Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Imaginary Invalid by Molière, City Theatre, July 21 - August 14

The 85-seat house at the City Theatre was agreeably full on the opening Friday of Karen Sneed's staging of Molière's The Imaginary Invalid. A full house of attentive spectators is always a boost to the cast. Amusement is amplified and reactions build. The natural curiosity of the audience becomes rapport with actors and characters. Comedy, by provoking shared laughter, binds the members of each evening's audience indefinably, in a fashion that differs from night to nigh

That positive crowd effect may have been linked to the fact that 16 actors inhabit this farce, portraying 31 characters. The City Theatre deserves to enjoy a setting similar to that initial "family and friends" effect for the upcoming three weekends of its run.

Richard Craig as Argan Effective stage comedies snare us with quirks and jokes, then elaborate and build the fun with absurdities and unexpected turns of plot. That's Molière's method here. Grumpy, stingy hypochondriac Argan bemoans his miseries and the pile of bills from physicians and pharmacists for hair-raising and trouser-dropping treatments, directed mostly via the opening of his lower colon. (During our years abroad we discovered to our discomfort that contemporary French medicine retains an affection for just that therapeutic channel.)

Argan initially rails out loud to himself and at his irreverent serving girl Toinette. We then see him exercise his arbitrary petty tyrannies over his marriageble daughter Angélique, at the same time that he's a witless dupe of his gold-digging young wife and a procession of quacks. Just about everyone onstage is intriguing against everyone else, and we the audience have the cheerful feelling that we're at least two steps ahead of each of them.

Read more at . . . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Upcoming: 'Inside Theatre' Experience with Amparo Garcia-Crow, July 29 - August 6

Received directly:

Hi Michael,

We've seen your website about theater in Austin and think that you may be interested in an event we are promoting on We are a new website where people can buy unique personal experiences providing behind the scenes access to the worlds of art, crafts, music, food, film, sports, theater and nature.

We're launching our site with an amazing Inside Theater event in Austin Texas, with acclaimed writer/director Amparo Garcia Crow. This is a private group experience in which one can observe and participate in the creation of an original theatrical piece. You can read more about this experience at

Please feel free to share this opportunity with your audience, and stay in touch for many more exciting experiences in Austin!

The 1000passions team

Amparo Garcia-Crow (
Inside Theater: One Person Show
Observe the process of how a theatrical piece is conceived, step by step, by spending the day with acclaimed writer and director Amparo Garcia-Crow. You’ll have the chance to witness a work in development, with the unique opportunity of being able to contribute to its creation.

Amparo has been developing a series of interactive one woman shows starring Aralyn Hughes, iconic artist and performer, documenting Aralyn’s life and work over the course of a year. The current show is called The Moving Brunch, and you’re invited in on the fun. As part of your experience, you’ll spend the day with the director and actor as they rehearse, taking on an active role if you desire by giving feedback and interacting with the show and its content. You’ll then return to see the show performed live (August 7th), and possibly participate as well, if your interaction proved integral to the material. Plans are being made to turn the series into a documentary film.

Join us for this unique chance to see how a show is brought to life, and experience cutting edge theater from the inside!

Amparo Garcia-Crow is an award winning, multi-disciplinary artist who acts, sings, directs and writes plays, screenplays and songs. Her half hour film, “Loaves and Fishes” (which she also stars in) aired on the PBS series “Territories”, after premiering at SXSW Film Festival and the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. As an actress Amparo has performed at the Kennedy Center and other regional theaters in the Southwest. As a director, she has received the prestigious NEA/TCG Director’s Fellowship and has worked on new play development at various theaters including the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. A collection of her work “Between Misery and the Sun: The South Texas Plays” was published by No Passport Press in February 2009.

Price: $475 for a group of up to 3 people. Duration 5 hours. Price includes organic lunch and snacks, as well as a ticket to the performance.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hedda Gabler (for export), Palindrome Theatre at the Salvage Vanguard Theatre, July 28-30,

Hedda Gabler (image: Palindrome Theatre)

by Michael Meigs

Austin's youngish Palindrome Theatre is on its way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to perform their new, 90-minute non-stop Hedda Gabler every afternoon from August 5 to 29, except for Wednesdays. Outside those office hours the six-member cast and associates will be free to immerse themselves in the largest international arts event around, now in its 74th year. Last year, for example, Edinburgh offered 2,453 different shows staging 40,254 performances by 21,148 performers in 259 venues.

