On Sunday, August 15, 2010, three local theatre practitioners were honored as Living Legends by the San Antonio Theatre Coalition (SATCO). Every 2 to 3 years, the Coalition selects as Living Legends 2 or more actors, directors, choreographers, designers, producers, or teachers who have contributed significantly to the theatre culture in San Antonio. This year the honorees were Allan S. Ross, Di Ann Sneed, and Charles Jeffries.
Former SAC office mate Jim Mammarella eulogized Allan S. Ross, then quickly corrected his “eulogy” to an introduction when it was pointed out that this was an awards show, not a memorial service. Anna Gangai provided a musical tribute. Mr. Ross retired recently after 47 years of teaching theatre and was named Professor Emeritus at San Antonio College. In addition to his teaching career, he has worked as a professional actor and was Artistic Director for San Antonio’s La Hacienda Dinner Theatre, Plaza Dinner Theatre and SAC’s Summer Company. He has served on the board of SATCO and the Alamo Theatre Arts Council. Mr. Ross has been honored by The Texas Educational Theatre Association by being selected as Educator of the Year for Community Colleges, and was also given the TETA’s highest award, The Founder’s Award. He was honored with The Alamo Theatre Arts Council’s highest award, The Jasmina Wellinghoff Award for outstanding contributions and dedication to theatre in San Antonio. Mr. Ross also received the Yellow Rose of Texas Award for teaching excellence. Allan S. Ross is one of the founders and co-Artistic Director of The Classic Theatre of San Antonio.
Di Ann Sneed, Executive Director of the San Pedro Playhouse, was introduced by Ruth Lown and serenaded by MC Joe Libby. Ms. Sneed came to San Antonio from Houston, where she was a practicing attorney and former mathematician for NASA. Since taking the helm of the San Pedro Playhouse about 10 years ago, Ms. Sneed has produced several new plays by both San Antonio and Texas playwrights, including Dark Horse, Pale Writer by Gregg Barrios in 2002 and locally written one-acts in the annual SAT Playwrights Festival.. She is a past board member and president of SATCO, currently the President of the Board of Governors of Texas Non-Profit Theatres (TNT), and proud mom of lawyer son Adam.
Charles Jeffries was introduced by former student Jerry Watson and fellow teacher Luis Munoz. Amy Lapresto presented a musical tribute. Mr. Jeffries has had a distinguished 32-year career as a secondary school teacher of theatre at San Antonio’s Highlands, John Jay and MacArthur High Schools. During his years of competition in the UIL-OAP, he appeared at the state 5A level with a number of shows including: HAMLET, TARTUFFE, and HEDDA GABLER. He has two first place awards for NICHOLAS NICKLEBY and BEGGAR’S OPERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Theatre Education Association and has received the Founder’s Award from the TETA. Since his retirement, He has founded the Texas Theatre Consultants and has worked with teachers and students across the country helping with curriculum, production and performance. He recently published seven of his UIL cuttings through Samuel French/Baker’s Plays and has a number in preparation for an anthology next year. In his spare time he has worked for and with the Globe Theatre in London and the National Theatre of the Czech Republic. He just completed six years as the Director of Theatre at St. Philip’s College and has taught the last two years at San Antonio College.
The 2010 SATCO Living Legends Gala was held at the legendary Cameo Theatre in the historic St. Paul’s Square area of downtown San Antonio, hosted by owner Jim Zaccaria and the SATCO board. Joe Libby, San Antonio magician, comedian and ventriloquist, MC’d the event with music by Tom Masinter on the piano, Steve Nathanson on drums and D. C. Olson on bass.