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San Antonio stage productions lose well-loved player to COVID-19

Richard Solis and Christie Beckham
Henry Lozano
Richard Solis and Christie Beckham

A San Antonian who worked for decades in theatrical productions has passed away from COVID-19. Richard Solis was probably most known for his ability to create set and prop elements that elevated productions, according to his friend Christie Beckham, who spent time with him both on stage and backstage.

“I had worked in the professional theatre in New York and Chicago for several years and saw his work and was so blown away that it was here in San Antonio,” she said.

The time he spent onstage was, according to Beckham, quite memorable.

“We started working together at Classic Theatre. We did a show together, Taming of the Shrew. I already knew him as a friend by then, but wow, he was so great on stage,” she said.

His off-stage life was a very social one, and Beckham said it often centered around parties he threw at his home.

“My friend invited me to one of his very famous get-togethers at he and his husband Henry's house, near downtown,” she said. “And I was just blown away by how welcoming he was. It was a really cool place to hang out on the down-low because you really had to know certain people to be at Richard's functions.”

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

Much of Solis’ work was done at San Antonio’s children’s theater, the Magik Theatre.

“He was such a gentle person with the children that he would talk to all the time.” She paused, then laughed. “And he had a Hellraiser tattoo on his back!”

Beckham said his larger-than-life persona was counterbalanced with a kind of humility.

“He was so many things, but the most important thing he was, was he was kind,” she said.

51-year-old Solis leaves behind husband Henry Lozano. There is a GoFundMe account to help pay for his medical and final expenses.

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