Category: Theatre

Rozsa Center 2013-14 Season

Rozsa CenterOver the years, the Rozsa Center has become known for the funny, dramatic or thoughtful performances, plays and musicals it puts on during its yearly season and the programming scheduled for its 2013-14 season will be no different.

“I’m always excited about all the seasons, but in particular I’m really excited about this coming season,” Rozsa Center Director Susanna Brent said. “We’re doing a lot of theater that’s close to my heart.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Dancers Fly in “Beautiful” at the Rozsa June 19

Beautiful


As a part of FinnFest 2013, Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts presents three nights of “Beautiful: A Cirque-Tale of How the Butterfly Grew Her Wings,” Wednesday, June 19, 9 p.m.; Thursday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, June 21, 7:30 p.m. Creator/Producer/Director Jennifer Kelly describes “Beautiful” as “A metaphysical and visceral experience inspired by the life cycle of a caterpillar.”

“Beautiful” is the brain-child of Kelly and Aerial Choreographer Jason Whicker. Whicker’s aerial work surpasses flight originally created for any show on or off Broadway. Featured guest choreographers include “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist Robert Taylor, Jr., and Dreya Weber, Pink’s Aerial choreographer.

Read more at Tech Today.

‘Beautiful’ — a tale of transformation

Most everyone knows of the wonder and spectacle that Cirque du Soleil shows can bring, now residents of the Copper Country and beyond can experience “Beautiful,” a cirque-style show that will be premiering next week at the Rozsa Center.

“It’s a woman’s transformative journey,” she said. “It’s about how we’re either paralyzed by (change) or transformed by it, but ultimately if we embrace our own hero story, we’ll become transformed.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Theatre Students in Michigan Tech Magazine Spring 2013

Katy EllenichThe article Faking It by Jennifer Donovan concerns Tech theatre students and the art of illusion.

Each year, students and professionals who work in theatre technology—sound, lighting, costumes, stage effects—gather at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) annual conference.

“Each year, there is usually one, maybe two student presentations, ordinarily by graduate students,” says Mary Carol Friedrich, associate professor and director of theatre design and technology programs at Michigan Tech. “That our students, all undergrads, were chosen to present speaks to the strength of the very practical and professionally relevant work they are doing in the degree programs in the visual and performing arts department.”

A bent for swordsmithing is about Matt Willett, a Michigan Tech theatre technology student who had dabbled in magic when he was in high school and had seen a sword trick or two.

Willett’s teacher, Assistant Professor Kalen Larson, was so impressed with Willett’s creation that he invited the student to write a paper about it with him.

OMG! From wet head to up-do in five minutes is about Elizabeth LaRouche, who is working as costume shop manager in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Sew faux: painted embroidery for the Shakespearean stage is about Katy Ellenich, a Calumet native who worked at the Calumet Theatre all through high school.

Making every new glove old again is about Morgan Nelson, a third-year costume design student from Cadillac.

Read more at Michigan Tech Magazine, by Jennifer Donovan.

For more color photos, including a high flying performance in Stealing Fire, view the PDF or Flash versions.

Learn more about the BA program in Theatre and Electronic Media Performance and the BS program in Theatre and Entertainment Technology.

Service Recognition for Beckwith and Bruch

Michigan Tech Employee Service Recognition Event

On May 15, faculty and staff members, along with their guests, gathered at the Memorial Union Ballroom for an awards dinner recognizing 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service to Michigan Tech.

Associate Professor of Theatre Debra Bruch was recognized for 25 years of service.

Emeritus Professor of Art Mary Ann Beckwith was recognized for 40 years of service.

Read more at Tech Today.

REF for Kalen Larson

Kalen LarsonResearch Excellence Fund Awards Announced

The vice president for research is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Research Excellence Fund Awards, and would like to thank all of the review committee members for participating in this important internal award process.

In the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Kalen Larson received a Scholarship and Creativity Grant.

Read more at Tech Today.

