Backstage Fairtale cast

Backstage Fairytale

Backstage Fairtale cast

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.

“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.

Seizing a Moment: Jade Esteban Estrada Joins Aria Creative Productions as its First Artistic Director

Jade Esteban Estrada. Photo by E & J Photography.
Jade Esteban Estrada. Photo by E & J Photography.

San Antonio, TX – May 5, 2022 – Aria Creative Productions proudly welcomes Jade Esteban Estrada as its first artistic director. Estrada will begin his new position on Monday, May 9, 2022.

“I’m really excited about hiring Jade again,” said Nicole Erwin, executive director of Aria Creative. “Jade is the artistic advisor of Texas Light Opera and we have worked on several projects together. He’s just a good fit for us and what he brought to the Overtime Theater was high quality work which was noticed throughout the San Antonio theatre community.” 

Aria Creative is a multi-award-winning production company providing a showcase for emerging talent. Over the past seven years, Aria has produced a variety of unique shows at various South Texas venues.

Estrada and Erwin will collaborate to create the company’s 2022-2023 season which will include plays, burlesque, and cabaret shows. Aria will continue to co-produce musical works with non-profit organization, Texas Light Opera.

Estrada, a nationally recognized stand-up comedian, actor, dancer, singer, playwright, and composer, ends his four-month tenure as the Overtime Theater’s artistic director effective May 6. 

“In such a short time, you transformed The Overtime and stayed true to its vision,” wrote actress and playwright Patricia Zamora on social media. “Thanks for taking us along for the ride!” 

“Thank you for all your amazing support, Jade. You were a gift from beginning to end,” wrote Beneath the Surface creator, Michael Song on Facebook. 

One of Estrada’s recent achievements has been the creation of the New Play Development Series, a program that gives playwrights an opportunity to further develop new works, and Choreographies, a dance showcase that focuses on the process of choreography. 

“I’m excited that my work with the New Play Development Series will continue at Aria Creative,” said Estrada in a statement. 

Estrada, whose career has spanned the worlds of comedy, dance, and music, has worked with Aria Creative as an actor, playwright, director, and choreographer. 

“When I made the decision to take Aria Creative to the next level, Jade’s work as an artistic director immediately came to mind,” stated Erwin, who is the former executive and managing director of the Overtime Theater. “I believe Aria Creative will greatly benefit from his expertise, talent, and creative vision, which is why I’m so thrilled to welcome him as our first artistic director.” 

Born at Lackland Air Force Base, Estrada began his theatre journey in the mid-80s as a member of Los Actores de San Antonio at the Guadalupe Theatre. Before moving to New York at the age of 18, he performed in musicals at the Josephine Theatre under Jerry Pollock, Missy Miller, and Aaron Callies. He also appeared in children’s theatre at the Melodrama Playhouse at Hemisfair Plaza, now the Blue Star Arts Complex. 

As a young thespian, Estrada, who is a former assistant to four-time Tony award-winning actress Zoe Caldwell, was drawn to directing. A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, he used his expertise to direct and choreograph stage productions in over 20 countries (Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Fringe World in Perth, Australia), which is what he was doing when he crossed paths with TV star Charo. From 1998-2002, he was her choreographer and lead dancer in hotel and casino showrooms around the country.

From 2003-2005, Estrada focused on his choreographic work as the founder and artistic director of Experiencia Dance Company, which was housed at Teatro LaTea on New York’s Lower East Side. 

For the next five years, Estrada toured his solo musical ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 1-3, extensively. “You definitely shouldn’t miss New York-based solo performer Jade Esteban Estrada, who has made a career of one-man shows in which he plays various historical gay figures,” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2008. 

In 2006, then-Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher paid tribute to Estrada by commissioning him the title of Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky that acknowledges outstanding ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship around the world. The San Antonio native joined other honorary colonels which include Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Joan Crawford, Johnny Depp, Muhammad Ali and Pope John Paul II.

In 2008, Estrada was commissioned by the Delaware Institute for Arts in Education to write and perform the solo show Juan Bobo & Friends: Latin American Folk Tales

In 2009, Estrada, who has appeared on Comedy Central’s The Graham Norton Effect, was tapped to host the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards which was aired on Bravo TV. 

Estrada, whose international credits include playing the role of Flat Top in the German production of Starlight Express, is also the founder of the Acting Masterclass Series, which he launched in 2009. He has since taught in-person acting classes to hundreds of students in the United States, Europe, and Australia. 

“Because Jade is a teacher, he has this nurturing quality that makes him the perfect person for this position,” said Erwin. “He has a wonderful balance of empathy and discipline to impart to our actors and directors, which did not go unnoticed when I worked with him at the Overtime Theater.”

Estrada is perhaps best known as a solo theatre artist. After seeing his 2013 one-person performance of Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at the Woodlawn Theatre, Deborah Martin of the San Antonio Express-News wrote: “Jade Esteban Estrada knows how to draw an audience in and hold them in the palm of his hand.” 

Shortly thereafter, he shifted his attention to the stand-up comedy stage. 

USA Today’s 10Best.com raved, “Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club should be on the top of your bucket list, especially when headlined by Jade Esteban Estrada from Bravo TV and Comedy Central. Find out when this fabulous comedian is performing in a city near you.”

From 2015-2016, Estrada was the artistic director of Terrible Infants Theatre Company at Prohibition Supperclub in Houston. It was there he launched his self-penned burlesque adaptations such as Masque of the Red Death, Eat Me, a burlesque reboot of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Tales of a Hard Nut, a burlesque version of The Nutcracker. 

From 2017-2019, Aria Creative brought Estrada’s burlesque plays to the Overtime’s mainstage. Sinderella and the Glass Zipper, How Burlesque Saved Christmas, and Madame X: A Burlesque Fantasy were all well-received. 

Also in 2019, Estrada directed Curanderas and Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life, a solo show written and performed by Patricia Zamora, at the Guadalupe Theatre. 

Estrada received an Alamo Theatre Arts Council (ATAC) Award for his 2019 production of A Sign from the Taco Gods, which he premiered at the Overtime Theater. 

His latest directorial work will be on display in The Back-Porch Gang, a new play by Ben Scranton, which will run May 6-21, 2022 at the Overtime Theater. 

“When I received the offer to work with Nicole again, seizing the moment felt like the right thing to do,” Estrada said. “We have a great working relationship. We finish each other’s sentences. When you find that with someone, you want to work with them again and again.”  

To request an interview with Mr. Estrada or to request a high-resolution photo, please contact Executive Director Nicole Erwin, Aria Creative Productions at info@ariacreativeproductions.com.