Bates Recital Hall
"...Over its listing sits a black bar with the word "Recommended" reversed out on it. It's for a new show called In the West, featuring monologues written and performed by the members of a still new independent company called Big State Productions..."
"...But luckily for Austin, luckily for Mr. Shawn all the way up there in New York City, Rubber Repertory is one of the few; it seems they're also the only company in the entire United States with the cojones necessary to present this partially but exuberantly pornographic show offering its American premiere nigh on three decades after it was written...."
"..."I suppose I'm obliged to say, as I do believe in the sacredness of facts, that the production in London wasn't raided by the vice squad." So dies theatrical mythology in an e-mail from Wallace Shawn to Josh Meyer and Matt Hislope of Rubber Repertory, the brave souls behind the belated American premiere of the playwright's A Thought in Three Parts. Rather more appropriately to the world as Shawn writes about it, the London theatre company and venue were threatened with loss of grant monies, so the run was simply not extended, brisk ticket sales be damned..."
"...Given Austin's interest in Shakespeare and deep irreverent streak, it was inevitable that it would wind up here at some point. Norman Blumensaadt, the artistic director of Different Stages, maybe the closest thing Austin has to a classical theatre company, says he's long wanted to do a play that makes fun of or has fun with Shakespeare..."
"...But once three homegrown plays, in fairly quick succession, found notable success inside and outside Austin, a real surge in new play production began. The trifecta of Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein, by Marty Martin; Greater Tuna, by Joe Sears, Jaston Williams, and Ed Howard; and In the West, by the company members of Big State Productions, proved that there was an audience for Austin-generated plays, both locally and nationally, and anyone who wasn't already an aspiring screenwriter sat down to the keyboard and began tap-tap-tapping out a script for the stage..."
"...Landmark arts spaces vanish! Longtime executive directors depart! Multi-million dollar gifts given! It was as if the whole arts community had gone suddenly operatic -- no more minor moves and small turns, only grand entrances and exits, and arias to shatter our ears. The community's losses over the course of the year seemed unusually dramatic: the closings of Black Mountain Arts, the Public Domain Theatre on Congress, Lyons-Matrix Gallery, Galeria Sin Fronteras, and Electric Lounge; the succession of resignations by executive directors (Access Austin Arts, Austin Circle of Theatres, Austin Legal and Accounting Assistance, Austin Script Works, and Austin Visual Arts Association); the moves to shift artistic direction at State Theater Company and Ballet Austin; the deaths of Gary Peden, Margaret Wiley, William Race, Douglass Green, Janet McGaughey, and Clayton McGran; and the ugly fallout of the Blanton Museum of Art design controversy, with the loss of Herzog & de Meuron as architects and Lawrence Speck resigning as dean of UT's School of Architecture..."