A Not-An-Interview with Travis Bedard
Where the hell have you been?
Mostly on my back porch staining the floor for The Nina Variations plank by plank.
Also? flooding the market with cut rate press releases and talking to anyone who’ll listen about the show. Oh and getting a small City of Austin Cultural Arts Commission grant to help offset some of the costs of the show (Thank you Commissioners!)
You’ve Done Nothing For the Last Month but Show Production?
Well. Nothing much that you’d care about. I carried some water for Ivan Klousia’s production of Twelfth Night over at St. Michaels’ School. Though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I saw Cyndi Williams’ Dug Up over at Austin Playhouse’s second stage and was very impressed.
It features Jude Hickey and Liz Fisher who are in town royalty, and a new to me Jessie Tilton in a gothic Tennessee Williams’ tale set in post-Katrina Louisiana. It features that classic classic Williams’ “Traditional family shatters leaving the pieces to form a new family” center with a tasty dark chocolate coating. It is more than worth your while to check it out. All three performers are at the top of their game, and it plays beautifully in the (extremely) cozy confines of the King Theatre. A smart, engaging Halloween confection.
You heard me.
Aside from the brilliant Nina Variations, what else is hopping in Austin?
Lord it’s busy down here.
Dustin Wills and Tutto Theatre are remounting his well loved Ophelia with his over at the Blue Theatre with the Design Justice League.
Shannon McCormick opens Unbeaten at Salvage Vanguard.
Different Stages is about to open Shaw’s Getting Married at The Vortex.
Austin Circle of Theatres is having it’s annual self-celebration this Sunday with the B. Iden Payne Awards ceremony (nominees include Rachel McGinnis from the brilliant Nina Variations), which ceremony is being lit by the most beautiful and underappreciated lighting designer in Austin.
SIDEBAR!: Over in LA they are about to have the Ovation Awards, and Don Shirley over at LA City Beat rails against the nominating process:
Why are only 12 voters required to see a qualifying show – and why is each voter required to see only 25 shows? Because of L.A.’s notorious distances? Boo-hoo. The voting pool should be reduced only to those voters who commit to seeing at least 50 or 75 or even 100 shows. If there were fewer but better informed voters, maybe L.A. Stage Alliance could arrange to pay a gas stipend.
Looking at my calendar…
I see 52 weeks. So in Mr. Shirley’s world you need to see a show every single week to be qualified to nominate. Despite the fact that most of the committee members are producing artists! I tell you. I can afford to see 15-20 shows a year. If I’m comped to every show I can see 40. If I want to ignore my wife and go out every weekend whether she wants to participate or not.
So should nominators for awards be limited to retirees and misanthropes? I’m unclear as to the mechanics of seeing that much theatre in general, never mind having to have your critical wits about you. Are any of you on such a committee? What are your requirements?
If you really want to know about what’s going on theatrically in Austin you need to check out the yeoman’s effort going on at austinlivetheatre.blogspot.com. Michael Meigs is defying that lil sidebar and seeing EVERYTHING. And then writing well considered responses to them. The mind boggles.