Un Nuevo Capitulo Show Graphic

Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela

Un Nuevo Capitulo Show Graphic

Aria Creative Productions is proud to present “Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela,” a full-length comedic play written by Patricia Zamora and directed by Jade Esteban Estrada. The play will be presented September 16-25, 2022 at Black Potion San Antonio, 1900 Fredericksburg Road, Ste. 101, San Antonio, Texas 78201.

Performances are Thrusdays and Saturdays at 7:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Tickets will be available 8/22 at ShowTix4u.com.

Synopsis:

When Jenny announces that she’s bringing her boyfriend’s family over for dinner, the Flores Family steps into high gear. But can they impress the high strung matriarch of the Wood’s Family? Rom-Com meets the stage in “Un Nuevo Capitulo: An American Novela” a new comedy written by Patricia Zamora.

About the Playwright:
Patricia Zamora is an actress and writer living in San Antonio, Texas. Her original one woman show “Curanderas and Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life” made its world premiere in April 2019 at The Overtime Theater. Patricia was selected as an Artist in Residence at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Teatro Salon where her show ran to sold out audiences and subsequently ran with Teatro Audaz at The Public Theater and Stage Left in Spokane, Washington.

Ms. Zamora was named one of The San Antonio Current’s top actors in San Antonio for 2021. She recently concluded a two-week run of Harvey Fierstein’s, “On Tidy Endings” with Players at The Pointe. Ms. Zamora is a highly versatile actress and has taken her talents beyond the stage to film and voiceover. You can hear her in the web series “One for The Road” by Sean Patrick Bridges, produced by Dollar Baby Productions and Audible Parade Productions. Ms. Zamora also plays Sylvia in the long running Las Nuevas Tamaleras, a role that she has played for eight years. She has also secured a feature role in Bearline Productions’ new film “On American Soil” which is currently in production.
Since 1987, Ms. Zamora has worked in the arts in many capacities: on stage, behind the microphone, as a teacher, director, and as a marketing and fundraising manager at the Alley Theater.

Growing up in rural South Texas gave her the time and space to dream and imagine. She often says that she dreams while she is awake. You can usually find her listening to a podcast or an audio book, watching TV, or honing her craft as an actress and writer. She has a BA in Theater from St. Edward’s University and a Master’s degree, from the University of Texas Pan American. 

Auditions: Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela

Aria Creative Productions is seeking male and female actors ages 30 and up for its upcoming production of “Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela,” a full-length play written by Patricia Zamora and directed by Jade Esteban Estrada.

Synopsis:

When Jenny announces that she’s bringing her boyfriends family over for dinner, the Flores Family steps into high gear. But can they impress the high strung matriarch of the Wood’s Family? Rom-Com meets the stage in Un Nuevo Capitulo: An American Novela a new comedy written by Patricia Zamora

Characters Needed:

RICKY FLORES
(Early-30’s) A lawyer who is a loving son and brother. He still lives at home. He has a need to take care of people, especially his family and he cannot resist a good deal.
JONATHAN WOODS
(Mid- 20’S) A doctor who is madly in love with Jenny. He loves his family, is generally easy going, but likes for things to
work out as planned. He is excited to begin a new life with Jenny.
LORENA FLORES
(Late 20’s) An aspiring actress, who has a successful career but has never had a leading role. She is the middle child in the Flores family and still lives at home.
HOSTESS/TATIANA/BILLIE
(Late 20’s) Tatiana, an old friend of Lorena’s. She thinks she is better than everyone because her mother married a wealthy local celebrity. /Billie is Blanca’s secret love interest.
JENNY FLORES
(Mid 20’s) The baby of the Flores family. She is a diabetic. She is sweet, kind and madly in love with Jonathan. She is a
kindergarten teacher who often skips meals.
BLANCA FLORES
(Early 50’s) Widow and mother of the Flores children. They are her life. She is a gentle spirit who has a deep faith and is
going through some changes.
WELA
(Early 70’s) Wela tells it like it is. She loves her daughter and grandkids. She has a sweet tooth. Recently she forgets
people and situations, but only just for short moments then she is back to herself.
KEN WOODS
(Mid 50’s) Father to Jonathan. A supportive husband to Linda. He is easy going and craves peace and simplicity.
LINDA WOODS
(Early 50’s) Devoted mother to Jonathan. She is extremely competitive. She lets her emotions get the better of her
sometimes.

