Austin/San Antonio 2018/19 Season In Review by Rita Anderson
In 2019, for the first time, DG HQ in NYC asked all Regional Reps to compile a Season in Review and, today, I attempt what feels like the impossible—to offer an overview of the amazing new work or world premieres of DG members that are produced in my region, Austin/San Antonio, from June 1, 2018 to April 1, 2019.
San Antonio, a sprawling city of over three million residents, is an hour and a half’s drive from our capital, Austin, and the two arts scenes reflect the cultures of each city, as well as their artistic focus. While difficult to characterize, Austin is notorious for its “Keep Austin Weird” motto, and San Antonio—which moves at a slower pace—primarily has two theatres that regularly produce new works: The Public and The Overtime.
Emily Fitzgerald’s No Rescue Required, a once-upon-a-time story of three princesses who break all the rules, was produced at The Overtime Theatre, and William M. Razavi had two new works produced at The Overtime Theatre: Dusty Springfield Space Patrol and Unhappy Campers.
Austin produces several festivals, especially FronteraFest, which includes five short plays a night, six days a week for six weeks, Out of Ink, and the #1MPF, all of which are sponsored through ScriptWorks, the local playwrights’ organization. But below are the full-lengths produced here in the given time frame:
Ground Floor Theatre, a newer but robust theatre, produced new works by Raul Garza (There & Back, which deals with immigration and border wall issues) and Allan Baker (Dex & Abby, a play about two dogs);
Trinity Street Players produced Alice Stanley’s The Tiny Banger, which follows a homeless family’s struggles;
Shrewd Productions, which focuses on new works by female playwrights, produced the world premiere of Reina Hardy’s The Afterparty, and Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Madres, an NNPW rolling world premiere;
Heartland Theatre Collective at Dougherty Arts Center produced Nicole Oglesby’s Little Bird, a haunting tale of what it’s like to grow up a girl under the male gaze;
EmilyAnn Theatre produced my play Woman Hollering Creek;
The Vortex produced Gabriel Jason Dean’s Heartland, another NNPW rolling world premiere;
Pollyanna Theatre Company, a children’s theatre, produced two of Holly Hepp-Galvan’s plays, If Wishes Were Fishes and The Mystery of the Green Teeth Ghost, at the Long Center;
The world premiere of Gretel! The Musical was produced at the Paramount Theatre. Its artistic team consists of Jason Tremblay with Suzan Zeder (book), Jenn Hartmann Luck, Suzan Zeder, and Jason Tremblay (lyrics), and Jenn Hartmann Luck (music);
Jeanette Hill’s No Ordinary Days, which chronicles the impact of mental illness on the lives of an African-American family, was produced at the Boyd Vance Theatre. The play was a collaboration with the local chapter of National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI).
While this is not a comprehensive, let alone an exhaustive list, the stats mentioned give you a good idea of the rich new works programs in our growing area of Texas.