Radio Theatre

Merry Renn Vaughan/The College of St. Scholastica

Note: in celebration of National College Radio Day on KUMD,  we're pleased to welcome Northland Morning Assistant Producer Abrielle Vizenor as our interviewer for Radio Theatre this week.

In theater, the "house" is either the audience ("how does the house look? Pretty full?") or the place where the audience sits ("dim the house lights and cue curtain!").

It's the other part of the Halloween Freakout at The Underground: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It's the 1975 film that attained cult classic status with its outrageous characters, unknown actors who went on to become big name stars, utterly danceable music and its evolution from a film you watch to an event, complete with audience partici................................................................................................................pation.

Crimson Clear Productions

Actor/director Alec Schroeder talks the Underground's rotation of two cult classics over the next two weeks: Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Andy Miller

The story of a 600 pound man wrapping up the loose ends of his life features a powerhouse cast,  including an actor known in the Twin Ports for his physicality.

Confined in a prosthetic suit, director Julie Ahasay says Kujawa has to redirect that energy in different directions.  "It's all in his face; it's all in his voice -- it's all in how he connects with different people."

Ten Thousand Things

Even for professional actors, like those in Ten Thousand Things' production of Pericles, finding the extremes of Shakespeare's characters can be a challenge.

But they've found their mentors - and their inspiration - in their unconventional audiences.

©Wise Fool Shakespeare

Wise Fool Shakespeare opens their production of "Othello" tonight, another bright light in the constellation of events surrounding the arrival of William Shakespeare's First Folio in Duluth.  

©Brett Groehler

Tom Isbell is a bit of an overachiever.

The UMD Theatre professor/director is also a novelist  and playwright .

So when he heard about the One River, Many Stories project,  a year-long community journalism collaboration about the St. Louis River, Isbell says he realized "we tell stories with theatre, too."  And he figured it was "time to get out of our little corner of UMD and play nice with others."

Gary Norman

Classically trained pianist and performer David Saffert glitters as the titular character in a la Liberace at UWS this week.

Information about showtimes and tickets can be found here:

Courtesy Douglas County Historical Society

Faith Helen Rogers of Superior is just one of the people the Douglas County Historical Society will bring back to life this weekend during their Living History Walk ...

Not only will attendees see notables from the city's past brought back to life ... they're attending a performance that's been a year of interviews and research in the making.

Robert Young [via Flickr, modified]

Merry Renn Vaughan talks with KUMD host Chris Harwood about historical plays – not those that have made history, but rather those that represent historical events.  Whether the narrative is reworded creatively, like the popular musical Hamilton, or tied more explicitly to the actual words of the historical figures, like the 1959 play The Diary of Anne Frank, these histories remain relevant to modern times.

©Nicole Modeen/The Duluth Playhouse Childen's Theatre

Kate Horvath is a tiny little concentration of energy as it is.  But even after a summer of theatre camp, she says she's still -- and always -- kid-powered.

seriykotik1970/Flickr

Amazing how little time off is needed to bring a person back, raring to go and filled with fresh enthusiasm.

It's back to school - and the theater - time for Cathy Fank of the UWS Theater Department and she can't wait to suss out the crop of new students at auditions for the first show of the season, Dr. Faustus.

  Crystal Pelkey is the Producing Director for The Underground, and she joins us to talk about theater on the radio.  They are wrapping up this season and will soon "go dark," but in the off-season there is still a lot of work to do. Planning for future seasons is an ongoing process, usually starting more than a year in advance. The Underground, in addition to staging Duluth Playhouse productions, has to schedule outside events and shows onto its stage as well, which can be challenging.

Minnesota Ballet

  For many in Duluth, the July 21st storm significantly altered the landscape of their homes and neighborhoods.  Conversations have been primarily about trees and residential structures. Yet the damage in the Twin Ports also affected some downtown businesses, notably those in the historic Board of Trade Building on West 1st Street in Downtown Duluth. 

Richard Gardner [via Flickr, modified]

  Chris Harwood talks with Tom Isbell, UMD Professor of Theatre, about character-building.  There is a broad palette of techniques an actor can use to portray the roles they play, from the intensity of Method or Meisner to the approach suggested by Mamet, who Tom paraphrases: "Figure out what you want from the other character in the scene and just memorize your lines." 

Though many available methods are worthy tools, not all will work for every character or style of play.  Listen to see if Chris and Tom can condense what should take years of study into a six-minute master class.

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