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September 2010
CASA Annual Superhero 5K

On Sunday, September 19th, four of DA!'s founding members were thrilled by the chance to volunteer at an incredible community event benefiting one of our favorite non-profits, CASA of Travis County, for their annual Super Hero 5K Run in North Austin!

Jude, Robin, Heather, and Kirk had a super-awesome time heading up an activity booth that created brand-new custom-made Super-Hero Names for participants, like "The Fastenator" and "Blue Rumble"... Great costumes, great camaraderie, and ALL in the name of a REALLY GREAT cause!

August 2010
Heron & Crane

Last May, DA! received an exciting invitation to represent Austin at The New York International Fringe Festival by bringing Heron & Crane to Manhattan! It was an incredible honor and our most substantial undertaking to date. The journey called upon all of our known (and even some unknown!) resources. Every Collective member banded together with energy and aplomb to make this experience possible! We worked for over three months, re-envisioning the set, the costumes, the score, the choreography, and even the script to make sure we'd do Austin proud in August. Countless members of the community came forward to support us with donations, silent auction items, and even airline miles. Thanks to our generous supporters, we made it! ... And the experience was truly spectacular. Martin Denton of NYtheatre.com praised Heron & Crane, saying: "I cannot think of a better way to introduce a child to the magic and energy of theatre than via this delightful show". We were further humbled to be recommended by Ellen Gamerman of the Wall Street Journal and Adam Feldman of Time Out New York. A big Russian spacebo to all of our outstanding "Friends in the Swamp," both new and old, for helping this dream to come true!

February 2010
Mi Casa es Su Teatro

On February 6, 2010, DA! curated the "most-successful" Mi Casa es Su Teatro to date, made possible by the diverse offerings of other local artists (and many dear friends, too). The 78704-centered event bustled with attendees and finished up with a roaring party at The Ranch. FronteraFest has played a significant role in the artistic journey of many of our individual members, not to mention in our overall history as a Collective-- so DA! was honored and delighted to contribute to Austin's favorite one-of-a-kind multi-arts festival in this way!

January 2010
On Location

DA! was chosen by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to be the subject of an "On Location" documentary created by Theatre & Film students from Hill Country Middle School, led by the amazing teaching duo of Sarah Cervantes & Pamela Friday. Thanks to those cool kids, you can now find us on stage AND screen.

November 2009
Leave it to Beverly

Just before Thanksgiving of '09, DA! Theatre Collective proudly presented the world premiere of the full-length version of Leave it to Beverly! Leave it to Beverly subverted the classic sit-com genre through three interconnected acts (Leave it to Beverly, Trixie Knows Best, and Make Room for Lorraine); each fast-paced and bizarre episode featured an archetypal TV female confronting her artificial universe in hilarious and unexpected ways. The comedy confronted consumerism, turned gender roles upside-down, and celebrated the elusive mysteries of Tupperware, Astroturf, and Mr. Clean.

Written and directed by Kirk German, it featured DA! Members Jude Hickey, Heather Huggins, Lisa del Rosario, Michelle Brandt, Stephanie Denson, and Scott Roskilly, plus two of our newest members, Jacob Trussell and Rhonda Kulhanek. Special guest artist Chris Gibson rounded out the hilarious cast as "Husband." The outstanding production team included Taylor Kulhanek, Monica Gibson, Kat Rodgers, Bryan Schneider, Connor Hopkins, Sharon Sparlin, Chelsea Boyd, and a number of DA! interns from Huntington-Surrey School.

The show opened on November 5th at The Off Center and ran for three successful weekends, garnering several sold-out houses, lots of laughter, and glowing acclaim from Austin Live Theatre's Michael Meigs, The Austinist's Spike Gillespie, and many other critics. Just read these samples!:

Austin Live Theatre.

The Austinist.

Or take a listen to our Arts Eclectic spot on the ol' wireless HERE!

A special benefit performance on Sunday, November 15 for GRRL Action was also a huge success, providing a scholarship for one GRRL Action girl to participate in their awesome year-round mentorship program designed to empower girls between the ages of 13 and 16 to find their public voices while building confidence, interacting with girls from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and creating community. An absolutely perfect fit for Beverly and her friends!

