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Stage Drama, Photo Exhibit And Heritage Fest: Your Weekend Is Here

Enjoy a modern take on a classic tale of romance, tour an amazing photography exhibit and then bike-ride your way through San Antonio's cultural history. Your weekend is here, and here are some fun ideas about what you can do with it.

First off: how about a little stage drama? Joe Goscinski's excited about the Classic Theatre's play starting Friday.

"I'm directing this production of Romeo and Juliet," he said.

Goscinski said that even though it was written more than 400 years ago, this production of the classic love story is contemporary and even edgy.

"It's not 'thee' and 'thou' and a bunch of words that are foreign to me but it's a bunch of ideas that I'm still thinking about today," he said.

Don't expect flowing gowns and elegant balconies. But Goscinski says you should expect emotion.

Credit Siggi Ragnar
Alyx Gonzales and Josh Davis, the actors

"I was watching rehearsal last night, and I was crying during parts of our scenes, and it's just because things touched me," he said.

He said its themes of love and hate and the wedges that drive us apart are particularly relevant now.

"I want the audience to come in and leave changed from where they started off,” Goscinski said. 

Romeo and Juliet runs Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons through Sept. 29.

IF YOU GO WHAT: Romeo and Juliet WHERE: Classic Theatre WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday COST: $19-$34

Credit Jack Morgan | Texas Public Radio

Then at the Institute of Texan Cultures, an immigration story you haven't heard. And it’s one that represents us all.

"People would come and sit for me to do their portrait," artist Ramin Samindari explained about his exhibit, titled Huddled Masses: Who We Are.  He took pictures of 300 San Antonians holding 8-by-10 dry erase boards.

"And they were asked to write on there something of their ancestral history, or any other statements that they wanted to write," he said.

Credit Ramin Samindari
Sharon Shelton

Some wrote “English.” Or “African.” But most of them wrote far more complex combinations of various ethnicities. Very few of us don’t have a wide mixture of ethnic lines. Samindari said one young man began writing in fear. But that fear disappeared. 

"He decided to actually have fun with it. So he wrote ‘undocumented alien,’ ” he said. “And then he drew a little picture of a little alien head and a little spaceship, and he's laughing."

He isn't the only one who’s laughing. Nearly everyone pictured in the exhibit is smiling. It will make you smile, too. And if you go, Samindari said you too can fill out a card and get your picture taken.

"This installation is going to be interactive. So it kind of adds to this ongoing archive," he said.

It opens to the public with a reception on Saturday night.

IF YOU GO WHAT: Huddled Masses: Who We Are WHERE: Institute of Texan Cultures WHEN: Opens Saturday night COST: $9-$12

And tonight through Sunday, Colleen Swain said you should come to the  World Heritage Festival.

Credit City of San Antonio
World Heritage Festival

“It's really about getting people to come out and explore their missions and learn something new about them," she said.

The preservation and significance of San Antonio's Missions are what secured the World Heritage designation. As to the celebrations, tonight, head to Mission Marquee Plaza.

“This event, called Music and Movie Under the Stars, starts at 6 p.m., celebrates the military. The United States Air Force jazz band will play," Swain said.

There will be food booths to graze at and historians to give backstory. The event also features a showing of a documentary titled, The National Parks of Texas: In Contact with Beauty. 

Credit City of San Antonio
World Heritage Festival

Then on Saturday morning, bring your bike to what they call the Tour de las Missiones.

"It's a family-friendly event. You can choose to ride 7, 14 or 22 miles,” Swain said. “At each mission we will stop and learn a little bit of history."

Participants can ride a bike or run, and it’s not a competitive style event. A post-event pachanga will be thrown at Mission Park Pavilion. 

Then Sunday's event is a new one: El Camino De Las Missiones, starts with an outdoor mass at Mission Espada being given by the Archbishop.

"And then they will do a walk from Mission Espada to Mission San Juan in celebration of our environment. And this is an initiative by the Pope," Swain said.

IF YOU GO WHAT: World Heritage Festival WHERE: various Missions WHEN: see schedule COST: pachanga and Camino are free

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii