“The longevity of the Theater of the Big Bend is a credit to the countless performers, volunteers and an appreciative audience,” said Roman. “We are blessed with very hardy West Texas ranching patrons and a frontier spirit that also describes the tenacity of the Sul Ross theater and music faculty. It continues to be a really incredible experience.”
Over the years, the Theatre of the Big Bend has entertained close to half a million people while performing more than 130 productions.
Presently, the Theatre of the Big Bend produces one major show each summer.
“Due to budget, we have gone to fewer, but bigger shows,” Schwab said. “However, the talent pool has increased, and the quality, for the budget, is by far the best theatre you are going to see.”
Summer internships and the ToBB guest artist program were established in 2006 with the theatre's unique rodeo version of “Annie Get Your Gun,” performed at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Arena at Sul Ross’ Turner Range Animal Science Center.
“Annie Get Your Gun” was the only offering for the 2006 season and allowed the summer theatre to focus all resources onto one blockbuster production. Attendance at the performances broke all previous records.
Productions have evolved to include not only more Sul Ross students, but students from other universities, thanks to the internship program.
“The Theatre of the Big Bend will always be community-oriented,” said Roman, “but we want to continue to grow. We really try to be a part of the community and also provide a theatre experience for our students and students from other universities as well.”
“The community involvement has been a real plus,” said Brooks. “There have been so many volunteers as cast members, crew members, the orchestra and elsewhere, and that is an aspect that really brings the community together. This (collaboration) truly elevates the cultural level of our community.”
Roman said that the ToBB continues to play to a wider audience, due to its presence as a major summer tourism attraction.
“We continue to strive to create a broader outreach,” Roman said. “We really believe what we do is pretty magical.” aT