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UT Department of Theatre & Dance
The University of Illinois' Brant Pope is hired to lead UT's theatre/dance school
Arts Story  May 28, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...The University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance has a new chair: Dr. Brant Pope, head of the University of Illinois' Department of Theatre, who is nothing if not enthusiastic about his new position..."

UT Department of Theatre & Dance: Gotta sing! Gotta dance!
The new Musical Theatre Pilot Project aims to prepare UT undergrads for belting for Broadway
Arts Story  April 11, 2008, by Barry Pineo
"...If you seek entertainment of the musical theatre variety in the Austin area, you probably go to Zach Theatre. Or to the Paramount..."

UT Dept. of Theatre & Dance's In the Red and Brown Water
Multiple storytelling modes make Tarell Alvin McCraney's complex play operate as both theatre and ritual
Arts Review  October 13, 2016, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...The play functions in three worlds at once in the University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance production, co-directed by Charles O. Anderson and Robert Ramirez..."

UT School of Music
Ernest and Sarah Butler make the largest-ever donation to a music school at a public university
Arts Story  March 28, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...Ernest and Sarah Butler are well-known and active in the local cultural scene (he serves on the UT College of Fine Arts Advisory Council; she's chairwoman of the Ballet Austin board of directors and a member of the Blanton Museum Council), and they have a history of major gifts to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Museum of Art, Blanton Museum of Art, and the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Plus, they have been showing extraordinary support for UT's School of Music for a quarter of a century, funding nine endowments there, including a $2 million endowment for the opera theatre program that led to it being renamed the Butler Opera Center..."

The Diary of Anne Frank
Every element of this UT Department of Theatre & Dance production demands attention and respect
Arts Review  October 15, 2015, by Shanon Weaver
"...The trick is not to focus on how Anne and her companions died, but rather (pardon the cliche) how they lived. The UT Theatre & Dance Department's impeccable production of The Diary of Anne Frank soars above the challenge in (pardon the pun) the loftiest of fashions...."

Austin Arts Hall of Fame
The Austin Critics Table has named the fifth group of individuals to be inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  April 21, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...Robert DeSimone, director, educator, administrator (UT Opera Theatre)..."

The Laboratory of Playmaking
Artists from different realms join forces to concoct new strains of performance in UT's New Works Festival
Arts Story  April 6, 2007, by Robert Faires
"..."New" isn't just another adjective when it comes to the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival. This biennial event, organized by the UT Department of Theatre & Dance and named for the influential playwright, critic, and educator who headed the school's playwriting program from 1990 until his death in 1997, is intently focused on the new on every level: new works, certainly, but new kinds of work – free experimentation with style and narrative and mash-ups of disciplines like theatre and sculpture or film and dance – and new ways of working, with those traditional authorial voices, playwrights, and directors, mixing it up more collaboratively with designers and performers and composers in creating a work's identity...."

Dance Repertory Theatre's Momentum
This program of dances informed by African American experiences and culture was highly physical and emotionally urgent
Arts Review  February 23, 2017, by Jonelle Seitz
"...Sometimes universities feel like the most insular of places, ivory towers where eccentricities and pontifical discourse are sheltered from the urgency of everyday life. But other times, as with Dance Repertory Theatre's program of dance works informed by African-American experiences and culture, the university feels like a watchtower, a vital refuge for truly considering, from myriad angles, some of the most serious issues of our time...."

Top 10 Theatrical Wonders of 2011
Remembering a theatrical year with superheroes, The Tempest, and a mash-up of the two
Arts Story  January 6, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...1) 'BLACK WATCH' (Texas Performing Arts) The National Theatre of Scotland used every weapon in theatre's arsenal – language, movement, light, sound, costume, theatricality – to put us in the boots of Scottish soldiers in Iraq, and the unforgettable images and sublime stagecraft brought home all the pride, anger, pain, and loyalty of those brave men...."

'Church of the Passionate Cat'
Underbelly Theatre takes you down some delightfully mean streets in its immersive noir adventure
Arts Story  May 8, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...In March of 2013, a room that I was sitting in suddenly went dark, and I was whisked away into an underground world of runaway orphans, midnight circuses, complimentary muffins in strange rooms, and breakneck escapes through butcher-paper forests before being led up a winding staircase into a magical dance party. This thrillingly theatrical odyssey, titled Slip River, was devised for that year's Cohen New Works Festival by a quartet of the UT Department of Theatre & Dance's most enterprising and inventive students at the time – Katie Bender, Stephanie Busing, Abe Koogler, and Gabrielle Reisman..."

School of Dance
Post-MFA, Ellen Bartel has a brand-Spankin' new choreographic point of view
Arts Story  May 11, 2012, by Jonelle Seitz


Top 10 (plus one) Theatrical Treasures and Pleasures of 2007
'Chronicle' Arts Editor Robert Faires recalls 2007, in the theatre
Arts Story  January 4, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...1) Present Laughter (Zachary Scott Theatre Center) "I've been to a marvelous party," sang Noël Coward once upon a time, and that was my thought after seeing Dave Steakley's high-gloss, high-spirited revival of this Coward comedy. Cliff Simon's set and Susan Branch's costumes had style to burn, the cabaret numbers were intoxicating, and the comic verve of the cast – led by an uproarious Jamie Goodwin, giving a master class in theatrical vanity – left me positively elated..."

As Theatre for Children Matures
In 40 years of nurturing young people's love for the stage, Coleman Jennings has helped a profession develop, too
Arts Story  April 23, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...Coleman Jennings hasn't been a child for many, many years, but he has devoted his life to the child in all of us. For close to half a century, he has been studying, creating, and teaching others to create theatre for children and youth..."

Land of 1,000 Dramas
Venues
Arts Story  March 11, 1999
"...Planet Theatre: Tomorrowland..."

UT Joins Pioneering New Plays Initiative
The UT Department of Theatre & Dance will gain even more access to new drama through a new program from the Playwrights' Center
Arts Story  July 2, 2004, by Robert Faires
"...When it comes to new plays, the UT Department of Theatre & Dance means business. Not only does it maintain one of the most respected playwriting programs in the country, with exceedingly fine playwrights, both established and emerging, on the faculty, it also makes a point of mounting new works by its students, through workshop productions in the biannual David Mark Cohen New Works Festival and full productions in the department's season..."

TOP 10 Theatrical Wonders of 2010
A theatre year with a tipsy crew, a zoo, a shrew, and lots of cross-dressing
Arts Story  January 7, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...1) 'THE DROWSY CHAPERONE' (ZACH THEATRE) A speakeasy's worth of cocktails couldn't match the intoxicating lift of this spoofy toast to musicals. A dream team of Zach all-stars – Martin Burke, Jill Blackwood, Meredith McCall, Jamie Goodwin, et al..."

A Guide to Austin's Musical Theatre Scene
Arts Story  August 1, 1997, by Robert Faires and Adrienne Martini
"...In Austin, these are good days for getting that razzle-dazzle rush that stage musicals provide. The theatre scene is bustling with Broadway-brand beltin' and steppin', with revivals of the classics of the American musical theatre and productions of newer shows that serve up the form's classic pizzazz, with companies committed to the works of this cherished form, and with artists who are breathing sweet, imaginative life into them..."

Top 10 Reasons I Stayed in Love With Theatre in 2013
Austin thespians played for keeps, with boundless commitment and imagination, in the year's most memorable theatre
Arts Story  January 3, 2014, by Robert Faires
"...1) 'SLIP RIVER' (UT Dept. of Theatre & Dance/Cohen New Works Festival) Spiriting its audience beneath the Payne Theatre, past clotheslines and through butcher-paper forests, feeding it cornbread muffins, and leaving it onstage in a festive dance party, this exhilaratingly theatrical mash-up of 19th century novels and modern pop – its orphan hero chases freedom along an "underground railroad" run by Beyoncé! – packed more imagination, adventure, and wit into half an hour than most plays do in three times that...."

Top 10 Theatrical Sets of 2013, to a Cat
The year's scenic designs proved especially appealing to the feline theatregoer
Arts Story  January 3, 2014, by Elizabeth Cobbe
"...1) 'THE AMAZING ACRO-CATS' The performing cats wandered freely through the audience, making the whole theatre their set...."

Top 10 Theatrical Treasures and Pleasures of 2008
Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires recalls 2008, in the theatre
Arts Story  January 2, 2009, by Robert Faires
"...1) Porgy and Bess (Zach Theatre) George Gershwin's 1930s folk opera rescored for the 21st century. Arranger Greg Bolin distilled the original's grand orchestra to an intimate combo, over which director Dave Steakley laid richly personal rhythms of jazz and gospel, as well as some deeply evocative visuals, to bring this American classic home with freshness and immediacy...."