That's a theatre artist's dream, but it doesn't come cheap. Artistic directors Nigel O'Hearn and Kate Eminger have raised all but about $3000 of the costs, including travel, staging costs and artists' compensation. The company is making a last push this weekend in Austin, staging the export version at the Salvage Vanguard Theatre Thursday - Saturday, July 28 - 30. You can purchase your $25 fundraiser ticket on-line at their website.

Chase Crossno, Robin Grace Thompson (image: Palindrome Theatre)

Palindrome staged O'Hearn's first reworking of Ibsen's piece in February and March at the Blue Theatre and received positive reviews from ALTcom and others. The ALT review provides links to pieces by Robert Faires of the Austin Chronicle and by Ryan E. Johnson at Preparing to write this article, I discovered that Palindrome had put together a two-minute video promo featuring a key scene and several "pull quotes," including my own comment, "Robin Grace Thompson gives us a Hedda who is burning with psychic energy. She is deliberate and wicked." (Click to view the video at

Attending a rehearsal of the export version of Hedda Gabler last week, I found a piece recrafted both by O'Hearn and by the ensemble, retaining the strong central core of Thompson as Hedda and Chase Crossno as Thea, the runaway wife who follows Hedda's former lover. Jacqueline Harper plays the servant Berthe, a role considerably strengthened. Nathan Osborn, who played the dissolute, desperate Einar Lövberg, has now assumed the role of George Tesman, Hedda's husband of six months.

Click to read more at . . . .

A Year with Frog and Toad, musical for families, SummerStock Austin at the Rollins Theatre, weekends July 23 - August 7

A Year with Frog and Toad

by Michael Meigs

I got up and cheered for the curtain call of A Year with Frog and Toad, and I happily accepted the invitation from director Michael McKelvey for audience members to mingle with the cast onstage afterwards. This musical was so appealing and well executed that it lured me out of the comfortable semi-anonymity of the audience to let these performers know how much I appreciated them. And, incidentally, to inquire whether we would be seeing them on Austin stages anytime soon.

Ryan Borses as Toad, Zach Dailey as Frog SummerStock AustinMichael McKelvey might well have stood up and cheered at audition time for this show, when he saw the two principals Zach Dailey and Ryan Borses do their stuff for the first time. Not only could they sing, dance and dialogue with the best of them, but they were the perfect somatypes for the two amphibian friends who since the 1970's have been entertaining us and luring youngsters into the adventure of reading. Zach as Frog is a broad-shouldered, rounded and thoughtful endomorph, and Ryan as Toad is the slim and energetic ectomorph, as lively as an animated Etch-A-Sketch character. It's a classic comic contrast. It works as well in Lobel's books and in this singing, dancing charmer as it did with Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: The Experiment, staged reading by Generic Ensemble Company at theVortex Repertory, August 11

Found on-line:

Generic Ensemble Company

presentskt shorb from

The Experiment

an in-progress reading of the work
written by Ana-Maurine Lara and kt shorb
featuring: Krysta Gonzales, Saray De Jesus Rosales, and Julianna Wright

Thursday, August 11 at 7 p.m.

What does it mean to be human? The imaginations and desires of Dolly the Cyborg and Lucy the Mutant come together in a laboratory ruled over by Dora the Attendant. The Experiment explores historical legacies of colonialism, world's fairs, and scientific inquiry by drawing from personalized stories of queer and racialized resistance. This staged reading will showcase an in-progress script written by co-founders of the critically acclaimed Stamp Lab, Ana-Maurine Lara and kt shorb.

Donations encouraged, but none turned away for lack of funds.

Just for Fun: Jim Meskimen Does Shakespeare in Celebrity Voices

Video via

Jim Meskimen promotes his Los Angeles performance by performing Clarence's speech from Richard III in the voices of a number of different celebrities, from George Clooney to Droopy Dog. He will do his JIMPRESSIONS show on July 29 & 30th at 8 pm. For tickets and info, visit

[Apple users: Can't see the video? Click to go to YouTube]

Internet Arts Writer Rainey Knudson on Prospects for Arts Journalism, NEA blog 'Art Works,' July 22

Article at Art Works, the NEA blog, via e-mail from You've Cott Mail (

Arts Works, NEA blog

CommentaryRainey Knudson is the founder and director of Glasstire, a website about visual art in Texas now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Photo by Everett Taasevigen.

50% of arts journalism jobs were lost in last 5-8 years. What's next?

