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martes, 29 de septiembre de 2009

8vo SHOWCASE!!!!

Este miércoles 7 de Octubre a las 7 pm tendremos nuestro 8vo SHOWCASE!!!

Si eres Director de Casting de Cine, Teatro o Televisión te esperamos. El Evento es de carácter privado y especialmente dirigido a ti.

Lo realizaremos como siempre en el Banco del Libro en la Avenida Luis Roche de Altamira Sur.
Puedes confirmar tu asistencia al gimnasiodeactores@gmail.com

Tendrán la ocasión de disfrutar de 11 escenas cortas y monólogos preparados por los actores.

Se les hará entrega de una carpeta con las fotos y resumes de los actores. El Showcase tiene una duración aproximada de 60 minutos.


Las piezas participantes son:




1.-"Orfeo Desciende" de Tennessee Williams / Pilar Seijo y Teo Gutiérrez.
2.- "The Woolgatherer" de William Mastrosimone / Ana Karina Terrero y Gabriela Mata.
3.- "La Rosa Tatuada" de Tennessee Williams /Maria Alesia Machado y Freddy salas.
4.- "Evocando un Cielo Gris" de Miriam Pinedo / Miriam Pinedo y Reinaldo Hernández
5.- "A Quien Pueda Interesar..." de Daniela Valdivieso / Daniela Valdivieso y Freddy Salas.
6.-"Los Dos Hidalgos de Verona" de William Shakespeare / Gabriela Mata y Pilar Seijo.
7.- "Los Árboles Mueren de Pie" de Alejandro Casona / María Fernanda Parra y Christopher Alcalá.
8 .-"Casa de Muñecas" de Henrik Ibsen / María Virginia Saldivia y Peter Guevara.
9. - "La Fierecilla Domada" de William Shakespeare / Andrea Aguilera y Miriam Pinedo

A todos muchisimas gracias por su apoyo!

