"...Isaac thought he was leaving the war zone when he made it home from his three-year tour of duty in Afghanistan, but it turns out the young Marine on mortuary detail was just trading one battlefront for another. The instant he steps inside his family's old, worn suburban bungalow and gets a look at its current state – a cunning reveal in Capital T Theatre's staging, as the whole house rotates from exterior view to interior – Isaac is met with chaos: a living room and kitchen so trashed-out that it looks like it was raided by a marauding army..."
"...Thankfully, dramaturg Rebecca Worley does us a great service. Her program notes for Capital T Theatre's run aptly refer to the play as a "comedy of menace," a spot-on description of a spot-on production...."
"...If the incessant chatter of our perpetually plugged-in age makes that scenario hard to picture, let me direct you to Hyde Park Theatre, where Capital T Theatre's spare yet fully fleshed production of Song About Himself will conjure it for you, and vividly. In the play's hazy future, the internet has been broken and unpopulated for so long that the Web has degraded into the Weed, and people have grown so isolated from one another that their speech has devolved into mumbling..."
"...Capital T Theatre Artistic Director Mark Pickell is, pardon my ineloquence, one crafty sumbitch. Prior to opening the house for Year of the Rooster, he fills Hyde Park Theatre with haze, as not just an excellent and visceral mood-setting device, but also a clue as to how audiences might enhance their experience of Eric Dufault's captivating play, which at first glance appears a gritty, hilarious, and satisfying black comedy, doused from beak to talon in talent and testosterone..."
"...TrevorHyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/479-7529 www.capitalt.org Through June 18 Running time: 2 hr...."
"...Marie Antoinette is a curious animal – the play, the character, and the historical person. Known in textbooks as the selfish, materialistic French queen who lost her head in a revolution, she has returned to our collective awareness in recent years – most notably, the Sofia Coppola film – and also in this script from David Adjmi, produced now by Capital T Theatre...."
"...It takes place mostly in the basement of a Lutheran church in Cypress, Texas, and its characters are all participating in the life of the church. The play concerns itself largely with the internal struggles between right and wrong, but it's not so much about religion in Capital T Theatre's production..."
"...1) ZELL MILLER III In a year when extraordinary tensions made America's political landscape a battleground, no local theatre artist took to the front lines as often or urgently as Zell Miller III. In show after show, this writer/performer/director gave searing critiques of social injustice in blazing language and a hip-hop beat that matched his impassioned heart's..."
"...The biting script was charged with a wild theatrical energy by the rolling wall of Ia Ensterä's set and Yury Urnov's direction, and the performances, kicked off with sublime mime from Robert Matney, were to die for. 2) Refugia (UT Dept. of Theatre & Dance)..."
"...This past June, a Chicago theatre company became the focus of national attention when the Chicago Reader published a 12,000-word article detailing allegations of abuse, harassment, and unsafe working conditions at the company over a span of 20 years. Much of the response to the story naturally centered on Darrell W..."
"...1) Jason Liebrecht as Odysseus Rex in Year Of The Rooster (Capital T Theatre) Liebrecht killed as the drug-addled fighting cock. Also he spat on me, but I'm sure it was an accident...."
"...He's probably poring over a vast assortment of theatre blogs from around the world, but he might be on Twitter. If he is, he's either telling the more than 2,500 theatremakers who follow @TravisBedard about the best things he's read on those blogs or treating them to cranky, pithy bon mots framed as advice..."
"...1) THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART (National Theatre of Scotland/Texas Performing Arts) On a Bass Concert Hall stage transmuted into a Scottish pub, five exuberant performers spun a lively tall tale of a lovelorn academic getting trapped in Lucifer's B&B. The devilishly clever script and playful theatricality that made motorbikes of audience members and blizzards from shredded bar napkins were as intoxicating as a shot of Scotch – and gave me the warmest glow I felt in the theatre all year...."
"...1) 'SLIP RIVER' (UT Dept. of Theatre & Dance/Cohen New Works Festival) Spiriting its audience beneath the Payne Theatre, past clotheslines and through butcher-paper forests, feeding it cornbread muffins, and leaving it onstage in a festive dance party, this exhilaratingly theatrical mash-up of 19th century novels and modern pop – its orphan hero chases freedom along an "underground railroad" run by Beyoncé! – packed more imagination, adventure, and wit into half an hour than most plays do in three times that...."
"...To anyone who saw the Capital T Theatre production of Lisa D'Amour's Detroit at Hyde Park Theatre in 2014, The Realistic Joneses may provoke an acute case of déjà vu. In locale and structure, Will Eno's comic drama is a twin to D'Amour's, and the set for HPT's staging echoes that of Cap T's Detroit, with Cap T Artistic Director Mark Pickell providing for HPT Artistic Director Ken Webster's show what designer Ia Ensterä did for his months ago: the rear view of a quintessential suburban tract house, conjured with a surprising expansiveness for the minuscule stage here and rendered in such detail that you can almost smell its manicured lawn...."
