July 12, 2017

Conversations with an Average Joe

The world premiere of Conversations with an Average Joe, a new play written by Senator Joseph Carraro, previously opening at the Jerry Orbach Theater in 2016, just finished previews at The Off-Broadway Davenport Theater on June 24, 2017.

Centering on corrupt politicians, income inequality, government and corporations, race relations, the environment, and the security of the country, Conversations with an Average Joe is a timely, engaging town hall-type gathering that examines the political turmoil surrounding the current election. Based on the real-life stories of average Joes and Janes the Senator has encountered throughout his 24 year career, the play examines injustice at the hands of big government and a broken political system. Senator Carraro's take no prisoners approach is grounded in his background as someone who has uniquely served in the Senate, retiring as an Independent.

"These injustices ring true to most Americans and the play has caught the attention of the theater community because it resonates, especially during one of the most bizarre presidential elections ever," said Carraro. "My role as an insider from both sides of the aisle has allowed me to tell these stories from the many different perspectives and concerns of those 'real Americans' we hear so much about who lack a voice, and to offer solutions to the many problems facing our country."

Carraro served as New Mexico State Senator from 1985 - 2009. He was Executive Member of the National Energy Council and a ranking member who visited every state as chairman and member of national committees with expertise in the issues of finance, education, energy, environment, trade and international relations, and was nominated as Ambassador to Venezuela. With Jack Kemp, he championed development of inner cities and tax reform.

Carraro is a registered Independent with an MBA and a PhD, a stockbroker and financial analyst who has owned restaurants, an author, lecturer, and playwright, and a professor of Human Behavior and Professional Ethics who championed the causes of the developmentally disabled. He was Chair of a multi-billion dollar Investment Oversight Committee and he founded Project Share, a private homeless feeding program. He is a former acquaintance of Ronald Reagan who encouraged him to run for elected office and an appointee of the Clinton administration on the Commission for Disabled Americans.


Opening soon OFF-BROADWAY for upcoming dates check out https://www.conversationswithjoe.com/

January 26, 2017

Madame du Châtelet in Moontown

I have been fighting for ten years and, at last, I am winning. Madame du Châtelet died in the castle of Lunéville (France). But her tomb was ignored, her reputation forgotten in this very town. When she was spoken of, it was to praise Voltaire and point at her "mauvaise moeurs". So, in 2007, I began to deliver speeches about Emilie du Châtelet, to write pedagogical songs ("Tout va très bien, Madame la Marquise du Châtelet", youtube), organise dinner parties, creative writing workshops. And, YES, OUI, the miracle is now here: her tomb, on January 5th, 2017, stopped being anonymous. The problem is that the three men in charge of the mission had secret political meetings to make the decision to write on her tomb that she was "something" (sic) BECAUSE VOLTAIRE ENCOURAGED HER! :( Poor little French thing, indeed! Please visit www.emilieduchatelet.net, the website I have created with the help of Tim McCracken and Yvonnick Jourdain-Leger!

Annie Jourdain, Présidente du Cercle de Madame du Châtelet

September 29, 2016



He is slightly unrefined and speaks his mind. And his mind is as insubordinate as his beard. At the 11th International Festival of Puppet Theaters and Movie Animation for Adults PUPPET IS A HUMAN TOO we will meet Karagöz, one of the main figures of traditional Turkish shadow theatre. It is just a taste of the festival that has been consistent in its conviction that puppets should be treated seriously.

Karagöz performed by Cengiz Özek - for it is also the name of traditional Turkish puppet theatre, in 2009 included in the Unesco World Heritage list - will open the festival dedicated to puppet theatre and its various forms of expression the foundation of which is a need to talk about the diversity of forms and contents through the theatre of animated form. For eight days the audience will be offered several dozens of theatre performances and animated films, visit the exhibition celebrating 500 years of traditional shadow theatre and experience Grzegorz Rogala's interactive installation. PUPPET IS A HUMAN TOO is a competition with international jury and a number of prizes, including the one for the best performance

PUPPET IS A HUMAN TOO, the biggest puppet theatre event in Poland, welcomes many artists from home and abroad. One of them are Feikes Huis from Holland. Their „Rothko Chapel" is a performance in the colours that are characteristic for Mark Rothko's abstract paintings. It is performed on a stage with three window frames that look like animated screens and relate to the title chapel. The question is asked: how to continue creating in the world after the experience of war atrocities. Bulgarian company Puppet's Lab reaches for Greek mythology. „I Sisyphus" formulates a question about the recurrence of human fate with puppets that can grow on an actor's shoulder or knee, looking both beautiful and awful. Spanish company Zero en Conducta and their „Allegro ma non Troppo" will show how powerful gestures can be, drawn by a pair of white gloves illuminated by a spot light against the black background.

The festival will be visited by a Polish celebrity, Kazio Sponge, age 6, a talkative guy with indispensable glasses. This character was created as a joke and almost immediately won the hearts of the audience by being straightforward, showing the world as it is according to him. His mother and creator, Anna Makowska-Kowalczyk proves that a sponge puppet with a funny name with a proper distance maintained can become our mirror, sometimes a distorted one.

PUPPET IS A HUMAN TOO is not only theatre. Animated film plays an important part in it. For the 2nd time we organize animated film competition for young animators. Apart from competition films we will watch Hungarian animation, films awarded at Animator 2016 Festival and a retrospective of Hubert Sielecki. This Austrian artist is renowned for his experimental films, and his Polish connections include his studies at Lodz Film School.

PUPPET IS A HUMAN TOO is a humanist play with a noble moral. For the 11th time we will be able to see what its organizers prepared for us, their motto being a quest for wide spectrum of variety. And we will laugh together with a sponge kid.

The 11th International Festival of Puppet Theatre and Film Animation for Adults PUPPET IS A HUMAN TOO - 8-16th October 2016, Warsaw

More information at www.lalkatezczlowiek.eu and www.facebook.com/lalkatezczlowiek/

September 12, 2016

Love, Chekhov, and the Magic Trunk

Like the rabbit in the hat, love, Chekhov and all the human passions and weaknesses are mingled all in a trunk and turned into magic. Where there is magic there is theater, and where there is theater there is light. This light shines upon us all, transforming the poor man into a rich man, the coward into a lion, and even transforms the woman with grace into a man with a thick head. The absence of this light is its brother darkness. Darkness suspends ones disbelief and transport them to the golden age of human beings: childhood.

Image_002.pngF2T's Company, www.f2tscompany.com, provides the vessel (and the magic trunk) for a trip back to this age of innocence. Regardless of gender, race, political views or sexual orientation the bottom line is: when we are love struck we all look the same. When in love, like schoolkids, we become ready to take the leap that turns us into the heroes that we long to be.

Love, Chekhov and the Magic Trunk above all is a play about marriage proposals where a challenge for a duel turns into a romantic relationship or turns into a heart failure of the groom. Combining farce and slapstick comedy Love Chekhov and the Magic Trunk comments on the eternal struggle between men and women as seen by the eyes of Chekhov in the midst of the 20th century. Anton Chekhov wrote these brilliant one act plays about love and the battle of the sexes way before our era; the era of tinder, Facebook and Christian mingle. This adaptation is directed by Fotis Batzas and brought into stage by Mantalena Papadatou, assisted by Rachel Zapata. Matthew Cole stage manages the lovely cast, made up of Katherine Braun, Samantha Clark, Evan Ulven, Rachel Zapata, Dylan Arredondo, Patrick Madden, Ioannis Bakogeorgos, Gianmarco Colucci, and Ingrid Raison. It will be performed at the Producer's Club for three shows, Friday 9/30, Saturday 10/1 at 8pm and Sunday 10/2 at 7 pm.

