Articles for February, 2012

Theatre with a Twist–Additional Auditions, plus Co-production with Lexington

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Theatre with a Twist Inc. in co-operation with the Lexington Players present Family Matters: An Evening of One Act Plays. The scripts are written by local playwrights-June B. Bowser-Barrett, Eddie Dean, George Smart & Ellen Davis Sullivan, and directed by Katie Kuhl, Tonya Rabouin, Doug Bolduc, Jay Reitano, Tiona Kae Bartee & Sal Jones.

Performances will be staged at three venues: Nashoba Players, PCA, Westford, March 2 and 3, 2012, Theater with a Twist, Inc. – Acton, March 9 and 10, 2012, and the Lexington Players – The Hancock Church, Lexington March 16 and 17, 2012. All performances are at 7:30pm. Tickets: Adults $16 and Students/Seniors $14.For more information, please contact Sal Jones 781-910-8114 or Mary Spinosa-Wilson at 978-302-0985 or check out our websites at www.lexingtonplayers.org and www.theatrewithatwist.org

Art Cole, Creator of AACT, Dies at 92

Monday, February 13th, 2012

We have learned from Julie Crawford, Executive Director of American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) that Art Cole, founding director of Midland ( TX) Community Theatre passed away in New Mexico January 22, 2012.

As Julie points out “we should always remember Art as the father of AACTFest.”  In 1946, upon leaving military service, he returned to Midland , where he founded MCT.  After producing in a number of venues, MCT finally moved to the facility that is now known as the Cole Theatre. In his 35 years at MCT he produced, directed and designed some 300 productions.  In 1981 he retired from theatre, and pursued his passion for painting,  operating his own studio in Santa Fe, NM, where his prolific artistic output was shown.

The announcement from MCT points out that Art Cole had a strong belief in theatre belonging to the people. “Community theatre is a living thing.  When it stops—it dies.  There must always be incentive, involvement, and most of all participation.”

NEWS FORUM How Tweet It Is….NOT!

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Occasionally NETC NEWS, in addition to posting news ( auditions, productions, etc.), also offers opinion in our FORUM feature. So fasten your seat belts;  the NEWS editor is going on a rant.

A few months ago, I was in the audience in an intimate off-Broadway theatre, trying my best to follow a challenging piece carried entirely by two hard-working actors. Suddenly, one of the actors stepped out of character, pointed his finger at someone in the second or third row, and snapped, “STOP TEXTING!!” Somehow the actor managed to pick up the scene where he had stopped and the show continued. I thought I could dine out on this anecdote for some time to come, but , alas, the media, both  mainstream and e-stream, has run away with  my topic.  From the Boston Globe( http://articles.boston.com/2011-12-28/ae/30565884_1_live-tweeting-final-performance-seats) to personal blogs (http://thousandfoldecho.com/2012/01/10/concertus-interruptus/) the world of performance is a-twitter about being connected at all times to everything except the live performance being created and shared in  real space and time by artists who are breathing the same air as the audience.  Now. Here.

For those of us who consider live performance, be it music, dance or theatre, a great miracle of civilization the news that concert and theatre managers are marketing special areas of seating for the attention challenged is disturbing. (Bravo to Spiro Veloudis of Boston’s Lyric Stage who loudly corrects the misquotation attributed to him in the Globe—the Lyric will continue to ban all use of electronic devices.) The rationale for legitimizing this breach of civility is that theatre must attract a younger, hipper demographic, a new generation at ease with global connectivity. Tweeting during live performance is compared by some to the fun of Mystery Science Theatre 2000, with the constant meta-commentary filtering the experience of the film.  (The comparison escapes me; I don’t recall ever getting dressed up and paying $100 to view MST2k.)  After all, it is argued, the Met posts translations of foreign-language libretti and no one finds the text ribbon distracting. (But opera-goers this service better connects to audience to the perofrmance, and the light level is not a distraction.) Expecting others to be as engrossed in a live performance as you are, expecting the entire audience to support the concentration and preparation of the live performers is now fusty and “elitist.” What has heretofore been considered beyond vulgar is now lauded a democratic recognition of “grass roots.”  (And we all know what makes grass that green.  Ick.)

Overlooked in the socio-babble about generational differences in attention, etc., is the unique , soul-healing value of  attending fully to the event one is attending. At the risk of offending Brechtians among us, I assert that to voluntarily surrender not only one’s disbelief, but also one’s concern with the world outside the theatrical performance leads  to a world of connectivity with the present artists as well as time-travel to the world of Aeshylus or Shakespeare or O’Neill or Fugard.  Or even Brecht, that champion of alienation. I’d like to think that he would want his audience to use their intellectual remove to think about the issues of his text—not to check on the sports scores.

Instead of inviting our audiences to share a meaty performance by sitting at a well-prepared table, we are encouraging drive by tastings, gulped down in segments, skimping on context and heaping on the spicy bits. Indeed we may be creating a mirror of the worst of our contemporary world—over-fed, under-nourished, lacking in patience , a world where sound-bites replace aphorisms, and “whatever” has become an acceptable response.