Audition Details:
Auditions will take place 12-5 p.m. Saturday, August 13, 2022 at Alamo City Studios, 1113 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205. Rehearsals will be select weeknights from 7-10 p.m. August 15 – September 14, 2022. Not all cast members are called to every rehearsal. Production dates are September 15-25, 2022, Thursday-Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Performances are scheduled to be held at Black Potion, 1900 Fredericksburg Road, near The Woodlawn Theater in the Deco District.

Actors must present two, short contrasting monologues and be prepared to read sides from the play. Headshots and resumes may be brought to the audition or can be emailed in advance to Jade Esteban Estrada at jade@ariacreativeproductions.com. Please include “Un Nuevo Capitulo Audition” in the subject line. If unable to attend the audition, Zoom auditions are available by appointment. In adherence to our Covid safety protocol, face masks are recommended during rehearsals. Actors will receive a stipend and an equal share of the Aria Appreciation Basket.

About the Playwright:
Patricia Zamora is an actress and writer living in San Antonio, Texas. Her original one woman show “Curanderas and Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life” made its world premiere in April 2019 at The Overtime Theater. Patricia was selected as an Artist in Residence at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Teatro Salon where her show ran to sold out audiences and subsequently ran with Teatro Audaz at The Public Theater and Stage Left in Spokane, Washington.

Ms. Zamora was named one of The San Antonio Current’s top actors in San Antonio for 2021. She recently concluded a two-week run of Harvey Fierstein’s, “On Tidy Endings” with Players at The Pointe. Ms. Zamora is a highly versatile actress and has taken her talents beyond the stage to film and voiceover. You can hear her in the web series “One for The Road” by Sean Patrick Bridges, produced by Dollar Baby Productions and Audible Parade Productions. Ms. Zamora also plays Sylvia in the long running Las Nuevas Tamaleras, a role that she has played for eight years. She has also secured a feature role in Bearline Productions’ new film “On American Soil” which is currently in production.
Since 1987, Ms. Zamora has worked in the arts in many capacities: on stage, behind the microphone, as a teacher, director, and as a marketing and fundraising manager at the Alley Theater.

Growing up in rural South Texas gave her the time and space to dream and imagine. She often says that she dreams while she is awake. You can usually find her listening to a podcast or an audio book, watching TV, or honing her craft as an actress and writer. She has a BA in Theater from St. Edward’s University and a Master’s degree, from the University of Texas Pan American. 

Heart-Land

Aria Creative Productions will present a staged reading of Leslie Powell’s Heart-Land at Alamo City Studios July 21. Jade Esteban Estrada directs. Graphics: Gibbs Saad.

Aria Creative Productions Presents Staged Reading of Heart-Land, a Lesbian Drama

San Antonio, TX (July 18, 2022) – Aria Creative Productions will present a staged reading of Heart-Land by Leslie Powell. The reading will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Alamo City Studios. Jade Esteban Estrada will direct. Alamo City Studios is located at 1113 Houston Street in San Antonio, Texas. Seating is limited. Face masks are recommended. General admission tickets are $10. Tickets are available at the door or online at ShowTix4u (in-person) and on Brown Paper Tickets (virtual via Zoom).

The reading was originally slated for June 23 in observance of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, but was postponed due to a Covid case that was reported among the staff.

This is the fifth installment of the New Play Development Series. The purpose of the program is to give playwrights an opportunity to further develop new works. 

Each official selection of the series will receive two rehearsals before the staged reading and an audience feedback session. 

Heart-Land is the psychological story of Jackie, a young professional who falls in love with Celeste, a woman running from her past and an abusive relationship. When Jackie receives a call from her former fiance, the exchange puts the couple’s relationship in the balance. 

When asked what she hoped audiences would take away from her play, Powell stated: “Firstly, I would wish that the audience experience the play viscerally rather than analytically.  I hope the play provokes questions, rather than providing answers,” she said. “What is ‘reality’? Where does our reality exist? Do we make it all up as we go along?  What is the nature of the ‘feminine?’ Do we have any idea? Or has the centuries of oppression toward women from the patriarchy rendered her nature unknowable, as John Stuart Mill stated in the 19th century. After all, once again we live in a country where women have lost sovereignty over their own bodies.

“Also, I see the play with aspects of a ‘fem noir’: dark, moody, sexual, dangerous, operating in a kind of a mythic world where things are fluid, and nothing is quite what it seems to be,” she continued. 

