28 Jan Newsletter — January 2015


Artistic Director’s Corner

Storm HS 1510 smallWell, needless to say I am very excited about Glengarry Glen Ross. As I was moving through the audition process and discussing the characters and the piece with the actors, I realized once again what an absolutely amazing play it is and how great it will be with the cast we have put together. I was so fired up discussing the play with them it was a big disappointment when the auditions were over. But hey, soon we will be neck deep in it every day. And I can’t wait.

And speaking of exciting discussions, Mr. Tracy and I have just about finalized things for our free Shakespeare in the park production of Much Ado About Nothing. As I mentioned, this season is about shows that I have wanted to do for a long time and Much Ado is no exception. Beatrice and Benedick are two of the great characters in the Shakespeare canon, Claudio and Hero (in my opinion are two of the most difficult) and Dogberry is one of the funniest characters in the canon. And with Jon Tracy’s special brand of theatre this is going to be quite a treat. AND ITS FREE!

The third show is going to be set very soon. The list of shows I have wanted do for a while is fairly long and full of great titles. It shouldn’t take us long to figure something out. We will definitely have a show picked by the time we do the Producers’ Read Through of Glengarry on February 22nd (and probably sooner than that). And if you think you might be able to contribute to the cause or bring some folks that will, be sure and sign up to join us. That is going to be a FUN event and if you haven’t had the food at the Berkeley City Club it is VERY impressive.


Season Announcement Postponed

Well it happened, Actors Equity Association has declined to approve our season proposal. We submitted a three-show season with a total of 5 contracts for union actors and we were asking that our Artistic Director, Michael Storm (who has been an Equity member for over twelve years) be allowed to work without benefit of a contract – work for free basically. They declined. Without having Michael in the show and saving his Equity wages (very costly to us compared to non-union talent obviously) we were compelled to replace the third show with something we could do with non-union talent. So, we revised our season so that show two and three would not have any union members and only 3 contracts for Glengarry. Our season went from 5 union contracts to 3 contracts. They agreed. We don’t get it either, but we are a union company in good standing and we do what we are told. We are hard at work to replace the third show and should have it figured out soon. There will be a separate email announcement as soon as we have things worked out. Thank you for your patience.

Announcing a New Board President

We are extremely happy to announce that Bonnie Stiles is our new Board President here at TheatreFIRST. A little info on Bonnie from the source:

I enjoyed working for 40 years at UC Berkeley Extension and retired as Assistant Dean of Arts, Letters and Sciences. I did program and class development and administration. Since retiring, I am a volunteer at the Berkeley City Club. I have been on the Board of the Berkeley City Club, was interim General Manager and currently am Membership Ambassador.

I was introduced to theatre when I started my first job in Oakland. I loved attending musicals and later subscribed to the Civic Light Opera in San Francisco. Dramas were a challenge and it took me many more years before regularly attending all theatre and subscribing to Aurora, Best of Broadway, Central Works, Impact Theatre, SF Playhouse, Shotgun Players and TheatreFIRST. I am honored and thrilled to move beyond being in the audience and participating behind the scenes.

Bonnie is an absolutely tireless worker when it comes to promoting TheatreFIRST and doing whatever she can to help this company thrive. We are very lucky to have her on the board and now as acting Board President.

Glengarry Glen Ross Producers’ Read Through

Join us for a Producers’ Read Through for Subscribers and potential Show Sponsors at the Berkeley City Club on Sunday, February 22nd from 1-5pm. With Warren David Keith, Michael Torres and Kevin Karrick amongst the cast it is sure to be a wonderfully entertaining evening. We start at 1pm with a mix and mingle that includes some of the amazing food menu items from the Berkeley City Club kitchen and then at 2pm we start the read through. Cast members and director Michael Storm (TheatreFIRST Artistic Director) will remain after the reading to answer questions and keep the party going. There is also a rumor spreading around that the party may continue at an alternate venue for drinks! If you think you might be interested in supporting the cause as a Show Sponsor or you have been a Subscriber/Donor in the past we would love for you to join us at the Berkeley City Club. Just send an email to: mstorm@theatrefirst.com and let us know how many in your party plan to attend. Glengarry Glen Ross is the 1984 Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Mamet and this is sure to be an extraordinary evening.

Movie Nights begin in February


Almost there! Classic Movie Night makes its way towards the Live Oak Theatre. Coming in February, the schedule for the first batch of showings looks like this:

The Princess Bride — Thursday, February 12 & Saturday, February 14, 2015, 8pm (Yes, Valentine’s Day Showing), $5 donation

InconCEIVable! But it’s true! Wesley, Buttercup, Inigo and Fezzik want you to join them for this amazing ride. A classic fairy tale, with swordplay, giants, an evil prince, rodents of unusual size, a beautiful princess, and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather). This swashbuckling story is sure to delight. Starring Carey Elwes, Mandy Pitinkin, Andre the Giant, Robin (don’t call me Penn) Wright, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal. The PERFECT story for Valentine’s Day!

The Wizard of Oz — Thursday, February 19 & Saturday, February 21, 2015, 8pm, $5 donation

1939’s timeless classic follows the story of Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) as she is swept away by a tornado to a magical land where she sets out to find The Wizard who can help her return to her home in Kansas. Also starring Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Frank Morgan in various roles including The Wizard, Jack Haley as The Tin Man, Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And ruby slippers, munchkins, flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West are all waiting to entertain you! There’s no place like home.

Casablanca — Thursday, February 26 & Saturday, February 28, 2015, 8pm, $5 donation

One of the most romantic movies ever made and at the top of EVERYONE’s “Best Of” list. Rick’s Café is the swingingest spot in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II and host to a plethora of interesting characters. Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine the cynical lone wolf who comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault (Claude Rains) does what he can to please him, including detaining a Czechoslovak underground leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Much to Rick’s surprise, Laszlo arrives with Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Rick’s one time love, and the sparks fly. Pretty tame, but hey, there are Nazis and a couple people get shot.

Join us!

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