Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Most patrons of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts are familiar with the H-E-B Performance Hall pictured above. Less familiar might be the Feik Family Rotunda or McLaughlin Family Rotunda, the fourth-floor Gorman Mezzanine Lobby, or even the elite Denman Founders Lounge.
Those curious to learn more about Bexar County’s multimillion-dollar grand performance center are invited to a free Fifth Anniversary Open House event on Sunday, from 2-6 p.m., with access to many rarely seen parts of the building, swag items, and special discounts on upcoming performances.
“It’s definitely an exciting year for us,” said Tamara Bertram, the Tobin Center’s digital marketing and promotions manager. To share the excitement, she said, “We’re offering a couple cool things for the community.”
A scavenger hunt for kids, and pop-up performances from the Tobin’s resident companies and area school groups, along with guided tours leaving the McCombs Grand Lobby every 15 minutes, will provide an incentive to visit the Tobin.
Early birds will get the best deals, with “Doorbuster” specials including free Fifth Anniversary T-shirts for the first 500 visitors and Fifth Anniversary bags for the first 1,000.
Once inside, visitors will find an array of special discounts on tickets for upcoming performances, including 20 percent off the Nat Geo series of science programming, the Oct. 13 MasterChef Jr. Live taping, Nick Jr. Live! Nov. 16-17, STOMP on Jan. 29, The Office! A Musical Parody on Mar. 10, and several others.
Fifty percent discounted performances include multi-instrumentalist David Bromberg on Nov. 6, and astronaut Captain Scott Kelley on Jan. 22.
Tobin Center resident company special discounts include 30 percent off Family 4-pack tickets for the upcoming Opera San Antonio season, 25 percent off Ballet San Antonio single tickets, 20 percent off tickets for San Antonio Chamber Choir and San Antonio Symphony season performances, and a special season ticket price of $279 for the Classical Music Institute.
The many pop-up performances include the Judson ISD Okoap marimba group at 2 p.m. in the H-E-B Performance Hall, the Chordsmen a cappela singing group at 3 p.m., Ballet Folklorico de Bendiciones in the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at 4 p.m., and a special performance by popular San Antonio indie group Demitasse on the main stage at 5:40 p.m.
Burgers and beer will keep visitors fed via the Tobin Center’s regular caterer Taste, and new and current Tobin Center members can enjoy wine and light snacks in the second floor Denman Founders Lounge. Potential members will be incentivized to join with five months free for an annual membership.
The event also is featuring books by past Tobin Center performers, including Annie Leibowitz, Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra, Paula Poundstone, and others for $5 each with proceeds benefiting the Tobin Volunteers Fund.
All ushers volunteer their time, and according to Bertram, 375 volunteers worked 44,858 shifts and donated over 199,867 hours to help things run smoothly.
Those numbers are less staggering when other statistics are considered: the Tobin has hosted 2,100 events since its 2014 opening with 70 sold-out shows, and more than 1.134 million visitors.
The Open House offers a chance to be among them.
“It’s a great way for our guests, and people who may have never been to the center, to see the full view,” Bertram said.