Productions and News

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. 

Chelsea Marie’s Procrastination Cabaret

Aria Creative presents a one-night cabaret show to benefit SA Youth

Aria Creative Productions proudly presents Chelsea Marie’s Procrastination Cabaret, a one-night-only event at 7:30 p.m. Saturday October 1, 2022. The event will take place at Woodlawn Pointe Center for Community, 702 Donaldson Ave, San Antonio, TX 78201. The venue is located across from Jefferson High School.

S.A. Youth’s mission s to empower San Antonio’s high-risk youth and young adults to achieve their full potential by providing quality educational programming in a safe environment.

The Procrastination Cabaret is the brainchild of local theater legend, Chelsea formerly known as “Roy” Bumgarner. Mrs. Bumgarner has been performing on San Antonio stages for the last 25 years and this will be her first performance as Chelsea. The cabaret show is one of three fundraising events Chelsea is leading in her effort to raise $5,000 for S.A. Youth. If successful, she will earn the Ambassador title of 2022 Chips N Salsa Queen at their annual fundraising gala on October 7, 2022.  

Chelsea Marie
Chelsea Marie, 2022 Chips N Salsa Queen nominee. Photo: Rob Sawyer Photography

“Chips refers to casino chips and salsa refers to the dance. Being in San Antonio, we think about food, so I have had to clarify it!”, Chelsea says with a laugh. “I’m overjoyed to have the opportunity to perform as my true self after a long hiatus due to Covid and my transition. This is such an important cause and I want to help,” says. Chelsea. “I was raised in a very poor home. As a child of two alcoholics, I endured domestic violence and horrors no child should have to go through. Having grown up in poverty, I’ve always had a place in my heart for underprivileged children. Despite my upbringing, I have managed to build a successful career and life for myself and my family. My hope is that I can spread the message that children can achieve whatever they desire to become, regardless of their circumstances. I’m passionate about SA Youth’s mission and am excited to return to the stage with my theatre friends for a good cause.”

The show features DuWayne Greene, Chris Berry, Paige Berry, Beth Erwin, Nicole Erwin, Robby Vance, Michelle Bumgarner, and Allison Cornwell. These renowned musical theatre artists will perform hits from Broadway shows including Little Shop of HorrorsAnything GoesJekyll & HydeCabaret, and many other show stopping hits.

Raffle tickets for an array of locally donated services and items are available for anyone to purchase, regardless of their event attendance. Those wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to S.A. Youth will receive a confirmation of their donation after the event.

To request a high-resolution photo of the performers or creative team, or to request an interview with Executive Director Nicole Erwin or Chelsea Marie Bumgarner, please email your request to info@ariacreativeproductions.com

General information:

Performance date: October 1, 2022, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 

Location: Woodlawn Pointe Center for Community Theatre, 702 Donaldson Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78201
ariacreativeproductions.com | info@ariacreativeproductions.com

Tickets are $20.00 general admission

Tickets are available at the door or online at Eventbrite. No refunds. All ticket sales benefit SA Youth.

Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela

Janie Sauceda, J Flores, Sharon Beales, Melissa Martinez, and Yvette Cardenas.
PC: Jade Esteban Estrada

Aria Creative Productions proudly presents the world premiere of Patricia Zamora’s new comedy Un Nuevo Capitulo: An American Novela, a new comedy about two families coming together despite their cultural and societal differences. The production will open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 15, 2022 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The play will run Thursdays and Saturdays (There will be no Friday performances) at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. September 15-25, 2022. Performances will take place at Black Potion San Antonio located at 1900 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 101 in the Woodlawn Shopping Center. General admission tickets are $17. Limited VIP tickets are $25. Tickets may be purchased at unnuevocapitulo.bpt.me. A Facebook event is available for sharing.

The play stars Julio Sepulveda, Jacob Reese, Melissa Martinez, Lacy Lansford, Kristian Chen, Yvette Cardenas, Sharon Beales, Janie Sauceda, Joe De Mott, and Karen Ross Garrett. Jade Esteban Estrada directs. 

Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela is a comedic play about two families dealing with life changes. Performed almost entirely in English, the story revolves around the tight-knit Flores family. When Jenny Flores announces that she’s bringing her boyfriend’s parents over for dinner they step into high gear. But can they impress the high-strung matriarch of the Woods family? This rom-com-meets-the-stage play addresses whether families can come to terms with big changes and realize their dreams while still supporting one another, even when it’s not easy.

