Henry VI, The Contention + The Ascension Earthquakes in London, Snapshots
Students in the Spotlight Leila Awadallah's Almost But Not Yellow to perform at Kennedy Center
Cole Remmen, writer/performer of Go Boldly launches at CalTech
Henry VI: The Contention + The Ascension
| Maddy Fox, MN Daily |
Stoll Thrust Stage March 30 - April 4
Experience Shakespeare's own 'Game of Thrones' over the five days, or immerse yourself in this violent history in a double feature on April 3. Shakespeare raises timely questions as we enter an election year: what makes an effective leader? How much must a leader sacrifice for the “greater good”? Henry VI presented in two parts: The Contention +The Ascension, opened March 30, is performed entirely by students in the BFA 2018 class of the University of Minnesota /Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program.
“We’ve staged these works with an emphasis on clarity of text, with simple production elements. This is a rare opportunity to see this work staged,” said guest director Doug Scholz-Carlson, artistic director Great River Shakespeare Festival, who is joining in on the epic project with director Steve Cardamone, TAD member in the University of Minnesota / Guthrie Theater BFA program. “We have taken Shakespeare’s three play saga, and shaped it into two parts— a mini-series, if you will,” explained Mr. Cardamone. Tickets: theatre umn.edu or call 612 624-2345
My Name is Anton Chekhov, a creative collaboration by BA Performance students guided by affiliate faculty member Shirley Venard begins April with a showing you’ll not want to miss. After investigating two of Chekov’s short stories and researching his life, these creative collaborators have devised a performance at the intersection of the author/playwright’s life and his work through the lens of love. March 31 and April 1 staged in the Nolte Xperimental Theatre, limited seating reserve your free tickets at z.umn.edu/umtad
|Earthquakes in London graphic by Francesca Pancorbo |
"An epic, expansive play about climate change, corporate corruption, fathers and children"--- The Guardian
"The theatrical equivalent of a thrilling roller coaster ride", delivering "a rush of invention, humour and raw emotion"- Daily Telegraph “Questions fizz and soar like fireworks….not to be missed!"- Time Out “Earthquakes in London…scores highly on the Richter scale”—British Theatre Guide
An all-pervasive fear of the future and a guilty pleasure in the excesses of the present drive Mike Bartlett's epic "roller coaster" of a play from 1968 to 2525 and back again. Earthquakes in London includes burlesque strip shows, bad dreams, social breakdown, population explosion, and worldwide paranoia. “It is a fast and furious metropolitan crash of people, scenes and decades, as three sisters attempt to navigate their dislocated lives and loves, while their dysfunctional father, a brilliant scientist, predicts global catastrophe." writes Methuen Publications.
Staged at the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio, playing April 13-24, Earthquakes in London is under the direction of Bruce Roach and performed by the University of Minnesota / Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training class of 2016. Playing in repertory with this production will be Snapshots a presentation by the BFA class performing a series of scenes from the dramatic cannon, directed by Marcela Lorca and Michelle O'Neill.
Tickets guthrietheater.org or by calling 612-377-2224.
Premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2010, followed by a tour of the UK , Bartlett’s sweeping Earthquakes follows three sisters caught in shifting relationships– with family, lovers, professional lives, and the planet’s future. A film version of the play is now in development, according to the playwright’s publicist. The Olivier Award winning writer is also author of Broadway's newest smash hit King Charles III likely to be up for a slew Tony Award nominations in May.
Fresh Scenes presents the University of Minnesota / Guthrie Theatre BFA Freshman Company in performance April 28-30 on the Liu Stage , Kilburn Theatre. Tickets are free, but reservations required at z.umn.edu/umtad
Lady in the Dark, April 14-17 concludes the Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht Festival, a collaboration of the School of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance, in Ted Mann Concert Hall. The fully staged musical play, directed by David Walsh, Director of Opera Theatre and conducted by Chad Hutchinsonm is presented by University Opera Theatre. “Moss Hart’s wry, playful, intelligent book, Ira Gershwin’s wittily sophisticated lyrics and Kurt Weill’s hauntingly gossamer melodies [of this]... innovative 1941 Broadway hit is a multi-faceted gem” hails theSan Francisco Chronicle. This U of M School of Music production marks the premiere of Lady in the Dark’s critical edition, thoroughly researched and authorized by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.
