Category Archives: Theatre

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

I Am My Own Wife Featuring Dennis Kerwin

I Am My Own WifeTech Theatre Company Presents “I Am My Own Wife”

“I Am My Own Wife,” is a poignant one-man tour de force featuring VPA’s Dennis Kerwin who plays Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, and over 28 other characters. Based on a true story, and inspired by interviews conducted by the playwright over several years, “I Am My Own Wife” tells the fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. The play won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2004 Tony Award.

Read more at Tech Today.

Witness the masterpiece “I Am My Own Wife”

Read more at Michigan Tech Lode, by Rohit Sharma.


Stealing Fire at McArdle Theatre

Playing God at the McArdle Theatre

“Prometheus was a titan and had a lot to do with creating Earth,” said

Kalen Larson, who is director of flying for the play. “It’s loosely based around the Greek mythologies.”

“Stealing Fire” is an original production by students and teachers of MTU.

“There’s nothing that was preexisting when we started this,” Larson said. “…All of the music in the show is composed by students.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Scott Viau.

Actors Flying High at Michigan Tech

“The first challenge is to keep it safe,” Director Christopher Plummer, associate professor of sound, says during a recent rehearsal. Actor Paige Borel is strapped into a harness, going throughther paces, some airborne. “And it actually means different types of rehearsals,” Plummer goes on to say,”the emotional intensity of covering the story; the technical rehearsals, including sound and lights; and the everyday flying systems set-up, which has to be checked each time.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Dennis Walikainen.


Theatre Auditions for Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof AuditionsAuditions for Fiddler on the Roof will be conducted on MONDAY, JANUARY 21 at 7 PM in the Choir Room (Rozsa 120) and TUESDAY, JANUARY 22 at 7 PM on the Rozsa Stage.

Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete the audition registration process.

You may sing one verse of a song of your choice from memory or you may audition by singing music offered by the music director. Everyone will dance.

One half of those present to audition 7 PM will sing while the other half of the group work with the choreographer. The groups will then switch places.

Call backs will be held on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 and MONDAY, JANUARY 28 by invitation.

*Note: Auditions for children will be held at a later date TBA.


VPA at KCACTF Region III Festival 2013

Theatre Performance KCACTF IIIStudents and faculty from visual and performing arts are now attending the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) for region III, which consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The festival this year takes place at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan from January 8-12, 2013.

Visit the Facebook page for Michigan Tech Visual and Performing Arts to view some of the performances and design entries from students at Michigan Tech.




ROMANCING HORROR: FOUR STORIES BY H.P. LOVECRAFT!

HP LovecraftThe Tech Theatre Company presents “Romancing Horror: Four Stories By H.P. Lovecraft!” in the McArdle Theatre, this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 29-December 1, at 7:30 pm each night. Join the Tech Theatre Company as they present the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft, “devised” for the stage, in an original theatrical production!

Read more at ABC 10.

Tech Theatre Company Presents “Romancing Horror” in the McArdle Theatre

Growing from the fertile soil of the romantics and the symbolist poets, HP Lovecraft surpassed his predecessor, Edgar Allen Poe, in perfecting the classic horror story.

Read more at Tech Today, by Bethany Jones.

Tech Theatre Company to present “Romancing Horror: Four Stories By H.P. Lovecraft!” Nov. 29 – Dec. 1

According to Director Roger Held, Chair, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, “‘Devising’ is the contemporary expression for the common theatrical practice of creating a performance from non-dramatic literature, or a script developed through the improvisations or written contributions of the actors. Such theatre pieces also provide design and performance challenges students don’t usually experience in educational theatre programs.”

Read more at Keweenaw Now.

Tech Theatre Company prepares for “The Horrors of H.P. Lovecraft”

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Nick Blecha.

Lessons Learned from Lovecraft

The way the four mini-plays were performed was quite different from the norm. Two student narrators, Laura Larsen and Sean Miller, set up each piece as husband/wife hosts who welcomed us into their home before scaring us with their tales.

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter, by Dennis Walikainen.


Celebrate Halloween at the Rozsa with “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”

Musical Comedy MurdersThe Tech Theatre Company presents the “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940,” by playwright John Bishop, a hilarious “who done it” that pokes fun at 1940s movie thrillers and campy musical comedies. Don’t miss this pitch-perfect Halloween theatrical production, sure to tickle the funny bone and make for an enjoyable night out at the Rozsa Center.

Read more at Tech Today, by Bethany Jones.

Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 is a deceptively intricate work. I hope the audience will appreciate the play at its rudimentary style of farce. At the same time, the play will tickle the intellectual funny bone of those patrons who have experienced 1930s musical comedies (theatre and film), 1930s horror films and the likely familiar ‘who-done-it?’…”

~Trish Helsel, director

Read more at the VPA Blog.

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”

Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Corey Saari.