TheaterTheater Interview

Interview: Ernest Sauceda, Founder of Danrie Productions


Danrie Productions, San Antonio’s new theatrical production company, announces that it will be joining thousands of theatrical organizations by staging a production of Music Theatre International’s All Together Now! — A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre. MTI, the premier theatrical music licensor, created this revue with the express purpose of helping to reinvigorate local theaters everywhere. It will be performed around the globe simultaneously the weekend of Nov. 12-15.

All Together Now!
features songs from MTl’s catalogue of musicals, including Annie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Come From Away, Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell, Guys and Dolls, Hairspray, Matilda, Rent and Waitress, to name a few. It will be performed at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, Nov. 15.

Ernest Sauceda, founder and artistic director of Danrie, is a singing and dancing violinist who has performed on stages around the world, including the White House, the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl.

Recently, he began to recognize the need for more professional musical theater in his hometown, the Alamo City. Inspired by his late mother, Debbie Sauceda, he seeks to continue her legacy of being a positive force for change in the arts.

Mr. Sauceda was kind enough to talk to Artscene SA about the new company and its future goals.

ArtScene SA: What was the impetus behind establishing Danrie Productions?

Ernest Sauceda:  My main motivation behind establishing this company was the need to take local theater to a new level. It is gratifying to see so much love for theater here in San Antonio, and even more fulfilling to see the community support the arts. I have worked hard enough to be able to have performed in professional shows on the west and east coast, and with companies like Disney and Universal Studios. It was from all these experiences that I wanted to produce that level of entertainment at a local level.

Big tours that come through San Antonio are wonderful and help our city, but how amazing would it be if we didn’t need to bring those tours in because there was a local company producing shows at the same level or better? It can happen. It will happen. With my experience and passion, plus the wonderful team at Danrie, we will change the theater scene in San Antonio, forever.

So this is your way of helping to reinvigorate San Antonio theater after almost two years of silence?

Exactly. I feel the city, and humanity even, are itching to go out and somehow escape the reality of all that is going on in our world. What other place can you go to purposefully be transported to another land? Theater is not only a great entertainment product, but it allows people a break from the stresses of everyday life and it teaches us to let go. Let go of all that’s going on and just enjoy what’s on stage. We crave art. We are neurobiologically hardwired for connection. The stage is one of these ways we stay connected as a community and to each other as people.

What types of shows is Danrie planning on producing in the future?

Book musicals is the plan for Danrie in the immediate future. Four musicals a year is our starting point. While crowd favorites are always a must, we want to focus on the shows that people may not know about and let those stories be heard as well. Our Creative Producer, Joseph Martinez who I met during my time in California, and I also see Danrie as the leader for any live entertainment event. Right now Danrie is doing a test run of an event in San Diego, CA called “Dine San Diego”, where local chefs feature their menus for an upscale evening of food and entertainment. We are hoping to do this here in San Antonio soon, too!

What’s your hope for the future of SA theater?

It is my hope that SA theater becomes the go-to spot for actors wishing to work with the best companies. Coming from the performing side of things, I know firsthand the amount of work that goes into this craft of creating. I want San Antonio to be able to compensate every actor and show personnel who work on a production at any theater here. We can do it, but it starts with refusing to settle with mediocre and begin to take our art to a new level. Together.

All Together Now! — A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre
Monday, Nov. 15, 2021
7:30 p.m.
Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
100 Auditorium Circle

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