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  • January 1, 2014
  • By m s
  • Comments Off on Join us for the biggest party of 2014!
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Join us for the biggest party of 2014!

VORTEX’s 25th Birthday Gala

postcard gala

2 nights only celebrating 25 revolutions around the Sun!

When: Friday and Saturday, January 10-11, 2014 5pm-Midnight

Two nights full nights of celebration!

Where: The VORTEX, 2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722

Free Parking. Bus Route.

The Butterfly Bar @The VORTEX--open nightly at 5pm

Admission: Donation to VORTEX: Illuminate. Suggested-- at least $25 to give The VORTEX the birthday gift of a new lighting system.

Available at www.vortexrep.org or 512-478-5282

Advanced Purchase Recommended.

Attire: Festive. Crazy hats recommended for The Madhatter’s Faery Tea Party on Saturday at 5pm.


25 years ago, in January of 1989, VORTEX produced its first show, The Angels are Waiting, at Mexic-Arte Museum in downtown Austin. Two venues, tens of thousands of artists and audiences, hundreds of opening nights and strikes, more than 100 B. Iden Payne Awards, 23 City of Austin Contracts and Texas Commission on the Arts Grants, 4 National Endowment for the Arts grants, dozens of weddings, births, deaths, and 25 revolutions around the Sun later, we are celebrating with a 2-night Birthday Gala. Join us for one hour or all 14 hours! There may never be another party like this one, so be sure to stop by.

We are especially excited about the photo and video montages showing the wide range of our 25-year history. Many of these photos have never been seen before—spectacular production photos from Bonnie Cullum’s slides from 1989-2008 when we went digital. Most of the videos have been recently transferred from VHS and while we will be slowly building an online archive, this is your first opportunity to see the arch of our work.

For the kids--Saturday, January 11 from 5-7 as The Madhatter’s Faery Tea Party takes over The Butterfly Bar—for children of all ages. Wear your maddest hat or faery wings. We really love of all of the children of The VORTEX, and hope to see a lot of proud parents in hats too.

Featured performances of theatre, music, and dance over two nights by VORTEX veterans include Toni Bravo, Heather Barfield, Matthew Patterson, Chad Salvata, Zell Miller III, Gabriel Maldonado, Content Love Knowles, Ann Marie Gordon, Melissa Vogt-Patterson, Betsy McCann, Anderson Dear, Chris Humphrey, Mindy Rast-Keenan, Betsy McCann, Mick D’arcy, Rudy Ramirez, Chelsea Mannasseri, Jonathan Itchon, Laura Ray, Talena Martinez, Justin LaVergne, Aisha Melhem, Jennifer Coy, Jenny Lavery, Kylie Baker, Alejandro Rodriguez, Joanna Wright, Andy Agne, and the VORTEX Stage Managers.

Aerial performances by Sky Candy and Brass Ovaries.

Tarot Readings by Suzanne McAnna.

Live Music by Os Alquimistas, The Late Joys, The Mighty Renegades, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, Tyler Mabry, and Jo Beth Henderson.

Stay tuned for more details on the performers and schedule and some command performances that you won’t want to miss.

Admission is by donation to support VORTEX: Illuminate, our big fundraiser for a new lighting system for The VORTEX. We recommend at least $25 ($1 per year). Those donating $250 or more will be entered in a drawing for a night’s stay at the Austin Marriot downtown. There will also be a Silent Auction for fabulous goods and services from local businesses and artisans.

Our Business Partners for the Silent Auction include Chez Zee, Threadgills, Vulcan Video, Salty Sow, Hoovers Cooking, Eastside Café, Vivo, Things Celtic, El Chile, Quan Yin Center for Compassionate Healing, Ancient Mysteries, Natural Magic, Lainie Lamb, Z-Helene, Suzanne McAnna, Kimberley Mead, artists and artisans, and much more.

The VORTEX is funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.



  • November 11, 2013
  • By m s
  • Comments Off on Big Changes are happening at The VORTEX
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Big Changes are happening at The VORTEX

VORTEX Repertory Company (established 1988) has made some significant changes and additions to its management, staff, and Board of Directors, and we have a new logo to celebrate our Season of Metamorphoses. We are gearing up for our big 25th Birthday in January, and we are so excited about all of this that we thought it was time for a press release about our big changes.

Managing Director: In May, long-time VORTEX company artist, Melissa Vogt-Patterson, joined the administrative staff and this summer, became our new Managing Director. Melissa first appeared on The VORTEX stage in 2003 and has starred in numerous productions. She received B. Iden Payne Awards for her leading role in Vampyress in 2005 and her ensemble role in Wake for the Dark Poet in 2004. Other notable VORTEX work includes Sing Muse, EARTH, :Humpty, Beirut, The Dragonfly Princess, Pink Sun, Bell(e), hOle, and Pythia Dust, garnering Melissa many B. Iden Payne Nominations for Excellence. Melissa holds a B.F.A. in Acting from Texas State University and worked for several years in New York where she toured professionally with Chamber Theatre Productions. She has also toured with The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. In addition to her vast artistic experience, Melissa has many years of experience in business administration, sales, and marketing, and was Artistic Director of One Shot Productions in NYC.

