NETC Honors Collegian Theatre Artists at Regional KCACTF

March 5th, 2012

NETC had a visible presence at the 2012 Region One Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, hosted by Fitchburg (MA) State University, January 24-29.

NETC awarded two cash scholarships to students who excelled in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Competition.

Tommi May McNally from Suffolk County Community College won the NETC award for Best Comic Actor. Adam Milano of Middlebury College was recognized as Best Scene Partner. NETC president Sabine Macris Klein presented both awards.

In addition, former NETC board Secretary Professor Pam McDaniel accepted the KCACTF Golden Hammer Award on behalf of her company from Western Connecticut State University.  Her production crew was honored as Outstanding Crew Load-In and Load-Out for the Sweeney Todd production Pam had directed and brought to festival. Rafael Jaen, , Co-Chair of KCACTF Region One for Design, Technologies, and Management is pictured making the award to Pam.

Congratulations from NETC to all the outstanding student and faculty artists of KCACTF.

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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.

Staged Reading at University of New Hampshire of New Play, “8”

January 21st, 2012

University of New Hampshire , Durham, NH, joins a nationwide movement of theaters and universities producing a reading of a landmark play about marriage equality by Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk, J. Edgar, Dustin Lance Black

The UNH Department of Theatre & Dance, The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the UNH Alliance, the UNH Discovery Program and the student organizations– Mask and Dagger and WildActs: Theatre for Social Justice, — in partnership with American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact announce a two-night-only reading of Academy Award-winning writer Dustin Lance Black’s play “8.” The new script is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which eliminated the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples in California.

Black based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.  “8” debuted with an all-star cast on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City on September 19, 2011 to much acclaim. The play is slated for multicity performances in 2012, including an all-star performance in Los Angeles featuring Academy Award-nominee George Clooney on March 3, 2012.

“8” will be performed on February 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the MUB Strafford Room on the UNH Durham campus. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the MUB ticket office. The event is general seating and seating is limited.  The UNH production will be directed by Associate Professor David Kaye and features a diverse cast made up of UNH faculty, students, staff and alumni. Co-founder of Broadway Impact and Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel will be at the Durham event to facilitate a talk-back discussion following the reading. Creel will also hold an event preceding the play reading at the UNH Museum of Art from 1:00 to 2:00 where Professor Kaye will discuss Creel’s Broadway musical career, and why he co-founded Broadway Impact. This event is free and open to the public.

The UNH cast will perform a second reading of “8” Friday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved at www.palacetheatre.org.

The UNH cast includes Travis Nason, Samantha Lynne Smith,    Professor Dav id Richman,  Joe Nelson,  Sean McGhee, Dan Shine,  Ben Arsenault, Ben Pollak, Nancy Pearson, Heather Rudzenski, Adam Zak, and Professor David Kaye.

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” said AFER founding board member Dustin Lance Black.  “The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light.  AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.

Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact will license “8” to schools and community organizations nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue and understanding.  When event organizers contacted Kaye, he expressed immediate interest. “Here at UNH, we have been using theatre as a method of addressing social justice for many years. In 2004, we created a play on marriage equality to bring to area Rotary clubs. With this important issue once again coming to the state house floor, we were eager to join Broadway Impact to bring this equal rights play to our campus and the Palace Theatre in Manchester. It’s a powerful script that reveals what is really at the heart of the issue.”

AFER and Broadway Impact will coordinate staged readings of the play across the country, so that “8” will live on for those who were not lucky enough to see the trial with their own eyes.  The trial videotapes have been kept under seal due to a federal protective order, but after AFER attorneys made a strong case, Chief Judge Ware at the U.S. District Court agreed that the trial footage should and will be released to the public.

To reserve tickets, visit: www.unhmub.com/ticket.  For information on how your local theater can produce “8,” visit: www.8theplay.com. Follow “8”on Twitter: @8theplay or on Facebook. “8”

Harwich Junior Theatre Spring Programming

January 21st, 2012

Harwich Junior Theatre, Harwich , MA, announces the following events in their spring line-up.

