Passport to Christmas, a New Musical by Eric C. Jones, with music by Joshua Davis Creative Team
Founder and Executive ProducerCynthia Garcia
Founder and Executive Producer, Cynthia Garcia, is a producer, playwright (She Dead Now, Personal Injury, Crawling Over Glass, The House the Alton Built), and award-winning actor who has performed locally in Houston and across the country, earning membership status in Actors Equity, a professional actors union. The lifelong performer is a former member and coach of the renowned Texas Southern University Debate Team, a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC, and a graduate of University of Houston, where she earned her MA in Arts Leadership. Cynthia is grateful to be a conduit for bridging the arts to faith-based interests. A disciple of Jesus Christ and lover of the arts makes leading Exalted Arts the perfect opportunity for the entrepreneur. Wife of Luis for over 20 years, and mother of Luke, a budding violinist, Cynthia endeavors to spread joy and hope through the arts.
Artistic DirectorLatoyia Waller
Artistic Director Latoyia Waller is a multi-talented creative professional who excels in storytelling, screenwriting, playwriting, and lyricism. Originally from Louisiana, she now resides in Texas. Her work is heavily influenced by the Bayou City's unique charm, character, and unforgettable people. Latoyia is an imaginative writer and director who seeks to capture the beauty and wonder in every moment. Her web series "Something Like Sunshine" has won numerous awards, including Best Web Series at the Christian Film Festival and selection for the Houston Black Film Festival. She is thrilled to be a part of the Exalted Arts artistic community. Latoyia holds an MFA in Screenwriting from Houston Christian University and lives in Texas with her husband and two young children.
PlaywrightEric C. Jones
Passport to Christmas is written by Eric C. Jones, with music by Joshua Davis. Eric is a Medford, Massachusetts born, Minnesota & Texas raised artist. Mr. Jones is a graduate of Texas Southern University; B.S. Pharmacy. He has been involved with the Christian theater circuit since 1995 as a writer, actor, director and composer. Writing credits includes: Untapped Potential, Wolf Man Wedding, The Baked Potato Incident, Dreamland, American Skin, Freedom Quilt, Liberators and Fired! The Musical. Two musicals received a premiere in 2018: Liberators: An American Musical at The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival & Three Crosses at the Ensemble Theatre’s Staged Reading Series. Additionally, Eric was a 2nd runner-up for the 2016 Beverly Hills Film Festival Competition for his screenplay, Dreamland. His award-winning film, Dreamland Murders, of which he co-wrote & produced, was selected to the 2016 Marche Du Cannes Short Film Showcase, hosted by NWC Cinemas. “I would like to thank God, my family, WORIC church and the Houston Theater community.”
Joshua S. Davis is a composer, songwriter and playwright who commits his life to making the world a better place through his God-given talent. As a composer, Joshua has written original songs and arrangements in various genres such as choral, jazz pop/r&b/rock and gospel. In theater, he has written original musical and has collaborated with other playwrights and lyricists throughout the U.S. Joshua's dream is to make a full-time living doing what he does best....MUSIC.
Musical DirectorMichael Williams
Hailing from Houston, Michael Williams is a versatile musician and dedicated sound engineer, whose rhythmic journey commenced with the vibrant beats of the drums in his hometown. Enriching his musical skills at the esteemed Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, he has mastered the artistry of bass, piano, and drums. Fueled by his passion for music, Michael extends his legacy as a music teacher, fostering the next generation of musical talent. Through his heartfelt compositions, he continues to weave a tapestry of emotions, creating harmonious connections and spreading joy through the universal language of music.
Choreographer/ VocalistTia J. Alfred
Tia J. Alfred is singer, dancer, and actress born in Jacksonville, FL. Although she inhabits natural talent, she got her first start in dance in church at the tender age of four. Tia went on to become the president and lead singer of the choir at her parents’ church in Texas. In her college career, Tia studied classical and opera music, and majored in vocal performance, but later changed to musical theatre, and schools, deciding on training at Hardin Simmons University. Tia received numerous accolades within her department and at state competitions for her acting and singing ability. After HSU, Tia relocated to New York City where she booked lead roles in National Tours showcasing her versatility and prowess across the country. Recently Tia acted and composed the music for a feature film trailer and is currently a choreographer for a competitive academy creating dance and teaching movement to students of all ages. She is a wife and mother of one son.
