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Angela Mitchell

Performing Arts

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TCG Announces Leadership U Recipients

Saturday April 19, 2014

Teresa EyringIt's a nice week for theatre industry awards and grants! Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has just announced the 2014 Round 2 Cycle B recipients of the Leadership U[niversity] Continuing Ed program. Through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, grants of up to $5,000 will support four mid-career and veteran theatre professionals at TCG Member Theatres for learning opportunities to advance their leadership skills. The goal of this program is to strengthen the field by developing the individuals who are the core and the future of theatre.

Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, commented on the success of the program: "With the support of our long-standing partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Leadership U will empower these four practitioners to expand their leadership skills in areas that include education programming, community generated work and new play development."

Leadership U[niversity] awards grants in two initiatives: One-on-One for early-career leaders and Continuing Ed for mid-career and veteran professionals. Continuing Ed grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to mid-career to veteran professionals at TCG Member Theatres for learning opportunities to advance their leadership skills. Grants have been awarded to the applicants' home theatres on behalf of the theatre practitioners. Learn more about the recipients in the article here.

Image: Photo of Teresa Eyring courtesy of Theatre Communications Group (TCG)

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Joyce Foundation Announces 2014 Award Recipients

Saturday April 19, 2014

Four talented African American women are being recognized for their contributions to theater, dance and classical music arts across the Midwest, thanks to generous grants from the Joyce Foundation. The prestigious Joyce Awards recognize artists of color who collaborate with nonprofit institutions by awarding them $50,000 to commission thought-provoking works of art, which aim to strengthen cross-cultural understanding by bringing diverse audiences together.

"Throughout the Joyce Awards' 11 years, we have been so proud to support over 35 community-oriented arts projects to diversify and engage audiences and artists," said Ellen Alberding, the President of the Joyce Foundation.  "This year's endeavors bring strong voices to the table and showcase the incredible artistic talent of these four women, and we're excited to be part of the process."

An anonymous national panel of cultural organization and business leaders selects winners based on artistic merit, quality of work and community engagement in the artistic process. This year's panelists included leaders from stalwart institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Theatre Communications Group, the Southwest Latino Art Council and Ariel Capital Management. Winners include artists from Minneapolis, Cleveland and Detroit. Check out the article here for more information on this year's Joyce recipients.

Image courtesy of Flickr User Tambako the Jagua

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Broadway League Awards NYC Education and Community Engagement Grants

Saturday April 19, 2014

Broadway LeagueThe Broadway League recently awarded coveted New York Education Grants to the Broadway productions of Act One, Matilda the Musical, and Violet. Each production receives a $5,000 grant towards its 2014 educational and community engagement initiatives. The grants aid the growth and development of theatre education in the city as they encourage Broadway productions to create more opportunities for young people. This is the first year that the Broadway League has awarded three grants instead of two, due to the increased number of proposals of quality programs.

The Broadway League established the New York Education Grants in 2002 to recognize education initiatives and to support further programs for Broadway shows. Learn more about the latest recipients here.

Photo credit: Emile Wamsteker, courtesy of The Broadway League.

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LA Drama Critics Circle Honors Picks for Year's Best

Saturday April 12, 2014

Photo by Jayne Calucag (Courtesy of the LA Drama Critics Circle)The 45th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony took place recently at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, honoring some of the best productions in local Los Angeles-area theatre.

The award recipients for the 2013 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards included honors in "Production" for One Night in Miami... (John Perrin Flynn and Roxanne Hart, Rogue Machine Theatre), Our Class, (Son of Semele Ensemble, Atwater Village Theatre), The Scottsboro Boys (Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre), and Walking the Tightrope (Debbie Devine and Jay McAdams, 24th Street Theatre). Winning the McCulloh Award for Revival were Dreamgirls (Mike Abramson and Dolf Ramos, DOMA Theatre Co. at The MET Theatre) and The Normal Heart (Deborah Lawlor and Stephen Sachs, The Fountain Theatre).  Honored for Direction, meanwhile, was Jessica Kubzansky for R II, The Theatre @ Boston Court, and Matthew McCray, for Our Class, by the Son of Semele Ensemble at Atwater Village Theatre.

