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    Posted February 17, 2009

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Austin/San Antonio Members Meet

Austin/San Antonio Membership Meeting

The Austin/San Antonio Area held its annual membership meeting on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at The Austin Playhouse (SPT Category 1) in Austin, Texas. In attendance were 15 local members, Western Regional Director Mary Lou Westerfield, Western Region Business Representative Gisela Valenzuela and Western Region Stage Manager Councillor Bill McMillin, who contributed this report. Lucy Jordan Award recipients Don Toner and Dirk van Allen were also on hand.

A reception, which began immediately following the matinee performance of Austin Playhouse's DANCING AT LUGHNASA, started the festivities. Area Liaison Douglas Taylor "put together a wonderful spread and was the baker of the scrumptious desserts (chocolate pie, cookies, banana nut bread) and an amazing garlic cheese dip," reports Mr. McMillin. "Liaison Committee member Kay Coleman was responsible for the excellent wine and Parker Williams supplied the other beverages." The reception was attended by several producers and a number of local theatre community supporters as well as by some Equity Membership Candidates.

Liaison Committee Selected
Once the meeting got underway, new members were selected for the Liaison Committee. The new 2009 Austin/San Antonio Liaison Committee members are: Babs George, David Stahl, Sheila Gordon, Paul Wright, Barry Michael Miller, Douglas Taylor, MJ Vandivier, Parker Williams and Bill McMillin. At the upcoming Liaison Committee meeting, a new Chair will be selected.

Whirlwind Tour
While in town, Ms. Westerfiield and Ms. Valenzuela made a whirlwind tour of Austin Equity theatres and companies, as well as a few select non-Equity spaces. First stop was the Mary Moody Northern Theatre (URTA and GA) on the St. Edward's University campus. There, they walked the theatre and saw the technical preparations for CYRANO DE BERGERAC. Next, they visited the new $85 million Long Center that houses two stages-a 2,300-seat proscenium and a 320-seat flex black box theatre. While there they spoke with Austin Shakespeare (SPT Cat 1) Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella and sat in on a dress rehearsal of AN IDEAL HUSBAND while Austin Lyric Opera was performing a sold out performance of Verdi's RIGOLETTO upstairs in the larger theatre. From there it was down the street to Zachary Scott Theatre Center (SPT 4 and 5), which has two stages-a 130-seat arena stage and a 230-seat thrust/flex stage. They peeked in at a rehearsal of a new play, SHOOTING STAR, by Dan Dietz and then sneaked into a performance of BEEHIVE for a few minutes. Following, were quick visits to the outdoor Zilker Hillside Theatre; The University of Texas Bass Concert Hall, which was presenting the tour of LEGALLY BLONDE; Hyde Park Theatre; The State Theatre and the historic Paramount Theatre. To end the tour, they returned to Austin Playhouse for a matinee performance of DANCING AT LUGHNASA. Whew!

For more information on the Austin/San Antonio Area, contact Bill McMillin at (512) 320-0808 or

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