Culture Flash!

Clowns picket Physical Plant, Mills takes the prize in Montreal, Steakley mixes up some 'Tuna' in Louisville, and Salvage Vanguard wants you to join their party

Culture Flash!

A flash mob of clowns? That's Carlos Treviño's story, and he's sticking to it. The co-creator (with Steve Moore) of the current Physical Plant Theater show Not Clown reports that just before last Saturday night's performance, approximately 30 folks in full greasepaint and fright wigs showed up outside the Off Center and began waving picket signs and chanting slogans along the lines of "Clown Power!" and "Clowns are people, too!" Treviño claims to have "no idea" who they were and that "they disappeared into their clown bus before we could ask," but someone conveniently had a camera on hand to capture the event. Coincidentally, this is the final week for Not Clown, with performances Thursday-Saturday, 8pm, and an extra show has been added Friday at 11pm. For reservations, call 275-6069.

Congratulations to Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills on winning the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur International Choreographic Competition in Montreal on Aug. 4. Mills was one of only three finalists selected to compete in this year's competition, held midway through the 10-day festival. Six Ballet Austin dancers took the stage to perform "One/The Body's Grace," the second act of Mills' 2003 ballet Touch, and afterward the competition's four judges – Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, dancer Andrea Boardman, and dance critics Linde Howe-Beck and Stéphanie Brody – and the audience bestowed on Mills the Steinberg award, the competition's big prize.

What Austin artistic director is set to mount an Austin-born play 850 miles from Austin? That would be Zachary Scott Theatre Center's Dave Steakley, who will spend October in Louisville, Ky., staging A Tuna Christmas for Actors Theatre of Louisville. Steakley is good friends with ATL Executive Director Marc Masterson, who previously imported Allen Robertson's original musical Jouét for a run at his playhouse. Now he's importing Steakley to give the theatre's Christmas cash cow – this will be the ninth year Tuna's been served at ATL – an infusion of fresh creativity, direct from the Lone Star State. The production runs Nov. 5-Jan. 2.

Joining the Labor Party doesn't always mean slogging through turgid debates about economic imperatives. When it comes to Salvage Vanguard Theater, it means a cash bar, silent auction, and sneak peeks at such envelope-pushing new dramatic work as C. Denby Swanson's The Death of a Cat and Graham Reynolds' opera Genghis Khan. It's just what it says: a party, but with the aim of raising funds to pay the artists creating SVT's upcoming productions. Join the fun on Sat., Aug. 28, 7:30pm, at ALLGO, 701 Tillery. There's no cover charge; just donate as you wish! For more information, call 474-SVT-6.

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Carlos Treviño, Steve Moore, Physical Plant Theater, Not Clown, Ballet Austin, Stephen Mills on, Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur International Choreographic Competition, One / The Body's Grace, Touch, Boston Ballet, Mikko Nissinen, Andrea Boardman, Linde Howe-Beck, Stéphanie Brody, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Dave Steakley, A Tuna Christmas, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Marc Masterson, Allen Robertson

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