Alamo Colleges couple share their co-penned production about love and music in an neighborhood icehouse for Hispanic Heritage Month.
By Gabriela Rodriguez
A married couple who work at this college and Northwest Vista co-wrote a play about romance, jukebox music and San Antonio’s favorite hangouts for Hispanic Heritage Month.
“La Luz De San Anto” is from 1-2 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center. Admission is free, and a Q&A follows the play.
Counseling coordinator David Rodriguez and his wife, Mellissa Marlowe, drama coordinator at Northwest Vista College, have been married 22 years. They met at a North St. Mary’s Street bar called Wacky’s — now the Limelight — when she was done with play rehearsals and he was performing in a band.
Two decades later, they spent a weekend writing “La Luz,” their first collaboration.
Rodriguez described the creative process as handy and harmonious.
“It was convenient … to work with each other, sometimes working at 2 a.m. on it or sharing ideas,” Rodriguez said.
She handled the script, he focused on music.
“We have a good working relationship, and it was a new experience,” he said.
Since then, every performance is a chance to improve it, Rodriguez said. The play was at Northwest Vista Sept. 16.
Rodriguez, a musician for 25 years, plays guitar and sings in a local rock band. The band conceived the idea for “La Luz de San Anto”.
“We were trying to figure out a way to make our shows more interactive with the audience,” he said.
The idea came from the audience requesting songs that the band did not know. They decided to write their repertoire on a chalkboard onstage. The audience would go up and pick one and they play it, much like a jukebox.
“La Luz de San Anto” examines relationship of a San Antonio-born man with Mexican-American heritage and a white American woman.
It is set in present-day San Antonio in an icehouse, which hearkens back to the days when they were a big part of a community and where people interacted every day, Rodriguez said.
A band will perform on stage, representing a jukebox, while three actors portray the story.
The play also explores a unique type of music, known as the “San Antonio Sound,” Rodriguez said.
The genre fused German, Mexican, blues, country and rock.
This happened thanks to the icehouse era’s jukebox music, Rodriguez said.
The play recognizes San Antonio history and how its diversity has shaped lives.
It also explores gender, cultural and racial issues between men and women that continue to this day.
The city of San Antonio department of culture and creative development funded the play, Rodriguez said.
Hispanic Heritage Month is “culturally enriching,” Rodriguez said.