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items tagged with Chris Jansen

Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy at New Ground Theatre, April 29 through May 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2016-04-21 12:00:00

Jordan Smith, Bill Peiffer, Jake Walker and Maggie Woolley in UncleAt the very end of Anton Chekhov’s 1897 tragicomedy Uncle Vanya, two of the play’s principal characters – Vanya and his niece Sonya – sit quietly at a table at their Russian estate, each lamenting the departure of their recent house guests. They’ve endured all manner of emotional hardships over the stage hours prior, and as they prepare to face more in the lonely years ahead, Sonya delivers one of theatre’s most famous closing monologues, climaxing her speech by telling Vanya not to fear – God will show pity on them. “We shall rest,” she says, gently, just before the curtain falls. “We shall rest.”

Hopefully, for Vanya and Sonya, 119 years constitutes a long-enough rest. Because thanks to a playwright’s imagination and a rather inconvenient (and fictitious) wormhole, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya characters are continuing their sagas in author Lee Blessing’s debuting comedy Uncle, a world-premiere production by Davenport’s New Ground Theatre running at the Village Theatre from April 29 through May 8.

“Sometimes you just don’t know where things come from,” says Blessing, with a laugh, regarding his sci-fi-comedy continuation of Chekhov’s masterpiece. “I’d seen a modern update of Vanya not that long ago in Los Angeles, and around the same time I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to write a play about a guy who suddenly has a cosmic wormhole open up in his backyard, but doesn’t want it? Doesn’t want the things that come out of it?’ And so, for some odd reason, I put those things together."
Read More About Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy At New Ground Theatre, April 29 Through May 8...


Center-Stage Craft: Spotlight Turns with the Reader’s Theatre Reviewers
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2015-12-23 12:00:00

Center-Stage CraftThe ends of calendar years always bring with them a certain amount of reflection, and questions that we find ourselves quietly grappling with. “Did I achieve personal fulfillment and happiness?” “Were there people I improperly appreciated or unintentionally wronged?” “What are we going to do about the Reader’s annual year-in-theatre article now that Thom White has moved to Kentucky?!”
Read More About Center-Stage Craft: Spotlight Turns With The Reader’S Theatre Reviewers...


Cinco de Marzo: "2015 Playwrights Festival: One-Acts," through March 15 at the Village Theatre
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-10 11:00:00

2015 Playwrights Festival: One-ActsNew Ground Theatre's 2015 Playwrights Festival: One-Acts was, for me, a mixture of “Ha ha ha!” and “What the hell?!” I either laughed heartily during the five debuting works or sat confused as to the points their playwrights tried to make.
Read More About Cinco De Marzo: "2015 Playwrights Festival: One-Acts," Through March 15 At The Village Theatre...


Jack and the "Being" Talk: "Things Being What They Are," at the Village Theatre through February 7
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-01-26 20:06:20

Matt Moody and Michael Carron in Things Being What They AreThe beauty of New Ground Theatre’s comedy Things Being What They Are lies in how our hearts gradually soften for Michael Carron’s crotchety, imposing Jack, a rudely forward character who pushes his presence onto his neighbor Bill (Matt Moody), and whom playwright Wendy MacLeod uses to explore themes of marriage and mortality.


Read More About Jack And The "Being" Talk: "Things Being What They Are," At The Village Theatre Through February 7...


A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-12-18 12:00:00

the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Irving Berlin's White ChristmasIf you’re new to this almost-annual recap, what follows is my conversation with Reader theatre reviewer Thom White about the area’s stage stage over the past 12 months.

If you’re not new to it, you know the drill. Clear some time, grab a snack, and enjoy!


Read More About A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz And Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene...





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