2018-2019 Fine Arts Season Announcement

October 30, 2018

Public Information Officer


On the heels of an-institutional best award winning 2017 season, the 2018-2019 season of free and paid arts and academic events at St. Philip's College begins with announcements today of awards for the college's entire 2017 theater season, two innovative theater productions, an address by a veteran war reporter who won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on wounded warriors, and continues into the winter with the exciting return of a longtime college community partner.

The 2017-2018 season of the play All My Sons and the musical Bubbling Brown Sugar just earned multiple Alamo Theatre Arts Council’s Globe Awards for Areli Noriega (Supporting actress: All My Sons), Azarely Velasquez (Supporting actress: All My Sons) and Leonard Lopez (Choreography of a musical: Bubbling Brown Sugar). The 2018-2019 season includes two debut productions as the theater company reimagines the most famous choral work of the 20th century that is Carmina Burana by Carl Orff (1895-1982) and the heavy existential 1944 classic that is Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit. Both are unsubtle---one composer's iconic cantata about relationships, excess and the fickle nature of fate and one playwright's reaction to relationships during the cruelty and mass destruction of war---and each a classic. No Exit runs in November with Andrew J. Heinrich directing and Carmina Burana runs in April with full production team details to be announced in coming weeks, and recruiting for choir forces underway through college choir director Eric Schmidt.

Members of the "Sugar" team included 2017 Fine Arts performance alumna and honor society Hall of Honor recipient Giselle Vasquez. When not working in the corporate front office of the college’s award winning Fine Arts Department business unit, her journey included singing with the College Choir and playing percussion for both the SPC Jazz Band and the Bubbling Brown Sugar projects.

“I was rhythmically and melodically knowledgeable when I arrived at St. Philip’s College. So I connect with rhythm. Playing drums for Bubbling Brown Sugar was a contacted job and it helped me in my field of study. I did four-mallet marimba in several competitions in high school. My college instructor was a drum set player... any versatile percussionists want to take up challenges. It's a work in progress, coordinating all four limbs. What helped me with Sugar was taking a semester of Latin percussion from conga to djembe at St. Philip’s College. The opportunities I’ve had through people I know at the college are invaluable and incredible. I learned we would perform on the stage for Sugar when I saw the set they were going to build for us. It was a very jazz and blues experience. I knew I’d love playing it. It looked like we are on a Harlem intersection,” said Vasquez.

Vincent Hardy leads the theater company in his capacity as the new-for-2018 chair of the college’s Fine Arts Department.

“To my knowledge there has never been a dual Globes nomination for SPC Theater. It is an accomplishment worthy of celebration. I am excited because for both shows we had a team of actors, designers, crew, musicians, choreographers and dancers who created two memorable theatrical experiences for audiences,” said Hardy, adding, “I could not be more proud, and at the same time I think the upcoming season programming is among our most innovative.”

The season of free and paid events at the Watson in 2018 included the Hispanic Heritage Month speaking debut of the Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly for the 2018 St. Philip's College President’s Lecture Series project of seminars and lectures the college's first national call-in public radio program broadcast of A Way with Words and several dance companies. Additional events are being added to a developing and exciting 2019-2019 season lineup.

In addition to beginning his term as an incoming board member of the World Affairs Council of San AntonioDavid Wood will be speaking to the council membership about combat, veterans, and moral injury as part of the council's Distinguished Speaker Series that makes its St. Philip's College with this project. A birthright Quaker raised as a pacifist, Wood has spent more than 30 years covering conflicts around the world, most recently in extended deployments embedded with US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. His new book, What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars, explores moral injury, the signature wound of America’s 21st century wars. The paid event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the college's 600-seat Watson Fine Arts Center at 1810 Martin Luther King Drive. View the council web page for the event here

The construction of the 600-seat SPC Watson Fine Arts Center as a space for such events for the intellect throughout the years includes the 23-season San Antonio Symphony in Residence project (1988-2011) --- a partnership among the pillars of both education and music in the nation's seventh-largest metro area. The triumphal return of the symphony to the 120-year-old college in the era of conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing began with the San Antonio Eastside Tricentennial Celebration and Keynote Presentation featuring Dr. Ruth Simmons in May with the symphony and the St. Philip’s College Choir performing a rarity with an educational pedigree---a full symphonic and choir version of the song Lift Every Voice and Sing. Just as Franz Shubert had a symphony often referred to as The TroutLift Every Voice and Sing is often referred to as the Black National Anthem and is a song written as a poem by legendary school principal James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) in 1900 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954) in 1905 for the occasion of a school visit by ultra-legendary educator and presidential advisor Booker T. Washington. The college is slightly older than the music that is normally sung in solo or choral versions by such artists as Beyonce and Denyce Graves. The San Antonio Symphony version was an audience stunner. The 2019 residence includes several days of symphony rehearsals open to free public attendance---and one free full performance as part of the symphony’s Concert(210) series on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. View the symphony web page for the event here.

Here's a look at the season, and with event status changing regularly, it’s best to contact college technical director-auditorium manager Russell Calder at 210-486-2706, rcalder@alamo.edu for details and updates:

  • Nov. 9-11, 15-18 | SPC Theater: No Exit | Contact Mr. Calder for updates on event times and pricing
  • Nov. 15 | 6:30 p.m. | World Affairs Council of San Antonio Distinguished Speaker Series: David Wood | Contact the Council for admission information and pricing here
  • Nov. 28 | SPC Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Induction Ceremony | Contact Mr. Calder for updates on event times | Free
  • Nov. 29 | SPC Natural Sciences presents “Jessica’s Project” | Contact Mr. Calder for updates on event times | Free
  • Dec. 4 | 7 p.m. | SPC Choir Concert | Free
  • Dec. 6 | 7 p.m. | SPC Jazz Band Concert | Free
  • Dec. 7 | 7 p.m. | SPC Voice Recital | Free
  • Dec. 16 | SAYWE Holiday Concert | Contact Mr. Calder for updates on event times | Free
  • Jan. 30-Feb 1 | Rehearsals for San Antonio Symphony Residency at St. Philip’s College  are open to public viewing | Contact Mr. Calder or the Symphony for updates on rehearsal times | Free
  • Feb. 2 | 7 p.m. | San Antonio Symphony Residency at St. Philip’s College Performance | Free
  • April 2019 | SPC Theater: Carmina Burana | Contact Mr. Calder for updates on event times and pricing

Find the Globe award image by photographer Siggi Ragnur at Image 1 in the Oct. 22 San Antonio Express-News report Classic Theatre a big winner at the Globe Awards by arts writer Deborah Martin here.

The first step to joining the conversation on St. Philip’s College events as an audience or production member or as a facility user begins by reaching out to the St. Philip’s College Fine Arts Department Team at 210-486-2205.