Tag Archives: Distracted

Just Two Nights Left of “Distracted”

There are just two performances left of Distracted at Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids.  Click below to get a sneak peak, then order your tickets now!

Go to www.atgr.org to order your tickets.  Performances are tonight and tomorrow, (Dec. 10-11) at 8 PM.

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Review of “Distracted” in The Grand Rapids Press

Sue Merrell, of the Grand Rapids Press, reviewed Distracted, now showing at Actors’ Theatre.  You can check it out on www.mlive.com. Read an excerpt of the review below:

Center of chaos in ‘Distracted’ is boy with ADHD, but there’s much more to the story

Published: Friday, December 03, 2010, 9:43 AM
Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press

Photo credit: Paul L. Newby II | The Grand Rapids Press - Jesse's parents, Father Mike Frankey and Mama Elena Turkel, talk on the cell phone while driving in different cars during "Distracted" at Actor's Theatre.

If you could cram all the distractions and frustrations of contemporary life into one two-hour play, that would pretty much describe “Distracted,” the latest offering from Actors’ Theatre.

Not only does Christian Poquette’s versatile set incorporate 27 video screens, but several members of the nine-member cast play multiple roles, sometimes having conversations with themselves.

Playwright Lisa Loomer has hit on so many of today’s problems and instant solutions, such as the neighbor who has gastric bypass surgery but secretly pigs out on doughnuts; the parents whose cell phones interrupt their conversations and their driving; the doctors who juggle their own personal problems while trying to advise patients or hide behind computer screens.

But the central issue is Jesse, a 9-year-old boy who is afraid of fire drills and balks at bedtime. His teacher says he is disruptive, Dad says he is just being a boy, and Mom is trying to figure out which medical advice to follow. ()

Be sure and head over to www.mlive.com to read the rest of the article.

Tickets are still available for Distracted, go to the Actors’ Theatre website at actorstheatregrands.org to order them online or for more information.

Performance Dates for Distracted:

December 3-4, 9-11
All performances at 8:00 PM

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It’s Opening Night! Become “Distracted” at Actors’ Theatre!

Distracted opens tonight at Actors’ Theatre! There are still some tickets available, contacted the Spectrum Theatre box office at (616)234-3946 for tickets (the box office opens at 1:00 PM, or click over to the Actors Theatre website for more information and to purchase your tickets online.

Meet the Artists of Distracted:

Lisa Loomer, Playwright

Lisa Loomer photoMs. Loomer’s other plays include Living Out, The Waiting Room, Expecting Isabel, Broken Hearts and Birds. Her plays have been produced at Seattle Rep, The Kennedy Center, Trinity Rep and The Public in the U.S. as well as internationally. Lisa’s screenplay credits include Girl, Interrupted. Numerous awards include the the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the American Theatre Critics Association Award (twice) and an Imagen Award for positive portrayals of Latinos in all media.

Fred Sebulske, Director

Lisa Loomer photoDistracted marks Fred’s 55th production for Actors’ Theatre. Among his many awards and accolades, he is the recipient of 9 directing Grand Awards, the Norma Brink Lifetime Achievement Award and the Arts Council Arts Award.

Fred is the founder of Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids.

The Cast:

Elena Turkel (Mama)

Headshot - Elena TurkelElena is excited that her first show in Grand Rapids involves such a fun play and such a lovely cast. Before moving here to teach writing at GVSU, Elena performed with various theaters in the Midwest and East Coast. Favorite roles include Annie in Apartment 3a, Myra in the world premiere of Holler, and Jack in The Importance Of Being Earnest. Elena lives just across the river with her partner, playwright David Turkel, and their three cats, who are super-geniuses.

Christopher Hubbard (Jesse)

Christopher is 11 years old and attends the John Ball Zoo school. He is thrilled to be performing with Actors Theater, and working with Fred Sebulske for the first time. He has performed in numerous local theater and school productions including Civic Theater’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Captain Louie; Circle Theater’s TOMMY; Aquinas College Theater Department’s Hecuba, and school performances as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz. When not rehearsing or in 6th grade, Chris loves playing football, baseball, and taking ballet classes. Special thanks to Mom, Dad, and sisters Hailey and Allison.

Mike Frankey (Dad)

Mike is thrilled to be a part of the “Distracted” family. Favorite theater Headshot - Mike Frankeycredits include: the International Tour of The Boy Friend directed by Julie Andrews, Jon Truitt in Meet Me in St. Louis (Flat Rock Playhouse), Tony in the Carbonell; Award nominated The Boy Friend (Riverside Theatre), Benjamin in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), and Haemon in Antigone (Pittsburgh Playhouse). Favorite film and television credits include Stillers and In A Moment (Pittsburgh Filmmakers) and Saturday Night Live (NBC Studios). Big thanks to Fred for this opportunity, and bigger love to my beautiful wife Jolene for keeping me happy, balanced, and just the slightest bit distracted.

Ellie Gramer (Dr. Waller/Mrs. Holly/Nurse)

Headshot - Ellie GramerEllie was most recently seen performing in RENT with Circle (Maureen) and in Annie (Lily St Regis). Some of her theatre credits include: Work with Grand Rapids Civic Theatre as Ulla in The Producer’s; her work with Circle Theatre as Mrs. Walker in TOMMY, Nancy in Oliver! (Which garnished her a Lead Actress Grand Award in 2007) and Esta in Moby Dick! Her ensemble credits include: Sunday In The Park With George, Nine and along with a few others. With Actor’s Theatre she performed in Mr. Marmalade (Sookie/Emily), Nancy D. in A New Brain, and Violet Hilton, opposite her best friend & sister, Cici, in Side Show. She also served as an ensemble member in EVITA at Mason Street Wharehouse Theater. She has worked with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company touring all the way to NYC to Krain Theatre NyNy portraying Portia in Julius Caesar. She is also a member of the Opera Grand Rapids Chorus. “Thank you to my family for all their support; the Judis/The Chotches; the midnight society; The Parkhurst Family (“It takes the village people”) Robert Darling for being there when I need him; Lola monkey, you inspire me, Cici (thanx susan) you are the most amazing sister anyone could ever ask for, and finally thank you to the most magical experience I have been given thus far, Tracey, I love you. Only us.

