OK, here’s some ancient history, to mix in with the future history. In the late 60′s a group of UT Student Orientation Advisers put together a ‘multi-media’ show for new students arriving in the summer before their entry into life on the Austin campus. The show was designed to be entertainment after dinner in the dormitory, at the new Academic Center Auditorium (AC 21). AC 21 was a wonderful gallery type lecture hall with 4 giant rear projection screens, a center stage level film screen, and clear walls above the stage for more front projection from the booth. People filed into the darkened room tentatively, wondering what was going on, here?
With the room still dark, a rock and roll sound track started off with the raucous voices of the Stones (She’s a Rainbow) and ended with the sweet tones of Judy Collins (Who Knows Where the Time Goes), and for 30-40 minutes the kiddies were pounded with multiple screen images (35mm slides, film, TV) of campus life, anti-war protests, football (Go, ‘Horns), parties, and oh yeah, classrooms. The sons and daughters of Texas and the world got a dazzling taste of life in the new world of 1968-70 in Austin.
… Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto. The times were definitely changing, and for the group calling itself Media 70, it was like a prehistoric version of Second Life, with mind expanding ‘stuff’, music, images, issues, people. The group went on to do other shows for different venues, on and off campus. The most ambitious was a theatrical show that brought live actors on stage (and on film) into the AC 21 for a psychedelic Moog version of the Wizard of Oz, called The Wozard of Iz (written by Jacques Wilson with music composed and performed by Mort Garson). Students being what they are, very little survived of the images, sound track or script for this and other shows, but here is replicated the flier produced to handout all over campus to fill the house for the 8 night, 24 performances of The Wozard. Wow. (more…)
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