Category: Theatre

KCACTF III Festival Award Recipients from Michigan Tech

Mason Pew
Mason Pew at KCACTF III Regional Festival 2014

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region III (Illinois, Indian, Michigan, Wisconsin) held their regional festival at Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw, MI, from January 7-11, 2014.

There were several award recipients from Michigan Tech this year.

The Gold Medallion For Excellence in Theatre Education:
M.C. Friedrich

Regional Design Projects, Sound Design
Recipient
DANIEL GRAYVOLD

Royal Hunt of the Sun

The Games of the Technological Olympiad, Team Event
Second Place
ERIK DOERING and STEVE GREEN

The Games of the Technological Olympiad, Team Event
First Place
KELVIN ROBESSON and DEVIN MILLER

Allied Design and Technologies Award
Recipient
AUSTIN ROY

Southern Nights

KCACTF Award for Theatrical Design Excellence, Lighting Design
Recipient
MASON PEW

Southern Nights: Unsung Songs of the Southern Nightingale

Get more festival details at the KCACTF III website and Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts on Facebook. Learn more about theatre at Michigan Tech.

Swan Lake Ballet Auditions

Swan Lake Ballet Auditions

We call on all student and community ballet dancers to audition for a role in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet.  Auditions will take place at the following days/times in Rozsa 120 (choir room) on Michigan Tech’s campus:

Friday, December 6, at 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 7, at 2:00 pm
Friday, December 13, at 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 14, at 2:00 pm

The Visual and Performing Arts department presents Tchaikovsky’s enchanting Swan Lake ballet, with professional, community, and student dancers and live orchestral music provided by the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.  The ballet runs Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 (2014) in the Rozsa Center.  Rehearsals will begin in early January.

Auditions will include a short barre, centre work and sample combinations from classical and character repertoire used in the ballet.  Men and women are requested to wear appropriate dance clothing and ballet or jazz shoes; women, please bring pointe shoes if applicable.

Please email Dr. Joel Neves (jbneves@mtu.edu) to sign-up for an audition slot.

(For ballet-related questions, please contact Donna Armistead dlarmist@mtu.edu or Mary Muncil memuncil@mtu.edu.)

Amahl and the Night Visitors Auditions

Auditions for the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” take place Sunday, December 8, from 6-9 pm in Rozsa 120 (choir room).

For the first time since 1998, the Visual and Performing Arts department presents Menotti’s beloved chamber opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors.  Set near Bethlehem in the 1st century, Amahl is the heartwarming tale of a poor crippled shepherd boy and his mother, who unexpectedly play host to three kings on their way to Bethlehem.  As the shepherds struggle to understand why the kings should carry rich gifts to an unknown child when their own needs are so great, a miracle occurs that blesses everyone, kings and shepherds alike.

Amahl and the Night Visitors runs Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 in the Rozsa Center.  Rehearsals will begin in early February.

Auditions are open for the following roles:

Amahl (boy soprano or female soprano)
King Kaspar (tenor)
King Melchior (baritone)
King Balthazar (bass)
Page (bass-baritone)
Shepherds (SATB double chorus)

Individuals should come prepared with two contrasting pieces that showcase their voice, musicianship, and dramatic abilities.  An accompanist will be provided.

The December 8 auditions will take place in half-hour blocks according to the following schedule:

6:00-6:30
6:30-7:00
7:00-7:30
7:30-8:00
8:00-8:30
8:30-9:00

Those interested in signing up for an audition block should email Dr. Joel Neves at jbneves@mtu.edu.

Rose and the Rime Auditions

ROSE AND THE RIME AUDITIONS

Calling all dancers, actors, and gymnasts!  Auditions for Rose and the Rime will be Monday, October 28, and Wednesday, October 30, 7 pm in Rozsa 120 (Choir Room).

Rose and the Rime is a spectacular modern fairy tale of courage and hope in the face of adversity and fear.  The fable features Rose, a very special girl who embarks on an adventure to save her town, Radio Falls, Michigan, from perpetual winter. The play includes dance, and original music composed by students.

Rose and the Rime will be performed next semester, however there will be a large dance/aerial component to the show that will require rehearsals and preparation this semester.  One dance form we hope to feature is aerial work.   Roles are available for non-dancers as well.  You may sign out a script from the VPA office, Walker 209.

