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Does a Pulitzer prize winner actually make theater air smell more sparkly?

By by dianna wray/
June 1, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.

Suzan-Lori Parks


What: "The Book of Grace"

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday

Where: 1510 Toomey Road, Austin

Cost: $39

What: 42-hour Improv Marathon

When: 6 p.m. Friday to noon Sunday

Where: The Hideout Theatre, 617 Oxford, Austin

Cost: $5 an hour or $50 for the whole thing

What: Sizzling Summer Dance, The Houston Metropolitan Dance Company

When: 8:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston

Cost: Free

What: "Ancient Ukraine - Golden Treasures and Lost Civilizations"

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday through Sept. 5.

Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston

Cost: $12 to $18

I admit it, if you squeeze the words "Pulitzer Prize winning" in front of a playwright's name, my ears will perk up.

The town drunk who suddenly hears somebody is buying rounds for the house couldn't pay closer attention.

Suzan-Lori Parks is such a playwright. Parks won the Pulitzer in 2002 for her play "Topdog/Underdog," a play exploring family identity and the everyday struggles of being African-American.

Now, she's in Austin, and she's directing her newest play, "The Book of Grace."

The play is set in South Texas where the main character, Snake, has come home to reunite with his father, a border patrol agent. So it's about people bound together by passion, ambition and longing, according to the website, so, basically, it's about family.

Plays are funny creatures. The same play can be performed and directed by different people, with its text mined and situations interpreted in a myriad of ways. It's a living art and it changes under different hands.

The chance to see a play directed by the person it sprang from is a unique opportunity, and one you oughta be on quicker than a duck on a June bug. Or something like that.

Parks has helmed this creation from birth to it's actual interpretation on the stage. It's the premiere of the play, too.

As if that isn't impressive enough, did I mention she won a Pulitzer (Yeah, some people are impressed by people related to royal dead people, and I really do get sucked in too easily by that little fact-oid. I know).

The production is being put on by Zach Theatre in Austin. Go on and see it. I won't make anymore references to ducks or June bugs. Well, I probably won't.



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