Contact: Mantalena Papadatou 201-899-6053

August 2, 2016

The DC Public Library Foundation Celebrates Banned Books Week

This fall, the Washington DC Public Library will explore what diversity in literature means throughout Banned Books Week, the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read, express and create. With over half of all banned books authored by or containing events and issues concerning diverse communities, the DC Public Library will highlight why these books have been disproportionately singled out throughout history.

As part of Banned Books Week, UNCENSORED will feature "...And Now the World Knows," a provocative display by local artist Adrienne Gaither that uses a collection of banned books to reflect upon the current state of global affairs. Pulling excerpts and quotes from notable banned books, Gaither has created a visual interpretation that surveys how much has changed throughout history and critiques the current status quo. The piece will be on display the entire month of September and visible from the corner of 9th and G Streets NW on the second through fourth floor of the MLK Jr. Library. The week will culminate with UNCENSORED: The Cocktail Party - an annual fundraising event hosted by the DC Public Library Foundation on Friday, September 30 in the Great Hall of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The evening will spotlight this year's theme of "Diversity" with participants and partners from across the District's many multicultural communities, and showcase many diverse books that had once been banned. The evening will feature signature cocktails representing local bartenders' favorite banned books, live music from local bands, a pop-up market featuring exclusive items curated by style guru and event chair Jenn Barger and many other fun activities. Other event chairs include Holly Bass, DC Brau, Derek Brown, Anna Fuhrman, Mess Hall, Svetlana Legetic, and Morgan Hungerford West. UNCENSORED: The Cocktail Party will also feature local bartenders, bands and artisans to be announced at a later date.

The DC Public Library's celebration of Banned Books Week featuring displays challenging censorship and celebrating the freedom to read. Programs for adults, teens and children will be planned throughout the week.

More info:
202.695.8226 - 630.776.3675.

March 12, 2016

Danish theatre showcase experiences great international interest


Arts promoters from 16 different countries have already signed up for the showcase :DANISH+, presenting some of the best Danish performing arts for young audiences. There are now only a few available tickets left for the event, which takes place in Aarhus, Denmark.

Performance art promoters and festival organizers from no less than 16 different countries have already registered for the showcase :DANISH+, presenting some of the finest contemporary Danish performing arts for children and young people. The showcase takes place in the city of Aarhus from 1st-4th of May 2016, but already now, the number of available tickets is low. Amongst others, the festival can look forward to welcoming participants from a range of countries spanning from the U.S. to China. Last chance for international arts promoters to purchase tickets for :DANISH+ 2016 is 1st of April, but chances are that the showcase will be sold out previous to that.
This year, :DANISH+ takes place for the fifth time. The main purposes of the gradually well-established showcase are to strengthen the position of Danish children's theatre as highly valued internationally, and to support new transnational collaborations and exchanges.

+ An international success
The showcase occurs every second year, and since the event first took place in 2008, :DANISH+ has kept on attracting attendees from new, and an impressively broad number of nations. In 2014, professionals from no less than 17 different countries participated at the festival - including Russia, China, the U.S. and Australia. The success of this event is on one side due to how the international participants see :DANISH+ as a well-functioning base for creating and sustaining fruitful network connections. On the other side it is due to the remarkable international success of Danish stage art for young audiences. Research by the Danish department of the international children theatre organization ASSITEJ shows that member theatres presented in total 643 performances on foreign tours in the 2014/15 season. This international popularity of Danish children's theatre derives from a strong tradition of high quality and a valued ability to take the young audiences seriously and creating stage art containing many levels, and therefore being just as appealing for adults as for children. In addition, the performances are often produced in small units in Denmark, which increases the mobility.

+ Four performances open to public audiences

Four of the performances presented at the showcase will be open to a limited number of public audiences, and in that way the festival also aims to be of value to citizens and tourists in Aarhus. These are Romeo and Juliet by MishMash International Theatre Company, Psycho - Street Cut by Dansk Rakkerpak, Romeo&Juliet! by Asterions Hus and Smash by Teater Patrasket.

