's delicate bed—and just when you think all the tricks have been played out, the final scene completely transforms the space yet again…marrying simplicity with mystery and a touch of stage magic."

Nytheatre.com by Loren Noveck, March 13, 2009
about Thirst: a spell for Christabel with First Light Theatre Group and HERE Arts Center

"It's the performances that put the show over the top, and director Elena Araoz makes the most of her cast's considerable chops. Fraizer, a trained clown, has some dexterous moments of physical comedy, and Pinter invests the character of Stephen Marx with the proper note of egotistical bombast. Still, Miriam is the show's true comedic center, and the role gives Lori Funk the chance to really go to town. All self-dramatizing poses and elegantly arched nostrils, her Miriam comes off like a...glamorous monster with a kind of undefined, all-consuming voraciousness. Plus she can peel a mango like nobody's business."

Backstage by A.J. Mell, June 9, 2008 CRITIC'S PICK
about Three on A Couch with Redshift Productions at Soho Playhouse

"Djerassi's play expertly mixes the genres film noir, commedia dell'arte, and broad farce into a hilarious cocktail of theatre. Everything is working here: the jokes come from all directions, both high and lowbrow. Elena Araoz's direction takes a highly intelligent and verbose script and wrings every last ounce of comedy out of it. The design complements the action with an expert touch...The cast is firing on all cylinders as well. Mark Pinter plays the megalomaniacal author to the film noir hilt, while still finding room for some well-placed clowning. Lori Funk plays Marx's estranged trophy wife like a boulder rolling downhill; once she gets started, nothing can stop her short of the curtain call. With two such powerful actors onstage, a third actor might be overshadowed completely. Unless that actor is Brad Fraizer. His nuanced portrayal of the world's most neurotic shrink is a study in comic dedication. He opens the show the way every great comedy should: with a brutally hilarious pratfall. His performance is the true gem of this piece and it should not be missed."

nytheatre.com by Peter Schuyler, June 6, 2008
about Three on A Couch with Redshift Productions at Soho Playhouse

"The production effectively throws together psychoanalysis, art, ego, obsession, marriage and mangoes (yes, mangoes) to create a wonderfully jocular piece of theater…Whether it's Funk's excessive blinking, the manner in which Pinter majestically wraps a scarf around his neck or Frazier's circus-like balancing on an ordinary wooden stool, the physical comedy works as effectively as any of the spoken dialogue."

EDGE by Jim Halterman, June 11, 2008
about Three on A Couch with Redshift Productions at Soho Playhouse

"The director has her cast play brilliantly with the fourth wall; the action is speckled with telling details like Theo bending into the stage light to read a letter, Miriam violently batting her eyelashes for much too long, husband and wife pounding out all the lines of a dramatic private scene while looking only at the audience. All told, it's a full-throated sounding out of the possibilities of live theater."

Blogcritics Magazine by Jon Sobel, June 8, 2008
about Three on A Couch with Redshift Productions at Soho Playhouse

"A triptych of short plays by Wallace now at Central Square Theater in a well-acted production by Underground Railway Theater…riveting."

The Boston Globe By Don Aucoin, November 25, 2010 CRITIC'S PICK
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"Elena Araoz's production for URT, deployed on Susan Zeeman Rogers's evocatively tiled and tattered set, smartly wraps Wallace's dreams in a jarring between-scenes cacophony of white noise and music...Araoz teases the humor from the plays and delicately emphasizes the echoes of each in the others."

The Boston Phoenix by Carolyn Clay, December 1, 2010
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"The Fever Chart is ideal for URT, a company that generally goes in for the fantastical. Director Elena Araoz keeps us engaged thanks to tight pacing and a solid cast. The audience is positioned on all four sides of the stage, forcing us to face each other as we collectively parse out impossible situations. Susan Zeeman Rogers' set beautifully evokes a bombed-out building, haphazardly repaired and reinhabited too soon. It's another fitting image for a world gone to pieces, rebuilding itself in the realm of dreams, if nowhere else."

The Boston Herald by Jenna Scherer, November 30, 2010
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"Elena Araoz's direction is as nimble as a folk dance…Araoz shows a genuine flair for stagecraft like when Mr. Miari throws a bucket of bird bones into the air, only to see them transform into white feathers. While there's plenty of talk about snipers' bullets tearing through flesh, it is the image of feathers wafting to the floor that stays with us."