“That being said the play also explores the power dynamics of same-sex relationship that may include emotional and/or physical abuse. Not to make this an ‘issue’ play, but a vehicle to open doors to conversations that too often remain hidden. We cannot heal from what is unacknowledged. Other possible takeaways: Know thyself and know the effects we have on others, such awareness matters. Acting on our awareness may avoid tragedy and offer hope instead.”

The cast includes Amy Abrigo, Val Martinez, Kristen Chen, Karen Ross Garrett, and former San Antonio City Councilwoman Delicia Herrera.

Photo: Adrienne Anderson

Leslie Powell’s plays have been read and produced throughout the United States and in Toronto, Canada as a part of the InspiraTO Festival.  Take That Thing Off was a recent Zoom Play Winner from the Actors Lab of Santa New Mexico. Before moving to Tucson, Arizona, Ms. Powell was a long-time resident of Newburyport, Massachusetts where she co-founded with Hailey Klein Writers & Actor, Ink, a development workshop for playwrights and Random Acts, an annual play-in-a day festival.  She also co-founded with Marc Clopton and Ron Pullins, North Shore Readers Theatre Collaborative, which happily is still thriving and promoting new plays.

This is Aria Creative Productions’ second staged reading with its new artistic director, Jade Esteban Estrada, who joined the company on May 9.

“For a playwright, a staged reading is an important preparatory step in the creative process,” said Estrada. “Our last reading of Backstage Fairytale by Michael John McGoldrick was an artistically rewarding experience. I am equally thrilled about this month’s selection.”

The New Play Development Series is an on-going initiative. 

“The purpose of this program is to bring more fully developed plays to our stages,” said Estrada. “When a great, meaningful play has an opening night, it is likely that the play had a table reading, a staged reading, and one or more workshop development performances. In my own experience as a playwright, I get a better picture of what my play is about after I present it in front of a live audience.” 

“The structure, content and complexity of the characters embodied in Heart-Land make for a challenging play, so I am especially indebted to the brave souls at Aria Creative Productions for choosing this play for development,” said Powell. “Theatre is collaborative. Without a director and actors willing to bring plays to life and an audience to experience it, playwrights may suffer from an echo of their voice and a murky vision of the play’s arc.  How can they possibly know where their play ‘lands’ without feedback from an audience? Tricky questions for this play:  Does the musicality of the play hold up? Are the repetitions off-putting or enhancing?  Does a ‘character’ who is the consciousness of another character serve the play? I’m deeply grateful to Jade Esteban Estrada for his belief in this play and for casting a light on the troubled, audacious, dangerous women characters who inhabit Heart-Land.”

To request high-resolution photos of the Heart-Land cast or creative team, or to request an interview with Artistic Director Jade Esteban Estrada, please email your request to jade@ariacreativeproductions.com

General information:

Heart-Land is the psychological story of Jackie, a young professional who falls in love with Celeste, a woman running from her past and an abusive relationship. When Jackie receives a call from her former fiance, the exchange puts the couple’s relationship in the balance. 

Performance Dates:

July 21, 2022 

Thursday at 7 p.m. 

Presented at:

Alamo City Studios

1113 Houston Street

San Antonio, Texas 78205

ariacreativeproductions.com  | info@ariacreativeproductions.com

Tickets are $10.00 general admission

Tickets are available at the door or online at ShowTix4u (in-person) and on Brown Paper Tickets (virtual via Zoom). No refunds. Exchange only for another show date. Limited seating. Masks are strongly encouraged. An elevator is not available so please keep this in mind when purchasing tickets.

###

Backstage Fairytale

As the fourth installment of the 2022 New Play Development Series, Aria Creative Productions will present a staged reading of “Backstage Fairytale” by Michael John McGoldrick. The reading will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at Alamo City Studios. Jade Esteban Estrada will direct. Alamo City Studios is located at 1113 Houston Street in San Antonio, Texas. Seating is limited. Face masks are recommended. General admission tickets are $10. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online through Brown Paper Tickets.

The purpose of the New Play Development Series is to give playwrights an opportunity to further develop new works. Each official selection of the series will receive two rehearsals before the staged reading and an audience feedback session.

