Monthly Archives: September 2012

Curious about “Nadia”? Here’s a Sneak Peak!

For tickets and more information, check out the Actors’ Theatre website.

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G-SYNC Takes a Look at “Nadia” in Rapid Growth Media

Check out this amazing article about Actors’ first show of the 2012-2013 Season:

Nadia: Debut of Erotic Theatrical Work that Transforms Everything


As I read the script for the stage debut of Nadia, I had to keep stopping to ask myself how they would stage David Turkel’s newest theatrical drama at Actors’ Theatre, the home of the play’s world premiere.

But if I have learned anything over the years when it comes to productions at Actors’ Theatre, it is best to trust that they will deliver a fantastic debut, just as they did last year with Rust by Austin Bunn at the start of their 2011-2012 season.


And while on the topic of breathing, I have no doubt that the audience members will, at times, have to remind themselves to breathe during this erotically charged play that seeks to look at the delicate lines that divides art, pornography and war. It reminds me that artists are sometimes the best catalyst in our society to help us navigate the bumpy terrain of society.

Nadia is the story of a Russian artist by the same name who either has ignited the imaginations of the art world in rapture, or fanned the flames of condemnation from a hypocritical public. Nadia as an artist presents to others on stage her frank and disturbingly rich taboo imagery and the methods she employs to their creation.

There are moments in this new work by Turkel where remembering to breathe are at the subtle center of the story. This is theatre at its very best.

Nadia’s leap from the page to the stage is also a challenge in that the use of a live video feed is woven into the story. It is sure to enthrall those imaginations of all theatergoers as this creative device takes a leading role in a stellar cast made up of veterans and first-time actors.

Actors’ Theatre receives about 150-200 full-length new stage works each year and if they survive the workshop or reading phase (which includes for many a public debut through a reading like those held at UICA this last Spring), we have the opportunity as a community to see groundbreaking new works likeNadia nurtured and produced on Actors’ stage.

Nadia appeared last fall when David (Turkel) gave a copy [of the play] to our literary manager, Randy Wyatt,” says Actor’s Director of Development and Marketing Jonathon Clausen, who is also acting in this work. “It is the kind of play that will appeal to those seeking a contemporary theatrical experience, as well as those who prefer dramatic literature from great American playwrights like Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard or David Mamet.”

Clausen’s assessment is pretty spot-on, as one having read works by these American playwrights. Nadiaand works like this that seek to engage in the difficult conversations of life illustrate why theatre is not only alive on the stage, but how when we embrace the unknown, it will breathe a freshness into the American theatre wing of our culture.


Tickets and Performance Dates:

Sept. 27 – 29 & Oct. 4-6, all performances start at 8:00

For more information and to reserve your tickets, go to:

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NADIA Opens Tonight at Actors’ Theatre

Nadia by David Turkel *WORLD PREMIERE*

Meet the NADIA Cast:

Hannah Chee PhotoHannah Chee (Lily) is a fifth year student at Calvin College working towards a BA in Theater. Although relatively new to the Midwest and theatre, Hannah has stuck her toes in to many aspects of production. Most active within the Calvin Theatre Company, Hannah’s stage credits include Stephanie Sandberg’s adaption of The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. where she portrayed “The Widow Mouse”, and the 2011 production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as “Musician 1”. Hannah is currently employed as the Properties Master at Calvin. She has also moon lighted as a Stage Manager for The Wednesday Wars, a stage adaption by Kirsten Kelly and Brian Farish, and David: A Play with Psalms. Nadia is her first Actors’ Theatre production.

Jonathan Clausen photoJonathan Clausen (Bryson) was last seen on stage at Actors’ playing all of the grown-up male characters in last season’s production of Spring Awakening. Previous to that he has been seen in Distracted (2010), as the title role in Mr. Marmalade (2010), and in Actors’ annual Living on the Edge 10-minute play series, as both an actor and director. Jon also serves as the company’s Director of Development and Marketing. In addition to his work for Actors’, Jon has performed locally with Circle Theatre, Civic Theatre and Aquinas College. Outside of Grand Rapids, his credits include more than 20 stage productions since 1992, in addition to film and commercial work. Jon studied acting and theatre at Aquinas College, The Theatre School in Chicago and South Dakota State University.

Sean Dailey (Steve)Sean Dailey Photo is a Rockford native who works for a local advertising agency by day and fancies himself an amateur stand-up comedian by night, “amateur” being the operative word there. Nadia is his first production with Actors’ Theatre. He would describe the experience as, “involving slightly more talk of erections than I expected.”

Rena Dam (Nadia) Rena Dam Photoloves thought-provoking plays, especially new ones. She recently acted in the Actors’ Theatre premieres of RUST and LINES: The Lived Experience of Race. When not on stage, Rena writes and produces for radio or she’s with her children- reading, cooking and practicing their headstands and baseball swings. Big love and thanks to them and to Mom, Dad and Tim for their vital support. And to the millions of people enslaved in the sex industry – May we have the courage to truly see you.

Lizzy Sulkowski (Kristin)Lizzy Sulkowski Photo is a recent graduate of Aquinas College with a BA in Theatre. Lizzy plans to attend the URTA auditions in February 2013 for graduate school. Past credits include: The Arabian NightsThe MisanthropeDimly Perceived Threats to the System (Grand Award), HecubaEsperanza Rising (Irene Ryan Nomination),Rising Sun/Rising MoonLife is a DreamGoodnight Desdemona/Goodmorning Juliet (All at Aquinas College). Past community credits include: Women and WallaceThe Little Dog LaughedDistractedAugust Osage County (All at Actors’ Theatre). And for Circle Theatre: Noises Off! and assistant director for Alice in Wonderland and Back Again. Lizzy is currently working at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and doing free-lance photography.

Learn More:

Go to the Actors’ Theatre website to learn more about the World Premier of Nadia.

Check out this article by Sue Merrell about Nadia and ArtPrize.

Here’s another article on Nadia in On The Town

Nadia Promotional video on YouTube

Scenes from Nadia on YouTube

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Filed under In The News, Plays and Productions

“Nadia” in On The Town Magazine

Actors’ Theatre season kicks off with Nadia by David Turkel.  Check out this great article by Katerie Prior in On the Town.  Here’s an excerpt:

As ArtPrize ramps up, there’s no doubt that the thousands of visitors who visit Grand Rapids will see some beautiful works. Despite the good feelings you may have while viewing some of the work, you should also remember that pleasantness is not art’s sole goal; art is also intended to provoke us, to make us uncomfortable, to spit in our eye, to make us look at the world from a viewpoint that may not be our own. This is one of the themes behind Nadia, the new play premiering this month at Actors’ Theatre. ()

Check out the rest of the article over on

For more information about Nadia, or to purchase tickets, head on over to the Actors’ Theatre website. (And don’t forget – it is not too late to pick up a season ticket to see all the productions at Actors in 2012-2013! Note: if you are a student, or still paying off those student loans, Actors’ has a special deal for you! )

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Actors’ Theatre Mourns the Loss of Rikk David

Rikk David – Photo Credit: John Despres

Actors’ Theatre sends sympathy to the friends and family of Rikk David.  Rikk was a member of Local IATSE 26 and had a lifelong love of the arts and the Grand Rapids Ballet.

From the obituary on

DAVID RICHARD BRUCE “RIKK” Richard Bruce “Rikk” David, of East Grand Rapids, passed away unexpectedly on September 19, 2012. Further information will be forthcoming. Visitation will be held from 1 to 3 PM, with services immediately following on Saturday, September 22 at Grace Episcopal Church, 1815 Hall Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

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