FronteraFest 2007: The lowdown

Now that you've met a few of the players, it's time to figure out what to go see and when. This year's Short Fringe – the traditional showcase of performances 25 minutes or less – runs Jan. 16 through Feb. 17, Tuesday-Saturday, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd. As always, the Saturday program will be the Best of the Week, culled from works presented that Tuesday through Friday, and the fifth week will feature pieces deemed Best of the Fest. Each Wednesday will feature a piece commissioned by Austin Script Works: "Radio Ghosts," by Greg Romero (Jan. 17); "Like Meat Love Salt," by Adrienne Dawes (Jan. 24); "Brand Loyalty," by Max Langert (Jan. 31); and "Ohio Trip," by Elizabeth Cobbe (Feb. 7).

The 2007 Long Fringe has added a venue: In addition to the Blue Theater, 916 Springdale, works can be seen at the new City Theatre, 3823 Airport. Nineteen full-length productions will be staged Jan. 23 to Feb. 4. Plus, there's Mi Casa Es Su Teatro, a host of original works performed in homes around Austin on Saturday, Feb. 10. Tickets are $3 per show and will be sold at the door on a cash-only basis. For information, call 479-PLAY, the FronteraFest hotline at 236-7511, or visit

Short Fringe at Hyde Park Theatre

Tuesday, Jan. 16

"A Genuine Plea to My Insides," by Kelli Bland. A dialogue between the writer/performer and her body.

"Happy Town, Happy People," by Don Fried. How stable is the happiness of an Eastern European village?

"Anniversary Special," by Bree Perlman. All's fair in love and war.

"Bliss," by Steven Paul Laing. Brechtian alienation techniques assault bourgeois notions of happiness.

"Riverview Ritz," by Candyce Rusk. Inside the lives of the employees of Chicago's Riverside Park, circa 1949.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

"La Mexicana Love Life," by Jennifer Salazar. Tales of past and present Mexicanas in love.

"Pieces and Parts," by Anne K. Gourley. Characters ask: Are we more than just a series of experiences?

"Luna Tart Died (of a Broken Heart)," by Laura Freeman. One woman, one ukulele, one long spiral into despair.

"Elektra," by Will Snider. Short preview of Gobotrick Theatre Company's Long Fringe production.

"Radio Ghosts," by Greg Romero. Multilayered work combining live performance and recorded sound (Austin Script Works Commission).

Thursday, Jan. 18

My Name Is Art
"My Name Is Art"

"The Rubric," by Cris Edwards. There's an algorithm here.

"A Modern Day Duel," by Marc Frost. A tragicomedy.

"Yellow Line," by Meg Haley. Inside the cars and minds of nine people who pass one another in traffic one day.

"Mama's Boy Magnet," by Anna Maria Garcia. A Freudian miniopera about getting dumped.

"My Name Is Art," by Peter Snoad (the Vestige Group). A plumber and an architect debate the merits of an installation of Styrofoam boxes. Is it art?

Friday, Jan. 19

"Thanks for the Add, Love Tom: A MySpace Monoblog," by Joanna Ebz & Matt Dy. MySpace guru Tom Anderson deletes himself from the Internet.

"The Dangers of Tobacco," by Anton Chekhov, translated by Paul Schmidt. A man. His advice. Static.

"Today I Am Happy," by Cristina Merelli. A monologue performed by Marisa Varela of SONAV Productions.

"Living Underwater," by David Hendler. Poems exploring Jewish-American identity.

"Life Sentences," by Drema Albin. The agony and ecstasy of adolescence spills from a junior high diary.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Best of the Week

Tuesday, Jan. 23


"Parachute," by Tom Coiner. Two guys fall out of a plane, one trying to kill himself, one without a working chute.

"Spinning the Bottle," by Krissi Reeves. Bizarre love poems and existential anthems for cynical romantics.

"Rivals," by Hoover's Blanket. Sketch-comedy group explores humans' insatiable need for personal conflict.

"Passion Club," by Carolyn and Charley Devany. Comedic drama.

"Having It Out With Frank O'Hara," by Liz Jones. The author revisits her love affair with the charismatic Frank O'Hara – who died 20 years before she was born.

