Thursday, July 26, 2018

For Your Consideration: Tell the 2018 Ostrander Judges Who to Nominate

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 2:39 PM

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The Ostrander Awards are scheduled to go off Sunday, August 26th. The judges have not yet convened, and it's only a matter of days now before the haggling begins over who gets nominated for one of Memphis' coveted theater awards, and who goes home with the plaque. In other words, if there was ever a time to make your feelings known as to who you think they should choose, now would be the time to make some noise. I'm suggesting not that any of our upstanding judges could ever be swayed by outside influence. But it sure can't hurt and might even be fun to try.

What I'm proposing is that theater fans post their own "for your consideration" suggestions in comments here, or on the social media platform of your choosing. You can make it text only, or — if you're feeling creative — make Academy Awards-style "for your consideration" ads and share them around. My only request is, if you make ads, either email a copy to me or tag me when you post it. If we get enough I'll create a second post with the best homemade ads out there.

For my sample I picked John Maness because that guy could easily be nominated in a couple of categories, and absolutely deserves a play prize this year.

Have fun and stay tuned to Intermission Impossible for Ostrander updates including nominees, interviews with honorees, and this year's installment of WHO GOT ROBBED?!?!

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces 11th Season — Brave New World

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 9:46 AM

TSC at the Dixon
  • TSC at the Dixon
Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC) has dubbed its new season, "Brave New World," and considering the moment, that sounds about right.

Memphis' only professional, classically bent troupe has spent the last decade wandering about East Memphis and Germantown as peripatetic tenants. The company is currently occupying a considerable property of its very own — the building left behind when Ballet Memphis moved to Overton Square.

According to TSC founder Dan McCleary the company is: "determined to create a classical playing space that is unique in Memphis, our state, and in the southeastern United States. It will be flexible, comfortable, reverberant with natural materials, and it will be able to open out through our facility’s walls in order to host our 400-seat gala as well as rent out to other parties through the year. We are creating a festive, classical, workhorse of a playspace that will educate our children, train tomorrow’s actors, and never have a line at the bathrooms!”

There's still a lot of renovation in the works, but little by little all the pieces are falling into place. The 11th season launches with Two Gentlemen of Verona, a comedy of love and friendship gone awry. That's followed by Macbeth, Shakespeare's macabre tale of greed and ghosts. Major productions end with a revival of As You Like It, the first play TSC ever produced. The season continues with the latest installment of the company's popular Southern Literary Salon, and its tenth Broadway gala, showcasing a yet-to-be-announced headliner.

From TSC's season announcement:

The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series

by William Shakespeare

directed by Stephanie Shine+

September 8-29

sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C.

75-minute running time

It’s free, fun, fast, and for everyone! Last season’s inaugural Shout-Out Series returns by popular demand with 11 performances at 10 outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County. Ideal for families and picnics, this quick-fire version of Two Gents provides a rare opportunity to laugh at Shakespeare’s first comedy – and perhaps even his very first play.

He takes a well-known comedy of a love triangle and re-shapes it into a love rectangle, introduces strong female characters (one of whom takes on Shakespeare’s first “pants role” before the more famous Viola and Rosalind do), creates wise-cracking servants Speed and Launce, and even adds bandits to the mix. But for all that, the play remains famous for one particular role: Crab the dog. Even as the story ranges from the shocking to the hilarious, Crab sits non-plussed.

No tickets or reservations needed. Patrons are encouraged to come early for available seating.

