New book highlights history of Cornyation

Book examines how Cornyation got started


SAN ANTONIO – Cornyation, a satire show that pokes fun at local and national issues, celebrities and politicians has been part of Fiesta for decades. 

The event is the subject of a new book called "Cornyation: San Antonio's Outrageous Fiesta Tradition". 

Trinity University associate professor Amy Stone, the author, found about Cornyation when she attended her first show in 2009. 

"I thought this is remarkable, and when someone told me it started in the 1950s, I became very curious about how it developed as an institution here in San Antonio," Stone said.

Stone started to research and find out more about the show, especially during the '50s and '60s.

Her research uncovered photos, videos and scripts. 

"One of my best discoveries is that I found all of the old scripts from the '50s and '60s in the closet of the Playhouse," Stone said.

The scripts gave Stone insight into what each year was about and showed when the production went from being a satire mocking the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo to poking fun at serious issues. 

The Court of Outer Space made fun of the Cold War in 1958, which began the shift in Cornyation.

The new version of Cornyation in 1965 flopped. The show stopped production and wasn't seen again until the '80s.

Cornyation got a big revival in 1982 and has grown to become a real party with a purpose.

"I think it's one of the most important things about the show, is that it's a major fundraiser for HIV/AIDS service organizations and other causes," Stone said. "It's raised over $2 million."

This year's Cornyation runs Tuesday through Thursday. The theme is "The Court of Insane Privilege." 


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