Monday, January 31, 2011

Opinion: In the Discussion of Cutting Supply, NEA's Landesman Cites the Rude Mechs

Arena Stage CampusLast week NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman opened the conference on new plays at the Arena Stage, Washington, by challenging arts professionals to come to terms with the fact that a 2008 NEA study showed that audience numbers were falling while the number of non-profit arts organizations was surging. He set a tempest swirling in the theatre blogosphere.

Landesman made further points in a blog post today, citing the Rude Mechs (presenting I Can't Believe I'm So Happy at the conference) and others as ensembles worthy of increased support. He said, in part, that he wanted to make two points:

In a follow-up comment, I said that the NEA has been increasing the size of our grants, which means (given a stable budget) necessarily making fewer grants. A number of people took this to mean that the NEA should only fund large institutions. That is totally wrong. I have found no correlation between the size of an organization and its creative output. The best work in this country comes out of organizations across the spectrum of budget size—just look at the offerings from Arena’s #NewPlay Festival, which featured productions from the Foundry Theatre, Ma-Yi, Children’s Theatre Company, and the Rude Mechanicals. All four are deeply worthy of support; none of them is “large.” We should never talk about survival of the largest; we are here to ensure the survival of the most creative and most dynamic.

Two. When I say that “decreasing supply” has to be on the table when talking about the future of not-for-profit arts organizations, in no way do I mean that that is the only thing that should be on the table. Here are some other things that I have lobbed out in conversations:

Increase arts education. We dove deeper into the SPPA data, and discovered that arts education is one of the only reliable predictors of future arts participation. Not age, race, ethnicity, or income level, but arts education. Exposure to the arts—early and often—builds future audiences.

Take advantage of related demand. As we are watching audiences at not-for-profit arts organizations shrink, we are seeing an explosion of demand for singing and dancing. Prime time network television is filled with Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, Glee, and So You Think You Can Dance. Should we dumb down what we are doing as a sector and ask J-Lo to be America’s cultural arbiter? Absolutely not. But to borrow a phrase from Bill Ivey, Americans are hungry for and will seek out an expressive life. Our not-for-profit arts organizations need to also be feeding that hunger with what we offer.

Offer free samples. I have just returned from the opening of the New World Symphony, which is broadcasting concerts for free on the outside of its building. The highest quality video and audio are allowing people to sample what happens inside the concert hall. It is not exactly the same thing as the grocery stores that offer free tastes of hickory-smoked sausage, but if you offer a taste of a high quality product, people will come back for more.

Technology is key in this: the NEA’s Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation shows that people who consume art via the Internet and electronic media are nearly three times as likely to attend live arts events, that they attend a greater number of live events, and that they also attend a greater variety of arts events.

Examine our arts infrastructure. There are 5.7 million arts workers in this country and two million artists. Do we need three administrators for every artist? Resident theaters in this country began as collectives of artists. They have become collectives of arts administrators. Do we need to consider becoming more lightly institutionalized in order to get more creativity to more audiences more often? It might also allow us to pay artists more.

Read Rocco Landesman's full comment at Artworks, the NEA's official blog. . . .

Upcoming: Defiant by George Brant, Debutantes and Vagabonds at Larry L. King Theatre, Austin Playhouse, February 24 - March 13

Found on-line:

Debutantes and Vagabonds present

Defiant by George Brant, Debutantes and Vagabonds, AustinDefiant

by George Brant

directed by Amanda Garfield

February 25 - March 13, 2011

Thursdays-Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 5PM

Larry L. King Theatre at Austin Playhouse, Penn Field, 3601 South Congress (click for map)

Reserve tickets on-line --

Starring: Dawn Erin, Craig Nigh, Emily Everidge, Jorge Sermini, Bobbie Oliver, Larry Oliver, and Brittany Flurry.

Music composed and performed by Ashleigh Stone.

Design by Jennifer Singletary, Eric Gazzillo, and Brigette Hutchison.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Upcoming: Cardigan by Trey Deason, added performances at UT, February 5 and 6

Received directly:

Purple Crayon Theatre presentsTrey Deason in Cardigan


by Trey Deason

reprised from FronteraFest 2011

Saturday, Feb 5th and Sunday, Feb 6th at 8PM
Rm 2.112, The Winship Theater
UT Campus, corner of 23rd and San Jacinto
Suggested Donation: $10 (no one turned away!)

Edgar Cardigan is a world-renowned author and university professor: beloved by his students, courted by publishers, desired by women. Or he's a pathological liar compensating for life's disappointments by indulging in a world of fiction. As he assails his students with the story of his fateful date with Mary, a waitress with acting aspirations, the line between truth and fiction becomes blurred beyond distinction.

Click for ALT review, January 30

One Venus Hour by Sheila Gordon, FronteraFest LF, January 20, 23, 25, 29

Venus, taken by Galileo spacecraft (NASA via

Equity actor Shela M. Gordon took the opportunity of FronteraFest 2011 to do a solo turn showing friends, the general public and her students at St. Ed's that she's endowed both with an actor's shape shifting wiles and with a warm and thoughtful writer's imagination.

