Sunday, August 31, 2008

Actors Rep cancels season

Bobo has been out of town, so is just now reading in this morning's Spokesman that Actors Repertory Theatre has cancelled the rest of its season, citing unforeseen financial problems.
There are no plans to disband, and *Earnest* will continue through Sept. 6, but then that's it for this year.
More later.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

David Esbjornson leaving Seattle Rep

... as early as next month, with Braden Abraham to be principal associate A.D.

Misha Berson's Seattle Times article is here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Auditions for *A Few Good Men* in CdA

Tuesday-Wednesday, Sept. 2-3, at 6:30 pm
at the Harding Family Center, 411 N. 15th St., Coeur d'Alene
for the Oct. 31-Nov. 15 production at Lake City Playhouse
directed by Reed McColm

A rookie lawyer is assigned to defend two Marines on trial for murder of one of their platoon members. He expects a plea bargain, and a coverup of what really happened. But prodded by a female member of his defense team, the lawyer eventually makes a valiant effort to defend his clients and, in doing so, raises the question of what it means to have honor, dignity and humanity in an increasingly complex world.

LCP Artistic Director Brian Doig has invited Marine recruiters to be in the lobby for a production that examines Guantanamo starting just two days before the presidential election.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 25, 2008

Webby musicals

The Websites for at least three ongoing or upcoming Broadway shows
-- A Tale of Two Cities, Billy Elliott, and 9 to 5: The Musical -- are apparently quite elaborate and entertaining.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The arts, and the choices we could make

Crows practice deception and coverups of that deception; magpies recognize themselves in mirrors; some human practices aren't as unique to our species as we would like to think. But what good is art? Other species don't create it. In evolutionary terms, what good is it?

Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique
by Michael S. Gazzaniga of UCSB

The attraction to stories, plays, paintings and music — experiences with no obvious evolutionary payoff — is puzzling. “Why does the brain contain reward systems that make fictional experiences enjoyable?” he asks. Part of the answer, he argues, is that fictional thinking engages innate “play” modules that enhance evolutionary fitness (that is, the ability to propagate one’s genes) by allowing us to consider possible alternatives — hypothetical situations — so that we can form plans in advance of dangers or even just unpleasant social situations. “From having read the fictional story about the boy who cried wolf when we were children,” he writes, “we can remember what happened to him in the story and not have to learn that lesson the hard way in real life.” Art may be more than a leisure activity. Artistic, representational thinking could have been fundamental in making us the way we are. As Gazzaniga concludes, “The arts are not frosting but baking soda.”
-- Daniel J. Levitin, N.Y. Times, 8/22/08, "Brain Candy"

The arts help our critical thinking; they help us imagine life other than the way it is. The arts point us toward our ideals.
And without that, what good are all the techno-gadgets and Land Rovers in the world?
Another good argument for arts education: They're not expendable fluff. They're essential. Unless young voters learn empathy, how will they avoid growing old and (basically) self-centered?

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Importance of Being Earnest in Spokane

Oscar Wilde's 1895 play, produced by Actors Repertory Theatre of the Inland Northwest
at Spokane Falls Community College's Spartan Theater
Aug. 22-Sept. 6, 2008
directed by Michael Weaver
with Kari McClure as Cecily, Jon Lutyens as Algy, Karen Nelsen as Lady Bracknell, Caryn Hoaglund-Trivett as Gwendolyn and Damon Mentzer as Jack (pictured, L to R)
also with Carolyn Crabtree as Miss Prism, Patrick Treadway as Canon Chasuble, Jeremiah Hatch as Lane and Brandon Montang as Merriman
set design by John Hofland

Hoaglund-Trivett and Mentzer

Lady Augusta Bracknell looms in the darkness

Gwendolyn and Cecily

Caryn Hoaglund-Trivett as Gwendolyn Fairfax and Kari McClure as Cecily Cardew
in The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
Aug-Sept '08, Actors Rep at SFCC's Spartan Theater
directed by Michael Weaver

