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The Merry Widder

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Premiering in the first decade of the 20th Century, Franz Lehar’s, The Merry Widow became an international success story that spawned multiple productions and revivals, enormous sheet music sales, numerous recordings, desserts, hats, and even ladies’ unmentionables. The score was plush and romantic -- the quintessence of European Operetta.

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Pocatello

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Pocatello plays out in such a familiar backdrop that you feel you have been there before. It is in an Italian restaurant painted in unmistakeable gold with clusters of grapes and chianti bottles as an additional identifiers. Perhaps playwright Samuel D. Hunter or scenic designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz had this in mind when creating the generic space that is the melancholy center for the unhappy revelations of people with little to give them joy.

 

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An Act of God

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Emmy Award-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum runs a Twitter account that can be accessed via @TheTweetOfGod. These unholy tweets were the basis for his book, The Last Testament: A Memoir, and the inspiration for his play, An Act of God. It officially opened on Broadway in May, 2015, and featured television star Jim Parsons in the title role.

 

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Vieux Carre

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From the mid 1940’s through the early 1960’s, Tennessee Williams was one of America’s premiere playwrights and a maverick provocateur, pushing the limitations of what could be seen and discussed on a Broadway stage. By the late 60’s, critical and popular opinion was that his dramatic star had burnt out—a casualty of substance abuse. The fact that he was unapologetically homosexual didn’t help to bolster his status.

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Salome

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The first thing to understand about Christopher Adam-Cohen’s world premiere production of Salome is that it is neither a simple updating of Oscar Wilde’s lavender-scented melodrama, nor a queer interpretation of the text. What it shares with Wilde’s original are two character names and an overripe, almost incantatory text awash in eroticism.

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Bach at Leipzig

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Playwright Itamar Moses first gained national notice with a New York production of Bach at Leipzig. Inspired by a deliberately obscure, except to music historians, biographical point in the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, the play makes little pretense of historical accuracy. Moses simply uses the background as a sandbox in which he can play with topics like art, ambition and backstabbing rivals.

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R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe

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Quick! What do you think of when you hear the name Buckminster Fuller? If you said, “Geodesic dome,” you are among the majority who associate that man with his architectural innovation.

But wait! There’s more, much more about this guy. And, it’s all there in San Diego Repertory Theatre’s extravagantly detailed one-man show, ambitiously titled R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe. Performed by Ron Campbell, who assumes the real life, bigger than life, character of one of our time’s Renaissance men, Bucky’s story centers on his philosophies, peculiarities, and points of view, all of which are interesting and many of which are unique.

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Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara

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Those of us who enjoy a well-made bio-pic know that we can count on Director Taylor Hackford to deliver the goods. Whether it's a biographically based dramatization such as Hackford's acclaimed 2004 film Ray, inspired by the genius of Ray Charles, or a straight forward documentary, as in Hackford's Oscar-winner about Mohammad Ali, When We Were Kings, as we are watching a movie with Hackford's directorial imprint on it, we easily see that this auteur is a master of his craft.

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The Bed

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In order to reach your seat for the world premiere production of Sheila Callaghan’s The Bed, you must pick your way through the detritus of a life. The path is littered with pages of sheet music, wrappers, discarded clothing, toys and--is that blood? On a platform above sits a mammoth bed which is where the real drama will be enacted. Like the second act of Torch Song Trilogy, the bed is not only for sleeping and lovemaking, it provides entrances, exits, and a number of surprises.

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ReflectiReflections: Life and Times of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. is an icon of the American Civil Rights movement. Beaten, stabbed, jailed and, eventually, shot to death, Dr. King is notable not only for his soaring literary and rhetorical skills – artfully putting into evocative words the degrading effects of racism and segregation – he is also admired for his courageous spirit and organizational genius.

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Spotlight

Hollywood Fringe Awarded 10K from National Endowment for the Arts

Hollywood, CA -- The Hollywood Fringe Festival is proud to announce that it has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant of $10,000 to support the Fringe Scholarships program. This grant stems from more than $82 million approved by NEA Chairman Jane Chu to fund local arts projects and partnerships. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“Hollywood Fringe began only seven years ago and has grown into a festival reaching tens of thousands of people,” says Festival Director Ben Hill. “This funding allows us to sustain that growth by supporting artists and programming that is diverse, inclusive, and relevant to the local community. We are truly honored to have been selected a recipient."

The Fringe Scholarships program strives to provide a platform for artists to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view, by offering unique and underserved artists scholarships to participate in the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Scholarships will be awarded to artists whose festival participation will increase festival attendance and participation by local Hollywood residents, increase arts participation of ethnically diverse and/or low-income artists, and enrich audience experience through the presentation of unique, underrepresented themes and/or narratives.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Hollywood Fringe Festival offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

ABOUT HOLLYWOOD FRINGE

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community. Each June during the Hollywood Fringe, the arts infiltrates the Hollywood neighborhood: Fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places host hundreds of productions by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers. The 2016 festival runs June 9th - 26th and offers over 1,400 performances in over 30 venues.

Participation in the Hollywood Fringe is completely open and uncensored. This free-for-all approach underlines the festival’s mission to be a platform for artists without the barrier of a curative body. By opening the gates to anyone with a vision, the festival is able to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view the world has to offer. Additionally, by creating an environment where artists must self-produce their work, the Fringe motivates its participants to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurialism in the arts. 

Want more information? Contact us at press@hollywoodfringe.org or by visiting the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org/press.

 
Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”

ABOUT ELLEN RICHARD

Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.