"...[Because, like, what? Like the Spaghetti Warehouse itself isn't a national chain? And like you've actually eaten at a Capital Grille before cutting loose with your wannabe-snobbish snark? That must be the case, right? Because to do otherwise would be as ill-informed as lamenting Austin's loss of Tower Records without mentioning that building's former incarnation as the Varsity Theatre or its later incarnation as Intellectual Property. (Oh, hold on, you do that too, don't you?) How a person can graduate from a fine institution like St..."
"...It was, Harry Houdini told the assembled supporters of the Paramount Theatre, a great pleasure to be back on its stage after a 99-year absence, to celebrate the centenary of Austin's greatest stage: an anniversary year that will see a calendar of free events and the return of both Lyle Lovett and a lost gem to the building...."
"...The past decade has seen more than 50 theatre companies spring from the fertile soil of our creative capital, most of them launching with the same dream: to produce plays in their own stage space somewhere in Central Austin. Most, certainly, but not all..."
"...When the Zachary Scott Theatre Center went hunting for a new managing director to replace Ann Ciccolella, it undertook a search from coast to coast. But wouldn't you know it? The ideal candidate turned out to be right in its own back yard..."
"...Artists differ among themselves on answers to these questions. In 2002, Salvage Vanguard Theatre's motto, a mini-manifesto, was "No starving artists!" Says the theatre's director, Jason Neulander, "It's ridiculous that in Austin people can't make a living doing art..."
"...On Sunday, Jan. 24, while more than 16 million viewers were getting their first look at Walter Skinner in more than seven years, the actor who's played that redoubtable FBI assistant director since The X-Files' first season back in 1994 was languishing in the ninth circle of theatre hell..."
"...There's that Vanity Fairy with a closing reception for her "Live Fast, Die Cute" photography show at Salvage Vanguard – after which, you could hang around and check out Lashonda Lester's Weird! True Hollywood Tales or Breaking String Theatre's Dulcey and Roxy at City Hall in the same venue...."
"...While the ol' Dessau Music Hall gets a face-lift just north of Austin, a new live music venue, the East First Garden Theatre, has recently been born into the heart of the capital's downtown. And if it doesn't make a name for itself as a place where such foot-stompin' music as James Cotton, Terrance Simien, and Toni Price flourishes, it won't be for lack of looks...."
"...Those are great films, highly impactful, and they're meaningful for the time period that they were developed for. When I sat in that theatre after 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station, we were glued to the seats long after the movie had ended, because we were just so shell-shocked," explains Lewis..."
"...Gag Reflex local incarnation of a Windy City sketch troupe founded by suburban Chicago theatre veteran Dale Roe with journalist Joe Stafford; stages original revues of songs and sketches..."
"...And he won't appeal to conservatives because if you're gonna throw the switch in Texas, you must believe in Jesus. But please y'all, keep sending him your money; this is good theatre, and I want to see some more of it...."
"...Now, knowing firsthand how many tasks typically need attending to on the average Tuesday-before-a-Thursday-opening, I find it hard to imagine a director with a minute free for anything not directly affecting the show at hand, much less an hour for a little kaffeeklatsch with the press. And it isn't as if the director's beret is the only hat Pickell is wearing for this imminent production of There Is a Happiness That Morning Is; as artistic director for Capital T Theatre, he also has on the producer's cap, and, because he knows a thing or two about how a set works and how one should be lit, he's sporting the designer's cap, to boot..."
"...There Is a Happiness That Morning IsHyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/479-7529 www.capitalt.org Through Nov..."
"...The stresses and strains felt by this quartet bleeds through virtually every moment of Capital T Theatre's production. Ben and Mary are ostensibly the more stable pair, being a little older and settled in their home, but Jason Phelps and Rebecca Robinson let us see the fault lines in their psyches right away, every broach of awkward topic or public admission of a private matter causing faces to tighten or backs to stiffen..."
"...But for an up-close tutorial, head to the Off Center, where you may currently observe a pack live and in the wild. Now, that zoological descriptor isn't meant to be patronizing toward the band of teens in DNA, the dark comedy receiving its local premiere from Capital T Theatre..."
"...Capital T Theatre had a reason to crow at the Austin Critics Table Awards ceremony on Monday, winning three awards for its staging of the dark cockfighting comedy Year of the Rooster, but the night was just as exxx-cellent for the Mary Moody Northen Theatre's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play and Vortex Repertory Company's Terminus, both of which also received a trio of prizes from the association of area arts scribes at its 24th presentation of honors...."
