Pat Jasper gets a Valentine's tribute for her years at Texas Folklife Resources, and playwrights John Walch and Paullette MacDougal enjoy a couple of out of town openings.
We Heart Pat
This ought to be a memorable Valentine's Day for Pat Jasper. The co-founder of Texas Folklife Resources, who just retired from that organization after 17 years at the helm, will have a love-fest thrown in her honor by the staff and board of TFR. They will celebrate Jasper's guidance and leadership and vision, which not only helped this small nonprofit trying to promote and preserve folk arts in the Lone Star State grow into a national leader in the field but brought a broad new audience to traditional arts in danger of dying out. "I think she single-handedly revived interest in accordion music," says TFR Interim Director Susan Morehead, who has called Jasper "the most astute programmer I have ever known." That's the kind of testimonial one can expect at the party for Jasper, which will be held, fittingly, in the TFR building, 1317 S. Congress, after a TFR event, the "Lone Star Love Songs" concert featuring Peter Rowan, Rick Trevino, Tish Hinojosa, the Bells of Joy, Michael Fracasso, Libbi Bosworth, Malford Milligan, and Mark Rubin's Yiddish Ensemble.
Jasper considers her work at TFR a labor of love -- albeit a labor that, after 17 years, she was willing to turn loose. "Honestly, I've been unbelievably lucky to do the work I wanted to do," she says. "I never had children, so it might not be too far off to 'feminize' the experience by saying that TFR was my baby. And now it feels like time for Baby to go to college. I look forward to seeing how she fares. I am convinced that new leadership, vision, and energy will only augment the wonderful work we have been able to do over the years."
"Lone Star Love Songs" takes place Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress). The show starts at 7:30pm with a pre-curtain talk by Richard A. Holland on "Love Songs, Anti Love Songs, Texas Lyricism, and Humor," with the concert beginning at 8pm. For more info, call 469-SHOW or TFR at 441-9255.
Out of Town Openings
John Walch (The Dinosaur Within) takes another step closer to securing that "Austin's busiest playwright" title this week with the opening of his Circumference of a Squirrel at Urban Stages, 259 W. 30th, in New York next Tuesday, Feb. 12. The show continues through March 17. For more info, visit www.urbanstages.org or call 877/737-3285. By the way, Walch has just been notified that he will receive a commission from Manhattan Theatre Club as their Sloan Foundation Fellow for 2002. The commission is for a new play that has something to do with science and/or technology.
Paullette MacDougal ("Julie's Burglar"/"Bloomingdale's Elephant.") has a musical The Littlest Big Kid, about American children during World War II, being produced by the Family Playhouse in La Crosse, Wis., this week and next. The show opened Wednesday and runs through Feb. 16 at the Pump House, 119 King. Call 608/785-1434.