Anita Jo Lenhart 
Member since Feb 20, 2014


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Re: “Grace Notes: Race and Erasure in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

Of course...I just realized......If Gooper did have an intrigue behind the scenes, it would be coercion - not romance.....the power of authority, abused. Interesting how perceptions must keep evolving when we deal with power, race, class, as we work to move toward equality and unity.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anita Jo Lenhart on 05/05/2017 at 10:51 AM

Re: “Grace Notes: Race and Erasure in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

I believe it is progress, dear friend. And this is why. Over a several week period, I offered these roles over and over again to various artists, from professionals to students. We scoured Memphis high and low.....But, the play was written at a time when the roles of Lacie, Brightie, etc represented a rare opportunity (at the time) in mainstream theatre. Today, theatre includes all sorts of diversity and the concept of breaking into the "mainstream" is a dinosaur... Food for Thought theatre artists in Memphis: If you were an artist of color, would you accept the roles of the servants in Cat in a 2017 production? What I really would enjoy is someone writing the "backside" of Cat, the whole play from these characters' points of view. We believe there are about 40 workers and employees on the plantation. What other stories could be criss-crossing behind the scenes and connected with the drama in the main house? What characters could intersect? I am thinking Gooper has a love interest behind the scenes? Wouldn't that blow everyone's mind? Could anyone write that play for me? I would love to see it!

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Anita Jo Lenhart on 05/05/2017 at 10:46 AM

Re: “"Bad Jews" is Good Theater at Circuit Playhouse

Thanks for the review: we worked very hard as a team to avoid a "shrill fest" and create a roller-coaster sort of ride with variations. I, too, wondered as we worked, whether people really went on non-stop tirades such as those features in Bad Jews. We worked them as authentically as we could. On our final Thursday, an amazing group -along with one of our generous sponsors - from the local Jewish Community Center bought the entire house. What an evening! During the Q & A following the show, I finally asked our guests a question: I explained that in my background long tirades were not part of our family scene, funeral or festival. I asked whether they could relate to those moments in the play? This question was followed by kind laughter and various comments including:..."You're not Jewish, are you?" as well as "Welcome to my world, " and "You have no idea! That is my family up there!" What I loved most was a comment that said "This is what real theatre is supposed to do - it gets people to talking." All through the run I noticed audience members did not often leave the theatre right away, but hung around to talk to each other- even strangers engaged in conversation: "Who should get the Chai?" I am so grateful to Jackie Nichols for having the brilliant idea to bring this play and Laura Stracko Franks together, and offer it to the Memphis theatre community. You nailed this one, Jackie!...Mmmwha! Anita Jo Lenhart, Director of Bad Jews, Circuit Playhouse, 2015

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anita Jo Lenhart on 02/12/2015 at 5:57 PM

Re: “The 2013-14 Ostrander Awards: Picks, Pans, and Who Got Robbed?

Dear Mr. Davis: I am so grateful for your comments concerning Jack Yates' set for As You Like It (Theatre Memphis.) It was genius and I felt privileged to work with him. Thank you.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Anita Jo Lenhart on 08/22/2014 at 11:29 PM

Re: “Hee Haw Shakespeare

Mr. Davis: Thank you for your recommendation. I hope Shakespeare lovers in Memphis will take your advice to come and participate in this delightful evening. Thank you for coming - it makes my artist's-heart glad to know you enjoyed our Shakespearean adventure. Sincerely, Anita Jo Lenhart

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anita Jo Lenhart on 02/20/2014 at 10:07 AM
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