Rainey Knudson, Founder of Texas visual arts website, at NEA Art Works blog, 7/22/11

In recent years, there's been a groundswell of recognition about the alarming state of arts journalism. Witness the current collaboration between the Knight Foundation and the NEA; or the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program; or the Warhol Foundation's Arts Writing Initiative. The sense of urgency has resulted in a bit more funding for some writers, which is a good start.

The truth is, if we can just crack the nut of paying great art critics a living wage, then the arts journalism of the near future has the potential to be radically more effective, with far greater reach, than the old print model that has crumbled around us. In their conversation on this blog, the NEA's Joan Shigekawa and the Knight Foundation's Dennis Scholl cite a study that found that 50% of local arts journalism jobs have been lost in the past five to eight years. It's a shocking number, but in addition to spurring us all to action, it should also politely beg the question of how vital those critics were if their jobs (and their papers) wilted so suddenly.

There's probably a reason that that brand of arts journalism is dying, and it's not solely that advertising dollars are migrating away from print.

Arts journalism in the heyday of the daily newspaper got concentrated in the hands of too few people. For some of them, the easiest route was to applaud every show they wrote about, or to only cover their small coterie of friends. Bloggers and web startups said, "We can make this more fun, more entertaining, more vital, for way less money." Now those bloggers and websites are playing an ever-more critical role in arts journalism, and they themselves have to figure out how to pay their writers. The nut's going to get cracked; we're all just figuring out exactly how.

- - You can read the transcript of the conversation between Shigekawa and Scholl here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stage Combat Classes with Toby Minor, August 8 - 29

Found on-line:

Austin Shakespeare

presentsToby Minor in Capital T's Spirits to Enforce

Stage combat classes with Toby Minor

August 8 - 29, Mondays, 7:45 pm - 9:15 pm

Toby Minor is a smart, talented and powerful instructor. Toby is certified SAFD (Society of American Fight Directors).

Email your payment to alex (at) Classes to be held at the beautiful CLEAR SPRING STUDIO just off South First St.(click for map)

Ages 13 and up to adult.

LIMITED -- secure your space NOW.

[image: Toby Minor as 'The Pleaser' in Capital T Theatre's Spirits to Enforce]

Statesman Profiles Financial Difficulties of Austin's Large Arts Organizations

In the edition of Sunday, July 24, Statesman arts editor Jeanne Claire van Ryzin outlines the rapid expansion since the 1990's of Austin's large arts organizations and the financial strains for many. (The Zach Theatre, Ballet Austin and the Austin Classical Guitar Society are in good shape.)

Zach Theatre Topfer Stage construction

Austin arts groups feel strains of growth

by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Since 2000, the annual price tag on the arts has mushroomed, challenging arts leaders to find more money each year to keep the cultural offerings in step with Austin's growing population. Top, Zach Theatre's Topfer Theatre construction site, where $18 million of the $22 million needed for the project has been raised. Bottom, AMOA and Arthouse, which are discussing a possible merger.

Read more at the Statesman on-line . . . .

Guitar society teaches how to expand wisely

by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Austin Classical Guitar Society classThough it doesn't rank among the largest Austin arts organizations, the Austin Classical Guitar Society serves as a remarkable example of the growth of the city's cultural character.

A decade ago, the society was an all-volunteer organization with a budget of $38,399. Now it's set to finish its current fiscal year with a professional staff and a budget of $515,000 — a whopping 1,241 percent growth rate financially. In terms of budget, the Austin group is now the largest classical guitar society in the country. And it's a fiscally sound organization, its leaders report, running in the black.

Read more at the Statesman on-line . . . .

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Upcoming: Red Hot Patriot (redux), the Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, Zach Theatre, August 4 - November 13

Found on-line:

Red Hot Patriot Molly Ivins Zach Theatre

Brought back

August 4 - November 13

Thursdays - Sundays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Zach Theatre Kleberg Stage

Written by MARGARET ENGEL and ALLISON ENGEL Barbara Chisholm as Molly Ivins (image: Kirk R. Tuck)



"Ordinary Americans are going to save us."
Molly Ivins

The unsinkable Molly Ivins, Austin's no-holds-barred newspaper columnist and best-selling author, is back to tell it like it is in a side-splittingly funny play. A true Texas original, Ivins was a sharp-tongued wit who skewered the "Lege" and the good ol' boys who ran it with her unforgettable humor and wisdom.

Written by twin journalist sisters, Margaret and Allison Engel, and starring The Austin Chronicle's Readers' Poll Favorite Actress Barbara Chisholm and directed by award-winning Broadway director David Esbjornson, Red Hot Patriot celebrates Molly's courage and tenacity – even when a complacent America wasn't listening — in a play that is nothing short of kick ass.

