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Robert Faires



Robert Faires is Arts Editor for The Austin Chronicle, where he's been covering the local arts scene for more than 30 years. In 2011, American Theatre Magazine named him to a list of 12 of the nation's most influential theatre critics. He's also been active in local theatre since 1980, having worked on more than 75 theatrical productions across the city as an actor, director, and writer.

130 articles in 2002   •   page 1 of 4


The National Endowment for the Arts played Santa Claus last week, dropping federal funding in the stockings of arts organizations, and even went so far as "comin' to town" to do it, announcing $26 million in grants, including $287,000 to 14 local artists and arts organizations, from here in Austin.

Arts Column, Dec. 27, 2002


The consultants hired by the city to evaluate its arts funding process have submitted a report to the City Council, legendary comedy club the Velveeta Room has been replaced by Funnies, and Rob Nash brings season's greetings to Austin before an Off-Broadway run.

Arts Column, Dec. 20, 2002

Ratgirl's Holy Rockin' Christmas

With Ratgirl's Holy Rockin' Christmas, Ratgirl proves herself a real artist by tossing the yule's manifold manifestations into an artistic blender, from which she serves up holiday cheer in a mighty mythological melange, a veritable Xmess.

Arts Review, Dec. 20, 2002


If you're still looking for the perfect gift for that arts lover on your shopping list, you have until Dec. 18 to get a 2002 Porsche 911 Twin Turbo Carrera for a mere $100, courtesy of Arts Center Stage's raffle to raise funds for the Long Center.

Arts Column, Dec. 13, 2002

Smokey Joe's Cafe

Dave Steakley's version of Smokey Joe's Cafe at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center sets ablaze dozens of familiar hits from the musical catalog of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller by shifting the setting to a Playboy Club circa 1962 and rekindling the flames of desire that burn in the team's songs.

Arts Review, Dec. 13, 2002

Arias From Death Row

In conjunction with its production of the opera Dead Man Walking, Austin Lyric Opera will present a seminar focusing on the unlikely journey of her story about providing spiritual counsel to a convicted murderer on death row to the operatic stage.

Arts Feature, Dec. 6, 2002


A scorecard of changes in the January arts calendar owing to, um, difficulties in the economy, as well as scheduling conflicts and new bookings.

Arts Column, Dec. 6, 2002


In Bash, a collection of monologues by Neil LaBute, the protagonists appear to be considerate, decent people, but in the stories they share they prove themselves capable of committing crimes straight out of Greek tragedy, and the dirigo group production achieves a breezy intimacy with the audience, engaging us so thoroughly that when the darkness falls, we find it hard to abandon them.

Arts Review, Dec. 6, 2002

An Angel for AMT

The recent fiscal crisis for Austin Musical Theatre threatened to keep the company from mounting any future productions, but producer Charles Duggan has come to AMT's rescue, offering to produce a week-long retrospective of musical numbers from the company's first 15 productions.

Arts Feature, Nov. 29, 2002


Austin Script Works has a changing of the bard, Austin officially becomes a capital of culture, and the Texas Fine Arts Association is renamed Arthouse.

Arts Column, Nov. 29, 2002


Austin Musical Theatre survives, the Center for American Music is born at UT, and the Texas Fine Arts Association is renamed Arthouse.

Arts Column, Nov. 22, 2002


The threat to Austin Musical Theatre and the passing of Austin storyteller and artist Helen Handley

Arts Column, Nov. 15, 2002

Sharing the Swing

Cabaret artist Ann Hampton Callaway returns to Austin to share not only her talents in performance, but, in working with a select group of local singers, she'll be sharing her insights into the form of cabaret, ways in which they might find their own place in it, and literally sharing the Scottish Rite stage with them.

Arts Feature, Nov. 1, 2002


The passing of Texas regionalist pioneer painter Everett Spruce

Arts Column, Oct. 25, 2002

Fierce, Fierce Beauty

The title for Keith Carter's exhibition at the Austin Museum of Art, "A Poet of the Ordinary" describes the photographer to a tee, a man who takes subjects from the everyday world and takes pictures of them that tell their story with the distilled purity of expression that characterizes great poetry.

Arts Feature, Oct. 18, 2002


Ballet Austin buys itself a new home downtown, and Shakespeare at Winedale founder James Ayres receives UT's prestigious Civitatis Award.

Arts Column, Oct. 18, 2002

The Incubus Archives

With The Incubus Archives, playwright David Hancock, director Vicky Boone, the show's designers, and a group of actors as fierce and committed as they come have crafted a theatre-sized dreamscape, in which subjects seem to bubble up from the darkness of the subconscious and bizarre images erupt into view to ponder the nature of evil.

