Nilo Cruz, interest in theater began with acting and directing in the early 1980s. He studied theater first at Miami-Dade Community College, later moving to New York City, where Cruz studied under fellow Cuban María Irene Fornés. Fornes recommended Cruz to Paula Vogel who was teaching at Brown University where he would later receive his M.F.A. in 1994. Nilo’s first play, Night Train to Boliña, premiered in 1994, when he was 34. In 2001, Cruz served as the playwright-in-residence for the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he wrote Anna in the Tropics. The first play by a Latino to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2003. Cruz is a frequent collaborator with Peruvian-American composer Gabriela Lena Frank. To date, they have completed a set of orchestral songs, La centinela y la paloma (The Keeper and the Dove).