Archive for January, 2013

Official flyer for next PrePunch show!

Here’s the flyer, thanks to long-time ZU member Caleb Bonitz.  More info below!

Premature Punchline show THIS Tuesday, Jan 22nd!

Come see some of the new faces of Premature Punchline in our improv comedy performance on January 22 at the Blue Room in Fore Hall at 7:00. Admission only $1!

New featured actors include: Josh McCaulley (Nightmare of Oz, Game of Fortune), Ryan Watkins (Nightmare, The Thin Divide) and Anissa Medina (Cooookie!, Pot & Kettle).  Let’s not forget the veterans: Luis, Aaron, Herc, Caleb, Verderber, and many others!


A Decade of Zero Untitled in Review

A Decade of Theatre – A Brief Review of ZU

Cast photo of “The Rape of Lucrece” (2011)

Well, 2013 becomes the milestone year; marks the 10th year of Zero Untitled’s existence.  In that span, ZU which is primarily a Texas-based company, has managed to get theatre done in several major cities across the United States and even two recent shows in the heart of theatre – London.

First, let us begin this brief journey at the very beginning.  In Kingsville, TX in 2003, Zero Untitled began as Zero Untitled Films, a strictly filmmaking organization that was lead by Michael Verderber, Gabriel Ruiz, and Paco Rosales-Moreno.  Rosales-Moreno’s tenure with the organization was short-lived, so Ruiz and Verderber took up the helm.  The entire purpose behind ZU was an outlet for film projects, as both Ruiz and Verderber were swamped with stage productions in college.

The very first project was a collaboration with Corpus Christi’s Dreamchaser Productions’ creator Bobby Curbow.  ZU and Dreamchaser had their mutually shared debut film The Man Who Walks Alone at Harbor Playhouse in November 7, 2003 as part of the Edgeworks Short Film Festival.  Mere months later, Verderber and Ruiz met Jesse Shaw, a trained carnival performer who helped develop the first legitimate theatrical production – Freakshow Theatre and a collaboration with SIR, Inc.  During the rehearsal process, it became clear that keeping theatre out of ZU would be pointless as both Ruiz and Verderber were stage-trained actors.  FT marked the first outdoor stage production on the campus of Texas A&M Univ – Kingsville since the 1970s.  ZU’s goal began to focus on performing plays in non-traditional spaces (see below).

So that is how it began ten years ago.  What has happened since then?  Check out every page of the website and see for yourself!  But to save you some time, here are a few bullet points:

Promotional still for “A Life with No Joy In It” (2011)

–          67 productions (at the start of 2013)

–          2 carnival-esque freakshows: Freakshow Theatre and Freakshow Theatre II

–          3 film festivals featuring local filmmakers

–          Multiple play performances in non-traditional spaces such as: art galleries, coffee shops, bars, meeting rooms, student centers, schools, and city streets

–          Performances and film shooting in Boston, Sacramento, Las Vegas, South Padre Island, and London.

–          4 Dark Tours: Into Hell, Madness in Wonderland, Relapse in Wonderland, and Nightmare of Oz

–          Multiple mime performances: When Mimes Invade!, Gamblin’ Mime: A Las Vegas Happening, Forward MIMEntum, and London’s Mime the Gap.

–          Multiple firebreathing performances (not including the Freakshows): Surprise Flash Bang!, Our Gift from Prometheus, Prometheus [redux], Ignis Duo, Flight of the Fireflies, pts I & II, Amber & Ashes, Fate of Eights, and the shortlived X: a Firebreathing Showcase.

–          Approximately 50 world premiere plays

–          1 Traveling comedy troupe, Premature Punchline, w/ performances in Austin, Corpus Christi, and Kingsville

–          2 Shakespearean works: original adaptations of The Rape of Lucrece and The Phoenix and the Turtle, and various monologue performances – All The World’s a Stage  (London)

–          Productions of David Mamet (A Life with No Joy In It), Clement Clark Moore (A Visit from St. Nicholas), and Don Nigro (Barefoot in Nightgown by Candlelight)

–          4 music videos:  DJ Oringe’s “In Regards”, “Saltie”, and “Floormatted” and Verderber’s “Slipping”.

–          Various traditional Happenings: The Telegration Experiment, A Trance of Death, and 13°

–          5 traditional short films: The Man Who Walks Alone, The Suicide Note, Mimeumentary, Over White Wine,and Pilo the Never Ending.

–          And more!



Here’s what happened in JUST 2012:

–          Textual Overture, a coffee-shop based workshop/reading series for poems and plays performed 4 times at two locales: Café 5 and Blue Ribbon Café.

–          World premieres for original short plays Broken Wheels and Shattered.

–          Two firebreathing shows: Fate of Eights and X.

–          An ArtWalk mime show: Forward MIMEntum

–          Full length premiere of Acoustical, a romantic comedy.

