Radio Theatre

It's almost like a soap opera plot.  Plucky little theater has grand plans to open a multi-use arts facility in the heart of downtown ... and in between meetings with Realtors and various city officials, they put on a show - a radio soap opera - once a month.  

Victoria Main of Twin Ports Stage is perfectly ok with that.  "After all," she says, "you can write your own storyline any way you like."

Ed and Eddie/Flickr

Broadway actress Patti LuPone is making headlines after she stopped her performance at Lincoln Center this week to snatch a cell phone out of the hands of an audience member who was texting.

Of course, Northland audiences would NEVER be so rude ... but if they ever were, let's just hope they're not in the audience at a Rubber Chicken show.

Andy Bennett makes a great show of talking up Renegade's New Works Festival next week as an opportunity to focus on and support writers.  Bennett paints a picture of a process that gets playwrights out of their solitary garrets and brings them together in a supportive, creative community.  But has he told them that the Festival begins with a Write Fight on Wednesday where eight writers compete in a "single elimination tournament live on stage"??

The Guthrie Theater

You won't find Sarah Lawrence at the lake this summer.

One of two artistic directors for LOON (Lyric Opera of the North), Sarah is performing in a run of "The Music Man" at the Guthrie Theater.

An opera singer?  Doing musical theater?  Sarah says it's not snobbery that makes many sopranos and tenors eschew musicals - it's the grueling schedule and a completely different way of singing.

We catch up with Christine Seitz, executive director of the Duluth Playhouse, in the midst of giving a tour of Duluth's historic NorShore Theater.  We get to come along and hear about the plans for the renovation to its "former grandeur" and a source of community pride.

Tony Tracy is the executive director of the Douglas County Historical Society, an organization unique in that they use theater to explain, teach and engage people with history.  Coming up in September is a living history walk through the Greenwood Cemetery in Superior, where actors will portray the persons interred there to give a richer sense of the history of the area.  Also in September the DCHS will present Hardball, a play about the life of H. Hanoch "Hank" Kaner, a Superior native who turned down a major league career as it conflicted with the tenets of his Jewish faith.

Merry Renn Vaughan's theater students are probably still catching up on their sleep.

London: three weeks, four theater workshops and eight shows, including "The Play That Goes Wrong" which was especially popular with Merry's group.

Kate Horvath is planning a busy summer. 

She finally found time to act in a show herself (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, opening June 4 at the Duluth Playhouse) but she'll be spending most of her time teaching.  "Acting camps" run for a week, and students from 5 to 14 have a chance to take their star turn in a play.

But for the kids Kate terms "hardcore," there are the "theater intensives": a month's worth of planning, designing, building, casting, costuming - and eventually - putting on a show.

Cathy Fank is a happy camper - but just one of many.

Her summer camps for kids from 6th through 12th grade are full up - in more ways than one. 

The campers will put on a show, but they'll also spend some classroom and practicum time. By the time camp is over, they'll have had a hand in set building, lights, sound, props, costumes, stage management, acting and more.

The irrepressible Crystal Pelkey,  producing director of The Underground,  talks about their Theater for Young Audiences series and a growing trend in the Twin Ports of paying actors.  Who woulda thunk it?!

Tom Isbell

Tom Isbell, professor of theater at UMD, has a tough life.

Last month he had to accompany two UMD theater students, Kayla Peters and Jayson Speters, to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington D.C.  Then had to help carry home their awards when Kayla and Jayson returned with six of the Festival's fourteen honors.

  You can read more about Kayla and Jason and their honors at this year's KCACTF here.

Chris Harwood talks with David Saffert of Rubber Chicken Theatre about their production of Tom Foolery, the Tom Lehrer revue playing this weekend at the Manion Theater in the Holden Fine Arts Center at UWS, and also muses about the life of a Twin Ports expat actor and musician who's been out in the world.  

Lisa Johnson

Andy Bennett of Renegade Theatre joins us for an impromptu game of "Andy Bennett: This Is Your Life!"  and a little membership drive improv.

Lisa Johnson

Sarah Lawrence of LOON (Lyric Opera of the North) drops by to talk about divas and divos (there are very few of either around here), about community support for the arts in the Northland and why she's never afraid to ask for money to support a quality product.

Tony Tracy is the executive director of the Douglas County Historical Society - an organization unique in that they use theatre to explain, teach and engage people with history.  This winter's production is an adaptation of "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens.

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