Friday, March 27, 2015

How We Did That: The "Streetcar" Publicity Photo

One of the issues with which we constantly struggle is timing of the publicity photo. In order to meet the deadlines of print media - and especially the monthly magazines - we need to have a photo ready sometimes only days after we have a cast. At that point, we haven't had time to build or pull costumes, the set is only a distant vision, and we're usually in production on another show at that time. So we have to do what we do best: get creative!

For A Streetcar Named Desire, we wanted to capture a bit of drama in the publicity photo. We also wanted to share a little about the relationship between Blanche and Stanley - without sharing too much. Plus, we wanted to get across that it was a period piece (Streetcar takes place in 1947) that mainly takes place inside Stella and Stanley's apartment in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Not easy without a set and costumes!

Fortunately, everyone on the creative team was game to try something new. Theatre is certainly a collaborative art - and we're grateful that the collaboration extends off the stage as well!

Here's what we did:

And here's what we ended up with!

Photo by Tommy Propest

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen: Jerry Crouch, Stephen Veltman, Deborah Austin, Jill Summers, Jennifer Russ, Dan Clancy, Thomas Propest, Craig Burgwardt, and Tommy Propest.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Announcing Our 70th Season!

Our 70th Season brings three huge musicals, two first-class comedies, and our most successful family title ever to the ACT Mainstage for 2015-16!  

October 2-25, 2015
Young Frankenstein
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan * Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Directed by Jerry Crouch
Auditions: July 25-26, 2015

December 4-20, 2015
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
By Barbara Robinson
Directed by TBD
Auditions: October 5-6, 2015

February 12 – March 6, 2016
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty * Music by Stephen Flaherty * Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens * Co-Conceived by Eric Idle
Directed by TBD
Auditions: December 7-8, 2015

April 8 – 24, 2016 
The Man Who Came to Dinner 
By George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Directed by TBD
Auditions: February 15-16, 2016

June 3-26, 2016 
La Cage Aux Folles
Book by Harvey Fierstein * Lyrics and Music by Jerry Herman
Directed by Jerry Crouch
Auditions: April 11-12, 2016

August 12-28, 2016
Crimes of the Heart 
By Beth Henley
Directed by TBD
Auditions: June 6-7, 2016

We'll have more information soon on subscriptions and tickets!

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Streetcar Named Desire: Cast List

Eunice Hubbell is Kathy O'Connor *
Neighbor Woman is Susan Lawrence *
Stanley Kowalski is Dan Clancy
Steve Hubbell is Steve Turner
Stella Kowalski is Devyn Ray *
Blanche DuBois is Jennifer Russ
Harold Mitchell (Mitch) is Robert Walker *
Pablo Gonzales is Adrian Suskauer *
Young Man is Ben Goldfinger *
Doctor is Mike Vaniman
Nurse is Meda Thurston *
Flower Vendor is Ruth Planey

*Denotes first time actor on the ACT Mainstage

From the director, Jerry Crouch, "51 actors auditioned for these 12 roles over two nights earlier this week. Thanks to all who auditioned and to my support staff at ACT for their expertise during this exciting process to cast this world famous drama."

A Streetcar Named Desire opens Friday, April 17 and runs for 3 weekends through Sunday, May 3. For tickets call 828-254-1320 or go online.

Set Design by Jack Lindsay and Costume Design by Deborah Austin; Stage Managed by Beth Mayo

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching Up with Ralph Redpath

Ralph Redpath has a career in the theatre that spans decades. Over the years at ACT, he’s directed everything from Inherit the Wind to Miss Evers’ Boys; most recently, he directed the acclaimed production of To Kill a Mockingbird. He has appeared in or directed over 100 shows during his 44 year history as a member of the acting/directing company at Flat Rock Playhouse. Ralph holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he trained alongside Meryl Streep. Up next at ACT, he’ll direct Not Now, Darling which opens in August 2015.

Ralph is also teaching our Adult Acting Class this spring, and we caught up with him to talk characters, collaboration, and critique.

ACT: What can students expect to work on in the class? 

RR: We do monologues and scene studies, with the scenes usually between two people. We work on character development. Usually, I will pick something for each student, but we also have people bring things in that they’d like to work on, that they’d like feedback on. In my class, everyone participates in honest and respectful critique. It’s very collaborative in that sense.

ACT: What do you want people to know about your class?

