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The Monster in the Park: Genesius Guild Gears Up For Its 51st Season PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 23 May 2007 02:27

Wilder Anderson in The Tempest When Rock Island's summer-theatre organization Genesius Guild opens Gilbert & Sullivan's comic operetta Patience on June 9 - taking place in the city's Lincoln Park, and co-produced with Opera@Augustana - it will mark the group's first production in a half-century not under the helm of Guild founder Don Wooten, who retired at the end of last season. And when asked what it's like serving as Genesius Guild's new executive director, and assuming a majority of Wooten's tasks, Doug Tschopp has a succinct one-word answer.


Cut from Theatre Cloth: Broadway's Philip William McKinley Directs "Crème de Coco" at St. Ambrose PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 02:17

Phil McKinley For St. Ambrose University's forthcoming production of Crème de Coco - being performed at the Galvin Fine Arts Center from April 20 through 22 - the school recruited guest director Philip William McKinley to helm what will be the world premiere of William Luce's one-act play. During his area tenure, McKinley is also teaching an advanced acting course at St. Ambrose, and in a recent interview, the director explained why honesty is essential in eliciting the best work from performers:

"I think a lot of times, people tell them what they think they want to hear, rather than tell them what they really do need to hear. And if they know that you're telling them something to make them better, or for their own good, they're totally receptive to it."

That seems like a perfectly logical method for directing student actors. But, at this point in our conversation, McKinley wasn't referring to student actors. He was referring to Hugh Jackman.

In Like Flynn: Tom Wopat Headlines "Chicago," at the Adler Theatre April 10 and 11 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 02:26

Tom Wopat So, how are you doing today?

"Eh ... I'm okay," replies Tom Wopat, calling from Manhattan. "I just got a parking ticket. Sixty-five bucks."

And hardly a deserved parking ticket. "I parked in a school zone but there's no school there anymore," Wopat says. "They don't know that, you know?"

He laughs. "But that's okay. It's like I told my girlfriend: It's New York City. That's just how it works."

What’s the Buzz?: Quad City Music Guild Showcases Female Musicians of the ’60s in "Beehive" PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 02:23

 "I was really nervous," recalls Jackie Madunic. "I love Tina Turner - she's, like, one of my idols - and I was terrified."

Madunic is describing the first time she rehearsed her role as Turner in the Quad City Music Guild's production of Beehive, and the actress' fears are understandable. The revue, running March 23 through 25, is a celebration of the 1960s' most prominent female musicians - among them Turner, Janis Joplin, Lesley Gore, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Connie Francis, and Annette Funicello - yet in addition to portraying one of our country's most identifiable rock icons, another factor is conceivably adding to the performer's nervousness: Madunic is white. (As, it should be noted, is actress Sarah Ulloa, who plays both Franklin and Ross.)

Social Transformation: The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project Comes to Augustana College PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 03:43

Brian Bengtson & Kyle Roggenbuck rehearse Explaining the decision to turn Tim Robbins' Oscar-winning Dead Man Walking into a work for the stage, Sister Maureen Fenlon begins with six simple words: "A stage play can go anywhere." And she would like the show to be seen everywhere.

"If you want to have a transformation," Fenlon continues, "a social transformation, then minds need to be engaged so they [people] can be open to learning, and hearts have to be opened so that that learning can go further, and seep into your own soul. When people's minds and hearts have been opened through the arts, the quality of your exchange is more than a conversation, it's surely not [merely] a debate ... and here, it's a powerful art form dealing with a very powerful issue."

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