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Eastern Michigan University’s Theatre Department opened “Spring Awakening”, March 31. The thought-provoking rock musical features mature themes such as abortion, rape, and suicide, so the show had a diverse affect on audience that ranged from college students to grandparents.
EMU Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening”, opens Friday, March 31. The landmark rock musical, with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, explores the quest of teenagers in 19th Century Germany to discover more about the physical and emotional maturity they are undergoing, mostly without help and indeed with some obstruction from the adults in their lives.
EMU’s Theatre department presented its annual Student Written One-Act Festival, March. The five plays, written, directed, stage managed and acted by EMU students, explored a wide variety of topics: love, loss, mystery, racism, sexism, injustice, death, new perspectives, the power of storytelling, and more.
Ann Arbor’s Penny Seats Theatre Company’s most recent production, “Sing Happy!”, had its eighth and final performance at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Restaurant in Ann Arbor. The cabaret was conceived by director Thalia Schramm, producer Lauren M. London and musical director R. MacKenzie Lewis, who teaches musical theatre at EMU, and showcased the work of musical theatre giants John Kander and Fred Ebb, the creators of such landmark musicals as “Chicago” and “Cabaret.”
“The Vagina Monologues,” Eve Ensler’s iconic feminist play, was presented for the 16th year in a row at Eastern Michigan University Feb. 9-11. Ensler was inspired by a collection of thousands of interviews she conducted with women.
“Noises Off!”, playing at Dexter’s Encore Theatre, is farce done right. The 1982 play by British playwright Michael Frayn is the story of a rag-tag theatre troupe struggling to put on a play despite incompetence, love triangles, short tempers, plenty of door-slamming and more.
Lorraine Hansberry’s revolutionary play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” was put on by Eastern Michigan University Theatre earlier this month. The play focuses on one African American family’s struggle to overcome their circumstances in Chicago in 1959. Its themes of racial and income inequality and of seeking a better life in a new place are extremely relevant today.
Eastern Michigan University’s main stage theatre production of “A Raisin in the Sun” opens on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
Eastern Michigan University premiered its second production of the season with Jane Martin’s “Vital Signs,” in Sponberg Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 20.
Lee Stille has been working for over 20 years teaching and directing at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). His most recent score is William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, which premiered as EMU’s fall Mainstage production.
This weekend, “Vital Signs”, a play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jane Martin, comes to EMU. It is a collage of monologues about the experience of being a woman, through all the trials and triumphs, glories and griefs. The play is designed to initiate conversation about the different worlds in which women live.
Every October 26th at the Quirk Hotel, someone gets murdered. That was the premise of this year’s Dead Gallery, EMU Theatre’s annual Halloween show. This year the show was written by EMU senior Tyler Calhoun, the play presented vignettes of how different people were murdered at the hotel. Performances ran every twenty minutes for four hours.
Jason Robert Brown’s musical, “The Last Five Years,” recently ended its two-week run on EMU’s Mainstage, and was without a doubt one of EMU’s best productions.
Hollywood casting, when it comes to diversity, is taking one step forward and two steps back, but theatre is boldly progressive. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag and other protests have been circulating, but Broadway is perhaps more diverse than ever.
The Tony Awards air June 12. The nominations are dominated by one single show: Hamilton. There are thirteen categories for the nominations, and in trail-blazing fashion Lin-Manuel’s hip-hop-infused masterpiece is nominated for a record breaking 16 awards.
At big awards shows, often the famous names go home with the trophies. On Monday night at the Grammys, this was mostly true again. But there are under-the-radar artists who deserve a closer listen. Here are some of my favorite 2016 Grammy nominees/winners.
Valentine’s Day can be a strange holiday to celebrate. Even if you’ve got a significant other, there are mostly only cliché options to choose from if you’re planning a night out: go see a romantic movie, find a romantic setting for dinner, etc. Those might do the trick for a new relationship, but if you do that kind of thing too many years in a row it can get predictable and maybe even boring.
One-person plays are rare and not many have received wide circulation or much acclaim. This may be due to one thing: no matter how good a play is, it will succeed or fail depending on the actors in it, and obviously, with a one-person show, all the responsibility falls on a single actor.
Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as the grandfather of musical theatre. His career as a composer and lyricist has spanned nearly seven decades and his shows are some of the most beloved in the musical theatre repertoire: Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Follies, Sunday in the Park with Georgeand many more.
They say that comedy is harder to do than tragedy. Before last Friday night, I didn’t fully believe that, because when I’ve acted, I’ve found tragic or dramatic scenes to be more demanding. But, watching the Purple Rose Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” on opening night, I understood; comedy is harder to do because it’s harder to make it look easy.