About the Playwright

Zamora is an American actor and playwright. In 2020, she was awarded an artist residency at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center for her original solo show Curanderas & Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life. Her new play, Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela was an official selection of the 2021 Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Teatro Salon Readers Theater Series. She has a B.A. in Theater from St. Edward’s University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas Pan American. 

“I have been called to write this play for nearly 20 years,” said Zamora. “There is not one entry point for the inspiration of Un Nuevo Capítulo: An American Novela, but rather incalculable amounts of inspiration; from my love of situational comedies, experiences with friends, family and even strangers. What has come out of it is, I believe, is a fantastic vehicle for female Latine actors and a story that normalizes our experience as humans navigating through life with love at the center, and a lot of laughs.

“I am humbled that a production company such as Aria Creative Productions is producing my show,” Zamora continued. “I have so much gratitude [to them] for giving playwrights such as myself an opportunity to have our works staged here in San Antonio, Texas!”

Estrada, a stand-up comedian who is also the artistic director of Aria Creative Productions, directed a staged reading of this new comedy at the Guadalupe Theater in 2021. He also directed Zamora’s solo show Curanderas and Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life in 2019. 

Un Nuevo Capitulo is both a hilarious and modern comedic play reminiscent of 1970s sitcoms,” states Estrada, who recently directed The Back-Porch Gang at the Overtime Theater. “This is a wholesome show that I believe is suitable for the whole family.” 

Zamora is particularly pleased that her play will be one of the local events kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Every month to me is Hispanic Heritage Month, but September does mark the national commemoration of our culture, so I am all for bringing it!” she said. “We need to continue to acknowledge everything that [Latinos] have brought to this country in terms of our overall contributions and insist that we always have a seat at the tables of importance, whether it be as artists, educators, scientists, activists or politicians. We must take up space and never apologize for it.”

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.

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.

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 Wins 7 BWW 2018 Awards

Our production of Quills by Doug Wright earned seven BWW awards. Thank you to everyone who supported our dream to bring this incredible piece to San Antonio. We had sold out shows each night and were thrilled with the response. Huge thanks to our amazing Stage Manager, Erin Urick for the magic behind the scenes.

We especially want to thank The Overtime Theater for allowing us to produce the show in such a wonderful and intimate space.

Congratulations to Nicole Erwin, Joseph Urick, Morgan Clyde, Michael Song, Susan Brogdon, and Rose Kennedy on these awards:

Best Play
Best Director
Best Costume Design
Best Leading Actor
Best Leading Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress

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.

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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.

 

Theatre for Scandal

THEATRE FOR SCANDAL is a comedy loosely inspired by Sheridan’s School for Scandal. It involves a group of actors who begin to spread rumors that one of the most flamboyantly gay members of their group is secretly straight. Anthony Hamilton, played by Stephen Poer last seen in The Last Days of Oscar Wilde, plots to wreak vengeance on a macho stud (Aaron Ramos) who has betrayed a female friend.

Everyone gossips, especially Jacosta (Greg Hinojosa) but in the theatre world it’s amplified. Rumors and scandal can sometimes be fun, but at whose expense? Ultimately, you never really know what’s true or false, so sometimes it’s best to be silent.

The show has a handful of ATAC award-winning actors, educators, and directors. Cortez is a founding Company member of The Magik Theatre, former Artistic Director of the Cameo Theatre and current head of Killer Productions producing murder mysteries. Multi-award winning Director, Greg Hinojosa has had a long standing association as Artistic Consultant for the Magik Theatre and is the former Artistic Director of the Woodlawn Theatre. Jose DeHoyos, who plays the Tin Man, is an Adjunct Professor at San Antonio College and is the Fine Arts Program Coordinator at Southwest ISD. “Having talent like this is perfect for this type of comedic show”, Erwin said.

The show is the third of productions by Bernard J. Taylor planned at Woodlawn Pointe (directly opposite Jefferson High School). The show will be presented in the Auditorium which seats 300. Woodlawn Pointe is located in a very pleasant neighborhood with easy parking.

Performances: Aug 17-26, 2017 at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Tickets: $20 or $15 Group Rate at http://theatreforscandal.brownpapertickets.com

Address: Woodlawn Pointe, 702 Donaldson Ave, San Antonio, TX 78229

Ages 16+ due to adult content/mature themes. The running time is approximately 1.5 hours with a 15 minutes intermission and is presented by Aria Creative Productions and Taylored Wright Productions. Critics are invited at no charge.