Go here for a complete look at this year's winners.

Photo by Jayne Calucag (Courtesy of the LA Drama Critics Circle)

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Syfy and Henson Pair Up for 'Creature Challenge'

Saturday April 12, 2014

Image: Photo by Justin Stephens (Courtesy of Syfy)As a big fan of "Face Off" and any chance I can get to watch artists create ingenious worlds and things onscreen, it's great to report that Syfy has done it again, with its new competitive reality show "Jim Henson's Creature Challenge." Syfy recently launched the show by introducing ten hopeful creature designers who have come to Los Angeles with an incredible shared dream: to land a job working in Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The new series premiered Tuesday, March 25 and will encompass an eight-episode run that provides a fascinating window into the imaginative and wildly creative environment of world-class creature design, fabrication and mechanization.

The series features host Gigi Edgley (Farscape) and lead judge Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company, who also oversees the groundbreaking work of Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Henson is an award-winning writer, puppeteer, director and producer whose father and mentor was the iconic Jim Henson. In each episode, the competing creature designers must meet the challenge of creating a new kind of creature (under reality TV's usual strict time constraints), and are given unprecedented access to the world-renowned Creature Shop, gaining hands-on experience to learn every aspect of what it takes to become a master creature designer. Following a series of elaborate challenges, only one will be awarded a prize worth up to $100,000, including the opportunity for the job of a lifetime - a contract working at the world-renowned Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

Image: Photo by Justin Stephens (Courtesy of Syfy)

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'Kinky Boots' Promotes Facebook Milestone (and So Should You)

Saturday March 29, 2014

Courtesy of Kinky Boots on Broadway (Facebook)Kinky Boots, the Tony Award-winning musical, recently celebrated its 100,000th fan 'Like' on Facebook, and promoted the event in fine style, with press campaigns and a lottery for 10 pairs of free tickets to each of the Broadway performances of Kinky Boots last week.

It's a great lesson to others in the performing arts -- how are you infusing your social media accomplishments and milestones into your ongoing promotions? Social media can be a powerful tool for promotion -- but it's also a two-way street. Promoting your performing arts group's social media milestones gives you even more mileage, rewarding your show's existing fans and proven audience members, while also going after a wider audience eager to discover your show.

"We're so thrilled fans have embraced Kinky Boots as they have, both in the theatre nightly and on social media," said producers Roth and Luftig about the special promotion. "As we approach the show's first anniversary on Broadway, to celebrate this huge milestone, we want to show them our gratitude by offering the opportunity to come back and see the show on us."

With a Tony Award-winning score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, a book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots opened on April 4, 2013 and continues to play to standing-room-only crowds nightly. The show has broken all box office records at the Hirshfeld Theatre, and took home six 2013 TonyŽ Awards, the most of any show during the past Tony season, including Best Musical, Best Score (Cyndi Lauper), Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), Best Actor (Billy Porter), Best Orchestrations (Stephen Oremus), and Best Sound Design (John Shivers). The show also received the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Broadway.com Awards for Best Musical, along with many other accolades.

Image: Courtesy of 'Kinky Boots on Broadway' (Facebook)

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2014 Larson Grant Winners Announced

Saturday March 29, 2014

Zach Redler and Sara CooperThe Jonathan Larson grants, given annually to honor emerging composers, lyricists and book writers, help to continue the dream of Tony Award-winning composer Jonathan Larson to infuse musical theatre with a contemporary, joyful, urban vitality. The American Theatre Wing has announced the three talented 2014 recipients of the 2014 Jonathan Larson Grants: writing team Sara Cooper & Zach Redler, and Shaina Taub. In the team of Cooper/Redler, Cooper is a lyricist/bookwriter while Redler is the composer of the team, which is thus far best-known for The Memory Show. Taub, meanwhile, is a composer and lyricist who served as the Ars Nova's 2012 Composer-in-Residence, and whose most recent musical album was What Otters Do.

