Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?

The Artists' Recent and Upcoming Projects

Karen Maness

This summer, with support from the Performing Arts Center and the UT College of Fine Arts, Maness returned to the Florence Academy of Art to study anatomy and figure painting. (Two years ago, Maness studied landscape painting and academic drawing at the FAA.)

This fall, Maness will be building the set for the UT Opera Theatre production of Don Giovanni, which features a 12-foot sculpture of a man in armor. The rest of the fall, Maness will be building productions for the UT Department of Theatre & Dance and teaching independent study courses in scene painting. In the spring of 2004, Maness plans to exhibit some of her landscapes and figurative painting and drawing.

Leilah Stewart

Since March, Stewart has designed the sets for Another Dead Soldier at UT's David Mark Cohen New Works Festival, Something Someone Someplace Else at Hyde Park Theatre, and Henry V by the Austin Shakespeare Festival at Austin Playhouse. She then traveled to India and hiked to the source of the Ganges in the Himalayas. More currently, she's working on a show with Rick Garcia at St. Andrew's, as well as collaborating with the design team of the Rude Mechs' How Late It Was, How Late. In November, Stewart will leave Austin to teach at a New Delhi school until March 2004.

Lisa Byrd

Byrd recently produced a spoken word CD, Amniotic/Flow, featuring renowned local writers Sharon Bridgforth and Sonja Perryman. In July, along with Pro Arts Collective, Byrd co-produced the Seventh Annual African American Festival of Dance at the State Theater. In October, Ballet Austin opens its season with a version of Taming of the Shrew co-commissioned by the Kennedy Center; Byrd will supervise its design and build.

Susan Tsu

This summer, Tsu's costume designs and those of her students were exhibited at the 2003 Prague Quadrennial, internationally known as the "Olympics of Design." An article about this exhibit appears in the September issue of American Theatre magazine.

After 12 years running the costume design program at UT, Tsu has left Austin to join the drama department at Carnegie Mellon University, teaching costume design with Paul Tazewell. In 2004, she will design the costumes for King Lear at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Jennifer Rogers

Rogers has been one busy designer this year, with her lighting design company Light Bastard Amber having worked on iron belly muses' final production, Pains of Youth; Moving Voices' This Vivid Life; Ariel Dance Theatre's Shoulder to Shoulder; Refraction Arts' workshop production of Orange; Tongue and Groove Theatre's Eggheads; Austin Script Works' Sitting Room Only; Mainline Theater Project's Jesus Hopped the "A" Train; and Flawed, part of Refraction Arts' Naked Theatre series. Light Bastard Amber's work will appear throughout the upcoming season at the Blue Theater, as well as in other venues around town.

Ann Marie Gordon

Gordon has been deep within the Vortex for the past several months, designing and building sets for The Scarlet Letter and Black Tower, among other projects. She also headed up set design for the Vortex's annual Summer Youth Theatre production (an adaptation of the 12th-century Sufi poem, The Conference of the Birds), providing leadership to the local young adults who assisted with the set's construction. Gordon's designs have garnered two B. Iden Payne Award nominations this year (The Scarlet Letter and The Conference of the Birds). Gordon expects to be busy designing and building sets for most of the Vortex's productions in the coming year.
  • More of the Story

  • Sisters Under the Scrim

    Six of the finest theatrical artists in Austin discuss their work behind the curtain designing lighting schemes, mixing sound, and creating and constructing sets and costumes and how their careers have been affected by the fact that they're women.

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