Backstage Fairytale is the story of Adam, an aspiring playwright, who visits his former lover, Celeste, now a successful New York actor. Adam reveals that he’s written a play about their relationship and asks her to read it. Though hesitant at first, she agrees when he grants her “veto power” to stop its production if she feels the play isn’t truthful. The pair meets two days later. Celeste objects to her portrayal; they then discuss the play and the failure of their relationship. Adam confesses he wrote the play to win her back. Will the couple reunite and will Celeste give her blessing to the play’s production?

Michael John McGoldrick is a New Jersey-based playwright. His play Wolf and Badger was produced by The Main Street Players in Miami last year. His play Allies was selected for residency at The New Jersey PlayLab in 2020. His plays have been finalists/winners in competitions sponsored by Trustus Theatre, Alleyway Theater, Playhouse on the Square, City Theater and others.

“I once wanted to write a play about Noel Coward that I ended up not writing,” said McGoldrick in a statement regarding his inspiration for writing the play. “But my research into Coward’s life prompted me to ask a set of intriguing questions: how does the ‘artifice’ of theater relate to the real-life circumstances of the people who create it? Why do creative people bother to create at all? This became the soil where Backstage Fairytale eventually took root.”

“I’m overjoyed to be working with Jade Esteban Estrada and the rest of the team at Aria Creative Productions,” McGoldrick stated. “I’m very intrigued to see how this innovative company will place its own unique stamp on my play.”

The reading will feature Amy Abrigo as Celeste and Julio Alberto Sepulveda as Adam. Melissa Martinez will be the stage directions reader.

Backstage Fairtale cast

“For a playwright, a staged reading is an important preparatory step in the creative process,” said Estrada. “Last month’s readings, titled The Politics of Modern Love, was an artistically rewarding experience. I am equally thrilled about this month’s selection and our exceptional cast.”

The New Play Development Series is an on-going initiative. 

“The purpose of this program is to bring more fully developed plays to our stages,” said Estrada. “When a great, meaningful play has an opening night, it is likely that the play had a table reading, a staged reading, and one or more workshop development performances. In my own experience as a playwright, I get a better picture of what my play is about after I present it in front of a live audience.” 

To request high-resolution photos of the Backstage Fairytale cast or creative team, or to request an interview with Artistic Director Jade Esteban Estrada, please email your request to artisticdirecting@gmail.com

General Information

Backstage Fairytale is the story of Adam, an aspiring playwright, who visits his former lover, Celeste, now a successful New York actor. Adam reveals that he’s written a play about their relationship and asks her to read it. Though hesitant at first, she agrees when he grants her “veto power” to stop its production if she feels the play isn’t truthful. The pair meets two days later. Celeste objects to her portrayal; they then discuss the play and the failure of their relationship. Adam confesses he wrote the play to win her back. Will the couple reunite? Will Celeste give her blessing to the play’s production?

Performance Date: May 25, 2022 Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Presented at: Alamo City Studios 1113 Houston Street San Antonio, Texas 78205
Tickets are $10.00 general admission. Tickets are available at the door or online at Brown Paper Tickets. No refunds. Exchange only for another show date. Limited seating. Masks are strongly encouraged.

New Play Development Series: Backstage Fairytale

The fourth installment of the New Play Development Series will be a staged reading of Backstage Fairytale by Michael John McGoldrick featuring Amy Abrigo and Julio Alberto Sepulveda. Jade Esteban Estrada directs.

Friday, May 20, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Limited seating. RSVP for location.

Things That Go Bump and Grind in the Night 2019

For one night only, Aria Creative Productions and the Powder Room Peelers Burlesque Revue are proud to present “Things That Go Bump and Grind in the Night” at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, October 5, 2019 at The Love Shack Boutique.


Performers will tease and please with seasonally inspired burlesque acts and slapstick comedy compliments of host, Tobias the Adequate. Sexy and boo-licious striptease acts will be performed by top burlesque, boylesque and drag performers from Austin and San Antonio. A costume contest will be held. The winner will receive a special gift bag from The Love Shack Boutique and two VIP tickets to the next Powder Room Peelers show.
Returning and new performers include Bethany Summersizzle, Kitty Purry, Violetta Vendetta, Bruce Vayne, Dat Ashe and Heaven Lee Court. It’s a stripteasin’ good time for grown-ups of all ages.
Adults only 18+

Performance Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Location: The Love Shack Boutique, 1580 Babcock Rd, San Antonio, TX 78229

Tickets: Purchase online at https://bumpandgrind.bpt.me/
General admission tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door. Limited VIP seating is $30 online or $40 at the door. VIPs enjoy preferred black couch seating, a glass of champagne (age restrictions apply), and a gift bag from Love Shack Boutique. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show start at 7:00 p.m.

