McMillin Hits the Frontier

With the departure of Eva Paloheimo as managing director, Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre has suffered a loss of inestimable experience and devotion to that company's home space and the local theatre community. But while Paloheimo is irreplaceable in her own right, Frontera certainly won't be hurting for experience or devotion to Austin theatre when her successor joins the company. That's because Frontera has tapped Bill McMillin to act as the company's Business Manager, a new post created out of the managing director's position. McMillin has been on the scene for more than 20 years, during which time he earned a bachelors degree in Theatre Arts Management from St. Edward's University, stage managed numerous shows, eventually becoming an Equity stage manager, served eight years on the Board of Directors of the Austin Circle of Theatres (three as Board president), directed 10 editions of the Society of Professional Journalists' annual Gridiron Show, and formed his own stage company, Critical Mass Productions, which has mounted acclaimed productions of Hedda Gabler and The Birthday Party in the past couple of seasons. In 1993, he was honored with the B. Iden Payne Award for his outstanding contributions to Austin theatre. McMillin is one of those folks who is quick to act when he sees a problem that needs solving. He stands to be an exciting addition to one of the most exciting theatre companies in town.

Seasons in the Sun

Among the Austin performing arts companies which have announced their seasons for 1997-98 is one with more than the usual reason to crow about the work it has in store: Sharir Dance Company is marking its 15th season in the coming year, and it's using the occasion to reflect on its accomplishments. The opening concert in mid-November will feature selected works, past and present, by company co-artistic director José Luis Bustamante. It hosts the Bagnolet International Choreographers' Gathering on December 9. In February, the company reprises one of its hit works of this past season, Court 6, Bustamante's site-specific dance staged in a UT racquetball court. The season concludes in May with a concert of selected works, past and present, by company founder and co-artistic director Yacov Sharir. For more info, call 458-8158.

Off the Desk

Austin Access Arts provides another of its Audio Described Performances, in which trained volunteers provide descriptions of plays to patrons wearing headsets tuned to a specific FM frequency, Saturday, August 9, at 8:30pm. This one is for the Zilker Summer Musical production of Guys and Dolls at the Zilker Hillside Theatre in Zilker Park. The production is free, but headsets must be reserved in advance. Call 454-9912 for info.

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