  • Aerial Silks Clinics:
    • Friday, October 25, 2 pm-5 pm, McArdle Theatre
    • Saturday, October 26, 2 pm – 5 pm, McArdle Theatre

Come for as long as you can, especially if you have never worked with silks before.

  • Auditions:
    • Monday, October 28, 7pm-10 pm, Rozsa 120 (Choir Room)
    • Wednesday, October 30, 7 pm – 10 pm, Rozsa 120 (Choir Room)

The dance portion of the audition will include a quick warm up and a few simple combinations. We ask that performers come prepared with a short (30 second) sample of their abilities. This is to be used as an opportunity to showcase your strengths and ability as a dancer/gymnast. The aerial silks portion of the audition will include basic exercises that will test performers’ grip and arm strength and provide opportunities for everyone to demonstrate skills learned in the Open Clinics. Performers should wear form fitting clothing that is easy to move in.

  • Rehearsals:
    • Some initial rehearsals will occur throughout the rest of fall semester
    • January 12- 30, 7-10 pm (Sunday-Thursday, probable weekend dance calls)
    • Technical Rehearsals:  January 31 7-10 pm, February 1-2 all day
    • Technical Dress Rehearsals:  February 3-5, 6 pm – 11 pm (potentially)
  • Performances:
    • February 6-8, 6:30 – 10:00 pm
    • Brush-up rehearsal: February 12, 6:30 – 10:00 pm
    • February 13-15, 6:30 – 10:00 pm

For more information about Rose and the Rime contact Patricia Helsel helsel@mtu.edu

For dance-specific questions, contact Mary Muncil memuncil@mtu.edu

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Brighton Beach Memoirs-videoBrighton Beach Memoirs comes to Michigan Tech

Michigan Tech student Toby Mahan plays the main character and narrator, Eugene.

“He’s a classic 15-year-old boy,” said Mahan. “He’s just discovering girls now, so it’s a confusing and very exciting time in his life. And when he has his aside, he has these brief moments of wisdom.”

Read more and watch the video at Upper Michigans Source, by Sarah Blakely.

Another opening, another show

Pictured, from left, are Kate Van Susante, Dollcie Webb, Annika Seigel (hidden), Audrey Ortiz and Toby Mahan.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Tech Theatre Company to present Neil Simon play Oct. 17-19, 24-26

Brighton Beach Memoirs is a witty, yet poignant recollection of growing up during the Depression.

Read more at Keweenaw Now.

‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’

Director Trish Helsel is the one putting all the pieces of the play together and said directing “Brighton Beach Memoirs” is something she had wanted to do for quite some time.

“I wanted to direct it because it’s Neil Simon’s first play where he makes a huge breakthrough and it speaks to me,” Helsel said. “Every individual in the (play) is going through something and they’re surrounded by the Great Depression.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by October 17, 2013

“Brighton Beach Memoirs” a play worth experiencing

In a live performance, anything can happen, whereas in a movie, the same thing is guaranteed to happen with every viewing.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by James Wood.

VPA Students Involved in “Mutt” Production

Featuring local locations, cast and crew, as well as music from Hannah Bethel, a Houghton High School graduate, “Mutt” is a pure, locally produced film. The crew for this film features Michigan Tech students involved in Visual and Performing Arts department, as well as students from Finlandia.

When asked about their thoughts on their first full-length film production, Paul Kirby, fourth year Audio Production major, says “it’s exciting to have a full-length film in the UP,” a place that seldom sees video production happening.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Jane Kirby.

