It's been a little over a year since a gaggle of playwrights (A scribble of playwrights? A draft of playwrights? An exeunt of playwrights?), well, since several playwrights in town got together and formed a new company devoted to nurturing, developing, and assisting in the production of new dramatic scripts. And now, Austin Script Works
, as they named the group, has a lot to show for their industrious first year: co-production of last year's Texas Young Playwrights Festival
, a professional development workshop with Dana Singer
, author of The Playwright's Handbook, and the world premiere production of American Arcana, by company core member Cyndi Williams
. Unfortunately, with its first-year triumphs, ASW also suffered a tragedy: the untimely death of co-founding member and first artistic director David Mark Cohen
. Cohen had been a vital force for new play development both in the community and through UT, and his passing was deeply felt. But ASW has persevered, and Executive Director Emily Cicchini
and Producing Director Christina J. Moore
recently announced that two company members have agreed to serve as co-artistic directors in the coming year. John Walch
, author of Craving Gravy, and Clay Nichols
, author of Among Thistles and The Roman Nose in Exile, will help lead the company through its sophomore year, which will focus on providing local playwrights with opportunities for support at all levels of the writing process. By the way, ASW is currently accepting applications for Core Members for the coming year. Members must submit a written sample of dramatic work and be prepared to volunteer for the organization and pay annual dues of $50. In return, they can take part in salon and staged readings and have their work considered for full stage productions. Deadline for applications is April 1. For more info, call 454-3264.
If you were intrigued by our recent feature story on Joseph Skibell and David Yeakle, you should know that Skibell will be in town this weekend to see Yeakle's production of his play Our Own Dear Anton's Abandoned Story Cycle. The James A. Michener Fellowship recipient will attend the Thursday, March 26 performance and after the show will answer questions about the play and his critically acclaimed novel A Blessing on the Moon. The play is performed at the John Henry Faulk Living Theatre, Fourth & Brazos, at 8pm. Call 454-TIXS for reservations.
Pro Arts Collective took its recent production of God's Trombones to Griggs Chapel Baptist Church in East Dallas this past Sunday, and director Boyd Vance reports that the company's performance of some of the great inspirational poetry of James Weldon Johnson "brought the audience in the quaint chapel to its feet." That's good news, but even better news - for Austinites, anyway - is that Pro Arts will be re-opening God's Trombones for five performances in May, all at the historic Victory Grill, 1104 E. 11th. For more info, call 474-4494, x2.
This week found Austin's Johnson/Long Dance Company on the road, too, this time paying a three-day visit to McLennan Community College in Waco. J/LDC has done a number of educational residencies before, but this one was a little out of the ordinary: It was through the college English Department's poetry fellowship program. The company focused on the integration of the written word and poetic text in dance.