The Overtime Theater has announced the appointment of Jade Esteban Estrada as its new Artistic Director. He was elected by the theater’s five-member board of directors. Estrada, a nationally-recognized stand-up comedian, actor, dancer, singer, playwright and composer, will succeed William Razavi who resigned in November. Estrada begins his new role on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.
Estrada, whose career has spanned the worlds of comedy, dance, and music, is no stranger to the organization. He has directed, produced, and performed in several plays and musicals (A Sign from the Taco Gods, How Burlesque Saved Christmas, Magick: An Evening with Aleister Crowley) on both Overtime stages.
“Jade Esteban Estrada is what the Overtime Theater is all about,” stated Nicole Erwin, managing director at the venue. “He’s original. He does one-person shows. I’ve always admired how he’s navigated his career as a creative artist who’s charted his own course through comedy, music, and theater. He makes bold choices and he isn’t afraid of trying new and different things. We feel Jade is a perfect fit for us because he embodies our mission. We are thrilled to welcome him as the new face of the Overtime Theater.”
Born at Lackland Air Force Base, Estrada’s career began in the mid-80s as a member of Los Actores de San Antonio at the Guadalupe Theatre. He performed in musicals at the Josephine Theatre under Jerry Pollock, Missy Miller and Aaron Callies. He also appeared in children’s theater at the Melodrama Playhouse at Hemisfair Plaza and what is now the Blue Star Arts Complex.
Estrada is a graduate of New York’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He has directed and choreographed stage productions in over 20 countries, including Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Fringe World in Perth, Australia. Along the way, he met television star Charo and served as her choreographer and lead dancer from 1998 to 2002 for live shows all around the country. In 2003, he founded Experiencia Dance Company, based at at Teatro LaTea on New York’s Lower East Side. He served as the company’s Artistic Director until 2005.
For the following 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 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, he was tapped to host the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which aired on Bravo TV.
Estrada 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. H currently, teaches virtually because of the pandemic. “We also love that he’s a teacher so he has that nurturing quality that’s so important,” Erwin added. “I think he has the perfect balance of empathy and discipline to impart to our actors and directors.”
Estrada is perhaps best known as a solo theater 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 of the production: “Jade Esteban Estrada knows how to draw an audience in and hold them in the palm of his hand.”
He also did a stint at stand-up comedy, and USA Today’s 10Best.com said, “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 to 2016, Estrada served as 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 to 2019, Estrada brought his burlesque plays to the Overtime’s mainstage: Sinderella and the Glass Zipper, How Burlesque Saved Christmas, and Madame X: A Burlesque Fantasy. Also in 2019, he directed Curanderas and Chocolate: Cuentos of a Latina Life, a solo show written and performed by Patricia Zamora, at the Guadalupe Theatre. He received an Alamo Theatre Arts Council (ATAC) Award for his 2019 production of A Sign from the Taco Gods, which also premiered at the Overtime Theater.
“I wholeheartedly look forward to returning to the Overtime in this capacity and partnering with the board, staff, and creative team to make this a productive and memorable season,” wrote Estrada in an emailed statement. “I thank the board of directors for entrusting me with this important work.”