Friday, August 9, 2013

(*) Profile of Playhouse San Antonio and 'Ragtime' by Leezia Dahlain, The Rivard Report, August 9, 2013


For The San Pedro Playhouse, The Show Must Go On

Posted on August 9th, 2013
By Leezia Dhalla

 The San Pedro Playhouse. Photo courtesy of Gregg Eckhardt.
(Photo: Gregg Eckhardt)
In San Antonio, theater is thriving. With more than a dozen venues dedicated to the performing arts, the city is steadily becoming known as one of Texas’s most colorful havens for the premier theatrical experience.

Responsibility for boosting the local arts reputation belongs in part to The San Pedro Playhouse, the oldest municipally built theater in the United States.

Situated in picturesque San Pedro Springs Park, The Playhouse opened its doors just 90 days after the 1929 crash of the stock market with a performance of Ferenc Molnar’s “The Swan.” It continues to be an important piece of the performing arts puzzle in San Antonio more than 90 years later, with a slew of educational programs that offer hands-on internships and on-site training classes in auditioning, stage combat, choreography and improv, among others.

The theater has grown to serve more than 50,000 people through various educational outreach programs, performances, events and classes.

In her first year as president and CEO, Asia Ciaravino has breathed new life into the venue. In addition to updating the theater’s social media and branding efforts, Ciaravino retooled the education programming into the likes of a conservatory, where students can learn the practicalities of equity, contracts and cattle-call auditions as professional actors in the working world.

The Playhouse also continues to donate production tickets to thousands of students each year, especially at schools where theater programs are being eliminated due to budget constraints.

“Our thrust is in building communities and education. I feel like we’re at the point of exploding because there’s so much happening and so many good things going on in the community,” Ciaravino said. “(I’m glad) we’re able to do so much outreach. On a community level we really impact children and adults, and that’s what theater, in my mind, is supposed to do.”

Read more at The Rivard Report . . . .

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