Back to School Burlesque 2019

“When the student is ready, an award-winning burlesque dancer appears.” – Natasha Pearl. The @powderroompeelers Burlesque Revue proudly presents “Back to School Burlesque” Saturday, August 24, 2019 at @theloveshackboutique in San Antonio, Texas.

Bethany Summersizzle, Fooly Parton and Roc Gaude from Austin, Kitty Purry from the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio’s own Natasha Pearl, the Bank of Burlesque! Principal Tobias, our master of ceremonies, will definitely leave you yearnin’ for more learnin’. PLEASE NOTE:  The Peelers have a no buns left behind policy! So dont be tardy to the party!

Tickets at http://backtoschoolburlesque2019.bpt.me


Quills by Doug Wright

ARIA Creative Productions asks “What is Art?” with controversial show about the Marquis de Sade at the Overtime Theater

“In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.” One of the many memorable quotes from the infamous libertine and author, Donatien Alphonse François, otherwise known as the Marquis de Sade. The Marquis, to say the least, is a historically polarizing figure historically who spent the better part of his adult life in prisons and mental asylums throughout France due to his penchant for writing macabre stories fraught with pornography, violence, and some of the most extreme aspects of human behavior. His legacy is so profound, that even the words “sadism: and “sadist” are derived from his surname.

Quills-Promo-Press

In 1995, Texas-born playwright Doug Wright took pen to paper and composed his own story about this tumultuous character. Quills premiered at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. and went on to win an Obie Award, as well as be adapted by Wright himself into a full-length motion picture starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet and Michael Caine. The film was critically acclaimed, earning Rush a BAFTA, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award nomination for his performance as the Marquis.

Quills will be the first stand-alone production for ARIA in 2018. ARIA co-produced the regional tour of The Last 5 Years with Texas Light Opera earlier this year. It was during that production ARIA Executive Director Nicole Erwin was given the script and immediately became intrigued by its message.

“We want to show San Antonio something provocative, not just emotionally, but physically and mentally, as well,” says director Nicole Erwin. “This show, much like the author it’s written about, is as controversial as it gets. Within the first few minutes, the audience will be thrown eloquently written pieces of literature, featuring some of truly perverse scenarios: rape, murder and coprophagia, just to name a few. While we look at such things as atrocious, and justly so, one only has to look at our modern culture and ask, , ‘How deplorable do we really consider these things?’”

It was during The Last 5 Years that Erwin and ARIA Artist-in-Residence Joseph Urick began to brainstorm the possibility of putting on such a production. “The chance to bring its source material to life is staggering, but incredibly exciting as well. It is our hope that the show will be both terrifying and wonderful to watch,” says Urick.

The production is full of material pulled directly from Sade’s work, and, as expected, is not for all audiences. “At its heart,” continues Urick, “beyond the sex and the erotica, the story is not about the quality of Sade’s work, rather, it directly asks the audience, ‘What is art?’ ‘Is there a difference between good and bad art?’ ‘Should art ever be censored?’ ‘Who makes the decision to censor it?’ And, most importantly, ‘What gives them to right to make such a decision?’”

The show features a hyper-fictionalized re-telling of the Marquis’ final days at Charenton, a mental asylum in France where the historical Marquis actually did live and die. “Bringing the asylum to life at the Overtime is going to be quite a challenge,” says Erwin.  “We are in the small theatre that seats just over twenty-five seats, so spacing is going to be limited. However, in such an intimate space, we really want to put the action in the audience’s laps, so, in the tradition of the French neo-classic period, we are going to present this show in the French Tennis Court style, with the audience on two sides.”

“But what makes the show daunting is the extreme subject matter,” continues Erwin, “It would be quite easy to censor some of the more controversial moments of the play, but, if we did, when the play itself is about the lengths some go to censor art, then why do the show at all? So, yes, this production will pull no punches and will feature all those salacious details the Marquis was notorious for. It is my hope that the discerning audience will, at least, have lots of food for thought afterward.”

