With all the happy chaos of summer programming setting in (over the next three months, TAP will have programming at 14 AISD schools, four RRISD schools, nine DVISD schools, and six HACA sites, as well as running 11 of our own campus and pitching in to help with two more—phew!), it’s easy to forget that TAP employees are not just teachers. We’re also artists, and several of us have just received some serious recognition from the Austin Critics’ Table.
For instance, the Tutto Theatre Company’s production of Black Snow was named the Best Ensemble Theatre Performance for 2009-2010 and involved four TAP employees: Amy Downing and Keri Boyd, two of our Teaching Artists; Francisco Rodriguez, our Program and Marketing Coordinator; and Dustin Wills, our Programming Specialist. Amy and Frank were both actors in this production of Mikhail Bulgakov’s satirical masterpiece about putting on a play in post-revolution Russia. Dustin was the play’s director and Keri its assistant director. In addition to being recognized by the Austin Critics’ Table, their work garnered rave reviews from the Austin Chronicle, the Daily Texan, and other publications. Austin Critcs’s Table also nominated Black Snow for Best Comedy Production, Best Direction, Best Acting in a Leading Role, Best Acting in a Supporting Role, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Lighting Design.
Black Snow was not the only production involving TAP employees to win at the Critics’ Table. Teaching Artists Aron Taylor and Katie Van Winkle are members of the Rude Mechanicals, a local theatre collective whose production of Dionysus in 69 won Best Drama Production. A reenactment of The Performance Group’s legendary 1969 adaptation of Euripides’s The Bacchae, the production was lauded by the Austin Chronicle, the Austin American-Statesman, and the San Antonio Current. It was also nominated for Best Direction, Best Acting in a Leading Role, Best Acting in a Supporting Role, Best Ensemble Performance, and Best Movement.
Finally, Tutto Theatre Company’s Murder Ballad Murder Mystery was nominated in a dizzying number of categories, including Best Musical Production, Best Ensemble Production, Best Direction, Best Movement, Best Design, and Best Musical Direction. Dustin Wills directed and Florinda Bryant, our Programming Specialist, and Emily Tindall, our Program Manager, were cast members.
Congratulations to Amy, Frank, Dustin, Keri, Aron, Katie, Florinda, and Emily!