–          Two performances in London, England and ZU’s first international productions of All The World’s a Stage and Mime the Gap

–          Multiple Premature Punchline shows including Fish and Giggles and The Rated R Christmas Show

–          Full-length Dark Tour production of Nightmare of Oz.

–          Eleven one-act premieres in collaboration with TAMUK

What will 2013 bring? Come to the shows and find out!

“Divided by Zero” interview series: Luis Zaragosa

“Divided by Zero” is a brand new interview series, both traditional interview and video interview getting you into the head and heart of the ZU family.  “Divided…” will feature five sporadically posted interviews featuring veteran members and members new to the ZU family.  Our first interview features Luis Zaragosa, comic, firebreather, and Globe-trained actor who has performed in well over 20 productions with the company.


Divided By Zero – Luis Zaragosa


How long have you been involved with Zero Untitled and what was your first production?

            Let’s see, my first production was a Christmas special called “Twas the FLOP Before Christmas” and that was 3 years ago…4 years ago…3 years ago…(laughs) a long time ago.


 (Zaragosa pictured with Barry Berryhill in “Twas the FLOP Before Christmas”)


What is your best memory of any ZU production?

            Hands down, performing in the streets of London.  Just busting out Shakespeare in “All the World’s a Stage”.


What kind of future project would you like to dabble in?

            Honestly, my three favorite roles were me playing silent because I’ve got a speech problem most of the time and I have a hard time memorizing lines on top of all the other stuff I do.  So I do “silent” and “creepy” pretty well so I would say more horror especially since that is something we haven’t done in a season or so, so more horror would be pretty awesome.


If you can play any role in any show for ZU, what would it be?

            Hmm, well I’m really good at comedy, but I love playing the psycho.  I’ve always wanted to play the psycho and I will always want to play the psycho.  I like playing crazy.


 (Zaragosa pictured with Allan Guzman in “Into Hell”)


So reviving your role as the White Rabbit in “Relapse in Wonderland” and “Madness in Wonderland”?

No, I “Sin” more actually.  “Sin” [from “The Rape of Lucrece”] was creepier, crazier.  I could have gone all over the place with Sin if I knew he was a subtle character.  Plus he looks like Death!


What do you expect from the audiences of ZU shows?

            Well, I like it when they get involved, I’m not saying walking around, jumping up and down, or volunteering to get on stage. I mean, when we do something and they react.  Like in the play “Nightmare of OZ” when the Dorothy character gets raped, I want to see the grotesque looks in the audiences’ face and the horror in their eyes.  I’ve always liked that about our audiences.


So, you like the audiences’ reactions to graphic stuff that Zero does in productions?

            Yeah, and we do lots of graphic stuff, I mean, we don’t just do creepy graphic, we do hilarious graphic.  Like in puppets [an improv game in Premature Punchline], we bend ourselves back and forth and the audience will get up and bend us however they want and they all get a kick out of it. And as long as the audience is enjoying themselves to the most they can, then that’s what I want.  I want them to enjoy what they (the audience) are doing, too.


 (Performing in a skit for one of Premature Punchline’s early shows; also pictured is Dustin Romike)


There are a lot of new people in the productions.  What would you tell people that are new to ZU?

            Enjoy this while you can, but this isn’t all to life, they are other things.  If you want this to become a big thing for you, then instead of playing video games and stuff like that when you have free time (after you’ve done your school work and other work) whenever you have down time, go ahead and like dabble in improv, go pick up on some improv games or watch improv shows, read new material, read plays.  Be more culturally aware, because whenever I joined, half the stuff [the other ZU guys] would drop, I would not understand.  So, I had to go and start researching and doing stuff on my own along with the other stuff with my classes.


What are your expectations for the ZU productions you spearhead, namely PrePunch?

            Let’s see, Premature Punchline has taken off, but I would like to see a lot of our actors and actresses be more aware of what they are doing. Internalize. Like when they go up there and improv, I don’t want them to just read stuff and do the stuff we rehearse well, but I want them to come up stuff on their own, like on the spot.  They need to get better at reflexed comedy, instead of rehearsed comedy.


 (Being trained at the Globe Theatre in London, England with Chu Owambala.)


So, say I’m brand new to ZU and I wanted to be in Premature Punchline, how would you train me?

            I’d corner you and tell you to convince me to let you out of the room. I’ve learned this while in London when I was trained by one of the Globe actors (named Chu Owambala) that given a simple task and saying “do it however you want, just convince me” is the simplest way to improv something because you have a decision that has to be made and now you have to have your own reason to back up that decision. You have to improv a reason to get out of the room. It’s a quick, simple starter.


Any final statements?

Don’t do drugs.



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About Zero Untitled

Zero Untitled Films/Productions is a theatrical group based in Kingsville, Texas, that produces unique experiences on stage, in film, and in other media. Zero Untitled’s goal is to let artists and audiences alike think outside the box.