Dance Repertory Theatre
UT resident student dance company Dance Repertory Theatre makes the leap to the national stage, as in the Kennedy Center, via the 2006 National College Dance Festival
Arts Story  May 12, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...This week, the young artists of Dance Repertory Theatre, UT's resident student dance company, will be making the leap to the national stage – quite literally. On May 16, DRT will perform at the John F..."

Top 10 Theatrical Treasures & Pleasures of 2005
'Chronicle' Arts Editor Robert Faires lists his favorite theatrical productions of 2005
Arts Story  January 6, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...3) An Evening With Anna Deveare Smith (Zachary Scott Theatre Center) This one-night visit to Zach revealed a master theatre artist at the top of her form, embodying people she's interviewed – including several Austinites – with uncanny skill. But more compelling was the manner in which she spoke powerfully to issues of justice and morality, and the sense of authority she brought to them..."

Top 10 Wonderful Things About Austin Theatre in 2008 (In No Particular Order)
Chronicle Arts writer Avimaan Syam recalls 2008, in the theatre
Arts Story  January 2, 2009, by Avimaan Syam
"...1) Ophelia (Tutto Theatre Company) Full of magic moments and dramatic direction, Ophelia wowed this admitted Bardophile from start to finish...."

Free Night of Theater 2006: The list
Take your pick of 21 performances being offered at no charge with Free Night of Theater 2006
Arts Story  October 6, 2006
"...Thursday, Oct. 19Austin Improv Collective: Thursday Night Awesome; The Hideout Theatre, 617 Congress..."

Theatre: Classic Comeback
Throughout November, Austinites have the chance to see four plays that have stood the test of time: 'Hamlet,' 'Macbeth,' 'The Way of the World,' and 'The Playboy of the Western World'
Arts Story  November 11, 2005, by Barry Pineo
"...Beyond seminal thought and timeless ideas, there are more practical reasons for producing the classics. The UT Department of Theatre and Dance is producing Shakespeare's Macbeth, but not necessarily because it is a great and enduring play..."

All Over Creation: The Persistence of Penguins
And Then Came Tango stirs up a fuss, but its birds fly after all
Arts Column  November 30, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...Well, for the past few months, theatre and making a number of Central Texans uncomfortable...."

Top 10 Theatrical Delights of the Latter Half of 2011
Recapping the fightin', spoonin', boppin' stage sensations of 2011's summer and fall
Arts Story  January 6, 2012, by Jillian Owens
"...3) BLOOD, GUTS, AND FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY IN 'TITUS ANDRONICUS' (Last Act Theatre Company)..."

Vincent Mantsoe and Dance Theatre X
Defining African-derived contemporary dance with professor Charles O. Anderson
Arts Story  September 20, 2013, by Jonelle Seitz
"...The writer James Baldwin is part of the inspiration for Anderson's work-in-progress, Restless Natives, an excerpt of which his company, Dance Theatre X, will perform alongside an evening-length work by the South Africa-born, France-based Vincent Mantsoe. Mantsoe, a friend and collaborator of Anderson's, has performed solos in Austin twice thanks to Dance Umbrella, but this time UT's Department of Theatre & Dance is bringing him along with his company, Association Noa..."

Top 9 Theatre Productions of 2009 That Did Ascend the Brightest Heaven of Invention
A year of failed romances, Greek myths, and more that were staged so ingeniously
Arts Story  January 1, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...1) 'BOBRAUSCHENBERGAMERICA' (MARY MOODY NORTHEN THEATRE) Modern art's master of collage celebrated in a theatrical mash-up of chicken jokes, picnics, pingpong ball cloudbursts, lovers' spats, boot-scootin' Whitmanesque rhapsodies, and more. As offbeat, vibrant, and eager to see wonder in the mundane as Rauschenberg's work, this boisterous joyride was so exhilarating that when it ended, I wanted it to start all over again...."

Austin Theatre Critics' Table 1999-2000 Nominations
Arts Story  May 12, 2000, by Robert Faires
"...The Austin Theatre Critics' Table have announced nominations for their eighth annual awards for achievement in theatre. The participating critics -- Michael Barnes, Jamie Smith Cantara, and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman; and Robert Faires and Sarah Hepola, The Austin Chronicle -- honored work produced on Austin stages during the period May 1999-April 2000..."

All Over Creation: Dispatch From the New Theatre Front
Four new UTNT dramas prove you can't go home again
Arts Column  February 24, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...After seeing all four productions in the current outing of UT New Theatre in the University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance, this I can happily report. That rust-stained emblem of 20th century domestic drama and the onstage realism to which it stayed bolted like a fixture to a wall has not been installed in any of the 21st century theatrical structures erected here..."