Quiet on the set

Production started Sept. 21 and is scheduled to run through Oct. 30. A February 2014 release is planned.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Making ‘Mutt’?
A day on the set of a film shot in the Copper Country

Director Rick Allen arrives next. On top of Allen comes the crew for the day, three students from Michigan Technological University, Kevin Heras, a business management major, and Paul Kirby and Andrew Villa, both specializing in audio production and technology. They’re on a tight deadline as they need to get back to school for class by 3 p.m.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Auditions for Southern Nights

SOUTHERN NIGHTS AUDITIONS:

Announcing OPEN AUDITIONS for Tech Theatre’s production of Southern Nights:  Unsung Songs of the Southern Nightingale, one-act masterpieces by Tennessee Williams.  Each short play has a set of characters who discover, collectively, hope, harmony, power, and passion.  The cast calls for 9 men and 5 women.  Auditions will be held in Walker 210, on the Michigan Tech campus, Sunday, September 15 and Monday, September 16, from 7-10 pm. The audition will be comprised of informal theatre games and reading from the script.  Please arrive at 7:00 p.m. The production will be performed November 14-16.  Rehearsals begin the week of September 21.  Directed by Roger Held (rheld@mtu.edu)

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AUDITIONS:  Read the play and familiarize yourself with the scenes.  Scripts are available in the VPA office (Walker 209) and may be checked out for 24 hours.  All scripts must be returned to the VPA office by Friday, September 13, 4:00 p.m.  Show up before 7 pm on Sunday, September 15 OR Monday, September 16.  We will engage in some informal theatre games then move on to reading from the script!

Williams’ Characters

Petunias

Miss Simple.  Dorothy is attractive and untouchable.  She has passed through life without it leaving any marks.  Her hair is perfect; her make is perfect.  She does everything precisely, accurately, and never says or does anything controversial.  When aroused by the young man and his promise of living free, however, she leaps to action believing it will all be perfect. She speak formally and with restraint until she busts free.

Young Man.  He like the author very much believes one can cast aside convention and live for the moment and the self and do as he wishes to meet his various appetites.  Symbolically, he is a libertine and Dorothy his promising convert.  A smiling yarn spinning con man.

Mrs. Dull is.  She is the stuffed shirt elder who has wrapped herself in social insulations so she is never vulnerable or sexually liberated in any way.  She is ready to be offended and call the police.  She is suspicious of others.  Her speech is as tight as her other end.

The Policeman is the symbol of social control.  Seemingly amiable, he enjoys asserting his authority and threatening others.  He is just a nice guy until he warns Miss Simple about leaving town then he is capable of force.

Set in Boston, Policemen may be Irish.  Others speak Standard American English.

Talk to Me Like Rain and Let Me Listen

These two characters the woman and her male companion would be white trash if they were in the South rather than New York City.  The man, if not an alcoholic, drinks to turn off the failure that is his life.  He ditches his girl to party.  She longs to be alone somewhere nice, quiet, where people just accept you and leave you alone.  He wants the torment of life to go away. They take solace in quiet talk together that would be meaningless to any one else.  In a way, they just like anyone who just wants the bad stuff of life to just stop.  Talking together is as close as they get.

The Pronoun I

The play is set in a medieval mythical kingdom. The main character is the Queen of May.  She wears an ancient mask and can remove it to reveal her beauty and sensual powers.  Her court features: her poet who begins each line of his poems with the Pronoun I.  A courtier who does her biding and an impostor who is an assassin complete the on stage cast.  Outside the crowd is in revolt.  Yes, this is an absurdist play

White Substance

An older looking man of powerful demeanor and an easy voice, a glib speaker.  He is invulnerable in his power.  It makes one uncomfortable to be in his presence as he uses his power for no good.  He feels entitled to do anything because he is special.

Young man, dependent on others for everything. He believes he can simply conform to all requests from everyone in power and thus stay safe.  He is trapped and has no way out.  Life is terrifying when you’re not alone or high on sex.

Southern Nights

Brighton Beach Memoirs Auditions

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS AUDITIONS

Announcing OPEN AUDITIONS for Tech Theatre’s production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, by America’s preeminent Broadway playwright, Neil Simon.  The play is a comedy chronicling the life of Eugene Jerome, a 15-year-old aspiring playwright and baseball pitcher.  While Brighton Beach Memoirs takes place in Brooklyn, NY, during the Great Depression, the play is timeless in its depiction of lovable characters struggling to maneuver through life’s challenges.  The cast calls for 3 men and 4 women with parts for a girl (12 or 13 years) and a young man (15-16 years).  Auditions will be held in the McArdle Theatre, Walker 208, on the Michigan Tech campus, Wednesday, September 4, and Thursday, September 5, at 7:00 p.m.  The audition will be comprised of informal theatre games and reading from the script.  Please arrive at 7:00 p.m. The production will be performed October 17-19, and October 24-26.  Rehearsals begin September 8.  Directed by Patricia Helsel.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AUDITIONS:  Read the play and familiarize yourself with the scenes.  Scripts are available in the VPA office (Walker 209) and may be checked out for 24 hours.  All scripts must be returned to the VPA office by Thursday, September 5, 4:00 p.m.  Study the scenes provided here (“sides”).  Read for the part you feel most suited.  While not required, memorize and work with a partner.  Being familiar with the scene gives you an obvious advantage.

