Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Theatre Is Ephemeral

[This is a review of a non-Theatre East production]

There are aspects of live theatre that are exciting: anything can happen, so no performance is the same as any other & it only happens once. But the ephemeral nature of live theatre is also frustrating: it's over before you know it. As if to drive that point home, recently announced that LA BETE would be among the Broadway shows closing earlier than planned.
Associate Director Joseph Parks was fortunate to see LA BETE, as were Artistic Directors Christa Kimlicko Jones and Judson Jones. In fact, Christa said that, years from now, when people ask her what was the most memorable performance she ever saw, she would instantly say "Mark Rylance in LA BETE," likening it to the performances of Laurette Taylor, an actress of the 1940s who was named by many of her contemporaries as the most memorable performer of their lives. (Read more about Laurette Taylor here.)

So if you're looking for some good theatre to see between now and the opening of THE SOLDIER DREAMS, treat yourself to LA BETE.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

THE SOLDIER DREAMS Mainstage Dates Announced

As we announced at November's Theatre East 3rd Monday Mixer, we now have dates & a space for the full production of THE SOLDIER DREAMS! (Read about the workshop presentation of the play here.)

The show will open on March 25, 2011 at the Lion theatre at Theatre Row and run through April 10. Auditions will be held at the end of January.

We hope to share this amazing play with as many members of our community as possible, so mark your calendar now!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reading of New Play by Educational Co-chair Raquel Almazan at INTAR Theatre

Theatre East Educational Outreach Co-Chair Raquel Almazan's new play


will have a reading at INTAR Theatre,
Tuesday November 16th at 7PM

The play, directed by Candido Tirado, centers on a killer nicknamed La Paloma who targets men who rape girls. During her incarceration, male rapists throughout Colombia continue to turn up dead, leading the public to believe La Paloma may have magical avenger abilities. With the spread of the beauty pageant obsession in South American prisons, this group of female prisoners organize “the parade of prisoners,” calling on ancient rituals of adorning the warrior. These women's stories interweave Colombia's social, political and spiritual history. With this newfound power, the women redefine beauty, their own humanity and their identity as criminals. La Paloma begins to revolutionize not only the women’s lives, but prison society and the world beyond its walls.

A feedback session following the reading will help in the development of this script.
If you would like to attend, contact Raquel to RSVP.

Penny Arcade

Elise Hernandez

Dacyl Acevedo

Tatiana Pico

Gladys Perez

Talia Castro Pozo

Nedra Gallegos

Bonnie Barrios
Tristan Perez

photo (c) 2010 Raquel Almazan

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Company Member Helen Merino Honored with B. Iden Payne Award

Congratulations to company member Helen Merino for her Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama B. Iden Payne Award for her turn in the title role of Schiller's MARY STUART in Peter Oswald's adaptation at Austin Shakespeare.

Helen previously won the Payne Award for Best Featured Actress in a Comedy for her work in PRESENT LAUGHTER in the 2006–2007 season. (The B. Iden Payne Award is Austin's "Tony"—read more about them here.)
Support Theatre East

Company Member Shorey Walker Earns Raves in CRITICAL MASS

Theatre East congratulates company member Shorey Walker (Dorothy in EYE OF GOD), who has been earning rave reviews for her performance in CRITICAL MASS in the Lion at Theatre Row with Heiress Productions (where company member Morgan Baker sits on the board of directors).

Cindy Pierre of Stage and Cinema wrote:
"The actors have ample opportunity to be versatile...everyone’s an imposter, but no one does it better than Shorey Walker as Francesca." (Read the full review here.)

There are 6 performances remaining between Wednesday, Nov. 3 & the matinee on Sunday, Nov. 7. Support live theatre!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


[This is a review by Director of Development William Franke of a non-Theatre East production]

Last night I went downtown to 3LD Art & Technology Center
to see my friend, Kim Schultz, in NO PLACE CALLED HOME, a one-woman show she wrote & performs, under the adept direction of Sarah Cameron Sunde.
Actually, there are a couple things wrong with that statement. It's not really a "one-woman" show because A) she is beautifully accompanied & underscored live on stage by the musician Amikaeyla Gaston, B) the aforementioned direction by Sunde shapes the show wonderfully and C) she doesn't stay one woman for long. With her skill & under Sunde's direction, she quickly morphs from her American self into several Iraqi refugees—from robust, laughing men, to grieving women to little kids.
In the crudest of nutshells, that's what the show is about: Last year Kim, as part of Intersections International's Iraqi Voices Amplification Project, went to several countries in the Middle East to interview some of the 4 million Iraqis displaced by the war. The show she's crafted from those interviews—and her performance of it—honors those stories admirably.
Although this is not a Theatre East production, it happens to mirror a number of our core beliefs: We believe that theatre enables a greater connection to the world and to each other and that it is a catalyst for critical thinking. And, in line with our core belief that theatre
is not a luxury but should be accessible to everyone, no matter one's economic or social status, they are offering a $3 discount if you use the code FRIEND when you order tickets—which I recommend you do before the show closes on October 31 (playing at various venues—check venue when ordering tickets).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Judson Jones Speaks with Students at NYU—Gallatin

At Theatre East, we welcome any opportunity to connect with the educational community. So when he was invited to speak with students at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study following his curtain speech at the workshop presentation of THE SOLDIER DREAMS, artistic director Judson Jones jumped at the chance.

