IATI Theater in New York produced my play, Three on a Match, as "the keynote production" of their 50th Anniversary season. I was proud and humbled to be part of this great, historic company dedicated to producing original work by Latino artists.
A staged reading of the play had been previously produced at IATI as part of their annual “Cimientos” (“foundations”) series. This process was enormously helpful. Working with nine other playwrights in the program, under the guidance of Artistic Director, Winston Estevez, in a truly collaborative environment, I was able to develop the script into a finished product.
Prior to that, in 2016, Next Iteration Theatre Company, in Houston, Texas, produced a staged reading of the play as part of their Intercultural Play Reading Series. Working closely with director Dianne K. Webb, I developed the play from a first draft to a more complete script.
While living in Brooklyn, I directed a production of two of my one-act plays, Fresh Cut and Half a Ticket, at Impact Theatre in Prospect Heights.
Fresh Cut later evolved into a full-length play, Baby's Breath, that enjoyed a staged-reading production at IATI as part of their "Cimientos" ("foundations") play-development series. Since then, I have changed the title to Baby Teeth, which I'm sticking with...for now.
Sammi and I made a couple of independent films early on that taught us a great deal about the art of screenwriting and filmmaking, but ultimately just weren't good enough to share with the public. Gravity was the first film that we were proud to show.
In 2002, we had a world premiere at The Aurora Picture Show, in The Heights neighborhood of Houston, a short walk from where we live now. The film was well-received and we confidently submitted it to various film festivals, all of whom politely rejected it.
I still love this little movie of ours. We shot the whole thing on a micro-budget over a couple of weeks and had a lot of fun doing it.
In 2004, Sammi and our friend, Jennifer Bugler, wanted to produce this play in order to showcase the work of some of the amazing women we knew in Houston. They asked me to direct it and we rented out the Midtown Art Center--that classic, Houston venue that so many of us remember fondly (and sometimes not so fondly). We rehearsed in my classroom at Lamar High School (I can still remember the joys of removing every single desk at the beginning of each evening, and then returning every single desk at the end of the night.) We sold cheap tickets, sold even cheaper wine and beer at intermission, and managed to break even by the end of the run. At the time, that was my idea of success in show business!