Originally published in San Antonio Express-News
It takes a little bit of effort to get into the hot new event and performance venue downtown.
La Zona, which is run by Centro San Antonio, is tucked behind some of the fences that line the construction zone in the 300 block of Commerce Street. The shaded courtyard debuted shortly after “Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin’s Head,” an enormous steel sculpture by the Gao Brothers, was installed there in March.
“We want you to go and explore places that maybe you pass by or have piqued your curiosity but that you haven’t stopped, you haven’t lingered or really engaged,” Burt said. “We really try to encourage people to take a chance, get on out, and once you get there, we’re going to make it the time of your life.”
Burt said all of the construction is helping to create a dynamic area — dubbed La Zona Cultural — that will include such relatively new additions as Texas Public Radio’s headquarters, the nearby extension of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park and the expansion of the University of Texas at San Antonio campus. Eventually, it will include the Alameda Theater, which is being renovated.
“We’re blessed to be able to be placemaking at this moment and on the precipice of all of what’s going to really transform a very special part of downtown and our city,” Burt said.
La Zona’s next offering is something new to both spaces: live theater.
Classic Theatre is kicking off its 15th season in the space. It will present “Roosters,” Milcha Sanchez-Scott’s drama about the battle between a Hispanic father and son, starting Sept. 8.
The theater company gave up its intimate performance space early in the pandemic because there was no way to stage shows safely there. Its base since then has been the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The company is looking for a permanent home, but that goal is a ways away. So for the 2022-23 season, producing director J. Robert “Jimmy” Moore decided to bring shows to parts of town and to audiences who might not have checked out the company before.