Quills will feature a cast of six, including Michael Song as Dr. Royer-Collard, a staunchly moral man of seemingly impeccable character; Robert Moritz as the Abbe de Coulmier, a merciful priest whose soft heart and merciful devotion are put to the test; Morgan Clyde as the chambermaid Madeleine Leclerc, a laundry lass smitten with the Marquis’ works; James Lindsley as Monsieur Prouix, an architect who works for Dr. Royer-Collard, Susan Brogdon as Renee Pelagie, the Marquis’ ill-begotten wife, who is desperate to silence her philandering husband, by any means; and finally, Urick will play the insufferably impish Marquis.

Due to its graphic adult content, intense subject matter, and provocative language and situations, this production will be held for a limited run, with only four public performances, and one preview.

Quills is produced by ARIA Creative under special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Quills is meant for mature audiences only, and will feature male nudity, Adult language, situations, and themes. Only those over 18 will be admitted. No exceptions. This production is not recommended for those with sensitive religious beliefs.

Performances: July 19-July 28; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM; No Sunday matinees.
$20 General Admission. Tickets Online at https://ariaquills.brownpapertickets.com 

Location: The Overtime Theater, 5409 Bandera Rd. Suite 205, San Antonio, TX 78238  Phone: (210) 557-7562

Runtime: Two Hours. One Intermission. Reviewers are invited on or after July 18. Photos Courtesy of Mary Rath.

 

 

The Last Five Years

TEXAS LIGHT OPERA & ARIA CREATIVE PRODUCTIONS TO PRESENT FIRST SMALL TOUR WITH “THE LAST 5 YEARS” BY JASON ROBERT BROWN, FEB 16 – MAR 3, 2018

SAN ANTONIO, December 8, 2017 – Since their inception, Texas Light Opera (TLO) has endeavored to bring bigger and better productions to the South/Central Texas region. Their mission has been to provide a foundation for artists to perform in both classical operas and contemporary musicals, hoping to attract performers and audiences from San Antonio and the surrounding areas. It was this vision that inspired Executive Director Nicole Erwin to pursue a very new, and risky, idea: a small tour.

Ms. Erwin has been the spearhead of TLO since the beginning and has longed to see it expand and grow into the various communities outside of San Antonio. This process began with a partnership between TLO and Hill Country Opera with their yearly New Year’s Eve event, featuring a performance of Die Fledermaus by Johann Straus. This production has always been performed in New Braunfels and continues to be a roaring success. This, however, proved to Erwin that TLO did not have to only reside in San Antonio but could expand outwards.

“In San Antonio, to my knowledge anyway,” Erwin states, “there are only three professional companies that have ever taken their production on the road: The Magik Children’s Theatre, the Company Theatre, and now TLO.” The Magik Children’s Theatre has been featuring professional tours of its Theatre for Young Audiences for many years now, at both the regional and national level, with stunning success. The Company Theatre has also found commercial success with their regional endeavors, with productions being featured throughout Texas, including Dallas/Fort Worth and many others. Their productions are smaller, focusing more on the chemistry between actors, or even one-man productions of A Christmas Carol or The Complete History of Texas.

Erwin took inspiration from these production companies in selecting Last 5 Years for this tour. “Producing a tour is a great expense,” Erwin notes, “but, with the right team, and drive, it can be done splendidly. Last 5 Years is a small show, with a very intimate story, but popular enough to attract a discerning crowd. I believe it is the perfect choice, and we have assembled the absolute best team for the challenge.”

The production team on this show is being led by Jason Kruger, a director and theatre teacher out of Austin. Jason has been a theatre educator for over 20 years and has also directed professionally in both DFW and Austin areas. Nicole Erwin will also be serving as Music Director and Vocal Coach. Ms. Erwin received Excellence in Direction of a Play at the 2017 Alamo Theater Arts Council (ATAC) Awards and has performed with the San Antonio Mastersinger as well as area stages including The Playhouse San Antonio and The Woodlawn Theatre. The cast includes Ginger Martel as Cathy. Ginger is a 20 year veteran of the stage, performing in theaters across the country, from Alabama to San Francisco. Ginger has lived and worked in San Antonio Theatre for the past 5 years, at venues such as The Playhouse San Antonio in productions such as Hairspray (Velma Von Tussle) and Urinetown. When she isn’t at rehearsal, Ginger works as the Managing Director of San Antonio chapter of Christian Youth Theatre in New Braunfels, and teaches private voice as well. Rounding out the cast is Joseph Urick, TLO Board Member and Artist-in-Residence with Aria Creative. Joseph is a classically trained actor who recently starred as Edgar in the Texas Premier of Edgar Allan Poe’s NEVERMORE, for which he received an Alamo Theatre Arts Council (ATAC) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Musical. Rounding out the production team is Chuck Drew, the Sound Designer who returns to TLO and Aria Creative after designing sound for NEVERMORE.

