Results tagged “national critics institute” from Drama Queen
Peter Starr Northrop is a Memphis-born, Pennsylvania-based writer with no style and an awkward sense of humor to match. He is currently a junior at Elizabethtown College, where he is frantically throwing together a double-major in English and theater. Mostly he divides his time between working as the head features editor for his school newspaper--The Etownian, heading the writers of a sketch comedy group, and attending the occasional class. When it comes to theater, Peter has recently stuck to the directing side of things. He just wrapped up a production of David Ives' English made Simple and is currently assistant-directing Elizabethtown College's production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.
Nathan Taylor is a junior at , currently working on a double major in theater and English. He has been involved with theater since he was a young boy, appearing in several shows in the Washington D.C. area during his childhood. It was not long before Nathan realized that he had to be involved in some facet of theater for the rest of his life. Coincidentally, he has also been involved with the since he was a young boy, attending elementary school and learning the alphabet during his childhood. It was not long before Nathan realized that he had to both be able to speak and read the English language if he was going to be successful in his adulthood. With the love of both writing and watching a production, he naturally has a passion for critiquing shows of all types.
Savannah Ganster, Tammy Bateman and Amy Martin quietly rain down the pain in their ledes. And also illustrate why that MTV Rolling Stone intern reality show didn't exactly make compelling television.
Here's the deal: the students saw two productions last night--Penn State Altoona's Big Love, by Charles Mee, and SUNY Oswego's Honor and the River, by Anton Dudley. They wrote full reviews, turned them in this morning and were either critiqued into submission or inspiration, and perhaps some combination of the two. So I'm not going to post those full reviews here.
Instead, have a look at these ledes for today's production of Love's Labour's Lost (brought to the festival by Albright College) and tell our critics whether they've made you want to read more or if you've seen all you need to see of either review or production.
Love's Labour's Ledes
Battle lines are drawn. On one side stands a wild forest, filled with lovers frolicking. On the other side stand three columns, atop which the busts of Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates look down upon all they "see." A man under their watchful eye partitions off these columns from the rest of the world. The Domino Players' production of Love's Labour's Lost prepares two sides for war, but does anyone really want to fight?
A forest of lanky paper trees covered in cursive handwriting dots the stage. Three grown men hide unseen behind a narrow pillar, a skeletal podium, and a short bench. Women of radically different heights, dresses, and hair accessories don eye-masks and exchange scarves, fooling their lovers into proposing to the surrogate women. Sudden news of a parent's death spurs four betrothals and a happy ending. Only in Shakespeare are such things possible. In the Albright College Domino Players' production of Love"s Labour's Lost, they are not only possible but compelling and magical.
Who wants to watch a boring old British play? Nothing is less entertaining to a contemporary audience than a stuffy portrayal of the classics. George Bernard Shaw, whose bulk of work is less than a century old, had the assistance of Lerner and Loewe to keep one of his plays fresh in the 50's. If Shaw is an issue, the Bard trumps them all. Too many productions of Shakespeare's works are often stilted and hackneyed. Albright College, however, does not follow down this boring path. The Domino Players Theatre Company of the college presents an uproariously flirtatious production of Bill's Love's Labour's Lost.
The stage is set. Tall white trees shadowed with calligrapher's script create a poetic forest, which sets the mood for an elegant Shakespearian production, thanks to scenic design by Lisi Stoessel. Cue the classical music. Enter the characters dressed in their period costumes, courtesy of Paula Trimpey. As this show begins, so does the teeth gritting. Albright College Domino Players' presentation of Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare at the Merriam Theatre in Philadelphia makes for some laborious viewing.
As The Domino Players of Albright College so wonderfully portrayed, Love's Labour's Lost is a hilarious comedy about friendship, knowledge, and love. Filled with misguided courtships to make even a modern day soap opera seem simple, William Shakespeare's comedy shows four Lords of Navarre together in their pursuit of the noble ladies of France. The solidarity displayed by the Domino Players' ensemble is not only necessary for such a production, but executed with believability and success.
From the moment the burgundy, 19th century floral print program for Albright College's production of Love's Labour's Lost is placed in your hands, you just know you're in for a ridiculous and stylized experience. Indeed, the players and designers of that show make good on the program's promise--delivering an ostentatious performance that makes fun not only of itself, but of the world that it comes from. Even if you hate the showier side of Shakespeare, this interpretation brings a delightful touch of youthful immaturity that makes Love's Labour's Lost a worthwhile endeavor.
