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September 21, 2010

MFA Alum Kalere Payton Receives Emerging Artist Ivey Award

Kalere Payton (MFA 2009) received the Emerging Artist Ivey Award for her costume design work at several local theatres including Penumbra, Park Square, and the Guthrie.

For more information, check out Graydon Royce's recap of this year's Ivey Awards and Quinton Skinner's Ivey Awards 2010: worthy recipients, few surprises.

September 14, 2010

Associate Professor Sonja Kuftinec Directs New Play about "Black October"

New play premieres worldwide this October

In Minneapolis Avalon Theatre 1500 E. Lake Street
Oct. 5th 7pm followed by reception and discussion with playwright

In the Middle East, is hope as fragile as life? In October 2000 a young Palestinian citizen of Israel, Aseel Asleh, was shot by an Israeli security officer while demonstrating peacefully in the Arab village of Arabeh. He died and was buried in his "Seeds of Peace" T-shirt. Culled from documentary transcripts and interviews, this is the story of his life, his death, and the values his family struggles to sustain, as told through the eyes of his sister, Nardeen. "There is a Field is much bigger than the story of one family," notes playwright Jen Marlowe. "It offers an important opportunity to consider the struggles facing Palestinians inside Israel within the wider Israel/Palestine discourse." The play, which juxtaposes Aseel's optimistic vision of a non-oppositional world next to the realities of struggle his sister confronts daily, gains further resonance in light of the current Middle East peace talks.

About the Minneapolis staging: Co-sponsored by In The Heart of the Beast and Bedlam Theatres, the reading in Minneapolis is directed by Sonja Kuftinec, a theatre professor at the University of Minnesota who worked as a facilitator at Seeds of Peace camp for several years. The reading features participation from a diverse Twin Cities community including Palestinian and Jewish Americans [Matt Carlyon, Jackie Koury, Elliot Leffler, Carra Martinez, and Esther Ouray].

For more information about the Global Call see www.donkeysaddle.org


U of M Alum Kevin McCarthy Dies at 96

Kevin McCarthy died of pneumonia at Cape Cod Hospital in Massachusetts at the age of 96 this past Saturday. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota in the late 1950s, he appeared in more than 50 films and received an Oscar nomination for his role in 1951's Death of a Salesman.

For more information:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers actor dies aged 96

'Body Snatchers' actor McCarthy, 96, dies in Mass. (AP)

September 13, 2010

Professor Emeritus H. Lee Adey Passed Away

H. Lee Adey, Professor Emeritus from our Department, passed away on Thursday 9/9. Lee was a strong advocate of the undergraduate students and served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for years. He was also a member of the directing faculty and worked with colleague, Wendell Josal, for eight years at The Stagecoach (Theatre) in Shakopee, MN. Lee received his MA from this department and retired in 1996.

Star Tribune Announcement

September 8, 2010

TAD Faculty, Students, and Alumni Participate in Theatre Novi Most's Production of "The Oldest Story"

Southern Theater presents Theatre Novi Most
The Oldest Story in the World (world premiere)
A new telling of the epic of Gilgamesh, directed by Associate Professor Lisa Channer
September 24 - October 3, 2010

Combining rigorous physical theater, live music and striking stage images, The Oldest Story in the World examines the enduring human question: How do we live knowing that we must die? The play weaves the story of king Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu through different locations and time periods--Victorian England, modern day Iraq, the sexually charged realm of the gods--to resurrect this remarkably moving and relevant ancient story about how to live a human life, and the consequences of arrogance.

The Oldest Story in the World brings top video and theater designers from New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Minneapolis together with playwright and affiliate faculty member Kira Obolensky and some of the Twin Cities' most dynamic physical actors including many U of M affiliate faculty members, students, and alums - Barbra Berlovitz, Julianna Drajko, Erik Hoover, Billy Mullaney, Vladimir Rovinsky, Vanessa Voskuil and Jeanne Willcoxon.

"I've been working on this project for six years now with the goal to make a high powered
performance that tells the ancient tale of Gilgamesh while also speaking to our contemporary moment," said director Lisa Channer. "Audiences who see The Oldest Story in the World will be treated to an evening of physical theater full of adventure, live music, lots of heart and a really great story. And in case you need more we also offer monsters, floods, sexy gods and goddesses, stolen antiquities, magic potions, falling sand, time travel and giant scorpions."

Artistic credits:
Created and developed by Lisa Channer with Adrian Jones, Kira Obolensky, Vincent Olivieri and the company
Directed by Lisa Channer
Text by Kira Obolensky
Scenic design by Adrian Jones
Sound design by Vincent Olivieri
Multimedia design by Daniel Vatsky
Costume design by Annie Katsura-Rollins
Light design by Robert Perry
Theatre Novi Most artistic directors: Lisa Channer and Vladimir Rovinsky

Show times: September 24-27 & 30, October 1-3, 2010
Mon. at 7pm, Thu. at 7:30pm, Fri. & Sat. at 8pm
Sun. (Sept. 26) at 7pm & Sun. (Oct. 3) at 2pm
Tickets: $24, $20
Southern Theater box office: 612.340.1725
1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55454

Check out Prof. Megan Lewis' video promo of this production -- http://theatrenovimost.org/

southern photo for gilgamesh.jpg

"Oil! and the Jungle" Auditions Announced

The 2011 Main stage production of
Oil! and The Jungle
Based on the Upton Sinclair novels Oil! and The Jungle
Directed & Led by Kym Longhi & Karla Grotting

Auditions for the Spring 2011 production of Oil! and The Jungle will be held on Monday, September 13th from 6:30pm-10:30pm in 20 Rarig and Wednesday, September 15th from 6:30pm-10:30pm in 10 Rarig.

*Callbacks will be held in a workshop format on Friday, September 17th from 6:30pm-10:30pm in 10 Rarig.*

Rehearsals begin Monday, February 21st and the closing performance is Saturday, April 16th. (Please see below for a more detailed rehearsal & performance schedule.)

If you would like to audition, please sign-up for one of the hour-long time slots on the basement callboard of the Rarig Center.

Students will be auditioned in groups of ten at the top of the hour. The first twenty minutes will consist of a group dance audition. The last forty minutes will consist of individual four-minute auditions (students will be free to leave after the individual audition).

For the solo auditions, students should prepare:

A) A one-minute piece integrating text & physicality
(Text from Oil! and The Jungle is preferred, but not mandatory)

B) A one-minute song
(A cappella or self-accompanied, if you play an instrument)

C) Any additional kind of special talent you wish to highlight
(Hat tricks, magic, acrobatics, etc.)


Copies of the Oil! and The Jungle script are available for 48-hour sign-out during office hours (M & W 12pm-1:30pm; TH & F 2pm-3:30pm) through Christine Swartwout (Production Stage Manager) in 580A Rarig.

RE: OIL! and the Jungle general schedule

The general schedule and rehearsal locations are subject to change.
September 13, Monday Auditions 6:30-10:30pm, 20 Rarig
September 15, Wednesday Auditions 6:30-10:30pm, 10 Rarig
September 17, Friday Callbacks 6:30-10:30pm, 10 Rarig

*January 10, Monday-January 14, Friday*
Workshop 9:30a-3:00p, 185 Rarig (Thrust Theatre)

February 21, Monday FIRST REHEARSAL 6:30pm-10:30pm, 20 Rarig

February 22, Tuesday- March 5, Saturday
6:30pm-10:30pm (M-F), 12:00pm-5:00pm (Sa), 20 Rarig
March 7-Monday- March 8 Tuesday, 6:30pm-10:30pm, 90 Rarig (Xperimental Theatre)
March 9 Wednesday- March 11 Friday, 6:30pm-10:30 pm, 185 Rarig (Thrust Theatre)
March 12 Saturday, 12:00pm-5:00pm, 90 Rarig (Xperiemental Theatre)
March 13, Monday- March 20, Sunday SPRING BREAK
March 21, Monday- Friday March 25- 6:30pm-10:30pm, 185 Rarig (Thrust Theatre)

March 26, Saturday: LOAD-IN 8:00am-6:00pm, Thrust Theatre
Rehearsal 12:000m - 5:00pm in Studio A (506)

March 27, Sunday LOAD-IN 8:00am-6:00pm, Thrust Theatre

March 28, Monday Focus on stage 8:00am - 11:00pm, Thrust Theatre
Rehearsal 6:30pm-10:30pm in 20 Rarig

March 29, Tuesday: Rehearsal 6:30pm-10:30pm, Thrust Theatre
March 30, Wednesday: Crew Watch, 7:00pm GO, all running crew called at 6:00pm, for orientation and paperwork, cast called at 6:30pm, Thrust Theatre
March 31, Thursday Tech Rehearsal 6:00-11:00pm, Thrust Theatre
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)
*April 1, Friday 3:45pm-5:30pm Afternoon Rehearsal, 185 Rarig (Thrust Theatre)*

April 1, Friday Tech Rehearsal 6:00-11:00pm, Thrust Theatre
Ready Room 45 - WIG/MAKE-UP reh (cast called6:30p-10:30p)
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)

April 2, Saturday 10 out of 12 TECH/DRESS REHEARSAL(10am-3pm, 5pm-10pm)
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)
April 3, Sunday 10 out of 12 TECH/DRESS REHEARSAL(10am-3pm, 5pm-10pm)
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)

April 4, Monday DAY OFF No rehearsals permitted. Theatre is being held for designers/shops.

