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2011 Austin Critics' Table Award Winners and Austin Arts Hall of Fame Inductees Celebrated

UT Theatre and Dance Community Shines at Ceremony

The Austin Critics' Table has chosen their favorites for the year in theatre, design, dance, visual art and classical music. Among the top picks are Department of Theatre and Dance students, faculty, alumni and friends who have been recognized for their outstanding achievements during the 2010-2011 season. The 2011 awards were presented Monday, June 6 at Cap City Comedy Club.

Awards by category:


Production, Comedy

Production, Musical

  • I've Never Been So Happy, Rude Mechs
  • Co-Producing Artistic Director - Madge Darlington, M.F.A. '04
  • Co-Producing Artistic Director - Thomas Graves, M.F.A. '08
  • Co-Producing Artistic Director - Kirk Lynn, Department of Theatre and Dance Lecturer, M.F.A. '04
  • Production Stage Manager - Denise Martel, Department of Theatre and Dance Senior Lecturer
  • Assistant Stage Manager - Taylor McCaslin, B.A. in Theatre and Dance candidate

David Mark Cohen New Play Award

  • I've Never Been So Happy, Kirk Lynn, Department of Theatre and Dance Lecturer, M.F.A. '04 and
  • Peter Stopschinski, B.M. '95


Short Work

  • Working the Line, Julie Nathanielsz/The Meeting Point, Fusebox Festival, M.F.A. '09


  • Theresa Hardy, One, B.F.A. '97


  • These Are the Droids You're Looking For Award
    Dustin Wills, B.A. in Theatre and Dance '06 for the robots in Heddatron

At this year's annual awards, twenty-five individuals who made significant contributions to the arts were inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. The prestigious class includes Stark Young (1881-1963) who founded the Curtain Club at The University of Texas at Austin. The Curtain Club, which included fellow Hall of Fame inductees Zachary Scott (1914-1965) and Mel Pape (1912-1995), brought drama to the campus and Austin community. E. William Doty (1907-1994) is recognized for building the College of Fine Arts and luring key faculty, including the following inductees, to serve at the Department of Drama (now Department of Theatre and Dance).

Prolific writer Ellsworth P. Conkle (1899-1994) joined the department in 1939 and headed the playwriting program for 34 years. F. Loren Winship (1904-1978) served as the department chair for two decades and during that time oversaw the construction of the new department building, later named in his honor. B. Iden Payne (1881-1976) came to the department in 1946 where he taught theatre and directed productions of Shakespeare for more than a quarter century. Francis Hodge (1915-2008) came to the faculty in 1949 and brought the M.F.A. directing program to national recognition during his 30-year tenure.

Alumnus and philanthropist W.H. “Deacon” Crain (1918-1998) also joins the ranks of the Austin Hall of Fame this year. A member of the Curtain Club, Crain was a consummate student who earned five degrees from the university, including the department's first doctoral degree in playwriting. He established several scholarships that continue to provide vital support to Department of Theatre and Dance students today.

Related link:
Full List of Austin Critics' Table 2010 - 2011 Winners by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, The Austin American-Statesman

Learn more about the Austin Arts Hall of Fame - First Generation by Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

2010 - 2011 Austin Critics' Table Awards Nominees Announced