Refraction Arts Project




fuse Box

     a month-long festival merging theater, film, art, dance, and music


On Stage:


Fear of a Fuhrer

by Abi Basch



by Kimberly Burke



by Cyndi Williams




Erin Curtis, Katalin Haursel, Cecilia Israel-Bradfield, Erick Michaud, Jared Steffensen, Monika Bustamante, Sonnet Blanton and Sam Webber, Jenny Larson, Jaclyn Prior, Samantha Randall, Thuy-Van Vu, Lisa Lehmenkuhler, Thorsten Bihegue, Kathrin Feldhaus, Stefanie Fielder, Caroline Schlockwerder, Lauren Tietz and the Improvisational Movement Project.


Includes a final week of site-specific pieces, culminating with an all-day adventure on Saturday, April 30!


poster and post card designed by Liz Berry







Refraction Arts Project is dedicated to creating bold new works of art across a variety of media, including film, theater, art and music. We are especially interested in the intersection of these

different media as we search for new stories, new sounds and images that pulse with life. As artists we feel it is paramount to continue learning about the world in an active and vigorous fashion. To participate, openly and fully, creating a dialogue between our selves, our work, and our community. Our vision is an immediate one, one we hope offers possibility and new ways of looking at the world. We pledge to create our art with a diligence and playful fervor and to continue to build a body of work that is alive and challenging and accessible. We pledge to speak the truth as we see it, without concealment or evasion and with a fearless unashamed frontal assault upon life that will leave no room for trepidation . . . We hope you join us.


Refraction Arts Project Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to fostering innovative new works for theater, film, music and art installation. Refraction Arts has developed many

productions since its founding in 1996. We are a small arts organization, with many belonging to our family from the theater, film and music communities in Austin, Minneapolis, and New York City. In our attempts to keep the Blue Theater running as a performance space in Austin, we can use all the help we can get. If you would like to be a part of Refraction Arts please contact us at 512-927-1118, or visit



April 7-12


Fear of a Fuhrer

written and directed by Abi Basch


Production Team:


Dramaturg: Lissa Lehmenkühler

Music Composition: Jon Nelson and Adam Sultan

Sound Design: Eliot Haynes

Film Design: Thuy-Van Vu

Costume Design: Allison Stelly

Puppet Design: Francesca Marquis

Production Manager: Caroline Schlockwerder

Actors: Stephanie Stephens, Thorsten Bihegue, Stefanie Fiedler, Kathrin Feldhaus, Adam Sultan


April 15-17



written by Kimberly Burke

directed by Jonathan Mazer

music composed by Rob Halverson




Sharon Sparlin: The Tattooed Woman

Elizabeth Wakehouse:* Claire/Coho

Cody Kirk: Daikon

Douglas Taylor*: JT

Miriam Rubin: Minnie

Jessica Smolins: Jenna/Geek Girl

Rommel Sulit: Horishi

Lauren Bahr: Tattooed Tamara

Alex Cogburn: Bed of Nails Boy

Hannah Robinson: Pig Faced Woman


**Douglas Taylor and Elizabeth Wakehouse are members of the Actors' Equity Association.




Carolyn O'Hara: Tattoo Makeup Artist

Sam Chesney: Lighting Designer

DW Jones : Set Designer

Lindsay Layer: Costume Designer

Dana White: Props

Virginia Yount: Banner Art

Sharon Sparlin: Choreography

Cary Urso : Stage Manager

Travis Cousins: Assistant Stage Manager

Harry Santiago: Assistant Director

Jonathan Urso: Light and Sound Board Op

Additional Composing: Thor Harris and Steve Bernal.





Steve Bernal (cello), Lynn Boland (tuba, trumpet), Kim Burke (upright bass), Rob Halverson (organ, percussion, piano, slide whistle, violin, various), Thor Harris (vibes, frame drum, dulcimer), Paul Klemporer (saxophones, clarinet), Brock Miller (drums), and Raul Vallejo (trombone).


Special Thanks:
Suzan Zeder, Daniel Alexander Jones, Valerie Tamburri, Scott Kanoff, Andrew Shea, Corey Atkins, Jaime Castaneda, Carson Kreitzer, and Robert Pierson.





