San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 5th, 2009
Hidden treasures marked local arts in 2008

By ELISA LARAIA
Scene Correspondent

The performing arts in San Marcos for 2008 included all the old standbys – the Summer in the Park Series, the Texas Swing Festival, and the bands that played in the local bars.

But the true measure 2008 lived in its hidden treasures, new events that became part of the scene.

One such treasure is the “Readers Series,” begun by Wine Cellar owner Brian Montgomery, who envisions a San Marcos arts scene revolving around downtown and offering different types of arts venues.

The Readers Series comes off without rehearsal. Actors are simply handed scripts, which they sit down to read. The focus is on words, rather than acting. The selection of readings reflects diversity and multiculturalism through collaboration with the Texas State University Department of Theater and Dance.

Readings in 2008 included “Having our Say,” “A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking,” and “God’s Trombone.” The series is scheduled to continue the fourth Sunday of each month through March. Hors d’oeuvres are served at no charge during the performance.

Another hidden treasure could be found at the Price Senior Center. Under the direction of Allen Eastwood, The Second Act Troupe performed several dinner theater shows last autumn with a company of actors aged 55 and older.

“We started this whole thing because we wanted to give the old farts an opportunity to act,” Eastwood said. “It’s a terrific venue for dinner theater. We put on skits and monologues of good material that’s entertaining, but appeals to a discerning audience.”

Because Second Act is a traveling group, performances do not require elaborate sets or lengthy memorization for the mature actors.

November’s performance of five short British plays, titled “Deck Chairs,” featured two women at a seaside sitting on deck chairs.

“Admit One,” a comedy by Elyse Nass, and “Hat Tricks,” by Dori Appel are scheduled for Jan. 23 and 24 at the Center.

A treasure of talented children could be found at San Marcos High School during the summer production of “Oliver.”

Under the direction of the San Marcos Performing Arts Association (SMPAA), “Oliver” became the first SMPAA musical performance in 20 years with children performing alongside adults in a creative and nurturing environment.

“I saw lives changed over the course of “Oliver,’ ” SMPAA President Rick Bowen said. “Kids were getting on stage and finding the bug, as well as older folks who may not have had stage experience.”

SMPAA is planning “Annie Get Your Gun” for this year’s summer musical.

Montgomery, Eastwood, and Bowen brought diversity and talent to the San Marcos community in 2008. The crowds at their events may not be as large, but they are part of a growing and evolving performing arts scene.

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0 thoughts on “Hidden treasures marked local arts in 2008

  1. I think the 2nd annual San Marcos Art on the Square from last April deserves mentioning as well. Foul weather threatened its existence but it cleared up and the sun shined on a steady crowd that viewed and purchased local art while listening to live music.

  2. Thanks for including arts in the public schools. Our kids and teachers put forth 200%, and a little recognition goes a long way.

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