Obligatory Intro

Welcome. New column. News. Increased arts coverage. Welcome input... Aw, geez, you've heard all this before. As much as I wish I had a new take on it, I don't, so let me just try to zip through it as swiftly as I can. This column is about the arts, which for us includes the performing, visual, and literary arts. Anything therein is ripe for coverage: an Edgar Award for a local mystery writer, a Ford grant for an area sculptor, a theatre opening, a gallery closing, a TV deal signed by a local comic. It'll cover entrances and exits, career moves good and bad, and honors, plus commentary: utterances to give definition to, to elucidate, movements in our cultural scene. Yes, I desire your input, your flow of info. Flood me with releases, drown me in calls. Share achievements, outrages, leads, gossip. Just don't give me grief about the name. Man, if I never have to title a column again....

AusTix Is Bookin'

Austin's half-price outlet for performing arts tickets has a new home, one which may give a big boost to this service and local arts. On October 16, AusTix opened a booth in-side BookPeople at Sixth & Lamar. This is AusTix's third location (after the Dougherty Arts Center and Austin Visitors Center) but its first in a high-traffic commercial spot. That means a new audience for the service, some impulse shoppers, more sales for AusTix, and bigger audiences for local arts groups. Betty Siegel, AusTix commander-in-chief, feels the move is meaningful. "We should clear between $200,000 and $400,000 for the producers this year. That's a big change. This year, we cleared about $150,000. The year before, we cleared $50,000. Producers are really excited about the potential to tap a new audience. They see the people who walk through the doors of BookPeople as people who should be walking through the doors of theatres."

Making the move possible: the Austin Circle of Theatres, which helped AusTix secure a $10,000 loan. "ACoT has stuck its neck out to make this happen," notes Siegel, "and BookPeople has been very generous." Check it out 11:30am-6:30pm, Mon-Sat.

Ciao, Chicago

The closing of Chicago House has been marked elsewhere, but we would be remiss if we failed to note this venue's importance in Austin's theatre scene in the past decade. The House enabled many smaller companies and solo artists to try out original and riskier material. Among the many notable shows: 70 Scenes of Halloween (an early effort by director Vicky Boone), Dennis Paddie's The Interview, Suzanne Chesshire's Greylines and Bushounds, Marco Perella's Tarot for a New Age, C.K. McFarland's Earth Angels, Jo Carol Pierce's Bad Girls Upset by the Truth, Jean Fogel Zee and Heloise Gold's More Divine Lunacy, Cafe Manhattan, The Cow Pattys, and more.

Peg Miller and Glynda Cox vow to carry on and have established a Chicago House Phoenix Fund through the Austin Circle of Theatres. Send contributions to: 1501 W. Fifth, 78703. Thanks, CH. n

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More Articulations
The Harry Ransom Center has acquired all the professional and personal materials of profoundly influential acting teacher Stella Adler

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

It's the end of an era for the city of Austin's Art in Public Places Program as Martha Peters, administrator of the program for 11 of its 18 years, departs to direct a public art program in Fort Worth.

Robert Faires, July 18, 2003

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