Friday, May 27, 2011

This North Coast Weekend

The Dell'Arte School graduating class of 2011 presents The Finals--their ultimate small ensemble work, beginning Thursday, May 26 through Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Carlo.  Admission is pay what you can.  The audience will get the chance to give their own grades for what they see, on a Report Card tucked in the program.  But I don't think it goes on anybody's Permanent Record.

Jeff DeMark is performing his annual reprise of his first show, "Writing My Way Out of Adolescence," at Redwood Yogurt (16th & G) in Arcata on Friday (May 27) at 8 p.m.  There is no admission charge, but the room is small so come early.  Jeff is working with a band he put together that he really likes, so the music is part of the attraction.

I might also mention the appearance of North Coast pianist and HSU alum Ryan MacEvoy McCullough at HSU's Fulkerson Recital Hall on Friday at 8 p.m.  Among the pieces Ryan will play is a piano sonata by his friend and fellow HSU alum Dante De Silva, subtitled "Arcata."  More (of my) info at HSU Music.   Proceeds go towards bringing other guest pianists to Humboldt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

KCACTF Commendations

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's National Selection Team just announced their individual commendations for participants in the Region 7 festival held here at HSU in February.

Special commendations went to two cast members of Xtigone from California State College East Bay: Chalia La Tour as "Tigs" (the Antigone character: pictured here) and Carlos Martinez as LeRoy.  Other actors similarly honored are Liam Callister of St. Mary's College (Angels in America: Millennium Approaches) and Lanny Langston, Angela Vogel, Phoenix Tage, Brittany Brook, Rachel Rosenfeld, Nicholas Witham and Adrian Crookston of the University of Idaho for Distinguished Ensemble Performance in Up.

Also for Up: Anthony Brinkley for Distinguished Achievement in Scenic Design,Laura Berkompas for Lighting Design, Mike Locke for Sound Design, Adriana Sanchez for Costume Design and Kim Bell for Hair & Makeup Design.

Other awards:  Laura Elaine Ellis (Xtigone) for Distinguished Achievement in Choreography, Matthew White of Ohlone College (The Time Machine) for  Sound Design; Ted Crimy for Sound Design and Robert Broadfoot for Scenic Design--both of St. Mary's (Angels in America.)

In addition there were two awards for a show not seen on the main stage but presented in a reading: Angela Santillo was cited for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting for the play, Sera, and Rebecca Engle for Distinguished Achievement in Directing for New Play Development.  Both are from St. Mary's College of California.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This North Coast Weekend

North Coast Prep presents A Russian Promenade at the Bayside Grange, beginning May 11. Director Gretha Omey Stenger uses the framework of Gogol’s play The Government Inspector with characters from two Chekhov plays and a number of his short stories to create a dramatic world that both the actors and audience will literally walk through as they promenade to scenes featuring characters from all walks of 19th century village life. Audience members who prefer to sit still will have the option of watching it all from one location, but those who join the promenade and the shifting audience space might interact with the characters, as they all prepare for the arrival of the government inspector.

A Russian Promenade plays Wednesday May 11 through Saturday May 14 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional 1:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Beginning Thursday May 12, the graduating MFA students at Dell’Arte School present their thesis projects of original work in The Thesis Festival : A Tuesday, a one-act dark comedy in which Death has a speaking part; Master of All Splendor, an adaptation of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth; and Land of Dreams, a two-clown show suggested “for couples who drive each other crazy.” Sounds like date night!  All three of these shows play Thursdays through Sundays May 12-15 and May 19-22 at 8 p.m. in the Carlo.

Continuing: Almost, Maine at Redwood Curtain in Eureka on weekends through May 21, with a special “cheap date” price on Thursdays — and this is another date night play if there ever was one. My review is at the NC Journal.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

McCarthyism in America

The City University of New York has refused to give playwright Tony Kushner a planned honorary degree because a member of its board of trustees objects to Kushner's views on Israel.

Now historian Ellen Schrecker of Yeshiva University is returning her CUNY honorary degree in protest, with a very pointed statement.  According to Salon, her statement reads in part:  "I received my honorary degree from CUNY because of my scholarship on the McCarthy period, when over one hundred professors (including at least fifteen from the New York City municipal colleges) lost their jobs for political reasons," writes Schrecker. "I assume that no one within CUNY’s Board of Trustees or administration wants a repeat of those dark days."

Justification for this response is inherent in the statement made by the objecting board member, who wrote in a New York Times oped that Kushner's "libelous statements against Israel were made by anyone outside the Jewish community, that person would be correctly labeled an anti-Semite."  This is precisely the kind of inflammatory charge that McCarthyism represented.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


"Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art."

Konstantin Stanislavsky