“The team is a powerhouse,” said Urick, “we have some very heavy hitters on board, and all of us are bringing some incredible visions to this production. Our team features people who come from all over Texas with artists representing New Braunfels, San Antonio, and Austin. It’s really incredible to be part of, and I think the theatres, and the audience, are in for a hell of a treat!”

The tour will begin in Seguin, at the Stephen and Mary Birch Texas Theatre. This 350 seat performance space has been named a historic venue for the city, and has seen stunning productions on its boards, including most recently, Moon Over Buffalo and Fences. The tour will then proceed to San Antonio, where Jonathan Pennington’s Roxie Theatre will host. Pennington is no stranger to partnering with TLO and Aria, as he hosted NEVERMORE. The last leg of the journey will take the production up to Wimberley, where The EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens will host the show on their intimate black-box space.

“The really incredible thing about this tour,” says director Jason Kruger, “is that the show is being presented on every kind of stage imaginable for a theatre. We begin at the Texas Theatre on a traditional proscenium, then follow it up with a more intimate thrust space at the Roxie, where the audience will be on three sides of the action, then culminate at The EmilyAnn where we will be presenting the show in-the-round. It’s an incredible challenge as a director since we will have to be not only flexible with our staging, but also be aware that the integrity of the story is not lost in the process.”

The Last 5 Years made its Off-Broadway debut in 2001, and earned Jason Robert Brown a Drama Desk Award for Best New Musical. It also won the hearts of its many fans, spawning a revival in 2013, as well as being made into a feature film in 2014, which starred Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick. The show is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy telling her story backwards, while Jamie tells his story chronologically; the two characters are only on stage together once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.

“The show, in essence, is seven solos and one duet,” said Kruger. “Since we will not be featuring the actors on stage together very much, it is vitally important for the audience that the story be very clear, and the relationship between the characters be at the forefront of their minds.” Kruger continued, stating the show is not going to be presented as a sappy melodrama of men vs women, nor is the production going to ask the audience to pick a side. “We want everyone who watches the piece to try and do what the characters will not, which is hear both sides. This is a universal story featuring some very flawed characters. It is thru their flaws that we see the beauty, and tragedy, of the relationship.”

Musically, Erwin stated that the actors have their work cut out for them. “Jason Robert Brown’s score is the driving force of the piece, and honoring the music while telling such a compelling story is going to be very difficult, but I believe we have the right people for the job.”

The production will mark the first of the 2018 season for TLO and Aria, and there are more on the horizon. “With any luck,” Erwin concluded, “this will be the start of a wonderful partnership with these theatres, and we will continue to be able to bring our work, and share our stories with this broader community. This is a stepping stone for us and we cannot wait to see the results of this endeavor.”

Texas Light Opera and Aria Creative Production’s Tour of The Last 5 Years can be seen this February and March in Seguin at the Texas Theatre, in San Antonio at the Roxie Theatre, and finally in Wimberley at The EmilyAnn Theatre. The production runs one hour and thirty minutes with no intermission. Tickets are available at the individual theatre’s respective Box Offices/Websites.  Critics are invited to all performances.

 

WHERE AND WHEN:

February 16, 2018 – March 3, 2018

The Texas Theatre, Seguin, TX (Feb 16 & 17) Get Tickets

The Roxie Theatre, San Antonio, TX (Feb 23 & 24) Get Tickets

The EmilyAnn Theatre, Wimberley, TX (Mar 2 & 3) Tickets on sale soon

Presented by Texas Light Opera and Aria Creative Productions

Performance Times:

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm; No Sunday Matinees

$20 Adult Tickets; $15 Students/Seniors

Theaters:

The Texas Theatre, (830) 372-6168, http://www.thetexas.org/The_Texas/Home.html

The Roxie Theatre, (210) 360-9180, http://roxietheatrecompany.com

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The EmilyAnn Theatre, (512) 847-6969, http://www.emilyann.org

 

Run-time: One Hour, Thirty Minutes. No Intermission.

Reviewers are invited on or after February 16.

Photos Courtesy of Mary Rath.