Photos: Melissa Jurrens & Liberty Carlin


Beverly was nominated for two Austin Critics' Table Awards and two B. Iden Payne Awards! PAYNE WINNER: Jude Hickey, Best Featured Actor in a Comedy, 2009-2010

September 2009
Direct Object

You asked and we answered! In September, DA! unveiled its newest full-length version of our Best-of-Fest debut at Salvage Vanguard Theatre. Ten unstoppable storytellers were released onto one stage along with some unusual and transformative scene partners: a rolling pin, an exercise bungee, a soccer ball, a backpack, a foot locker, a scarf, a picture frame, an umbrella, two coffee mugs, five cat toys, a broom, a Hello Kitty Lunchbox, and an Austin Chronicle! Directed by Heather Huggins and inspired by highly acclaimed work from Moscow, the result was a 75-minute tour-de-force that by turns moved, delighted, and shocked Austin audiences for two solid weekends, including four sold-out, audience-on-the-floor performances! Direct Object, described by BC Culture as "tight, disciplined, and entertaining," also has a touring version available for high schools and middle schools.

Heather Huggins was nominated for a B. Iden Payne Award for Best Director of a Comedy!

August 2009

DA! Theatre Collective is honored to be a recent recipient of a 2009 Austin Chronicle "Best of Austin" Critics' Pick award for "Best Non-Profit Startup". DA! is proud to be sponsored by Hyde Park Theatre. This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

April 2009
Heron & Crane

Heron and Crane migrated to The VORTEX for three weeks in April. This hilarious, interactive children's show written by Kirk German was nominated for two B. Iden Payne Awards (including Best Play for Youth!) and featured Jude Hickey and Michelle Brandt. Heron and Crane is now in its third year of touring to local elementary schools. DA! is booking now for paid and donated performances. Learn more about the show at Upcoming: Education.

February 2009
57 Boyfriends

Stephanie Denson's honest and irreverent one-woman show slyly seduced us into joining our debut season! This delightful, moving, inspiring, and even shocking show was directed by Heather Huggins & Kirk German and premiered at FronteraFest Short Fringe 2009, on Friday, February 6th, 2009!

57 Boyfriends quickly advanced to both "Best of the Week" AND "Best of the Fest" at FronteraFest's Short Fringe in '09. As Ryan Johnson of austin.com noted: "There's an unflinching honesty to the piece that I've found only rarely in one-woman shows...[Denson] shows more courage than just about anyone else who took the stage this festival."

Stephanie moved to Chicago in 2009 and within two months had already remounted 57 Boyfriends in the Windy City as part of the Beast Woman Cabaret series at Greenhouse Theatre Center!

December 2008
Relative Space

Relative Space was a site-specific installation at Hyde Park Theatre directed and choreographed by Lisa del Rosario
with an original score by Travis Cooper, and featuring Jude Hickey, Heather Huggins, Kirk German, Michelle Brandt, Scott Roskilly, Stephanie Denson, and Lisa del Rosario herself.

The stories within Relative Space were inspired by the unique interior architecture of Hyde Park Theatre. Relative Space challenged preconceptions of time, space, and human interaction by exploring the creativity through which we relate. Using pedestrian, rhythmic, and acrobatic vignettes, the Collective transformed the space into a sculpted world.

As part of the Collective's commitment to incubate new work by Austin's finest talents, DA! showcased the inspirational and visionary work of Ms. del Rosario. Lisa has danced and choreographed throughout the world, from New York and Mexico to a residency in the Philippines with The Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Bayanihan. Luckily for all of us, Lisa has made Austin her home.

To use Ms. Del Rosario's own words about what Relative Space explored, "It is in the human condition to relate to people, to objects, and to spaces; by watching novel and profound ways in performance, the goal is for the audience to explore the creativity by which we relate. The journey the audience will take is a change of perspective in their relationship to something as ordinary as a door, a curtain, a wall, a room, or a person, to take them to a beautiful, uplifting, magical place where archetypal conditions exist-- all created by moving bodies and spirits."

Relative Space had a running time of one hour, and ran off-nights at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W 43rd Street, Austin, TX, 78751 from Sun., Dec. 7th, to Wed., Dec. 17th.

Read what Kelsey Kling, Austinist.com, had to say HERE.

Read what Michael Meigs, Austin Live Theatre, had to say HERE.

Not only did it receive critical acclaim, but Relative Space was also a hit with audiences, setting a new record for Off-Night attendance at HPT! Way to go, Lisa and DA!

February 2008
Just say DA!: Direct Object

Just Say DA!: Direct Object, the inaugural production of DA! Theatre Collective, opened at Hyde Park Theatre on Thursday, February 7th as part of FronteraFest 2008's Short Fringe. DA! unleashed eight storytellers onto one stage along with a backpack, a rolling pin, an exercise bungee, a picture frame, a pair of pajama pants, two coffee mugs, an Austin Chronicle, and a dozen pencils.

The production advanced to Best of the Week and Best of the Fest at FronteraFest '08. And don't worry if you missed it - new versions of Direct Object are guaranteed to keep re-emerging as a mainstay of our invigorating and innovative repertoire!
Heron and Crane
Education Archive
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