Jennifer Jelsema (Dr. Zavala/Waitress/Carolyn)

Headshot - Jennifer JelsemaJennifer is making her debut in Grand Rapids theatre in Distracted, discovered a passion for acting at a young age, participating in drama throughout her school years. At the age of 21, Jennifer was signed by Unique Models & Talent Agency and entered into the commercial side of the industry. Through Unique, Fahey Dreher Casting, and other Michigan agencies, Jennifer has worked professionally as model and actor for the last 16 years in film, video, commercials, print, voiceover, runway and promotional events for companies including Herman Miller, Wolverine Worldwide, Whirlpool, Amway, Meijer, Sur la Table, Steelcase, Haworth, Gentex, JCI, just to name a few. Recently Jennifer has decided to pursue her dream of acting and has garnered roles in films including Blind Sided and Real Steel as well as in theatre in She Has a Name. She currently studies and serves as Managing Director at the Kurt Dreyer Acting Studio in Holland and Grand Rapids.

Janelle Mahlmann (Sherry)

Headshot - Janelle MahlmanJanelle is thrilled to be making her Actors’ Theatre debut. She has appeared on stage in several productions for Heritage Theatre Group and Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids. You may have seen her most recently as Lyssa Dent Hughes in An American Daughter for Jewish Theatre. Janelle is proud to work for Baker Publishing Group as a marketer in her day-job-life. Thank you Christopher for all of your support and thank you Fred for this fabulous opportunity!

Julie Kehr (Vera)

Julie Kehr (Vera)Headshot - Julie KehrJulie is beyond thrilled to make her stage debut at Actors’. Some of her favorite roles around town include Pigeon/Daisy/5 of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (Circle Theater), Quincy Quince in An American Daughter (Jewish Theater), Rosalind in Moon Over Buffalo (Civic Theater), Angelo/the Courtesan in Comedy of Errors and Phoebe in As You Like It (Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company) , and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Grand Valley State University. She would like to thank her friends and family for keeping her less “distracted” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) and especially Shannon, for saying things nobody else will. Your pants are ugly.

Jonathan Clausen (Dr. Broder/Dr. Jinks/Dr.Karnes)

Headshot - Jonathan ClausenJonathan was last seen on Actor’s stages in the 2010 production of Mr. Marmalade, where he played the title role. He has participated in the Living on the Edge 10-minute play series, as both an actor and director. In addition to his work for Actors’, Jon has performed locally with Circle Theatre and Aquinas College. Outside of Grand Rapids, his credits include more than 20 stage productions since 1992. Jon has studied acting and theatre at Aquinas College, The Theatre School in Chicago and South Dakota State University near the tall grass and wide open spaces where he was raised. He has lived in Grand Rapids since 2002 with his wife, artist Tamara Fox, and their beautiful daughter. Jon would like to thank Fred and the cast for their generosity and support. He dedicates his performances in Distracted to the memory of his mother, Barbara, who taught him the gift of unconditional love.

Lizzy Sulkowski (Natalie)

Headshot - Lizzy SulkowskiLizzy is thrilled to be back on the Actors’ Theatre stage after her main stage debut as Ellen in The Little Dog Laughed. Lizzy is a theatre major at Aquinas College and planning on graduating in December of 2011. Past Aquinas credits include: Life is a Dream, Rising Sun Rising Moon, Oleanna, Esperanza Rising (Irene Ryan Nomination), Hecuba, The Misanthrope, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System (Grand Award Recipient), and The Arabian Nights. Lizzy was also recently awarded the Norma Brink Scholarship. She would like to thank Mimz, Goose, Nilly, and Rachael Longhair for being her home away from home and for always joining her for an interpretive dance at 2am. Lizzy would also like to thank her family for giving her so much support during her hectic schedule! “To my soon to be niece or nephew- I love you. This one’s for you, kid. I can’t wait to meet you.”

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Cynthia Nixon from “Sex in the City” in “Distracted”!

Okay, okay… not our version of Distracted.  Ms. Nixon was in New York and on Broadway when she did a production of Lisa Loomer’s wonderful play about modern family life.  Check out this video interview with her where she talks about her thoughts on the show and being onstage.  (Note: there are scenes from the play in this interview.)

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Listen Now! WGVU Radio Interview on “Distracted”

Check it out!  Ceclilia Skidmore from WGVU interviewed Distracted director Fred Sebulske and consultant Dr. Michael Ryan about Actors’ current production. Distracted opens this Thursday.  (Go to www.actorstheatregrandrapids.org for more information.)

From the WGVU website:

November 28, 2010 | WGVU  Cecilia is joined by Fred Sebulske and Dr. Michael Ryan, talking about the play Distracted, opening at the Actors’ Theatre in Grand Rapids.

Distracted is a play about a family whose nine-year-old boy is diagnosed with ADHD. Fred Sebuslke is the founder of the Actor’s Theatre and has been directing plays for over 40 years. Distracted marks his 55th production with the Actors’ Theatre.

Dr. Michael Ryan is a clinical psychologist who specializes in ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities. He acted as a consultant for Distracted.

To listen to the complete interview, scroll down the Open Minds web page to the segment on Distracted and then click the”Listen” link.

To purchase tickets for Distracted, contact the Spectrum Theatre box office at (616)234-3946 or click the button below:

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