A Beautiful Intensive Workshop

A Beautiful Intensive WorkshopA BEAUTIFUL INTENSIVE: 3-Week Aerial, Dance & Flying Intensive Workshop is an elite experience in dance, aerial arts, and performer flying effects held at Michigan Tech University that will culminate in showcase performances as part of FinnFest 2013 of a new show called BEAUTIFUL: A Cirque-Tale of how the butterfly grew her wings.

Program Dates: May 28 – June 21, 2013

The application deadline for the 2013 program is MAY 1st.

Learn more about A Beautiful Intensive.

Fiddler Takes the Stage

Fiddler Rehearsal

CELEBRATE ‘TRADITION’ WITH THE BELOVED BROADWAY MUSICAL “FIDDLER ON THE ROOF”

The Tech Theatre Company and Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra present one of the most-loved Broadway musicals of all time, “Fiddler on the Roof,” this Thursday, April 18th through Saturday, April 20th, at 7:30 PM, in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan Technological University. “Fiddler on the Roof,” is a timeless tale of a father trying to maintain traditions at odds with modern culture. “Fiddler” features music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in Tsarist Russia in 1905. It is based on “Tevye and his Daughters “(or “Tevye the Milkman and Other Tales”) by Sholem Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and Jewish religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives.

According to Director Roger Held, “Economic depression, threats of war, ethnic hatred and violence grab at Tevye’s shirt sleeve as he makes his way through the world caring for his family and horse, seeing his children married well, and dreaming of a better life. Tevye is “every man,” every one of us who share hope, joy, and heartache.” Local radio personality Mark Wilcox makes his Tech Theatre Company debut in the lead role of Tevye. The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, had the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances.

By Bethany Jones.

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at the Rozsa Center

To put it simply, “Fiddler” tells the story of Tevye, who, in order to make his five daughters happy, foregoes tradition and allows them to marry the men they choose, with unforeseen consequences. On top of this, Tevye must also deal with antisemitic threats.

Director Roger Held said “Fiddler on the Roof” is a show that’s been talked about being performed in this area for a while but hadn’t had the opportunity to get it off the ground until now.

Read more at Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

“Fiddler on the Roof”
Classical musical to be performed on the Rozsa stage next week

Renowned as one of the world’s favorite musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof” brings to life a story about the goodness and oddness that life has to offer.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Travis Pellosma.

Kalen Larson Publishes on Theatre Techniques

FauxberglassAssistant Professor Kalen Larson (VPA) published articles in two journals in March. “Impaled by a Sword,” co-authored with VPA student Matt Willett, was published in Tech Expo 2013, a juried journal produced by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. An article titled, “Fauxberglass: An Inexpensive Alternative to Fiberglass,” appeared in Technical Design Solutions for Theatre, published by Focal Press.

From Tech Today.

Elaine Bromka Visits

Elaine Bromka
Elaine Bromka. Photo by John Puric.

The Visual and Performing Arts Department and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture Series host Emmy Award – Winning Elaine Bromka. Ms. Bromka will visit classes in the Visual and Performing Arts Department and will offer a a monologue development workshop, and a free public performance of her play, Tea for Three followed by a talk-back session. All are invited to these events. Sponsored by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series, which is funded by the President’s Office and a grant to the Office of Institutional Diversity for the State of Michigan King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

Ms. Bromka will discuss, among many topics, the entrepreneurship necessary to self-produce her production for Off-Broadway.

The monologue workshop will be Wednesday, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, at McArdle Theatre. Attendees should bring a memorized monologue.

TEA FOR THREE: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty

Lady Bird
Lady Bird. Photo by Tom Bambara.

“TEA FOR THREE: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty”
OFFERS PORTRAITS OF THREE FORMIDABLE FIRST LADIES

Three former First Ladies will be sharing secrets at Michigan Tech, on Wednesday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m., in the unforgettably vivid one-woman show, TEA FOR THREE: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty, in the McArdle Theater.

