But Is it ART? Finally, Yes
Duggan noted that the company has been in the works much longer than a few months. "I moved to Austin seven years ago," he said on Monday, "and six years and 11 months ago, I met with Coleman Jennings, chairman of the theatre department" about the company. He also met with Jennings' successor, Sharon Vasquez, Vasquez's successor, Isaackes, and various other arts professionals Performing Arts Center director Pebbles Wadsworth and Programming Director Neil Barclay, head of the theatre department directing program Michael Bloom, former College of Fine Arts Dean David Deming, current Acting College of Fine Arts dean Charles Roeckle, and the Paramount's Paul Beutel before the deal came through. Finally, this spring, all approvals were secured, and contracts were signed.
ART has yet to hire an artistic director or a producing director those will be sought and hired once the Board of Trustees is in place but Duggan is proceeding with the company's inaugural season, and announced the first two projects. The first is bound to generate a buzz for ART, as it is the world premiere of another never-produced play by a young Tennessee Williams. The title is Spring Storm,and like Williams' Not About Nightingales, which was rediscovered by Vanessa Redgrave and staged to great acclaim in London, Houston, and New York, it was written for a new play contest in the late Thirties, was rejected, and has been gathering dust in Williams' archives in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center for decades. According to Bloom, who will direct the ART premiere, it is closer in spirit to the Williams of The Glass Menagerie and Summer and Smoke than Nightingales is. He describes finding it as like "finding a watercolor by an artist who was to be a great oil painter later." The play will run November 4-21 at the B. Iden Payne Theatre. Then, in February, ART will mount a new production of Master Class, by Terrence McNally. More details next time.