Gordon developed this piece with support from Scriptworks, here in Austin. Her One Venus Hour is not about the goddess or even about the planet. It's about time, the final arc of a life, and the deep uneasiness of children facing the failing of a father. Gordon uses a projected starfield and audio of a quietly authoritative female voice explaining dispassionately the faraway eruptions of stars. Both voice and text are Gordon's, in a subtle parody of the ethereal meditations read by Sandy Wood on the McDonald Observatory's radio spot Stardate.

Our neighboring planet Venus spins on its axis in the opposite direction from that of the Earth and ever so slowly, turning on itself once in 243 of our days. One Venus Hour is ten days in earth time.

Beneath that vast firmament and its incomprehensible realities, Gordon acts all roles in a simple, almost banal family story. The widowed or divorced father, retired alone in Florida, with the querelous mutter and collapsed world of an aged New Yorker, pushes back at his daughter's pained, well-intentioned ministrations. Her brother, his son, cannot face the old man's decline.

Gordon lightens the tone by assuming the cocky persona of a real estate auctioneer, enlisting us for a trial exercise in bidding. She's glib, rythmic and solemnly funny, playing both the chief auctioneer and both of his assistants. This was the firm that sold them the previously foreclosed property in which the father now lives.

The story arc is short -- one Venus hour or a bit more -- but the feeling is deep. The old man suffers a stroke. Gordon captures the slur of his speech and his deep frustration, as well as the bright "we" chatter of the speech therapist who, without thinking, treats him as if he were mentally handicapped. Gordon provides a short portrait of the brother but brings most of our attention to the quandry of the daughter. The auctioneer comes back on and challenges us to bid, this time for the house that the old man was living in -- "this time for real, folks!" and we do. The night I was there Gordon as the crisp, disengaged auctioneer pushed the bids right up to $150,000 in mythical dollars to be used by the wistful, lonely woman as she arranged the final managed care of her father, the leftover from another time.


Click to view program sheet of One Venus Hour by Sheila Gordon

Venus by Galileo spacecraft NASA

Cardigan by Trey Deason, Purple Crayon Theatre at FF Long Fringe, January 20 - 29

Cardigan by Trey Deason

Maybe a playwright shouldn't act in his own play. Unless, of course, he's one of those comedy yuksters who speaks directly to the audience and makes smartass observations about his own life exeriences and surroundings.

Trey Deason, the playwright, plays the lead character in Cardigan, a piece expanded from a well-received 2010 Short Fringe offering. His assumption of that identity may be disconcerting to those who have run into him in so-called real life.

Deason is reticent, polite and quiet almost to a fault, at least with those whom he doesn't know well. As Edgar Cardigan, writer, arriving to lecture to us for a class in creative writing, he's emphatic, dismissive, vulgar and as hopped-up as if he were on speed. One is tempted to suppose that this is a portrait of Deason's Evil Twin, a sort of exercise in personal psychodrama. The writer is writing about a writer who is quickly revealed as a compulsive fabricator, and most of what follows is demonstration both of misogyny and misanthropy.

Perhaps director Rudy Ramirez shouldn't have allowed Cardigan to have have snarled so quickly and viciously at Angelia Davis, the actress planted in the audience to play the student. Perhaps Deason should have done breathing exercises so that his character would be less twitchy at the start. Or perhaps just have entrusted the role to another actor.

Read more at . . . .

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Upcoming: The Elementals: Air, Vortex Repertory, February 18 - March 20

Found on-line:

Vortex Repertry

presents the world premiere of'Towering Clouds' by Shi Yali,

The Elementals: AIR

Sacred Dance Theatre
conceived andd irected by Bonnie Cullum, music by Chris Humphrey
Feb.18-Mar.20, 2011; Thursdays-Sundays @ 8 p.m.

Tickets: $30-$25 Priority Seating, $20-$15 General Admission, $10 Starving Artists
Thursdays and Sundays 2-for-1 admission with donation of 2 non-perishable food items for SafePlace Pantry.

Limited seating. Advanced purchase recommended.

[image: "Towering Clouds," Shi Yali,

Fresh Breezes. Heavenly Song. Fearless Flying.
Storm Winds. Gentle Floating. Sweet Scent.
Pulsating Didgeridoo. Glowing Sunrise.
Soaring Eagle. Starfinder.

The Elementals: AIR celebrates the gifts and stories of Air through dance, song, poetry, and sacred intention. AIR features aerial dance, live music, poetic narrative, and illuminating imagery on a multi-level playground. Environmental themes focus on the precious Elemental Forces of Air. Spirits of the Air include Eagle, Butterfly, Sylph, Dragon, Phoenix, Harpy, Angel, and Airbender. AIR is the first in a unique series of five sacred elemental explorations (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Spirit) to be created collaboratively with performers and designers over the next several years at The Vortex.

The Elementals: AIR
features VORTEX veteran performers Gabriel Maldonado, Betsy McCann, Andy Agne, Jennifer Coy, Krysta Gonzales, Justin LaVergne, and Alejandro Rodriguez. Making their VORTEX debuts with AIR: Celeste Bliss, Bethany Summersizzle, Courtney Brock, Joanna Wright, Kylie Baker, Jenny Lavery, and Carole Metellus.

Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon. Lighting Design by Patrick Anthony and Jason Amato. Costume Design by Talena Martinez.

The Elementals: AIR is funded in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Upcoming: Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gaslight Baker Theatre, Lockhart, February 7-8

Received directly from the Gaslight Baker Theatre, Lockhart:

Glenn Miller Orchestra Lockhart Texas


Monday, February 7, and Tuesday, February 8, 7:00 pm

Gaslight Baker Theatre, 216 South Main Street, Lockhart (click for map)

Reserved seating, $30 all tickets Click Here to Buy Tickets

[ALTcom note, January 29: fewer than 50 seats left for each performance!]

See them in the historic Baker Theatre in Lockhart, Texas. The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra is the most popular and sought after big band in the world today for both concert and swing dance engagements. With its unique jazz sound, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered to be one of the greatest bands of all time.

The present Glenn Miller Orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world. Trombonist Larry O'Brien is the orchestra's present musical director. Click Here to visit the official Glenn Miller Orchestra website for more information.

Upcoming: Man and Superman by G.B. Shaw, Austin Shakespeare at the Rollins Theatre, February 17 - March 6

Found on-line:

Austin Shakespeare logo

Man and Superman Shaw Austin Shakespeare


George Bernard Shaw's

Man and Superman

February 17 - March 6, Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 3 p.m.
The Rollins Theatre at The Long Center, Riverside Drive at South First Street

(click for map)

Tickets are on sale now at or call 512-474-5664.

Austin Shakespeare presents a delightful comedy of topsy-turvy romantic pursuit, George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, a timely look at the perennial clash between the past and the future, the reactionary and the progressive, and questions of what the proper roles of men and women really are.

Man and Superman stars Kimbery Adams, Jill Blackwood*, Janelle Buchanan*, Michael Dalmon, Shelby Davenport*, Jenny Gravenstein, Philip Kreyche, Ev Lunning Jr.*, Barry Pineo, and Mark Stewart (* Member of Actor's Equity Association).

As a special addition, there will be a staged reading of Shaw's Don Juan in Hell with Babs George* and Harvey Guion at the Rollins at 7:30PM, Sunday February 27.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Agamemnon by Aeschylus, City on a Hill* Productions, FF Long Fringe at the Blue Theatre, January 22, 25, 29, 30

Agamemnon, City on a Hill* Productions Austin

Agamemnon as produced by City on a Hill* Productions and directed by David J. Boss is a satisfyingly crunchy rendition of the first part of Aeschylus' Orestia. In this season of Academy Award nominations it might be useful to note that the trilogy won the annual competition at the Greater Dionysian Festival in Athens in 458 B.C.

In a chronological sense it's not "the first play in the Western canon," as stated in the program. Aeschylus wrote between seventy and ninety plays, of which only seven are extant (with three of those comprising the Orestia). The parts of the trilogy were among his last compositions, for he died in Sicily at the age of 70 only three years after presenting them.

The Orestia is a defining work in the Western dramatic canon. The fate of Agamemnon has constituted a cautionary tragedy reworked regularly since Aeschylus' time. Sophocles and Euripides further explored the myths of the fall of the house of Atreus, with the tales of rivalry, cannibalism, war, child sacrifice, the conquest of Troy, treachery, sexual infidelity, prophetic ecstacy, incest, religious conflict and madness. The story and its figures are deep dyed in Western literary tradition. It's great stuff.

Read more at . . . .

Howl, based on Allen Ginsberg, by Teresa Harrison, Square Product Theatre at the Blue Theatre, January 26-30

Teresa Harrison, Allen Ginsberg's Howl

She calls it Howl, after Ginsberg's 1955 poem, but Tertesa Harrison greeted her opening night audience with quiet confidentiality, joking and wrestling with a microphone stand as her accompanist fiddled with his great psychedelic bass. She'd set up a cardboard triptych of quotations out in the lobby, witty or gnomic remarks from Charlie Parker, Mae West, Sartre, Keith Richards and many others, a bartlett's of Ginsberg's century.

Dark-eyed with her throaty voice and long mane of dark hair, Harrison could have been one of those beat babes back in the 1950's. Her familiarity with us, the cavernous empty setting of the Blue Theatre stage and the antics with her stage manager and bassist put us into quirky shadows like those of some San Francisco or New York coffeehouse, a spell reinforced by two battered manual typewriters stacked one on top of the other, a hanging square that could have held a picture or a television screen, a cumbersome box of props. She clutched GInsberg's book even when she wasn't doing Ginsberg but she looked inside it only once.

Not just a poetry reading. Not a howl but instead an incantation, an updating and a recasting of Ginsberg's stunned, pressed flow of images. Harrison brings the beat poet's glance askance right up to the 21st century with numbers of her own. As the séance began, she placed a chess clock in front of the microphone -- the timer box with two clock faces, two plungers above, one per player, to be swatted down when the chess move is complete and initative is turned over to the opponent. The conclusion of each piece was marked with a smart slap on the clock, a change in the lighting and a different approach to the word and performance.

Read more at . . . .

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Upcoming: Noises Off by Michael Frayne, Texas State University, February 15 - 20

Received directly:

Texas State University

presentsNoises Off Michael Frayne Texas State University

Noises Off

by Michael Frayn

directed by Richard Sodders

February 15th – 19th at 7:30 p.m. and February 20th at 2 p.m.

Texas State University Mainstage Theatre, 430 Moon St., San Marcos

Tickets: $10 general admission and $7 for students with a valid Texas State ID.

For reservations, call the Texas State Box Office at (512) 245-2204.

Tickets will go on sale beginning Tuesday February 8th at 10:00 a.m.

Noises Off presents the hilarious story of a hapless English acting troupe who are touring a production of a farce called Nothing On. This ever-popular British sex farce features mistaken identities, sexual dalliances, and many doors opening and shutting. We even get to see what happens backstage while the show is being performed. Called “the funniest farce ever written” by the New York Post, this play has kept audiences laughing since 1982. A night of side-splitting fun is promised!

Reviews from Elsewhere: The Incredible Shrinking Man, Tongue and Groove Theatre at FronteraFest

Comment of Barry Pineo, published at the Austin Chronicle, January 27 (252 words):

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 479-7529 Jan. 28, 7pm; Jan. 29, 4:15pm Running time: 45 min.

Almost every Tongue and Groove Theatre production presents an opportunity for great fun, and this, the company's latest effort produced for the FronteraFest Long Fringe, is no exception.

Click to read full text (252 words) at the Austin Chronicle . . . .

Upcoming: Drone, the musical, Crank Collective at City Theatre, February 4&5, 11&12

Found on-line:

Crank Collective logo



A Musical Comedy
at the City Theatre, February 4 & 5, 11 & 12

Buy tickets on-line; reservations via

more information at

In this satirical musical comedy from Crank Collective, two pilots remotely fly surveillance aircraft near the Texas border, finding romance, espionage, music and mayhem.

Directed by John Cecil, created by Crank Collective, this world premier features actors Joshua Meindertsma, Kacey Samiee, Kate Caldwell, Christian Huey, Micah Goodding, and Lucy Miller-Downing. Musicians include John Cecil, Jonathan Hoyle, Chris La Cava and Michael Walters.

KOOP's Lisa Scheps interviews John Cecil, cast and band, November 2010

Click to view cast -- Click to view band -- Click 'Read more' to view press release of January 21, below

Auditions: Much Ado About Nothing, Present Company, February 7

Found on-line at, January 27:

Much Ado About Nothing, Penguin Editions

Auditions for

Much Ado About Nothing
Posted: January 27, 2011

Present Company, Austin's newest home-grown, innovative theatre collective is seeking new company members for i's First Annual Shakespeare on the Farm production of Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, to be held at a beautiful organic farm just a five-minute drive from downtown Austin.

Auditions will be Monday, February 7th from 6:30-9:30pm at Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Road.
(Click for map.) Call-backs will be Thursday 10th by appointment. Rehearsals will begin the following week, mostly focused on Saturday and Sunday morning/afternoons with weekday evening rehearsals scheduled around availability. Performance dates are Thurs-Sat evenings March 24th through April 9th, with the possibility of a Saturday or Sunday matinee.

Most actors will play multiple roles and casting will be mostly gender blind. Actors are asked to perform a 2 minute comedic Shakespearean monologue in prose or verse. Call backs will consist of sides from the play. Please submit a headshot and resume, prefered audition time, and the role(s) you would be most interested in to:

Walk-ins are also welcome and will be seen as time permits. Actors who play an instrument or sing are especially encouraged to attend.

We seek to fill the following roles: Benedick - Leonato - Don Pedro - Claudio/Sexton - Hero/1st Watch - Ursula/2nd Watch - Margaret/boy/messenger - Dogberry/lord - Borachio/messenger - Antonio/Friar Francis - Don John/Verges - Conrade/Balthazar

Present Company

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spirits to Enforce, Capital T Theatre at FronteraFest LF, January 19-30 and February 10 - 12

Jay Fraley in Spirits to Enforce, Capital T Theatre

With 12 superheroes on stage, who ya gonna call? I picked over the suite of portraits at Capital T Theatre's website and I was seriously tempted by blonde Jenny Gravenstein as The Page with the come-hither eyes, particularly since Capital T is using her for one of its promo posters.

That would be a sexist indulgence in fantasy, though, so I settled on Austin newcomer Jay Fraley, who mans the central slot at the phone bank as Emory (secret identity: Ariel; yes, that Ariel, and a hint as to just why these impoverished superheroes, victorious so recently against Dr. Cannibal and his hoardes, are trying to raise donations so that they can put on a theatrical production of The Tempest).

Besides, Fraley has more than a passing resemblance to playwright Mickle Maher of Chicago's Theatre Oobleck. And when the super-rubber hits the road, Ariel's performance in the theatre before a crowd including Dr. Cannibal as chief theatre critic is a self-confessed disaster. Judging from the rest of this speedy, hectic, amusing play, that's just the sort of joke that Maher would play on himself.

Capital T's first-time director Gary Jaffe puts all superheroes on stage, all the time. They hardly move from their stations at the telethon table, except for LaTasha Stephens as The Bad Map, but the psychic energy sizzles. Jaffe has assembled a cast that is its own microcosm of valiant Austin actor-heroes, all of them in their 20's and 30's, most of them familiar and welcome to theatre junkies. They mirror pretty well the very demographic that Capital T has courted so successfully over the past couple of years: energetic folk who are smart, self-referential, creative and a touch arrogant.

Read more at . . . .

Auditions: A Raisin in the Sun, Austin Black Theatre, January 30

Found on-line at The Soul Movement Church:

Auditions A Raisin in the Sun Soul Movement Church Austin

Upcoming: The Threepenny Opera by Brecht and Weill, University of Texas, February 18 - 27

Found on-line:

The University of Texas Department of Drama and Dance presentsThree Penny Opera University of Texas

a play with music after John Gay's The Beggar Opera, in Three Acts
Music by Kurt Weill German translation by Elisabeth Hauptmann; adaptation and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht
English translation of the dialog by Robert MacDonlad
English translation of the lyrics by Jeremy Sams
Directed by Halena Kays
Music Directed by Lyn Koenning

February 18,19, 24, 25, 26 at 8:00 p.m. - February 20, 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Oscar G. Brockett Theatre, Winship Drama bldg, near 23rd & San Jacinto
Tickets from UT performing arts: $20/$17/$15

A milestone of 20th century musical theater, The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper) rolls on unstoppably into the 21st. In their opera “by and for beggars,“ composer Kurt Weill (1900–1950) and playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) transformed saccharine, old-fashioned opera and operetta forms, incorporating a sharp political perspective and the sound of 1920s Berlin dance bands and cabaret. Weill's acid harmonies and Brecht's biting texts created a revolutionary new musical theater that inspired such subsequent hits as Cabaret, Chicago, and Urinetown. The show's opening number, “Mack the Knife,” became one of the top popular songs of the century.

Upcoming: Proof, Austin Playhouse Larry L. King Stage, January 28 - February 20

Found on-line:

Austin Playhouse

presentsProof Molly Karrasch Austin Playhouse


by David Auburn

January 28 - February 20

Austin Playhouse Larry L. King Theatre at Penn Field (click for map)

Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m.

Austin Playhouse explores the link between genius and madness in David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama Proof. The drama-mystery runs four weeks - from January 28th through February 20th - in the Larry L. King Theatre. Written in 2001, the drama scored the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, Joseph Kesselring Prize and Drama Desk Award. The story was produced for the big screen in a 2005 feature film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Proof explores complex relationships - similar to a mathematical equation - between a father and daughter, rival sisters, and two young lovers. Catherine, a young woman with unmistakable symptoms of clinical depression, takes care of her former genius of a mathematician father through a long struggle with mental illness. While celebrating her 25th birthday, she begins to wonder how much of her father's genius - and madness - she's inherited.

Directed by Lara Toner and Cyndi Williams, the Austin production features Molly Karrasch (Educating Rita), Tom Parker (The Trip to Bountiful, Picasso at the Lapin Agile), Lara Toner (The 39 Steps), and David Meissner.

Performances run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20, with half-price tickets for students.
Austin Playhouse is located at 3601 S. Congress, Bldg. C, in the Penn Field Center. For reservations and more information, call (512) 476-0084 or visit

Upcoming: Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, musical, EmilyAnn Theatre, WImberley, February 4 - 27

Found on-line:

EmilyAnn Theatre, Wimberley

Why Do Fools Fall in Love?

by Roger Bean
directed by Bridget Farias
February 4-27, 2011 (Fridays & Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2:00 p.m.)

EmilyAnn Theatre indoor studio, 1101 FM 2325, Wimberley (click for map)

Why Do Fools Fall in Love is a four woman musical about the hilarities and trials of love and marriage, using popular songs from the 1960's to illustrate what the women are experiencing in their lives. Peformances are February 4th-27th (Fridays & Saturdays 7:30pm, Sundays 2pm) and will be performed in the EmilyAnn Theatre indoor studio theatre.

Click here to purchase tickets!


  • Millie- Jennifer Peralez
  • Sally- Lauren Forman
  • Florence- Amy Cartee-Cox
  • Dee Dee- Kate Crowley

Austin Shakespeare Raffles Off Theatre Trip to London

Found on-line at

Austin  Shakespeare

Win a Theatre Trip to London!

Wed, 01/26/2011 Royal Shakespeare Company

Austin Shakespeare is raffling off the chance to win all the following:

  • Airfare for Two on American Airlines*
  • Two Nights Hotel Stay
  • Two Tickets to Two Royal Shakespeare Company Productions
  • A Tour of the Royal Shakespeare Company Venue

Tickets are $25 for 1 or $100 for 5. Only 500 tickets will be sold!

The drawing is May 30, 2011.

To find out more about this great opportunity, call (512) 470-4505 or email

*Air travel subject to blackout dates.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Planet of the Mermaids, Electronic Planet Ensemble at the Vortex Repertory, January 14 - 29

Planet of the Mermaids, Electronic Planet Ensemble, Austin Texas

Electronic Planet Ensemble is the group of Austin cool rockers who invented the "music of the spheres" genre.

Like the earth itself, they come orbiting through the Vortex once a year with another adventure in space and time. In January 2009 it was Spaceman Dada Robot; in January 2010 it was Surfin' UFO. In October 2009, breaking that pattern with a bit of space-time insouciance, they sailed by in a reprise of their In.Car.Nation, a rumbling hymn to classic cars with spaceship shapes.

David Jewell, Sergio Samayoa in Planet of the MermaidsFor Planet of the Mermaids, Saga-man David Jewel and cyber-man Sergio R. Samayoa look to be generating the concepts and pushing the envelopes, while composer/bassist Chad Salvata and wild woman percussionist Rachel Fuhrer give the stories and the melodies waves to sail upon.

Planet of the Mermaids ('s invigorating, subtly comic, ironic stuff. The crowd last Thursday in the Vortex at Planet of the Mermaids was doing a lively theatre-seat boogy of its own, calling out encouragement and adoring the hot pastel big screen images for the newest modulation.

The magic for me of EPE's previous creations was the melding of word images, melody and rhythm. David Jewell's laconic verse and wryly reflective spoken images open your mind up the way a mild dose of psylocbin might do, while your autonomous nervous system grasps that rock 'n' roll sound track. Jewell's photos and Samayoa's images paint the background.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: The Odd Couple by Neil Simon, Hill Country Community Theatre, near Marble Falls, February 17 - 27

Received directly:

The Odd Couple (image:

Hill Country Community Theatre


The Odd Couple

by Neil Simon

February 17 - 27

Thursdays - Sundays at Hill Country Community Theatre

2003 W. FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores (click for map)

Eight Highland Lakes area residents have been chosen as the cast of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, which will play February 17-27 at the Hill Country Community Theatre. Cast into the lead role of Oscar Madison is HCCT veteran actor Anson Hahn, who has appeared in a dozen productions at the theatre, while Robert King, Jr., will play Oscar’s fastidious roommate Felix Ungar. This will be Mr. King’s second appearance on the HCCT stage.

Other male cast members and their characters include: Stan Farmer as Speed, Paul Otis as Murray, Cameron Stewart as Roy and David Sweigart as Vinnie. Two HCCT newcomers--Laura Braden as Gwendolyn Pigeon and Julie Johnson as Cecily Pigeon--have been chosen for the show’s two female roles. The show is directed by HCCT veteran actor and director Wendy Ferrell, with Maury James as stage manager.

First premiering on Broadway in 1965, The Odd Couple is the story of divorced and slovenly Oscar Madison who decides to room with newly separated clean freak Felix Unger with hilarious results. The play has become one of the most popular storylines in the last 50 years and its title is now coined as a term that signifies an extremely mismatched pair.

Read More

Ms. Ferrell said she’s excited about the cast for HCCT’s upcoming production. “We had a great turnout for the auditions, with both experienced actors and new people coming out. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the show.”

She said she is especially encouraged with the number of tryouts by people new to the HCCT stage. “No experience is necessary for HCCT productions and everyone is welcome. It takes a lot for someone to step out of their comfort zone for the first time and put themselves out there. But they always have a good time. And once they’ve been ‘bitten,’ they’re often excited to do more.”

Ms. Ferrell also thanked everyone who tried out. “The wonderful response to our casting call reflects a great deal of genuine support in the community for the Hill Country Community Theatre,” she said.

HCCT’s production of The Odd Couple is scheduled to open February 17 and run through February 27 with 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday through Saturday and 2:15 p.m. matinees on Sunday afternoons. All performances will be held at the theatre, located at 2003 W. FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores.

Tickets will be available through the HCCT box office beginning February 7 for HCCT members and February 10 for the general public. Box office hours are noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The box office phone number is 830-798-8944.