The Jewish Journal by Don Stradley, November 26, 2010
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"Director Elena Araoz has gathered an amazingly talented cast, in which she has an Israeli and Jew playing Palestinians, and the daughter of the late Edward Said…portraying a callous Israeli nurse's aide. Their acting is so powerful, the audience is stricken with silent admiration - and puzzlement."

East Boston Times by Sheila Barth, December 1, 2010
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"Elegantly staged in the round by director Elena Araoz, on Susan Zeeman Roger's spare but evocative set, the production is beautifully rendered…The acting across the board is quite fine."

Hub Review by Thomas Garvey, December 6, 2010
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"Phenomenal performances…the acting is, across the board, superb…it's a clear image anchored in a steady hand."

Dig by J. Patrick Brown, December 1-8, 2010
about The Fever Chart with Underground Railway Theatre

"A composed study of grief, Unanswered, We Ride examines how different coping mechanisms can tear a family apart…Calmly directed by Elena Araoz, Jaclyn Villano's script is perceptive on the creeping eruptions of conflict arising from sorrow."

The Scotsman by Jay Richardson, August 22, 2011
about Unanswered, We Ride at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

"A woman resigned to expecting catastrophes in her life, Reese O'Leary finds herself facing her greatest trial thus far – the accidental death of her daughter – and we join her in a heart-wrenching process of picking up the shattered pieces of her life. The airport takes centre stage, where elements of direction, chance and emotional baggage are cleverly incorporated along the way. Outstandingly convincing acting aside, playwright Jaclyn Villano showcases her exceptional linguistic abilities in articulating the most complex and profound of emotions…It is a painful journey thankfully ending with a heart-warming reconciliation."

ThreeWeeks – The Edinburgh Festival, by Cheryl Moh, August 13, 2011
about Unanswered, We Ride at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

"Indeed, cinematic in style and substance it very much is as the three actors, using only a karaoke machine, two bench seats and a very significant suitcase, become the various protagonists within the story…In the very capable hands of three superb actors, Joy Barrett, Joe Tippett and Martha Wollner and concisely directed by Elena Araoz, Jaclyn Villano's play is delivered clearly and seamlessly… It is all so well drawn and so empathetically portrayed that that we are drawn in. We are made to care about the family. We become desperate for them to hang together. We love the husband and hope that he will not take the easy route and chuck her out for her indulgence…Barrett is real and vulnerable. Tippett is exquisite in his portrayal as both caring husband and godlike father. Wollner is delicious as salt-of-the-earth-mother-in-law and Sadie - the bohemian barmaid. But the real honours should go to Araoz for directing this out of the dirge it could have been in less capable hands. Instead, we are taken to a place we otherwise would not go and might not want to if we had the choice, but we are made to empathise and care. I found myself wiping tears away more than once, and left the room, better for it."

Fringe Review by Guy Masterson, August 22, 2011
about Unanswered, We Ride at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

"This is a riveting production directed by Elena Araoz...[She] guides and captures the pace, the development and the characterizations brilliantly...perfect for the Arthur Miller material."

The Complete Hoot by Jo Evarts, February 1-15, 2008
about The Price at Northern Stage

"It's disturbing, gripping, though provoking theatre...Matching Miller's mastery is a four-person Northern Stage cast that brings the characters to life with breathtaking skill."

Eagle Times by Chuck and Sue Bingaman, February 7, 2008
about The Price at Northern Stage

"The acting is powerful, each of the actors bringing their script so intensely to life...directed with great sensitivity by Elena Araoz."

Journal Opinon by Louise Sandberg, February 6, 2008
about The Price at Northern Stage

"An art historian at a Vienna museum (Lisa Harrow) and a chemistry professor (Simon Jones) clash over the authenticity of an ancient bronze sculpture of a young man. Reputations and egos are at stake. Debates concerning aesthetics versus science are inevitable. Because the playwright, Carl Djerassi, is himself a world-class chemist (he's credited as one of the inventors of the Pill), you may guess who gets the upper hand, though both sides have their innings. The director, Elena Araoz, keeps the proceedings lively, never allowing intellectuality to stand in the way of a good joke. There's even a touch of animate-inanimate eroticism."