Wednesday, Jan. 24

Chanteuse, Act I, scene one: "New Talent," by Louise Richardson. In 1959, two young women from Texas go to Greenwich Village to become folk singers.

"Like Meat Love Salt," by Adrienne Dawes. Story of a transgendered youth and hir mentally retarded cousin facing love and loss (Austin Script Works Commission).

"Dating Big Poppa," by Eirik Ott. Performance poet Big Poppa E selects three audience members to interview for the purpose of asking one out on a real, live date.

"Rabid Eye Movement," by Kelley Estes. Caution: Never leave the Red Pillow unattended.

"Bigly Huge (Hugely Big)," by Jeremy Lamb. One-man play fully improvised from audience suggestions.

Thursday, Jan. 25

"Honey in the Heart," by Patricia Fiske. A theatrical memoir celebrating the poet's 80th birthday.

Parallelogramophonograph. Improv troupe creates a fully improvised miniplay from an audience suggestion.

"Bastille Dreams," by Clair LaVaye. A play about the Marquis de Sade.

"Time," by Austin Poetry Slam. A spoken-word performance in four voices, directed by Mike Henry.

"Austin in Denial," by Stuart Hersh. Journey back in Austin history to the visit of John Shillady and other events that shape the place we call home.

Friday, Jan. 26

"______, the Musical!," by Girls Girls Girls. All-female improv troupe performs a fully improvised musical.

"Island Below Sea Level," by Rebecca Raphael. Poetry and dramatic narrative about the author's experiences of her native New Orleans, before and after Katrina.

"Vertigo Ramp," by Craig Kotfas and Ted Rutherford. Austin improvisers take the form to dizzying heights.

"Jo & Joanne's Yoga Infomercial," by Katherine Tanney and Sissy Siero. Best friends who discovered yoga on a Cruise to Nowhere bring it to Bloomfield, N.J.

"The Earth Is a Fluid," by Sharon Sparlin. Modern dance, geometry, and Greek gods, all rolled into one.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Best of the Week

Tuesday, Jan. 30

"Bemuddled," featuring Logan Lark, Lindsay Auten, and Cathy Justice. Farcical hodgepodge of scenes pointing out the madness inherent in everyday human existence.


"Summer People," by Jenny Connell. Story of a summer on the Maine coast.

"Twenty and Change: Work in Progress," by Zack Gonzales. Lara and Deneen are living together, which may be more than Deneen bargained for.

"Islands Out of Time," by Lorene Stilwell. The author recalls life on a small island off the coast of Scotland.

Wednesday, Jan. 31

"Ice Cream on the Best Day of My Life," by Sarah E. Harris. Fantastical within real, ordinary within dream.

"Brand Loyalty," by Max Langert. Mundane focus group is visited by a mysterious stranger who knows too much about them (Austin Script Works Commission).

Improv for Evil. Improv troupe creates a fully improvised 22-minute story.

"Huff: Some Poems," by David Jewell. David Jewell reads poems by Albert Huffstickler.

"Pardon Me, Do You Have the Time?" by David K. Fried. An old man stops two executives with intriguing stories.

Thursday, Feb. 1

Noon Sermon on a Shady Sunday
"Noon Sermon on a Shady Sunday"

"Ben Prager," by Ben Prager. Character monologues written and performed by Ben Prager.

"Noon Sermon on a Shady Sunday," by Misty Valenta, Elizabeth Krieg, Linda Leseman. A dance-and-poetry-inclined congregation responds to a Sunday sermon.

"Mistero Buffo," by Dario Fo. Excerpts from the Nobel Prize winner's modern take on the Passion plays.

"The Electric Bill." Improvised musical featuring Bill Stern and the Available Cupholders on keyboard.

"Department of Angels," by Schave & Reilly. A physical-comedy piece about angels in the workplace.

Friday, Feb. 2

"Buddha an' Ma Da," by Anne Donovan, adapted by Lorella Loftus. One-woman comedy in which a Glasgow decorator is visited by three lamas from Tibet.

The Frank Mills. Character-driven, emotionally based slice-of-life play in one act, completely improvised.

