Composer Wayne Oquin completed his bachelor’s degree at Texas State University in just three years by taking 30 credit hours in a semester – twice. He’s now on the faculty of Juilliard – okay, he’s an over-achiever. He graduated in 1999, so I’m guessing that by now Oquin has paid off his student loans. Luckily for local audiences, he’s still paying a debt of appreciation to his alma mater.
Every year since 2007, Oquin has collaborated with his Texas State mentors to produce an annual one-night performance called “Juilliard Joins Texas State.” The presentations include music, performed by Texas State and Juilliard musicians, melded with other performing, visual, and literary arts.
This year’s production, which will take place this Thursday, March 8, centers on the theme “Freedoms: The First Amendment.”
If right about now you’re thinking, “Hey, wait a minute. This is supposed to be a blog about Austin theatre!” I have two good reasons for including this information here:
- Two Austin-based actors are taking part in this year’s production.
- Depending on where you live in Austin, getting to San Marcos can take less time than driving within the city limits.
Austin actor Barbara Chisholm will perform excerpts from Red-Hot Patriot: The Kick-ass Wit of Molly Ivins. As Martin Luther King, Jr., actor Eugene Lee (recently seen in Zach Theatre’s Book of Grace and God of Carnage) will do an excerpt from I Have a Dream and I See the Promised Land. The MLK speeches will be interwoven with Oquin’s MLK song cycle for baritone and piano, A Time to Break Silence: Songs Inspired by the Words and Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The 90-minute production takes place at Texas State University’s Evans Auditorium. Admission is free, but is limited to the first 935 people who walk through the doors, which open at 7:00 p.m for the 7:30 p.m. show. NOTE: Latecomers will not be admitted. No one will be seated once the performance begins. And given the talent on the stage, it’s likely that no one will stay seated once the performance ends.