Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zach's Hard-Hat Tour of the Topfer Theatre: An Actor's Impression by Ann Pittman

Austin Live Theatre profile

by Ann Pittman

Last month I received an email from Michael Meigs at Austin Live Theater asking if I would like to tour Zachary Scott’s new Topfer theater.

 “Yes please!”

Zach Hardhat Ann PittmanA few weeks later, I found myself dressed in a bright orange mesh vest and hard-hat aptly labeled, ZACH.
Yes, I instagramed it.

Accompanied by a group of about forty other similarly dressed spectators, we headed through the barriers to the construction site.

Michael had asked me to be a guest writer at Austin Live Theater for this hard hat tour because he wanted an actor’s perspective on the building.

 An actor’s perspective.

 Okay, so that means I can’t talk about how brilliant it is that the front entrance of the theater faces the river and Zach’s other two theaters (as opposed to Lamar and downtown Austin) thus creating an open courtyard for patrons (or any ol’ Leslie running Town Lake) to gather in before shows.

 But, I can talk about the Juliet Balcony that overlooks the campus!  An hour before curtain, actors will perform on it and two other balconies famous “balcony” scenes including Romeo and Juliet (duh), Cyrano de Bergerac (get out your latex!) and Evita (hey Dave, I know this amazing woman who could help you out with that one).  In addition, Zach will commission local writers like Suzan-Lori Parks to write short balcony scenes to be performed pre-show.  (Scriptworks – take note!  Let’s get some John Boulanger, Manuel Zarate, Lowell Bartholemew, Christina Moore, or Trey Deason in on that balcony action!).

The courtyard will definitely offer a unique twist on the Austin live theater scene where both patrons and people enjoying Town Lake can encounter free, quality theater in the beautiful outdoors.  And with rotating casts who will perform the various vignettes each night, this is a great opportunity for more local actors to be seen onstage - scratch that - on the balcony at Zach.

Speaking of stages, I’m fast-forwarding through the lobby, past the bar and lounge, through the 430 seat audience, over the full pit and onto the stage.

Click to read more at . . .

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