"The Wussy Boy Manifesto III: In 3-D!!," by Eirik Ott. Performance poet Big Poppa E skewers pop culture and explores the beautiful agony of relationships.

"St. Anthony," by Sean Tribe. A shattering tale of romance, mental illness, and the path to sainthood.

"Debutante," by Laryssa Husiak. The collision of several generations of debutantes.

Saturday, Feb. 3

Best of the Week

Tuesday, Feb. 6

"A Special Live Taping of The Freddy Argyle Show!," by Loaded Gun Theory. Talk-show host brings his unique brand of "investigative interviewing" to FronteraFest.

"The Tale of the Song Bird," by Rocky Hopson. A story from Cowgirl Mary and her Old West puppet show.

"The Argument of Seven Years," by Wade Williams. Two-person play about a couple's long-term argument.

"Sisters of the Sea: A Pirate Musical," by Rain Nox. Love, loot, laughs, and a life of adventure with a man-hating captain and her fearless crew.

"This Whirlpool," by Alex Barron. God seems to have it in for Aaron. And Aaron is pretty sure he knows why.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

"Voices," by Allan Baker. Conversation among members of a family, residents of a Palo Pinto County cemetery.

"Disconnection, in Seven Movements," by Kathy Rose Center. Seven scenes exploring forms of disconnection.

"Ohio Trip," by Elizabeth Cobbe, images by Paul Armstrong. Slide show of the author's summer vacation (Austin Script Works Commission).

Ohio Trip
"Ohio Trip"

"Unravel ..." by Krissi Reeves and Dacia Saenz. Friends explore the gray areas between loyalty and deceit while reconciling their friendship gone awry.

"Making Fun of the Dance," by Kazillionaire. A satirical take on modern dance.

Thursday, Feb. 8

"And Who Disguised," by Robert Faires. A man with a long-hidden secret ponders the double life he's led.

"Ben Franklin: A Rock Opera," by Spencer Driggers, Michael Federico, and Cameron Cobb. The true story of Benjamin Franklin and how he rocked.

"Say-anything-do-anything-start-anything-go-bankrupt-and-start-anything-society," by Eugene Oh. An Iraq war veteran attempts his first theatrical endeavor.

"Distance," by Nigel O'Hearn (Company II). In 1975 Pittsburgh, a family allows a stranger into itself and is ripped apart.

"Hardcore," by Alex Garza. The author takes a raw look at his life: his joys, his heartbreak, and his frustrations with dating, God, acting, fatherhood, and the world.

Friday, Feb. 9

"Fortune Cookie Smash," by Isabella Russell-Ides. TV's Holiday Harriet may be totally hot, but her love life sucks, so she hires an actor to make it better.

"12:21," by Kirk German and friends. Twelve original plays performed in an order decided by the audience.

"The Mommy Confessions: Final Installment," by Rhonda Kulhanek. New monologues about mothers.

"Spooky Actions at a Distance," by Hank Schwemmer. Certain things will be said. Uncertain things will be implied. Sixty percent chance of accompanying gestures.

"O! Possum," by Content Love Knowles. A giddy homage to the wild things that invade our homes and hearts.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Best of the Week


St. Nicholas (Ken Webster) In this darkly comic one-man piece by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, a theatre critic spins tales of his life among the vampires. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 7pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, noon; Friday, Feb. 2, 10:45pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, 8:15pm

Rain (Starlex Theatre Co.) Alex Garza's play in which a woman begins to see the ghost of her deceased husband, forcing her family to confront its rocky past. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 9pm; Friday, Jan. 26, 9pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, 8pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, noon

Vivisections of Chaotic Unrest (Uprise! Productions) Artists on the brink dissect their volatile instability. Sometimes insurgency is born from the belly of hypocrisy. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, noon; Saturday, Feb. 3, 6:15pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 4:15pm

Tall Pines Lodge (Troupe Texas/Missing Duck Productions) Joshua Graves' play is set in the Piney Woods of East Texas, where a group of amateur bandits wait for their share of a recent robbery. Saturday, Jan. 27, 5:45pm; Wednesday, Jan. 31, 7pm; Thursday, Feb. 1, 9:15pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, 2pm

