MCCC Student Theatre To Present “Slip Shot” – Nov. 10, 11 And 12

slipshot-470-w-textPottstown, PA—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program are proud to present “Slip/Shot,” a drama by Philadelphia playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger. Show dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. with a special afternoon performance Friday, Nov. 11 at 12:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the College’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, PA.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit

https://www.mc3.edu/arts/student-performance or call 215-641-6518.

During this mesmerizing drama, a rookie police officer finds even an accident can have paralyzing consequences when his gun goes off in an encounter with a young African-American man. Did his gun slip, or was it shot? A heartbreaking performance about violence, fear, and our need to move forward. This production contains adult themes and language.

“Slip/Shot” earned the Brown Martin Award and the Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play. Additionally, it was named one of the “Top 10 Productions of 2012” by “Philadelphia Weekly.”

“This is thoughtful and engaging work that encourages us to talk to each other,” says West End Student Theatre Advisor Tim Gallagher.

Directed by Samantha Clarke and stage managed by Morgan Carrasquillo, the cast includes James Rodgers, Maliah Buxton, Hailee Tyson, Erik Reyes, Zach Clark, Jeff Chernesky, and Phoebe Johnson. The production is designed, produced and presented by the students of the Theatre Production Workshop and West End Student Theatre, which includes Derek Peterson, Kayla Velasquez, Toby Taylor, Morgan Carrasquillo, Erika Blue, Maliah Buxton, Quin Newman Zachary Clark, Joe Donley, Tess Devlin, under the guidance of Chris Kleckner.

“WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER”, A Tribute To Vietnam Veterans May 29th, July 12th In Philadelphia

This Friday we open our award-winning drama, “WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER”, a tribute to Vietnam Veterans which tells true stories of how veterans were treated when they came home from that war. It plays in the Philadelphia area for TWO UPCOMING PERFORMANCES and we hope you will join us and help spread the word.

All Veterans, but especially Vietnam Veterans, need to see this play! It has been running for 24 years in Los Angeles, and many veterans have attended dozens and dozens of times. It’s an important story you won’t hear or see told anywhere else.

FRIDAY, MAY 29, 8 p.m.
SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2 p.m.

VENICE ISLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
1 Cotton Street (off Main St. in Manayunk)
Philadelphia, PA 19127

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT: http://welcomehomesoldierphilly.brownpapertickets.com/

Act 1 DeSales University Performing Arts Presents: Dancing At Lughnasa

Saturday ◊ February 28, 2015 ◊ 8:00 p.m.
Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

By Brian Friel • Directed by Dennis Razze

“The poetry of this play…like the most fragrant music, strikes deep chords that words cannot begin to touch.” –The New York Times

This extraordinary Irish drama, set in the Autumn of 1936 near Ballybeg, Ireland, is a memory play about the five brave Mundy sisters and their older brother Jack, who has just returned home after 25 years as a missionary priest in Africa. As the sisters prepare to celebrate the festival of the God Lugh they erupt into a wild dance celebrating their way of life before it changes forever. Ages 13+

View a preview of the show on YouTube

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Mohnton Firehouse Feud Flares

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The rift between Mohnton‘s fire crew and the social club that oversees it was years in the making.

But the catalyst, both sides agree, was a dispute over the Friendship Fire Company No. 2 of Mohnton’s stand selling waffles and ice cream at Gov. Mifflin Community Days.

The fire crew and social club clashed over where fundraising proceeds should go and who should be allowed to volunteer at the stand. Simmering tensions between the two factions boiled over, leading to the first of back-to-back suspensions of Fire Chief Allen Detwiler.

Now Detwiler and his volunteer engine crew are asking borough government to separate the department and social club.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=520511

Television’s Fall Season Endures

For years, Alan Wurtzel, the head of research for NBC, has questioned the enduring validity of a television season — the ritual competition of network series, which begins again Monday night.

“I’ve been saying the idea of a television season is an anachronistic artifact,” Mr. Wurtzel said. “It’s a 52-week-a-year business. We never take a night off.”

