Posted in theater, theater folk, theater lovers, Theater Resources Unlimited, theatrical producer

Let’s put on a show!

Judy and Mickey may have been able to put up a show on a wing (time step) and a prayer. You likely need more than just that barn. If you want to be an impressario, you need some skills.

Those with curiousity about what it takes to be a Broadway (or off and off-off) producter can explore these options with the Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) in an intro program on August 20th.

The free informational program will introduce prospective theater showmen in the intricacies involved in mounting a show. .At this meet-and-greet info session about TRU’s Producer Development and Mentorship Program (PDMP), the would-be producer will have the chance to learn from and network with TRU’s commercial producer instructors and successful program graduates.

PDMP’s mission is to give members the resources and mastery to become commercial theater producers, non-profit theater producers and/or self-producing artists. TRU’s classes, which are reasonably priced, will give you the necessary know-how, such as developing a business plan, raising money, budgeting, marketing and putting together creative production teams. For those theater artists who may need to self-produce, they also provide the tools with which to create your own opportunities .

Want to find out more about this profession? Register using the red ticketing box at https://truonline.org/events/intro-to-pdmp-2019-20/.

Posted in Playwrights Horizons, Sarah Ruhl, theater, theater about theater, theater folk, women playwrights

“I won’t grow up!”

Man, realizing that he could not remain forever young, bestowed immortality on his gods and let them frolic in their gardens. Then he became jealous of their frivolity, and searched for the fountain of youth, for his own opportunity to act with irresponsibility.

For J.M. Barrie, the hunt for that “Neverland” was led by Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up. Peter Pan was played by a number of actresses over the years– Mary Martin, Sandy Duncan, among them– and spawned a psychiatric syndrome not listed in the DSM.

In For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday, at Playwrights Horizons previewing August 18th and running through October 1st, Sarah Ruhl examines issues of immortality.

Her titular Peter is Ann (Kathleen Chalfant), an actress in community theater who played the boy 50 years ago in her youth. Those seeking to find their youth along with Ann are the “lost boys,” Wendy (Lisa Emery), Michael (Keith Reddin), Jim (David Chandler), John (Daniel Jenkins) and a dog named Macy. The cast, under Les Waters direction, is rounded out by The Father (Ron Crawford.)

For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday is the first play of the season at @PHnyc on their mainstage. On September 6th, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commission, The Treasurer by Max Posner will begin at their Peter Jay Sharp space.

To learn more and find tickets for the Playwrights Horizons 2017-18 season, please visit
https://www.playwrightshorizons.org/

Table read of The Treasurer (photo from PHnyc website.)

Posted in ambition, anticipation, aspiration, avant garde, based on a true story or event, based on a true story or event and historical documents, based on true events, chronicle, drama based on real events, expectations, fictionalization_of_real_events, historical drama, history, land of opportunity, play, Playwrights Horizons, storytelling, The Debate Society, theater, theater folk

Wonders never cease

The Light YearsPlaywrights Horizons February 17, 2017 – April 02, 2017
Brian Lee Huynh. Photo © Joan Marcus

The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, properly named the World Columbian Exposition in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Americas, hosted 46 countries and over 25million visitors.

The 690 acres it occupied was a city of industry that represented and presented progress to the world: Juicy Fruit gum, Cream of Wheat and Pabst Blue Ribbon were introduced at the Expo.

A Ferris Wheel, a moving walkway, an electric kitchen that included an automatic dishwasher and printing press for Braille were also innovations first seen at the 1893 Fair.The Colunbian Exposition was also home to a sprawl of original architecture.

The Light YearsPlaywrights Horizons February 17, 2017 – April 02, 2017
Rocco Sisto, Aya Cash and Erik Lochtefeld. Photo © Joan Marcus

In The Light Years, co-written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen and directed by Oliver Butler of The Debate Society, this and the subsequent Chicago World’s Fair of 1933 provide the background for a very unusual play. The Light Years  is presented with The Debate Society at Playwrights Horizons where it is playing through April 2nd.

Steele MacKaye (a wonderfully bombastic Rocco Sisto), envisioned an ingenius theater to celebrate the arts at this grand historic event. His 12,000-seat Spectatorium, was designed by the now forgotten theatrical impresario to harness the mechanical and electrical marvels of the time.

The Light YearsPlaywrights Horizons February 17, 2017 – April 02, 2017
Aya Cash, Erik Lochtefeld and Brian Lee Huynh Photo © Joan Marcus

The Light Years is, in part, a love story, highlighted by technology and wonder and spun over 40-years. In it, we are transported to more innocent times, when novelty could inspire and awe was not an unsophisticated or naive response.

In 1893, the story centers on the progress of building and wiring MacKaye’s theater.

Hillary (Erik Lochtefeld in a star turn) and his assistant, Hong Sling (the charismatic Brian Lee Huynh) are the electricians in charge of making the Spectatorium shine. Hillary’s wife, Adeline (the appealing Aya Cash) is a very modern woman, cheerfully pedalling both iced tea and a bicycle.

