Almost 30 Years in the Making: The History of Lowell Bartholomee's Previews of Departing Attractions
Updated: Aug 31, 2022
Previews of Departing Attractions is a witty, poignant, and deeply human short play collection that contains pieces that span playwright Lowell Bartholomee's writing life. The collection had its world premiere run from August 5-20, 2022 at Austin Playhouse West Campus.
A virtual run of the show will begin September 20, 2022.
The oldest piece in Previews Of Departing Attractions is ONE SMALL STEP, which just celebrated its 28th birthday. It was written in 1994, but not performed until FronteraFest 2001 at Hyde Park Theatre with Judson Jones, Joey Hood, and Robert S. Fisher. It was performed again in 2002 at the Blue Theatre with the same cast and then at New York Fringe in 2004 with Jud, Mical Trejo, and Robert.
BOB'S BIRTHDAY was written in late 1999 and performed at Lowell's first FronteraFest in 2000. It was also performed in 2002 and 2004. Robert S. Fisher is the only person to ever perform it and it was a finalist for the Heideman Award at the Humana Festival in the early 2000's. Robert returns to the role for this production.
DUTCH was written for blah, blah, blah, a collection of plays at the Blue Theatre in 2002. It's loosely based on Lowell's cousin Dutch from Baltimore and the Eastern Shore. Jud Jones and Robert S. Fisher performed it then and that was the only time it's been staged until now.
STANDING ROOM ONLY premiered at FronteraFest 2003 with Robert Pierson and the late Michael Rains and then was part of the blah, blah, blah that went to New York Fringe Festival in 2004, where it was performed by Jud Jones and Mical Trejo. This production is the first time it's been done with a female cast.
Parts of SPOILERS! come from a longer piece called THEY'RE COMING TO GET YOU! which premiered at FronteraFest 2011 and then performed again at Frontera Long Fringe at Salvage Vanguard Theater in 2012. It was nominated for the Austin Critics Table Mark David Cohen Award for a New Play. Robert S. Fisher is the only person who has performed that play and it's now a seven-person piece instead of a one-person piece.
GAME DAY premiered at Scriptworks' Out of Ink: The Empty Set in 2014 at Trinity Street Playhouse. It was directed by Ellie McBride and featured Gricelda Silva and Roxy Becker.
SMILEY premiered at Scriptworks' Out of Ink: Object Lessons in 2017 at Hyde Park with David DuBose as Smiley. He returns to the role for this production. The 2017 production was directed by Ellie McBride and the rest of that cast was Amy Chang, Karina Dominguez, Matrex Kilgore, and Johanna Whitmore. It's inspired by Dirk, who is off making the universe a better place.
Everything else is new; one of them as new as early July 2022.
Photos by Errich Petersen Photography.