Dionysus Theatre, my new job (and honor)

Have I mentioned that I am employed?  By angels?

No kidding.  After a year and a half of unemployment, religiously sending out hundreds of resumes that seem to have all turned into smoke signals and evaporated,  I am proud to announce that I am a working gal again, albeit on a part-tine basis.

For a small part of the week, I get to publicize and get news out about one of the truly great theaters in the world, Dionysus Theatre in Houston, Tx., the only theater in the Lone Star State that includes actors with disabilities alongside able-bodied actors.

There is no need to “spin” anything.  The truth of this little theater and its mission of inclusion, that it takes people with visible and hidden disabilities from the shadows to the spotlight –where they shine — makes this job a privilege.

I’ve only done publicity on one show so far, and already this is my favorite job of my entire life.  Thank you, all those people in my former job who decided that I was to be included in the 200 people laid off in March 2009, for making this possible.   Really.

These are the most talented people I’ve ever had the joy of working with.  Under the guidance of Deb Nowinski, who founded the theater 12 years ago, the best is brought forward in her actors and in her staff and in her audiences.  It’s amazing to watch this theater’s motto come to life:  “Saving Lives One Act at a Time.”

Next up is a “sampler” of what Dionysus Theatre does, a free meet-and-greet beginning at 7 p.m. at the Joe Frank Theater (space Dionysus Theatre rents from the Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood. The casts of the past four productions that constituted the main theater’s, youth theater’s and touring troupe’s 12th season, will offer highlights from each show that paid homage to communities of differences — the autistic in Autistic License, the deaf in Children of a Lesser God, developmentally disabled in “The Boys Next Door” and the foibles of childhood in the musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

I hope everyone who is interested in entertainment, education, inclusion  and just having a good time on a Thursday evening will come out on Sept. 2 and meet this inspiring group of actors, directors and supporters, old and new.

I am working with angels.  I never really believed in angels before, but I have to now that I’m actually seeing them on a fairly regular basis.  Head angel is Deb, a fiery red-head who turns disabled people from introverted, shy people who have learned to stay in the margins of life, into stars. She’s a miracle worker.

This company will again drum up support during its 4th gala for supporters on Cct. 16 at the Mariott Hotel in Houston.  Come eat, bid on fantastic prizes at the silent and live auctions, and have a good time while supporting this excellent nonprofit theater.

The gala’s theme will be “Building on a Dream” to note that this theater company is looking for a permanent home.  Renting from the JCC is great, but Dionysus — a god who had a clubbed foot, did you know that? — needs his own digs.

Anybody have a theater for sale — or space that would lend itself to being built out as a theater — in Houston?


2 responses to “Dionysus Theatre, my new job (and honor)

  1. hi,
    I came across this looking for other blogs with the title I want to use for mine, “writing well is the best revenge”. This post caught my eye. I’ve been involved in theater in all sorts of ways since undergrad days (I’m 48 now) but not professionally, except for getting paid for a few articles for newspapers and such…this is a great idea and I hope it’s still going on and working out well for you and the community. I live in Key West and there’s so much pro-quality talent here there’s not much room for eager community theater types that run the shows in most towns… but that’s okay, I learn so much from the atmosphere here, and meet the most amazing people, I know it will only work toward the good overall and someday I’ll be able to accomplish something like what you’re doing in a less talent-crowded town. Thanks so much for sharing your experience; it gives me hope. Anna


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