WHAT (and WHO) is EBENAZIO?
Ebenazio - A Winter’s Tale of Old San Anto is a theatrical work of historical fiction that is sweet and serious, but also spicy and silly. Set in 1731 in a tiny village that would become known as San Antonio, Texas, Ebenazio presents certain events and conversations that occur between November 2 (El Dia de Los Muertos - Day of the Dead) and December 25 (you know, Christmas), dropping in on such dates as the winter solstice and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day.
A night when ancestors return, ushered in by the season’s first blustery blue norther and punctuated by an eclipse, also sees the arrival of settlers from the Canary Islands, sponsored by the king of Spain. These strangers bring change to the existing community. Already here are five Franciscan missions, dedicated to bringing into their fold the Coahuiltecan natives who had roamed and made camp in the area for hundreds of years. Spanish and mestizo military men and their families are attached to a fort presided over by the captain and acting governor, Ebenazio, who is charged with the protection of the friars and the newly converted.
The play is populated with sixteen vivid characters representing these groups who struggle with issues quite familiar to San Antonians today – land use, water rights, class clashes and a cultural divide. A parade of ghosts and visions illuminate and confuse. But common goals and surprising romantic attractions bring the folks together. By the end of the play, while problems remain, each character has changed, especially the selfish, bitter Capitán Ebenazio. His epiphany stands for hope for the future of old San Anto.
WHERE is EBENAZIO today?
We dreamed up the idea for Ebenazio a few years ago and got to work on writing and envisioning. We presented quite an elaborate staged reading three years ago and got lots of useful feedback through surveys and two guided talk-back sessions.
The fully-realized production of Ebenazio will open at our artistic home, The Sterling Houston Theater at Jump-Start Performance Co. in San Antonio, TX on November 30, 2012 and will run for three weekends.
Our director, stage manager, designers and most of our cast are in place. With another audition date, we'll round out the players.
Oh, you know, we love our city. We love history. We love funny stuff with heart and political bite. We love magic. We love theater.
HOW can EBENAZIO get onstage?
Ah, that’s where you come in. (And if you’re still reading, thank you!) We need some help to get this show up and running. We've got a large cast, we’ve got puppet characters, we’ve got dogs (!) and kids (!), we’ve got video and special effects, we’ve got sets, costumes, lights and sound. So, of course, materials cost money. But so do people. At Jump-Start, we are committed to honoring artists with pay, a token of our appreciation for the love and brilliance offered by our collaborators.
Please jump-start this Kickstarter by giving what you can toward the production of Ebenazio. If you do, you will surely no longer suffer from (as Ebenazio’s sister Hortenzia calls it) SPD – Severe Philanthropic Deficiency. And we’ll have a GREAT SHOW! THANK YOU! By the way, Jump-Start Performance Co. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your gift is tax-deductable to the extent of the law.
WE, WE, WE. WHO are WE?
We are Kim Corbin, Robert Rehm and Chuck Squier, three friends who have played together in and out of the theater for over 25 years. Between the three of us, we can perform almost all the tasks needed to mount a show. Ebenazio is our first venture into the wonderful world of collaboration as the writers of a full-length play.
CAST of CHARACTERS
THE INDIOS – Payaya natives who roam and make camp in the area
TILA – 50, spiritual leader of her people, two-spirit, plays flute, has pet coyote named SILAN AMAC - 45, Tila’s brother, considers missionaries’ offer of shelter and God APAC – 19, son of Amac, a little immature, has a kind heart, skilled hunter LADO – 11, daughter of Amac, innocent, sweet and smart, learning from Tila
THE FRANCISCANS – Spanish friars at Mission San Antonio de Valero
PADRE PADDY – 45, Spanish/Irish fatherly priest, working on his patience BROTHER BARBARA – 40, a woman acting as a man – and no one’s the wiser, sincere, plays the recorder, is the mission barber, has a slight lisp BROTHER SALVADOR – 35, trying to be good, actor also plays SAPO
THE SOLDADOS – Spanish inhabitants of Presidio San Antonio de Béxar
EBENAZIO – 65, Captain of the Presidio, reports to Spanish Viceroy, responsible for protection of all inhabitants of Old San Anto, aristocratic snob, cold, ruthless, in control, enjoys Maria Cristina's company, lisps HORTENZIA – 60, Ebenazio’s sister, devout spinster, a model of decorum, looks very like Ebenazio, lisps, has a poodle, PEPITO SAPO – 45, Ebenazio’s second in command, rough, a brown-nose, a bit lazy HUITLACOCHE – 20, mestizo, lowly soldier, innocent simpleton, likes to eat, actor also plays ST. ANTHONY MARIA CRISTINA - 30, Hortenzia’s maid, flirty, out for herself, Ebenazio’s pillow pal
THE ISLENOS – Newly arrived settlers from the Canary Islands
DON JUAN – 60, blustery, courtly, takes role as leader of Islenos seriously DONA JUANA – 60, adoring wife to Juan, will follow him anywhere, expecting a new life as a lady with the finer things, giggles behind a fan FABIAN – 24, strapping, smiling, has many practical skills and bad breath IFIGENIA – 28, strong, smart, matter-of-fact, newly widowed mother of four NOE – 10, son of Ifigenia, mama’s boy, misses his puppy left back home
Risks and challenges
Ebenazio – a Winter’s Tale of Old San Anto is a big production with a big budget and many elements to co-ordinate, fund and bring to fruition. As with any original, creative endeavor, good and bad surprises crop up throughout the process of production.
We have a large production team that includes staff members at Jump-Start Performance Co., contract artists and volunteers. We have a fundraising committee dedicated to this project, whose members are following diverse avenues of securing corporate, foundation and individual support through various means, such as letter-writing, grant applications, Kickstarter and a fundraising event.
The creators of the project are experienced, having produced many works of theatre. Jump-Start Performance Co., the producer of this project, is a stable organization with a history of nearly three decades. It exists to foster, support and present artistic programming such as Ebenazio.
- (24 days)