Gwen and Jack

Gwen and Jack
Originally uploaded by Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Aug. 22- Sept. 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

*The Exonerated* at the Civic, Sept. 5-6

A staged reading of the play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen — taken verbatim from six people who were falsely convicted of capital crimes and served long periods of time on death row before being proven not guilty — will be performed on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 5-6, at 7:30 pm at Spokane Civic Theatre. It's a fund-raiser, so tickets are $30. Directed by Bryan Harnetiaux; produced by the Center for Justice.
The cast includes David Casteal, George Green, Tom Heppler, Bryan Jackson and others. The movie starred Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Aidan Quinn, Susan Sarandon and others.

Doctor, artify thyself

Physicians make better diagnoses if they've taken classes in the visual arts. That's the conclusion of a study at Harvard Med School.
Med students who studied art interpreted facial expressions and body postures better. It even works with abstract paintings (pattern recognition -- helpful with those nasty rashes you always get on your thighs. You really ought to have those looked at.)

Bobo's point in raising all this? The importance of arts education. Watching a show (which can be like watching mobile visual art) increases empathy and understanding. So how can we do a better job of selling the public on this idea? Theater and viz arts and reading books are all essential.

Meanwhile — and hey, Bobo's a jock, loves sports, but -- Indianapolis just spent $720 million on a new football stadium. Which they built right next to their old football stadium.
Wonder how well funded the Indy theater scene is.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 18, 2008

open auditions at Interplayers, Aug. 26

Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 5-8 pm at Spokane Interplayers Ensemble,
174 S. Howard St.

new Consulting Artistic Director Karen Kalensky will hold auditions for the entire season
prepare two contrasting monologues of two minutes (max) each
Maynard Villers and Reed McColm, who will also be directing Interplayers shows this season, will also be on hand
Call: 455-PLAY

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Les Miserables in Coeur d'Alene

Matthew Wade, Krista Kubicek, Krystle Armstrong, Douglas Webster
in Les Miz
by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg
set designer: Michael McGiveney
lighting designer: Joel Williamson

Mme. Thenardier

Leslie Rhodes, carousing

Ladies of the night

lurid lighting

final curtain call: Les Miz

at Couer d'Alene's North Idaho College through Aug. 23

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Character-based comedy

TV comedy today is more character-based, less standup-comic-based. A generational shift? Also an opportunity for actors to hone characters and depend less on shtick.

That's disgusting

In an experiment, people tasted quinine, watched a video with someone acting disgusting, and then read a paragraph about a repulsive person vomiting into one's own mouth.
But the point is: Reading about an emotion is the same as actually experiencing it. (Quinine tastes disgusting.) The same areas of the brain lit up in all three episodes. Which means that art (books, plays, movies) evoke the same powerful emotions as real-life experiences.
Which is why people cry at *Les Miserables.* Which is why people who love theater keep doing theater.
Some of the best journalistic advice Bobo has ever received: Readers don't remember the facts, names, figures; what they remember are the emotions.
For more, read this:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

*Oklahoma!* at Civic: cast list

Sept. 26-Oct. 26 at Spokane Civic Theatre
directed and choreographed by Kathie Doyle-Lipe
musical direction by Carolyn Jess

an ensemble of two dozen actors will be led by

Jean Hardie as Aunt Eller
Adam Peterson as Curly
Alyssa Day as Laurey
Brad McDowell as Ike Skidmore
Emily Cleveland as Ado Annie Carnes
Cameron Lewis as Will Parker
Shawn Hudson as Jud Fry
Thomas Heppler as Ali Hakim
Katie-Sarah Phillips as Gertie Cummings
Peter Hardie as Andrew Carnes

Labels: ,

Monday, August 11, 2008

CST in '09: two shows

Ellen Travolta announced on opening night of *Les Miz* that CdA Summer Theatre will produce two other big shows in summer 2009: *The Producers* and "Miss Saigon.*

Pix of *Les Miz* (we have 'em by the hundreds) as soon as time allows.
Bobo will have more to say about *Les Miz* in print on Thursday.