Arts Review, Oct. 18, 2002

A Better Tomorrow

For years, the city of Austin's arts funding process has been mired in perpetual gloom, but with the city reviewing its Cultural Contracts Program, artists and arts companies talking with each other about collaborations and a shared vision of what the arts mean to Austin, there are glimmers of light on the city's arts funding horizon.

Arts Feature, Oct. 11, 2002

The Audit

Arts Feature, Oct. 11, 2002

Calling in the Experts

Arts Feature, Oct. 11, 2002


A weekly rundown of the latest news in Austin's visual and performing arts scene

Arts Column, Oct. 11, 2002


In David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof, mathematicians are shown to be unsure about many things -- the work they do, the methods they use, their lives, even their sanity -- and the State Theater Company's production beautifully captures the uncertainty of this world.

Arts Review, Oct. 11, 2002

The Long Incubation of the Incubus

Playwright David Hancock and director Vicky Boone reveal how they developed the play The Incubus Archives over six years, through 11 sometimes radically different versions.

Arts Feature, Oct. 4, 2002

Heroism in Flight

When the New York stage company Collective Unconscious took transcripts of Cockpit Voice Recorder tapes from six real-life airline emergencies and performed them on stage under the title Charlie Victor Romeo, they created a theatrical sensation and a testament to the strength and spirit of humans in crisis.

Arts Feature, Oct. 4, 2002


The winners are in for the 28th annual B. Iden Payne Awards, honoring outstanding achievements in Austin theatre from August 2001 through July 2002.

Arts Column, Oct. 4, 2002

My Fair Lady

Austin Musical Theatre's production of My Fair Lady serves up the tale of a Cockney flower girl's transformation at the hands of an egotistical phonetics professor with a lavish look and a playful spirit, creating a delightful dance of elegance and frivolity.

Arts Review, Oct. 4, 2002

All My Sons

There is potential in this material for overwrought melodrama, but as realized on the Mary Moody Northen Theatre stage, Miller's morality play has a simmering urgency.

Arts Review, Sep. 27, 2002

Smooth Ride

When Lana Dieterich is acting, nothing seems calculated or forced, no step is false. Her performances are smooth as glass, as silk, as a ride on the bike that she pedals regularly around her Hyde Park neighborhood.

Arts Feature, Sep. 20, 2002


Actor, writer, choreographer, and Troupe Texas company member Sarah Ing has passed away at the age of 29.

Arts Column, Sep. 20, 2002

"Fair" Play

Director Scott Thompson doesn't want the audience for Austin Musical Theatre's production of My Fair Lady to get too comfy, and here's why.

Arts Feature, Sep. 13, 2002


Public arts funding doesn't get much messier than the City of Austin's Cultural Contracts Program, but this year's process may go down in history as the messiest yet.

Arts Column, Sep. 13, 2002

Birthday Cage

Pianist Michelle Schumann celebrates the 90th anniversary of the birth of musical innovator John Cage.

Arts Feature, Sep. 6, 2002


The Austin Museum of Art's downtown home gets a shot in the arm, and local television devotes more attention to Austin's arts scene.

Arts Column, Sep. 6, 2002

An Artist, a Life, a World

"The Mystical World of Kelly Fearing: A Sixty-Year Retrospective" covers the work of this longtime Texas artist from his days with the Fort Worth Circle, introducing modernism to the Lone Star State in the 1940s, through his 48-year career on the UT-Austin Department of Art faculty, experimenting with form and style.

Arts Feature, Aug. 30, 2002

Payne the Town Red

What might be considered the theatrical fringe in other cities is more and more the theatrical mainstream in Austin, an idea that was reinforced with the announcement of the nominations for the 2001-02 B. Iden Payne Theatre Awards.

Arts Feature, Aug. 30, 2002


The Dallas-based Meadows Foundation proves to be a true friend to the Austin arts in hard times with three special grants to Austin Lyric Opera, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, and Mexic-Arte Museum.

Arts Column, Aug. 30, 2002

Mulligan's Jacket: Boy Gets Chick

Mulligan Lankwood, the protagonist of Ronnie Karam's ingenious and consistently entertaining solo show Mulligan's Jacket, has never had much in life, but we get plenty from his story, as related by a batch of outlandish characters, all portrayed by Karam with an enthusiasm that's infectious.

Arts Review, Aug. 30, 2002


Texas Folklife Resources gets a new executive director, and the Texas Commission for the Arts honors five outstanding Texas artists, arts administrators, and organizations.

Arts Column, Aug. 23, 2002

Deep in the Mozart of Texas

This summer, the Austrian American Mozart Academy, an international program that provides aspiring professional singers with training and performance experience in Mozartian opera, relocates to, of all places, Austin, Texas.

Arts Feature, Aug. 9, 2002


The Texas Commission for the Arts gets a new executive director, the Blanton Museum of Art gets a new curator for its collection of Latin American art, and Toronto's Harbourfront Festival gets an Austin dance company.

Arts Column, Aug. 9, 2002

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