Top 10 Theatrical Treasures and Pleasures of 2006
Arts Story  January 5, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...1) Urinetown: The Musical (Zachary Scott Theatre Center) This unlikeliest of Broadway hits – a parody of Thirties political musicals, laden with bad puns, musical theatre in-jokes, and that put-you-off-your-lunch title – landed in town with a mighty splash, thanks to director Dave Steakley and his polished production team, who not only got all its obscure jokes but served them up in a flood of high spirits and comic verve that left us breathless and giddy...."

State Theatre Company
It's a new year, and the State Theater has a new artistic director, who has announced some new additions to the theatre's season
Arts Story  February 17, 2006, by Robert Faires
"...It's a new year, and at the State Theatre that means much that's new, including the artistic director. Michelle Polgar, who was appointed acting artistic director following the termination of Scott Kanoff last October, has been named to the job for good, and as one of her first official duties, she's announced some new additions to the State season..."

UT Theatre & Dance's The Wild Party
In this Michael John LaChiusa & George C. Wolfe musical, gin, sin, and skin collide in a debaucherous 1920s requiem to the ego
Arts Review  December 3, 2015, by Stephanie Carll
"...Weighty subjects dominate the story, and its excess of violence, language, extreme sexual content, and substance abuse would likely earn it an NC-17 rating in the cinema. However, the undergraduate actors of this UT Department of Theatre & Dance production, led by MFA director Cara Phipps, handles the material with maturity beyond their young years..."

Possibility of Failure
Pulitzer or not, composer David Lang won't play it safe
Arts Story  April 30, 2010, by Robert Faires
"...His work can be heard all over the place, as witnessed by the cluster of Lang compositions being presented in Austin this spring. The University of Texas' Department of Theatre & Dance is currently staging The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, the one-act opera that Lang and playwright Mac Wellman adapted from Ambrose Bierce's short story about a Southern planter who abruptly vanishes in his field..."

Playwrights @ UT: An Edgar for Dietz, a Wendy for Ramsey
It was a good week for playwrights at UT as a student received a new prize for young women dramatists and a faculty member earned an honor from the Mystery Writers of America
Arts Story  May 4, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...Then, on Thursday, nationally renowned dramatist Steven Dietz, who quietly joined the UT Department of Theatre & Dance faculty last year, was awarded an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America for his play Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. Commissioned by the Arizona Theatre Company, which premiered it last spring, the play conflates the Arthur Conan Doyle stories "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Final Problem" with William Gillette's wildly successful dramatic adaptation from 1899 into one jam-packed adventure featuring both Holmes' archenemy, professor James Moriarty, and his love interest, Irene Adler...."

Programs That Let Austin Youth Speak Out A Stage of Their Own
Arts Story  August 18, 1995, by Danielle McClelland
"...They all say it. In one way or another, with serious eyes and earnest faces, or laughing, or mad, they all tell me, "Don't underestimate kids." They are the more than 30 preteens and teenagers interviewed for this story who are involved in various Austin youth theatre programs..."

Austin Theatre Critics' Table Nominations 1998
Arts Story  May 15, 1998
"...The Austin Theatre Critics' Table have announced nominations for their sixth annual awards for achievement in theatre. The participating critics — Michael Barnes, Jamie Smith, and Anna Hanks, Austin American-Statesman; Jerry Conn, West Austin News; and Robert Faires, Adrienne Martini, and Sarah Hepola, The Austin Chronicle — honored work produced on Austin stages during the period May 1997-April 1998..."

UT Theatre & Dance's Lost Girl
Kimberly Belflower's new play is a snapshot of a woman consumed by love long lost
Arts Review  November 17, 2016, by T. Lynn Mikeska
"...In Lost Girl, the University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance has built a world simultaneously steeped in magic and the mundane. Elements like the simple (yet elegant) set design, surprise movement pieces, and a Greek-esque chorus replace faith, trust, and pixie dust with fear, loneliness, and fireflies...."

Free Night of Theater 2007: See a bit of drama, on the house
Time again for your annual chance to sample what area thespians do, at no cost
Arts Story  October 5, 2007, by Robert Faires
"...Free theatre. A great way to get people to sample some of the art of the stage, yes? That was the thinking of Theatre Communi-cations Group, a national service organization for nonprofit theatres, when it launched the pilot program of Free Night of Theater in 2005, and the results were encouraging..."

