05 Jul Newsletter – July 2012


Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormI’ve seen a lot of theatre since wrapping up Oleanna a few weeks ago and I have really enjoyed it. It’s really a pleasure to see how far Bay Area theatre has come in the last twenty years. But as I move through these lobbies and theatres I am of course struck by how much money they have. One of the drawbacks of being an Artistic Director of a company with limited resources is that you see dollar signs on everything. But these experiences always lead me to light on the ultimate question…”How does TheatreFIRST do it?” Now, at this moment you may be recalling Geoffrey Rush’s famous line from Shakespeare in Love, “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.” But it’s not really. Fiscal responsibility and an incredible group of artists make it possible for us to consistently produce top quality work with extremely limited resources. Set Designer Martin Flynn, Lighting Designer Michael Palumbo, Props Designer Devon LaBelle, Sound Designer Ryan Short and our Production Manager Heather Gallagher are the real magicians behind the mystery. They, together with our amazing directors, Marybeth Cavanaugh, Jon Tracy and Domenique Lozano are the folks that make the engine run. They are the real answers to the question, “How do we do it?”

As we attempt to raise the funds four our 2013 Twentieth Anniversary Season and as we continue to try and grow this company we are always in need of additional help. If you know of anyone who can contribute we have a brand new donor packet available with lots of fantastic perks and gifts (this includes corporate sponsorship), or if you know of someone who might be right for our board of directors, or perhaps you make a wicked gumbo and you would like to bring some to our next open rehearsal…we want to hear from you. It’s a special time at TheatreFIRST and we would love to get you involved. And by the way…

Just a quick reminder, you should try and get over to Symmetry’s current production because they are doing great work over there. And it will beg the question, “How do they do it?”

Beginning Acting at Berkeley Rep School of Theatre Taught by Michael Storm

Our Artistic Director, Michael Storm, returns to the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre to teach Beginning Acting…

Develop a basic understanding of the fundamentals of acting using a Stanislavski-based practice in this six-week class. Through exercises and scene work, students are introduced to the elements of dramatic action, text analysis and character development as they cultivate tools for releasing inhibitions and expanding vocal and physical range.

MON 7–10pm • 7/2, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/6 • $260

Shout out on Symmetry Theatre Company’s Latest Production

We would like to let you know about a terrific show running right now at the Berkeley City Club. Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight, by Lauren Gunderson is currently being presented by our friends at Symmetry Theatre Company and it is terrific! You may remember Danielle Levin from TheatreFIRST’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. She played Ma Joad and a bunch of other characters. She is absolutely delightful as Emilie and she is surrounded by some of the Bay Area’s favorite actors including Robert Parsons, Colin Thompson, Marie Shell and Blythe Foster. Lauren Gunderson is one of the hot new playwrights in the Bay Area and her script is intelligent, tight and very entertaining. Please support our friends at Symmetry by checking out this exceptional show. You won’t be disappointed.

Artistic Associate Kalli Jonsson Leaves For Germany!

Artistic Associates Marybeth Cavanaugh and Kalli Jonsson have proposed a production for our 2013 Twentieth Anniversary Season. I Am My Own Wife is the amazing story of  Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, born Lothar Berfelde, who killed her father when she was a young boy and survived the Nazi and Communist regimes in East Berlin as a transvestite.

In preparation, Kalli has embarked on a whirlwind tour of Germany and we hope to be putting up video links on the website soon which will document his journey. Keep your eye out!

We Still Need a Little Bit of Help

We are still accepting donations towards our Spring Campaign and there are many different ways to make your tax deductible contribution…

Where are they now?

Michael Storm (T1 Artistic Director) will be appearing as Claudius in Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s production of Hamlet, opening on July 13 at the Concannon Vineyard in Livermore.

Martin Flynn (Resident Set Designer) recently completed work on Shotgun’s Great Divide now running.

Michael Barrett Austin (Grapes of Wrath) will be appearing in Vaudeville at The Willows Cabaret Theatre June 28-July 21  www.willowstheatre.org

Danielle Levin (Grapes) is appearing in Symmetry Theatre’s Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson. http://symmetrytheatre.com/symmetrytheatre.com/Symmetry_Theatre__Home.html

Claire Slattery (Hanging Georgia) will be appearing in WE Players production of The Odyssey on Angel Island State Park, an all-day, island-wide adventure inspired by Homer’s epic poem, May 12 through July 1, 2012.  http://www.weplayers.org/

Rebecca Pingree (Grapes) will play Mrs. Lewis in The Great Divide at Shotgun Players, which opened on May 25th and is directed by Mina Morita (Seven – Staged Reading)

Ryan Tasker (Grapes) is also appearing in The Great Divide at Shotgun.

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