The tradition of the fall season, originally tied to the start of the model year for new cars, is now more than 60 years old. It is defined arbitrarily and rather arcanely by the Nielsen Company as 34.5 weeks between mid-September and mid-May. The season doesn’t account for the increasing number of viewers who watch shows on their own schedules and it hasn’t stopped cable networks from introducing hit shows all through the year.

And yet, the idea persists, in large part because it still works. In defiance of diminishing ratings, attention on the new network shows seems only to have increased, as more blogs and social media sites offer breakdowns of the lineups and predictions of successes and failures.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/business/media/television-changes-but-the-fall-season-endures.html?_r=0

‘The Tempest’ at Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance‏

Prospero and Miranda from a painting by Willia...

Image via Wikipedia

Dance theater adaptation of ‘The Tempest
delves deeper into Shakespeare’s classic


With its parallel universes, Afro-contemporary choreography, non-traditional casting, and a keen ear for issues of power and privilege, Charles O. Anderson and Troy Dwyer’s ‘Tempest’ is anything but traditional Shakespearean fare

Allentown, Pa. (March 12, 2011)—Your high school English teacher might not approve.

If you’re planning to attend Charles O. Anderson and Troy Dwyer’s dance theater adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” opening March 31 at Muhlenberg College, they would like you to know they have no interest in doing “traditional Shakespeare.”

“Come prepared to know that everything’s up for grabs,” says Anderson, a dance professor in the College’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

“Shakespeare finished ‘The Tempest’ in 1611, so it’s exactly 400 years old,” says Dwyer, a theater professor in the department. “We don’t believe it has exactly aged well, despite what many say. Our production aims to recoup ‘The Tempest’ for 2011. That means no doublets—but it also means getting honest about the play’s blemishes.”

Those familiar with Shakespeare’s fantasia of magic, power and revenge will certainly recognize that narrative in Anderson and Dwyer’s production, which runs March 31 to April 3 on the Empie Theatre stage, in Muhlenberg’s Baker Center for the Arts. “The Tempest” is the story of Prospero, a sorcerer set adrift by his rapacious brother, Antonio, and washed up on the shore of a remote island with just three souls for company: his beguiling child Miranda; Ariel, a mischievous sprite; and the bitter so-called “monster,” Caliban. When Antonio strays near the island, Prospero conjures a storm to wreck his ship and exact revenge—but the vessel crashes ashore bearing much more than Prospero could have anticipated.

This production, however, works to transform Shakespeare’s classic into a richer, more complicated experience, for audiences and actors alike—one that weaves the words of the Bard with movement and dance and alternate realities to create  distinctly non-traditional points of view.

Anderson and Dwyer have collaborated before, most notably on the 2009 Muhlenberg world premiere production “Caw,” a dance theater fantasia spanning from the Yoruba religion of Nigeria to Uncle Remus tales of the Deep South to the drag balls of urban gay culture in the late 20th century.

Their work, both individually and in collaboration, takes a particular interest in issues of power and privilege: the ways in which history and literature can make it difficult for those not of the privileged classes—that is, the wealthy, white, straight, male, Western classes—to be heard.

This interest in part fueled their exploration of “The Tempest,” with its problematic gender roles, class violence, and slavery—many of which, they say, tend to be glossed over in traditional productions.

“Directors and actors have to bend the narrative in a way to find the whole person of Caliban and Ariel,” Dwyer says. “We’re complicating the Caliban story—ripping open characters and situations and letting the story of ‘The Tempest’ represent other stories and other power dynamics.”

The production features a star turn by Muhlenberg acting faculty member Holly Cate in the role of Prospero—another sign of its distinctly doublet-free nature. Along the same lines, Prospero’s servant Ariel will be portrayed by a group of five actors, each embodying a different facet of the ethereal character. Many of the characters, in fact, are inhabited by actors who do not look the part in any traditional sense.

“If you follow the conventional interpretation, this play has one role for an actor of color, and it’s as a savage,” Dwyer says. “It has one role for a woman. We are interested in creating opportunities for all artists to participate in and respond as artists to Shakespeare.”

Another significant departure is the parallel universe that directors and cast have created around the traditional story. In this meta-narrative, which frames the Prospero tale, Cate plays an elderly white woman wrestling with the bewildering urbanization of her surroundings, and the dire toll it takes on her own tattered imagination.

