A major change in direction for Teatro Humanidad.
Garcia Crow Leaves Teatro
As noted in the introduction to this week's Arts section, 1999 was nothing if not a year of dramatic upheavals in Austin arts organizations. Well, 2000 lost no time in establishing itself as a year of like temperament. Before the sun had even set on the first day of the new year, an artistic director for a local company submitted her resignation. Monday, January 3 brought a press release from the Latino arts company Teatro Humanidad stating that artistic director Amparo Garcia Crow had resigned that position effective January 1, 2000.
Talk about surprises; the move comes only months after Garcia Crow accepted the post, succeeding artistic director Rodney Garza. Moreover, the one major show she had staged during her brief tenure -- a new production of her drama Under a Western Sky at the State -- was compelling theatre, a sign of real promise for the company under her direction. But don't file this change under Disgruntled Artist Leaves in a Snit or Huffy Board Asks Director to Step Down; this decision had much more to do with economics and conservation of energy than creative temperament. Garcia Crow, who has taught for the UT Department of Theatre & Dance in the past, was offered a full-time, tenure-track position on the faculty starting this spring. Now, as much she might have liked teaching and directing her own arts company, at this time in her life, with a new baby and less energy than she had the first time she was a mom some years ago, Garcia Crow felt she couldn't do both. So she accepted the UT job and gave up the one at Teatro Humanidad.
But she isn't leaving the company behind, Garcia Crow insists. She promises to continue working with the group and, in fact, she'll be in a Teatro Humandidad production in just a few weeks. As part of the new FronteraFest Long Fringe (which presents full-length productions as opposed to the 25-minute shows for which the fest is famous), Teatro is producing both the Arthur Schnitzler play La Ronde and The Blue Room, the David Hare riff on La Ronde. Garcia Crow will star in The Blue Room (alongside a certain Bhagarit Crow) for five performances at The Off Center. For exact dates and times, see the oh-so-nifty guide to FronteraFest elsewhere in this issue.
A significant dance item that shouldn't get lost in the "Let's Get This New Millennium Off on the Right Foot" hustle: The regional platform for the Recontres Choreographiques Internationale de Seine-St.-Denis, one of the world's most renowned international choreographic competitions, will be held in Austin next week. This is one of only three platforms -- think semifinal rounds -- being held in the U.S., and four local choreographers will be competing: José Luis Bustamante of Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks (which is hosting the regional platform here), Andrew Long and Darla Johnson of Johnson/Long Dance Company, and Stephen Mills, the Ballet Austin associate artistic director who was a finalist in the Recontres Choreographiques last year. The platform features two nights of performance, Jan. 12 and 13, 8pm, at McCullough Theatre on the UT campus. Admission is $15.
In addition, a roundtable discussion with the choreographers will be held January 13, 10am, in Rm. 2.112 of the Winship Theatre & Dance Bldg. The roundtable is free, and the public is invited. For more info, call 458-8158.