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items tagged with Chris Jansen

Critical Mass: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2012-12-31 12:00:00

Mitch Donahue, Alexander Robin Kass, Samantha Pauly, Kristin Gilbert, and Tristan Layne Tapscott in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Legally Blonde: The MusicalFor our third-annual conversation on the Year in Theatre, Thom White – the Reader’s chief theatre reviewer – and I thought we’d shake things up a bit. So instead of meeting for an hours-long breakfast to discuss the area stage scene, we met for an hours-long dinner to discuss the area stage scene.

And while I managed to keep things lively by spilling a completely full glass of water not 10 minutes after sitting down, we also managed to touch on many of the varied experiences that Thom (occasionally accompanied by his partner’s daughter Madison) and/or I had during another eventful year for fans of the theatre. Pack a lunch, sit back, and dive in ... .


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Buy Local: "Bad Habits," at the Village Theatre through February 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2012-01-23 12:00:00

Josh LeFebreve and Dana Moss-Peterson in Bad HabitsNew Ground Theatre’s Bad Habits is one of those rare local productions where the focus is on the writers rather than the actors, directors, or technical aspects. While a cast and crew, of course, are involved, the work gathers short plays written by local playwrights. Running a touch more than an hour, Thursday’s performance showcased the promise of these local wordsmiths, while also revealing areas on which they need to focus as they work on their next pieces – the most notable being writing as people would actually speak.


Read More About Buy Local: "Bad Habits," At The Village Theatre Through February 5...


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.


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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...





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