RATs A-Comin'

Austin will indeed host some gathering of independent theatre companies and artists in August. Seventeen people attended a meeting at Hyde Park Theatre on February 3 to discuss the idea and their conclusion was, "Let's do it!" Playwright Erik Ehn, a seminal force in developing a network of regional alternative theatres -- aka RAT -- suggested that, instead of a traditional conference, the event be an exploration of ways of working, with perhaps open rehearsals by some attending groups. Austinites are needed to provide hospitality, in the form of transportation, meals, beds, etc., for out-of-towners. Salvage Vanguard Theater artistic director Jason Neulander agreed to be point man for contacts. Try him at salvage@mail.eden.com or 912-0331.


Serious Comedy

With this week's official Grand Opening of the Capitol City Comedy Club (the club has been open under the CCCC name since December), owners Colleen Buchanan and Bruce Barshop have plenty to sling champagne over: successfully revamping the Laff Stop; booking A-list comic Jeff Cesario to headline, even tapping Mayor Bruce Todd to "throw out the first joke" (albeit via video). But word arrives that they've cause to uncork yet another bottle: They've added a new club to what is a rapidly growing stand-up empire: The Tulsa Comedy Club. Cheers!


Symposium Rescheduled

If you were worried that last week's snow and ice made you miss Setting Our Agenda: A Symposium for African-American Theatre Artists and Their Allies, worry no more. The Progressive Arts Collective postponed it because of the weather. The event has been rescheduled for Saturday, February 23, at the Austin Community College Rio Grande campus, 1212 Rio Grande. Call 447-5343 for info.


Worthwhile Causes

On Saturday, February 10, La Peña gets to the heart of the matter with its Valentine's auction of small wooden hearts decorated by U.S. and Mexican artists, including Amado Peña, Isabel Allende, and Tish Hinojosa. A preview of the works begins at 4pm ($10); the auction is 6-8pm (free), at the Reynolds-Penland Building, 721 Congress. Proceeds benefit La Peña. Call 477-6007 for info... Georgetown's Palace Theater marks its 70th birthday with a week of special events: screenings of Wings (Sat, Feb 10) and An Affair to Remember (Wed, Feb 14), concerts by the Southwestern University Jazz Ensemble (Mon, Feb 12) and area country bands (Fri, Feb 16), and The Palace Theater of the Air, a live version of a Forties radio broadcast, with Karen Rush Hill in Sorry, Wrong Number, comedy, and ads. The fun winds up Saturday, February 17, with a Big Band Ball on a Casablanca theme. All proceeds benefit the Palace. For more info, call 512/863-3658.

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PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765 or e-mail to: onstage@auschron.com

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

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

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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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