Features and Reviews from the run of January - March, 2011

Feature by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin in the Statesman, January 21

Feature by Neha Aziz for the Daily Texan, January 28

Review by Claire Carnavan for the Statesman's Austin360 "Seeing Things" blog, January 30

Review by webmaster, TheatreAustin, Yahoo groups, February 4

Upcoming: Discussion of Tennessee Williams at the Cactus Cafe, University of Texas, July 25

Found on-line at

Views & Brews Conversations at the Cactus Cafe: Tennessee Williams

Mon, Jul 25, 2011 Tennessee Williams

Doors: 5:30pm
Event Time: 6:00pm

KUT’s Views and Brews: Conversations at the Cactus Cafe talks Tennessee Williams this Monday evening at 6 and you’re invited join in on the discussion surrounding the life of America’s most influential 20th century playwright. Whether you love the theater or just great conversation we hope to see you Monday night at 6 as KUT’s Views and Brews talks Tennessee Williams. It’s free and open to the public and seating is limited so get there early.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Upcoming: Gone to Seed, a summer melodrama, Silver Spur Theatre, Salado, July 29 - August 27

eceived directly:

Silver Spur Theatre Salado

presentsGrainger Esche as Ranger Sam Houston 'Tex' Grainger (image: Silver Spur Theatre)

Gone to Seed -- or

The Fiendish Financier's Nefarious Food Factory Fiasco

July 29 - August 27

Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

108 Royal Street, Salado (click for map)

The seventh chapter in the Silver Spur Theater's annual melodrama series -- "Gone To Seed...or the Fiendish Financier's Nefarious Food Factory Fiasco" -- has the peaceful agrarian village of Salado facing a food crisis brought on by villainous Bartholomew B. Badseed.

The "melo" opens for a five-weekend run at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 29, complete with popcorn, pie-fights and pernicious ploys plus the locally-made "movieola" (silent film) and John Maverick magic.

Maverick, a well known magician from Austin, portrays the new agricultural agent Badseed. Can Ranger Grainger save Maezy Moonflower and the Salado citizenry from the peril that ensues? This and other questions are answered with a healthy dose of slapstick, song and satire plus the old-style movie in which many of the town's citizens and businesses speed the plot along.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: Hamlet, Austin Drama Club at the Off Center, August 19 - 28

Received directly:

will be producing Rob Novak as Hamlet (image: Austin Drama Club)


by William Shakespeare
August 19-21 & 26-28
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Sundays at 8 p.m.
at the Off Center 2211-A Hidalgo Street (click for map)
Tickets are $10

This is Austin Drama Club's sixth production of Hamlet. Founded by Japhy and Ellen Fernandes in 2006, ADC under the alias of "Velvet Rut Theatre" produced Hamlet in December of that same year . Since then, we've done versions with and without many of the familar charactors, but always with the same commitment to telling the story.

This production is performed with 8 actors, has a running time of one hour and a half with two intermissions. What's ground breaking about this production is the addition of extra late shows on Friday and Saturday nights, testing the endurance of 4 cast members over the age of 35.

Rob Novak returns for the second time in the title role. He was most recently in an award-winning production of Hamlet at the Scottish Rite Theatre. This show reunites Japhy with college acting partner Brian Potts, now owner of his own talent agency, in the role of Polonius. Ophelia is played by Elena Weinberg, who is currently in City Theatre's production of The Imaginary Invalid, and is the best actress to come out of the St Edwards theatre program in several years.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: Twelfth Night, EmilyAnn Theatre, Wimberley, July 25 - August 6

Found on-line:

EmilyAnn Theatre, Wimberley

Twelfth Night Emily Ann


Shakespeare Under the Stars

Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare

directed by Bridget Farias

Nightly at 8:15 p.m. from July 25 to August 6 except for Sunday, July 31

Twins separated in a shipwreck, unrequited and unexpected love, mischevious plotting, cross gartered hilarity, pirate swashbuckling, unmatchable wit, all set in a VICTORIAN STEAMPUNK Illyria!! Come join the EmilyAnn Theatre as Shakespeare Under the Stars students once again create and produce one of William Shakespeare's masterpieces on our beautiful outdoor amphitheatre stage, July 25-August 6 (performances nightly at 8:15pm, no Sunday performance).

Click here to purchase tickets!

