Ailing actor Douglas Taylor is on the mend, actors Babs George and Lowell Bartholomee get the recognition they deserve (from the Payne Awards), and choreographer Deborah Hay wants you to spend the weekend with her.
A few weeks ago, we reported that local actor Douglas Taylor was in the hospital following a heart attack and emergency bypass surgery. We're pleased to report now that the 39-year-old performer is back home and recuperating nicely. He's even been out to the theatre in the interim, a sure sign that Taylor is on the mend. We couldn't be happier about that and are pleased to be able to publish this message from him to you.
An Open Letter to the Austin Theatre Community, My Friends, My Family, Station #9 Shift C of the Austin Fire Department and All the Other Emergency Medical Service Personnel, and the Doctors and Nurses of Seton Hospital
These two little words seem too small and insignificant to express the overwhelming feeling of gratitude that at this moment pours from my humbled and medically improved heart. Each of you, those I've known for years, those I've met only once, and those I have yet to meet, have impacted my life in ways too numerous to account in these few paragraphs.
I remember very little of the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th of September (which may not be a bad thing). What I do know is each and every one of you were there, not only for me, but also for my mother Glynis, my sister Robyn, and her family.
I can never repay you for the time spent locating my family on that fateful day, the food brought to them as they sat in the waiting room, the accommodations given to them at no cost. Thanks also for the flowers, gifts, and healthy food brought to me, the fund set up to help defray expenses while I recover, and most importantly, the love and prayers showered on me everyday. As I said, I can never repay you; however, I'll never stop trying.
May God bless each of you as He has blessed me.
As noted in the initial report about his hospitalization, Taylor was in rehearsal for the Salvage Vanguard Theater production of Tilt Angel, a new play by Dan Dietz, at the time of his attack. Obviously, he was unable to continue with the show, but actor Robert Pierson, one of the shining lights in the Rude Mechanicals' Lipstick Traces, graciously stepped into the role and Tilt Angel will open this Thursday, October 18, at the Off Center. Taylor's friends have been collecting donations to help with Taylor's medical bills, rent, and living expenses during his recovery -- the Rudes even gave a special performance of their hit Big Love as a benefit for the ailing actor -- but the collection effort continues. Cash and checks (made payable either to Taylor or Cyndi Williams) can still be left at contribution boxes at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Austin Lyric Opera, The Off Center, Hyde Park Theatre, and other venues around the city, or may be mailed to: The Doug Taylor Fund, c/o Cyndi Williams, 507 E. Mary, Austin, TX 78704. To contact Williams, call 443-3188 or write her at Skeletono@aol.com.
Payne Pleasures Omission
In reporting the winners of this year's B. Iden Payne Awards ("Articulations," September 28,2001), I inadvertently failed to recognize a couple of outstanding achievements: the honorees in the categories of Featured Actor & Actress in a Comedy. My apologies to Lowell Bartholomee, who won for his hysterical turn as Flute/Thisbe in the Austin Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Babs George, who won for her funny and true portrayals of Ben, Kate, and Jackey in the State Theater Company's Anton in Show Business.
Deborah Hay is back in town and wants you to spend the weekend with her. The pioneering choreographer is holding Immensity at Work, a retreat at the Dancing Waters Inn in Wimberley from Friday evening, October 26, until noon Sunday, October 28. During those three days, Hay will help you "break free of assumptions about your body and movement, and see how movement can engage you in a spectacularly nonlinear dialogue with life." Dance experience not required (or particularly relevant) for this retreat. "I imagine and hope that people will understand that the following three priorities will be honored: you want to notice the intelligence of your body, you are open to receive nonlinear feedback from your whole body, and you are willing to laugh at yourself," says Hay. It's your only opportunity to study with Hay in Austin this fall/winter. She's off touring Europe from January through March. For info, call 707-2512 or e-mail Deborahhay@aol.com.