Performances at :DANISH+ 2016
+ 'The Way Back Home' by Branar Téatar and Teater Refleksion
+ 'Romeo&Juliet!' by Asterions Hus
+ 'Psycho - Street Cut' by Dansk Rakkerpak
+ 'In The beginning was the Beginning' by De Røde Heste
+ 'M.I.S. - All Night Long' by DON GNU
+ 'The Evil' by Folketeatret
+ 'Romeo & Juliet' by MishMash International Theatre Company
+ 'The Race' by Teater O, Nørregaards Teater and Black Box Theatre
+ 'Fascinated with Apples' by Teater Nordkraft
+ 'Smash' by Teater Patrasket
+ 'Paradise' by Teater Refleksion and De Røde Heste
+ 'HOV!' by TeaterBLIK
+ 'Goebbels' Lesson' by SceneWorks
+ 'My Digital Reality' by Det Kommende Teater
+ 'The Darkness Rests under the Bed' by teater2tusind and Teatret Gruppe 38
+ 'Androcles and the Lion' by Carte Blanche and Teatret Gruppe 38

+ 1-4 May 2016
+ Organized by Teatret Gruppe 38 and the :DANISH+ Secretariat
+ Takes place in the City of Aarhus, Denmark:
The Culture Production Centre, Godsbanen and a number of stages in the inner city
+ Registration fee: 450 € per person for two persons within the same organization. Further participants from the
same organization will be charged 650 € per person.
+ Registration is open until April 1st.
+ The fee will cover entrance to all performances, three nights of accommodation, and meals of high quality during the entire showcase.

For further information contact
PR Manager
at :DANISH+ Phone: +45 86 13 53 11
E-mail: pr@danishplus.dk

October 28, 2015

The Importance of "Earnest"

In celebration of  its 120th anniversary in America, Oscar Wilde's classic play, "The Importance  of Being  Earnest" will be screening in select theatres across the country for one night only on Tuesday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. The special event will feature award-winning actor David Suchet ("Oppenheimer") in a live stage broadcast from the iconic Vaudeville Theatre in London.

For more information, please visit: http://www.fathomevents.com/event/the-importance-of-being-earnest

Tickets can be purchased through Fathom Events: www.FathomEvents.com

Alison Farias | Bender/Helper Impact

September 30, 2015

Princess K.I.M., The Musical


Following successful runs on both the East and West coasts, the award-winning Princess K.I.M. The Musical is now available for licensing through Stage Rights. Created by veteran children's author & illustrator Maryann Cocca-Leffler, Princess K.I.M. The Musical is based on her critically acclaimed children's books Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew and Princess Kim and Too Much Truth (both published by Albert Whitman & Co.). The show was adapted for the stage by Maryann Cocca-Leffler & Toby Tarnow with lyrics by Andrew Cass and music by Andrew Cass and Premik Russell Tubbs. Stage Rights is offering performance rights for three versions of Princess K.I.M. The Musical: Full-Length (Two Acts; 110 minutes), Junior (One Act; 75 minutes), and Theatre for Young Audiences (One Act; 50 minutes).

The musical follows the heartwarming story of Kim Worthington, who moves with her father to a new town following the loss of her mother. Kim desperately wants her new classmates to like her, so she tells a teeny tiny lie...she says that her name is really "K.I.M."--"Katherine Isabella Marguerite"--and that she is a princess. At first Kim relishes in the royal attention, but when her lie grows and grows, her life gets very complicated, especially when her theatrical grandmother comes to visit and is mistaken for the Queen. When the truth is revealed, the kids reject Kim for her deceit. Kim then thinks that telling only the truth will reverse her mistake, but her comically brutal truths only alienate everyone further. With the help of her exuberant grandmother, her wise father, and some wisdom found in her mother's journal, Kim finds the courage to drop her royal ruse and simply be her charming self.

