Eric A. Vera

Man in blue shirt.
2008
B.F.A. Theatre Studies

Favorite Memory of T&D:

I think one of my fondest memories was working with Linda Hartzell from the Seattle Children’s Theatre as they work-shopped their new musical The Bremen Town Musicians. As a part of this musical, I was fortunate enough to be cast in the role of Donny the Donkey in their stage reading. Being part of a musical from the beginning, learning the lines, “getting the cuts”, singing the songs, “getting the cuts”, and working along side such a wonderful group of professionals was a thrilling experience for me. I cherish it.

Oh, and I am not going to lie, I also loved being able to go in the fountain during one of the New Works Festivals. Seeing the entire department in the fountain is the best mental picture I have to date!

Influential Professors or Classes:

Joan Lazarus’s Design for Curriculum class really helped me to develop a lot of the curriculum I use today. Joan was able to help me bring out the best of who I am as an actor, director, and teaching-artist and blend it with her visions of what makes good creative drama and theatre education.

I also learned so much about directing from Stephen Gerald. Stephen has the perfect mind-set when it comes to teaching his BFA students. He always remembered to teach the major directing concepts while bringing attention to the fact that the teacher might be directing in a cafeatorium, having an actor who is 16 play a 60 year old, and, of course, the thing that makes or breaks a Texas theatre teacher…UIL! He allowed me to direct a scene from Gypsy that really confirmed my decision that I was on the right path to what I wanted for my future.

Lastly, I was fortunate enough to stage manage the production Aisle 7 under the supervision of Denise Martel. Denise taught me the ropes of stage management and I use those tools to this day any time I am in a production as a stage manager, director, and actor. I am a better teacher because of the experiences I had while learning side by side with Denise. As a result, my technical program is thriving because of it.

Currently Living In:

Brownsville, Texas

Profession:

Executive Artistic Director, Camille Playhouse

Biography:

Curtain up and light the lights! Eric Andrew Vera is an experienced theatre arts director, educator, stage manager and performer. Eric Vera was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas and is excited to bring his experiences in the theatre back to the valley.

The story is classic, really: young boy falls in love with girl, girl says come see me in a play, boy sees play, boy falls in love with theatre. The rest is his life. Eric's love and appreciation of theatre has stemmed from his many experiences with Camille, and since, dreamed of one day returning as the director.

After attending the University of Texas at Austin, Department of Theatre & Dance, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Studies, he became a certified Texas Educator specializing in Theatre Education for young adults. At UT, Eric learned from the best, including acclaimed playwright Suzan Zeder, teaching artist & mentor Joan Lazarus, and director Stephen Gerald.  Acting credits at the University of Austin include: Holes, The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune, Boom Town, Ghost Town, and Ladies of the Corridor.

While in Austin, Eric was honored for having been named a 2007-2008 B. Iden Payne Award nominee by The Austin Circle of Theatres as Outstanding Actor in a Youth Play for his portrayal of Horton the Elephant in Seussical the Musical, under the direction of the amazing Wendy Bable.

For the past few years Eric served as the Head Theatre teacher at West Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas. There, Eric directed various plays and musicals and was involved in almost every event the high school had to offer. He is particularly proud of his title as Test Administrator 1 during TAKS testing, and his "Pencil Passing Outing" skills go unmatched! Mr. Vera received a First Class Teacher Award for having experienced outstanding achievement as a first year teacher. Among various other accolades, Eric, in his mission to make sure theatre is relevant to young people and their community, was able to arrange for his students to meet and see Two-Time Tony Award Winner Patti LuPone (HIS IDOL) - the chance of a lifetime for students who do not have access to a world beyond their own neighborhoods.

As the Executive Artistic Director of The Camille Playhouse, Vera has a full plate. The theater produces six Mainstage performances, a Youtheatre production and a Summer Workshop for Kids that mounts four musical productions involving over 200 young people. In addition, he is in his second year at the University of Northern Colorado where he is pursuing a master's degree in theatre education. His goal, he explains, is to always better himself, and by doing so, continue to make a positive impact on the community. Eric is also a proud member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association and a Certified UIL Critic Judge.