Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

The McNay’s New Theater Arts Exhibition Invites Visitors to Take the Stage — and Even Tap Dance


  • Franco Colavecchia, Front cloth design for Treemonisha, 1975
Arguably one of the most overlooked aspects of the McNay is the the museum’s impressive Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, which boasts more than 12,00o objects spanning from the 1500s to the present day. Built around a sprawling gift from late collector, philanthropist, theater patron and design enthusiast Robert L.B. Tobin and expanded by curators Linda Hardberger and Jody Blake, the collection encompasses rare books, small-scale models, costume illustrations and stage designs created by modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. 
  • Douglas Schmidt, Scene design for Grease, 1972
The recently opened exhibition “America on Stage,” organized by Head of Curatorial Affairs René Paul Barilleaux and Curatorial Assistant Timothy Retzloff, aims to celebrate “the vision of the nation’s 20th- and 21st-century master designers on stages across the U.S. and around the world.”

Exploring four key themes — Broadway, Nostalgia, Breaking Tradition and Social Justice — the show combines music, costumes and maquettes (from productions of Cabaret, In the Heights, West Side Story and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown). It also offers a pop-up theater where guests can view scenes from a conceptual revival of Spring Awakening and interactive areas that invite museum-goers to “take center stage in a recreated stage set — and even tap dance.”

$15-$20, 10am-6pm Wed, 10am-9pm Thu, 10am-6pm Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, noon-5pm Sun through June 30, McNay Art Museum, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368, Get our top picks for the best events in San Antonio every Thursday morning. Sign up for our Events Newsletter.

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