arts eclectic

"I was just trying to remember how long I've personally been doing this New Year's Eve show. I think this might be my tenth one in a row," says Hideout Theatre co-owner and longtime performer Kareem Badr. "I enjoy doing it so much that I've dedicated every New Year's Eve to going and doing these shows."

Their "Big Bash" New Year's Eve show is a longstanding Hideout tradition, but this year they're kicking the holiday celebration up a notch or five by doing a full week of holiday-themed improv shows.

"Oh, from such humble beginnings," says co-founder Kevin Collins about the first-ever Blue Genie Art Bazaar. "We just had some space on the East side ... and our friends in the arts community were always struggling to find spaces to show work. And we had a big space, so we just put some walls together and sort of threw it together like a party."

La Pastorela, the traditional Christmas play about the journey of a group of shepherds who are following the Star of Bethlehem to visit the newly born Christ child, has been performed in Mexico for centuries. 

"It was done originally by the Spanish priests, and it was done as a morality play to remind people that angels and demons exist and that they can influence their decisions," says La Pastorela director Alexis Arredondo. "And it worked its way to Mexico, and from Mexico it worked its way into Texas."

"The Interactive Deep Dive is a nine-month intensive that is bringing together people from all across the country and as far away as Spain," says Deep Dive director Jeff Wirth, "to become next generation leaders in the field of applied interactive story and performance."

The group is about midway through the nine-month process right now, with artists and researchers working together to learn more about the field of interactive storytelling. The hope is that this research will someday impact the way virtual reality and digital worlds are created, and how people interact with those worlds.

"We started about 25 years ago, working with the homeless, just directly serving sandwiches and kind of reaching out in the community," says Art from the Streets executive Director Kelley Worden, describing the early years of the organization founded by Heloise Gold and Bill Jeffers. "And as they connected and reached out, they brought pencil and paper ... and found out that there were some amazing talents living on the streets."