This year's Larson grants actually increased in monetary value, at a total of $15,000 more than those given out in 2013. The grants will be formally presented on Monday, April 7, 2014 at a private event at the WNYC Greene Space that will also feature special performances of the recipients' work.

Learn more about this year's grant winners here.

Image: Zach Redler and Sara Cooper, courtesy of Zach Redler. Photo credit: Walter McBride

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'Irish Times' Honors 2014 Irish Theatre Awards Winners

Tuesday March 25, 2014

'A Streetcar Named Desire,' Courtesy of the Gate TheatreEach year, The Irish Times shines the spotlight on the best of the Irish stage, honoring artists and productions who led the way in the previous year. Spotlighting the best work in 2013, the 2014 Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards nominees were chosen in early 2014 from a field of over 150 productions from theatres large and small across Ireland.

This year, the Gate Theatre received 11 nominations for its production of A Streetcar Named Desire, An Enemy of the People, and The Threepenny Opera. Meanwhile, among independent productions, Pan Pan Theatre led the honorees with four nominations for its acclaimed production of Embers, by Samuel Beckett. Dublin's Abbey Theatre received three nominations for its production of King Lear, as did the staging of Riverrun, from The Emergency Room and Galway Arts Festival, and Howie the Rookie, from Landmark Productions.

Get the complete list of winners here.

Image: Gavin Fullam & Lia Williams in Gate Theatre production of 'A Streetcar Named Desire,'Photo by Peter Rowen (Courtesy of the Gate Theatre)

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USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo 2014 Approaches

Saturday March 22, 2014

Courtesy of the USITT Annual Conference and Stage ExpoThe USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo is acclaimed as one of the theatre industry's leading events each year for education, networking and connecting resources, products and more. The upcoming 2014 USITT Conference in Fort Worth, Texas (Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102) from March 26-29, 2014 will feature more than twelve different areas of education and meetings for every special skill in the industry. From the classroom to the trade show to the performance space, over 5,000 industry experts, educators, students and vendors will be featured in forums to discuss current industry issues, as well as to learn solutions and to network for the future.

The 2014 Stage Expo, meanwhile, takes place from March 27-29 as the largest theatre-focused trade show floor in America. More than 200 companies will be presenting the latest innovations in theatre technology and design from all over the world.

In addition to the Annual Conference & Stage Expo, the event will host numerous professional development workshops, USITT committee and business meetings, meetings for other industry leading associations, and site tours to local areas. Learn more at http://www.usitt.org/content.asp?pl=457&contentid=459.

Image Courtesy of the USITT Annual Conference and Stage Expo

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"Louie Awards" Honor Best in St. Louis Stage

Saturday March 22, 2014

Jerry Vogel in 'An Iliad'It's awards season for many wonderful local and regional theatre awards, and last week, St. Louis honored its best. Sponsoring the theatre awards known as "The Louies," The St. Louis Theater Circle recently honored the best in local St. Louis professional theatre, Missouri theatre as part of its ongoing mission is to focus attention on dozens of area companies in the metropolitan area.

Among the night's honorees was the St. Louis Actors' Studio, for Waiting for Godot, Terry Meddows as Outstanding Actor for the same production, which was also honored with Outstanding Director (for Bobby Miller), and as Outstanding Production. Other notable winners for the night included Judi Mann for The Lyons (for Max & Louie Productions), Emily Baker for Boeing Boeing (Dramatic License Productions), Anderson Matthews for Shakespeare Festival's production of Twelfth Night, and The Black Rep's production of The Whipping Man as winner of Outstanding Ensemble for Drama.

To learn more about the 'Louies' and to get the complete list of nominees and winners, visit the article here.

Jerry Vogel in 'An Iliad,' photo credit: Peter Wochniak, courtesy of Upstream Theater

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