(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."
If you're familiar with local theatre, you're likely familiar with the work of Michael King, whose area credits include performances for the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, the Prenzie Players, the Harrison Hilltop Theatre, (the now-defunct) Ghostlight Theatre, the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, and - in numerous productions over the past five years - Rock Island's classical-theatre organization Genesius Guild.
Yet as King explains (with a laugh), if you've seen him anywhere on stage, you've likely seen him at his best.
"I suck at real life," says King, who turns 40 on July 7. "I do. You know, I make appointments and I miss 'em, I'm late with bills ... . Everything. But on stage, I'm able to be me.
The following is the Friday, June 25 broadcast of WVIK's "Midweek Week," with host Herb Trix discussing the area's summer-theatre season with the River Cities' Reader'sMike Schulz. "Midwest Week" can be heard on the program "All Thing Considered" on WVIK 90.3 FM - Augustana Public Radio, Fridays at 6:50 p.m.
Friday, June 25: Download
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When director/designer Stefano Brancato characterizes his forthcoming theatre workshops as "boot camp," the description is initially surprising, considering that the focus of the week-long area courses is puppetry. After all, as the 30-year-old Brooklyn resident says, "in a lot of puppetry, the performer, the puppeteer, is in a kind of static position," and not necessarily part of a piece's main action.
Yet for the two workshops that he'll be conducting through Davenport Junior Theatre - one designed for ages 10 through 18, one ages 18 and older, and both running June 14 through 19 -"boot camp" does seem an appropriate phrase, as Brancato states that he and Junior Theatre's artistic director, Daniel D.P. Sheridan, were hoping to "break the rules a little bit" in terms of what a puppetry course could entail.
As with summer movies, the area's summer-theatre scene - featuring, at last count, a whopping 68 productions scheduled by 22 organizations - is jam-packed with escapist fare: musicals, comedies, mysteries, musical-comedy mysteries. But like the random art-house release that manages to sneak into Hollywood's blockbuster-centric season, this summer will also feature occasional dramas and classical works, plus no less than four Pulitzer Prize-winners - five, if you count one of them being produced at two separate venues.