When Roberto Prestigiacomo, associate professor of human communication and theatre, arrived at Trinity in 2005, he noticed the need for a new type of theater in San Antonio.
“In this community, there was no theater that I wanted to do,” Prestigiacomo said. “A theater that would present and perform plays of specific topics (focusing on contemporary works) and have an edge to it was needed, so I proposed the idea for a theater company to Dr. Hansen.”
AtticRep presented its first production, “One for the Road,” in Trinity’s Attic Theatre in 2006.
“One of the difficulties in starting a company is all of the costs—all the overhead to rent space for shows, rehearsals and even just modest props,” said Andrew Hansen, chair of the department of human communication and theatre. “Being at Trinity, they could keep the ticket prices reasonable and keep all the overhead really low because the space was already here.”
Other faculty and staff members, as well as students, have been involved with AtticRep over the years at Trinity.
“Roberto, as the artistic director, invited me to come work with him as a dramaturg and a director,” said Stacey Connelly, associate professor of human communication and theatre. “Dramaturgy involves assisting the director and the cast by researching the show, answering questions about the text, looking at the text and working with it.”
Trinity provided a space for the company until the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts recently asked AtticRep to be an in-residence theater company.
“Before being at the Tobin, the company had to work around the university’s schedule,” Hansen said. “Their work couldn’t conflict with what the university was doing; the space was limiting them from growing completely.”
The company’s move to the Tobin Center will give AtticRep the opportunity to use the space freely and attract a wider audience.
“At the Tobin, we can reach a diverse audience and an audience that would not come to Trinity,” Prestigiacomo said. “Being downtown allows us to really be part of the city, because AtticRep is about dealing with topics that are related to our community and to the community at large.”
In their 2014-2015 season, AtticRep will be reviving four productions that were staged at Trinity to celebrate their past and thank the community that helped shape their beginning.
“They chose the productions that were the most commercially successful and the ones that were the most well known,” Connelly said. “AtticRep tries to do these kinds of plays so that they can also do plays that are less well-known.”
AtticRep opened their new season last week with “God of Carnage.” AtticRep first produced the play in 2012 under the direction of Prestigiacomo and Chelsea Taylor. Prestigiacomo once again directed this year’s performance.
Their second production—“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”—will run Nov. 12-23 in the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre at the Tobin Center.