The Love of the Nightingale
Arts Story  November 21, 1997
"...Theatre Room, UT campus, through November 23, Running Time: 2 hrs..."

Tutto Theatre Company
Dustin Wills' new play reconsiders Hamlet through a quintet of Ophelias
Arts Story  November 7, 2008, by Hannah Kenah
"...The lovely, young, and heartbroken Ophelia is a prime example. The promotional material for Tutto Theatre Company's upcoming production of Ophelia describes her as "literature's most woefully underwritten female." Dustin Wills, who wrote the play and is directing this production, is fascinated by what Shakespeare doesn't tell us..."

It's the Sound of 50 G's, Baby
UT grad Nora Boxer wins the prestigious Keane Prize for her short story, 'It's the song of the nomads, baby; or, Pioneer.'
DAILY Books  May 5, 2010, by Kimberley Jones
"...Members of the 2008 selection committee included: Cullingford; Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Holly Williams, chair ad interim of the Department of Theatre and Dance; Joanna Hitchcock, director of The University of Texas Press; and resident author Tom Zigal, novelist and speechwriter for President William Powers Jr...."

Another Round of Praise
Nominations for the 2007-2008 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 9, 2008, by Robert Faires
"...For the 16th year, an informal affiliation of local arts critics have joined to recognize the year's most exceptional achievements in the visual arts, dance, classical music, and theatre. The nominations for the 2008 Austin Critics Table Awards, covering the period from May 1, 2007, to April 30, 2008, were assembled by the following writers: the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes (arts), Clare Croft (dance), Randy Harriman (music), Erin Keever (visual arts), David Mead (music), Joey Seiler (theatre), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts) and the Chronicle's Salvador Castillo (visual arts), Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre), Amanda Douberley (visual arts), Michael Kellerman (music), Rachel Koper (visual arts), Nikki Moore (visual arts), Avimaan Syam (theatre), and Robert Faires (arts)..."

Top of the Line
The nominees for the 2011 Austin Critics Table Awards
Arts Story  May 27, 2011, by Robert Faires
"...For the 19th year, an informal affiliation of local arts critics has recognized the year's most exceptional achievements in dance, classical music, the visual arts, and theatre. The nominations for these awards, covering the period from May 3, 2010, to April 30, 2011, were assembled by the Austin American-Statesman's Michael Barnes (arts), Cate Blouke (theatre), Claire Canavan (theatre), Luke Quinton (classical music/visual arts), Claire Spera (dance), and Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (arts) and the Chronicle's Elizabeth Cobbe (theatre), Jonelle Seitz (dance), Avimaan Syam (theatre), and Robert Faires (arts)...."

Who Wants to Be a Theatre Geek?
A quiz to find out who knows what about theatre in Austin.
Arts Story  December 1, 2000, by Robert Faires
"...1. On average, how many productions does the Austin theatre community mount or present in Austin during a year? a..."

Seeds of Inspiration
The 2012 class of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame
Arts Story  June 1, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...But our city's cultural scene would not be as vital and dynamic as it is today had it not been for those creative individuals of earlier times whose initiative and commitment ensured that the arts had a place in the life of Austin. The Austin Critics Table established the Austin Arts Hall of Fame to honor those artists, educators, patrons, and arts advocates for their pioneering efforts in nurturing the visual arts, dance, theatre, and classical music, and for helping them to flourish..."

The Connection of Merce Cunningham and John Cage Chance
Arts Story  January 26, 1996
"...In 1989, Sharir Dance Company began an eight-year collaboration with Cunningham Dance Foundation, focusing on three extended residencies in Austin. Two new Cunningham works have come from this: Cargo X and Change of Address. The third and final new work of this process, Tune in/Spin out, will be forever linked to Austin, being first performed here and having been co-commissioned by Sharir Dance Company, Cunningham Dance Foundation, and the UT College of Fine Arts. "Both the Performing Arts Center and the Department of Theatre and Dance have extended a great deal of support, otherwise this would not have been possible," says Sharir..."

UT's Radio-TV-Film Program Hits the Half-Century Mark
Department celebrates with student showcase screening
Screens Story  October 29, 2015, by Caitlin Moore
"...The Longhorn Denius Film Showcase screens at the Stateside Theatre, Nov. 1, 1pm..."

The Long and Short of It
  September 11, 1998, by Belinda Acosta
"...The reception is at 5pm. The screenings begin at 7pm at the Texas Union Theatre..."

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