April 21-21, 30



a fantasy based on a true story

written by Cyndi Williams

directed by Julia M. Smith and Cyndi Williams

choreography by Julia M. Smith


stage manager/assistant director:  Anne Hulsman

sound/ light design:  Eliot Haynes

original songs by: Catherine Berry

“Rock and Roll Suicide” performed by:  Leigh Fisher and Robert Fisher

set/costume consultant:  Ron Berry

dramaturgy:  Ron Berry, Shannon Grounds, Anne Hulsman, T. Lynn Mikeska, Julia M. Smith




Hilary:  Shannon Grounds

Anne:  T. Lynn Mikeska

Other:  Julia M. Smith



A Few Great Reasons To Visit

Shoreline Grill


Succulent Prime Rib

Melt in your mouth CRAB CAKES


in Austin


98 San Jacinto

Next to the Four Seasons Hotel
Lunch from 11 to 5 / dinner, 5 to 10

(512) 477-3300





Thank you to the following businesses, organizations, and individual for their support of Refraction Arts:



The Austin Community Foundation, The Nowlin Family Fund



Ace Mart, Baby Acapulco's, Chez Nous, Colonial Bank, Cycled Plastics, d-fly jewelry, the Driskill, El Azteca, Embassy Suites, Fiesta Mart, Flipnotics, Grapevine Market, HEB, Hoover's, Iron Cactus, Junior's,, Loretta's Cheesecakes, Manuels, Nueva Leon, Pink, the Radisson, SXSW, Skipper Chong Warson Design, Spider House, Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Strait Music, Thomas Graphics, Tindles Pilates, Tito's Vodka, Touch O Green Landscaping, West Lynn Cafe'



Austin Script Works, Charlotte Craig & Jan Tinker Psychic/Tarot Readings, Chick and a Dude, dirigo group, Emily Cropper & Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Hyde Park Theatre, Lauren Tietz Pilates, Leonardo Martinez Massage, Planned Parenthood, Rude Mechs, Salvage Vanguard, State Theater, St. Ed's, Throw-Up Comedy Juggling Duo, Vortex



John Avery, Chic Beland, Catherine Berry & Eddy Hobizal, Liz Berry, Ronald and Genelle Berry, Amy Bryant, Kevin Collins, Art DiBianca, Elaine Dove, Leigh Fisher, Blair Fox, Greg Grosh, Harvey Guion, Dan Heath, Melba Martinez, Eve McArthur, Steve Moore, Julie Nathanielz, Carla Beth Nowlin,  Samantha Randall, Lauren Tietz, Scott Wilcox, Bob and Pat Williams, Dana Younger, Phillip Judah



Funded in part by the City of Austin

under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission




Artist Bios


Lauren Bahr (Tattooed Tamara, Lacuna) will graduate from the University of Texas at Austin this May. In addition to many other artistic pursuits, she has been acting since age thirteen. Highlights of her college career include her role as Katie in Danielle Monsalvo’s Kisses (Fall 2003) and the Moon in Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding (Fall 2004). She is currently writing a one-woman-show and plans to move to New York this summer.



Abi Basch's (Playwright, Fear of a Fuhrer) plays have been presented at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Brave New Works in Atlanta, and hotINK! in New York. She's been a finalist for the Weissberger Award at Williamstown and received Best of Fest in Frontera. She's completing an MFA in Playwriting at UT, is a Core member of Austin Script Works and will receive a second Jerome Fellowship this year from the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis.



Catherine Berry (Composer, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) a singer-songwriter and performer has composed nearly a dozen original songs for Refraction Arts, for the productions Butcher's Daughter, The Metamorphasis, Complicitly Yours and others. Ms. Berry was last seen in her one woman show Spin! An Inverted Musical at the Blue Theater.  She will be holding concerts every month with Monday Night Music Project at Hyde Park Theater starting in May 2005.



Ron Berry (Director, site-specific) is the Artistic Director for Refraction Arts and a Core Member of Austin Script Works.  He has been nominated for numerous B. Iden Payne and Critics Table Awards, as an actor, director and writer.  Last year, his play Orange was nominated for the American Theater Critics Association national New Play Award.  His performative art installation, The North Project, was voted the Best Art Event of 03 by the Austin Chronicle. He is  working on a performance piece based on the life and writings of Joseph Mitchell, premiering this July at the Blue.

Kimberly Burke (Playwright, Lacuna) is an MFA candidate in playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds Michener, Shenkkan, and Conkle Scholarships.  She is a CORE member of Austin Script Works, and has served as Playwright in Residence with New York Stage and Film.  Her plays have been read and performed in Texas, Tennessee, Alaska, South Carolina, Illinois, and New York.  She is the recipient of a 2005-6 Jerome Fellowship through the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, where she plans to move in July.  She also plays upright bass in the band Shearwater. 


