Matthew Patterson, Melissa Vogt.

Matthew Patterson, Melissa Vogt.

Beirut wants to confront you with the dangerous potential in our bodies and our relationships
— Avimaan Syam, Austin Chronicle



By Alan Bowne
Directed by Bonnie Cullum
Presented by the VORTEX Repertory Company


Originally written by the late Alan Bowne, this dangerous love story is set in a not-too-distant future time of virulent plague. Beirut draws striking parallels with the current global AIDS crisis and other contagions that continually threaten personal intimacy and cultural stability.

In January 1990, Beirut played to sold-out houses. The show created quite a stir, with Austin Critics, Michael Barnes and Robert Faires, giving it favorable reviews. At the time, Barnes wrote "Austin has not seen such a raw, explicit show in recent years". Talk radio rattled with conservative concerns, and a letter to the editor in the Statesman raised concerns about the review and dubbed Beirut’s existence as entertainment as "troubling to those of us who care about the future of our city". The 1990 production was so successful, that the fledgling VORTEX Company went out and got more chairs and built more risers as the run continued. In November 1994, a new production of Beirut played to sold-out houses as VORTEX began its life at the current venue on Manor Road. In 2008 Beirut roars back to life with an all-new production.


Matthew Patterson, Melissa Vogt, and Gabriel Maldonado


Directed by Bonnie Cullum, Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon, Lighting Design by Jason Amato.


B. Iden Payne Award nominations for
Best Actress: Melissa Vogt
Lighting Design: Jason Amato