Written by Eric H. Weinberger with Elaine Bromka, and starring the Emmy Award-winning Ms. Bromka, the play is a witty and intimate re-imagining of three women who suddenly found themselves celebrities — a behind-the-scenes look at Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford, revealing the personal cost of what Mrs. Nixon called the “hardest unpaid job in the world.”

Touring the country, Tea for Three has been critically acclaimed for its blend of humor and passion, cited as “marvelous, poignant” (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.) and “a fascinating evening, laced with insight, emotion and humor… brilliant acting” (The Record-Review, in Westchester County.) The show will open Off-Broadway in June 2013.

Elaine Bromka
Elaine Bromka. Photo by John Puric.

Ms. Bromka has over thirty years’ experience in film, television, Broadway, and off-Broadway. She appeared as the mom in Uncle Buck with John Candy, as Stella on Days of our Lives, and on E.R., The Sopranos, and Law and Order.

The inspiration for Tea for Three came about when Bromka starred opposite Rich Little in The Presidents, which she performed across the country and on PBS. Called upon to impersonate eight of the most recent first ladies, she ended up spending months poring over videotapes of the women. Studying nuances of their body language and speech patterns to explore psychologically why they moved and spoke as they did, she became more and more drawn in by their personalities.

“These were women of intelligence and grit who suddenly found themselves in a fishbowl,” Bromka observed. “I realized I wanted to tell the story from their point of view.”

“And I wanted to explode myths. Pat was called ‘Plastic Pat’ in the press, for example, because she was always smiling. Look more closely at her eyes, though. There’s nothing plastic about her. You see the eyes of a private, watchful survivor.”

Her collaborator, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominee Weinberger, is the author of several off-Broadway plays, including Wanda’s World and Class Mothers ’68. He and Bromka zeroed in on the three women, linking their stories by revealing each one at the threshold moment of the end of her time in the White House.

Directed by Byam Stevens, the eighty-five minute performance will be at 7:30 PM, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at McArdle Theatre. Free admission.

Sponsored by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series, which is funded by the President’s Office and a grant to the Office of Institutional Diversity for the State of Michigan King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.

Elaine Bromka

Elaine has been a professional actress for over thirty years. Film: Cindy, the mom in Uncle Buck; In the Family, Without a Trace. T.V.: Sex & the City, E.R., Made in Jersey, The Sopranos, Providence, Dharma & Greg, Law and Order, Law and Order: Special Victims’ Unit and Criminal Intent, Stella Lombard on Days of our Lives, the Emmy Award-winning Playing for Time with Vanessa Redgrave and Catch a Rainbow, for which Ms. Bromka herself won an Emmy. She has appeared on Broadway (The Rose Tattoo, I’m Not Rappaport, Macbeth) and off-Broadway (Cloud 9 at the Lucille Lortel, the Roundabout’s Inadmissible Evidence with Nicol Williamson, the world premiere of Michael Weller’s Split at Ensemble Studio Theatre and Candide with the National Theatre of the Deaf.) She has played leads at regional theaters across the country, including Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, ACT/Seattle, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Shakespeare and Company, McCarter Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and the Folger Theatre Group. Her portrayal of Shirley Valentine at the George Street Playhouse was cited as the 1997 outstanding solo performance in New Jersey by the Star Ledger. Ms. Bromka has performed her one-woman show, TEA FOR THREE: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty across the country. The impetus for that play came from her portraying eight First Ladies opposite Rich Little in The Presidents on tour and for PBS.

She is a member of The Actors Studio and Ensemble Studio Theatre. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College, she returned as a faculty member, teaching “Acting for the Media” there. As a guest artist, Ms. Bromka has taught her one-day “Acting for the Camera” and “Making Your Monologue HOT” workshops at more than ninety colleges and prep schools across the country.

Tea For Three – Poster

Color character shots by Ron Marotta:
Lady Bird Johnson — in pink dress
Pat Nixon — facing to the side a bit, in teal blue dress
Betty Ford — with hands in air, in periwinkle polka dot dress
Betty Ford – in bathrobe

Tea For Three Poster
Tea For Three Poster