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Podcast Vol. 307: March 5, 2009 – Rooftops, Tartuffe, Shortened Attention Span and more!

We have a jam packed show filled with six new shows opening this weekend and playing through March! Rooftops from Wreckio Ensemble, Shortened Attention Span Musical Festival, Red Haired Thomas from SoHo Thinktank, The Man in the Newspaper Hat from ManyTracks, Tartuffe from Dog Run Rep and Crazy Head Space from Abraxas Stage Company.  

On The Boards

rooftops.jpgRooftops

We talk with director, Kim Kressal and actress Randi Berri about Wreckio Ensemble’s production of Rooftops, and what it means to “go green” in independent theatre.

Wreckio Ensemble presents ROOFTOPS, a dystopic play in two acts, comments on the economic divide present in American society and magnifies it to drastic proportions. The play begins as the protagonist, Crane, is ripped from her world of comfort and convenience and is catapulted on to “the Tops”. She is introduced to a world of women living and working in a futuristic “debtors prison”, who through constant sedation, unlivable conditions, and government experimentation are quickly deteriorating both mentally and physically. As she learns the rituals and rules of her new home, including a regimented diet of fast food chicken and an expectation to breed with the rooftop’s male watchdog, Crane’s hope of ever returning to her old life seems impossible. When an Arab-American man, who is demonized by the media as a terrorist, offers Crane a chance to end the suffering of the rooftop dwellers, but possibly sacrifice herself in the process, Crane is forced to question the worth of one human life versus the lives of thousands. Written by Karly Maurer.

To find more info click here

On the Boards

Shortened Attention Span Musical Festival

shortened.jpg

The Shortened Attention Span Festival was founded by Carlo Rivieccio and Christy Benanti in 2007 as a means for writers to develop their works in an affordable and professional setting. Shortened Attention Span provides up and coming writers with Four guaranteed performances, postcards for mailings, professional press represenation, a Lighting Designer to provide a rep plot and one hour of Technical rehearsal. In addition if writers rehearse at the Players Theatre, Shortened Attention Span provides a discount on Rentals. Shortened Attention Span produces Three Festivals Per Year, Our Annual One Act Festival, our Horror Festival and our third Festival (Baseball Festival 08).

We talk with founder, Carlo Rivieccio and one of the show’s composers, Scott Uria in this episode.

For more info click here

The Callboard

York Little Holds Auditions For Henry & Ramona 5/22- 5/31

York Little Theatre is holding auditions on March 30 and 31, at 6:30 p.m. in York, PA, for all roles in their upcoming production of Henry and Ramona to run May 22 – 31, 2009.
Henry and Ramona, directed by Kimberly Smith, is the third production in YLT’s rabbit transit children’s series which includes magical productions for the whole family, performed by casts of all ages.

Henry and Ramona is based on Beverly Cleary’s classic book and tells the story of Henry, who lives on Klickitat Street with his dog Ribsy, his neighbor and good friend, Beezus, and..oh yeah…Ramona the Pest, who makes life hard when you’re trying to do important things. When Henry decides he wants to deliver newspapers, the adventure really begins. Henry will rescue abandoned kittens, ride to the dump in a bathtub, get his first bike, and learn some great lessons about friendship.

Auditioners should prepare a short monologue depicting a character (a passage from a Ramona book is fine, or email eric@ylt.org for suggestions); and come dressed comfortably to move. Resumes and headshots welcome but not required. All conflicts must be stated at the time of auditions.

More information concerning auditions may be found here

‘HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 4’ to Debut on Disney Channel in 2010, Franchise Returns to Small Screen

Variety is reporting that the fourth installment of “High School Musical” will return the franchise back to where it all started: the Disney Channel. Featuring a whole new cast, “High School Musical 4” is set to begin production later this year and premiere on the Disney Channel in 2010.

Groff, Harrison and Cancelmi Join Cast of Public’s Singing Forest

Tony nominee Jonathan Groff, Randy Harrison and Louis Cancelmi will join the previously announced Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis for the New York premiere of Craig Lucas’ The Singing Forest at the Public Theater. In addition to Dukakis (“Moonstruck”), Groff (Spring Awakening, A Prayer for My Enemy), Harrison (Edward the Second, “Queer as Folk”) and Cancelmi (Blasted), the cast of The Singing Forest will also feature Mark Blum (Twelve Angry Men), Rob Campbell (Small Tragedy), Pierre Epstein (Plenty), Deborah Offner (Rebel Women) and Susan Pourfar (The Poor Itch). Mark Wing-Davey directs the production, which begins performances at the Public April 7 and officially opens April 27. The Singing Forest runs through May 17.

