America on Stage Celebrates the Rare Work of U.S. Stage Designers

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America on Stage Celebrates the Rare Work of U.S. Stage Designers from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts

Music, Film, Video, Scene Designs, Costumes, Drawings, Watercolors, and More 
Put American Designers Center Stage at McNay Art Museum

San Antonio, TX (April 11, 2019) – Organized by the McNay Art Museum and drawn from the renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, America on Stage celebrates the vision of the nation’s 20th- and 21st-century master designers on stages across the U.S. and around the world. From the windswept plains of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! to densely packed apartments in New York City’s Washington Heights featured in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, our country’s growing diversity remains a continuous source of inspiration for landmark musicals, plays, ballets, and operas.

America on Stage
offers bursts of awe, wonder, and nostalgia at every turn. The artistry of designing for the stage is reflected in innovative ballet and opera productions, musicals, dance, film, video, drawings, and paintings. Interactive opportunities throughout the exhibition invite visitors to take center stage in a recreated stage set—and even tap dance.

“This exhibition was designed to be a fun and engaging adventure,” said Timothy Retzloff, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Curatorial Assistant. “We want the galleries activated with people laughing, dancing, and singing as they explore the pioneering work of artists, choreographers, directors, composers, and designers behind some of the most beloved stage performances in history.”

Highlights include 15 maquettes, or small-scale models, for stage productions such as You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; West Side Story; In the Heights; and Cabaret. A pop-up theatre within the exhibition shows scenes from the revival production of the Tony award-winning musical Spring Awakening, featuring a cast of differently abled actors – some using American Sign Language.

America on Stage
develops four central themes throughout the Tobin Theatre Arts Galleries: Broadway, Nostalgia, Breaking Tradition, and Social Justice. Each theme is represented by an array of exceptional artwork accompanied by a thoughtful soundscape, further enhancing the visitor’s sensory experience. This exhibition is on view in the Tobin Theatre Arts Gallery through June 30, 2019.

American on Stage
is organized by René Paul Barilleaux, McNay Head of Curatorial Affairs; and Timothy Retzloff, Tobin Theatre Arts Fund Curatorial Assistant.

This exhibition is a program of The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund

Link to high-res images and downloadable video:

About the McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum engages a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts. Built in the 1920s by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay, the Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first museum of modern art when it opened in 1954. Today, more than 140,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The 23 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include sculptures by Robert Indiana, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, and Kiki Smith. The 45,000 square-foot Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions, designed by internationally renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, features three significant exhibitions annually.

For almost 65 years, the McNay has enchanted visitors with its art, architecture, and ambiance. The museum offers rich and varied exhibitions as well as rotating displays in the Main Collection Galleries from the 20,000 works in the collection; more than 45,000 adults, teachers, students, and families take advantage of a variety of education programs and innovative educational resources.

About the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts

The McNay Art Museum is home to the world-renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, named after its founder, Robert L. B. Tobin, a San Antonio native with an international perspective. The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts celebrates artists who bring innovative stage designs to performance and storytelling. The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts contains over 12,000 objects depicting stage design for ballet, opera, musical theatre, and more. Objects in the collection range from centuries-old rare festival and theatre books, to costume drawings of the famed Ballet Russe and maquettes (small-scale models) of contemporary stage sets.

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Rachel Trevino, Head of Communications and Marketing

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