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San Antonio’s Classic Theatre will head outdoors for 2020-21 season

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Classic Theatre hopes to stage its production of “Our Town” — starring Adam Ochoa and Alyx Irene Gonzales — during its 2020-21 season. The staging had to close days before it was to open because of shut-down orders put in place to try to stem the spread of COVID-19.

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Classic Theatre hopes to stage its production of “Our Town” — starring Adam Ochoa and Alyx Irene Gonzales — during its 2020-21 season. The staging had to close days before it was to open because of

… more

Photo: Siggi Ragnar

Classic Theatre hopes to stage its production of “Our Town” — starring Adam Ochoa and Alyx Irene Gonzales — during its 2020-21 season. The staging had to close days before it was to open because of shut-down orders put in place to try to stem the spread of COVID-19.

less

Classic Theatre hopes to stage its production of “Our Town” — starring Adam Ochoa and Alyx Irene Gonzales — during its 2020-21 season. The staging had to close days before it was to open because of

… more

Photo: Siggi Ragnar

San Antonio’s Classic Theatre will head outdoors for 2020-21 season

Kelly Hilliard Roush, executive and artistic director of Classic Theatre, is absolutely certain about one aspect of the company’s 13th season: It will not be presented in the company’s intimate black box space, where social distancing simply isn’t possible.

“We know our space isn’t safe,” Roush said. “Health professionals tell us that social distancing will be necessary for a long time, maybe into 2021.”

So the company will be heading outdoors, taking their cues from the ancient Greeks, who performed in the open air.

“With this idea of theater in the rough, we’ll be doing a modified, three-show season, which is out of doors with minimal sets, minimal props and costumes, still excellent, but putting our resources into the actors who can tell these great classic stories,” Roush said.

She is hopeful that the season will include “Our Town,” the production that was within days of opening when the theater had to close because of shutdown orders issued in March to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The other two shows will be drawn from Shakespeare or classical Greek texts.

Roush had been working toward kicking off the season in August or September, but recent spikes in coronavirus cases squashed that. Right now, it looks like the earliest that a production is likely might be October. There’s also a possibility that all three shows will be presented in the first half of 2021.

A partnership is in the works to help facilitate the season, Roush said, declining to offer details until everything is finalized. She also has been checking out outdoor venues all over the city, including parks and parking lots, trying to figure out where the company will perform. There’s a possibility that works will be presented in multiple spaces.

“We would love to be able to offer things to different parts of our community,” she said.

Classic also is working on a series of virtual discussions to be streamed online in the months ahead, starting with one focusing on the voices of black women.

“What we’re trying to do is stay connected,” Roush said.

Every plan that she is making these days has multiple contingencies, a requirement in the COVID-19 era.

“We’re all trying to be flexible knowing that things may change,” she said.

Deborah Martin is an arts writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. To read more from Deborah, become a subscriber. dlmartin@express-news.net | Twitter: @DeborahMartinEN