"...Three years ago, we were asking, "Where in the world is Detroit?" It was then the drama of that title was hopscotching about the globe in noteworthy productions (Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, Royal National Theatre in London, Playwrights Horizons in New York City), racking up critical acclaim and significant honors for both play and playwright Lisa D'Amour: short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award for Best New American Play, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist, co-recipient of the Steinberg Playwright Award. Since D'Amour honed her dramaturgical skills in our town in the late Nineties and early Aughties (The Shape of Air, 16 Spells to Charm the Beast, Nita & Zita, Anna Bella Eema, Slabber, Dress Me Blue/Window Me Sky), we were especially eager to see Detroit in Austin...."
"...Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/479-7529 www.capitalt.org Through Nov..."
"...After poring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2015, and April 30, 2016, the members of the Austin Critics Table have agreed on the most outstanding work in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre in the past year and announced the nominees for the 2016 Critics Table Awards...."
"..."I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged."..."
"...After poring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014, the members of the Austin Critics Table have agreed on the most outstanding work in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre in the past year and announced the nominees for the 2014 Critics Table Awards...."
"...Cox is the focus of a recent story in the Chicago Reader titled "At Profiles Theatre the drama – and abuse – is real." The feature by Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt is an exhaustive exposé – more than 12,000 words – detailing allegations of two decades' worth of misconduct by the Chicago theatre company, including verbal, physical, and psychological abuse of company members and other artists; sexual harassment and misconduct; unsafe fight choreography; the creation of fictitious female directors to create the appearance of diversity; and a cultlike atmosphere led by Cox. In numerous firsthand accounts from men and women – mostly women – who experienced these abuses, the article crafts a portrait of Cox as a man drawn to a specific type of intense, emotionally and physically violent theatrical work that, in his mind, let him indulge his darkest desires in the name of artistic authenticity...."
"...After poring over the hundreds of stage productions, concerts, and art exhibitions mounted locally between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015, the members of the Austin Critics Table have agreed on the most outstanding work in dance, classical music, visual art, and theatre in the past year and announced the nominees for the 2015 Critics Table Awards...."
"...The "bitin' pains" – that's now how I'll think of our local theatre awards after hearing their title mangled by the 2014 ceremony's maladroit hosts, a pair of white-faced clowns from the land of stinky cheese. Unable to wrap their Gallic mouths around the name B..."
"...Ashes, Ashes (UT Department of Theatre & Dance)..."
"...Ashes, Ashes (UT Department of Theatre & Dance)..."
"...The concept is hugely ambitious, as are most of Maher's plays, and ultimately it's not something that parses in the way of most theatre. Under Mark Pickell's direction, Capital T's production seems about as clear as a staging of a script like this can be..."
"...For the 19th year, an informal affiliation of local arts critics has recognized the year's most exceptional achievements in dance, classical music, the visual arts, and theatre. The nominations for these awards, covering the period from May 3, 2010, to April 30, 2011, were assembled by the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes (arts), Cate Blouke (theatre), Claire Canavan (theatre), Luke Quinton (classical music/visual arts), Claire Spera (dance), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts) and the Chronicle's Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre), Jonelle Seitz (dance), Avimaan Syam (theatre), and Robert Faires (arts)...."
"...The Pain and the ItchHyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 479-7529 www.capitalt.org Through Nov..."
"...Be careful what you ask for. At last year's RAT Conference in Seattle, where artists from independent theatres throughout the U.S..."
"...1) 'BLACK WATCH' (Texas Performing Arts) The National Theatre of Scotland used every weapon in theatre's arsenal – language, movement, light, sound, costume, theatricality – to put us in the boots of Scottish soldiers in Iraq, and the unforgettable images and sublime stagecraft brought home all the pride, anger, pain, and loyalty of those brave men...."
"...Jill Schroeder of grayDUCK Gallery was almost overcome with emotion in accepting the Gallery, Body of Work award, but on collecting herself, the transplanted Minnesotan cracked up the crowd by recalling how strange this place felt upon arriving here "from up north, where people didn't talk to each other in grocery checkout lines," they just "did their own shit." Very soon, though, she came to appreciate the friendliness and support that came with all that chat, all over the city but especially in the arts community. Nick Mayo, director of She Loves Me, the Mary Moody Northen Theatre production that was one of two shows honored this year with the outstanding musical prize, echoed Schroeder in acknowledging the warmth and support he's received as a newcomer to the city and how it's fueled his work with the students at St..."
"...1) Joked with my editor that the first nine slots of this list would repeat 'THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS' (Capital T Theatre). That brilliant Mickle Maher comedy, about the consequences of two William Blake-enamored professors engaging in glorious copulation on the campus lawn in view of their students, was by far the best thing I experienced in a year thick with superlative works of art..."
"...Summer 1988: My then-boyfriend Ken Webster directed me in Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, a brilliant, shattering, weirdly hilarious play about two screwed-up families and the catastrophically screwed-up marriage that binds them. The first production of our Subterranean Theatre Company, it was a sellout hit and a watershed role for me: The show won several B..."
"...Transcendent. Theatre at its absolute best..."