Business Manager: In September, former VORTEX Administrator Krystle Kelley, returned to Austin to re-join The VORTEX team as Business Manager. Krystle is currently polishing her thesis for her M.A. in Archaeology from Texas Tech University. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. She began working at The VORTEX in 2010, making substantial upgrades to VORTEX’s bookkeeping and accounting systems. We are thrilled to have her back in The VORTEX.

President of the Board: Dr. Heather Barfield joined the VORTEX Board of Directors as President in September. Heather has been a VORTEX company member for 23 years. She received her Ph.D. in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a B.A. in Anthropology from UT. She is Chief Financial Officer/Business Director for Austin Creative Alliance and VORTEX’s Associate Artistic Director. Heather's numerous theatrical credits include creation and direction of VORTEX’s Wake for the Dark Poet (B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production of a Drama in 2004) and her direction of Machinal for VORTEX’s Summer Youth Theatre (B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Production of Theatre for Youth in 1999). She has performed locally in numerous critically acclaimed shows including VORTEX’s Dark Goddess, Rude Mech’s Dionysus in '69, and Rubber Repertory’s The Casket of Passing Fancy. She has been an arts writer for The Austin Chronicle and a contributing member of the Austin Critics’ Table. As an Austin native with a strong background in the local and national theatre scene, Heather is the ideal person to head up the VORTEX Board.

Vice President of the Board: VORTEX Company Member, Shannon Stennis, also joined the Board as Vice President in September. In addition to his artistic and technical contributions to VORTEX since 1995, he has been The VORTEX computer support person for more than a decade. He has extensive professional experience with Apple, IBM, Convio, Marathon Kids, Cathexis Partners, and Oracle, with expertise in on-line fundraising, customer service, training, and trouble-shooting. Shannon brings his years of computer experience and love of The VORTEX to the Board. He will provide expertise on The VORTEX’s first-ever crowd-sourced fundraising endeavors for the essential new lighting system for the theatre.

Butterfly Bar Managers: After many years of challenges with city regulations and permitting, VORTEX finally received a Full Mixed Beverage permit at the end of March. In April, VORTEX was pleased to promote long-time Butterfly Bar staff, Katherine Smith and Mark Vazquez, to Bar Managers. Katherine and Mark make a strong team, who along with the friendliest group of bartenders and barbacks in Austin, have anchored The Butterfly Bar @The VORTEX as a welcoming destination 7 nights a week on bustling Manor Road. As an integral part of The VORTEX, the programming inside and outdoors at The Butterfly Bar includes swing bands and dancing, Trivia Tuesdays, happy hour rock bands, contemporary tango, birthday and office parties, and commedia and puppetry on the outside stage. The Butterfly Bar @The VORTEX is open from 5pm-Midnight, and until 1am on Saturdays.

Patrizi’s: Nic Patrizi, owner of the already popular food truck, The Jalopy, brought great Italian food to the Yard of The VORTEX in May. Open 7 nights a week, with the same hours as the bar, Patrizi’s finished out the corner of The VORTEX with a food truck, a sheltered outdoor restaurant destination, landscaping, and art, and people are flocking to The VORTEX to enjoy this delicious food. With fresh, local ingredients, and delicious pasta made fresh with each order, this unique jewel offers some of the best Italian food in Austin.

Tech Booth: At the beginning of October, VORTEX renovated its original, vintage 1994 tech booth in preparation for a new lighting system. With new electrical panel, new outlets, new floors, ceilings, walls, shelves, and table, this booth is much safer and more comfortable for technicians and is ready to receive equipment upgrades as soon as we raise the money!

New Logo: Finally, The VORTEX has a brand new logo, crafted by award-winning scenic designer Ann Marie Gordon. Ann Marie demonstrates her exceptional skills in calligraphy and graphics in this new swirl for VORTEX’s present and future (see below). She is well known for her scenic designs throughout the Austin theatre company, especially as resident scenic designer for The VORTEX. Ann Marie has received B. Iden Payne Awards for her designs of VORTEX’s Sarah Silver Hands, Sleeping Beauty, St. Enid and the Black Hand, The Deluge, and Despair’s Book of Dreams and the Sometime Radio.

new vortex logo copy

25th Birthday Party: Look for the new logo on an all-new T-Shirt January 10-11th at VORTEX’s 25th Birthday Extravaganza. VORTEX artists will be performing diverse programming on both nights celebrating the past, present, and future of The VORTEX. VORTEX’s fundraising for the new lighting system will launch at this time as we ask our many friends and supporters to give VORTEX a 25th Birthday present.