Show up before 7 pm on Wednesday, September 4 OR Thursday, September 5.  We will engage in some informal theatre games then move on to reading from the script!  You will be given copies of the audition scenes at the audition and will be expected to read from the sides.

CHARACTERS:

The character descriptions provided here are intended as a starting place for determining what role(s) you should consider.  Ages are relative to how the character should appear to the audience, NOT the expected age of the actorJ

Eugene Jerome:  15 years old.  Smart.  Sensible.  Sarcastic.  Adolescent, and fixated on girls.  Naïve.  Sees himself as a writer, hence the ongoing commentary of his family.  Is not above writing notes and letters for others to put himself in a positive light or in a position of power.  Looks up to his brother Stanley.  He has a love-hate relationship with Stanley, as brothers can sometimes be cruel.  Gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in the house.  Errand boy for mom.  Introvert.  Wants to be a pitcher for the Yankees.  A baseball fanatic.  (What boy wasn’t n 1937?)  Hates liver and cabbage.  Complains with regularity, pointing out the obvious double standard of behavior for himself and his female cousins.

Kate Jerome:  @ 40 years old.  Stoic.  Caregiver for all.  Superstitious to a fault.  Distrusts outsiders.  Set in the ways established by her Russian immigrant parents.  She is a fatalist in one moment but believes you can always find the good in something.  Controlling.  Doesn’t like confrontation.  Rarely gets out of the house.  She is a “work horse.”

Stan Jerome: 18 years old.  Eugene’s older brother.  Has been working in the garment district as a stock boy for the past 2 years, since he graduated from high school.  Torn by what he feels is right and what is essential for the good of his family.  Can never seem to win.  Gambles, lives dangerously.  Acts as a father figure to Eugene when his father is ill.  Athletic.  Believes his father is perfect.  Well intentioned.  Contributes his salary to the family.

Jack Jerome:  40-45 years old.  Eugene’s father.  Works as a cutter in the garment district, while working evenings as a salesman to make ends meet.  He is the provider for his immediate and extended family. Religious.  Takes working hard to the extreme.  Deals with high blood pressure and eventually suffers a heart attack.  Strong role model for his sons.  He is wise.

Blanche Morton:  38 years old.  She is Eugene’s aunt, Kate’s sister.  Widowed six years ago, she depends on her sister’s family to care for her and her two daughters.  Carries a great deal of guilt, the burden of living off others.  Naïve about the world as she has always been protected by her sister and husband.  She is described as “good looking,” “the pretty one.”   Sleeps with a picture of her dead husband.  Has poor eyesight which she attributes to strain while doing seamstress work to contribute to the family.  She suffers from asthma which acts up under stress.

Nora Morton:  16 years old.  Eugene’s cousin.  Blanche’s eldest daughter.  She studies dance and aspires to dance on Broadway.  Is desperate to escape the confines of the household to experience the adventures of the Great White Way.  Often frustrated that her mother is unable to make decisions.  She misses her father dearly. Resents the attention given to her sister Laurie.  Has a propensity toward being “snotty,” though no more than average teenage angst.

Laurie:  13 years old.  Eugene’s cousin.  Blanche’s youngest daughter.  Frail.  Has a supposed heart condition that requires her to rest and avoid exercise or stress.  Coddled by her mother and aunt Kate.  Has learned to manipulate her mother to get out of work.  Her interests are mostly academic though she likes movies.  She tries to act in Nora’s best interest.

Blanche_Nora

Kate_Blanche

Laurie_Nora

Stan_Jack

Eugene_Stan

Auditions being held for “Brighton Beach Memoirs”

Auditions will include informal theatre games as well as reading from the script.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Jane Kirby.