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CITY PULSE ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR 11TH ANNUAL THEATER AWARDS

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By City Pulse

EAST LANSING - The votes have been tabulated, and City Pulse has announced its 2014-15 Pulsar Award nominees.

This year’s installment of the awards, created to recognize the best in local theater, will be handed out at a July 13 award ceremony.

MSU Department of Theatre also had a big year, earning 23 nominations, largely on the strength of the salacious drama “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” and ‘60s rock musical “Hair.”

Read the Full Article

 

June 25, 2015

"THE AMERICAN PLAN" CLOSES SUMMER CIRCLE ON A HIGH NOTE

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By Bridgette Redman

EAST LANSING - The relationship between mother and daughter can be a treacherous one.

Indeed, any relationship soaked with love can be a treacherous one, as Richard Greenberg so compellingly shows us in “The American Plan.” Michigan State University’s Summer Circle closes out its summer season with this 1990 drama, set in 1960.

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June 18, 2015

CHEESE BALLS, SWEAT AND PRAYERS KEEP AUDIENCES LAUGHING

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By Bridgette Redman

EAST LANSING - Put the writings of David and Amy Sedaris together and you know you’re going to get something special. Or at least quirky and funny.

“The Book of Liz” is playing at Michigan State University’s Summer Circle Theater this week, a play directed by Ann Folino White and written by David Sedaris and Amy Sedaris.

Liz is the central character, a member of an exclusive religious community known as The Squeamish.

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June 14, 2015

TWIST YOUR WAY INTO SILVERSTEIN’S ADULT WORKS

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By Bridgette Redman

EAST LANSING - Those who read his children’s poetry always suspected that Shel Silverstein had a delightfully twisted mind.

His works always had dark undertones in which children were eaten by cannibals and garbage stacked up to suffocate the whole world.

Turn that mind to adult topics and it makes for a late-night comedy that is darkly amusing and filled with uproarious laughter.

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June 14, 2015

IT’S THE TAIL’S TALE AT SUMMER CIRCLE

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By Bridgette Redman

EAST LANSING - Rob Roznowski followed two great traditions with his new play for young audiences, both with long ears and a white fluffy tail.

“The Tail of Peter Rabbit” adapts the tale of Beatrix Potter while giving an equal nod to Bugs Bunny. The story is from Potter, the style is pure Looney Tunes. As family theater it makes sure it has something for both kids and parents alike.

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June 11, 2015

NUCLEAR FALLOUT, SIMPSON-STYLE

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By Bridgette Redman

EAST LANSING - "Mr Burns" mixes "The Simpsons" with classic theatre

How many years without an electronic memory would it take before ”The Simpsons” became Shakespeare?

That’s the unusual question that Anne Washburn’s “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play” asks at Michigan State University’s Summer Circle. All right, it poses many other questions as well and perhaps comparisons to Simpsons and Greek tragedy are more apt than to the Bard.

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June 11, 2015

VIDEO: "SUMMER CIRCLE...IT'S ABOUT EVERYONE COMING TOGETHER"

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By Jessica Steeley

EAST LANSING - VIDEO: New Outdoor Stage to feature Summer Circle Theatre Performances

The Summer Circle Theatre, a group who performs summer shows on campus, is celebrating their 55th year with a new location to showcase their performances this season.

“The last couple years have been right on the river, and we’ve had to make the stage every year,” recent MSU alumna and group actor Sarah Goeke said. “We [now] have this great new area, this new space … for all different art forms.”

The old location had been inaccessible to audiences, associate professor of theatre Rob Roznowski said, but a new, permanent space was able to be built because of the donations from the Friends of Theatre at MSU.

June 10, 2015

NEW SUMMER CIRCLE THEATRE STAGE A LOVELY OUTDOOR VENUE

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By Ken Glickman

EAST LANSING - 

Deborah Kinney, a landscape architect for the university, designed a lovely space with flowing lines and a circular stage. All the electrical lines are underground with four access points for lights and sound which will support wireless mics for the actors.

Although the previous theater had audiences of about 3000 during the summer (a seven-week season), the theater department has been struggling to find a better, more comfortable space.

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April 3, 2015

ITCHING FOR MORE

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By Paul Wozniak

EAST LANSING - MSU's 'Bug' is a mind-bending journey.

Did you hear that? It sounds like the smoke detector. Or maybe it's a hive of bugs hiding in your walls. MSU Department of Theatre's production of Tracy Letts' "Bug" never answers the question, but it does toy with your brain for two intense hours.

To be clear, the performances alone -- from outgoing master's students Jacqueline Wheeler and Zev Steinberg -- make this show worth seeing. Add Letts' kaleidoscopically mesmerizing script and Rob Roznowski's superb direction and you get drama that's arguably better than Big Ten basketball. Read the Full Article

February 3, 2015

ON THE RADIO - DIRECTOR, HEAD WRITER AND ACTOR ON WKAR'S CURRENT STATE

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By Scott Pohl, WKAR Current State

EAST LANSING - The Michigan State University Department of Theatre has launched an ambitious project involving students, faculty and several other departments on campus. A student-led production in being staged on campus through this weekend, and later, the same story will become a movie.