Sinderella and the Glass Zipper

SINDERELLA and the GLASS ZIPPER. A WORLD PREMIERE BURLESQUE ADAPTATION OF CINDERELLA

International burlesque star Coco Lectric stars in the title role

The Overtime Theater and Aria Creative Productions proudly present the world premiere production of “SINDERELLA AND THE GLASS ZIPPER,” a burlesque adaptation of the classic fairy tale “Cinderella.” This comedic, adult-themed adaptation is written, directed and choreographed by international burlesque artist Jade Esteban Estrada and stars award-winning burlesque star Coco Lectric. The three-performance run will be presented at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, August 18, 2017 and 8:00 p.m. Saturday, August 19, 2017 at The Overtime Theater located at 5409 Bandera Road, Suite 205 in San Antonio, Texas. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at the door. Limited seating. Reservations recommended. Tickets can be purchased online at sinderella.bpt.me. Further information about the show can be found at www.theovertimetheater.org or by calling (210) 557-7562. This show has mature themes and partial nudity. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. Show duration is 90 minutes with a brief intermission.

Practically enslaved and in rags, the boobalicious Sinderella lives with her wicked stepmother and two jealous stepsisters who try to keep her from attending the royal burlesque ball at Pink Taco Palace. Although her fairy godmother magically makes her wish of going to the ball come true (“A twerk is a wish your booty makes!”) and helps her to win the heart of the “shagalicious” Prince Charming, who’s having trouble with his glass zipper, the beautiful Sinderella must face the wrath of her stepfamily when her godmother’s magic spell wears off at midnight. This comedic burlesque fairy tale reminds us that a good girl is just a bad girl who’s never been caught.CocoPurple

Half variety show, half musical and all entertainment, “Sinderella and the Glass Zipper” is the fourth burlesque adaptation written by Jade Esteban Estrada, formally the playwright-in-residence at Prohibition Theatre in Houston, Texas. Past credits include “Tales of a Hard Nut” (a burlesque adaptation of “The Nutcracker”), “The Masque of the Red Death” and “Eat Me,” (a burlesque adaptation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”). Original burlesque narratives include “Hollywood Havana” (Perth Fringe World Festival) and “How Burlesque Saved Christmas” (Gibson Guitar Lounge at Maggie Mae’s).

The show stars Natasha Pearl, Melissa Weltner, Bruce Vayne, Dan Calderon, Jordan Kayall, Femme Les Jules, Blaise Ricin and features Jade Esteban Estrada (as seen on Comedy Central, Bravo TV) as the narrator and stars Austin-based burlesque star Coco Lectric (New Orleans Burlesque Festival’s Queen of Burlesque 2010) in the title role.

Performances:

8/18 at 8 and 10:30 pm
8/19 at 8 pm

Cast: 

Sinderella – Coco Lectric
Narrator – Jade Esteban Estrada
Prince – Blaise Ricin 
Fairy Godmother – Jules Vaquera
Lady Tremaine – Natasha Pearl
Drizella Tremaine – Melissa Weltner
Anastasia Tremaine – Bruce Vayne
Ensemble – Jordan Kayall
Ensemble – Daniel Calderon

Adaptation written & directed by Jade Esteban Estrada

PC of Coco Lectric: Sleek Images

Backstage at Oz

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This comedy musical follows the backstage antics of a group of six actors and a director who are taking part in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz. There is a pompous Shakespearean actor who thinks his role as Oz is beneath him, a nervous drunk playing the Cowardly Lion, a practiced extrovert playing the Tin Man, a sharp-tongued cynic playing Glinda the Good Witch and a more easygoing actress playing The Wicked Witch. Glinda and the Wicked Witch are in a relationship.  The Pollyanna nature of the actress playing Dorothy fits the part even though her breasts are too large for the role. All pull together after the Munchkins go on strike demanding bigger pay for little people. There are 10 songs.

Suitable for ages 17+

Cast:

VERITY/GLINDA – Whitney Marlet
AGNES/THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST (WWW) – Nicole Erwin
LARRY/THE WIZARD OF OZ (OZ) – Richard Solis
BOB/THE COWARDLY LION (CL) – Dave Cortez
MELISSA/DOROTHY – Jayme Orth
DOUG/TIN MAN – Jose DeHoyos
BEATRICE- Pricilla Mesley

Creative Team:

Director – Dave Cortez
Stage Manager – Pricilla Mesley
Propmaster – Jonathan Schell
Costumes – Rose Kennedy
Musical Arrangements – Gareth Price and Karl Logue

Times:

Th-Sat at 8pm

Location: 702 Donaldson Ave, San Antonio, Texas, 78201

Tickets

PRICE: General – $20; Group and Students (must show ID at door) – $15

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