You know theatre: Somebody comes onstage, somebody goes off. It's that way with theatre companies, too -- always people coming and going. This week, no local company is more mindful of that than Frontera@Hyde Park Theatre
, which is welcoming a new company member with one hand and waving goodbye to a company member with the other. The person who's leaving is F@HPT literary manager Megan Monaghan
, who joined the company in 1995 and served as dramaturg and performer for its productions of Silence, Cunning, Exile
and Enfants Perdus
, as director for its production of David's Redhaired Death
, and, in an action above and beyond the call of duty, took over a key role in Frontera's production of the David Hancock
play Deviant Craft
with less than 24 hours' notice when an actress in the cast had to withdraw for medical reasons. Now, with creative opportunities like that
, you may well wonder what could draw her away from cozy little Hyde Park. She has taken the position of Director of Playwrights' Services at the Playwrights' Center
in Minneapolis. If that job or institution sounds familiar, it's because a number of playwrights who have had work produced in Austin during the last few years have been affiliated with the center, such as Lisa D'Amour(The Shape of Air)
, Erik Ehn(Enfants Perdus)
, David Hancock (Race of the Ark Tattoo)
, Sherry Kramer(David's Redhaired Death)
, and Frontera artistic associate Daniel Alexander Jones(Blood: Shock:Boogie)
. And Monaghan's predecessor in the job, Elissa Adams
, appeared in Jones' 1997 FronteraFest piece ambient love rites
and in Deviant Craft
. (As we've noted before, some weird theatrical bond exists between Austin and Minneapolis.) Frontera artistic director Vicky Boone
says, "We are all so incredibly happy for Megan and will miss her like crazy. Of course, Frontera has such a close professional relationship with The Playwrights' Center that I feel sure our collaboration with Megan will continue to be very active!" The company will throw a going-away party for Monaghan Saturday, December 19, 8pm, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd.
Arriving on the heels of Monaghan's departure is -- at last -- a new managing director. The company has been in the market for one for over a year, pretty much since Eva Paloheimo left the company for parts west. Despite its rep for dynamic new theatre, Frontera just couldn't find the right person for the job. Until now, that is. Her name is Teresa Dowell-Vest, and she hails from Charlottesville, VA. She holds a Master's in Arts Administration from California State University at Long Beach and has worked at California Repertory Theatre in Long Beach and Danny Glover's Robey Theatre in Los Angeles. Alas, she won't be able to join the company physically until March 1, but that has not dampened the mood at F@HPT. Boone says, "We're all over the top with excitement!"
One more thing Frontera is over the top with is goodies for the holidays. The company has assembled all kinds of art and collectibles -- like woodcuts by Marc Baseman, watercolor by Tommy Thompson, folk art from Mexico and Thailand, monotypes by Katherine Venturelli and Barbara Hegendorf, and much more -- to auction off for the benefit of Frontera Commissions, the company's new play development program. You can bid on any or all of the items at Frontera's end-of-season fiesta on Sunday, December 13, 4pm, at the theatre, 511 W. 43rd. Music by the Golden Arm Trio and Farm Team, light refreshments, and wine by Club DeVille. For more info, call 302-4933, x1.