Interaction being the word of the moment, the editor welcomes commentary on this rant at ashea@worcester.edu.  Please label your message “NETC FORUM.”  Thanks.

Further info on this topic can be found at:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-01/theater-tweet-seats/51552010/1

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/opinion/sunday/theater-for-twitter-users.html

http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/theaters-set-aside-tweet-seats-for-twitter-users/

http://www.thelmagazine.com/TheMeasure/archives/2011/12/07/upsetting-theater-trend-tweet-seats-for-spectators-who-want-to-livetweet-the-show

Theatre with a Twist Adds Auditions for Joseph…. and Cats

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Theatre with a Twist, Inc.  (Acton , MA) has added more auditions for its upcoming production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with music by Andrew Lloyd  Webber, and lyrics by Tim Rice. This colorful musical follows the life of Joseph after he is abandoned by his 12 brothers. He meets all sorts of different characters, including the Pharaoh of Egypt himself!  In the meantime, his brothers begin to show remorse for losing their youngest brother.  Fabulous music appeals to for all ages!

Registration is STILL OPEN!  New auditions will be held on Sunday Feb 26, Tuesday, Feb.  28 and Wednesday Feb 29,  7:30-9:30pm at 3 Post Office Square in Acton, MA.   Participation Fee only $25.  Performances are scheduled fo May  2012.

Theatre with a Twist also announces auditions for its upcoming production of Cats, The Musical. Since Cats first opened on the West End stage in 1981, it has become one of the world’s best known and best loved musicals. With a plot based on T.S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and award-winning music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Cats, originally directed by Trevor Nunn, has since been presented in over 20 countries and in about 250 cities. Cats is the second-longest running show in Broadway history.

The show tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as the “the Jellicle choice” and decide which cat will ascend to the Heavyside Layer and come back to a new life.

Auditions will be held at TWT rehearsal studio 359 Littleton Rd., Westford, MA on Sunday March 4, 6-9pm. This audition is for new members to the troupe only. There are many roles open.  Please come dressed in dance attire and shoes. Please prepare a 16 bar song (not from Cats) and bring along the sheet music.  Cats is an audition only troupe. Pre-registration is required. Audition fees apply.

The performance will be in July 2012 outside under the full moon.

Visit www.theatrewithatwist.org to register for this show and all our other productions.  Theatre with a Twist is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) Public Charity Community Theatre Program

Dark Comedy about a Dysfunctional English Family on Stage at UNH

Monday, February 13th, 2012

The University of New Hampshire Department of Theatre and Dance (Durham, NH) begins 2012 with a contemporary play in which three sisters from Yorkshire use humor to cope with tragedy in the The Memory of Water by English playwright, Shelagh Stephenson. Wickedly funny and moving, the play, part Chekhov, part Neil Simon, is about the past’s grip on the present, and on the coming to terms of siblings with the demise of their parent – and with each other.  In the words of the German-turned-Scotsman and University of Edinburgh lecturer, Eberhard “Paddy” Bort, “The Memory of Water proves the old adage that there’s nothing like a funeral to bring a family closer together or drive them all straight to hell!”

Directed by UNH Professor, Deborah Kinghorn, “The Memory of Water” runs Wednesday, February 22 through Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 p.m. in the UNH Hennessy Theatre.  For tickets, contact the MUB ticket office (Monday through Friday between 10:00am and 4:00pm) at 603-862-2290.  You may also purchase tickets at www.unhmub.com/ticket.  Tickets are $12.50 for general admission and $10.50 for seniors, UNH ID holders; and groups of 15 or more.  The UNH Theatre Box Office opens one hour prior to curtain in the lobby at the Paul Creative Arts Center.

For more information and show times or to learn about Season Subscription offerings at a discount, please call the Department of Theatre & Dance office at 603-862-2919, or visit us at www.unh.edu/theatre-dance.

Winter Magic and Talking Pig at Harwich Junior Theatre

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Harwich (MA) Junior Theatre will host a magical performances by Richard Archer (The Amazing Richard)  and Ab the Rabbit on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and 5, at 2 p.m.

Warm up with some magic, mystery, and laughs for the whole family! Thrill to the Amazing Richard’s inventive illusions with a magical snow storm and kids on stage! Fun for all ages; 4-104!

All seats $10

For tickets call the box office at 508-432-2002 or on line at HJTcapecod.orgHarwich Junior

Theatre will hold auditions for BABE, the Sheep Pig on Saturday and Sunday, Feb 11 and 12 from 1-3PM at the HJT ARTS CENTER at 265 Sisson Road in Harwich Center, MA. Nina Schuessler directs this delightful production. There are many wonderful roles for adult and young actors and actresses ages 9 and up. Production will run from April 6-22 with rehearsals beginning in early March. Please come to auditions dressed in comfortable clothes, ready to move.

For further information, please call Nina Schuessler at 508-432-2002 ext 12.