Jul 12, 2011

A Berkshires Summer Hit

Every so often, one works on something truly new, and it works out so well!

The raving reviews are now in (cast: beware if you don't read reviews!) of pride@prejudice by Daniel Elihu Kramer at Chester Theatre Company (the site of my Berkshires directorial debut).

Here are a few links and quotes:

Fuse Theater Review: Jane Austen Tweets In Chester, MA

"...two hours with nary a dull moment and the actors seem to be having as wonderful a time as the audience..."

The Arts, Etc.: pride@prejudice

"Austen's leading characters are all there [played by a cast of five]. They've stepped out of the novel's pages, not the least bit dusty, and filled the stage with vibrant life."

"Crisply, sensitively and lovingly directed by Ron Bashford ..."

In The Spotlight: pride@prejudice

"This is a delightful production and one not to be missed. It breathes new life into a beloved story, and very well could inspire a re-reading of the novel."

Only six performances left! If you can make it to Chester, please come!


Apr 9, 2011

Just a little bit more

So, some of you know that my brother, who teaches high school drama in Santa Rosa, CA, is taking a group of students to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland this summer. Due to the woeful state of finances in California, his school is offering no financial support -- and the demographics of his school mean that parents cannot afford to pay either.

My bro has done an amazing job of raising most of the money needed for this life-changing journey for these students. But he still could use a little bit more, including enough for a very eager and hard-working alternate!! Here's the info. Send a check!! (In any amount.)

The Elsie Allen High School Drama Department is invited to perform at The American High School Theatre Festival at The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2011!

Who We Are
Since the opening of Elsie Allen High School in 1994, the drama department, under the direction of Rob Burt, has been fostering creativity and helping students develop intellectual and social skills to carry them into the world beyond. This full-time program is designed to serve the needs of a highly diverse student population (about 75% Latino) by providing as many opportunities as possible to develop acting, directing, writing, designing, and interpretive skills.

Our Special Artistic Focus
What really sets Elsie Allen apart from other programs is the rigorous ever-evolving playwrighting curriculum that has produced several award winning plays. As there is no better way to learn theatre than to create it, all Drama Production students write a fully realized one-act play. This year we will also be taking submissions from the advanced drama class. The top four or five are selected for production in the annual Elsie Allen Playwrights One-Act Play Festival. Mr. Burt casts and produces the plays. The students do everything else. Early in the process the writers collaborate with a student director of the play. Each student in the cast is responsible for a different design or technical element; hence the students learn how to develop the work organically, always honoring the words of the playwright. At the Lenaea High School Drama Festival at Sacramento State University Elsie Allen’s original productions have been very well received earning many awards for playwrighting, directing, acting and overall performance.

Our Remarkable Opportunity
After Leslie McCauley, the Artistic Director of the Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Department, nominated Elsie Allen an extensive application was submitted to the American High School Theatre Festival Board of Advisors. This group, made up of college theatre professionals, chose Elsie Allen to be one of a 75 American high schools out of over 2000 nominees to perform at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest theatre festival in the world, based on its outstanding playwrighting program, awards, and educational philosophy. Because the trip will occur outside of the school year Santa Rosa City Schools cannot sponsor it. Elsie Allen will send students, Mr. Burt and a chaperone to the Fringe Festival for two weeks in August of 2011 to perform a group of plays written by past and current Elsie Allen students.

Why We Deserve Your Support
No Sonoma County school has ever had representation in this festival. In Elsie Allen’s existence, no program has ever been invited to travel outside of the state. For the city and county to rally around this school that has weathered such a long history of perceptual misunderstanding would serve to lift its public image. Great things have been achieved at Elsie Allen over the years; it is time the public has the opportunity to participate in our success.

How You Can Help
We are closing in on our goal of the $60,000 it will take to send 8 students with a chaperone and Mr. Burt to perform in the 2011 American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. We'd love to raise enough to send an additional, alternate student, too! Please call 707-528-5489, email rburt@eahs.srcs.k12.ca, or write Elsie Allen High School directly at 599 Bellevue Ave. Santa Rosa 95407 for more information or simply send a check for any amount made out to EAHS Fringe Aid. Thank you.

Feb 9, 2011


I'm pleased to announce my Berkshires directing debut!

pride@prejudice, a wonderous small ensemble adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, by Daniel Elihu Kramer, for the Chester Theatre Company. July 6-17.

The play not only tells the story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, but explores our love affair with the great book, Austen and the pleasures of reading (and writing blogs!).

More info is here.

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