Catching up with New Works SA

Theater non-profit makes strides with community outreach and new musical


Ashley Allen

New Works SA Officers

New Works SA, a San Antonio-based theater non-profit, plans to premiere their newest project, “Girl In The Cocoon,” in July. The company was born in 2019 as the brainchild of Trinity students Wren Ramos, Toni Tresca and Scarlett Patiño. As part of its mission statement, New Works SA is dedicated to helping develop theater in underserved communities through educational programs and performances.

Currently, there are six main officers for New Works SA, including CEO Wren Ramos, Artistic Officer Toni Tresca, Marketing Officer Megan McGuire, Operating Officer Taylor Condron and two recent additions, Education Coordinators Joe Jones and Christina O’Keefe.

Ramos, senior communication and theatre major, was eager to speak about the mission of New Works SA and all the work they have been doing since their last production, “The Comedy of Romeo and Juliet,” which they performed in July 2021.

“Our mission here with New Works is to provide accessible theater shows and theater education to students in economically disadvantaged schools and backgrounds. Essentially we want to create shows that are for kids who are around the ages of 12–22 that can get them excited about doing theater and hopefully get them engaged with theater in their own schools. And if they don’t have those programs, to give them the education that they would need to be able to get involved,” Ramos said.

New Works SA was one of four finalists in the Louis H. Stumberg New Venture Competition, a two-part, Shark Tank-style experience that annually supports compelling student start-ups. The competition’s winners receive $50,000 and access to experienced mentors and successful entrepreneurs.

Tresca, a Trinity alum who graduated in December 2021, said in an interview that the Stumberg competition was an eye-opening experience for them.

“We shifted our focus in terms of the type of shows that we wanted to put on, and also throughout that process, we realized that we wanted to change some of our roles around even — in what we were each focused on. Initially, I was interested in doing more of the business side, and Wren was doing more of the creative stuff, but through the Stumberg summer accelerator program, we switched that, and now Wren is focusing more on the business, and I am focusing more on the creative part of the company,” Tresca said.

New Works SA’s next upcoming production, a sci-fi musical titled “Girl In The Cocoon,” has recently been officially cast, with six actors lined up as well as the major crew positions. “Girl In The Cocoon” presents an allegorical narrative of what it means to understand your identity and success as an artist in a system that uses you to make a profit.

“There are these three special characters: the girl in the cocoon, the frog and the spider, who are used by this corporation to make content, just endless streams of content. The girl in the cocoon is trying to become successful and trying to make an impact in the world and connect with people, but she has to struggle with this amidst this company obviously trying to exploit her for what she’s doing. The whole plot kind of revolves around that,” Ramos said.

In our world of the digital age of TikTok, Instagram and celebrity internet fame, the play seems fitting to reality as someone on the internet. Ramos hopes that an audience will find comic relief through the important and serious issues that are brought up in the play.

“It’s a very silly show, even though some of those themes may sound a little bit heavy,” Tresca said.

Set to premiere in the Attic Theater in late July, “Girl In the Cocoon is a production you don’t want to miss. Donate to New Works SA here to support its mission of giving people the opportunity to watch and learn about theater regardless of where they come from or how much money they have.