In this alternate reality, each of the company’s actors plays a different character, with a different set of relationships to each other and to the world of the play. Their story, told entirely through movement, often overlaps the tale of “The Tempest,” working sometimes in harmony or in counterpoint with the main narrative, and sometimes in conflict, creating dissonance and complication.

Anderson’s background as a dancer and choreographer is in Afro-contemporary movement forms, a synthesis of traditional West African movement and rhythms with modern dance techniques and the urban beats of today. He brings this fusion to the dance elements of this “Tempest,” which features contemporary music and what Dwyer calls “streetwise grittiness” alongside the poetry of Shakespeare.

While the production leaves off the doublets, the couplets are largely intact. Most of Shakespeare’s dense, poetic, often problematic language remains—and the element of dance allows the actors to clarify, comment on, and sometimes contradict the text they’re speaking.

“Dance theater allows tension and ambiguity to exist in a work,” Anderson says. “You can present remarkably clear but contradictory meanings through the movement and words of a piece.”

A dance theater approach also can bring a deeper, visceral understanding of the language of the play, according to Dwyer and Anderson, particularly language as dense as Shakespeare’s.

“Movement has the power to be this battery that can fuel an audience’s understanding,” Dwyer says. “No one can fully, cognitively grasp all of the language of Shakespeare’s characters. The meaning is associative, more than it is rational; you get it in your chest, more than in your brain—at least, you do when you’re in the hands of talented actors.

“And if you get someone who can really move, you take the Duracell out and put a nuclear reactor in there.”

Both Dwyer and Anderson would regard their relationship to Shakespeare as respectful without being reverential.

“Privileging the traditional narrative was never on the table,” Dwyer says, “because it just doesn’t make sense with what we do. Charles and I are both queer artists, Charles is an artist of color. We have a certain relationship with authority that doesn’t really allow for an adaptation that is both honest and ‘traditional.'”

“The Tempest” performances are Thursday through Saturday, March 31 through April 2, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for patrons 17 and under. Performances are in the Empie Theatre, in the Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

“The Tempest” performance information and tickets are available at 484-664-3333 or www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre.

“The Crucible” Now Playing At The Tri-County Performing Arts Center, Downtown Pottstown

THE CRUCIBLE at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center, Thursdays through Sundays, now through March 20th.  Log on to www.tripac.org for tickets

A Tony Award Winner for Best Play, this exciting drama about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in Salem is both a gripping historical play and a timely parable of our contemporary society. The story focuses upon a young farmer, his wife, and a young servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife’s arrest for witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie – and it is here that the monstrous course of bigotry and deceit is terrifyingly depicted.

Parental guidance suggested due to themes about relationships

Join us for the 2nd weekend of this powerful performance.

THE CRUCIBLE (Mar 3 – 20) Thur. @ 7:30 pm/ Fri. @ 8:00 pm / Sat. @ 8:00 pm / Su. @ 3:00 pm

Talkback with Cast: Sundays March 13th

“La Dispute” Depicts A Philosophical Battle Of The Sexes

First page of The Dispute (1744) by Pierre de ...

Image via Wikipedia

Marivaux’s 18th century French comedy, onstage
at Muhlenberg College Feb. 24-27, explores questions
of infidelity through a shocking sociological experiment

Allentown, Pa. (Feb. 3, 2011)—What would happen if you raised three boys and three girls in complete isolation from each other and the outside world—and then introduced them to one another? Would they fall in love? Promise to be loyal? How long would it take before the betrayals began? And who would be the first to stray, the women or the men?

Just such an experiment is at the heart of Pierre de Marivaux‘s mischievous 1744 comedy “La Dispute,” on stage Feb. 24-27 at Muhlenberg College. The play is shot through with romance, playful language and situational comedy, says director Francine Roussel, an associate professor in Muhlenberg’s theater and dance department. But it also gives the audience some food for thought.

“You leave the play with these nagging questions,” she says. “It is not as light as it seems.”

Though more 250 years old, the play continues to resonate with modern audiences and modern actors, Roussel says.

“At college, we are dealing with young people who fortunately fall in love and fall out of love,” she says. “That subject is relevant to any time. Is it in human nature, or is it a product of a civilization, era or culture?”