Out of 180 submitted children's plays, Princess K.I.M. The Musical was awarded first place at the 2012 Ronald Ruble National New Play Festival. Brian Marshall, Artistic Director of the Caryl Crane Youth Theatre where the festival was held said Princess K.I.M. The Musical is "so much fun you don't even know you are being taught some great life lessons." Likewise, David Shacklock who produced the musical at TCT Community Players remarked, "Princess K.I.M. is destined to be a favorite for audiences of all ages."

Maryann Cocca-Leffler is no stranger to children's literature, having written and illustrated over 50 books including Bravery Soup and Janine. She was inspired to turn Princess K.I.M. into a musical while illustrating the books, she explained, "As I sat at my drawing board, painting these characters and the world in which they lived, I started to imagine that each illustration was a stage-set and each character, an actor. I tacked up one sentence on my vision board: Make Princess K.I.M. into a play. Years later, I did." Cocca-Leffler decided to take the leap in 2011. She gathered a team of theatre professionals and musicians who all set to work on bringing Princess K.I.M. The Musical to life. "We met on a regular basis, sitting around my piano, with script in hand. Knowing that the songs were an essential part of moving the play along, we talked at length about what each song would express. My composer/lyricist took the true essence of the story and created amazing lyrics, with many themes taken directly from the books."

Complete performance and licensing information for all three versions of Princess K.I.M. The Musical can be found on the Stage Rights website www.stagerights.com or by calling 323-739-0413.

About Stage Rights
: Based in Los Angeles and founded in 2000, Steele Spring Stage Rights is one of the foremost independent theatrical publishers in the United States, providing stage performance rights for a wide range of plays and musicals to theater companies across the country and internationally. Their guiding principle as a licensing agent is to combine high-quality rehearsal materials with top-notch customer service in an ongoing effort to provide each producer the tools they need for financial and artistic success. Stage Rights maintains a dedication to the future of live theatre through their special programs that champion new theatrical works.

May 15, 2015

Nantucket's White Heron Theatre Announces 2015 Summer Season

The White Heron Theatre Company of Nantucket announces their 2015 summer season of professional repertory theatre performances including the Tony award winning play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike directed on Nantucket by Tony award winner Martin Platt; Pulitzer prize- winning play The Gin Game; a new play by an established playwright in the Long Wharf Theatre New Plays Collaborative and impromptu pop-up theatre around the island. While their new theatre is being built, with a grand opening set for 2016, this year's summer season will be held at the Dreamland Theatre on Water Street in Nantucket. "We are so pleased to be able to work in the Dreamland's theatres both in the black box theatre and on their main stage. We have had a long history of work on the Dreamland stage and we are happy to be back with a summer season of award-winning plays," said Michael Kopko, Executive Director of White Heron. The new season will kick off July 1-2 with its annual collaboration with the Long Wharf Theatre Company featuring a reading of a new play by an established playwright. "This is the third year of our collaboration with the Long Wharf Theatre. Last year's play, The Second Mrs. Wilson will open on the Long Wharf Theatre main stage this week and is intended for Broadway," said Lynne Bolton, Artistic Director of White Heron and President of the Nantucket Theatre Institute. "Our mission is to work new plays by established playwrights. This collaboration has allowed White Heron to be a part of creating new work for the American Theatre. These plays will take the White Heron name with them from Nantucket to the national stage. This is very exciting work for us. " Additional productions this season will include 1978 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Gin Game by DL Coburn, with performances throughout the month of July. The Gin Game began in New York in October 1977 with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, directed by Mike Nichols. Top performer Jessica Tandy won a Tony Award for her brilliant performance. Using a card game as a metaphor for life, the play is both funny and moving in its intimate look at the game of life. "A thoroughly entertaining lesson in the theatrical art of finesse." The New York Times. The witty comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, being performed at the end of August through the beginning of September, won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play, as well as New York Drama Critics' and Drama Desk awards. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will be directed this season by Martin Platt, Tony Award winner for producing the play-- a masterful and utterly hilarious comedy about grown siblings and the complications of managing their recently deceased parents and their family estate in Bucks County, PA. A mash-up of Chekov's Comedies, the result is an absolutely hilarious look at grown-up sibling relationships. "Deliriously funny." The New York Times. For full details about the 2015 season, please visit www.whiteherontheatre.org. All tickets and packages will be on sale May 11, 2015 and available for purchase through their website or box office at 508-825-5268. To get the latest news about the new theatre, and when the pop-up performances will occur, please follow the White Heron Theatre on social media and their newsletter.

