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items tagged with Chris Jansen

All the Worlds of Stage: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2011
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-12-15 17:53:34

Tom Walljasper, Kristin Gilbert, and John Payonk in HairsprayThe Reader's chief theatre reviewer, Thom White, saw and wrote about 52 area stage productions in 2011. I saw 39 and reviewed 12. Obviously, during our second-annual breakfast chat on the Year in Theatre, there was a bit to talk about.


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Rainbow Coalitions: "Under the Radar," at the Village Theatre through May 29
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2011-05-23 12:00:00

Don Faust and Pat Flaherty in Under the RadarAllow me, if you will, to get the unpleasantries out of the way right away, so that I can expound upon the virtues of New Ground Theatre’s debuting drama Under the Radar. The play, inspired by the local gay scene in the late 1970s, isn’t eloquent in its verbiage or impressively acted; the dialogue is amateurishly written; and for the most part, the individual performances are adequate, at best.

Fortunately, though, the employment of news, game-show, and other TV-programming clips from 1978 provides context for the social environment of the time, and elevates the piece to a place of educational significance.


Read More About Rainbow Coalitions: "Under The Radar," At The Village Theatre Through May 29...


Where We Were, Where We Are: New Ground Theatre and Quad Citians Affirming Diversity Go "Under the Radar," May 19 through 29 at the Village Theatre
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2011-05-05 12:00:00

Johanna Welzenbach-Hilliard and Donna Weeks rehearse Under the RadarFor the final production in her company’s 10th-anniversary season, New Ground Theatre Artistic Director Chris Jansen chose to direct a rather epic piece: the debuting period drama Under the Radar, which features numerous plotlines and changes of locale, and concerns our area’s gay scene in the late 1970s, with particular attention paid to the relationship of one long-term gay couple.

Based on that description, it sounds as though Jansen is tackling a Quad Cities-based, pre-AIDS version of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Yet when, with a good-natured laugh, she says of the mammoth undertaking, “Some idiot wrote 11 characters into it,” know that Jansen isn’t being derogatory. At least, not toward anyone but herself.


Read More About Where We Were, Where We Are: New Ground Theatre And Quad Citians Affirming Diversity Go "Under The Radar," May 19 Through 29 At The Village Theatre...


The Soul of "Wit": Lora Adams on the Curtainbox Theatre Company’s Cancer Drama, and Her Own Struggles with the Disease
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2010-08-04 12:00:00

Corinne Johnson in the Curtainbox Theatre Company's Wit(Author's note: I'm a proud ensemble member of the Curtainbox Theatre Company, and along with interviewee Lora Adams, am serving as co-associate producer on Wit.)

 

"When you hear that word - cancer - it's very surreal," says WQPT-TV Director of Marketing Lora Adams, regarding her 2008 diagnosis with the disease. "There's a moment when the reality of it not being a television show, or not happening to somebody else's family, has to sort of settle in. You have that moment of 'Holy crap.' And then once that happens, you move forward."
Read More About The Soul Of "Wit": Lora Adams On The Curtainbox Theatre Company’S Cancer Drama, And Her Own Struggles With The Disease...


'Cause You Gotta Have Faith: “100 Saints You Should Know,” at the Village Theatre through July 18
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2010-07-13 12:00:00

Jamie Em Behncke and Nathan Porteshawver in 100 Saints You Should KnowFriday night's presentation of 100 Saints You Should Know played to a half-capacity audience, which is a shame; New Ground Theatre's poignantly personal play deserves more attention, due to its thoughtful script and equally thoughtful performances. And while playwright Kate Fodor's themes of spirituality and sexuality may put off some potential spectators, the story is much more inclusive, in terms of philosophical perspectives, than those themes might suggest.

 


Read More About 'Cause You Gotta Have Faith: “100 Saints You Should Know,” At The Village Theatre Through July 18...





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