Monika Bustamante (Writer, site-specific) received her MFA in Playwriting with a Michener Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a company member of Refraction Arts Project and Hyde Park Theatre, and has performed with Austin Shakespeare Festival, UT-Austin, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, RAP, Hyde Park Theatre, and others. She plans to balance impending staggering success with generosity and modesty.


Sam Chesney (Lighting Designer, Lacuna) has been a designer and technician in and around Austin for six years.  He is currently enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin.


Alex Cogburn, Bed of Nails Boy, Lacuna) is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has appeared in Cabaret, The Honorable Urashima Taro, Box of Chocolates, and Rich and Strange Cabaret II.  His performance as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Award from the 2002 UIL OAP Competition.


Travis Cousins (Assistant Stage Manager, Lacuna) is finishing his first year at UT.  Travis has performed as Sir Toby in the Roundabout Players' "Twelfth Night" and worked running crew for "My Sister in This House."


Erin Curtis (Installation artist) is a first-year MFA student at the University of Texas, Austin.  She received her BA from Williams College in 1999. Her work uses a variety of materials in an effort to describe our relationship to the natural and the constructed world. 


Leigh Fisher (Vocals, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) has been with RAF since 2000 and has been involved with many of their productions including all 3 Celebrity Crushes, The Metamorphosis, the workshop production of Orange, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, and most recently, American Arcana, where she played the Gospel singer.  Catch her this June in Stall Graffiti ATX at the Blue Theater.


Shannon Grounds (Hilary, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) was last seen in the FronteraFest production of "Where Are They Now?", "Orange" for Refraction Arts Project, and as Beatrice as in "Much Ado About Nothing" for The Company and Shrewd Productions.  Other recent credits include Heather in "Blue Surge" for Hyde Park Theatre and Lavinia in "Titus Andronicus" for the Austin

Shakespeare Festival, both for which she received the 2004 Austin Critic's Table Award, "TempOdyssey" for Salvage Vanguard and "As You Like It" at Zachary Scott. 


Rob Halverson (Composer, Lacuna) has composed scores for theater, television and films. As a performer, he has played music for audiences in the US, Europe, and Australia. Rob lives in Austin, Texas and is involved with making records.


Katalin Hausel (Installation artist) was born in Hungary. She received her BA in History in 1993, MA in Philosophy in 1995, and currently she is graduate student in Painting at the University of  Texas, Austin.


Anne Hulsman (Stage Manager, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) has been working on stage and screen in Austin for a number of years. She has worked with Cyndi Williams in many of her plays: A Name for a Ghost to Mutter at the State Theater,  Greed (Seven Deadly Sins) for Iron Belly Muses, Woman at the Window for Refraction Arts, and American Arcana, which was Austin Script Works' first production. She received a Communication degree from the University of Texas and studied Theater at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. 



Cecilia Israel-Bradfield (Installation) is a second-year MFA student at the UT Austin who uses unfired clay to sculpt a narrative of characters that engage in unexpected activities.  Her work questions social roles and the use of violence and sexuality in television and cinema.  Ceci’s work was most recently shown in “Ink & Clay 31”(January 7 – February 14, 2005) at the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery in Pomona.


Cody Kirk (Daikon, Lacuna) is graduating from UT this semester with a B.A. in Theatre and Dance.  He received the Marcia Gay Harden Scholarship in performance.  Some outstanding theatre credits include “Blood Wedding,” “Bash,” “Sueño,” and “The Last Word.”  He is excited to travel after school and continue acting.


Jenny Larson (Site-specific) is a mother, teacher, and theatre artist. She is a resident company member of Salvage Vanguard Theatre.


Lindsay Layer (Costume Designer, Lacuna)  BFA Theatre Studies at UT c/o 2007, with concentration in Costume Design and pursuing all-level teacher certification. From Galveston, TX. Has produced, directed, starred, and constructed costumes for 3 Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween performances in Austin and Houston. Assisted on wardrobing for the student film "Hope's War" written and directed by PhD film student Ya'Ke Smith, and on "The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip" directed by J. Richard Smith. Currently working on UT MFA Graduate Acting Showcase of "Loose Ends" directed by Lucien Douglas, and "Flesh and the Desert" directed by Robi Polgar.


Lissa Lehmenkühler, Thorsten Bihegue, Kathrin Feldhaus, Stefanie Fiedler, and Caroline Schlockwerder (Fear of a Fuhrer) are visiting artists from the University of Hildesheim in Germany who specialize in the model of Chorisches Theater. They have collaborated on (performed in, directed, dramaturged, made films for and arts-managed) productions in Germany, England, Switzerland, and the United States.