September 8 at 2:00 pm
Stax Amphitheatre
(Open Rehearsal)

September 8 at 6:00 pm
Orange Mound Community Center
(Open Rehearsal)

September 14 at 6:00 pm
Collierville Town Square

September 15 at 2:00 pm
Germantown Library

September 15 at 6:00 pm
Loflin Yard

September 21 at 6:00 pm
Beale Street Landing

September 22 at 2:00 pm
Wiseacre Brewery

September 22 at 6:00 pm
Overton Square at the Chimes Square Amphitheatre

September 28 at 6:00 pm
International Harvester Managerial Park

September 29 at 2:00 pm
Benjamin Hooks Public Library

September 29 at 6:00 pm
Overton Square at the Chimes Square Amphitheatre

Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

directed by Dan McCleary

October 18 – November 4

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) production

sponsored by C. Cato Ealy

The Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage at TSC

In his horrific, poetic tragedy, Shakespeare begins with a man “too full of the milk of human kindness” and concludes with “the grace of grace.” In between, with alarming speed and majestic verse, he reveals an evil not in our stars nor gods, but from the most frightening source: our own humanity. A play famous for its witches and blood is never more rousing than when it prompts Macbeth’s conscience to speak and act.

A leader lusting for power believes he is above the law of humans, morality, and God. His atrocities will be pardoned, he believes. For his own prosperity, he claims all people and the world will give way, that he may lie, that he may kill, that he is impenetrable. But Shakespeare revels in pitting the man persistently against his own better angels.

Veterans Paul Kiernan* and Caley Milliken* return to TSC to play the Macbeths, with Dave Demke*, Gabriel Vaughan*, Michael Khanlarian, Claire Hayner, Nic Picou, and Blake Currie. The full cast will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are $39. The October 18 Preview performance is $19. October 25 and November 1 are Free Will Kids’ Nights: children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian (call the Box Office to secure Free Will tickets). Seniors (62+): $34. Students (18+): $19. October 19 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors. Thursday-Saturday performances are at 7:00 pm; Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm.

General Admission/Free Parking. All performances take place at TSC’s new home, located at 7950 Trinity Road, Memphis 38018-6297. Tickets are on sale now at www.tnshakespeare.org and (901) 759-0604.


As You Like It

by William Shakespeare

Elizabeth Mainstage Rep

directed by Dave Demke

dance choreography by Caley Milliken

November 29 – December 16

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA*) production

Sponsored by Pat and Ernest G. Kelly, Jr.

in The Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage at TSC

In his comedic masterwork, Shakespeare boldly reinvents his secret personal loves for the stage. There is his Dark Lady, his handsome Rival Poet, and his mother Mary Arden. In exile in the Forest of Arden are the singular creations of Rosalind, Touchstone, and Jaques (“All the world’s a stage…”). The result of the city-dwellers mixing with those of the country might otherwise have proved a gender-bending, female-driven, frothy scandal on the Elizabethan stage were it not for the revelations of heart and humanity in the woods – a scandal-plagued world righted.

In nature, Shakespeare’s characters discover little use for the restrictive laws of the court and societal forms. The wild wood reminds us it is un-natural not to evolve, that clinging to the status quo imperils us. Shakespeare’s reward for the courage of his new characters is a surprise visit of spirituality in Arden where opposite worlds are united.

The cast includes Caley Milliken*, Paul Kiernan*, Gabriel Vaughan*, Michael Khanlarian, Merit Koch, Nic Picou, Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough, Claire Hayner, Shaleen Cholera, Carmen-maria Mandley, Marlon Finnie, Stuart Heyman, and Zach Williams. The full cast will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are $39. The November 29 Preview performance is $19. December 6 and 13 are Free Will Kids’ Nights: children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian (call the Box Office to secure Free Will tickets). Seniors (62+): $34. Students (18+): $19. November 30 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors. Thursday-Saturday performances are at 7:00 pm; Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm.

General Admission/Free Parking. All performances take place at TSC’s new home, located at 7950 Trinity Road, Memphis 38018-6297. Tickets are on sale now at www.tnshakespeare.org and (901) 759-0604.

Southern Literary Salon and Brunch

Boats Against the Current: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

curated and directed by Stephanie Shine+

Sunday, January 27 at Noon

at The Memphis Hunt and Polo Club

Sponsored by Anne O. Keeney in memory of Mr. Joseph Orgill, III

Join us for jazz, brunch, and the writings of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald acted out in the beautiful ballroom of the Polo Club. When the “golden girl” of Montgomery, Alabama, met St. Paul’s party-penning author, a romance as complex and unpredictable as the new jazz age would light America on fire. F. Scott and Zelda would create self-reflective literary works so clear of form and period as to place them in the vanguard of what we now call the Jazz Age and of the Lost Generation: The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, The Last Tycoon, and Save Me the Waltz.