Ongoing: The Drowsy Chaperone, musical, Vive Les Arts Theatre, Kileen, July 21 - August 7

UPDATE: Feature in the Killeen Daily Herald, July 21

Found on-line:

Vive les Arts

presentsThe Drowsy Chaperone

July 22-23 at 7 p.m.
July 29 - August 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Vive Les Arts Theatre
3401 South W.S. Young Drive - Killeen (click for map)

telephone (254) 526-9090 or purchase tickets on-line

A die-hard musical fan plays his favorite cast album, a 1928 smash hit called "The Drowsy Chaperone," and the show magically bursts to life. You'll be instantly immersed in the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast (literally) and the audience (metaphorically) soaring into the rafters.

Employment and Internship Openings at Zach Theatre

Found on-line at the Zach Theatre website:

Zach Theatre

Zach Theatre currently seeks qualified candidates for:

Click on job title to read full description at the Zach website.

Opportunity for Teaching, Theatre Action Project

Found on-line:

Theatre Action Project logo

Have a Direct Impact on Austin Area Youth: Join the Tap Team

by Patrick Torres, Middle School and High School Program Director

Theatre Action Project (TAP) is seeking artists to join us in helping students see the arts as a tool for social change! We are a team of professionally trained artists and educators that work in partnership with school communities to lead unique and engaging arts programs which allow young people to learn critical life skills, gain tools for creative expression and have successful experiences that build self-esteem and confidence.

We are currently seeking Teaching Artists for the 2011-2012 school year to work with Austin area youth in our TAP After School programming for grades pre-K – 1h.

Applicants must have professional artistic experience and demonstrate a genuine interest in arts education. Teaching Artists (TAs) at TAP must be highly creative, energetic, enthusiastic team players with experience in writing curriculum. All TAs are hired as part-time employees for the duration of the school year, August – June. TAs are expected to have general availability between the hours of 2:00 PM and 6:30 PM Monday – Friday, although specific schedules will be determined according to school placements. TAs must be available for training starting August 22.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in this position please email your CV or resume to no later than July 31, 2011.

If you love TAP, but don’t feel qualified to teach or just can’t find time in your busy schedule to work in our after school programs, YOU CAN STILL HELP, just:

  • Forward this notice to any one who you believe might make a good addition to our team.
  • Volunteer to help us get ready for the start of our fall programming.
  • Make a donation to us to ensure we can continue to bring high quality arts programming to the area’s youth!
  • Come to our events to see the work of our city’s talented youth!

Auditions for Three Viewings by Jeffrey Hatcher, Trinity Street Players, August 13

Found at

Trinity Street Players logoTrinity Street Players is presenting a unique theatre experience for the Halloween season. Jeffrey Hatcher's Three Viewings is fast-paced, and consists of three touching and darkly funny monologues set in a funeral parlor.
Tell Tale is the story of a quirky mortician with an unspoken passion. The Thief of Tears is about an attractive corpse robber with a shocking and painful secret. And in Thirteen Things about Ed Carpolotti, we meet an adorable and recently widowed matron whose horrific situation is rescued from beyond the grave.

The monologues are loosely related, but each role is a separate showcase opportunity for three committed actors:

Emil (30-55) – A mortician with a secret passion for a real estate broker who markets to the bereaved. He is a bit repressed and buttoned-down, and the passion threatens to undo him.

Mac (30-late 40’s) – The attractive, wise-cracking daughter of an upper-class family who steals jewelry from corpses as an occupation. We find out that a terrible secret is behind the obsession.

Virginia (Late 50’s or older) – A straight talking woman of character who has been left with a giant burden of corruption by her deceased husband. We see her innocence crumble as the story unfolds but her dignity and good-nature remain to the touching final moment.

The show runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, October 21-November 6

Trinity Street Players Blackbox Theatre, 4th floor, 901 Trinity Street (click for map)
Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m.
Callbacks Monday, August 15, 7pm
Actors are asked to bring a resume, headshot, and to prepare a 1-2 minute comic and/or dramatic monologue.

For additional information email director Bob Beare:

Auditions at Zach for roles in Spring Awakening, July 25

Found at

Zach Theatre

Spring Awakening Audition Notice

ZACH Theatre announces additional auditions for Spring Awakening for the roles of MELCHOIR and ADULT WOMEN.

Michael Baron, the Artistic Director at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, will be directing this Tony Award winning musical. The Musical Director will be Allen Robertson. Rehearsals begin on August, 22, 2011. The first performance is on September 24, 2011 with performances Tuesdays through Sundays. The final performance is on November 13, 2011.