SACRED STORIES

The Reading of The Sacred Stories of Hospice are based on actual experiences of Beacon Hospice staff, volunteers and family members in relationship to their mystical, spiritual and tender connection with dying patients. Uplifting stories validate the soul continuum beyond this life.

-Saturday, March 24 at 4 p.m.

Adults $20 and $15 for youth under 21 Partial proceeds to benefit Lighthouse Hospice Foundation. Reception to follow.

BABE, THE SHEEP PIG – Play by David Wood, adapted from the book, The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith.

Deep down, Babe just knows he’s a champion. An epic tale of a little pig, with magical transformations that bring every quirky character from the beloved story to life!

April 6 – April 22 with school vacation week performances!

Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.. Special April Vacation performances on Monday – Friday April 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 at 2 p.m.

Tickets; $22 Adult and $15 youth under 21.

STRICTLY SINATRA The Cape’s beloved performer Larry Marsland returns to sing from Frank Sinatra’s songbook.

- April 27 – May 6. Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m.

Tickets $22. adult and $15 youth under 21.

BUDDY, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY – By Alan Janes

Back by popular demand! The story of Buddy Holly’s rise to become the world’s top recording artist. Featuring over 20 of his greatest hits including “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be The Day,” “Oh Boy,”, “Not Fade Away,” “Everyday,” “Rave On,” “Maybe Baby,” “Raining In My Heart,” Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba,” and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.”

“If you like Rock & Roll, run do not walk to Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story.”

May 17 – June 17, Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $25 and $15 for under 21.

To Purchase tickets call HJT BOX OFFICE PHONE: 508-432-2002 or visit www.hjtcapecod.org

Tickets also available by calling TheaterMania : 1-866-811-4111

HJT is wheelchair accessible. Assisted listening devices are available.

Call for Scripts and Auditions—Theatre with a Twist

September 26th, 2011

Theatre with a Twist, Inc. announces two events a call for scripts, and auditions for Anything Goes!

Playwrights are invited to submit their work for consideration to be performed!  Whether you are a novice or a professional, please send us your one-act plays.  We would love to be able to showcase new work from different writers. Preferably, we would like work that incorporates six to eight characters, with simple sets. Both children and adult plays will be considered.  Submit a copy of your play to us by 10/15/11 at the following address: TLP-Twist, 58 Outlook Drive, Lexington, MA 02421. (If you wish to have your script returned after our review, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your script). You will be notified by 11/15/11 if your script has been accepted to be performed. Auditions for the selected shows will be in December. Performances will take place in both Lexington and Westford on the weekends of 3/9/12 and 3/16/12.  There will be three performances each weekend.  If you have any questions please contact ssjoneslex@aol.com or theatrewithatwist@gmail.com .  Sponsored by the Lexington Players and Theatre with a Twist, Inc.

The company is also holding teen auditions for their upcoming production of Anything Goes! The age-old tale of boy-meets-girl and the complications that ensue intrigue every audience, and no musical puts it on stage better than Anything Goes! This show is an amusing love story set to one of Cole Porter’s magical scores. Amazing songs include “It’s De-Lovely,”” Friendship,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “ All Through the Night,” “ Anything Goes” and” Blow, Gabriel, Blow.” It’s a wonder that all the romances are sorted out and disaster is averted aboard the magical ship where ANYTHING GOES!

This show is directed by Steve Koch. Auditions are for students – grades 6-12 only – and will be held at 3 Post Office Square in Acton on 10/18 and 10/19 from 7-9pm. Students will be taught a short choreographed number and do a cold reading.  Please prepare 16 bars of a song from another musical, not from this show.  Bring your music with you to auditions. Tuition based at a rate of $255 for the show.  Show dates will be January 13-15, 2012. This show is licensed by Tam’s Witmark Music Library, New York, NY. Visit www.theatrewithatwist.org for more information on these shows and all our other productions.

Theatre with a Twist is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) Public Charity Community Theatre Program.