The elegant brunch buffet and cash bar opens at Noon with seating through 1:30 pm. TSC actors will read and act the Fitzgeralds’ works from 1:30-2:30 pm. Tickets are $55 and include all but the cash bar. Attire: cocktail/business casual. Limited seating. Host members: Margaret and Owen Tabor.

Tenth Annual Broadway Gala Benefitting TSC’s Education Program

Join us in the spacious ballroom and lobby of the Memphis Hilton on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 6:00 pm for an Elizabethan boardwalk, fun festivities, auctions, dinner, open bars, and a brilliant Broadway headliner to be announced shortly.

Ten-seat tables are now available. Single tickets are on sale now through February 21 for $100. Single tickets purchased after February are $125. Attire is semi-formal and cocktail.

Special Student Morning Matinees (flexible start times) of Macbeth and As You Like It are offered to school classes at just $10 per student. Macbeth matinees are October 23, 24, 30, and 31. As You Like It matinees are December 4, 5, 11, and 12. These matinees are made possible by the Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer Stock: Revues, Debuts in this Week's Weekend Theatre Roundup

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 3:57 PM

Emily Chateau sings. Gary Beard plays.
  • Emily Chateau sings. Gary Beard plays.
Playhouse on the Square's New Works @The Works playwriting competition has resulted in some impressive debuts. The latest to see production is Crib, a 2016 winner opening at TheatreWork this weekend. Crib tells the story of Tracy, an African-American professor fighting for tenure, Rajon, a star athlete accused of plagiarism and threatened with expulsion, and of Coach Pari who reminds everybody that athletic money means more than academic honor.
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Crib sounds like a timely pick and is directed by Jaclyn Suffel, who helmed a previous winner, Victory Blues.


Does that sound a little heavy? Theatre Memphis goes light in the summer with musical revues and cabarets. This year's event, Ladies & Legends brings together Annie Freres, Lynden Lewis Jones, Emily Chateau, and Jacqueline Skoog. That's a lot of vocal dynamite. They'll perform pop hits, Broadway favorites, and movie classics. 
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Friday, July 6, 2018

Memphis Actor/Educator Greg Krosnes Dies

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 10:34 AM

Greg, in his element. - MCCOY THEATRE, RHODES COLLEGE
  • McCoy Theatre, Rhodes College
  • Greg, in his element.
Fuck.

Is it okay to say that? Can I start a tribute that way? Because the f-bomb has been exploding in my mouth since Wednesday, when I received an early a.m. text message alerting me to the untimely, and unimaginable, death of Memphis actor and educator Greg Krosnes. Angry fucks, disbelieving fucks, resigned fucks — all kinds of fucks sputter out of my mouth, reminding me of when Greg and I were freshmen together at Rhodes College where our acting teacher Cookie Ewing made all of her beginning acting students say fuck on the first day of class. It was a profane, profoundly funny icebreaker with an underlying message: We’d be called on to say much harder things than that on stage someday — in life too. What I need to say right now is so much harder. Memphis has lost an amazing talent. I have lost a friend.

Nobody loved harder, hugged tighter, laughed deeper, or brought more life to his work than Greg Krosnes, who died in his sleep this week. He was 50.

