January 28th, 2016
“Always Patsy Cline” is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show, created in 1980 by Ted Swindley, is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star at a Texas honky-tonk in 1961.
December 22, 2015
I had the pleasure of meeting, getting to know and interviewing Ted Swindley (Always…Patsy Cline, Honkey Tonk Angels), the guest of honor at the Texas Playwrights Festival at Stages Repertory Theatre last summer, and the founder of Stages as well as the original Texas Playwrights Festival. I learned from Ted how culturally and theatrically influential Stages has been in the Houston region since its first season in 1978. It was the first theatre to mount Houston, regional or world premieres of a variety of ground-breaking works, both plays and musicals. Here are just nine from its first five seasons: Bent (Martin Sherman, 1982), Buried Child (Sam Shepard, 1979), The Diviners (Jim Leonard, 1981), Getting Out (Marsha Norman, 1980), The Gin Game (D.L. Coburn, 1982), No Exit (Jean-Paul Sartre, adapted by Paul Bowles, 1981), Red Rover, Red Rover (Oliver Hailey, 1978), Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (Christopher Durang, 1982), and both male and female versions of Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Brian Clark, 1981). I had to debate with myself over which of the premieres to include given that, during these years, Stages mounted 51 full-length productions, not including its touring productions or the shorts it produced during the first playwrights fest in 1982.
October 13, 2015
Ted Swindley knows a thing or two about country music and southern culture. The veteran director and playwright has entertained audiences for decades with a mix of dramas, comedies and music-fueled plays with a distinctive twang.
Although he resides in Nashville, Swindley also knows something about Houston. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance and was the founding artistic director of Stages Repertory Theatre.