SPECIAL NOTE: Mark your calendar for April 14 and 15 when Lady in the Dark scholar/ award-winning author Dr. bruce mcclung and David Walsh, the production’s director, share the podium for a free "Preview for Patrons" 45 minutes before curtain in the first tier lobby of the Ted Mann Concert Hall.
Students in the Spotlight
Leila Awadallah and her Cast of Five
|Leila Awadallah photo: Brandon Stengel|
to Play DC's Kennedy Center
BFA Dance major Leila Awadallah’s choreographic work has been selected for the American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) National Festival to be presented at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, June 8-11. Awadallah’s work was one of three pieces selected for their outstanding artistic merit to represent the North Central region. Artist adjudicators described the work as “a sophisticated , richly–layered work that invites you to discover it. Almost But Not Yellow is full of enigmatic imagery that enhances its choreographic body.” Leila’s cast of five, Jessika Akpaka, Abby Johnson, Laura Osterhaus, Tabitha Stegar and Nicole Stumpf, were praised for "their strong performances in this work" at the regional conference and gala performance.
The National College Dance Festival highlights the outstanding quality of choreography and performance created on college and university campuses throughout the nation. The U of M is one of 31 participating schools to have been selected “by nationally recognized adjudicators at each of the 12 ACDA regional conferences".
Additionally, Awadallah’s self-choreographed solo was selected for the regional Gala Performance presented on Wednesday March 23. UMTAD’S dance program is proud of all the Dance Majors conference participants including Ayana DuBose who presented her own choreographic work at an informal concert, the fourteen students who performed at the conference, and the four students who presented undergraduate research, Leila Awadallah, Ali Higginbotham, Margaret Ogas and Abby Taylor. Congratulations to Leila and cast.
Go Boldly launches Cole Remmen at CalTech
The Starfleet crew aboard the Starship Enterprise as they sing the title song “Boldly Go.” Courtesy of Theatre Art California Institute of Technology (TACIT)
UMTAD senior, honors BA Theatre Arts student Cole Remmen wrote the wildly successful musical parody Boldly Go!, a musical parody of Star Trek. The show, which he co-wrote with his brother and Caltech theoretical physics PhD student Grant Remmen, premiered at Caltech on February 26, 2016 to rave reviews. Cole explains, “all of the shows sold out; we estimate that over 2,200 people saw it! We've been told it was the most popular show in the history of CalTech Theater.”
Spock falls in love with Takya the Andorian during the 60s-pop-style song “Emotionally Compromised.” Courtesy of TACIT.
“A musical of both substance and comedy, Boldly Go! follows the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise, along with some new characters, on an exciting and hilarious adventure. And it’s all set to a side-splitting tour de force of musical mayhem! At its core, Boldly Go! is a story about being true to oneself and one’s convictions, about friendship and love, about discovery and wonder, about the triumph of the individual over adversity, and about the joy of sharing with each other this vast and mysterious Universe.” – Theater Arts at CalTech
We sat down with Cole, who also co-directed and starred in Boldly Go! as Spock, to talk about the show:
Could you talk about how you got the idea for Boldly Go! and the steps that took you to CalTech? My older brother/co-author Grant and I had always discussed the possibility of writing a musical together. The idea for Boldly Go! came to us after we saw Star Trek: Into Darkness in 2013 and continued to watch some of the classic movies and TV episodes that summer. We went through approximately six drafts, rewriting and editing the script and music, storyboarding the plot, orchestrating the accompaniment, etc. In addition to being a parody of Star Trek, Boldly Go! is also a satire of musical theatre itself, with which my brother and I are very familiar. I then brought the show to the University of Minnesota for an auditioned workshop and public reading, which proved to be very popular. A few months later, in May 2015, I assisted with a public reading at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), where my brother is a graduate student. The reading at Caltech received an overwhelming reception. While Boldly Go! was not written for Caltech, we thought that it was a perfect place at which to premiere the show, given the history of the campus culture and its connections to Star Trek, dating back to the 1960s, as well as a director interested in producing new works. We were very fortunate to receive a lot of positive press, including mentions in The New York