Jonathan Mazer (Director, Lacuna) is a first year MFA directing student at UT Austin.  He moved here from New York, where he directed off-Broadway and downtown productions, including his own adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (performed at the Limelight Nightclub) and the New York premiere of “Blind Horses” by Austin’s own Dan Dietz.  He studied acting and directing at NYU, Brandeis University, and Interlochen Arts Academy.  He is a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab.  This fall, he will continue his graduate studies in directing at Northwestern University.


Marianne McGrath (Installation) originally hails from Ventura, CA, and received her BA form the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying fine art and biology.  She is currently a first year MFA graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.  Recently Marianne has been exploring the interpretation of everyday spaces through installations using the ceramic medium.


Erick Michaud (Installation) is a multimedia artist who uses performance, video, and drawings in his installations.  He attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design  in Halifax, and is currently a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin


T. Lynn Mikeska (Anne, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) performed in Refraction Arts’ Orange, and iron belly muses’ Pains of Youth and 7 Deadly Sins.   She plays the voice of one of the Love Angels in the anime Wedding Peach for ADV Films.


Jon Nelson (Composer, Fear of a Fuhrer) is a visual and sound artist, focused almost exclusively on collage. His nationally syndicated radio program (Some Assembly Required) features audio artists who appropriate sounds.  See and


Carolyn O’Hara (Tattoo Makeup Artist, Lacuna) is a Special Effects Makeup artist for Hawgfly Productions, based here in Austin. Her specialties include tattoo and other body art, bruise and other special effects makeup, prosthetics, appliances, and problem-solving. She has worked on numerous local indie short and feature films and is enjoying the challenge of live theater.

Spencer Parsons (Site-specific) is a filmmaker, writer, and teacher living in Austin, TX.  He was recently honored with a special jury prize at the 2005 SXSW film festival for his short, "Once and Future Asshole," starring and crewed by several Refractionistas.  Past productions with Refraction Arts include writing the original play "Complicitly Yours" and writing and directing the short film, "A Common Confusion."  He is currently preparing to make a feature film in Austin and Denmark.


Jaclyn Pryor (Site-specific) is an interdisciplinary performance artist based in Austin; she has also worked as a director, writer, actor, and designer in St. Louis, Chicago, and New York.  Pryor received her B.A. in Performing Arts from Washington University and her M.A. in Performance as Public Practice from UT; she is currently pursuing her Ph.D.   Floodlines, which she conceived and directed, premiered in Austin last April.  Big thanks to Refraction for producing this festival.


Hannah M.P. Robinson (Pig Faced Woman, Lacuna) is in her third year at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is a Theatre and Dance/Voice major, with a concentration in musical theatre. Her hometown is Amherst, Massachusetts, and this is her first theatrical production at UT.


Miriam Yucht Rubin (Minnie, Lacuna most recently portrayed beleaguered radio executive Debbie in the film Jo FM directed by UT MFA Candidate Jenn Garrison. Austin theatre credits include Naughty Austin’s Sordid Lives, Refraction Arts Project’s Orange, Different Stages’ Betty’s Summer Vacation (B. Iden Payne nomination) and Austin Children’s Theatre’s The History of Art in Forty Minutes or Less. Miriam serves on the board and is tour coordinator for Second Youth Family Theatre. She will soon be seen in Second Youth’s two person touring production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.


Harry  Santiago (Assistant Director, Lacuna), after participating in his first college level production, “The Honorable Urashima Taro,” decided that theatre was his true calling and hopes to fulfill his potential in acting and directing.  Currently he is also taking part in “Transportation Project” for this year’s Festival.  This is his 3rd year at the University of Texas and plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre.

Julia M. Smith (Director/choreographer, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is company member of Refraction Arts Project.  She most recently co-directed and performed in RAP's The Philomel Project and her other acting and design work

has been seen in Orange, American Arcana, Celebrity Crush, and Complicitly Yours. She grateful for the opportunity to work with such great ladies again.


Jessica Smolins (Jenna/Geek Girl, Lacuna) is a student and professional actress residing in Austin, Texas.  She is graduating this May from the University of Texas with a BA in Theatre and Dance. Her most recent works include her bilingual play "Finito" featured in the UT New Works Festival, national radio and television commercials, and numerous anime movies. She will be moving to New York City after school to pursue acting and eat Ramen.


Sharon Sparlin (The Tattooed Woman, Lacuna) appeared in La Petomane: Anatomy of a Fartiste (Tongue and Groove Theatre);The Life of Galileo, The Wars of the Roses, Torch Song Trilogy (Public Domain); Simpatico (Dog House Theatre); Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead and the title role in MacBeth (Disciples of Melpomene).  She co-founded and was the technical director for Iron Belly Muses.  She wrote, directed and choreographed Curieosity (B. Iden Payne award Outstanding Choreography.)


