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As a native of Southern California, Verdugo was drawn to the monumental scale of the Hollywood industry. He went on to earn an MFA in painting and installation from UCLA (1988). He followed that by serving as a Los Angeles-based art critic for two West Coast journals (1991-97). He concurrently worked for a decade in the industry as a scenic and properties artisan with numerous West Coast production companies, including the Walt Disney Company, South Coast Repertory and the Old Globe San Diego, among others.
In 2001, he earned a second MFA in Theatre from the University of California, Irvine.
Verdugo has been teaching Scene Design in the south and southwest for more than a dozen years (Florida State University, 2005-07; University of North Texas, 2007-13; Alabama State University, 2013-16; Texas Woman’s University, 2017; SFA 2017-19).
Mr. Verdugo previously served as guest scenic artist with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (2014-16). Verdugo has designed for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (NY), Colorado Ballet (CO), Edna Manley College/Visual & Performing Arts (Jamaica), Mount Washington Valley Theatre Co. (NH), Lillian Russel Theatre (IA), Haskin Circus Complex (FL), Capitol Playhouse (WA), as well as Cara Mia Theatre Co., Shakespeare Dallas and the African-American Repertory Theatre (Dallas, TX), among others.