The students are enrolled in the course PHILOSOPHES AND FOLLIES: THEATER IN THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT, taught by playwright Christopher Cartmill. As per Professor Cartmill:

"The class is about the 18th century theater and the connections to Art, Politics, Philosophy, etc. We are looking at the works of Voltaire, Lessing, Lillo, Goldsmith, Gozzi, Diderot, Gottsched and the like. The class is structured like a salon and guests are always welcomed. For our first class I invited Judson, director Nicole A. Watson and actress Kathleen Chalfant—she was nominated for Broadway’s 1993 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for her role in the original production of Tony Kushner's ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES—to discuss the responsibility of the artist for the works they create and put out into the world. The question of the power and responsibility of the theater was a big issue in philosophic circles in the 18th century and I wanted to drive home that many of those questions remain unanswered today."
We look forward to any opportunities to interact with educators and will keep you posted about it here. If you are an educator who would like to work with us, contact us here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

THE SOLDIER DREAMS Workshop Curtain Speech

Artistic Director Judson Jones shared some of Theatre East's history & accomplishments as well as some thoughts on why we've chosen THE SOLDIER DREAMS as our next production in his introductory curtain speech:

Last year, right around this time we began rehearsals on our inaugural production EYE OF GOD by Tim Blake Nelson. We thought it best to start off light and easy by tackling issues like a woman’s right to choose, western religious extremism, and the question of “Where is God?” Stage and Cinema said “it seems [we] founded Theatre East to bridge differences in our community and tackle subjects that are universal." Theatremania called it a “successful, dangerous play.”

We then thought it best to relax, take it slow and launch an unprecedented educational program, the New Rites Collective, which is a residency program that provides at-risk, disenfranchised and marginalized youth the opportunity to use the power of the arts to connect notions of their own "self" to the world and foster social and cultural change. The program ran for three weeks at the Louis Brandeis Campus where students not only earned high school credits, they experienced play writing, dance, sculpture, Japanese Butoh, movement, Shakespeare, mask work, painting, video and sound design along with mentoring and counseling. In fact you can see some of the pieces the students created in the lounge after the reading. The program was such a success that the school has invited us to continue the program throughout the school year. Like I said before, we wanted to relax.

We continue to believe that theatre serves a communal purpose, both on stage and off. Whether it’s volunteering for causes like the 2010 MS Walk for a Cure or the upcoming March for Marriage Equality; we have a desire to not only be a part of our community but to serve it.

We also desire to serve our community by choosing scripts that deliver an urgent social message, explore our mortality and the shared human experience. This was the case with EYE OF GOD, the reading of PRETTY CHIN UP and with the upcoming production of THE SOLDIER DREAMS.

Of course none of this would be possible without continued support. As a non-profit organization we rely on financial support from our community. This is how we bring programs to schools, this is how we produce, this is how we survive. Tonight we celebrate those in our community that have supported us in so many ways. We would not be here without them. Their names are listed on the back of the program, in the lobby and also on our website. And I would be remiss if I didn’t say that you too can be listed as a supporter of Theatre East.

So why THE SOLDIER DREAMS, why now? A line from the play reads “Even when the soldier dreams the war goes on.” In November 2009 the New York Senate decisively rejected a bill that would have allowed gay couples to wed. Over 30 states have amended their constitutions banning same sex marriage. Is this play a battle cry? Is it the gauntlet thrown at the feet of demagogues? No. This is simply a face. This is the flesh, the tears, the joy, the heartbreak, the loss, the passion of these human experiences. It’s that undeniable thread that touches us all. This is a story of family, of loss, of love. It’s also a celebration of the unique, indefinable, true relationships we have with one another. It’s about our stories and our memories and our tears and our laughter. We recall that special thing; that special bond. We remember how extraordinary they made us feel. And we feel so incredibly fortunate to have walked with them, if only for a little while. And we smile, and we weep and cradle ourselves and bask in the glow of a beautiful life that…is. And forever will be.

Thank you again for coming. Your presence truly means so much. And now, THE SOLDIER DREAMS by Daniel MacIvor.