About The White Heron Theatre
The White Heron Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre company that will be permanently housed at 5 N. Water Street, behind the Whaling Museum, in 2016. First formed in New York in 2005 and moved to Nantucket in 2011, the White Heron Theatre Company produces transformative, professional productions of classical and contemporary plays and creates innovative educational experiences through its educational arm, the Nantucket Theatre Institute.

Ira Kantor
Regan Communications
ikantor@regancomm.com o: 617-488-2806 c: 617-869-0426

April 2, 2015

The 20th Anniversary Oklahoma City Bombing Project

An emerging form of theatre art will reveal untold stories from the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack. Oklahoma City University will present "The 20th Anniversary Oklahoma City Bombing Project" free to the public April 16 to 19 in OCU's Burg Theatre, located in the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center at N.W. 24th St. and Blackwelder Ave.

OCU theatre students will perform an original play based on interviews with more than 45 family members of victims, survivors, local officials and first responders. OCU commissioned award-winning playwright Steve Gilroy, author of several works including "Motherland," which toured the UK in 2009. The powerful drama shared the stories of women whose everyday lives were touched by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gilroy, who lives in England and is director of performing arts at Northumbria University, specializes in the genre of verbatim theatre, a documentary for the stage usually based on personal interviews and transcripts. The personal interviews that form the foundation of the play were conducted by OCU students, faculty, Gilroy and OCU Associate Dean of Theatre Brian Parsons. "We have a unique opportunity and responsibility to respond through art," Parsons said. "This work is a living memorial and a celebration of the tenacity, recovery and healing process of Oklahoma City." A portion of proceeds from the play's publication following the event will be donated to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Gilroy said in the verbatim process, usually interviewers have to work quite hard to coax stories from people. "For this project, there is this incredible honesty that comes from people. I haven't seen that before in any other project I've done," Gilroy said. "I think that is something about the people of Oklahoma City. As soon as you start, people will talk about their experience of the bombing and that's one thing; but once they start to go beyond that, there are all sorts of different stories that say a lot about peoples' ability to recover. They find themselves 20 years later where they are no longer defined by what's happened and they are able to open new chapters in their lives." Courtney DiBello, instructor of stage management and faculty adviser at OCU, will direct the production. She said one unique aspect of the play is that the student actors and crew were either not born yet or were babies at the time of the bombing. "For these students who are participating in the production, and to a large extent the students who will be seeing the production, this is an education as well as a theatrical experience," she said. Parsons has a vision for the play beyond the April 2015 production. He wants every high school in Oklahoma to have access to the play by creating an education package that includes scripts, a documentary produced by OCU about the making of the play, a teacher's packet, and all the materials students will need to research, rehearse and create their own productions. "The overwhelming message that comes from everybody interviewed for this project is the regeneration of the city as the background," Gilroy said. "But I think in the end, it is going to be about these very powerful individual stories that when woven together are going to create quite a much bigger human story about recovery." Performances will be held at 8 p.m. April 16 to 18 and 2 p.m. April 19. Admission is free. Tickets are limited to four per reservation and can be reserved by calling 405-208-5227 or visit okcu.edu/ticketoffice. For photos, video clips and more, visit the media site at: http://www.okcu.edu/okcbombingpro ject/


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