arts eclectic

"We had this idea about doing an all-female Richard III because there's just no roles in Shakespeare for women that are this big," says Rachel Steed, Last Act Theatre's artistic director. "There are some big roles, but they're mostly in the romantic comedies. As far as the dramas go, you have Lady MacBeth and that's kind of the biggest one, and so we really wanted to do Richard III with a female Richard."

Once that decision was made, it snowballed a bit and the company eventually decided to use an all-female cast, and then an all-female cast and crew.

Dave Inman

"I've been wanting to direct this show for years," says The Normal Heart co-director Carl Gonzales, referring to Larry Kramer's acclaimed 1985 drama about the AIDS crisis. "And then we had a friend who passed away from pneumonia and we didn't know that it was partly due to the HIV/AIDS virus."

"He had a diagnosis and because of stigma ... he didn't seek out treatment," adds his co-director (and wife) Lacey Gonzales.

Over the past 14 years, Forklift Danceworks has staged numerous large-scale shows that explore the choreography of everyday people and the beauty found in unexpected professions. Several of those shows have focused on the employees of City of Austin departments -- they've produced dances with the city's Sanitation Department, with Austin Energy, and Austin's Urban Forestry Division, to name a few.

"The Long Center has always, of course, been known as a performing arts center," says Gallery 701 curator Philip Rogers. "And they began to think ... that they wanted to introduce the visual arts." Rogers came on board and, after some recommended renovations to make the space more visual-art-friendly, began putting up art shows.

"One of the things that was stressed to me by the Long Center and by the funding entity was that they wanted to have it as much a community space as possible," Rogers says. "So each show has all been artists from the Austin area, and that will always be the case."

"I used to always talk to my mom about wanting to do something in the park -- something creative, something that would bring the community together," says NOOK Turner about the origins of Jump On It. Twenty years ago, when Turner was still a teenager, he was given the opportunity to create the summer concert series when he answered a citywide call for ideas on using Rosewood Park.

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