The Light YearsPlaywrights Horizons February 17, 2017 – April 02, 2017
Aya Cash, Ken Barnett and Graydon Peter Yosowitz. Photo © Joan Marcus

When the scene shifts to 1933, it’s Ruthy (Aya Cash, again) who has to keep her family afloat, flipping pancakes and inspiriting her husband Lou (Ken Barnett, in an excellent awe-shucks mode) through the writing of musical ditties for this Fair’s many commercial enterprises. Their son, Charlie (the already accomplished young Graydon Peter Yosowitz) is smitten with the sensations the Fair promises.

The scenic design by Laura Jellinek and costumes design by  Michael Krass rise beautifully to the majesty of the occasion.

Every part of the theater space is treated to a bit of the performance. There are lights and things that go poof as well as narratives to explicate the drama. The ensemble engage, entertain and instruct.

The Light Years uses some of the devices Steele MacKaye introduced to turn this small-scale production into a grand spectacle.

For more information and tickets, please visit @PHnyc website.

 

 

 

Posted in acting, actors, first love, kissing, Neil Patel, Rebecca Taichman, Sarah Ruhl, theater folk

"Stage Kiss"

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/8ai6TLoySoU&source=uds    Extended through April 6th
Actors lead different lives from the rest of us. Their nine-to-five is generally more like 7:30 to midnight.
For them, a kiss is work, and for actors just part of their day at the office.

“Stage Kiss,” at Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater through March 23rd, is immensely clever. The play that wraps around the play within the play in Sarah Ruhl’s brilliant new comedy mirrors the events in the play being staged in the first act.

The cast of the play within the play with Jessica Hecht center take a bow.
Photo © Joan Marcus

She (Jessica Hecht), an actress in her 40s, auditioning for the role of Ada Wilcox, is surprised that the actor He (Dominic Fumusa), playing opposite her is her first love, just as Johnny Lowell is Ada’s in the melodrama they are rehearsing.

She (Jessica Hecht) and He (Dominic Fumusa) share a “Stage Kiss.”
Photo © Joan Marcus

“Stage Kiss” is about and of the theater. The perils of acting, like its joys, are in getting to embody anyone but yourself and getting to try out being someone else. “Stage Kiss” can be bestowed even on the unlikeliest of partners, as when She rehearses with Kevin (Michael Cyril Creighton), the understudy whose approach to the project is far more tentative and less empassioned than the one He plants.

     
She (Jessica Hecht) and
Kevin (Michael Cyril Creighton)
audtion a “Stage Kiss.”
Photo © Joan Marcus

 “Stage Kiss” is in part about creating character, and understanding love. Real life jeopardises theatrical life and messes with stage craft. Like Ada, She has an understanding Husband (Daniel Jenkins), and a life that takes on an over-the-top turn.

  • Will She and He rekindle their love?
  • Would she rather live in squalor with her first love than go back to her well-to-do husband?
  • What can her husband do to tip the balance in his favor?
  • Is that first love all we’ve cracked him/her to be?

Jessica Hecht lends a sophistication and an innocence to her character in “Stage Kiss.” Hecht has a distinctive voice that seems to both quesiton and admonish at the same time. In “Stage Kiss,” she gets to mimic, impersonate and do accents. At every nudge from The Director (Patrick Kerr), she nails it immediately and creates another persona.

There are so many facets to this superbly intelligent play.

There are in-jokes for theater folk: the ineffectual laissez-faire Director; the actress who hasn’t found work for years; the relentless optimism of reviving a less than mediocre play; the dangers of stage romance.

For the marrieds, there are questions about fidelity and temptation, and the risks in workplace romance.

Rebecca Taichman directs this excellent cast,  which also includes Emma Galvin as Angela, Millie and the Maid; Clea Alsip as Millicent and Laurie; and Todd Almond as The Accompanist. Todd Almond has also provided originally music for the production that fits the spirit of the enterprise very neatly.

Clea Alsip and Todd Almond in a scene from Sarah Ruhl’s
“Stage Kiss.” 
Photo © Joan Marcus

The sets which build from an empty rehearsal space to an elaborate 1930s drawing room and a truly delapidated and overcrowded East Village  mess of an apartment are the work of the talented Neil Patel. Costume designer Susan Hilferty is responsible for dressing the cast over various periods.

“Stage Kiss” is top-to-toe marvellous. Go and enjoy a wonderfully engaging theatrical experience.

For more information on “Stage Kiss,” please visit Playwrights Horizons. For more review, visit VevlynsPen.com.

Jessica Hecht and Daniel Jenkins in a scene from the play within
“Stage Kiss.” Photo © Joan Marcus
Michael Cyril Creighton, Daniel
Jenkins and Emma Galvin in a scene
from “Stage Kiss.” Photo © Joan Marcus

Jessica Hecht as She and Patrick Kerr
as the Director in a scene from
“Stage Kiss.” Photo © Joan Marcus