Austin Lyric Opera hires a new managing director, Horton Foote's The Carpetbagger's Children is named best new play by America's theatre critics, and half-price tickets are back at BookPeople.
New Manager for ALO
Opera lovers, take note: Some of the heat is off Joe. That would be Joseph McClain, general director of Austin Lyric Opera for lo, these many years, shouldering the burdening of leadership alone. That was one thing 15 years ago when the company operated with an annual budget of $430,000, but now that ALO runs on $5 million a year, with new headquarters and a community music school, managing the show is considerably more complicated. Well, now ALO has a managing director to share the load. The Board of Trustees has hired Michael G. Murphy for that spot. Mr. Murphy comes from Southern California, where he's spent the past 10 years as director of administration at San Diego Opera.
A Prize for Foote's 'Children'
Texas was front and center at the Actors Theatre of Louisville last Saturday, April 6, when the American Theatre Critics Association handed out the 2002 American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award at the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. A drama about Texas, written by a Texan and first staged in Texas won the prize, and it was given out by a Texan. Being honored was The Carpetbagger's Children, by Lone Star favorite son Horton Foote . The play, about three sisters remembering their father, a Union Army soldier who moved to Texas after the war, premiered in June, 2001 at Houston's Alley Theatre. Making the presentation to Foote, which included a $15,000 prize, was current critics association president Michael Barnes of the Austin American-Statesman. Two other plays received $5,000 awards: Jeffrey Sweet's The Action Against Sol Schumann, about a family coming to grips with shocking charges brought against their patriarch, and Murray Mednick's Joe and Betty, about a poor Jewish couple and their family in the Catskills in the 1950s. Three more plays had been selected as finalists for the award: The Dew Point by Neena Beber, Jerusalem by Seth Greenland, and Chagrin Falls by Mia McCullough.
Tix, Boox Team Up Again
As of last Thursday, April 4, half-priced theatre tickets are back at BookPeople. AusTIX has re-opened a ticket booth at the popular bookstore on Sixth and Lamar. Now, Thursdays through Saturdays, noon-6pm, you can purchase bargain admissions to performing arts events around town. This is AusTIX's third booth; the others are located at the Austin Circle of Theatres offices, 4402 Burnet Road, and the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Second and San Jacinto.