The stage production of “Theatre2Film” opened last weekend and there are six more performances starting Wednesday night.
Current State’s Scott Pohl spent some time at a rehearsal last week to get a feel for how these MSU Theatre students are using the project to get writing, acting and filmmaking credits.

 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN AT WKAR.ORG

January 14, 2015

60/50 THEATRE PROJECT IN MSUTODAY, PUTTING HISTORY ON STAGE

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By Rob Roznowski, MSUToday

EAST LANSING - In November 2013, representatives from the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives met with members of the Department of Theatre and me to discuss what contribution we might be able to make to a new campus-wide initiative. The aim of their initiative, Project 60/50, was to spark conversations surrounding two watershed moments in national civil rights history... READ FULL ARTICLE

 

January 11, 2015

PROFESSOR EMERITA OF MSU DEPT OF THEATRE, CO-FOUNDER OF SUMMER CIRCLE THEATRE, PASSES AWAY

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Lansing State Journal Obituary

EAST LANSING - Gretel earned her Master of Fine Arts from Michigan State University. She then went on to become a respected professor in the Theatre Department at MSU for 30+ years. She was a true artist, and when she wasn't working, enjoyed fiber arts, print making and silk painting... READ MORE

 

December 25, 2014

NEW MSU THEATER PROFESSOR, A BROADWAY VET, DIES AT 43

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By Will Kangas, Lansing State Journal

 

On Broadway, Greg Reuter played Billy Flynn in "Chicago," a French guard in the original cast of "Monty Python's Spamalot," a gnome and a skeleton and pied piper in the original cast of "Shrek: The Musical" and other roles besides... READ MORE

 

 

November 19, 2014

DANGEROUS INTENTIONS

Les_Liasons_Rehearsal05.jpgA review of 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'.

Dangerous Intentions by Mary Cusack - CityPulse

 

November 17, 2014

FILM AND STAGE ACTOR JULIAN SANDS AT MSU DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE

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Film and stage actor Julian Sands worked with MSU Department of Theatre students after his recent performance at Wharton Center.

The rehearsal studio in room 12 was transformed into a master class workshop once again. Students of the MSU Department of Theatre were given a rare, one-on-one opportunity to work with the seasoned professional, Julian Sands.

The Department of Theatre strives to expose their students to opportunities like this each semester through their Guest Artist Series, with recent names such as Joe Barros, Charlie Beal and Anna Deveare Smith. These opportunities become less rare and more commonplace as the department continues to bring in these industry professionals.Sands_02.jpg

Senior BFA Actor, Katie Maggart (right) works on a piece with Sands and receives coaching in front of onlooking students and faculty.

Maggart says, "It was extremely helpful for a dramatic actor (Sands) to critique a comedic monologue. I was able to get to the core of the monologue with his direction, enabling me to layer on the funny later." 

The workshop was beneficial for everyone who attended, even if just observing, as Maggart shares, "He was very kind with all of his critique, and made sure it applied to the masses rather than just me."

Sands_03.jpgAndrew Buck, Senior BFA Actor, was also able to work with Sands and said it was "unique and eye opening" (left). Theatre students are first exposed to multiple techniques, and then required to determine what works best in their own process. Buck explains, "There are endless way to get to the truth, to express the emotions and to create the connections you desire. Every artist has a different opinion...and having the ability to experience Mr. Sands' interpretation of acting was really one-of-a-kind. I am honored I was given the opportunity to work along side such an accomplished artist."

The Department of Theatre looks forward to the next Guest Artist in its series.

 

November 17, 2014

PLOWED UNDER

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Dr. Ann Folino White's New Book Plowed Under now available at Amazon.com

During the Great Depression, with thousands on bread lines, farmers were instructed by the New Deal Agricultural Adjustment Act to produce less food in order to stabilize food prices and restore the market economy. Fruit was left to rot on trees, crops were plowed under, and millions of piglets and sows were slaughtered and discarded. Many Americans saw the government action as a senseless waste of food that left the hungry to starve, initiating public protests against food and farm policy. White approaches these events as performances where competing notions of morality and citizenship were acted out, often along lines marked by class, race, and gender. The actions range from the "Milk War" that pitted National Guardsmen against dairymen, who were dumping milk, to the meat boycott staged by Polish-American women in Michigan, and from the black sharecroppers’ protest to restore agricultural jobs in Missouri to the protest theater of the Federal Theater Project. White provides a riveting account of the theatrical strategies used by consumers, farmers, agricultural laborers, and the federal government to negotiate competing rights to food and the moral contradictions of capitalist society in times of economic crisis.