Times and LA Weekly as well an article in The Los Angeles Daily News, to name a few. We had an excellent cast of about 24 people and a fantastic band and crew, with around 60 people total involved in the production, including undergrads, graduate students, Caltech staff/faculty, scientists and engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, alumni, and even a Disney Animation technical director. Robert Picardo (movie/TV actor including Star Trek: Voyager) was able to join the cast for a couple performances in a guest cameo role. Actor Robert Picardo (left) plays a guest role as Admiral Barnett. Courtesy of TACIT. What’s been most helpful experience you’ve gained in your undergrad classes when it came to writing, producing, and performing in your show Boldly Go!? Was there a class, a professor's comment or guidance, or an experience at the U that has proved over time to be inspiring you? In my time at the U of M, I've been lucky to have had great mentors and support from the faculty. In particular, Luverne Seifert has been a wonderful mentor for my independent projects, including the UROP grant that supported the U of M workshop of Boldly Go!, as well as the independent research credits that I am currently undertaking, which allowed me to spend time at CalTech earlier this semester for the production. Additionally, my previous directing experience, including directing and performing in a production of Copenhagen (also mentored by Luverne Seifert) as well as Lisa Channer's intermediate and advanced directing courses, gave me great experience with the directorial skills I was able to use assistant directing the CalTech production of Boldly Go! Do you have any advice for current college theater students looking to produce their own work? My advice for other students looking to see their work produced is, firstly, to really love whatever concept they are working on. If you want to see a project all the way through to production, it will take a lot of commitment and hard work, which means that you will be living in and exploring the world you're creating for a long time. Seek out opinions of others, including family, friends, professors, and other students. Workshopping is also an excellent way to get feedback from both actors and audience, if you have a public reading. I would strongly suggest applying for a UROP or contacting Open Stage, which can help fund your project. Get involved in other student productions and get to know your peers so you have a community of support. How are you feeling after the closing of "Boldy Go!"? Have you already decided on the next place to produce the show? My co-author and I are very excited at the success of the show and have been contacted by a few professional theatre companies in California and out East who are interested in possibly mounting their own productions of Boldly Go!. Of course, we would love to bring the show to Minneapolis if there is a theatre company interested here [hint hint]!
Check out the cast and crew’s vlogs from the experience here: https://tacit.caltech.edu/shows/1516boldlygo/videos
Faculty Center Stage
Penelope Freeh, dance faulty member and collaborator Donna Schoenherr’s new dance theater work, Helioscope opens April 1 playing through April 3 as part of 2016 The Right Here Showcase at The Illusion Theater in the Cowles Center, 8thfloor. Heliocsope, inspired by the innovative photographic studies of motion and methods of Eadweard Muybridge, will be performed by choreographers Freeh and Schoenherr, singer David Kozisek and Theater Arts & Dance students from our dance program: Kelly Folwick, Adrianna Lonick, Sara Mortenson, Tabitha Steger, Nicloe Stumpf, Kristina Van Deusen , Abigail Whitmore, and Natalie Wollman. Helioscope also features the music of Joe Strachan and two other living composers, as well as images by video artist Kevin Osatz. For 2016 Right Here Showcase tickets visit Evenbirtie.com For more information righthereshowcase.weebly.com The Star Tribune writes “The Right Here Showcase” offers a welcome venue for Twin Cities artists who deserve to be seen.”
Sonja Kuftinec will travel to Princeton University to participate as an invited panelist on a symposium of Gender and Violence, April 1-3.
|A orginal photographic study of motion by Eadweard Muybridge|Luverne Seifert along with Dario Tangelson travel to California in April to lead a residency for SLAM, Science Leaders and Management at UC Berkeley. Earlier the duo lead a series of four communication workshops for students of the University of Minnesota Chemistry Department to help them develop skills to be better communicators.
Carl Flink will choreograph the History Theater’s premiere of Alan Berks’s Complicated Fun: The Minneapolis Music Scene, which will be directed by Dominic Taylor (formerly TAD) This rockin’ production opens April 30, and plays through May 29, 2016.