Jared Steffensen (Installation) is a graduate of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he received his BFA with an Intermedia Sculpture emphasis. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.


Stephanie Stephens (Performer, Fear of a Fuhrer) is a singer and actor who has been seen playing the mother in the Refraction Arts/Physical Plant production of "Anna Bella Eema," the doll in the Salvage Vanguard production of "Mother Bone," and as Rebecca in the Frontera Fest production of  "Down Baby Down" directed by Carlos Trevino. She performs with Adam Sultan in their band Mistress Stephanie und ihre Melodishe Katze (her Melodic Cat.)

Rommel Sulit (Horishi, Lacuna) was most recently seen in Austin Shakespeare Festival’s "Othello" and "The Dog in the Manger."  He played Sam Toodlehouse in Physical Plant Theater's "Not Clown,” mimed and massaged in Bedlam Faction’s "Screwed Into the Book of Love” and returns to the Blue for the first time since Refraction Arts’ 2003 workshop production of “Orange.”


Adam Sultan (Composer/Performer, Fear of a Fuhrer) has performed in The Rude Mechs' 300 Plays About Vladimir Putin and Refraction Arts' Celebrity Crush. He composed music for Physical Plant Theater's production of The Kindermann Depiction and Refraction Arts' Orange, and  writes, records and performs with his band, The Adam Sultan Moment. More info at


Lauren Tietz (Site-specific) is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher living in Austin.


Douglas Taylor* (JT, Lacuna) has performed with Refraction Arts, Subterranean Theatre Company, Vortex, Zachary Scott, State, Paramount, Different Stages, OnStage, Naughty Austin, Frontera at Hyde Park, UT Dept of Theater and Dance, St. Edwards University Theater Summer Stock, Salvage Vanguard Theater, the Rude Mechanicals and Austin Script Works.  Favorite performances were in Black Coffee, Uncle Vanya, The Food Chain, Lust Supper by Kirk Lynn, Nantasket by David Mark Cohen, Fish by Cyndi Williams, Lucifa by Kirk Smith, Dan Dietz’s tempOdyssey, Orange by Ron Barry and the Orange Writers Collective and J. Frank Dobie in Steve Moore’s Nightswim.


Cary Urso (Stage Manager, Lacuna) is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, completing her BA in Theatre and Dance that she began in 1984.  Her concentration is stage management, and she stage managed her first production at UT in the fall of 2004—My Sister In This House, directed by Jonathan Mazer.  She would like to thank the other Jonathan in her life, her husband, for his calming soul, his infinite wisdom, and his caring nature.


Thuy-Van Vu (Film design, Fear of a Fuhrer) is a painter who also makes drawings and videos. Her works depict a variety of objects that have been altered and arranged to convey narratives of cultural dislocation. Thuy-Van received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently pursuing her MFA at UT Austin.


Elizabeth Wakehouse (Claire/Coho, Lacuna) is grateful to be a part of this collaboration.  She is a member of Refraction Arts Project.  Recent credits include The Philomel Project, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The House Project, American Arcana, and A Hundred Plays About Vladimir Putin.


Sam Webber (Site-specific) is a Refraction Arts Project company member and would like to thank

Refraction for providing me with a place to play.  Here's to Ellen May Roberts and Samuel H. Roberts and all of the past regulars at the Holiday House Restaurant in Tarrytown for their inspiration!


Cyndi Williams (Playwright, WHERE ARE THEY NOW???) is Managing Director for Refraction Arts.  Her plays have been produced by Refraction Arts, State Theater, Live Oak Theater, Austin Script Works and the Public Domain, CorePerformance in Dallas, Spectral Sisters in Louisiana, and Looking Glass Forum in New York.   She is a Founding Core Member of Austin Script Works.  An actor in Austin for over 20 years, she recently starred in the independent feature film, Room, slated to play at the Cannes Film Festival.



Refraction Arts company members:


Ron Berry, Artistic Director

Catherine Berry

Sonnet Blanton

Mark David Bryant

Monika Bustamante

Katherine Catmull

Peat Duggans

Leigh Fisher

Natalie George

Eliot Haynes

Aimee Lasseigne

Carra Martinez

Carla Beth Nowlin

Spencer Parsons

Jennifer Rogers

Bryan Schroeder

Julia M. Smith

Elizabeth Wakehouse

Skipper Chong Warson

Sam Webber

Scott Wilcox

Cyndi Williams






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