Please be prepared to sing 16 to 32 bars of a song from Spring Awakening for the character for which you wish to audition. Please prepare the additional sides and music found at

Actors will be seen by appointment only. To submit your audition request, please send a headshot and resume to Selected actors for the role of MELCHOIR will be asked to audition in Austin on July 25th or in New York City the week of August 8th. Actors auditioning for the role of the ADULT WOMEN will be seen only at the local auditions in Austin on July 25th.

MELCHIOR: A handsome, radical, and headstrong student who is much more educated than his peers because he reads books. After getting Wendla pregnant, he is sent to reform school and keeps his will to live, despite the tragic deaths of Wendla and Moritz.

THE ADULT WOMEN (played by one woman):

FRAU BERGMAN: Wendla’s mother.
FRAULEIN KNUPPELDICK: the boys’ teacher.
FRAU GABOR: Melchior’s mother.

We are currently seeking non-AEA actors. We are particularly interested in actors with strong singing and dancing training and experience.


Tony Award-winning rock musical Spring Awakening follows a group of late nineteenth-century German adolescents on the road to adulthood as they squirm out of school uniforms and discover their own mysterious, throbbing sexuality. As sweetly naïve Wendla wonders where babies come from, her angst-riddled male counterparts, Melchior and Moritz, deal with their erotic dreams and the “bitch of living.” But when these rebellious teens begin acting on their desires, they quickly spiral into an all-too-adult world in which suicide, abortion, rape, and child abuse dominate. Will Melchior find salvation and hope for the future? Don’t miss this dark and impassioned musical.

ZACH Theatre

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Upon A Midnight Dreary, Last Act Theatre Company, July 14 - 23

Upon A Midnight Dreary Last Act Theatre Austin

Edgar Allan Poe is a deceptively attractive figure for theatre makers. We've all read with a delicious shiver his best-known short stories. His themes of death, madness and mystery are so very elemental that they have never gone out of style. The elaborate early 19th century style of his poetry may be a challenge, but the simple sardonics of his short stories, often in first person, appeal to our desire for intensity.

As long as you're doing your own adaptation or interpretation, you don't have any royalties to pay, either, since the dissolute Mr. Poe collapsed on the streets of Baltimore in 1849 and died shortly thereafter.

The newly established Last Act Theatre Company has a genesis typical of ambitious young theatre groups in Austin. Five of the six members of the board are theatre graduates of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. They got started in Austin last October with Theatre de Grand Guignol at the Hideout Theatre and they have announced three more works for 2011-2012: a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and original scripts by Gary Jaffe and by Bretton B. Holmes.

Read more at . . . .

Upcoming: The Cherry Orchard by Chekov, University of Texas, September 17 - 24

Received directly:

The University of Texas presents

The Cherry Orchard

by Anton Chekhov

directed by Brant Pope

Sept 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24 at 8 p.m. and Sept 18, 25 at 2 p.m.
Venue: Oscar G. Brockett Theatre; 300 East 23rd Street (click for map) Parking available at UT's San Jacinto garage
Tickets: 512 471-1444 or on-line at Texas Performing Arts

In The Cherry Orchard, the audience is introduced to a charming yet exasperating Russian family that does nothing to save their beloved estate. Both poignant and comical,the story is a literary feat only Chekhov could compose.

The Cherry Orchard showcases a cast of student talent, accompanied by Lauren Lane, from television’s
The Nanny, and most recently, ZACH Theatre’s production of August: Osage County.

Department of Theatre and Dance General Information: 512‐471-5793 or online

Arts Reporting: Robert Faires Interviews Departing Musical Theatre Director Michael McKelvey for the Austin Chronicle

Published in

Austin Chronicle logo

on July 21:Michael McKelvey (image: John Anderson for the Austin Chronicle)

Mr. Show Busy
Michael McKelvey's just a guy who cain't say no (to musicals)

by Robert Faires

You gotta figure that in Austin's arts community there must be a quintet of McKelvey brothers, all of them, like the sons of George Foreman, boasting the same first name (in this case, Michael). How else to explain the fact that at any given moment in a season you can have a Michael McKelvey directing a musical here, a Michael McKelvey music directing a musical there, one composing music for some play, another performing in a concert, and yet another conducting a choral program?

