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Anna in The Tropics / Ana en el Tropico

Pulitzer Prize winner about Love and Lost in Ybor City

The Pulitzer Prize winning Anna in the Tropics is a play about the power of literature and its effect on our lives.

Tolstoy’s examination of longing, love, and betrayal, whose story suddenly parallels the lives of the factory workers and forever changes the world of these people. Passions are ignited, affairs are consummated, and gunshots are fired.

Celebrate the history of Ybor City.

Lab Theater project

The Lab Theater Project in historic Ybor City is a production company focused on producing new works in the Tampa Bay Community.

One of my favorite things about Lab Theater Project is that they produce shows from emerging playwrights. I have seen several of them and love that they also provide new artists a place to develop and work on their craft.

Although I have not worked on stage with the company, I call many of them my friends. Lab has helped me hone and work on my photography skills by providing me the opportunity to photograph some of their productions.

This year, Lab Theater Project found a new home at 812 E. Henderson Avenue in Ybor City. They have opened their doors with health and safety policies in place.

Don’t hesitate to check out their website and if you are not attending shows now, I know a donation would go a long way.

The Tampa Repertory Theatre

As an actor, I have a special place in my heart for classic plays. When Tampa Repertory Theatre came to town, I was so excited to see the shows on stage that I studied in detail at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) in NYC.

Although I auditioned for many, I was not chosen, but still attended performances that made me giddy. Tampa Rep also presents new plays and those have become some of my favorites as well.

In 2015, I was cast in one of their contemporary shows for TRT2, that was presented at the Silver Meteor Gallery, Bethany.

Photo: Megan Lamasney

Presently, Tampa Rep has postponed their season and are devising new virtual and socially safe programming. I look forward to possibly, collaborating with them in the future.

Please visit their website when you have a chance and donate what you can, they are a wonderful theatre company.

Jobsite Theater

Jobsite is an independent, not-for-profit theater company in residence at the Shimberg Playhouse at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

I have auditioned for them several times and was fortunate enough to be a part of their 2012-13 season. I was in their production of Behind the Gates by Wendy Graf. I made some wonderful friends during this production and have been back time and again to see other shows as an audience member there.

Through out the years I have continued to attend performances at this venue and will continue to audition when time allows.

During the pandemic they are providing us at home, with online content. At the moment, Job-side Productions will have their first show at the Straz Riverwalk Stage which has open air seating. Feel free to read up on their safety precautions.

Don’t hesitate to visit their website and make a donation. The arts are vital and the pandemic caused houses to close their productions early, some weren’t even able to have an opening night.

Photo by Brian Smallheer


Stageworks holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first theatre that took a chance on me when I got back from New York. Anna Brennen, saw me at a FPTA audition and the rest is history.

Stageworks offers theatre to school age children and I was part of their Rainbow Tribe, a program for at-risk youth. I did three productions for them and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

After that, I was given the opportunity to perform in main stage productions and have made the best of friends, I even call some of those beautiful people, family. In my second main stage production, I delved into the history and culture of the Dominican Republic and portrayed a beautiful character that touched me personally, as a Dominican American.

Stageworks recently announced their next season and as always, it reflects the time we are in. It provides talent an opportunity to use their craft, while maintaining the safety guidelines that are vital during this pandemic.

Please don’t hesitate to check out what they are up to at this time.

Photo: Zander Morales
Photo: CineView Studios for Stageworks
Photo: Desiree Fantal for Stageworks

Publix – flu shots

Went to my local Publix this week and got my yearly flu shot. I’m very fortunate that it is covered by my insurance and Publix always adds a silver lining to a not so pleasant experience (i’m a baby when it comes to shots) by giving me a $10 Publix gift card. It’s for a limited time.

I’ve been very fortunate and haven’t had the flu in years, hoping that’s the case again this year.

Although I don’t like getting shots, I do like getting freebies and that is why this post qualifies as a favorite thing.

Carrollwood Players

When I graduated from AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) in the 90s, I came back home to Florida. I wanted to get back to New York and knew that I needed to audition, audition, audition, and I needed to get as much time as I could on stage, so that I could practice and hone the craft I spent two years working on.

Carrollwood Players was one of the first places I went to. I auditioned several times before actually getting cast in my first show there, Private Lives.

St. Petersburg Times
Photo: Dirk Shado
St. Petersburg Times – Photo: Dirk Shado

Carrollwood Players is a community theatre company that will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2021. Over the years I have been back to Carrollwood in several productions and have made some wonderful friendships. They provided me with the opportunity to audition, rehearse and perform. One aspect that I really enjoyed is I was given the opportunity to play roles that would not have been open to me in other places because I did not look the part. I was also given the opportunity to direct a one-act play and co-direct a staged reading; providing me the opportunity to branch out from being on stage and work behind the scenes.

Community theater has also given me the opportunity to meet so many people and many I call good friends.

As the pandemic put a halt on live productions, theatres are trying to keep their door opens and many have taken on virtual productions in the interim. Some have started to open their doors to the public, in a limited capacity.

As for me, I won’t be gracing any stages anytime soon but hope you check out Carrollwood Players and donate what you can, I know, it will truly be appreciated.

Photos: James Cass @ Picture This of Palma Ceia
Photos taken by Carrollwood Players

Mike’s Pies

I have always been a huge fan of key lime pie. There is something about the combination of super sweet and tart that I can’t resist.

My Hubby got me a key lime pie this year on my birthday. He told me about it a week before my birthday and I could not stop thinking about it. When my birthday rolled around, I even did a little dance in honor of it.

My intent is always to try to support local businesses, as they are part of my community. How happy was I when Hubby did research and found Mike’s Pies . If you get the chance, look them up, many local retailers in the Tampa bay area sell their pies.

Enjoy! I know I did.


Photo by Pixabay on

As I lay on my soft blanket, surrounded by fragrant green grass,

I see beautiful white cotton billow in front of my eyes.

The white marshmallow puffs float across the sky,

leaving trails to follow in all different shapes and sizes.

As thunder approaches,

the clouds change colors and swarm together,

to mask the beautiful blue sky.

Photo by Alex Conchillos on

It reminds me of how my life has struggles

that darken my days and torment my nights,

only to bring in the bluest skies and fluffy white clouds

to engulf me in what is and can be good in my life.

Photo by king Siberia on

The Ocean

Photo by David Billings on unsplash

As I walk to the water
through the soft warm sand,
I reach the shore
and the water laps at my feet,
burying my toes.
The sun warms my skin
and feels like a long and much needed hug.

My mind started playing tricks on me
as I looked out at the horizon.

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

Soft words in a deep voice envelope me,
with my own giggles as a little girl,
clinging to her Papi,
wearing swim trunks and a white undershirt.
He never cared for the water
but took pleasure watching me soak in the sun
and splash around in his arms.

As a woman, I watch the waves and miss my Papi.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Strolling the shore,
I see the billows of white when the waves crash,
and think of everything that has passed since that day.

As that afternoon came to an end,
we left the water,
my big family enjoying this rare gathering
that would not happen often enough.
Papi looked out and smiled at the water,
a bit of sadness and a bit of joy;
he loved that he spent time with me and my sister that day
but did not love that it was calling him back
to what he considered home as a child.


As a woman, I watch as the tide comes in
and wonder if I have never loved the water as an adult
because it reminds of a time that is long gone.

As I take a deep breath,
I smell the salt
and feel the thickness of the air through my nose
and into my lungs.
The sounds of the birds
and the ocean saying goodbye
as I turn away and leave,
never wanting to return.

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

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