viernes, 18 de septiembre de 2009

"La Divina Comedia" Dante Alighieri - Grupo Theja


EL GRUPO THEJA IMPACTA CON “LA DIVINA COMEDIA”El GRUPO THEJA, reconocido como Patrimonio Cultural de Caracas estrenó su nuevo espectáculo “LA DIVINA COMEDIA”, del poeta italiano DANTE ALIGHIERI en versión y dirección general de JOSÉ SIMÓN ESCALONA. En su segunda semana de éxito, el Grupo Theja lleva a escena una de las obras maestras de la literatura universal, “La Divina Comedia”, un espectáculo en versión y dirección de José Simón Escalona, quien realizó un extenso trabajo de investigación del poema original escrito por Dante Alighieri. EL GRUPO THEJA es una Institución Cultural y de orientación Social, sin fines de lucro, dedicada desde su fundación, hace ya treinta y siete años, al desarrollo y la promoción de las artes, especialmente, el Teatro y la Danza. Se destaca desde su trayectoria en la formación y proyección de generaciones de artistas que hoy día, muchos de ellos, están a la vanguardia del quehacer cultural nacional e internacional. Esta pieza que hoy presentamos, forma parte esencial de la celebración de nuestro XXXVII ANIVERSARIO, así como del compromiso con las artes escénicas, el país y nuestro querido público. LA DIVINA COMEDIA Obra maestra de Dante Aliguieri, es el más importante poema de literatura italiana de la Edad Media. Poesía didáctica y mística al mismo tiempo que no solo retrata la realidad histórica y moral de la Florencia de aquel tiempo, sino que se convierte en un canto universal que condena la injusticia, la tiranía y los antivalores sociales.El extenso poema está dividido en tres cantigas: El Infierno, El Purgatorio y El Paraíso. Formadas por treinta y tres Cantos cada una, más el Canto Primero introductorio de El Infierno, una especie de prólogo a la enorme obra ética y moral.
El GRUPO THEJA presenta la primera parte de un ambicioso proyecto teatral. En esta oportunidad, en una versión en versos de José Simón Escalona, escrita en tercetos, endecasílabos, siguiendo la grandiosa obra original. EL INFIERNO es el reino de las tinieblas, del dolor, del odio, el antro de la condena eterna a todos los vicios y desviaciones del alma humana. El joven poeta Dante, en medio de su desesperación y de la mano del poeta clásico Virgilio, cruza los espacios del infierno y sus pecadores castigados, guiado por la inspiración de la hermosa Beatriz, su amada terrenal, que ahora está en el cielo y que, llevada por el amor, pretende salvar el alma del joven poeta. La versión de Escalona está dividida en nueve cuadros que resumen los treinta y cuatro cantos de El Infierno, como una primera entrega de la trilogía que se pretende abarcar con el ambicioso proyecto teatral. 1.- La Noche Oscura 2.- Revelación de Beatriz 3.- La Puerta del Infierno 4.- El Limbo 5.- El Círculo de Los Violentos 6.- El Pozo de Los Tiranos 7.- El Círculo de Los Fraudulentos 8.- El Círculo de Los Traidores 9.- Bajo Las Estrellas.
El reparto de la pieza está integrado por los destacados actores: Alonso Santana, Eben Renán, Maigualida Escalona, Oscar Escobar, Raquel Yánez, Rafael Ortiz, Juan Ernesto Pabón, Dante Gil, kellyns Herrera, Hilci Labrador, Jorge Ely Velazco y Marco Caridad.La música es de María Petit, el vestuario de José Simón Escalona, Raquel Ríos y Oscar Escobar, la producción ejecutiva es de Angélica Escalona, la versión, producción y dirección general es de José Simón Escalona.
Un espectáculo de poesía, música, movimiento y teatro, que viene a formar parte de los grandes montajes de El Grupo Theja, luego de sus más recientes montajes: “Prometeo Encadenado” de Esquilo y “La Celestina” de Fernando de Rojas. Una manera de abordar los clásicos de la antigüedad desde la experiencia e investigación vanguardista de la agrupación que ya cumple treinta y siete años y que ha sido reconocida como Patrimonio Cultural de Caracas.Esta obra representa la despedida de la agrupación de los espacios del Teatro Alberto de Paz y Mateos que albergó al Grupo Theja como sede principal, durante más de veinte años, donde cosecharon éxitos importantes en la historia del teatro venezolano.
Las funciones se realizarán los días viernes, sábados a las 8:00pm y domingos a las 6:00pm en el Teatro Alberto de Paz y Mateos, avenida Andrés Bello, prolongación Los Manolos, La Colina. La entrada a manera de colaboración es de 30Bs.
grupotheja2000@hotmail.com /www.grupotheja.com
Hasta el 27 de Septiembre. El Gimnasio de Actores recomienda! No se la pierdan!

jueves, 10 de septiembre de 2009

Libertador Morales de Efterpi Charalambidis


Julio 31st, 2009
Libertador Morales, El Justiciero: a partir de hoy en las salas de cine de Venezuela
por Carlos Caridad-Montero


