RIP Troupe Texas

One of the city's finest theatre companies, Troupe Texas, is no more. An October 20 letter from the group's board and staff notes the demise, citing "artistic differences" and diverging career paths among members as contributing factors. The troupe was created by playwright Harley Erdman, director Skyler Hampton, and composer Mike Warner when they produced The Incomparable Doña Ana for UT's At-Random Theatre. The company staged three Erdman plays -- The Outcast In, Galloping By Gaslight, and Great Big Yonder -- then the founders began to drift apart. A second team of creators led the company through two more shows: the group effort Torque and the Brecht adaptation The Chalk Circle. The latter was voted B. Iden Payne awards for "Outstanding Production of a Drama," "Outstanding Featured Actress in a Drama," and "Outstanding Choreography" in September. The company will be missed for its populist sensibility, bold physicality, and unwavering commitment to theatrical vision.

Getting Seen

The work of visual artist Kelly Steinke is getting around this year. It's been accepted in three national juried exhibitions: Newform '95 at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin; Visual Arts Alliance at NationsBank Center in Houston; and Personal Visions III at An Art Place, Inc., Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. In August, Steinke was also artist-in-residence at Holden Village in Chelan, Washington... Actor Angee Hughes (Tent Meeting, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean) left town a year and a half ago, but now she can be seen almost daily in Austin on the new PBS children's series Wishbone. The show revolves around a wiseacre canine who imagines himself into literary classics; Hughes is a neighbor of the pup's owners.

Tapestry Wins Hines

It took them four years, but they got him, they being Deirdre Strand and Acia Gray of Tapestry Dance Company, him being tap whiz Gregory Hines. When Hines came to town in 1990, Gray approached the dancer about making a connection with Tapestry. Now, in conjunction with his appearance for the Paramount Theatre's 80th anniversary gala, Nov 11, Hines will lead a Master Class in Advanced Rhythm Tap for the Austin troupe. The Paramount's co-sponsoring the class, for which Hines (class act that he is) is donating his services. Participation is limited to company members, alumni, and select members of the local dance community.

W&TW Sets Up Shop

Women & Their Work is a sturdy presence in Austin's arts community -- it's been on the scene since 1978 -- but that doesn't make it static. The organization is adding something new next week: a gift shop in its gallery. In W&TW style, the shop itself is a work of art, designed by Diane Carter. Proceeds from shop item sales will fund W&TW programs, including educational outreach programs. The shop opens with a big celebrity T-shirt auction, November 9. Call 477-1064 for info.n

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