Monthly Archives: March 2012

Video Preview of “Ampersand”

Now playing at Actors’ Theatre, Ampersand by Vincent Delaney:

You don’t want to miss this one!!  All performances start at 8PM.  Reserve your tickets today at www.atgr.org.

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Auditions for “August: Osage County” This Weekend!

Director: Fred Sebulske
Cast:
13 (6 Men/7 Woman)
Audition Dates:
March 24-25, 2012 – 2PM-5PM1, Spectrum Theater
Production Dates:
May 17-26, 2012
Description:
Dad has vanished… Mom is addicted to prescription pills… Three sisters, each harboring shady secrets… The large Weston family comes together when Dad disappears, and the homestead explodes in a storm of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. August: Osage County unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes a Midwestern American family…and it’s dark side! Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
[Explore August:Osage...]

Script Perusal

Scripts will be available for checkout from the Actors’ Theatre Business office. A $10 deposit is required upon checkout. Scripts may also be available for purchase at fine area book stores, including Schuler Books and Music. Scripts may be checked out for a period no longer than 4 days and must be returned by noon on the Friday before the first audition dates for the production.

Roles:
Beverly Weston (60’s-70’s)- Patriarch of the Weston family. Alcoholic and former poet.

Violet Weston (60’s-70’s) – Matriarch of the Weston family. Addicted to several prescription drugs.

Barbara Fordham (40’s-50’s) The Oldest daughter of the Weston Family, age 46. Mother of Jean and wife of Bill.

Ivy Weston (40’s) Middle daughter of the Weston family, age 44. The only daughter to stay in Oklahoma, she teaches at the local college.

Karen Weston (30’s-40’s) Youngest daughter in the Weston family.

Bill Fordham (40’s-50’s) Barbara’s estranged husband and Jean’s father. A college professor who is sleeping with one of his students.

Jean Fordham – Bill and Barbara’s 14-year-old daughter. She smokes pot and cigarettes, is a vegetarian and loves old movies.

Steve Heidebrecht – (50’s) Karen’s fiancé. A businessman in Florida (or possibly a Middle East arms dealer).

Mattie Fae Aiken (50’s-60’s) – Violet’s sister, Charlie’s wife and Little Charles’ mother.

Charlie Aiken (50’s-60’s) Husband of Mattie and the presumed father of Little Charles.

Little Charles (30’s-40’s) – His mother calls him a “screw-up”, which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. He is secretly having an affair with his “cousin” Ivy.

Johnna Monevata (20’s-30’s) – Cheyenne Indian woman whom Beverly hires before he disappears.

Sheriff Deon Gilbeau (40’s-50’s) High-school classmate and former boyfriend of Barbara’s.


Footnotes

1Auditions begin at the time posted but may end earlier than posted, per the director’s discretion. We therefore recommend that you arrive as close to the starting time as possible. If you are unable to attend at this time, please call Actors’ Theatre at (616) 234-3968. We may be able to arrange an appointment time to accommodate you.

Statement of Inclusive Casting

As part of its mission of inclusion and in order to receive benefit from the rich diversity of our community, Actors’ Theatre is committed to casting all productions without bias towards race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliation. Productions will be cast accordingly. Except when necessary to the intent or message of the work, Actors’ Theatre and its artistic staff will cast productions, for all roles, without regard for race and, whenever possible, gender.

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Post Performance Discussion with Playwright Vincent Delaney Tonight!

Torrance O'Haire and Amy Groen in "Ampersand." Photo Credit: Moments in Life Photography

Join Us  Tonight, March 23, for a post-performance discussion with playwright Vincent Delaney as he discusses his new play, Ampersand.  Tickets for tonight’s performance are still available at www.atgr.org

Actors’ is proud to host Vincent’s visits through the development of this new work.   Special thanks to Peaches Bed and Breakfast for hosting Vince during his visits and to Rain City Projects of Seattle for assisting with Vince’s travel expenses.

