AUSTIN: The VORTEX has announced its 2018-19 season, which will be called “Homeward” and comprise works about the meaning of home.
The season will open with Atlantis: A Puppet Opera (Sept. 1-29 at Ethos and the VORTEX) by Chad Salvata, a cautionary environmental tale about the magical realm of Atlantis, ruled by Queen Solstra and Prince Helios, who seek world domination. Bonnie Cullum will direct.
Next will be a new play, Mawlana (Oct. 4-7 at Canopy Theatre) by Fares al Zahaby, about pre-revolution Syria and its complex religious and social nuances. Syrian director, actor, and playwright Nawar Bulbul will perform in the show.
Following will be Salvador Dali’s Naked Feast (Oct. 20 at the VORTEX). Conceived and directed by Bonnie Cullum, this annual fundraising extravaganza will take on the style of a performance installation cocktail party, for mature audiences.
Next will be Great Expectations (Nov. 16-Dec. 8 at Different Stages), adapted from Charles Dickens’ novel by Barbara Field, about the adventures of an orphaned blacksmith’s apprentice named Pip. Karen Jambon will direct.
Following will be (Un)rooted (Dec. 13-15 at Corps Multiple), with music, scenic, and choreographic conception by Sandie Donzica and François Minaux. It will explore themes of orphanage and identity through moving bodies, music, text, and lights in an interdisciplinary performance.
Next will be The Muttcracker (SWEET!) (Dec. 20-Jan. 6, 2019 at Circus Chickendog), with a book by Melissa Vogt and Darren Peterson and music by Tyler Mabry. It is a holiday family show that will include juggling, live music, rescue dogs, and a talking macaw.
Following will be the NNPN Rolling World Premiere of Heartland (Jan. 17-Feb. 9, 2019 at the VORTEX) by Gabriel Jason Dean, about the true events of American propaganda in Afghanistan. Rudy Ramirez will direct.
Next will be run. (Feb. 15-16, 2019 at the VORTEX), written and performed by Brooklyn-based artists Nia and Ness. Previously presented at last year’s OUTsider Fest, it tells the story of two black lesbians in a committed relationship through a dance-poetry performance.
Following will be the OUTsider Fest 2019—Queeriosities (Feb. 20-24, 2019), an annual festival and conference of film, dance, theatre, performance art, music, writing, and visual art that celebrates the bold originality and creative nonconformity of LGBTQ+ communities.
Next will be Locus of Control (Feb. 28-March 3, 2019 at the VORTEX), written and performed by Jason Bayani. This interdisciplinary performance uses poetry, storytelling, music, and multimedia to tell the story of Filipino immigrants in America. Kat Evasco will direct.
Following will be Dog Magic: Woman’s Best Friend (March 7-10, 2019 at the VORTEX), a performance art piece by Rachel Martin and Suze Kemper. This audience interactive cabaret memoir will explore the stories of humans and dogs.
Next will be Last: An Extinction Comedy (March 29-April 27, 2019 at the VORTEX), to be conceived and directed by Rudy Ramirez and devised by the VORTEX Ensemble. It is about the last band of traveling comedians trying to survive after the sixth global mass extinction.
Following will be Memoirs and Amours (May 2-4, 2019), a new dance piece presented by Diverse Space Dance about how much our memories affect our human interactions.
Next will be Ocean (May 9-18, 2019 at the VORTEX), written and performed by Ebony Stewart. It is a one-woman show with poetry, storytelling, and feminist and spiritual depth. Sonja Parks will direct.
Following will be new play Chickens in the Yard (May 24-June 1, 2019 at the VORTEX) by Paul Kruse, about a Pittsburgh family through the eyes of their four chickens. Alice Stanley will direct.
Next will be Phantom Cornucopia (June 1, 2019 at Ethos), a music release party revealing 18 all new arrangements and recordings of epic Ethos music spanning Chad Salvata’s 30-year career. It will include live performances, the debut screening of a music video, and a steampunk junk aesthetic all tied together with a narrative thread and characters.
Following will be black girl love: an adaptation project (June 7-22, 2019), adapted from Anondra “Kat” Williams’ black girl love by Alaina Monts, about the everyday lives of black queer women and non-binary people. Kt shorb will direct.
Next will be the 28th annual VORTEX Summer Youth Theatre production (July 19-27, 2019 at the VORTEX), directed by Gabriel Maldonado.
Following will be the Donner Party Project (Aug. 2-17, 2019), an original puppet operetta by Trouble Puppet and Mother Falcon about the horrifying true story of a group of families immigrating to California in 1846 who resort to cannabalism.
Next will be a new play, The Mamalogues (Aug. 23-Sept. 7, 2019 at Color Arc Productions and the VORTEX) by Lisa B. Thompson, about three black mothers in the #BlackLivesMatter era. Rudy Ramirez will direct.
Following will be :Humpty (Sept. 13-28, 2019 at Ethos), with a book by Melissa Vogt and music by Chad Salvata. This dark and humorous show is about the secret lives of nursery rhyme characters. Bonnie Cullum will direct.
In October 2019, VORTEX will present FUTURX: a festival of new and avant-garde Latinx performance at Avante Theatre Project. It is its 2nd annual festival that will explore Latinx identity in the 21st century and beyond. Among the works will be new production of playwright Krysta Gonzales’s Mas Cara.
VORTEX is an Austin-based company that was founded in 1988 and is a pioneering leader in Austin’s alternative theatre scene, offering innovative and interdisciplinary works.