We’ve never been besties, as they say, but Greg and I were brothers, onstage and off. We made our post-high school debut together in a Betty Ruffin-directed production of The Rivals at Rhodes College. But we weren't rivals, we were instant partners and collaborators who would eventually co-develop a senior project. Greg was always the handsome leading man to my brooding villain. He dug Abba and was the first person to volunteer in fight choreography workshops. I was the guy who’s a little too into the Dead Kennedys and way too eager to volunteer thoughts on Patrice Pavis’ Languages of the Stage.
When you're not an Addams. - THEATRE MEMPHIS
  • Theatre Memphis
  • When you're not an Addams.
I worshiped silent film comic Buster Keaton. Greg — one of the greatest physical actors and comedians I've ever known — could actually do the death defying stunts. He was famous for hanging lights without the aid of a ladder, swinging across the grid like a furless monkey, high above the floor of the McCoy Theatre’s black box. He’d effortlessly glide from bar to bar singing, or cracking jokes, or reciting lines from his favorite films, especially The Princess Bride. Golden-haired, with a mischievous,  nearly maniacal grin, it wasn’t difficult to look up and imagine the Dread Pirate Roberts himself, swashbuckling his way through the rafters in search of his Buttercup.

Greg wasn’t playing at being the good guy, he was the good guy, and he was good at it, too. He was good at everything — acting, singing, dancing. He could fight, direct, design, light— you name it. If it happened in a theater, he could do it and better than most. Greg had special affinities for physical comedy and musical theater, and Memphis audiences may remember him best as Tom Sawyer in the regional premiere of Big River or Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors. He was one of Mamma Mia’s three potential dads, and the “normal” dad from the “normal” family in Theatre Memphis’ anything-but-normal production of The Addams Family. I’ll always remember him best as the disillusioned protagonist of Arthur Miller’s post WWII drama All My Sons, because I can never forget what it felt like playing George to his Chris and looking into his eyes as the character began to crack — to lock onto those aching blue peepers as they filled up with uncertainty and anger and so many unspoken fucks, and to know what it meant to feel safe and supported. To feel it down deep in my shoes.
All My Sons
  • All My Sons
All My Sons
  • All My Sons
Greg’s greatest role was the one he played offstage. As an educator he infected the students he encountered with his love for stagecraft in all of its many manifestations. After earning a master’s degree from the University of California at Irvine, he returned to Memphis to teach — first at Rhodes, later at Arlington High School.

Greg was a longtime judge for Memphis’ Ostrander Awards and we would meet occasionally and sit together on the back row of some local theater or other. This was usually a random occurrence, almost never planned but always welcome. Because it was like school had never ended, and we’d never been apart. A conversation that started in Tuthill Hall in the fall of 1985 always picked up right where it had left off. A good conversation, spirited and full of learning and laughter. A conversation that ended sweetly, but never concluded.

The last time Greg and I spoke I reminded him of the time he and Ann Sharp saved my skin on stage when I understudied Herr Zangler in On the Razzle and wound up going on after only one rehearsal. Things were going brilliantly till, in one scene, I completely lost my way. Panic took over as I repeated the last line I could remember like a broken record. Greg and Ann took charge and walked me through all the rest without missing a beat or a laugh. But the man who could recite the lines to every movie he’d ever seen front to back swore he couldn’t remember any time I’d been anything shy of perfect — and of course he couldn’t remember the bad times. Greg was loved so much because he loved so much.
Fables for Friends
  • Fables for Friends
I know I’ve spilled a bunch of words here, but only the first one came easy. If it offended anybody, I’m sorry, but it’s all I had for the longest time. It may be all I have left when I'm finally done here. It's not like we ever met up for beers anymore. Or margaritas. Or coffee, even. But I haven't fully come to grips with the idea that I'll never see him sitting on the back row of TheatreWorks underneath the lighting booth. I won't be able to rib him about stealing "my seat." There will be no more manly hugs that go on and on without ever wearing out their welcome. We'll never do that "one last show" we so often talked about. 

It's a cliche and as a critic I shouldn't indulge or encourage. But never hesitate to tell friends you love them. Even if you've just said it, go on ahead and say it again. It beats the fuck out of the alternative. 
Fam.
  • Fam.
Greg's family will receive friends on Sunday, July 8th from 2-4 p.m. with the Memorial Service to follow immediately at 4 p.m.

