Rogue Performance Venue: Paradise lost
James Cotton thought he'd found an ideal spot for his new theatre, but he may be forced to leave over conflicts with a neighboring rehearsal studio for bands
The natural consequence of putting a theatre next door to a rehearsal studio for bands? Maybe, but in this case, Cotton thought he'd taken care of the issue. After encountering the sound conflict in Rogue's first show, Bars, Bedrooms, Bukowski, he met with representatives of Black Rose Studios and Dimension Properties (landlord for both businesses in a complex south of Penn Field) to work out some kind of living arrangement. He says a deal was struck: He'd have to tolerate band noise whenever Rogue wasn't having a public performance or workshop, in exchange for which bands would refrain from practicing during Rogue shows and workshops. Although the sound bleed made play rehearsals "a disaster," according to one participant, Rogue plugged on, confident that at least the performances would be quiet. But the bands played on.
Cotton claims that neither the studio nor the property manager offered to enforce the agreement after that, even though Black Rose's lease prohibits excessive noise that disturbs neighbors. (Dimension Properties had not responded to requests for comment by press time.) But Rogue also appears not to have been in compliance with all the city's requirements for operating a theatre and was busted by the fire marshal when a band anonymously called in a complaint. So Cotton canceled not only his second show but the remainder of Rogue's debut season and will likely move on. But the director, who just moved here from California this past summer, swears this experience hasn't soured him on Austin. "There are too many talented and supportive and generous artists that give Austin its true character," he says.
"They are why I love this city."
See also "TCB."