RR: It’s a kind class. No one yells, no one screams. It’s a safe space to experiment and to try new things. Trying something new is so important, and in this class, the pressure is off so that you can. It’s a great way to learn, to get help, and also to really increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself.

At the same time, there’s outside work that you have to do. You do have to learn your lines. That’s expected.

ACT: What’s most exciting for you as a teacher?

RR: You get to watch people open, watch people as they find parts of themselves. And if you’re a theatre junkie like I am, it’s pretty exciting to spend time exploring the text. I love hearing students’ interpretations of a script and thinking, “I’ve never thought of it that way before!”

I had a student last year whose native language was not English and she had never taken an acting class before. She did a scene from The Glass Menagerie; she was totally unfamiliar with the script or with the characters. The innocence and the openness she brought to the scene were just beautiful.

I also love to see someone really surprise themselves. Someone will have a comedic scene, someone who’s never really done comedy before, and they’ll do the scene and get a laugh, and they are totally not expecting it. That’s wonderful to see.

ACT: Why should someone take this class?

RR: Dancers practice. Musicians practice. You want to get better at something, you practice. Taking an acting class is keeping the gears going. Plus, you get to walk away with experience that you can take with you into an audition.

* * *

Many thanks to Ralph for spending a great afternoon with us! Now it's your turn! Want to take Ralph's class? Click here to register!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cast List: A Chorus Line

Though we cast A Chorus Line several weeks ago, the cast list never made it to our blog! So without further ado, here it is!

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Diana … Taylor Aldrich
Al … Charlie Burchill
Greg … Bradshaw Call
Larry … Marcos Cunha
Maggie … Alexa Edelman
Paul … Andrew Espenshade
Mike … Ben Falcon
Mark … Carson Fox
Connie … Rachel Gordon
Don … Ben Harrison
Francis … Kristen Hipps
Chorus … Zac Landolt
Judy … Reeni Lindblum
Richie … Corey Link
Sheila … Alex Likens
Bebe … Fleming Lomax
Zach … Badi Micheli
Cassie … Rebecca O'Quinn
Val … Candice Owen
Tricia … Karyn Panek
Vicki … Jessica Savitt
Kristine … Sam Stewart
Butch … Katie Turner
Lois … Madeline Wadley

Bobby … Jacob Walas

A Chorus Line opens February 6, 2015 and runs through March 1, 2015.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Study Guide: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Busloads of students are joining us on Tuesday, December 16 for our student matinees of A Charlie Brown Christmas. We love giving students and teachers a little more information before they come - and also things to do after the show! Feel free to download our study guide!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Getting into the "Charlie Brown Christmas" Spirit!

Yes, I could literally look at this all afternoon!

We open A Charlie Brown Christmas on Friday, December 5 and the preparations for the show are spinning us all into the holiday spirit. From life-sized paper-mache' snowmen to the iconic colorful Christmas trees, and from Snoopy's decorated doghouse to Lucy's booth, perfect pieces from A Charlie Brown Christmas are in every room in the building!

And it's not just the inside ... check out what we've done to the windows!

We'll have more pictures coming throughout the week; Schroeder's piano is especially cute! It's going to be a great show!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This Weekend: "Charlotte's Web"

This weekend, our Youth Production Class presents Charlotte's Web, a play based on the book that the Children’s Literature Association named “the best American children’s book of the past two hundred years."

One of our favorite parts of presenting shows that star 6-9 year olds is reading the actor bios. We are positively swept away by the amazing-ness of these young actors - and just in case you're not able to make it to one of the shows (and thus receive a playbill), we thought we'd share a few examples.

Elizabeth (Edith Zuckerman/Spider #1) is 7 years old and in the 2nd grade at Evergreen. Last summer, Liz drew on her dad’s face and thought it was really funny until he woke up. She also went to Soak City and rode H2O. Her favorite color is purple and her favorite animal is a zebra.

Elijah (Homer Zuckerman) is in the 5th grade at Isaac Dickson. If he had a super power, he would not want to be Aquaman because he would want to have both the ability to breathe underwater and shoot lightning. Once while doing a backflip, he fell in the mud and found a $50 bill. He likes pepperoni pizza.

Cora (Avery Arable/Spider #3) is 7 and is the oldest child in her family. She enjoys watching movies with her family because her baby brother laughs really hard. Once when she was vacationing on Hunting Island, she found a dead baby shark on the beach. Her favorite animal is a horse and she loves mushrooms.

We're so excited to see the whole cast onstage this weekend! Break legs and webs!