April 5, Tuesday DRESS REHEARSAL 6:00-11:00p (7:30pm GO)
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)
April 6, Wednesday: DRESS REHEARSAL 6:00-11:00p (7:30pm GO)
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)
April 7, Thursday: Preview 6:00-11:00p (7:30pm GO)
(Tech meeting following rehearsal)
April 8, Friday: Opening Curtain at 8:00 p.m.

Performance Schedule:
April 8, Friday at 8:00p
April 9, Saturday at 8:00pm
April 10, Sunday at 2:00pm / photo call follows performance
April 13, Wednesday at 7:30p
April 14, Thursday at 7:30p
April 15, Friday at 10:00am
April 15, Friday at 8:00p
April 16, Saturday at 8:00p (closing performance)

September 7, 2010

The X's First Audition is Coming Up Soon!

Audition's for the Pulitzer Prize winning drama proof will take place the first week of school: September 8th and 9th (next Wednesday and Thursday) at 7:00pm in The Xperimental Theatre (lowest level of Rarig). There will be a sign up sheet on the call board as soon as possible for you to claim a time slot.

Please prepare 2 contemporary monologues. They can be of either a comedic or a dramatic nature, so long as they are each about 2 minutes or less. Your audition should take no more than 4 minutes in total.

Callbacks will be held on Friday September 10th at 7:00. A list of those who have been called back will be posted by 1:30 that day. You will receive sides at the callback. The cast list will be posted on Saturday September 11th and rehearsals will begin Monday September 13th.

September 2, 2010

Director of Dance Ananya Chatterjea's Ananya Dance Theatre Launches New Four-Year Project With World Premiere of "Kshoy!/Decay!"

Following the stunning success of Ananya Dance Theatre's (ADT) trilogy on environmental justice, Director of Dance Ananya Chatterjea's company is launching a new four-year anti-violence project exploring the experiences of women of color across the globe. Launching the project is the world premiere of "Kshoy!/Decay!," which opens the Southern Theater's 2010/11 season, September 9-12, 2010. For more information about these performances visit the Southern Theater Website.

Ananya Dance Theatre explores femininity, power and social-justice issues affecting women around the world through a kinetically dynamic blend of classical Odissi dance, breath-driven yoga movement and the marital-art Chhau, performed by a band of women of color committed to artistic excellence. Mnartists.org described the dancers as, "indeed beautiful in their statuesque poses, performed with flawless technique. Their unwavering certainty is inspiring."

In "Kshoy!/Decay!" ("kshoy" is the Bengali word for "decay"), the company uses a potent metaphor--mud, as in dirt that sticks to skin--to explore the afterlives of African, Asian and other women of color forced to relocate or evacuate from their homelands. The piece investigates how women have worked through multiple and repeated histories of dislocation, relocation, evacuation and violence in the name of tradition. "Kshoy!/Decay!" doesn't "depict" or "speak for" these communities; rather, the work engages in collaborative research and community outreach to generate the singular choreographic experience that results in the commanding work for which ADT is known.

"Kshoy!/Decay!" is the first work in a new four-part investigation into violence, trauma, resistance and empowerment experienced by communities of color, using the elements of mud, gold, oil and water as metaphor. Performed with ADT's trademark emotional intensity, physical prowess and resonate storytelling, "Kshoy!/Decay!" is co-directed by founding artistic director Ananya Chatterjea, lauded by Women's E News as one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century," and OBIE Award-winning theater artist Laurie Carlos. Internationally and nationally acclaimed vocal artists, Pooja Goswami and Mankwe Ndosi, are composing the score for "Kshoy!/Decay!"

Dr. Ananya Chatterjea serves as Director of Dance and Associate Professor of Dance in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Trained initially in Indian classical and folk dance traditions, she became well known at a young age as a practitioner of the Odissi style of classical dance under the tutelage of her internationally acclaimed guru, Sanjukta Panigrahi. She performed and toured widely, dancing with diverse community-based companies and government initiatives. In addition to numerous awards, her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Asian Arts Initiative, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the McKnight, Jerome, and Bush foundations.