DramaturgeJo Anne Davis-Jones
Jo Anne Davis-Jones’ (2 Corinthians 5:7) is an actor, singer, “creative mover” and dramaturg. She dedicates this production to her mother, Catherine Davis, who first nurtured her creativeness. She also is grateful for the opportunity to work with Exalted Arts again. Jo Anne’s dramaturgical productions include: The Piano Lesson; Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou; Paradise Blue; Respect; The Green Book; Simply Simone; and Fences; to name a few. Acting credits include: Da Kink in my Hair (Best Production Giorgee Award winner and Broadway World.com Regional Best Supporting Actress nominee), Constant Star (Best Ensemble Giorgee Award winner), Christmas With Great Aunt (Best Actress Giorgee Award nominee), Women in the Pit (Citywide Best Ensemble nominee) and 5 th Ward The Series Seasons 1 & 2 (AllBlk streaming series). Jo Anne is the director of W.I.N.G.S. (Walking in the Newness of God’s Spirit) Creative Arts Ministry as well as a writer/editor of all things creative. She earned her B.A. in Radio/Television/Film (University of Houston) and her M.A. in Journalism (Texas Southern University). “Do what you love and love what you do.”
Costume DesignerDanielle Hodgins
Danielle Aldea Hodgins is an artist, designer, and educator. She has enjoyed a full freelance career as a costume designer, scenic designer, visual artist, and muralist. Danielle has held academic positions with Houston Community College, the University of Houston Downtown, and now serves SUNY Oswego as the Assistant Professor of Costume Design and Historical Fashion. She holds a BS in interdisciplinary studies from Cornell University, BFA in Set and Costume Design from Syracuse University, an MA Arts Leadership and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from University of Houston. Danielle is a Houston Chronicle award-nominated creative who has collaborated with many arts organizations including Mainstreet Theater, Houston Arts Alliance, Mildred's Umbrella, HUE Mural Fest, A.D. Players, STAGES, Magpies & Peacocks, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Syracuse Stage, Cortland Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Dance Theatre, Syracuse Community Choir, Open Hand Puppet Theater, Cornell University, and Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County. Through her many projects and creative work, Danielle looks to celebrate diversity and connect communities through the arts.
Stage ManagerDarylin LaCroix
Darylin LaCroix is currently a student at the University of Houston's School of Theatre and Dance. Where she is learning not only how to bring the magic of storytelling to life, but how to also be a guardian of a collaborative process. Along with her passion for theatre you will see Darylin indulging in her love for books and music (cue the christmas carols)! Throughout her years of dedication to the theatre she has gotten the opportunity to work behind the scenes on productions such as Twelfth Night, Phantom of the Opera, Wolves, Shakespeare in Love, and most recently Skin of Our Teeth! You might have also seen her onstage during performances of CLUE, Night Witches, Come From Away, and Working the musical. Darylin would like to give a tremendous thank you to her Passport to Christmas team. As they have embraced her with open arms, surrounded her with the holiday spirit, and have been an absolute delight to work with. She would also like to thank her assistant stage manager, Maria Vargas, for not only being an efficient and creative partner throughout this production, but also her best friend. Darylin owes all her successes to her mentors at the university, along with her supportive family & friends. She hopes you enjoy your trip around the world this season... may you sit back and enjoy the holiday cheer!
Assistant Stage ManagerMaria Vargas
Maria Vargas is a sophomore at the University of Houston studying B.F.A. Theatre Production with a concentration in scenic and lighting. However, she had always been interested in Stage Management and is grateful for this opportunity! She would like to thank everyone who has supported her through the process, especially her brilliant and lively Stage Manager, Darylin LaCroix!