Why I Am A Kind Of “Renaissance” Man

Read any related post on PDP’s News & Events page, and you’ll see a common thread when we talk about our relationship with The Renaissance Guild: privilege.  As a PrimaDonna, it has been my privilege to have worked with TRG over the last three years, and as an emerging theatergoer and critic, it has been just as great a privilege to attend and review the company’s productions, from Steel Magnolias in 2007 to their out-of-the-park performance of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom earlier this year.

One of the things I most admire about TRG is its commitment to developing and supporting talent through programs like its ActOne series (the most recent, Volume XV, took place last week).  Twice in every season, the company reaches out to writers, directors, and actors to produce an evening of one-act plays, and the response has been tremendous.  Writers from across the world have submitted their work (seriously – one of the first ActOne plays I saw came from an Australian playwright); actors from across the city have performed their first roles on TRG’s stages; audiences from across the city have come to show their support.

And that’s a mutual thing.  Just as the community has supported TRG, TRG has supported the community.  From its prior home (the Jump-Start Theater, in the Blue Star Arts Complex) to its current location (the Little Carver Civic Center), the company has always acted as a neighbor and partner.  During its time at Blue Star, TRG members marched in the King William Parade (unless my memory is messing with me again, I first met Danielle King when we both marched for SATCO in 2007); now, at the Carver, the company is preparing for this year’s Theatre Camp For Youth, which provides a nice excuse for me to revisit my post on NESA from February:

The talent that exists in our kids, whatever form it may take, must be explored.  It must be nurtured.  It must be celebrated.

As NESA nurtures and celebrates the talent in our community, so does TRG.  It’s not just for kids, it’s not just for San Antonio, and it’s not “just” for anybody.  While The Renaissance Guild is often described as “San Antonio’s Premier Black Theatre Company”, it’s also more than that.  It’s an essential part of our theatre community, and so it’s an essential part of our community in general, and worthy of all the support we can give it.

TRG will wrap up its ninth season in July, with a production of Neil Simon’s Rumors (directed by a noted local filmmaker and theatre director, one Chadd Green).  We just held auditions this week, and they went very well – thanks to all the actors who showed up and signed up.  As this is the most involved I’ve ever been in a stage play, I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.  To that end, I hope to keep you posted as things come together, and (this is the call to action part) I also hope you’ll all come out to the Carver from July 9-25 to see the play.

Until then, thanks again for reading, and “be seeing you…”

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