The New Yorker, May 28, 2007
about Phallacy with Redshift Productions at The Cherry Lane Theatre

"The conflict between science and art and truth and beauty has rarely been this engaging. Or, indeed, funny...Video projections are frequently used to show the statue in question as well as set scenes, and several times, they are ingeniously cast directly upon the actors in a gorgeous piece of theatrical legerdemain...If you enjoy witty academic banter, philosophy or great art, this is the show for you."

www.BroadwayWorld.com by Duncan Pflaster, May 19, 2007
about Phallacy with Redshift Productions at The Cherry Lane Theatre

"There are some performances, some moments, that should absolutely invigorate anyone, artist or audience... Io: a myth about you is crammed to overflowing with them. The new play by Monika Bustamante staged by Shrewd Productions recasts the tale of Io as a story about down-at-the-heels gods plotting over gentrification, drugs and murder. It's a Rent meets Rocky Horror Picture Show sort of aesthetic with more than a dash of Dallas...Elena Araoz's direction wrings out passion and comedy from a superb ensemble cast."

Austin American Statesman by Joey Seiler, October 23, 2007
about Io: a myth about you with Shrewd Productions at The Vortex

"Playwright Monika Bustamante has recreated Io in a world so immediately modern that it comes with references to Dr. Phil, Botox, and The Secret...A strong current of desperation propels the play forward...Director Elena Araoz takes full advantage of the ramshackle stage to establish this anxious, off-kilter environment. The set consists of wayward wood, dilapidated stairs, and chicken wire, and characters continually pop up from new angles to keep the show visually captivating...Io rarely lets up...Beyond the visual stimulation is a strong ensemble of actors who live up to Io's intense and madcap world...At times funny, disturbing, beautiful, tender, and, above all, captivating, Io: a myth about you is a top-notch production that rages about like a rough sea...and the journey is certainly worth taking."

Austin Chronicle by Avimaan Syam, November 2, 2007
about Io: a myth about you with Shrewd Productions at The Vortex

"Choreographer Elena Araoz, did a fabulous job with the chorus, especially during the party scenes of Violetta (Libiamo) and Flora (the Gypsy and Matador numbers)."

reviewvancouver.org by Ed Farolan, April 2011
about La traviata at Vancouver Opera

"Another tiny glimpse of detail would be the handling of the third act masquerade…Violetta's vapid friends dressing up for the charade, pleased as punch with their own cleverness: hollow people acting in a hollow way. This makes her earlier willingness to spend her last days sequestered in the country with a sweet, silly boy a bit more credible."

Musical Notes by David Gordon Duke, May 2011
about La traviata at Vancouver Opera

"The actors and musicians spread themselves throughout the building, sprinkling feathers from the balcony and showing shadow puppets on screens flanking the pulpit. It was an innovative…enthralling production... Elena Araoz kept the action tight and used the space imaginatively...Aurea's Faust is multilayered, and it's that richness that sets it apart from most music-theatre productions...Especially with an intense Nigel Gore in the lead, it doesn't get much better than that."

Providence Journal by Channing Gray, October 20, 2006
about Faust with Aurea at the FirstWorksProv Festival

"It was pleasant and refreshing to see director Elena Manuela Araoz cleaving to the very bosom of Shakespeare with armor covering the army fatigues of the soldiers, a bare stage for most of the play, and red rags, glitter, and rose petals substituting for gallons of blood. While Araoz has cut the text radically, she's cut it well, and she stages it well...Araoz approaches the "comic tone" problem like this: the first act is played as "tragedy," complete with classical music during the scene changes; the second is played as "comedy," with modern, up-tempo scoring. The actors seem to follow right along."

Austin Chronicle by Barry Pineo, January 16, 2004
about Titus Andronicus, Austin Shakespeare Festival

"The majestic palace looks luxurious and peaceful, but it camouflages a fierce battlefield...The Power also features diverse stage scenery…dazzling costumes, and dancing and music in an ancient Chinese style which will delight audiences."

China Daily, August 31, 2005
about The Power, Noble Theatre Bridge, Beijing