“La Dispute” begins with an argument: a prince and his courtiers have been debating whether men or women are more likely to unfaithful in love. To settle the dispute, the prince has concocted an experiment whereby six children spend their entire childhood and adolescence alone, with a pair of servant caretakers as their only human companions. At the age of 18, the children are introduced to each other, and couples form quickly. The lovers start out swearing their devotion, but they soon face their first temptations. The prince—and the audience—then watch as the results unfold.

“The temptation seems impossible to resist,” Roussel says. “The truth of human behavior is visible in these young people. They are constantly discovering the world around them and the world within themselves. These are the conditions of a serious experiment.”

As with all scientific endeavors, more questions than answers come out of this subversive experiment.

“It is a play that is philosophical in nature, just like anything in that century,” Roussel says. “Marivaux himself had that bent. His theater questions the philosophy of life. In the 18th century, literature and philosophy fell in love with science.

“I’m amazed at the refinement and sophistication of his language,” she says, “his knowledge of the human heart and of the infinite subtleties of human behavior, and his power to make that society aware of its class system and its need to change.”

Roussel says that the play displays a social agenda that was surprisingly progressive for its time. She is particularly interested in Marivaux’s depiction of the two black servants who have raised the children.

“The young people say horrible things about their guardians, totally racial, not politically correct things. I’m sure people will react to that,” Roussel says. “But Marivaux was way ahead of his time. He used provocative language to raise important social questions. He wrote a play about the emancipation of women and the emancipation of slaves. He had a real social consciousness.”

Roussel says she was interested in visualizing the cruelty of the experiment itself — an approach she discussed with scenic designer Curtis Dretsch. Dretsch designed a set he says is meant to invoke “a combination zoo enclosure and operating theatre,” in which the characters enter a central space from their separate cages of isolation.

 “I have really questioned where the children come from, the damage done to them, and where they will go,” Roussel says. “I wanted the set to address these issues.”

Muhlenberg College is a liberal arts college of 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa. The college offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. Princeton ranks Muhlenberg’s theater program sixth in the nation, and The Princeton Review and the Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

“La Dispute” performances are Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for patrons 17 and under. Performances are in Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. For mature audiences.

“La Dispute” performance information and tickets are available at 484-664-3333 or www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre.

Dracula Takes A Bite Out Of Pottstown

By Roy Keeler

On Sunday, October 11th, I had the pleasure of attending my third Village Productions play at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center in downtown Pottstown.

I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the Main Stage area and realized it has been totally reconfigured and everything is black.  This time, the seats are in one large row, stadium style, and the stage area is much smaller than it was for Miracle on 34th Street and The Wiz.  The set is appropriately Gothic.  We were seated in the fourth row and center stage for optimum viewing.

After a quick introduction and some housekeeping items, Marta Kiesling relayed to us that the role of Dr. Seward was being filled by her husband Bill.  The actor who was playing Dr. Seward was unable to continue in the role after Wednesday night’s dress rehearsal.  Her husband stepped in the day before opening night and took over the role.  Talk about saving the day!  Without further delay, the production began.

The room was pitch black, there was some thunder, lightening, fog and music began to play (Camille Saint-Saëns: Dance Macabre) which was extremely appropriate!  Great mood setter!

Act I takes place in the library of Dr. Seward’s sanatorium in England.  This is the longest segment and a fifteen minute intermission takes place at the end of the act.  Act II takes place in Lucy’s boudoir and is followed by a five minute “stretch”.  Act III has two scenes: back in Dr. Seward’s library and in a crypt.

This production has a strong cast and I was impressed with the acting!  There are some special effects, which are well done, but the high caliber acting by the cast draws you into the story.  Elizabeth Hennessey and Scott Minor are back for another “Village Production” after appearing in Miracle on 34th Street.  I became a fan of both actors after seeing them in Miracle on 34th Street and in this production of Dracula their acting skills are showcased even further. Scott has the role of R.M. Renfield, a bug eating lunatic in Dr. Seward’s sanatorium.  Not exactly an easy role to pull off.  Elizabeth is the female lead, Lucy Seward (Dr. Seward’s daughter) who becomes Count Dracula’s love interest/victim.  Both Scott and Elizabeth delivered superb performances.

