The Austin Chronicle

Paynes on Parade

September 27, 1996, Arts

Call it "The Night of Lady Day." When the Austin Circle of Theatres (ACoT) handed out the trophies at the 22nd B. Iden Payne Awards ceremony on Sunday, the big winner was Capitol City Playhouse's production of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. This fictional re-creation of a Billie Holliday gig scored five awards, one in Design (Costumes -- Leslie Bonnell) and four in the Musical category (Outstanding Production of a Musical; Director -- Jim Fritzler; Lead Actress -- Ernestine Jackson; and Featured Actor -- Clem Moorman). The multiple win provided a big emotional boost for Cap City, which is being forced out of its space on Fourth Street. In accepting one of the awards, Playhouse founder and Managing and Artistic Director Michel Jaroschy announced that his theatre would continue and that he and his board of directors were close to making a bid on a new space. The Zachary Scott Theatre Center productions of Born Yesterday and The Sisters Rosensweig took three prizes apiece, including Outstanding Production of a Comedy (Sisters) and Director of a Comedy (Alice Wilson, who was nominated for both shows, for Born Yesterday). African Delight by Houston's Express Theatre, the only other show to win three awards, won Outstanding Children's Theatre Production and Director of Children's Theatre (Y. A. Bagersh). The Outstanding Production of a Drama and Director of a Drama prizes went to the Hopeful Monsters/Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre co-production The Bacchae -- Torn to Pieces and that show's director, Susan Fenichell. The remaining 14 awards were distributed among nine other productions. The evening also featured ACoT's special recognition of John Aielli and the The Austin Chronicle for their support of local theatre, and notices of appreciation to Tivoli Systems, The Dell Foundation, Charles Duggan, and John Bustin. For more info, call ACoT at 499-8388.

NEA Convenes in SA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is coming to San Antonio next week to find out more about how the arts transform communities. It's part of a nationwide NEA initiative titled American Canvas, the purpose of which is to hold regional forums where citizens and members of the arts community, education, business, government, civic and consumer groups, and religious organizations can discuss more successful and innovative ways to integrate the arts into a community's life. NEA Chair Jane Alexander will be heading to the Alamo City -- one of only six sites chosen for American Canvas confabs -- to lead the forum, How Can the Arts Improve the Quality of Life in America's Communities? The forum will take place next Wednesday, October 2, 10am-3pm, at the Majestic Theatre, 230 E. Houston. The forum is free, but anyone who is interested in attending should register with the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Cultural Affairs by calling 210/222-2787.

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