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Exit, Pursued by a Bear Girl: The Prenzie Players Stage a Debuting Native American Drama, June 14 through 22 at the QC Theatre Workshop PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 27 May 2013 06:00

Beth Woolley in Bear GirlThe local theatre troupe the Prenzie Players is most commonly known for stylistically bold, occasionally gender-bending takes on classical dramas and comedies, principally the works of William Shakespeare. But the company is about to embark on a particularly challenging experiment with its forthcoming production of the debuting Bear Girl – and the play’s author, Prenzie co-founder J.C. Luxton, could hardly be accused of aiming too low.

“If you think of Shakespeare’s Henriad,” says Luxton, referencing the Bard’s historical trilogy of Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, “it’s kind of the epic of England. An epic story of who we are and how we came to be. And I think what I’m trying to do with Bear Girl is the beginnings of something similar for the Quad Cities area.”

Summer of 69: Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas, May through August PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 06:00

Jersey Boys at the Civic Center of Greater Des MoinesAt last count, there were a grand total of 69 theatrical productions scheduled to debut at area venues between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. That’s awfully impressive. Yet what’s even more impressive – and, in all honesty, really unusual – is that you could actually catch all 69 without ever seeing the same show twice.

Repertory Stories: New Ground Theatre’s Playwrights Festival, April 19 through 28 at the Village Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 11 April 2013 08:10

author Dana-Moss Peterson (left), with Jessica Denney, in New Ground Theatre's Mr. MarmaladeOver the years, Davenport’s New Ground Theatre has prided itself on the presentation of new works by emerging authors. But this year, even Artistic Director Chris Jansen is shocked to find the company not only producing eight new works in a season, but eight new works – the majority of them by local authors – over a two-night span.

Spring Theatre from A(ntigone) to Z(ine of Grrrl): 99 Days of Area Stage Productions PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 04 March 2013 06:00

Rock of Ages at the Adler TheatreWelcome to the Reader’s annual article on springtime area-theatre productions, where our trek through the season’s comedies, dramas, and musicals will have us taking a walk in the woods with Antigone, wandering into suburbia with Eurydice, and realizing that something’s afoot in our town when Talley’s folly makes Cinderella go boom on Avenue Q.

Okay, so that takes care of 10 upcoming titles ... only 50 or so to go ... .

Critical Mass: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 31 December 2012 06:00

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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