Blue Note (Company II) It's opening night for a new jazz-musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, set to the backdrop of the 1950s Philadelphia jazz scene. Thursday, Jan. 25, 7pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, 10pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 2:15pm; Tuesday, Jan. 30, 8:30pm

Icarus: On Ice (Side Project) In Daniel Huntley Solon's play, a wrecked man battles to maintain a clean consciousness among flagrant corruption. Saturday, Jan. 27, 4:15pm; Tuesday Jan. 30, 7pm; Friday, Feb. 2, 9:15pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 8:15pm

The Boiler Room (Teatro Vivo de Austin) Reuben Gonzalez's play shows members of a family on the brink of destruction fighting to regain their lives. Thursday, Jan. 25, 9:15pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 4:30pm; Friday, Feb. 2, 7pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, noon

The Death of Dayanara (Brown Paper Package Productions) Aimee Gonzalez's twisted comedy about smothering parents ... and other ways to kill them. Friday, Jan. 26, 7pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 9pm; Monday, Jan. 29, 9pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 2:15pm

Appeal/Apela (Amgar Entertainment) A cabaret by Amparo Garcia, with original music by Arthur Shane and lyrics by Shane and Garcia. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 9:15pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, 2pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 6:45pm; Thursday, Feb. 1, 7pm

Looking Backward to Now (Tethersend Productions) Doug McLauchlan's play brings back Eugene Debs, the socialist candidate in the 1912 presidential election. Monday, Jan. 29, 7pm; Wednesday, Jan. 31, 9:15pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, 4:15pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 6:15pm


Dance Carousel (Spank Dance Co./Austin Independent Choreographers) Showcase of 10 local dance artists, each creating four one-minute dances. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 7pm; Friday, Jan. 26, 9pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, 2:15pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 9:15pm

The Small Stars: the Musical (The Small Stars) An hour of comedy, rock & roll, improvisation, persuasion, confusion, lounge singers, mariachis, and more! Saturday, Jan. 27, 4pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 8:15pm; Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 5:45pm

Synecdoche (M.E.M.E.) Media blitz collides with five real people in a performance that blends the ennui of the MTV generation with post-technological paranoia. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 4:30pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, 6:30pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 7:45pm

Shakespeare-Unhinged!!! (Barry Pineo/Big Love Productions) Barry Pineo's one-man show features Shakespearean monologues to delve into the Bard's unique style of writing and examine his own life in light of what Shakespeare teaches. Friday, Jan. 26, 7pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, 10pm; Monday, Jan. 29, 7pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, noon

Catfish! (Content Knowles/Big Love Productions) Playwright Mick D'arcy asks: How low would you go to make money? A tale of our time, with witty stoners, hapless gangsters, money, and drugs. Saturday, Jan. 27, 1:45pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 6pm; Wednesday, Jan. 31, 9:15pm; Friday, Feb. 2, 8:45pm

Elektra (Gobotrick Theatre Company) Under the direction of Will Snider, the ancient Greek tragedy is re-examined through multiple texts and choreography set to a post-rock soundtrack. Tuesday, Jan. 30, 9pm; Wednesday, Jan. 31, 7pm; Saturday, Feb. 3, 8pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, noon

Dolly Would (Getalong Gang Performance Group) Zenobia Taylor's new dance/theatre work, set entirely to the music of Dolly Parton, features seven characters searching for love and happiness with the help of Dolly. Tuesday, Jan. 23, 8:45pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, 8:15pm; Monday, Jan. 29, 9pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 4pm

Against My Will (humdrum collective) There's this girl called G, and she wants her life to mean something, but she's having a kind of crisis of faith or expression. Thursday, Jan. 25, 9:15pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, noon; Friday, Feb. 2, 7pm; Sunday, Feb. 4, 2:15pm

Nothing's On (SONAV Productions) J. Jimenez-Smith's satirical farce examines popular culture through television, its most powerful conduit. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 9pm; Saturday, Jan. 27, 6pm; Sunday, Jan. 28, 2:15pm; Thursday, Feb. 1, 7pm

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle