Archive for January, 2012

Famous Collaboration

January 30, 2012

As the director of To Kill A Mockingbird, I spent my weekend pondering how to introduce different cast members to our upcoming audiences–the show opens in just two weeks!! ACK!!! So exciting!!

I discovered that some of our cast members have worked with some really amazing people!

Here’s Lyn Dudley singing a duet with Stevie Wonder!

Lyn is playing Calpurnia in our production. She has an amazing voice and will also be singing and playing the guitar during different musical sequences we decided to put into the show. (Mainly because we have such talented musicians!)

Lyn was the choir director of the famous Genesis Group in Salt Lake City. She has performed in numerous productions throughout Utah…. mainly because she’s fun to hang out with. There are probably other reasons, (like talent…and work ethic…) But that just makes it really convenient for those of us using her for her personality.

 

 

This is Taylor Lawrence singing with Elvis Presley.  With Taylor’s singing chops and Elvis’s awesome moves, they make a good partnership. It’s sad that Elvis had to die a good decade before Taylor was born… Sad…

By day Taylor is a super hip barber, by night she is a super hero bringing smiles to all who meet her. She’s really pretty. She has an amazing voice. And she is playing our very own pretty little racist–Miss Stephanie.

  I tried to find a picture of Josh Hilst with someone famous. He is playing Atticus Finch… you know… the character that Gregory Peck made famous… (No pressure Josh)

But all I could find was this picture of his wife and daughter with Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse is the the most famous person in the the world… (obviously)… And I think Josh took this picture. So that counts.

Josh’s talents include picture taking, having a beautiful family, knowing Mickey Mouse, and acting, singing, playing the banjo, and teaching English at UVU.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet–they’re only $10! This is a classic American story. You will love it! Or at least you can enjoy Holly’s Sliders! Visit www.midvaletheatre.com for tickets today. The show plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7pm from Feb 16th thru Feb 25th. That’s only 6 nights! Yikes!

Posted by: Eve Speer

 

Advertisements

Introducing Mr. Tom Drury as Bob Ewell

January 26, 2012

With To Kill a Mockingbird opening in just 3 weeks, I want to introduce our readers to some of the talented players they will see performing.

We’ll start by introducing Mr. Tom Drury.

He submitted his bio the other day for the program and he listed some boring stuff. He was in some movie about Daniel Boone, he performed on a USO Tour, he played Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, blah blah blah blah… I mean who hasn’t performed in SE Asia on a USO tour?  And Tevya? Really? He wishes he was a rich man–but he’s not! So why should we pay attention to him. Poor people aren’t interesting!

No… the best part about Mr. Tom Drury?  (Wait for it… )

 

He plays the BANJO!!

 

And the guitar… but the BANJO!! It’s like the pretty skinny cousin of the fat guitar. Guitars are fine, but because banjos are skinny, they’re clearly better.*

 

 

Come and see the show opening Thursday, Feb 16th and you’ll see Mr. Drury play both the guitar and the banjo. We realize that To Kill a Mockingbird  isn’t a musical, but when you’ve got talented musicians in a cast, it would be a tragic waste to not have them play for audiences.

Stay tuned for more cast introductions!

*As a fat girl, I can make fun of fat people or instruments all I want. If you’re skinny, it’s offensive. But because I’m pleasantly plump, I can make these kinds of jokes.

Posted by Eve Speer

The Space

January 25, 2012

Right now, the theatre is empty.

I love looking at the empty stage and imagining the shows before they come to life.

In this space, audiences and players will come together and create beautiful worlds.

In just a couple of weeks, audiences will join players in Maycomb County, Alabama.

The empty chairs, the empty stage . . .

The theatre is a magical place. Soon we’ll come together as artists and audience members and the whole space will transform into a whole new world filled with life and beauty.

Join us when we open Thursday, Feb. 16th at 7pm. You can get your tickets by visiting www.midvaletheatre.com.

Posted by Eve Speer

Acting Lessons Produce Better Communicators for Careers!

January 24, 2012

A trained voice is one that will get you a lot more places than you might have imagined. Think of the many places of value where you might fit as someone who stands out in a crowd vocally. This is not only about singing. There are many suave speakers with an innate power of their voice that have polished sets of skills.
How many of us grew up with the monotone school teacher who lectured without so much as flinching in expression? (Bueller? Ferris Bueller?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxPVyieptwA

On the other hand, I bet we all know people who are such great storytellers that we can’t wait to hear what they have got to say next. Generally, the latter group paid close attention to other people who were fun and interesting to listen to and then honed those skills.
Acting lessons are a great place to begin to gain these skills. This is a place where we begin to give distinct personality to a voice and help you to stand out in a crowd as a performer, storyteller, speaker, and teacher. Acting lessons are a fun, non-threatening way to gain insight and innovation to move you to being the “go to” person within your organization. You will learn voice modulation techniques as well as physical movement so that your messages come across more clearly.
These skills are used by celebrities, film and TV personalities, business professionals, educators, public speakers, ministers, broadcast journalists, musical theatre performers, radio personalities, stand-up comics, talk show hosts, beauty pageant contestants, musicians, vocalists, choir members, etc. All must be able to clearly communicate points of view and key information to audiences. These skills also help you in your every day life as you develop ways of being better understood with what is being said. Dedication in your work brings so many possibilities in their careers.
To become successful and effective we must develop the full potential of your vocal skills and qualities. You must become an expert communicator and storyteller. The good news is that it can be done in a fun environment. We will work on sharp observation and active listening skills. These make you stand out as the strong, caring communicator you will become.
We will also work on shifting focus. This is the difference of moving your own personal focus from what you have to say to how well the information is being received and understood on the receiving end. You will also begin to feel more connected as you go through various stages in getting established from meetings and workshops to auditions and interviews. This will help to heighten your awareness of the impact you have on others. This will also help you shift your focus from being self-conscious to audience-awareness when you perform or speak and will make you more comfortable at any meet and greet type opportunities.

Posted by Holly Evans

We have a few students interested in moving forward with an actor’s workshop. The workshop will be held weekly, 5 weeks in a row. Contact us at mmstperformingartsacademy@gmail.com or just email the theatre at midvaletheatre@gmail.com if you would like to learn more. Visit http://www.midvaletheatre.com for more information on private lessons and classes.

Sliders

January 21, 2012

I’m supposed to be leaving for the theatre to teach Trisha a voice lesson. I’m sitting on my bed listening to the rain, imagining the poor people who flew to Utah to watch movies and ski at the Sundance Film Festival as they watch the rain wash away their precious powder… chuckling a little bit to myself.  I was born and bred in Utah but sliding towards my death in cold wet snow just never really appealed to me.

I’m thinking about how I am going to talk to set builder extraordinaire Johnny about Cassidy Ross’s set design for To Kill A Mockingbird today while I’m at the theatre.

And I’m smiling inside remembering the warm beautiful feeling I felt while I was at the theatre last night waiting for Qwik Wits to begin.

I was out in the lobby. People were pouring into see the show. Taylor was at the counter. Holly and Daxx were working away in the kitchen. And Taylor said these magical words that changed everything for me:

“Do you want to try Holly’s sliders? They’re only $3 for two.”

Something inside me compelled me to say, “Yes. Please.”

Taylor: “With cheese and onions?”

Again, led by a mysterious power I cannot explain, I nodded.

Taylor: “There’s cheddar cheese, but I like nacho–”

Me: “Cheddar! I hate nacho cheese!”

Holly called from the kitchen, “Do you want ketchup, mustard, and mayo?”

The question overwhelmed me. I was trying to imagine each flavor in my mouth and I couldn’t figure out what to say. Finally she rescued me and just promised to do all three. Again, I nodded.

Five minutes later I bit into the most delicious little slider. So fresh, flavorful. So warm and savory.

I know that you come to the theatre to see the shows…. but think about it… isn’t there a little part of you that PRETENDS to come to the theatre for the show because you’re too afraid to admit that the real reason you’re there is to eat Holly’s famous sliders?

You’ve got a great excuse to enjoy the sliders tonight at the Midvale Main Street Theatre! Showtime starts at 10pm! The comedians at Qwik Wits are in top form. Audiences were rolling last night. Come and see the show and enjoy some delicious food at the same time.

Posted by: Eve Speer

Phillip the Acting Dog

January 21, 2012

I’m directing To Kill a Mockingbird at Midvale Main Street Theatre. The show goes up Feb 16th. Come and see it!

These are the talented kids playing Dill (the future Truman Capote), Scout (young Harper Lee) and Jem… (who is someone wonderful too, I’m sure.)  The kids playing Scout and Jem are brother and sister in real life. I have funny stories about these three, but I’ll save those for later.

This is a picture of some of the gentlemen in the cast. The guy playing Atticus is a rhetoric professor at UVU. Bob Ewell is played by Tom Drury, a great old actor and banjo player!

But this entry is about a dog.

One of the guys in the cast, Joe Puente, has a little dog that is 13 years old. The dog’s name is Phil. Phil is old, wise, and near deaf. Joe brings him to rehearsal every night. The dog wanders across the stage at will, which I frankly love! The play is about a little southern town and most of the scenes take place outside, so watching a dog walk across the stage at random moments just cracks me up.

There’s a scene where the kids tell Calpurnia about a mad dog coming down the street. Calpurnia goes up to the Boo Radley house and says, “Mad dog! Mad dog’s coming!”

And like clockwork, Phil comes trotting onto the stage EVERY TIME she says this line. He enters from the right entrance and everything. It cracks me up! And the kids and Calpurnia all react appropriately running from the dog and screaming “Mad dog!” and so Phil, who is generally perfectly quiet, picks up his head and barks.

It’s a riot.

And that is generally how rehearsals go.

There are serious moments, but most of the time, we’re just having a wonderful time laughing and working.

If you can make it, I’d love to have you see this show!

Posted by: Eve Speer