The Public Theater of San Antonio will host two dates of The Balcony in late February.
The Public Theater of San Antonio is offering free tickets to three of its 2020 productions to subscribers of Arts San Antonio, which folded last month. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The Public Theater of San Antonio announced Thursday it will offer free three-show passes to former season subscribers of Arts San Antonio, which folded suddenly last month and canceled its remaining performances.

To take advantage of the offer, Arts SA subscribers must bring proof of purchase of their 2020 season subscriptions to the Public Theater box office at 800 W. Ashby Pl., Tuesdays through Fridays between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., by Feb. 25. The offer is limited to two complimentary passes per household.

Eligible patrons will receive free passes to the remaining three shows in the Public Theater’s 2019-2020 season, including the Edie Brickell/Steve Martin collaboration Bright Star (March 27-April 19), the French romantic comedy Amelie (May 15-June 7), and the lyrical classic Into the Woods (July 10-Aug. 9) by Stephen Sondheim.

George Green, the Public Theater’s artistic director and CEO, called the gesture “a cool little thing, something we need to do.”

If every eligible Arts SA subscriber takes advantage of the opportunity, the full value of the offer would amount to $125,000, Green said.

Arts SA, which presented a wide variety of performing artists, folded Dec. 31, canceling all remaining performances of its 27th season and offering no refunds to ticket holders or season subscribers, citing financial distress.

Green said his theater staff discussed the closure and how they might assist Arts SA patrons, and came up with the idea to offer the free passes. He said he has heard that other arts organizations might also step in to offer assistance to patrons, which gives him hope for San Antonio’s artistic community.

“Just seeing our arts community and arts organizations working collaboratively to try to take care of patrons and endure through difficult times is extremely inspiring,” Green said.

That three organizations, Alamo City Opera, Artist Foundation (now Luminaria Artist Foundation), and Arts SA have closed with the past year is cause for concern, Green said. “We hope that the citizens of San Antonio pay attention to this, and the importance of what the arts bring to our culture in so many ways,” he said.

“Every time we we face these challenges, it’s just a reminder that being in the seats is important. And we just hope that more people at minimum, go see art and go support art of any kind.”

More information on the Public Theater’s 2020 productions is available on its website.

Senior Reporter Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with...