Critix Pix

The Austin Theatre Critics' Table is at it again. The gang of reviewers has come up with its seventh list of nominations for excellence on local stages. The full list is available for perusal, but I wanted to offer a brief recap here for those of you whose eyes can't decipher the microscopic type. Fifty productions earned nominations, the most favored being the Zachary Scott Theatre Center productions of The Who's Tommy (11 nominations) and Angels in America: Part Two, Perestroika (10 nominations), and Austin Musical Theatre's production of Gypsy (10 nominations). Reflecting the wealth of local shows with uniformly strong casts, the critics added a new category: Ensemble, citing the work of the companies in Alaskan Heat Blue Dot, Crucks, Another Evening With Dottie P., A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Hey-Stop-That, and The Wars of the Roses. Also new are several categories that don't have anything to do with theatre! With several Table members also covering other disciplines, the group decided to recognize dance, classical music, and visual art, too. Those nominations appear alongside the theatre nominations, and awards in those fields will be handed out at the Table's awards ceremony in early June.

Script Works Signals

A hand to Austin Script Works, that home for dramatic writers, which presents its second annual festival of staged readings by core members this weekend. Script Works Ahead will feature readings of six plays-in-progress and will inaugurate the State Theater's new Classroom Studios. Call 454-9727 for more info.

Allow us at this time to bid a belated adieu to ASW's former executive director. Emily Ball Cicchini, who held that post for the company its first couple of years and who resigned last month in order to pursue more creative projects (like Alaskan Heat Blue Dot, no doubt, in which she was terrific). ASW's co-artistic directors John Walch and Clay Nichols will distribute the exec's duties, with Christina J. Moore helping out. Meanwhile, Cicchini -- who will remain a core member of ASW -- is having her play Becoming Brontë (a Critics' Table winner in 1995) read by the Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas. Kitchen Dog is one of several theatres taking part in an alliance called the National Play Network, and the reading is part of a national festival of new plays by that alliance.

Don't Forget to Write

Fond farewells also to local theatre scene regulars Holly Hepp and Sharron Bower. Hepp, head of Zach Scott's Performing Arts School and founder of the Playspace program there, as well as a memorable performer in the record-breaking hit Shear Madness, leaves the theatre this week to head to New York. Bower, an actress of uncommon strength and grace, whose performance in Misalliance was a highlight of the past year and who just completed another great job in AMT's Fiddler on the Roof, also heads for NYC (with new spouse and fellow AMT alum Mark Greene) to break into that theatre scene there. Best wishes to both.

On Founding PD

Michelle Polgar took time out from new-mom duties to jog our memory on The Public Domain's founding referred to here last week. In addition to her and hubbie Robi Polgar, the founders included Ken Westerman, Robert Wagner, Christian Dauer, and Michael Camenisch. Our apologies for the omission.

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More Articulations
The Harry Ransom Center has acquired all the professional and personal materials of profoundly influential acting teacher Stella Adler

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

It's the end of an era for the city of Austin's Art in Public Places Program as Martha Peters, administrator of the program for 11 of its 18 years, departs to direct a public art program in Fort Worth.

Robert Faires, July 18, 2003


Zachary Scott Theatre Center, The Who's Tommy, Angels In America: Part Two, Perestroika, Gypsy, Script Works Ahead, Emily Ball Cicchini, John Walch, Clay Nichols, Christina J. Moore, Kitchen Dog Theatre, National Play Network, Holly Hepp, Zachary Scott Performing Arts School, Playspace, Shear Madness, Sharron Bower, Mark Greene, Misalliance, Fiddler On The Roof

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