Michael Shoeman plays John Harker, Lucy Seward’s love interest.  Michael delivers another strong performance as his character desperately struggles to save the woman he loves.  You feel the intensity and raw emotion of Michael’s performance.

Paul Dake was cast as Abraham Van Helsing.  Van Helsing is a strong character in need of a strong actor to due justice to the role.  The pivotal role as Dracula’s nemesis was skillfully executed by Paul.

As I mentioned earlier, Bill Kiesling was thrust into the role of Dr. Seward on opening night.  It is a performance using the script as there was no time to memorize hundreds of lines.  However, the script in concealed in a book that he carries at all times.  Personally, I was not bothered by it.  Several of the people who were with me felt it was distracting, although they completely understood there was no other option.  I think Bill does an amazing job with this role.  It is a main character.  The emotion and depth of feeling put into the role is excellent, especially considering he had 24 hours to ready himself.  There was no awkwardness or missed cues that I noticed.

Diane Davis as Miss Wells (maid) and Eamon Goebel as Butterworth (butler) delivered wonderful performances.  They added some comic relief which is necessary in a drama as intense as Dracula!

Last and certainly not least is Jerome Neville as Count Dracula.  In my humble opinion Jerome rocks the house as Dracula!  He has all the right moves, even down to the hissing when crosses, garlic, mirrors, Wolf’s-bane and the Blessed Sacrament are used against him.  Think Bela Lugosi!  The classic Dracula of my childhood; creepy, charming and everything in between!  Great performance!

The play runs about 2 1/2 hours including the intermissions.  Excellent costumes, sound, lighting, sets etc… It may be a little scary for small children but is otherwise great entertainment for all ages.  The special effects are excellent and I thought the ending was “killer”.  I give Dracula two fangs up!

Dracula runs through October 25th. Performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For more information about tickets sales, performance times and dates visit their website at http://www.tripac.org. The Tri Country Performing Arts Center is located at 245 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.  They can also be reached by telephone at (610) 970-1199.

Grab The Garlic! Dracula Comes To Pottstown!!

Tri-County Performing Arts Center
245 East High Street Pottstown,  PA  19464
 
 
 
Presents Dracula
Thriller by Deane and Balderston
Presented by arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Not recommended for young children due to potentially frightening situations and suggestion of mature themes

Get ready for Halloween thrills and chills with the play based on the novel by Bram Stoker! A young friend of beautiful Lucy Seward dies unexpectedly, supposedly of anemia. Now Lucy is ill too, and her well-meaning father (Dr. Seward) and fiancé (Jonathan Harker) consult with the specialist, Van Helsing, to seek a cure. Their mysterious new neighbor, Count Dracula, appears to be unusually attracted to Lucy’s predicament. Meanwhile Dr. Seward’s mental patient, Renfield, is exhibiting increasingly bizarre behavior, torn between embracing the Count’s promise of immortality and saving his own soul. Dr. Seward’s attendant, Butterworth, can’t contain Renfield, and both he and Lucy’s maid observe increasingly odd disturbances within the household. Van Helsing is the first to realize the Count’s true nature, and together with Dr. Seward and Jonathan Harker, seek to destroy Dracula to save Lucy.

CAST
Count Dracula – Jerome Neville
Van Helsing – Paul Dake
Renfield – Scott Minor
Lucy Seward – Elizabeth Karpinski
Dr. Seward – Stephen Blumenthal
John Harker – Michael Shoeman
Miss Wells – Diane Davis
Attendant – Eamon Goebel

Directed by – Geoffrey Berwind

DRACULA (October 8 – 25, 2009)
Thursday October 8,15, 22 – 7:30 pm
Friday October 9, 16, 23 – 8:00 pm
Saturday October 10, 17, 24 – 8:00 pm
Sunday October 11, 18, 25 – 3:00 pm

ADULT: Thurs $17; Fri, Sat & Sun $21
STUDENT/SR (65+): Thurs $15; Fri, Sat & Sun $19
CHILD (12 & under): Thurs $13; Fri, Sat & Sun $15
$2 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more!