Artistic Director Sandra Riley is a retired teacher of English and Theater, whose thirty-year tenure culminated with the development of the International Baccalaureate Program for Theatre Arts at Coral Gables Senior High. She worked with wonderfully talented students in that program, many of whom form the nucleus of actors, designers and technicians who are the Crystal Parrot Players today.
Sandra met Bahamian artist Alton Lowe in 1980 on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas. Alton helped Sandra research her book on the history of the Bahamas. In 1987, Alton Lowe founded the Abaco Cultural Society to promote the expressive arts in the Bahamas. Soon, Alton found himself producing a Christmas Concert every year at Green Turtle Cay, bringing together American and Bahamian singers and musicians.
It was Sandra's extensive background in theatre and Alton's love of the performing arts that inspired the creation of the Crystal Parrot Players and prompted us into play production in 1995.
Together, Sandra and Alton presented GTC audiences with Search for Signs in 1996 and with a Christmas musical, The Forgotten Carols, in 1997 on a stage built in the garden of Alton's Abaco home.
In May of 1999 we moved our theatrical productions into Alton's intimate art exhibition space, the Gallery Stage, where we produced two one-act plays, Mark Twain's Diaries of Adam and Eve and James Prideaux's Postcards. Then, at the request of Alton Lowe, Sandra Riley wrote an historical play for actress Luisa Black and Miss Ruby premiered at the Gallery Stage in 2001 and a companion piece Matt Lowe was performed a year later.
In celebration of the strong historical and cultural ties between Green Turtle Cay and Key West, Florida, these plays were presented on the same bill in Key West at the Second Annual Pirates-In-Paradise Festival in 2001 and The Cuban-American Theatre Festival in 2002. Then in 2003, the Crystal Parrot Players brought its performances home to South Florida and the double feature Matt Lowe & Miss Ruby premiered at the Miami Light Project's Light Box Studio Theater in January 2003.