The current production of William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, by William Shakespeare, at the Merrian Theater in Philadelphia, works to ensure that the language is not a hindrance for the cast. The Albright University production features strong voices and distinct faces that successfully carry the weighty language, but the production neglects to incorporate the actors onto the set, which causes the two separate levels to emerge. Director Julia Matthews' blocking creates a silhouette drama where the actors appear foreign to the space, as if their heads are detached from their bodies.
Next time on Everyone's a Critic
Tomorrow marks our last full day for classes and theatergoing, and Saturday is judgement day, though you wouldn't know it by the way this group encourages and gently critiques each other. It's all very un-Real World, and frankly, kind of disappointing, but UArts wouldn't give us a hot tub, so I guess that's that.
Friday I'll post the results of another short exercise, and Saturday the full reviews will be up so you can help decide who gets the comp. Our winner then heads to the Kennedy Center for its College Theater Festival, and the winner at that event--who will be judged on the review they've written here--heads up to New England for a sweet two-week getaway (that is, if your definition of "getaway" is "really hard work" ) at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Critics Institute. It's pretty astonishing that there are still students motivated enough by their love of the arts to want to buck the trend and spend their free time trying to master this craft in what may be the most difficult moment of its evolution. I hope you'll encourage them to continue exploring this uncertain--but certainly worthwhile--path.
Shawn Arnold. He's so our Suede. Ok, not really, but get a load of this crazy action shot!
As a senior English major, I believe that Shakespeare's characters are a treasure bestowed to anyone who speaks the language he helped invent. However, in the week prior to Grove City College's production of As You Like It, I kept hearing "Is the whole thing going to be in Old English?" in whiney, disinterested tones. I wanted to explain no, Shakespeare was not Anglo-Saxon and in fact wrote in modern English, but perhaps he just possessed a broader vocabulary than you? But I held my tongue.
Instead of responding directly to my peer's ignorant qualms, I'd like to write a 800 word article titled "Shakespeare-Induced Psychogogia." Psychogogia refers to the process of one's soul being drawn upward towards truth, which is exactly what I believe happens in a (good) Shakespeare production. This article will explore the process of approaching a Shakespeare text and will highlight different techniques that Grove City actors used to guide audience understanding in their recent production of As You Like It. I also want to write about the attractiveness of Shakespeare's plays and bemoan their suffering popularity in contrast to contemporary theater's "cutting edge" sexual-awakening themes.
To read a Shakespeare play is a rigorous but rewarding process, but then to transport his scripts onto the stage with the combination of dramatic lighting, exquisite costumes, and invigorating actors is to evoke a magical spirit. Throughout the production of As You Like It, I most enjoyed the rehearsals when I could hear new understanding in a voice or see new relish a face. Everyone contributed to breathe life into a text written in 1599, and the result was true beauty, realized on a stage.
Overall, this article will point to the purpose for theater criticism: to put our mouths out of taste for bad theater and to instead instruct us towards what we should be watching. The Grove City community should know that the college's production of As You Like It is accessible and hilarious. Even if Shakespeare is not within one's personal realm of taste, Grove City's As You Like It has the power to change a mind. I can have this article to you within five days of your consent.
Last year approximately fifty students participated in Elizabethtown College's Shorts Fest, a two-night event of short plays. This year, the college is increasing its student participation by having not only student performers, directors, and designers, but making the event a major display of all types of theatrical talent within the college. Billed as "The New Playwrights Festival," the collection of ten-minute plays of a widely varying nature has been written by the ten students in last semester's Playwriting class.
I would like to write an article titled "Etown Theatre: Room for Everyone," that praises the theatre department and their bold steps to encourage such a wide array of theatrical talent. In 1500 words I would like to cover the various forms of student participation for this event.
This piece will examine the extensive work done by the students in class with their drafting and revisions, as well as the creative process of selecting directors and casts for their plays. I will discuss this process and how it has aided in the education of these students to the real world of theatre. Another important aspect of this event is the production team, including stage and production management, box office, and front of house staff, as well as publicity committees. I want to cover the work of all the students involved in this endeavor. Lastly, I would like to include commentary from the faculty and students on their thoughts regarding this great opportunity.
As an active member of Elizabethtown College's Theatre and Dance Division, I am very dedicated and proud of this event. I was a member of the Playwriting course last semester, so I have been lucky enough to see this project from its earliest stages - a blank sheet of paper. As a first-time playwright, I feel strongly about this opportunity and the opportunity it presents to all the students' various interests in the theatre world. In 2005 & 2006 I was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer for my reviews for The Greater Philadelphia Cappies, demonstrating my strong passion for the world of theatre.
I hope that my passion for this event has piqued your interest and that you would like to hear more about this event. If you are interested, please let me know, and I can have an article to you within a week of your acceptance.
Thank you for your time,