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.
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.
The Playhouse is tackling another classic and this time it's Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company."
" 'Company' is a delightful show about a man who is having his 35th birthday" said Playhouse CEO Asia Ciaravino. "And he basically looks at his life around him with all of his friends -- his married friends, his friends who are in different kinds of relationships -- and says, 'Is this what I want?' And it’s really a show that’s not connected by a story -- it’s connected through his memories."
The play is conceived and written around its central character, Bobby.
As if putting on large scale plays and musicals weren’t enough work, The Playhouse had to find a way to put itself back together after weather damage it suffered from a thunderstorm last May. A rain-damaged roof soaked through and ceiling plaster came raining down on the seats at their Russell Hill Rogers Theater.
As Playhouse CEO Asia Ciaravino notes, fixing a theater is tough work for people who just want to entertain you in one.
The Playhouse San Antonio is taking on "Les Miserables,"a production on the largest of scales.
"'Les Mis' is obviously the most epic musical ever, and this is one of those musicals where every actor, every designer, every director has wanted to do their whole lives," said Playhouse CEO Asia Ciaravino.
Set in the first half of 1800s France, this production has connected with audiences for decades because of its evergreen human themes.
At 8 a.m. Saturday Asia Ciaravino raced down to The Playhouse theater to find a disaster falling from the ceiling.
"The plaster actually came loose a bit... [a] six-foot slab of it smashed onto the audience floor," she said.
Ciaravino, The Playhouse CEO and president, said one staff member was working at the time and heard the collapse after heavy rains collected on the roof, pouring onto the ceiling area and dropping everything to the carpeted theater floor of the Russell Hill Rogers Theater.