What do Shakespeare’s Globe and San Antonio’s Overtime Theater have in common? Both venues had to rebuild or change locations after losing their original space.
Thankfully, the Overtime Theater didn’t burn down, but finances are a fire that can scorch any business – creative or otherwise. San Antonio’s original theater company is moving to a new space, and it needs your help.
Founded in 2007, the Overtime created a home in a cozy building near the Pearl Brewery in 2012, but increasing rent in the area is forcing the theater to relocate to a more affordable spot on the city’s Northwest side. In order to make the move by the end of March, the Overtime’s team has to raise $10,000.
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“We have to pay our March rent as well as come up with a deposit for the new space and move within two weeks so that we are operational by mid-April,” the Overtime’s Director Nicole Erwin said.
Local theater fans have many wonderful companies and venues to choose from when it comes to the performing arts: You can catch a Shakespeare play at the Classic Theatre, enjoy a musical at The Playhouse or Woodlawn Theatre, and witness a variety of theatrical talent at other local outlets.
The Overtime differentiates itself from its fellow theater companies by basing its programming solely on fresh plays and musicals penned by local writers. The theater has a submission period each year during which established and aspiring playwrights may submit theatrical work for consideration for the Overtime’s upcoming season.
“We are unique because no one does what we do,” Erwin said. “All of our shows are original and never-before-produced works, primarily by locals. This season is 100% local authors.”
Bernard J. Taylor is one local playwright whose works are featured at the theater.
“The Overtime is really the only theater in San Antonio that stages totally new plays and gives opportunities for local playwrights to show their work,” he said. “Everybody with an interest in theater should support [the Overtime’s move] if they want to [continue to] see original work. If any theater deserves support, it is the Overtime.”
Taylor’s play, The Last Days of Oscar Wilde, will be the first show to premiere at the Overtime’s new location. Award-winning poet, journalist, and playwright Gregg Barrios’ play Seven Card Stud will be the last show at the old location, and the fundraising begins there. Attendees who donate “will be able to participate in seven card stud poker – all for fun,” Erwin said.
The Overtime hopes to achieve several goals with its fundraising campaign, not just the move itself.
“A fresh start is on the horizon for the theater …,” the Overtime’s Promotions and Communications Director Chelsea Robertson stated in a press release. “In order to continue to keep our mission of ‘theater for the people’ alive and bring original theater to the community at an affordable price, we are making some changes to include a relocation, changes to our season programming, and monthly subscriptions for patrons.”
“We are launching a whole list of fundraising activities,” Erwin added. “We have started online donations and are also doing a fundraiser for our overtime cabaret show on March 10.”
Funds raised would also go towards furthering the theater’s existing education programs.
“As part of our education programs we will be offering training in tech to include light and sound technicians,” Erwin said. “We will continue to offer [programs in] acting and playwriting and hope to expand even more.”
To further boost the fundraising effort and free up space for the move, the Overtime will be selling props and set pieces from past productions.
Local actress Catie Carlisle, a familiar face at the Overtime, is currently starring in the popular ongoing Overtime serial Rift Riders.
“The move is so sudden, and it is hard on everybody,” she said. “Fortunately, we have such a wonderful group of Overtime members who are always willing to help. It makes the process easier. We love and accept all donations, and we understand the qualms that come with giving up money.”
Although the Overtime Theater is located in a small building, the amount of talent it houses could fill the Alamodome. The theater’s resident Denials Improv Troupe hosts weekly classes that teach acting and improv to veterans and newbies alike.
A sense of belonging is something the Overtime guarantees free of charge. Regardless of whether you’re an audience member, writer, actor, technician, stage manager, or director, the Overtime Theater has a place for you – and will continue to in its new space.
“Right now, we … need a little bit of help,” Carlisle said. “The best way to help us is to come and see our shows and spread the word. You get some great entertainment and we can keep our doors open.”