INGRAM—A year of enchantment is unfolding at the Hill Country Arts Foundation as the venerable visual and performing arts colony celebrates its 50th anniversary with events in the gallery, Country Kitchen, on its two stages and underneath the trees at the sprawling, 13-acre complex.
The theatre magic begins Friday, Feb. 6, opening night of “A Bench in the Sun,” as beloved actors Virgil Justice and Kit Werlein return to the stage at the Point’s indoor Elizabeth Huth Coates Theatre. Performances for this hilarious comedy are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 28.
A pre-show reception at 6 p.m. kicks off the evening in the Duncan-McAshan Gallery, where past and present HCAF board members are displaying their work in the first exhibit of the anniversary year. The show, “Reflections,” runs through Jan. 28. A post-show reception to meet the cast and crew will be held in the theatre lobby.
In March, the gallery treats viewers to “Drawings: A Multiple Surface” on the 11th, while the indoor theatre delights audiences with another comedy, “Alone Together Again,” which opens March 20. Well-known actors Sonja Johnson and Jerry Mertz reprise their roles from last year’s “Alone Together.”
Anniversary activities offer something for the entire family, from new art gallery exhibits almost every month, the HCAF Auxiliary’s spring rummage sale April 18, summer art and theater workshops for youngsters in June and July, and an array of volunteer opportunities.
Warm weather brings outdoor fun with exciting summer theater productions of “Treasure Island,” “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and “Greater Tuna.” Performances begin at 8:30 p.m. on the Smith-Ritch Point Theatre stage and run Friday-Sunday on opening weekends and Thursday-Saturday on the second and third weekends.
Auditions for the outdoor shows are open to all and will be held in April and May. Audition information will be posted on the website: www.hcaf.com.
On June 14, a special anniversary event is sure to have community groups planning their portable feasts for “Picnic at the Point” on June 14 (Flag Day). This themed picnic competition will see church choirs, civic clubs and businesses vying for prizes for creativity, theme and picnic spread.
Later in the summer, HCAF members and volunteers will be treated to another special anniversary event - a “Greater Tuna” preview and appreciation day on Aug. 2. “Greater Tuna” opens to the public on Aug. 7.
Fall highlights include two indoor theater productions, one in October to be announced and the Texas based comedy “Christmas Belles,” the HCAF Auxiliary Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 7, and a black-tie 50th Anniversary Gala on Oct. 24.
The HCAF was established as an art colony in 1958 and chartered it in 1959 as a non-profit educational institution serving the Hill Country by a handful of visionary volunteers. In the past 50 years, that founding vision has evolved into a nationally renowned, year-round showcase for artists and actors. The arts complex is centered on a natural amphitheater carved into the banks of the Guadalupe River.
True to its origins, the HCAF remains a community based and family oriented center for arts education, exhibition and performance, according to a HCAF spokesperson. Members have sustained the organization for a half-century with their time, talents and financial contributions.
The HCAF invites the public to partake in a unique Hill County tradition: take a class, audition for a part, volunteer to be an usher or a docent, build a set, throw a pot, or join the auxiliary.
For membership details and information about HCAF programs, go online at www.hcaf.com or call 830.367.5121.
Enjoy a year of magic during the HCAF’s 50th anniversary:
HCAF Board Members
“Drawings: a multiple surface”
March 14-April 11
Kathy Joiner, Pamela Lamoureux
& Jerry Seagle
April 25-May 23
Featuring Hand-Pulled Prints
“Turning point I”
2009 HCAF Members
“Turning point II”
July 10-August 1
Featuring Dusty Pendleton
“The Great Escape”
Aug. 7-Sept. 5
“The Escape Artists”
Sept. 19-Nov. 7
Exhibition and Competition
Juried by Jack Ramsey
Nov. 20-Jan. 9, 2010
Exhibition and Competition
Featuring College Students
Indoor Theater –
“A Bench in the Sun”
“Alone Together Again”
March 20-April 5
Nov. 20-Dec. 12
Outdoor Theater –
“Beauty and the Beast”