Learn more about Ampersand on rivergrandrapids.com.  Check out this excerpt of an article by Andy Rent:

What in the world is an ampersand?

You mean you didn’t learn that in school?  An ampersand, or, “&”, is a logogram representing the word “and.”

But, it’s also the title of a new play by Seattle playwright Vincent Delaney, opening next Thursday night, March 22snd, on the Actors Theatre stage at Spectrum Theater.
Director Randy Wyatt, and theater program director at Aquinas College, says “it’s about marriage and relationships; it’s me and you. Who am I when I’m with you?”  Having just won a national comedy award for a play, Actors Theater is very excited to do this show.

“Ampersand” revolves around the concept of successful human cloning in a classical farce style.  (…)

Read the rest of the article here on rivergrandrapids.com

Call the Spectrum Theatre Box Office at 234-3946 today after 1PM to order tickets or go to www.atgr.org.

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“Ampersand” Opens Tonight!

Directors’ Note: Ampersand by Vincent Delaney

by Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 2:12pm ·

Note:  The following Director’s note was written for the playbill for “Ampersand”, a new play by Vincent Delaney, opening at Actors’ Theatre on March 22, 2012.  More than that, production Director and Actors’ Literary Manager Randy Wyatt does a masterful job of articulating what makes producing new works such an exhilarating and important part of our mission.  Enjoy!

Randy Wyatt - Director, Ampersand | Literary Manager, Actors' Theatre Grand Rapids | Theatre Program Director, Aquinas College

Directing new work is exhilarating.  A new production of published work always has new possibilities, but it’s charted territory—at least one other production team has tackled it already.  There can be “baggage” attached, especially if the play is well known or already produced on Broadway or in regional theatres.  There’s a way it’s been done before, and it can be tempting to think there’s a “right” way to approach it.  With new work, the script is fluid, not fixed.  The playwright, director, actors and designers have to lean on each other for discoveries even harder than usual.  It’s scary but incredible too, like jumping out of a plane.  And the audience gets to experience something no one else has before.

Never fear– you’re in good hands tonight.  Vince’s work leaps off the page when I read it.  It crackles, it’s sardonic and strange, darkly wise, truthful in the way that wanting to clone your spouse to make a better marriage is truthful.  This is my second collaboration with Vince and the rehearsal process has been just as full of discovery and fun as my first go-round with his WRITER 1272 at Aquinas.  He’s a funny guy, but his work isn’t going to let you laugh without gut-punching you.  It’s fun but dangerous.  My kind of theatre.

I often harangue my students about how much I believe in the vitality of theatre.  The evolution and production of new work is what keeps it vital.  Rather than catch plays “on the way down”—that is , after they’ve had major productions and publications, Actor’s Theatre has chosen to be one of those theatres that catch them “on the way up”.  That’s an important distinction.  Just this last week we learned that AMPERSAND has won the prestigious Riva Shiner Comedy Award.  People are starting to notice this play, and Actors’ produced it first.

Geronimo!

– Randy Wyatt

Tickets are still available for opening night!  Go to www.atgr.org to order your tickets.

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Seeing Great Theatre – Even on a Tight Budget

Lots of folks are on a tight budget these days.  Did you know there are ways you can see great theatre here in Grand Rapids for little or no cost?  Check it out, here’s what the insiders know:

Final Dress Rehearsals:  The night before Opening Night is a low cost way to see great theatre.  Most community theaters offer a discount on the night before a show opens.  Tickets to Final Dress at Actors’ Theatre are just $5!  You can head on down to Spectrum Theater and catch the Final Dress of Actors’ production of Ampersand tonight!

Student Discounts: Most theaters, including Actors’, offer discount pricing for students.  If you are in school, make sure to bring your ID when when you come!

Volunteering:  Volunteers are always needed!  See shows from the front as an usher or ticket taker, or catch them behind the scenes as you help out backstage.  For more information about volunteering at Actors’, please see the Volunteer section on our website.

 

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