All services will be held at Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Ave.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Memphis Auditions Scheduled for STARZ TV Strip Club Drama

Memphis writer Katori Hall wants P***y Valley to have authentic Southern Flavor

Posted By on Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 12:27 PM

Katori Hall
  • Katori Hall
Want to be in a TV series created by Katori Hall, the award-winning Memphis playwright and author of The Mountaintop, Hurt Village, Hoodoo Love, and Tina!?

Auditions for Hall's STARZ TV drama Pussy Valley are by appointment only, but if this sounds interesting, here's everything you need to know about the roles available and how to schedule a meeting.

MERCEDES: Mid-20s, African American, “The OG.” Fierce, ambitious, a true boss. After a long reign as the queen of the Pink Pony, this enterprising hustler is ready to hang up her lucites and start anew. Determined to parlay her side hustle as a youth dance team coach into a viable career, she wrestles daily with the respectability politics that demand she feel ashamed of her floss-filled past. As quick with an insult as she is with a prayer, this emotional gangster is fueled by the gift of intuition and a child-like optimism despite seeing the worst of the world. When unforeseen obstacles threaten to derail her retirement, she’s forced to reckon with her own deep-seated fear of failure, a manipulative mother and a new competitor for her Pink Pony throne. Actors must be comfortable with: comedic and dramatic elements, nudity, sexual situations, pole dancing/stunts/athletics
AUTUMN NIGHT: Early-mid 20s, African American. “The Chameleon” A perfectly polished beauty with a dark secret tucked deep in her Louis Vuitton bag. Under murky circumstances, this bad and bougie femme fatale washes up on the shores of the Pink Pony— down-and-out and totally out of her element, or so it seems. A mysterious shape-shifter blessed with the privilege society bestows up on ‘light-skinned-ed’ girls, she’ll seduce anyone who could be an ally and ruthlessly take out any possible threats. Cautious and crafty, cool and cultured, her manufactured facade disguises the fact that she is a walking wound in desperate need of connection and care. But ain’t nobody got time to depend on the kindness of strangers —she’s depending on her damn self as she races against the clock before her past catches up with her. Actors must be comfortable with: comedic and dramatic elements, nudity, sexual situations, pole dancing/ stunts/athletics
MISS MISSISSIPPI: 18-20, African American, “The Masterpiece.” An idealist caught in a bad romance, this young mother is a Chocolate Venus dropped down in the Delta. Fresh from maternity leave, she’s back at the Pink Pony to rake it up and provide for her growing family. Impressionable and naive enough to dream the impossible, she’s determined to become Insta- famous like Cardi B and Black Chyna before her. Goofy with the gift of gab, she’s a natural riot. Her well-staged and popular Instagram selfies show us she could have all that heaven allows; however, she is often brought down to earth by an abusive boo who threatens her bright future and promising life. Actors must be comfortable with: comedic and dramatic elements, nudity, sexual situations, pole dancing/stunts/athletics
GIDGET Early 20s, Caucasian, “The White Girl.” Quirky, earnest, a navel gazing, trailer-park philosopher. As a second generation pole dancer, she views stripping as an Olympic worthy sport —high-art even. She’s the ultimate ride-or-die best friend (go best friend! that’s my best friend!), sticking by her girls through thick and thin. However, the habit of putting the needs of others first might prevent this driven athlete from taking her rightful place amongst the stars. A fear of flying could very well stop her from competing in the annual US Pole Dancing Championship in NYC. But by facing the music, she learns to shed her inhibitions as this little Mississippi girl prepares to come for her crown. Actors must be comfortable with: comedic and dramatic elements, nudity, sexual situations, pole dancing/stunts/athletics
REQUIREMENTS: You must be over the age of 18 NO exceptions!! FILMING DATES: Slated to shoot in September 2018 AUDITION LOCATION: TBD in MEMPHIS, TN AUDITION DATE Friday and Saturday, July 6th and 7th @ 10:00am-6:00 PM CST (Appointment only) HOW TO SUBMIT: Please email us your headshot, resume (if you have one) and the role you would like to read for to wsa.pilotcasting@gmail.com

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