Public Theater of San Antonio swaps originally planned holiday production with new revue

click to enlarge Instead of Plaid Tidings, the Public will produce a new variety show entitled Season's Greetings from San Antonio. - DANIEL BAUMER
Daniel Baumer
Instead of Plaid Tidings, the Public will produce a new variety show entitled Season's Greetings from San Antonio.
The Public Theater of San Antonio has scrapped Plaid Tidings, this year's planned holiday production, in favor of a new, original revue.

The Public's Executive Artistic Director Claudia de Vasco announced the change in a statement posted on social media and on the theater's website Friday. De Vasco was appointed to the position earlier this year.

The new variety performance, Season's Greetings from San Antonio, was conceived by Matthew Byron Cassi and Darrin Newhardt, and will premiere Friday, Nov. 19.

In her statement, de Vasco explained that the substitution resulted from the need to address problematic content in Plaid Tidings, which contains two musical numbers "that appropriated cultures of the Global Majority, and flippantly represented our traditions and identities, in a way that had no significance to story, as we interpreted it."

The Public attempted to work with the publisher remove the two songs from the theater's production, but were unable to reach an agreement in time, leading the company to move forward with an alternate show in its stead.

"We at The Public Theater of San Antonio are working to ensure that our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access efforts are represented in our actions, and not just in our words," de Vasco said in the statement announcing the change. "It is our desire and intent not only to represent a more diverse creative community on our stages and in our work, as reflected in San Antonio’s population, but also to operate and make decisions guided by direct anti-racism."

"[We] couldn’t move forward with the production while also working earnestly toward The Public Theater's vision of 'Theater for All,'" the statement continued.

Directed by co-creator Cassi, Season's Greetings from San Antonio will feature John Berring, Chaz Ingraham, Jeremy Marmolejo and Damien DeShaun Smith.

"I'm very confident that together with the amazing team at The Public Theater of San Antonio, we'll devise a fantastic evening of holiday entertainment while still honoring the performer and designer contracts in place from Plaid Tidings,'" Cassi said in a statement. "San Antonio theater audiences want to be heard and respected and we're about to give them something unique to only them!"

Individual tickets for the Public's holiday production have not yet gone on sale, but subscription ticketholders will automatically have their tickets for Plaid Tidings transferred to Season's Greetings from San Antonio.

Those with questions or concerns about season tickets can call (210) 733-7258 and select option 2 or email the theater at [email protected]

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