Spark Theatre Company

SPARK Theatre produces socially minded works for the San Antonio community in an effort to dialogue about topics of importance with its audience.


Established in 2017, SPARK THEATRE COMPANY produces works of Theatre to promote topics of social awareness while opening the door to dialogue about the needs of those in both the audience and community as a whole.  SPARK stands for Theatre that meets people where others can’t, and provides a safe space to be seen and heard. 


*SPARK is currently seeking non-profit status, having obtained an EIN and filed form 202 at the state level.                                                                                                                                                                     




Lara Benavides
Founder and Artistic Director

A director, educator, and performer, Lara's livelong passion for theatre lead her to pursue a vision of establishing a socially minded theatre company in San Antonio.  Professionally, she serves as the Director of Theatre for Incarnate Word High School, overseeing annual productions and participation in One Act Play competitions. Her work with OAP has earned placement at both the regional and state levels, while former students have graduated to pursue both collegiate and professional theatre, film, and television careers. Additionally, she holds a Masters of Arts in Directing for the Stage from Texas State University, has produced with community church groups, and is an Adjunct Professor of Theatre at San Antonio College.  In the span of 13 years, Lara's career has proved a dedication for producing exceptional works of theatre for audiences of all ages.


​Tony Shanklin
​Executive Director

Tony comes to SPARK Theatre Co. with a strong background in community theatre and a desire to provoke audiences to thought and action through live theatre. He views theatre as an outreach opportunity, and his passion is ultimately to see lives changed and people brought to salvation through Christ Jesus. His Bachelor's in Practical Ministry makes him well equipped to help SPARK impact the city of San Antonio. Tony's past acting credits include Scrooge, How Great Thou Art, No Greater Love, and The Glory and the Fire.


​Allie Villarreal
​Artist in Residence

A versatile performer with experience stemming from her undergraduate training at Georgetown University and professional experience in the D.C. area with The Studio Theatre 2nd Stage, Round House Theatre, and Atlas Intersections Festival, Allie lends her talents to SPARK as its Artist in Residence. Appearing in productions such as Moth, The T Party, Pentecost, and The Clean House, her extensive background in modern and contemporary theatre speaks to Allie's passion of presenting the human condition on stage in a manner that is honest and provocative.  


​Jayne Shanklin

Although a relative newcomer to theatre, Jayne brings her Bachelors in English, classroom teaching, and professional training experience to help grow SPARK Theatre Co. She is excited by the opportunity to engage audiences with thought provoking productions in the hopes of seeing lives changed and restored. Jayne has previously served as stage manager for No Greater Love, How Great Thou Art, and The Glory and the Fire.

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