26th season of Metamorphosis: This diverse season includes dance, romantic comedy, hip-hop theatre, devised work, political poetics, chamber opera, video with live music, W.B Yeats, Summer Youth Theatre, a fantasy film debut, and ritual theatre. The VORTEX’s amazing artistic season began with Toni Bravo’s extraordinary dance theatre piece, Perchance to Dream. We are currently presenting emerging playwright Reina Hardy’s new romantic comedy, Stars and Barmen through mid-November. Hardy is a Michener Fellow at UT, pursuing her MFA in playwriting, and we look forward to producing her work in the future. We continue in December with The Holiday Hip-Hop Theatre Explosion, a family-friendly show with original work embracing holiday themes and hip-hop culture, and we are once again offering a Yule Bazaar during the day on December 21-22 for locally-crafted holiday gifts. We will celebrate our 25th Birthday on January 10-11, followed by the Austin debut of WK, conceived and directed by the inspired hand of Katherine Wilkinson and fresh from the New Orleans Fringe Festival. We then present Xenogia’s new poetic work, Riot or Revolution, featuring Zell Miller III and DaShade Moonbeam, in February. In April, we debut a workshop production of David DeMaris’ chamber opera featuring physics and music, For Fear the Glass May Shatter, which will also be a part of the Fusebox Festival. Electronic Planet Ensemble presents an all new video and music event, Ran•dom Sen•so•ry Re•gen•er•a•tion in May. In June, look for Lorella Loftus’s new adaptation of William Butler Yeats’ Cuchulain Cycle of Plays. This summer, we offer the 22nd year of our award-winning, tuition-free Summer Youth Theatre. In August, we present the world premiere of ethos’ fantasy film and environmental parable, Octia of the Pink Ocean. Our abundant season of new work culminates in September with the final installment of The Elementals series, SPIRIT, conceived and directed by Bonnie Cullum and developed by the ensemble.

See you in The VORTEX!

  • October 30, 2013
  • By m s
  • Comments Off on Review – Stars and Barmen (Austin 360.com)
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Review – Stars and Barmen (Austin 360.com)

Stars and Barmen Press 1


By Cate Blouke
We’ve all been there: that sad and lonely place that has us searching for someone who can help us grasp something more out of life. That’s probably why romantic comedies are popular, because setting aside the wild antics and hilarity, we can typically relate on some level.
Reina Hardy’s “Stars and Barmen,” playing now through Nov. 16 at The Vortex, superimposes a lofty metaphor (or analogy, or symbol, or something) on top of an otherwise cute romantic comedy.
Rupert (Trey Deason) is a profoundly awkward graduate student studying astrophysics and desperately trying to meet a woman. We’re introduced to him in the midst of a party and get to laugh at his ludicrous attempts at pick up lines. Deason does a lovely job of amplifying the social awkwardness of his character, and his painfully bad dancing is particularly hilarious.
Rupert doesn’t know how to flirt and doesn’t even seem to know how to have fun. After he meets Claire (Bridget Farr) at a party that he’s crashed, Rupert suddenly has a new mission in life: to find her again. Resorting to Craigslist’s missed connections section, Rupert tries over and over to find his dream girl.
The fundamental problem is that Claire is actually a star – in the sky – though you might not catch that unless you’d read the promotional materials. The production doesn’t highlight Claire’s otherworldly qualities, and the script doesn’t explain them very clearly, so this is where the plot remains muddled throughout. It’s unclear how or why Claire appears (particularly in places like bathroom mirrors), or what it’s supposed to mean that she’s a star.
But, because this is a romantic comedy, the Internet does provide Rupert with Elaine (Breanna Stogner) – a similarly desperate and socially awkward writer posing as a prostitute.
For someone living a double life, however, Elaine seems pretty one-dimensional. We meet her in an awkward attempt at seduction, but rather than seeing her alter-ego Gwen, we just get a taste of the same comically hapless character that we see throughout the show. Granted, Stogner is pretty hilarious as the blocked writer, but it’s hard to believe she could fool anyone into giving her a book deal.
In the end, like Elaine’s character, we’re confused by the metaphor of the star that envelops this play. But Deason and Stogner’s comedic timing go a long way to compensate if what you want is a night of laughter and affection.

"Stars and Barmen" continues through Nov. 16 at the Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. $10-$30. www.vortexrep.org


Read the entire article here

Contact us

Name: Butterfly Bar Austin
Phone: 512-478-5282
Address: 2307 Manor Rd Austin, TX 78722