THEATER’S NEW FUTURE: BOB BURSEY, OF TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS

THEATER’S NEW FUTURE: BOB BURSEY, OF TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS

When it comes to theater, it has indeed shape-shifted, like the rest of the world…due to the pandemic. The future is bright, though, according to the University of Texas’s Bass Hall and Texas Performing Arts’ Executive Director, Bob Bursey, who weighs in with his point of view on the performing arts…

By Lance Avery Morgan     Photography courtesy of Texas Performing Arts. Portrait photography by Lawerence Pert

Bob Bursey

LAM: Bob, thanks for your time to connect about theater. Why is Bass Concert Hall at UT such a special place for performances, in your opinion?  

BB: It’s the largest theater in Austin, and for 40 years has been the Austin home for top artists and productions from around the world. The scale of it is breathtaking, and that allows artists to go big.

LAM: The show must go on. That in mind, with the pandemic, how has TPA adapted and pivoted with its online presence and a new exhibit like Behind the Scenes: The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop?

Backdrop from Two Weeks In Another Town

BB: We’re staying true to our purpose of connecting people with creativity, especially in these times. We’ve been finding the opportunities in the pandemic through projects that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, like using the Bass Concert Hall stage as an exhibition space for the Hollywood Backdrops show.

LAM: Why is an exhibition like this so important about telling a more complete story about the theatre?  

BB: Theater and filmmaking both rely on the work of many, many people behind the scenes.  These are extraordinary artists in their own right, though you never see them on-stage or screen, and sometimes they’re not even credited.  This exhibition celebrates some of those artisans and their work. 

LAM: What do you want a visitor to experience when they see this exhibit? 

BB: To be transported out of day-to-day life during these long months.  It’s an opportunity to take a trip to a Golden Age Hollywood backlot without leaving Austin.

LAM: How important is it for UT to have an organization like Texas Performing Arts?

BB: Having a leading performing art presenting and producing program is part of what makes the University of Texas at Austin a flagship school. The university’s commitments to excellence and to research extends to the arts.  Artists develop new projects here, and we provide UT students with hands-on, real-world experiences that further them toward becoming the next generation of creative leaders.

LAM: Texas Performing Arts will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary–congratulations on that. That’s a major milestone–what does that represent for the future of the venue? 

BB: We’re excited about the next forty years. We’re always improving the facility itself of course, and even more important than that are the opportunities to welcome new artists and audiences, as well as creating opportunities to connect with artists and performances beyond the walls of our building.

LAM: What can we expect to see with the next season (2021-2022) of performances? 

BB: That will be our 40th anniversary season, so you can expect the return of remarkable artists who have been favorites in Austin over the years. That will be balanced with new voices—the emerging generation of performing arts is extraordinary, and we want Austin to see them first.

Backdrop from National Velvet

LAM: How important are the “road” shows of Broadway hits that are brought to our culture–it seems that Hollywood has returned to The Great White Way for its creative inspiration–unprecedented since the 60s. 

BB: That’s exactly right—TV and film are drawing heavily on shows and talent from the theater world. Our silver linings of the pandemic is that the performing arts world is getting more comfortable with putting productions on screen, and is finding that it makes the live experience even more special. 

LAM: What are other types of performances on the horizon, beyond the Broadway Across America productions?

BB: Our next season will include some of America’s leading dance, theater, and music artists and ensembles. We’re putting more emphasis on big dance and theater projects—the sorts of ambitious productions that we’re uniquely positioned to take on because of our facility and the spirit of UT. Some of the most exciting music being made now is coming from unexpected collaborations between different artists, so that will be a focus as well.

LAM: Regarding your role, what are some of your key objectives with the future of TPA? 

BB: I want the artists and productions on our stages to reflect the broadest possible view of what Texas is in 2021—a big, diverse, forward-looking state. We’re planning to create more new projects here.  UT is about changing the world for the better through research and learning, and that’s the objective for Texas Performing Arts through our creative development programs and what we can do for students of every age.

PASSIONATELY POETIC

PASSIONATELY POETIC

Portrait photography by Wendy Bowman Butler | Dress and blouse by Angelina Mata

Stacy Schlagel’s new collection of poetry, Personification of Entelechy, has just been released to positive critical acclaim. The San Antonio-based author is putting a new face on what it takes to be a modern creative entrepreneur.   

Stacy Schlagel is a gifted author, philanthropist, mother, and homemaker with a background in teaching and law. Her book, Personification of Entelechy, a collection of poems, is a lifetime goal achievement. She is also a songwriter and music producer, plus she’s the owner and operator of Regal Recordings. Schlagel enjoys pursuing her passions, which include writing, music, science, interior design, cooking, and travel.  

She is married to David Allen Schlagel, who owns and operates the Natural Resource Consortium. They have one young son, Zachary, who is precocious, strong-willed, empathetic, and kind. Schlagel has two adoring and supportive parents: her mom is a retired trigonometry and calculus educator, and her dad is a retired missile command officer in the United States Air Force. Stacy has an older sister who is a kindergarten educator and a younger brother who is a physician.

The Schlagel family strongly believes in giving back to their community and living a God-filled life full of learning, new experiences, and adventure. Stacy says, I thoroughly enjoy writing about love. It’s absolutely the strongest force that there is, and if I can inspire people with my writing, well that is unbelievable.  

Stacy Schlagel’s book is available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  

To listen to songs from Stacy’s Regal Recordings, click below:

 

Your Face

Lyrics by Stacy Schlagel | Produced by Stacy Schlagel and Tim Ferry | Vocals by Emma Ferry

Oh, Jesus

Lyrics by Stacy Schlagel | Produced by Stacy Schlagel and Kimberly Morrell | Vocals by Kim Morrell

 

From Personification of Entelechy 

Pretty Face 
So they think I’m merely a pretty face 
A stereotype I can’t seem to escape  
As I scream from within  
WAIT, I have so many talents  
While I stay modest  
And inwardly focused 
Those that love me the most  
See my soul 
They judge me not 
Knowing I will quickly pop off 
What the world needs to discover  
Please don’t judge a book by its cover 

Click image to purchase

Moonlight Lovers
You see me beneath the trees
On a golden dewy autumn night
Lovers quarrel and they fight
Sadness brings her to her knees
He is also melancholy
As both lovers deem to please
She sighs
He walks out of sight
Both hearts began to break
Both tremor and violently shake
Making their way back to the moonlight
They hold an intoxicating embrace
She missed his beautiful face
He took her hand, as they began
LIFE
Together, forever
Under the golden moonlight

 

 

 

POETRY IN MOTION

POETRY IN MOTION

Stacy Schlagel’s new tome of poetry, Personification of Entelechy, has just been released and it might just be what many in these challenging times are looking for in life: rhyme and reason.

Stacy Schlagel. Portrait photography by Wendy Bowman Butler.

Stacy Elizabeth Schlagel is an author, philanthropist, mother, and homemaker. Her book, Personification of Entelechy, a collection of poems, has just been released. She is also a songwriter and music producer, plus she’s the owner and operator of Regal Recordings. Schlagel enjoys pursuing her passions, which include writing, science, interior design, cooking, and travel. Born in Tucson, Arizona, to adoring parents, who met in a calculus class in college, the family lived in Arizona for two years after her birth. They later moved to Austin, where she would spend her early childhood as a precocious and quick-witted child with a keen sense of justice. She made friends quickly and her kindergarten teacher would describe her in this way, “She thinks she is everyone’s mommy.” 

Schlagel’s father is a retired missile command officer in the U.S. Air Force, and her mother is a retired trigonometry and calculus high school educator. They both instilled in Stacy the value of hard work, honesty, giving back to your community, and competing only with oneself. She was first published in a magazine as a model at eight-years-old. Involved in ballet and cheerleading, what she loved most was zip-lining and playing outside most of the day with the neighborhood children. During her adolescent years, she developed a strong desire to express herself through creative writing, and did so, often rapidly advancing above grade-level in language arts, mathematics, and science, subjects she still enjoys very much to this day. As a teenager, she continued to model, was a cheerleader, and became involved in beauty competitions, all of which have prepared her for life. Upon entering college at the University of Texas-San Antonio campus, Stacy decided to delve into web design. She created her own HTML coding plus Photoshop and quickly started her own web design business that she owned and operated until she graduated from college with honors and a background in teaching and law. 

She is married to David Allen Schlagel, who owns and operates the Natural Resource Consortium. They have one young son, Zachary, who is precocious, strong-willed, empathetic, and kind. She has an older sister, who is a kindergarten educator, and a younger brother, who is a physician. The Schlagel family strongly believes in giving back to their community and living a God-filled life full of learning, new experiences, and adventure. Stacy Schlagel’s motto is simple:  “Learn from your past, live for today, plan for your future, and make every day count.”

Click image to purchase

Stacy Schlagel’s book is available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and here’s a sneak peek inside…

Moonlight Lovers

You see me beneath the trees

On a golden dewy autumn night 

Lovers quarrel and they fight

Sadness brings her to her knees 

He is also melancholy 

As both lovers deem to please 

She sighs

He walks out of sight 

Both hearts began to break

Both tremor and violently shake 

Making their way back to the moonlight 

They hold an intoxicating embrace 

She missed his beautiful face

He took her hand, as they began

LIFE

Together, forever 

Under the golden moonlight

Stepford Wife

When you are walking down the aisle,

you are seeing fairytales and rainbows

Not noisy kids throwing twigs

You absolutely do not know 

The impact of this big decision 

Who am I, merely a Stepford wife?

He scolds, he folds

This is how the cookie crumbles

Women, find your own voice

It’s a matter of CHOICE

Be humble, do not stumble

Make the time to let your OWN light shine

Your family will surely appreciate you

You are not a Stepford wife 

Oh how Divine

Stacey Schlagel. Portrait photography by Wendy Bowman Butler. Dress by Angelina Mata.