News and notes from the San Antonio theater scene
This month ITR is all about comings and goings. First, the new kids in town:
The Attic Repertory has taken up residence at Trinity University and will make its debutante bow with Harold Pinter’s one-act, One for the Road, May 4-6 (the inaugural season begins in September).
Producing Artistic Directors Roberto Prestigiacomo and Kristin Crouch are assistant professors of drama at Trinity, and Managing Director Tim Hedgepeth, who will offer a workshop on Improvisation for the Actor the morning of May 5, is a graduate (Class of ’79) of TU’s Speech and Drama Department.
Hedgepeth says the plan is to “create performance-driven work, including new plays, revisions of classic texts, and community-based pieces that tell stories of the local community.” The company’s commitment to the local community is reflected in free (or pay-what-you-can) admission to productions and workshops for any student with a valid ID, and reduced admission for SATCO members. For more information, call (601) 275-5233, (601) 999-8515, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another newcomer is National Comedy Theatre, a “family-friendly” improvisation performance troupe that’s starting a San Antonio chapter. Open auditions will be held at 3 p.m., April 2, at the Rivercenter Comedy Club for interested would-be improv-ers age 18 and older. No experience required. For more information, contact NCT Manager Kelly Hanson at email@example.com, myspace.com/nctsanantonio, or call 723-6573.
Old to the world but new to San Antonio’s youngest generation, Brundibar (The Bumblebee) is a 40-minute opera for children that was composed by a Czechoslovakian musician under Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship. The UTSA Lyric Theatre will perform the piece March 31 with a special guest in the audience: Inge Auerbach first saw Brundibar during World War II as a prisoner in the Czech concentration camp Terezín, which Hitler used to create a propaganda film arguing that he was relocating the Jews to a better life. Terezín was merely a way station en route to Auschwitz, however, and in 1944, Brundibar’s creator, Hans Krása, inmate Number 940, was executed.
An author who has written three books about her experiences, Ms. Auerbach will introduce a short film, Olympic Doll: A Child Survivor’s Story, which is based on one of her stories, before the opera. Tickets are $10 and proceeds will support the UTSA Concert Choir’s June tour of Terezín and the Czech Republic. For more info, 458-5685 or utsa.edu/calendar/.
On the “going” side, carpero Rodolfo G. Garcia Sr. (known as el gran comico DON FITO El Bato Suave of La Carpa Garcia) died Sunday, March 19, in his West Side San Antonio home at the age of 89. Together with his brothers and sisters he traveled throughout Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona bringing dance, music, satire, monologues, burlesque, magic, acrobatics, high-wire acts, and comedic sketches to poor and working class Mexican-American communities. In these circus-like, family-owned, traveling tent shows, the whole family shared in the responsibilities of all aspects of carpa life — from sewing costumes and performing to tent construction and tutoring.
“Even after La Carpa Garcia closed in 1947,” says granddaughter Adriana M. Garcia, “my grandfather’s life and the life of other carperos continues to engage, inspire, and motivate generations of artistas.” The family invites visits to the memorial at mem.com, and encourages memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, to the arts organization of your choice. •