Theatre Town Meeting

Would you like to have a bunch of RATs invade Austin this August? That's RATs as in Regional Alternative Theatres, or Raggedy Ass Theatres, or Raving Anarchic Thespians, or whatever you call the national network of artists and independent theatre companies that's been building over the past two years and gathering in conferences in Iowa and Seattle. (See the Chronicle, Oct. 13, 1995.) Well, they're talking about convening in our town this year, and some of the Austinites with RAT affiliations want local theatre artists and supporters to be able to hear more about what a RAT Conference is and to have a say in planning a possible shindig here. For this purpose, Vicky Boone of Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre and Jason Neulander of Salvage Vanguard Theater are hosting a Theatre Town Meeting February 3, 3:30pm, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd. Everyone in the performing arts community -- artistic directors, actors, audience members, et al. -- is welcome. Erik Ehn, author of The Saint Plays and Anarchy in the Oklahoma Kingdom, and the man who got the RAT ball rolling, will be in town to take part in Frontera Fest, and he'll be on hand. Get the skinny as soon as you can. Those RATs are wily.

Ehn Justifies the Means?

Speaking of Ehn, this is the first of several trips the playwright will be making to Austin in 1996, not only because of the potential RAT gathering in August but because he's been engaged by Frontera@Hyde Park to develop a new play with them for production this fall. One wonders when he'll find time to talk to the F@HP gang about it this weekend, however. In addition to his Friday and Saturday night performances in Frontera Fest and his appearance at the Theatre Town Meeting on Saturday afternoon, Ehn will be reading from his work at Book People, Sixth and Lamar, on Sunday at 2pm.

Worthwhile Causes

On February 4, at 6pm, Beehive divas Judy Arnold and Andra Mitrovich lead the "Red-Hot Benefit and Amazing Graze" for the Zachary Scott Theatre Center at the fancy new Schlotzsky's Deli and Bread Alone Bakery in the Zach's back yard. The fundraiser includes a concert by these Soul Sisters (whose concert revue opens the night previous on the ZSTC Kleberg Stage) and a spread of pizzas, sandwiches, soups, breads, pies, and sweet treats. Tickets are $35 couple/$20 single. Call 476-0541 for information... On February 7, at 7:30pm, the Teenage Parent Council of Austin, Inc. will host "An Evening of Oscar Wilde" to benefit its programs addressing adolescent pregnancy in Travis County. The event includes a performance of Wilde's masterwork The Importance of Being Earnest, as produced by Live Oak Theatre, and a reception following. Tickets are $20, $30, and $40. For information, call 837-6197.

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