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"Spring" Time: The Center for Living Arts Produces the Controversial Musical "Spring Awakening," March 23 through April 7 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 08 March 2012 13:06

Benjie Lewis, Aaron Lord, Max Moline, and Andrew Bruning in Spring AwakeningDino Hayz is the creative director and co-owner of the Center for Living Arts, the Rock Island-based venue that, since 2006, has offered music and theatre (and musical theatre) classes for ages 18 and under, and has produced such stage presentations as Schoolhouse Rock Live! and Disney’s High School Musical.

Consequently, Hayz says that he and his performers have a pretty fair idea of how patrons might react to the Center’s latest theatrical offering.

“When we’re in rehearsal,” says Hayz, “at the end of Act I, we always say, ‘A-a-and ... blackout. Actors off, lights up, a good third of the audience walks out the door ... .”

 
The Bard, the Bee, and a Couple of Woodys: Spring Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 27 February 2012 06:00

the touring production of Damn Yankees, coming to the Adler TheatreAfter compiling the list of stage presentations coming to area venues this spring, three things became immediately clear.

(1) Audiences are getting a rather intimidating number of options, with (at last count) no fewer than 57 plays or musicals scheduled to open between March 1 and May 31.

(2) Audiences are getting a rather incredible variety of options – everything from a comedy by Woody Allen to a musical by Woody Guthrie.

(3) Absolutely none of these numerous and diverse theatrical productions features me.

While drying your eyes, though, do your best to get excited about this spring’s lineup anyway ... which, I hasten to add, shouldn’t be very difficult.

 
Stage to Page to Stage: Author Eileen Boggess Brings Her Junior Theatre Experiences to Life – at Davenport Junior Theatre – in "Mia the Melodramatic," February 18 through 26 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 06:00

Author Eileen Boggess (third from top right), director Jessica Sheridan (bottom left), and Davenport Junior Theatre's Mia the Melodramatic teamThose familiar with Davenport Junior Theatre might find its forthcoming production of Mia the Melodramatic a bit ... well ... familiar. After all, the show concerns a children’s theatre company that finds kids starring in and producing plays for other kids, and even comes complete with its own mascot in the form of an energetic, floppy-shoed clown.

Rest assured: Any similarities between the fictional children’s theatre of Mia the Melodramatic and Davenport Junior Theatre itself are completely intentional.

 
All the Worlds of Stage: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 15 December 2011 11:53

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.

 
Playwright at Your Side: St. Ambrose Student Aaron Randolph III Authors Two Wintertime Productions PDF Print E-mail
Theatre - Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 21 November 2011 06:00

Cody E. Johnson, Stacy Phipps, and Tim Stompanato in Dakota Jones & the Search for AtlantisEvery year, St. Ambrose University’s theatre department produces four mainstage shows over the nine months that school is in session. It’s somewhat surprising, then, that given the myriad authors to choose from, the university opted to reserve half of the slots in its 2011-12 season for works by a single playwright.

Yet what’s more surprising is that the author in question isn’t one of the usual theatrical suspects – Shakespeare or Williams or O’Neill. Rather, it’s St. Ambrose student Aaron Randolph III, a 32-year-old pursuing additional degrees after graduating in 2002 from the school’s music department. His family musical Dakota Jones & the Search for Atlantis will be staged in the university’s Galvin Fine Arts Center December 3 and 4, and his comedy The Plagiarists runs February 24 through 26.

 
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