Culture Flash!

A new theatre company gets Broadway vets to teach teens in Austin, and an older one gets a new artistic director and a new name

• Aspiring musical-theatre performers ages 13-18, take note: Auditions for Making It on Broadway, a weeklong intensive that features Broadway musical vets teaching acting, voice, and audition techniques, will be held Monday, June 2, 2-8pm. The newly formed Austin Children's Theater is bringing the New York City-based camp to Austin, which is one of only five cities in the nation offering the camp this summer. Training focuses on musical-theatre choreography, audition techniques, building a song repertoire, and more. Instructors may include Jodi Langel (Broadway: Les Misérables, Cats), Jose Llana (Broadway: Rent, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Sheri Sanders (national tour: Urinetown). At the end of the camp, representatives from Broadway casting agency Telsey + Company will hold private auditions with each student. The camp runs July 21-26. Only 40 students will be accepted. Students wishing to audition must bring sheet music for and be prepared to sing 15-32 bars of one upbeat song and one ballad (songs from musicals recommended but not required). To schedule an appointment, call 927-6633. For more information on this or Austin Children's Theater's regular summer camps, starting June 9, visit www.austinchildrenstheater.org.

The [Coda] Theater Project has a new artistic director and a new name. The young independent company, which was launched in 2002 to develop multidisciplinary and collaborative theatrical projects and produced regularly for three seasons, went missing in action after its staging of Kafka's Dick in April 2007. But it resurfaced last week with the news that it has hired UT Department of Theatre & Dance graduate Dustin Wills to lead the company and, to reflect the new direction for the company, is changing its name to Tutto Theatre Company, "tutto" being Italian for "everything." Wills, who won an Austin Critics Table Award in 2006 for his direction of Shakespeare's Cymbeline, traveled to Italy last year and staged three of his own pieces at the English Theatre of Rome. Since his return to Austin, he has directed the world premiere of Eve Tulbert's Ashes, Ashes for the UT theatre department and served as assistant director to Ann Ciccolella on the Austin Shakespeare production of Much Ado About Nothing this spring. He also works with Theatre Action Project. Wills' first production with Tutto will be a new staging of Ophelia, a play he wrote that premiered in the 2005 David Mark Cohen New Works Festival at UT and for which he received the George H. Mitchell Award. That production is tentatively set for October of this year and will be followed by a new work, Varietà, in April 2009. For more information, visit www.tuttotheatre.org.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin Children's Theater, Tutto Theatre, Dustin Wills, Coda Theater Project, Making It on Broadway, David Mark Cohen New Works Festival

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