Currently operating on an all-volunteer basis, Hill Country Community Theatre is one of the oldest continuously operating community theatres in Texas. During its 25-year history, its productions have drawn audiences totaling more than 100,000. Some 5,000 volunteers from surrounding communities have given their time and support to HCCT’s operations, from management to acting to all aspects of backstage and onstage production.

Review from Elsewhere: Ba

Quoted in its entirety, from

FronteraFest Long Fringe 2011 Review: Imagine That Productions

A Writers Vision(s) at Salvage Vanguard Theater

John Boulanger knows American absurdism. His precedent-setting House of Several Stories, which garnered the ACTF National Student Playwrighting Award in 2008, presented a refreshing reminder of the genre's ability to stun and strike a deep, resonating cord. Viewers expecting something like a repeat of this stylistic acrobatics show be forewarned: despite typical elements like negligent mothers, incompetent therapists, and general confusion about reality, this show is only absurdist-ish. It's straight-up zany. This show simply won't allow you to take it seriously. Don't bother trying.

It's not just mad-cap and unleashed; there's technically a through-line narrated Seuss-style about a struggling writer visited a la Christmas Carol by three representations of his sub-conscious in his efforts to unclog unclear-to-him blockages in his latest creative process. It hardly matters though; the ridiculousness effervescing through the piece suffices in the place of any real meaning (though admission of this at the end of the piece comes across as unnecessarily defiant). It's a rambunctious pastiche of farce, absurdism, and pop cultural weirdness stuffed with appearances of local theatrical luminaries like Babs George, Jill Blackwood, Martin Burke, and Laura Lane that, in lieu of receiving Equity-scale pay, revel in enjoying themselves on-stage. Most successfully, it’s masturbatory and thoroughly self-amusing without being alienating. Like its lead character in the end, it simply refuses to take the process of writing "seriously" and is all the better for it.

By Bastion Carboni in on January 25, 2011

Upcoming: The Love Show, Kings & Things at the Elysium, February 11

Received directly:

The Love Show Kings n Things Austin Texas

Kings n Things


The Love Show

hosted by Stanley Roy & Mirandom Violence

@ Elysium, 705 Red River
Doors @ 9pm, Show @ 10pm
18+ $10 at the door

Come warm your hearts at our love-packed show featuring amazing performers from Austin & New Orleans! With guests: Granny P, Ace Falcor, Big Star Burlesque, Queertini Time AND MORE!

The show is looking to be a loving split of 50% drag and 50% burlesque!

Kings N Things
Austin's Premier Drag King Troupe

Acting Classes: Amber DuPuy at City Theatre, starting February 12

Received directly from City Theatre, Austin:

Amber DuPuy acting classes

The Art and Craft of Acting
Living Intentionally: Actualizing your True Potential as an Actor

Amber Dupuy - Class Director and Instructor
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Begins February 12: 8 week sessions. Cost: $225
For registration and information:

Acting is a craft. In this class, you will learn the tools of the trade. Hone your craft by developing awareness and mastery of your instrument. Learn to relax and focus in stressful situations. Develop your creativity by accessing your imagination and expressing your emotions. Discover what “finding your motivation” means by exploring and playing an action. But that's not all!

Integration of the mind, body and spirit are required to fully embody a character and bring life to the stage or screen. An experienced actor utilizes his mind to analyze the script, activate his imagination, focus and concentrate. He understands his body and senses when it's dynamically aligned (good posture). He is familiar with the way his body moves and gestures. This awareness allows him to create characters that walk, gesture and speak differently than him. He in control of his breathing, and therefore is capable of actively relaxing at all times. Responsive to his impulses, he is emotionally free and expressive. Ultimately, the synthesis of mind and body allows the actor's spirit to be released resulting in more presence on stage and greater opportunities for transcendent moments in performance.

Click for additional information at . . . .

Auditons: Of Mice and Men, City Theatre, February 6-9

Received directly from City Theatre, Austin:

City Theatre Austin

Of Mice and Men, City Theatre



February 6, 7 and 9,

The City Theatre 3823 Airport Blvd. Suite D (behind the Shell station - click for map)

Sunday, February 6, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Monday and Wednesday, February 7 and 9, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

If you are not able to make this audition time, please let us know.

Ten minute appointment slots. Show dates May 12 – June 5.

Bring headshot and resume. Please have a short monologue prepared for the audition. Casting all parts: Nine males, 25 – 60, one black actor needed; one female, 20 – 26.

This captivating tale of two traveling workers, George and Lennie, illuminates their unique friendship and quest for the American dream as they travel the countryside. But as all too often happens, "the best laid schemes o' mice and men" go awry in this timeless literary masterpiece. Call 512-524-2870 or for an audition time. For more details, go to

Upcoming: Everyone Loves Boobs, Cleavage Chronicles at the Vortex Repertory, February 12

Found on-line:

Cleavage Chronicles presentsCleavage Chronicles Austin Texas

Everybody Loves Boobs

Two Shows Only for Valentines!

Feb.12, 2011, 5 p.m. and 8 p..

Tickets: $30-$10 512-478-LAVA (5282) or
$30-$25 Priority Seating, $20-$15 General Admission, $10 Starving Artists
Limited seating. Advanced purchase recommended.

Everybody Loves Boobs is a cabaret-style, multi-media musical comedy celebrating women and their breasts. Featuring Ruby Joule of “The Jigglewatts”, and Class Act & The Dazzlin’ Dames Tap Dancers. Proceeds from the show support the making of Cleavage Chronicles: If These Girls Could Talk, a documentary to raise awareness and aid in the fight against breast cancer. (Information and videos at Come support the cause and enjoy laughs and live entertainment.

Everybody Loves Boobs is brought to you by Pamalot Productions, L.L.C. and DMC Creative Solutions with the support of The VORTEX.

Upcoming: Biography by S.N. Behrman, Paradox Players at Unitarian Universalist Church, February 11 - 27

Found on-line:

Paradox Players

by S.N. Behrman
directed by Dr. Charles R. Hill

February 11 - 27
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm - Sundays at 3 pm

HOWSON HALL THEATER, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin
4700 Grover Avenue Map to First UU Church

TICKETS $20 Opening Night Gala (includes a special reception with refreshments)
$15 all other performances ($10 for seniors and groups of 10 or more)

Reservations by web, phone 744-1495 or Purchase via Paypal

Free Childcare for Sun Feb 13th performance if reserved by Feb 6th.
Email or call 452-6168, ext. 313

Marion Froude is known for her many romantic adventures. Her Manhattan salon is a haven for the famous and infamous. When this free-spirited portrait artist writes her autobiography, scandal looms, and panic ensues among her male acquaintances. Written and set in 1932, this drawing-room comedy touches on themes just as relevant today.

CAST includes Lisa Foster, Bobbie Erb, Matt Burnett, Ariel Sauceda, Ashley Edwards, Mick D'Arcy and Tyler Lawson.

Children's Theatre Days and Theatre Camps at the Scottish Rite Children's Theatre

Received directly:

Scottish Rite Children's Theatre

offers several opportunities for children to participate:

February 21 School Holiday Creative Drama Camp
Ages 5-11

Monday, February 21
Scottish Rite Theatre (207 West 18th)(click for map)
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Drop-off begins at 8:45)
$75 per student -To register, call 476-5436
One-day Creative Drama Camps engage campers with theatre games, creative drama exercises and crafts in an encouraging, playful environment on their day out of school. Campers should bring two snacks and lunch, dress for play and wear closed toed shoes. Girls should wear shorts under skirts or dresses.

SPRING BREAK CAMP: Create Your Own Adventure

March 14-18 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
$300 per student - To register, call 476-5436
Students will play improvisation games, develop acting skills, and use their imaginations to create their own stories. Through creative drama, we will develop characters, go on grand adventures, create special magic skills and make our own far away kingdom! Campers should bring two snacks and lunch, dress for play and wear closed toed shoes. Girls should wear shorts under skirts or dresses.


for ages 5-11 (9 A.M. - 1 P.M.) Click here for details.

Upcoming: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Scottish Rite Children's Theatre, February 12 - March 19

Received directly:

Scottish Rite Theatre, AUstin

presentsGoldilocks, Scottish Rite Theatre, Austin

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

based on the original fairy tale by Robert Southly

written and directed by D.H. Thompson

February 12 - March 19
Saturdays: 10 a.m., Sundays: 2 p.m.

Weekday School Shows: Wednesday, February 16 AND Thursday March 3 at 10:30 a.m.
Scottish Rite Theatre, 207 West 18th (click for map)
$8 Children (ages 1-12) • $10 Adults • $4 Infant under 1 year
Tickets Online: Tickets by Phone: 512-472-5436
Tickets at Box Office: 207 West 18th Street - Box Office hours: Monday-Friday Noon - 4:30 PM

Goldilocks is a defiant girl who will not help around the house with chores. When she is grounded for lying to her parents, she runs away into the forest. When it begins to rain, she finds a little house and slops inside to keep dry. It turns out it is the home of The Three Bears who are out on a stroll to pick up trash while their porridge cools. Meanwhile, Goldilocks explores the house and samples their breakfast or porridge, and tries out their chairs and beds! She finds Baby Bear’s bed is “just right” and falls asleep. Find out what happens when the bears return home and discover sleepy Goldilocks in their house!

About SRCT Since 2004, Scottish Rite Community and Children's Theatre, Inc. a 501 (C) (3), has been providing year-round, quality, fun and affordable family entertainment, perfect for children ages 3-9. We hope our patrons leave with an appreciation of good theatre, and an enlightened awareness of our building and its contribution to Austin culture. Since construction in 1869, the building has enjoyed a vibrant history hosting decades of theatrical productions and social events.

Sponsored in part by: The City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, News 8 Austin and Time Warner Cable.