The Hideout Theatre & Coffeehouse
"...Still, on arriving in Austin, Schiller found it an ideal place to start a children's theatre. "It's the right size, it's an educated community, it's also a family community, with people who care about their young people." He began to meet people around town and through a friend was introduced to Rod Caspers, a director of long standing in the community who also had a deep interest in theatre for youth, one that had been nurtured at the University of Texas Department of Theatre by legendary educator Ruth Denney..."
"...Rod Caspers wears a crew-cut and projects a bossy demeanor that makes him seem as much a drill sergeant as a director. During a rehearsal for the new musical Branson or Bust, Caspers shouts the action to a halt: "Wait a minute! Let's just stop and fix that now." Striding to the stage, he not only addresses the actors who are still groping their way into the scene, he cuts his eyes toward the two writers on his left, who begin scribbling simultaneously in their notebooks. Because this is no ordinary rehearsal..."
"...The department also tapped former Theatre & Dance professor Rod Caspers to direct the program's initial musical offering of Assassins, Stephen Sondheim's ode to the American penchant for making celebrities out of cold-blooded killers, opening this weekend. Before the auditions, Caspers and Koenning teamed up to offer a series of workshops on auditioning for musical theatre..."
"...Director Rod Caspers and his designers have constructed a production that depends heavily, and effectively, on the audience's imagination. While the show doesn't necessarily breathe barnyard, it does breathe barn, with slatted wood, packing crates, and trunks abundant throughout the setting..."
"...Rod Caspers, who is charged with staging The Bat, agrees: "One of the things these folks did a great job of is, there's a minimum of stuff in here. The show is about this long and this fast, and it just keeps going."..."
"...Rod Caspers seems to have imparted to this youthful company some of his own sterling professionalism and abiding love of all things theatrical. Throughout this director's long career, his shows have been distinguished by a crispness of production, not a kind that draws attention to itself but a soft-spoken sort that signals a desire to serve the material as fully as possible..."
"...I was finishing my M.F.A. in theatre at UT where several of my musicals had been produced, one of them directed by Rod Caspers, who was the director of Snow Queen..."
"...Everyone working on the show, from the designers to the musicians to the performers, seems to possess a wealth of talent and creativity. Rod Caspers' direction is also strong in many ways, except for that pacing..."
"...Rod Caspers, who is directing this new production for UT, sees in the musical's success story a connection to the current generation of students and a lesson. "This is the celebration of the 50th year of The Fantasticks," he says, "but more important to me is it's a celebration of what's possible..."
"... Zilker Theatre Productions delivers. Under the direction of Rod Caspers, The Music Man is a sweet show..."
"...Then there's Adela, the Steiners' maid who hungers for Tinseltown stardom; as played by Alicia Berneche, she's a kind of Latina Lucy, delightfully animated and funny as she chases big dreams with unlikely schemes. It's conceivable that these performers would be just as much fun to watch if they were playing this out in 19th century Vienna, but it sure feels like the Austin setting has sparked something special in their work – which is also a tribute to director Rod Caspers, who enhances the Texas-ness at every turn but keeps The Bat zipping along like a classic farce...."
"...From the constant onlookers to the video-screen graphics to the ever-present austerity of Christopher Skillern's John Wilkes Booth, director Rod Caspers' production constantly finds the stage flush with interesting images without losing focus. An electric chair is ushered on; a gaggle of chatty bystanders comes and goes; Zachary Ullah's Charles Guiteau dances toward his noose, anon..."
"...Rod Caspers does an excellent job with his direction. The performers move naturally and comfortably, and he draws out more wit and humor than the script necessarily provides with novel and unexpected gestures..."
"...Zilker Theatre Productions has done well with this sobering yet touching story. Director Rod Caspers lures us into a world that is both majestic and frightening: Specters are always watching the living, and the living are constantly remembering the dead in a dance between memory and loss..."
"...And the actors invest themselves totally in this enchanted world, with Keri Safran making the fears and concerns of her Dorothy real and affecting, David Nancarrow filling Uncle Henry with a robust love for life and compassion for his niece, Drew Burch giving her oversized chicken Bill a jovial comic goose, and Adam Hunter Howard infusing his rocky Nome King with a deep, rumbling menace. Director Rod Caspers has coordinated all of it into its own world outside our world, a place that is timeless in both senses of the word...."
"...A total of 40 productions from 24 companies won nominations in 23 categories covering musicals, non-musical plays, and productions for children. Leading the way was the Zilker Theatre Productions staging of Big River (12 nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Rod Caspers, and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical nods to Mike Bradecich for his Huck Finn and Virdell Williams Jr..."
"...Director Rod Caspers moves this production along with the solidity and confidence of so much mighty water. In Virdell Williams Jr., cast as the escaping slave Jim, the musical has an actor whose voice soars into the Austin sky..."
"...of Theatre & Dance Comedy The Birthday Party, Critical Mass Productions Craving Gravy, UT Dept. of Theatre & Dance Jack and Jill, Zachary Scott Theatre Sin, Subterranean Theatre Company Sylvia, Zachary Scott Theatre Director, Musical Rod Caspers, Das Barbecü Allen Robertson, Woody Guthrie's American Song Dave Steakley, The Gospel at Colonus/Ruthless! Scott Thompson & Richard Byron, Grease/ Peter Pan David Yeakle, A Saga of Billy the Kid Director, Drama Ron Berry, Racing Demon Vicky Boone, Enfants Perdus Susan Fenichell, The Bacchae: Torn to Pieces Daniel A..."
"...Rod Caspers' direction is a nuanced, detail-oriented effort, highlighting the claustrophobic life of eight people forced to dwell in a three-room attic and nearly focus-less as it strives for realism. One sees a perpetual motion machine that undermines most of the play's few intimate moments..."
"...Rod Caspers, The Bat..."