Advocate editorial board opinion: Theatre Victoria moves to expand its repertoire

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 19, 2010 at 3:19 a.m.

Imagine. At some point in the future, some original production at Theatre Victoria will be the recipient of a Tony Award. If Charles Moster, the theater's producing artistic director, has anything to say about it, Theatre Victoria will become a qualifier for that award.

"There is a category at the Tony Awards for regional theaters. I would like to get our productions to aspire to that. It is setting the bar really high, and it would put Victoria on the map," Moster said.

We are excited at this prospect. And it adds yet another plus to making Victoria a tourist destination. With Victoria becoming a Main Street Program city, upgrading its downtown, as well as having a full four-year university and Caterpillar Inc. creating more than 500 jobs here, making a theater arts regional center as well is fantastic. We applaud Moster for his vision and work.

First, Moster said Theatre Victoria would have to begin being a regional theater. Moster, who was an attorney for 25 years with theater as an avocation, said he is putting more hours in with the theater and "having a blast" doing what he likes best.

"The signature of a regional theater - as compared to a community theater - is that it does original work," he said. He noted that Theatre Victoria would be continuing its usual community theater productions, as well.

Tonight, the quest beings with the first in a series of original productions: "A Lone Star Night." Moster described the production as a "montage," a single play that brings several different parts together around three fictional characters based on three real people of Victoria (not named). A group of Texas writers - local and elsewhere - wrote the play.

He said the play promises to take viewers on a roller coaster ride from laughter to serious moments. The ending should be satisfying to the audience, he said.

Also, Moster is creating a Silver Showcase Premier, a setting where audiences can return to ask questions and make constructive criticism on original productions.

"The actors I've met here are every bit as good as those in New York, Minneapolis, Miami and Austin - where I've worked before." Moster said. He said he was confident Victoria would excel as a regional theater.

"I want people to realize the incredible talent we have in Victoria - the acting talent, the talent behind the scenes and the production crews."

Moster also commented that the Welder Performing Arts Center is a much better venue than theaters like the well-known Paramount and Zackary Scott theaters in Austin.

We agree. And we think originality is a key to success in regional theaters. Moster certainly knows his art and skill. We commend him, his staff and the many people involved with Theatre Victoria.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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