Well, as difficult as it may be to believe, no band of brothers is shouldering all these musical responsibilities, nor has Dr. McKelvey figured out a way to clone himself. He's doing all this all by his lonesome. An octuple threat (you can add educator and producer to his credit line of singer/actor/director/music director/composer/conductor), McKelvey has for years been making use of his copious talents in, I kid you not, dozens of projects per season, across the length and breadth of the community: St. Stephen's Episcopal School, St. Edward's University, Austin Playhouse, Austin Shakespeare, Zilker Theatre Productions, TexARTS, Penfold Theatre Company, his own Doctuh Mistuh Productions, and the youth theatre training program he co-founded with Ginger Morris, Summer Stock Austin.

This summer provides a classic case study in just how crazy busy McKelvey keeps himself. In June, he directed and music directed Penfold's charming chamber musical I Love You Because. He then directed and music directed the Zilker Summer Musical, Footloose, which opened July 8. Since then, he's been hard at work on the three Summer Stock musicals that open this week and the next: Urinetown: The Musical and A Year With Frog and Toad, both of which he's directing and music directing, and The Producers, which he's just music directing (unless, that is, you factor in that he's co-producing all three shows).

Click to read more, including the interview with Michael McKelvey, at the Austin Chronicle on-line. . . .

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Upcoming: Dos Pocitos by Raul Gaza, Teatrro Vivo at The Salvage Vanguard Theatre, August 18 - September 3

Found on-line:

Teatro Vivo

Dos Pocitos Raul Garza Teatro Vivo Austin Texas

Teatro Vivo presents

Dos Pocitos

by Raul Garza

Saints & Sinners in a Border Wasteland

August 18 - September 3, Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Salvage Vanguard Theatre, 2803 Manor Road (click for map)

Tickets: $15, $20, or $25; Thursdays are"Pay What you Wish" nights

Tickets will be available on-line at Brown Paper Tickets

It’s 2026 in “Texaco” – the ungoverned, lawless territory formerly known as South Texas. Here a few struggling residents remain, constantly embattled with drug cartels, military and occasional interlopers. With a nod to the past, and an eye to the future, Dos Pocitos is a comedy about this place, and the place it represents for all Latinos.

Click to read ALT report of the staged reading of Dos Pocitos at the Latino New Play Festival in APril

Upcoming: Hillcountry Underbelly Preview Party, Vortex Repertory Yard, July 27

Received directly from


(we'll also be introducing the new Paper Chairs joining the company).

Wednesday, July 27, 8:00pm-11:00pm - The VORTEX

What Will They Do Next is donating free whiskey for our drinking pleasure.

The Butterfly Bar will offer Happy Hour prices on drinks for the duration of the party.

We'll have local musicians jamming out BLUEGRASS tunes on the patio as well as a SNEAK PREVIEW of a few of Mark Stewart's original music from HILLCOUNTRY UNDERBELLY.

We'll also have cards, games, dominoes, merriment, projection things....

IT'LL BE FUN. promise.

$5 suggested donation.

See you there.

Auditions for Jeff Daniels' play 'Guest Artist,' Paradox Players, August 15

Received directly from

Paradox Players Austin Texas

AUDITIONS for 'Guest Artist' by Jeff Daniels
directed by Karen Jambon for Paradox Players
Aug 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Howson Hall at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover Ave. (click for map)

Auditioning for role of Harris, a 50-plus playwright who is convinced his best plays are behind him. He is cynical, articulate, and a dedicated drunk.

About 'Guest Artist': This comic drama examines the challenges encountered by all creative people getting started, becoming successful, staying hot. A cast of three men explores the tangled relationship of youthful dreams, the cynicism of age, and the imperative of artistic truth.

Scripts are available for checkout from the Paradox Players mailbox in the mailroom of the church, M-F, 9-4. Please contact us at if you need to make other arrangements for borrowing a script.

Rehearsals start Sept 6. Performance Dates October 14-30. For more info, check out

Auditions for Wait Until Dark, Hill Country Community Theatre, July 25

Received directly from

Hll Country Community Theatre

HCCT Casting Call Monday, July 25, for Wait Until Dark

Final auditions are scheduled for Monday, July 25, for Wait Until Dark, Hill Country Community Theatre's first production of its 2011-2012 season.

The cast for the dramatic thriller, which was a smash hit both on Broadway and as a movie, includes six men, one woman and one girl. The audition session is set for 7 p.m. and will be held at the theatre, which is located at 2003 W. FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores. (click for map)

Written by Frederick Knott, the play opened on Broadway in 1966 and was a produced as a movie starring Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in 1967. A Hitchcock-style thriller, the play probes which frightens more--the evil you can see coming, or the one you can't.

