Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year's Message from Austin Playhouse

Received directly from Lara Toner and the Austin Playhouse:

Cast and Crew for The Lion in Winter (image: Austin Playhouse)

Austin Playhouse

Dear Friends,

2011 was an incredible year for Austin Playhouse. We opened the year with one of our biggest hits, Oscar Wilde's classic comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. We followed that success with an intimate production of Proof, Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor, and the musical Stop the World I want to get off! Rick Roemer, seen first as Lady Bracknell in Earnest, led the Stop the World cast as Littlechap; a double-take that highlighted the depth of talent and versatility throughout our wonderful Acting Company.

And then, at the end of May, our company packed up our Penn Field space to embark on a truly amazing adventure. After a Summer full of contract negotiations and fundraising endeavors, we finalized a permit for a temporary location at the Mueller redevelopment. On October 18 our temporary building arrived. For one month, Producing Artistic Director Don Toner and a crew of dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to create a theatre in a field. On November 18 we opened our acclaimed production of The Lion in Winter.

Our first audiences were true pioneers. We are so grateful to everyone who came with the spirit of adventure and supported us during this time. While there was so much to celebrate about the temporary space, we still faced many unexpected challenges. We eventually mastered temperature regulation and by closing weekend the space heaters were effective and fairly quiet! We learned that a de-humidifier was necessary even when it wasn't raining outside in order to keep condensation from becoming overwhelming inside the tent. And we learned that the gas gauge on our generator was almost entirely unreliable. We learned so much and are excited about making your next visit to our temporary home even better.

In 2012 we will break ground on our new home. Our permanent facility will house Austin Playhouse as well as providing much-needed space for other arts organizations and outreach programs. This will be an incredible achievement and we could not get there without your support. Along the way, we'll continue producing the theatre you love. Our next production is the fast-paced comedy Boeing, Boeing. In March, we will produce a world-premiere adaptation of E.M. Forster's beloved story, A Room With A View, and we will follow that with the classic comedy, Born Yesterday. We look forward to all our adventures in 2012 and know that together we can Build this Dream.

Happy New Year and our best wishes for a 2012 filled with laughter and adventure!

with admiration and love,

the Austin Playhouse family

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