On The Boards

redhairedthomas1.jpgRed Haired Thomas

Professional gambler Cliff has got it bad. His daughter doesn’t need him, his wife might leave him, and his newspaper vender Iftikhar, whose mother country is at war, just might kill him. Witness Cliff’s darkly comic, spiraling descent into a paranoid mythology of power-point presentations, rolls of quarters and hostage videos. Can our migraine-plagued redheaded founding father Thomas Jefferson save the day? Enter with caution into a desperation-filled dreamscape, where the sanest inhabitant may be Thomas Jefferson. (With songs.)

We talk with the Playwright/Artistic Director of SoHo Think Tank about the show, and the prospect of the Ohio Theatre closing.

For more info on season and company, click here

On the Boards

newspaper.gifThe Man in the Newspaper Hat

ManyTracks is a new venture with a wide open mission of discovering “Many Different Tracks to Making Theatre”. This suggests not only a creative openness as far as the type or genre of work we are interested in – be it straight theater, musical theatre, solo performances, dance or a mix, but also pertains to our interest in exploring different ways on how theatre pieces are conceived.
The Man in the Newspaper Hat is a fictionalized portrayal of what went into the creation of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “Visits to St. Elizabeths.” Bishop wrote this poem during her visits with the controversial poet, Ezra Pound who was remanded to St. Elizabeths in 1946 after having stood trial for treason where a special jury found him incompetent. Each scene is built upon aspects of Bishop’s poem and follows both characters as they come together, “poet to poet”.

We talk with Director/Producer Katrin Hilbe and Actor Angus Hepburn about the unique challenges of bringing this piece to the stage and where the fiction and reality meet.

For ManyTracks’s official page, click here

On the Boards

tartuffe.jpgTartuffe/Crazy Head Space

A new adaptation of TARTUFFE and a new musical, CRAZY HEAD SPACE are running in rep at the South Street Seaport theatre. Jeff Cohen and Kendra Leigh Landon stopped by to talk about the two shows and the unique theatre space they inhabit.

Dog Run Rep presents TARTUFFE. This TARTUFFE is set in New York City in the Great Depression – no, not this one, the one in the 1930’s – and is about a con artist who swindles a rich family out f their fortune – no this isn’t about Bernie Madoff. Yes, this is a classic – but it’s a classic like I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners or, to quote the New York Times – “It is a cockamamie Marx Brothers’ sprint!” Tartuffe runs from March 6 – April 5th at 210 Front Street, South Street Seaport, New York City.

More info here

Here’s what Abraxas’ website has to say about CRAZY HEAD SPACE: Sanity is SO overrated. We all need a little madness in our lives. Get ready for the ferocious first debut of Crazy Head Space, a manic musical celebrating a dizzying kaleidoscope of mental and emotional disorders!

crazyheadspace1.gifCrazy Head Space will take you off the deep end and into a world of pure imagination and animal madness. Step out of your normal routine in this A-to-Z merry-go-round of maladies—some hilarious, some magical and unnerving. Taste the excitement of all those disorders you’ve read about but managed to avoid thus far–or have you? Most important of all, rediscover the lunatic within you! Crazy Head Space is guaranteed to leave you laughing at your own nervous breakdown!

Crazy Head Space offers a riveting, wild score by contemporary composers Liz S. Davis and Michelangelo Sosnowitz, and a gloriously insane lyric book by Liz S. Davis. Taking inspiration from the (in)famous DSM IV Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, this musical will leave you wishing for a disorder of your own!

For more information on CRAZY HEAD SPACE, click HERE

Top of the Trades

Tony Winner Miranda Gets DreamWorks Animation Deal

Lights up on Lin-Manuel Miranda — and his new Hollywood deal. The actor-writer who conceived and starred in Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights has signed a development deal with DreamWorks Animation.

mirandacue200.jpgMiranda won the Tony Award for Best Score — for writing both music and lyrics — to the pop musical set in the Latino neighborhood of Washington Heights. According to The Hollywood Reporter, his inaugural project for DreamWorks is an animated musical feature (partnering with “High School Musical” screenwriter Peter Barsocchini).

No details about the project have been announced.

Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Quesada Says ‘SPIDER-MAN’ Will ‘ROCK’

Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada used his ‘Twitter’ feed to comment on the upcoming musical ‘SPIDER-MAN, Turn Off the Dark’.

Quesada, a comic industry icon, excitedly stated that “Spider-Man at it’s core is a very “classic” story in structure. Done well as it will be by Taymor. Bono and Edge, it will ROCK!”

SPIDER-MAN, Turn Off the Dark, will open on Thursday, February 18, 2010 at Broadway’s Hilton Theatre, 213 West 42nd Street (preview performances will begin Saturday, January 16, 2010).

Directed by Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor with 22-time Grammy® Award-winning Bono and The Edge creating new music and lyrics, SPIDER-MAN will be written by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.

For more info, click here

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