Libertador Morales, justiciero
Una nueva película venezolana, la primera del año, llega hoy viernes 31 de julio a las salas de cine nacionales.
Se trata de Libertador Morales, El Justiciero, ópera prima de Efterpi Charalambidis, producida por La Villa del Cine. Escrita por la misma Charalambidis, el reparto de Libertador Morales está integrado por de Rafael Gil, Alba Vallvé, Yugui López, Dilia Waikkarán, José Manuel Suárez, Alberto “Paisa” González, Jean Polanco, Adolfo Nittoli, Armando Lozada, Marco Antonio Suniaga, Osman Miranda, Marco Antonio Alcalá y Yúlika Krausz, entre otros.
Según su dossier de prensa:
(…) es una producción realizada en los urbanos escenarios caraqueños y las avenidas más emblemáticas de la capital como: la Avenida Lecuna, la Avenida Baralt y la Avenida Bolívar. Un relato que narra las aventuras de un mototaxista diferente, apegado a las buenas costumbres y normas ciudadanas; un largometraje que sin duda refleja un potencial creativo entrelazado con pinceladas de acción, humor, amor y cadencia caribeña que lo convierten en una de las películas más originales creadas en Venezuela.
(…) Libertador Morales, es un excéntrico personaje que de día es un correcto mototaxista, y de noche se convierte en un héroe, para frustrar los robos de una banda de ladrones de una parroquia de Caracas; así en medio de las adversidades y su álter ego, Libertador se encontrará en el camino que lo conducirá al verdadero amor. Un relato cargado de verosimilitud y sensibilidad, que retrata a un hombre con fortalezas y debilidades que se enfrenta a obstáculos que se alejan de lo fantástico, transformándolo en un elemento poseedor de profundos valores de justicia y equidad.
Para Charalambidis, esta es una película de típicos personajes caraqueños:
Como virtud principal que yo debería destacar, porque pienso que es una historia de algo muy nuestro muy cotidiano; aunque no intenta ser realista ni siquiera hiper- realista está muy inspirada en nuestra gente, nuestro día a día, sobre todo del centro de Caracas.
Se recrea dentro de una comunidad que es muy típica de nosotros aquí en Caracas, dentro de esa urbanidad descontrolada que tenemos, desarrollada en una parroquia del centro muy representativa; tiene la virtud de reflejar de tener personajes como los mototaxistas que son tan comunes en nuestro día a día. Son íconos de nuestra ciudad, tenemos distintas nacionalidades que si el portugués, el gallego, todos mezclados, como siempre ha sido el crisol que tiene Venezuela y que se hace más obvio dentro de la ciudad capital.
Por otro lado, la promesa de tener un héroe que de alguna manera nosotros hemos deseado tener, un héroe que viene de ese mismo cotidiano. No es un héroe fantástico es bastante terrenal, bastante romántico; tiene una gran dosis de romanticismo de idealismo y que aún cuando esa es su fortaleza, eso le ha valido muchos tras pies e inconvenientes.
Yo tengo un héroe que trata de ser lo más correcto posible dentro de un mundo donde hay mucha anarquía. Un mototaxista que no se pase la luz roja es algo muy inusual, ya de por sí eso tan estricto y tan correcto de cómo deben ser las cosas ya es inusual de alguna manera. Aquí tiene un personaje que lo hace y que se enfrenta a todas estas dificultades, creo que esa es una de las virtudes.
La banda sonora musical está firmada por Aquiles Báez. La dirección de fotografía corre a cargo de Rigoberto Senarega, la dirección de arte es de Matías Tikas y el vestuario, de Maritza Zambrano. La producción ejecutiva es de Lorena Almarza y Marcos Mundaraín.
Gimnasio de Actores recomienda!

martes, 1 de septiembre de 2009

Alan Arkin - A Life




Alan Arkin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alan Arkin
Born Alan Wolf Arkin
March 26, 1934 (1934-03-26) (age 75)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, Director, Musician
Years active 1957 – present
Spouse(s) Jeremy Yaffe (1955-1960)
Barbara Dana (m. 1964)
Suzanne Newlander (1996-present)
Alan Wolf Arkin (born March 26, 1934) is an American actor, director, and musician. He is best-known for starring in such films as: Catch-22; The In-Laws; Edward Scissorhands; The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming; Glengarry Glen Ross; and Little Miss Sunshine, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2007. He is the father of actors, Adam Arkin, Anthony Arkin and Matthew Arkin.

Arkin was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Beatrice Wortis, a teacher, and David I. Arkin, a painter and writer who mostly worked as a teacher.Arkin was raised in a Jewish family with "no emphasis on religion;" his maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Odessa, Ukraine. The family moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, California when Arkin was 11 years old,but an eight-month Hollywood strike cost Arkin's father a set designer job he had wanted to take. Arkin's parents were accused during the 1950s Red Scare of being Communists, which led to Arkin's father losing his job after refusing to answer questions regarding his political affiliation. David Arkin challenged the dismissal and ultimately prevailed, but only after his death.
Arkin has been married three times. He and Jeremy Yaffe, to whom he was married from 1955 to 1960, have two sons: Adam Arkin, born Aug. 19, 1957, and Matthew Arkin, born in 1960. In 1967, Arkin had son Anthony (Tony) Dana Arkin with actress-screenwriter Barbara Dana (born 1940), to whom he was married from June 16, 1964 to the mid-1990s. In 1996, Arkin married a psychotherapist, Suzanne Newlander. As of 2007, they live in New Mexico.


Arkin, who had been taking acting lessons since age 10, became a scholarship student at various drama academies, including one run by Stanislavsky student Benjamin Zemach, who taught Arkin a psychological approach to acting. Arkin attended Franklin High School, in Los Angeles, followed by Los Angeles City College from 1951 to 1953. He also attended Bennington College. With two friends, he formed the folk music group The Tarriers, in which Arkin sang and played guitar. The band-members co-composed the group's 1956 hit "The Banana Boat Song", a reworking, with some new lyrics, of a traditional, same-name Jamaican calypso folk song combined with another titled "Hill and Gully Rider".It reached #4 on the Billboard magazine chart the same year as Harry Belafonte's better-known hit version.

From 1958 to 1968, Arkin performed and recorded with the children's folk group, The Baby Sitters.He also performed the role of Dr. Pangloss in a concert staging of Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide, alongside Madeline Kahn's Cunegonde. Arkin was an early member of The Second City comedy troupe in the 1960s. Arkin and his second wife, Barbara Dana, appeared together on the 1970-71 season of Sesame Street as a comical couple named Larry and Phyllis who resolve their conflicts when they remember how to pronounce the word "cooperate." In 1985, he sang two selections by Jones & Schmidt on Ben Bagley's album Contemporary Broadway Revisited.

Arkin is one of only eight actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance (for The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming in 1966). Two years later, he was again nominated, for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

Arkin is equally comfortable in comedy and dramatic roles. Among those for which he has garnered the most favorable critical attention are his Oscar-nominated turns above; Wait Until Dark, as the erudite killer stalking Audrey Hepburn; director Mike Nichols' Catch-22; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (where he played Sigmund Freud); writer Jules Feiffer's Little Murders, which Arkin directed; the The In-Laws, co-starring Peter Falk; Glengarry Glen Ross; and Little Miss Sunshine, for which he received his third Oscar nomination, in the category of Best Supporting Actor. On the 11 February 2007 he received a BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Grandfather Edwin in Little Miss Sunshine. On February 25, 2007, upon winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Arkin, who plays a foul-mouthed grandfather with a taste for heroin said, "More than anything, I'm deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection".[11] At 72 years old, Arkin became the sixth oldest winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In 2007, Arkin was cast in a very small role in Rendition. He plays a veteran senator who wants to do the right thing but also knows you have to make compromises every step of the way. He also portrayed the chief in 2008's "Get Smart".

On Broadway, Arkin starred in Enter Laughing, for which he won a Tony Award, and Luv. He also directed The Sunshine Boys, among others.

Arkin is the author of many books, including the children's stories Tony's Hard Work Day (illustrated by James Stevenson, 1972), The Lemming Condition (illustrated by Joan Sandin, 1976), Halfway Through the Door: An Actor's Journey Toward Self (1979) and The Clearing (1986 continuation of Lemming).

Jewish Journal: As an accomplished actor, director, author, musician and composer, do you consider yourself compulsively creative?

Alan Arkin: (laughs) Not anymore, but I guess I used to be.

JJ: Is it true that you began studying acting when you where 10 years old?

AA: Yes, but I wanted to be an actor since I was 5.

JJ: What influenced you at that age?

AA: I spent a lot of time with my father, who took me to the Thalia movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I practically learned how to read watching foreign films. I watched Russian, German and Italian films, and it became clear to me to me at a very early age that we're basically all the same. There are cultural differences, but the similarities between people were much more important to me than the things that separated us.

JJ: And it's that realization that drew you to acting?

AA: That and seeing that my father was enormously affected by the movies we'd see. He was so affected, he used to yell in the movies. I think one of my deepest desires was to have an affect on him.

JJ: And did you?

AA: Not that I was aware of, but he lived long enough to see my success.

JJ: Did your parents emigrate here from Europe?

AA: My parents were born here. My mother's father came from Odessa and settled in New York, in Brooklyn. I lived there with my parents till I was 11, then we moved to Los Angeles.

JJ: Where did your musical influences come from?

AA: There was music in our house all the time. My mother played the piano and my uncle was a pretty well-known composer. There were people coming over to our house all the time; they played guitars, piano and sang. Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson were all at the house. I met all these people. Music was part of our everyday life.

JJ: It doesn't seem like you were raised in a traditional Jewish household.

AA: No I didn't have a traditional Jewish upbringing. There was no emphasis on religion. My grandfather used to read Sholom Aleichem a lot. There was no running away from the fact that we were Jewish, but no big emphasis on being Jewish. We had people of all races and all religions at the house at all times. I was aware of myself as being Jewish, but also aware of myself being part of a larger worldwide community. I grew up being part of a kind of international family.

JJ: Did that help in your ability to play a diversity of ethnic characters?

AA: I suppose growing up with all kinds of people I knew with the help of my parents, my focus was on the things that we all have in common, other than the things that separated us. I focused on the things we had in common with everybody everywhere.

JJ: Did you purposely seek out ethnic or Jewish roles?

AA: I haven't purposely sought out anything. I suppose I received roles that were Jewish. I take the most interesting parts to come along. I look for good directors, if I can find them. I care more about being in a piece that has integrity, a sense of something that makes a positive statement more than I care about anything else. I like films that can't be easily categorized.

JJ: Like "Little Miss Sunshine?"

AA: Yes.

JJ: Is there a character that you've played that you strongly identify with?

AA: I identify very much with this guy, Mr. Hoover from "Little Miss Sunshine."

JJ: You identify with the patriarch of a dysfunctional family?

AA: That's an easy word that people throw around a lot. Every family's a dysfunctional family. There's a great old Chinese saying that says, "No one can put a plaque over their front door that says, 'There are no problems here."'

JJ: You were somewhat of a nomad as a young man.

AA: I moved around a lot, that's what actors do until we get a career that roots us somewhere. I got a scholarship to a college in Vermont, left to play folk music, got a job in St. Louis at the Compass Theatre for a while and then went to Chicago 'cause I got a job there with Second City.

JJ: Do you think the comedic improvisation you studied at Second City helped you hone your craft?

AA: I was with Second City for two years, but it felt like 30. It was incredibly dense and compacted, like a whole lifetime of study. Improvisation is very much a part of my work. I think people recognize that when they hire me. That's part of the way I work, and nobody seems to be afraid of it. I don't like to improvise on camera, but I like to use it as kind of a rehearsal technique, helping to sometimes get the dialogue a little richer.

JJ: I understand that you don't place a lot of importance on awards?

AA: Only when I lose. [laughs] There's no such thing as the best performance; it's arbitrary. What makes something the best performance? When you get 100 people who say this is the best performance, and they're all kind of titillated by that performance, and there's another performance that changed 15 people's lives, what's the gauge? Because 500 people like something, does that make it better than something that three people like?

JJ: I've read that you have a great affection for films from the 1930s and 1940s. Do you feel they made better films then?

AA: Part of the reason is that there was a greater community then. When they talk about "Little Miss Sunshine," they talk about the great ensemble work. Well, that comes to me as a shock. I feel like every film should be great ensemble work. I have no interest in a film where one or two people are featured and everyone else is kind of a wash, you can put anybody in it and it doesn't make much difference. The films of the '30s and '40s, and particularly people like Frank Capra, were at the forefront of this. There could be 100 characters and you remember every one of them. The minute they come on the film, they have something definitive and memorable to contribute. I was a huge, huge admirer of [Jean] Renoir, who epitomized this sense of community. You want to jump up on the screen and be a part of what's going on. It was so rich and loving, such an extraordinary rich tapestry of life. I think all films should be like that.

Pat Sierchio is a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to Written By, the magazine of the Writers Guild of America, West.

Another Critic - La Duda - DC - 2008

Doubt (La Duda)
November 13, 2008 by Rosalind Lacy
Doubt (La Duda)
By John Patrick Shanley
Adapted and directed by Matilda Corral
Produced by I.E. Productions C.A., from Venezuela for Teatro De La Luna’s Eleventh International Festival of Hispanic Theater
Reviewed by Rosalind Lacy

What universalizes John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt (La Duda), about a priest suspected of pedophilia, are the adaptations director Matilda Corral makes. We are in a Catholic school in Venezuela instead of an Irish-Italian school in Northeastern United States. But the explosive issues and controversy are the same. When in doubt, is it wise to take action? Corral establishes a sense of unease immediately. A screen projection of a stained glass window displays a stern Madonna with staring eyes. Discordant electronic music rains down from everywhere.

The plot is simple but the characters are complex. The four characters come across as distinctly individualized, conflicted human beings depicted by actors who are uniformly excellent and profoundly moving. Sister Eloisa (Elba Escobar) runs her school with an iron fist. Her values and style are clearly those of the past generation. When an inexperienced nun and teacher, Sister Josefina (Maria Carolina Semprum) innocently reports that one of her male students, after a private meeting with the charismatic assistant pastor Father Luis (Raphael Romero) in the rectory, came to class with alcohol on his breath, Sister Eloisa concludes the priest has molested the boy. She bases her suspicions on the circumstantial evidence that the priest grows his nails long and is, in her opinion, overly friendly with the male students. Surprisingly, the boy’s mother, Mrs. Blanco (Beatriz Vasquez) argues in favor of the relationship. Conflicting perceptions lead up to Father Luis’ resignation, leaving the characters and us with lingering questions about justice and the truth of what really happened.

Venezuelan director Corral, who recently received a Masters in Acting from the Actors Studio in New York, is an actors’ director. She takes risks. When Father Luis delivers the homily which opens the play, Romero speaks from a spotlighted podium; then moves out of the spotlight to the darker downstage area, closer to the audience, to tell the story about a sailor lost on a raft at sea under a starless sky. “When you are lost, you are not alone,” he concludes, and we feel a sense of intimacy as a part of the priest’s congregation. in 1964, two years after Vatican II modernized the Catholic Church. We are in a time – 1964, two years after Vatican II began to modernize the Catholic Church – when values and teaching, even preaching styles, are in flux.

Escobar, well-known in films and stage in Venezuela, gives a multi-leveled performance. She starts out as a petty, somewhat comic martinet, but develops stature until her moral force seems massive. By the end of play, Sister Eloisa is a character you want to trust. Although her obvious disdain for the warmth of intimacy and compassion makes her hard to like, her confession of doubt at the end makes her pathetically human.

Romero is equally strong in their male/female battle. In their climactic scene in Sister Eloisa’s office, Romero’s self-defense is one of controlled rage, expressively convincing and sympathetic. He sounds innocent in spite of his resignation, which Sister Eloisa interprets as a confession of guilt.

The boy whom Father Luis has allegedly victimized is African-American in the English-language version. Here, the child is white, which removes race as an explanation for the brutal alienation he feels from his classmates and allows us to focus on his behavior, and more specifically, his gayness. Vasquez pulls out all the stops and gives an impassioned plea as a mother, powerless to protect her son from a father who beats him, who sees his relationship with Father Luis – as dangerous as it might be – as her boy’s only chance at safety and happiness.

Corral has done even more to adapt this 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winning play from an American to a Venezuelan setting by staying true to the underlying themes. Character names are Spanish. References to historical figures: for example, FDR becomes Venezuela’s founder and liberator, Simon Bolivar. But what’s important is that underlying whatever adaptations are made in the dialogue, the deeper concern is still manifest: In an over-regulated world, what’s horrific is the way a society discourages touching, intimacy, warmth and emotional bonding and isolates all of us, one from the other.

These magnificent actors from Venezuela perform the play with an expressive bravura that clarifies the moral questions. We in the audience have to supply the last judgment; and we leave the theater discussing the doubts that linger.

If you possibly can, go and see this production that ends this year’s Hispanic International Festival.

Running Time: 90 minutes. No intermission. Headsets provided for English translation.

When: Sat. Nov. 15, 3:00 p.m. and 8 p.m. See: www.teatrodelaluna.org for details on the rest of the season, continuing Feb. 12, 2009.

Where: Gunston Arts Center-Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington VA 22206. Free Parking.

http://www.teatrodelaluna.org/tem/18/festival/home_i.htm

"Doubt" by John Patrick Shanley - Criticas en DC

AllArtsReview4U

The finest reviews of the performing and visual arts from the DC and Baltimore area plus contributions from around the country and the world!

La Duda (Doubt)
by Bob Anthony

It was so wonderful to see and hear a production of Shanley's "Doubt" performed in Spanish and the Venezuelan company at Teatro de la Luna was superb...the best in this year's festival. Elba Escobar proved to be a total equal to American actresses (this critic has seen it done twice in English) and she added a verbal viciousness that was so dramatically appropriate even though unlikely for a religious. Handsome Rafael Romero gave a complete and most satisfactory reading of a affable priest who is being attacked for a crime he did not commit (?). Maria Carolina Semprum was outstanding as Sister Josefina who inappropriately made inferences about people's behaviors so unusual for such a lovely angelic blue-eyed nun. The tops goes to Beatriz Vasquez as the mother... who was slatternly dressed but world wise about immorality... who challenges the religious and the church regarding their moral high horses while the church rots away in its own lasciviousness. It was a powerful production tenderly directed by Matilda Corral. This production could easily win another "Tony" award if it were on Broadway!

Noviembre 2008

For the Pain of Love, a Cerebral Bath of Words, Words, Words






By BEN BRANTLEY
Published: August 31, 2009
LENOX, Mass. — John Douglas Thompson is being hit with a double whammy by that old devil called love this summer. As often as five times a week this strapping actor is asked by the repertory troupe Shakespeare & Company to demonstrate how even the strongest men can be felled by fatal attractions.

Danny Kurtz
John Douglas Thompson and Miriam Hyman as father and daughter in “The Dreamer Examines His Pillow.”
Related
Theater: Farewell the Tranquil Mind: Othello’s Noble Passion Is Also His Curse (August 9, 2008)
Times Topics: John Patrick Shanley
Danny Kurtz
Bowman Wright and Miriam Hyman in this early John Patrick Shanley play.
Saturday found him being slowly torn to pieces by sexual jealousy at the Founders’ Theater in the title role of “Othello,” a part he played here last season and then recreated in a production for Theater for a New Audience in New York, picking up much acclaim and assorted trophies. On Sunday, at the smaller Elayne P. Bernstein Theater here, Mr. Thompson could be heard unhappily recalling how finding the perfect bedmate destroyed his life.
That was in another title role, in "The Dreamer Examines His Pillow," a comedy of anguish by John Patrick Shanley from 1985. I am happy to report that the character identified only as Dad in “Dreamer” is not the heavy lifting that Othello is. Fluidly directed by Tod Randolph, this production is only 90 minutes long. And Mr. Thompson is required neither to fall to the ground in an epileptic seizure nor to strangle anyone.
He is called upon once again, however, to speak in an elaborate, densely poetic manner seldom heard outside a theater. Perhaps partly from having lived so long with Shakespeare’s Venetian general, he makes Mr. Shanley’s baroque talk seem as natural as breathing.
So, it should be said, do Mr. Thompson’s young co-stars, Miriam Hyman and Bowman Wright, and that’s no easy task. “The Dreamer Examines His Pillow” is not one of the more audience-friendly works by Mr. Shanley, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Doubt" and the Oscar-winning screenplay for "Moonstruck."
A more convoluted and static variation on the themes of his breakout play “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” (1983), “Dreamer” is far less well known. The play is basically three unhappy people exchanging metaphors about the fear that comes with loving too much. As thick with whimsy as it is with misery, “Dreamer” shares some of the cloyingly obsessive spirit that made “Romantic Poetry,” Mr. Shanley’s recent musical (with the composer Henry Krieger), such a trial.
But there are rewards in watching talented interpreters turn muddy poetry into flowing prose. Ms. Randolph has said that she wanted to direct “Dreamer” since she saw a scene from it in an acting class 23 years ago, and you can see why. It’s an extreme example of what good acting is often said to be about: externalizing the internal. You can imagine the intense, soul-searching rehearsals that must go into any production of it.
Even in performance, the play feels a bit like group therapy. Like much of Mr. Shanley’s early work, “Dreamer” considers the impossibility and inescapability of love, or the state of hormonal intoxication that we call love. You can’t live with it, but without it life is meaningless. That, anyway, is the conclusion arrived at by the play’s three characters: Tommy (Mr. Wright) and Donna (Ms. Hyman), an on-and-off couple who make both love and war like wild animals, and Donna’s father (Mr. Thompson), an artist paralyzed by memories of a similar relationship.
The play is structured as a series of confrontational conversations. Having heard that Tommy is seeing her younger sister, Donna seeks him out in his squalid hole of an apartment, where his search for identity has reduced him to communing with his refrigerator. They argue, they grapple, they kiss, they part. And they resolve nothing. So Donna visits her dad, whom she hasn’t seen in months, to figure out why she is the way she is.
In the play’s final scene Dad talks to Tommy, at Donna’s behest. Nothing is resolved then either. It is Mr. Shanley’s point that nothing is ever resolved in life, and all we can do is make the best of an eternally unconcluded bargain. Along the way to this revelation there is much talk of caves of the unconscious and the wilder frontiers of sex. (Music that evokes tribal rituals in the jungle is heard between scenes.)
Though the subjects are visceral, the tone is dizzyingly cerebral, and I shudder to imagine how “Dreamer” might be with a less grounded cast. But you never feel that in portraying people who are straining for clarity, the performers here are strained themselves. Mr. Wright unflinchingly finds the aggression in Tommy’s leaden passivity. And Ms. Hyman’s excellent exasperated Donna becomes the audience’s essential point of connection as she wanders with steady tread through Mr. Shanley’s labyrinth of passion.
Nobody chews up the scenery, in other words, including Mr. Thompson. If his fiery Othello is a man flailing amid the chaos of love gone bad, his character in “Dreamer” is someone who has survived that chaos and is now fingering the scars it left behind. Mr. Thompson doesn’t fall prey to the natural temptation of acting out what his character remembers. The dynamic of his performance is in the energy Dad expends in trying to keep a distance from past torments as he describes them.
Repertory is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? It allows an actor like Mr. Thompson the relief of moving from the in-the-moment passion of “Othello” to the recollected passion of “Dreamer.” And it allows theatergoers the treat of seeing an admirable performer confidently shift keys from blazing fury to quiet contemplation.
THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW
By John Patrick Shanley; directed by Tod Randolph; sets by Christian Schmitt; lighting by Greg Solomon; costumes by Lena Sands; sound by Michael Pfeiffer; stage manager, Bryanna Meloni. Presented by Shakespeare & Company, Tony Simotes, artistic director; Tina Packer, founding artistic director. At the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, Mass.; (413) 637-3353. Through Sept. 6. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
WITH: Miriam Hyman (Donna), John Douglas Thompson (Dad) and Bowman Wright (Tommy).