Directed by veteran actor/director Darrell W. Spencer, Ph.D., who recently moved to the Austin area from Nevada, HCCT's production of Wait Until Dark will open September 22 and run through October 2 with 7:30 p.m. performances Thursday through Saturday and 2:15 p.m. matinees on Sunday afternoons.

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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Footloose, Zilker Productions at Sheffield Hillside Theatre, Zilker Park, July 8 - August 13

Footloose Zilker Productions Austin Texas

by Michael Meigs

I attended Zilker Theatre Production's Footloose ten days ago on opening weekend, and I'm only just now writing it up. They've got a nice long run -- six weeks, four night a week -- and an Austin tradition of celebrating the summer that stretches back 53 years. Judging from the full parking lot and the large, cheerful crowd lounging on the slope above the Hillside Theatre, Zilker Productions doesn't need much help in selling the production, either. Except for the modest $3 parking fee that probably serves to renovate the Zilker lawn after the summer, the price is zero, nada, free admission for summer theatre entertainment of good quality under the moon and stars.

After all, in classic economic theory, as the price of a good approaches zero, demand approaches infinity. If you were really determined to do so, you could attend this show for nothing at all -- bicycling or walking in and not budging at the intermission when the energetic young cast bounds out to seek donations (suggested: $10 per blanket).

Plus, they will get their reviews. For last year's production of The Music Man, both Elizabeth Cobbe of the Austin Chronicle and Clare Carnavan of the Statesman wrote up the production about halfway through the run.

Male lead Andrew Cannata with his confident tenor, sure dancing and leading boy presence has an admiring following in Austin and will become even better known with this show. He and the core cast of teens rock and clown it up with the showy choreography of Danny Herman and Rocker Verastique. The live band led by Susan Finnigan rocks it out through the muscular sound system, initially from backstage and then later at stage center.

Read more at . . . .

Monday, July 18, 2011

Auditions for Gods and Idols, Punchkin Repertory, July 24

Received directly:

Punchkin Repertory Austin Texas

Punchkin Repertory Theatre is immediately casting for a staged reading of Gods and Idols, a new play by Austin playwright Jason Rainey. Roles available:

Harris - Early 30s. A writer, studious and disheveled

Man on Bike - Late 20s-30s. Sikh; wears turban, but otherwise modernly dressed

Miller - 50s or older. A left-wing minister, she is thoughtful but vigilant

Trista - Mid-20s or older. Rock star

Auditions will take place on Sunday, July 24th, 2-5pm at Austin Creative Alliance, 701 Tillery St. (click for map) Please email headshot and resume to with role you are interested in and available time. Visit for more info.

*Performance will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3rd.

Upcoming: Down the Drain by John Boulanger, Hyde Park Theatre, August 11 - 28

Found on-line:

Imagine That ProductionsDown The Drain John Boulanger Imagine That Productions

Imagine That

presents its latest production

Down the Drain

written and directed by A. John Boulanger

August 11 - 28, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd Street at Guadalupe (click for map)

Click to purchase tickets on-line ($15 and $20)

When an earthquake in China (coupled with a bottle of vodka) forces Teddy to his bathroom floor, he doesn’t think his life could sink any lower. And then it does.

After the successful premiere of House of Several Stories, Boulanger teams up again with Austin sweethearts Martin Burke and Meredith McCall for the development of a new play, Down the Drain. The cast also includes Breanna Stogner (seen in Boulanger’s A Writer’s Vision(s)) and Judd Farris. Costume design by Jillan Hanel; set design by Ia Enstera.

Upcoming: Macbeth the Musical Comedy and Shakespeare Unshackled, Sam Bass Youth Guild, Round Rock, July 22- August 13

Found on-line:

Sam Bass Community Theatre Youth Guild

presentsMacbeth the musical comedy and Shakespeare Unshackled

Macbeth the Musical Comedy

-- and --

Shakespeare Unshackled

July 22 - August 13

Thursday/Friday/Saturday shows at 8 pm; Sunday matinees at 2 pm

$10 Thursday shows; $13 student, senior and military and $15 adult for all other shows


600 Lee Street, Round Rock (click for map)

Buy tickets on-line

The SBCT Youth Guild proudly presents MacBeth the Musical and Shakespeare Unshackled. You've read the famous story of greed and gore in Scotland---but do you know the catchy tunes? And do you want a fun and funny musical introduction to the background of Shakespeare's plays? Hey, who doesn't?