San Antonio theater-goers now have a huge variety of venues from which to choose. I spoke to Overtime Theater’s Artistic Director Kyle Gillette, and he differentiates their objective this way.
“Devoted entirely to original works. And I really focus on choosing work that is both innovative and accessible,” he said.
There will be no Broadway hits at the Overtime — these are plays written by current playwrights, mostly local. The Overtime is at 1203 Camden Street on the other side of I-35 from Carlos Cortez’s Grotto, in the Museum Reach.
The halls of Geekdom are normally filled with techies workshopping the next killer app or the next innovation in cloud computing. But this weekend there was a different type of brain storm at the downtown offices.
Asia Ciaravino, president of the San Antonio Playhouse, stood in front of a computer project screen as she pitched their big idea to expert entrepreneurs. Ciaravino and five other arts groups just went through the three-day startup process where they learned to re-think their approach to business.
CineFestival is based out of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and began last week, running through Saturday.
"It’s been going for 36 years, so it’s the longest and original Latino film festival" said CineFestival Director Jim Mendiola. "First, it’s the only place in town you’ll see the latest and best independent Latino films and narratives and documentaries in one place. And it’s actually a place where you can actually meet the filmmakers because pretty much every major film that we show we bring the filmmakers in, so there’s a Q&A session afterwards."
There’s a unique training opportunity coming up for singers in San Antonio.
“I’m not sure there’s ever been a world music symposium in San Antonio before, so Benissimo Music is collaborating with Trinity University and we’re going to put on this wonderful two-day event" said Benissimo Music's Ruth Moreland.
Moreland said there will be master classes and they are bringing in Balkan music specialist Eva Salina Primack.
This week I caught up with The Playhouse’s Asia Ciaravino for an overview of the remaining season, and a peek at the fall. By any measure it’s been a wild year for The Playhouse. After last May’s damaging spring thunderstorm, they’ve managed to fix the theater, then pull off an ambitious winter schedule in both of their theaters. Now comes their spring and summer schedule.
This weekend hundreds of singers will gather in San Antonio, but what they sing isn’t common. So much so that I had to look up Sacred Harp singing to be sure of what it was. After doing so, I caught up with a pair of its practitioners in a noisy Portland Oregon train station.
"It’s an old southern hymn tradition that’s still alive, and in the last 10 or 20 years has broken out of the south and taken root worldwide," said John Berendzen.
“Urban 15 is a music and dance ensemble and training center here in San Antonio. You might think that we’re San Antonio’s ambassadors of rhythm and motion," said Urban-15 Music Director George Cisneros.
The group is known for its public performances in parades. Their pounding drums, wild costumes and rhythmic dancing have been seen in San Antonio since 1974.
But now something new is brewing and Urban-15 is looking for a few good men, and women.
"It’s open to people who are in shape, and like to move," said Cisneros.