Theatre

Nathan Allen leaves House Theatre of Chicago after nearly 20 years as leader

Nathan Allen, the founding artistic director of the House Theatre of Chicago and its principal public face and creative force for the last almost 20 years, is leaving his post.

“I am not going to stop making art,” Allen said, noting that money factored into his decision. “But I have two school-age kids and my wife is working a lot of overtime.”

As with many other theater companies, the pandemic has had an acute impact on House, a company founded by a group of college friends in 2000 and known for its innovative original theater, its interest in popular culture and its longstanding determination to attract millennials and Gen-Xers who do not typically attend theater. Allen, known for his exuberant curtain speeches (“let’s make some noise”) and his warm-centered personality, was a big part of that appeal, as was his work.

Unlike most non-profit theaters, House made an impressive 70% of its roughly $2.2 million annual budget at its own box office, and that box office has been closed since March.

“Our way has always been to sell a hell of a lot of tickets,” Allen, 42, said. “And our way doesn’t work anymore. We’ve settled into a sustainable position where we can hold on for a whole year. But what the House deserves is someone to really rebuild a company. I know what that is, but it’s not me. That was a commitment I had in my 20s, but I don’t have it now. I feel like I already helped build it, and I honestly would be too angry to have to do it all again.”

House has been forced to furlough or lay off most of its staffers in recent weeks. Its two remaining current employees, Allen and managing director Erik Schroeder, have been reduced to part time.

The Garden Theatre at The Eagle to Present Open Air Production of NEXT THING YOU KNOW

The production will run Tuesday 20 – Saturday 31 October.

The Garden Theatre at The Eagle to Present Open Air Production of NEXT THING YOU KNOW

The Garden Theatre at The Eagle will present an open air production of Next Thing You Know featuring a book Ryan Cunningham, music and Lyrics by Joshua Salzman, and directed by Robert McWhir.

Next Thing You Know’, hailed by The New York Times as “‘Rent’ for this generation”, follows the story of four New Yorkers as they laugh, love and drink their way through the big questions that face all young dreamers who wake up in the city that never sleeps:

Does marrying a really nice guy mean you’re settling down or just settling?

Does taking a 9-to-5 equal giving up or growing up?

Does a decade in the city break you down or break you in?

‘Next Thing You Know’, Book by Ryan Cunningham and Music and Lyrics by Joshua Salzman, looks at a time in life where one day you wake up, and instead of a hangover, you have a job. Instead of a fling, you have a live-in girlfriend. And instead of naïve dreams, you have reality.

‘Next Thing You Know’ will be the third musical following the critically acclaimed ‘Fanny and Stella’ and ‘Pippin’ at the new open-air Garden Theatre at The Eagle, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, London, SE11 5QY.

It will run from Tuesday 20 October – Saturday 31 October.

Cast:

Amelia Atherton (Lisa) is a 2020 graduate of Preparation Academy (PPA), gaining a BA (Hons) Performance in Musical Theatre. Her roles in training include The Lady of the Lake in ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’.

Bessy Ewa (Waverley) graduated this year from Arts Educational Schools in Musical Theatre. Her roles in training include Ms Luckenbill in ‘Freaky Friday’ and Serena in ‘Legally Blonde’.

Calum Henderson (Luke) is a 2020 graduate of Guildford School of Acting, BA

Hugh Jackman Visits The Winter Garden Theatre, Future Home of THE MUSIC MAN

“When Broadway is ready for us … we will be ready for you!” he writes in the caption.

Hugh Jackman visited the Winter Garden Theatre where the upcoming production of The Music Man will be staged, and posed for a photo, shortly after the announcement was made that the Broadway shutdown will be extended through May 2021.

“When Broadway is ready for us … we will be ready for you!” he writes in the caption.

Check out the photo below!

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, THE MUSIC MAN starring Jackman and Sutton Foster, will now begin previews December 20th, 2021 and an opening night has been set for February 10th, 2022.

The production, directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, will also star Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell as Mrs. Shinn, Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays as Mayor Shinn, Tony Award winner Marie Mullen as Mrs. Paroo, and Tony Award winner Shuler Hensley as Marcellus Washburn.

One of the most universally cherished treasures of the American musical theater, THE MUSIC MAN was an instant smash hit when it premiered on Broadway on December 19, 1957. It went on to win five Tony Awards, including the prize for Best Musical, and ran for 1,375 performances. The original cast album held the number one position on the Billboard charts and stayed on the album charts for 245 weeks. The recording won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album. The Smithsonian Institution ranks THE MUSIC MAN as one of the “great glories of American popular culture.”

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UGLY LIES THE BONE Now Open At Garden Theatre

In this new work by Lindsey Ferrentino, a war veteran struggles with her physical and emotional scars as she returns home.

UGLY LIES THE BONE Now Open At Garden Theatre

Ugly Lies the Bone is a powerful new work that showcases the struggles of a dying town, a broken family, and a shattered veteran trying to put her life back together after returning from combat. As Jess’ world continues to crumble, can virtual reality therapy help her pain? Directed by Trudy Bruner, Ugly Lies the Bone brings Garden audiences a glimpse of the issues that many veterans face when returning home. The production runs live on the Garden Theatre stage October 7 – 18, 2020.

The production includes Scenic Design by Shawn Boyle*, Lighting Design by Erin Miner, Costume Design by Eryn Brooks Brewer, Makeup Design by Alan Ostrander, and Sound Design by Anthony Narciso*. The Stage Manager is Sherri Cox.
*Member, United Scenic Artists

The cast features Tricia Jane Wiles as Jess, Clare Lopez as Kacie, Eddie Ortega as Stevie, Zack Roundy as Kelvin, and Robin Proett Olson as Voice / Mom. Newly discharged soldier Jess returns to her Florida hometown after three grueling tours of Afghanistan. She brings with her not only vivid memories of the war, but painful burns that have left her physically and emotionally scarred. Through the use of virtual reality therapy, Jess builds a breathtaking new world where she can escape from the pain, and begins to restore her relationships, her life, and eventually herself. Tickets: $30 – $35, with discounts available for seniors, youth, and military. Groups of 10 or more can receive a discount on tickets and should call 407-877-4736 ext. 208 or email [email protected]Tickets may be purchased by calling 407-877-4736 ext. 0, or online at gardentheatre.org.

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Kitchen Theatre Company Announces 2020-2021 Season

The season will feature recordings of previous productions, an online Script Club and more.

Kitchen Theatre Company Announces 2020-2021 Season

The Kitchen Theatre Company, Central New York’s Off Broadway theatre, is excited to announce plans for it’s 2020-2021 season. The Journey to 30: A Celebration of KTC’s Past, Present and Future will offer twenty hybrid and online events and culminate in one live, World Premiere production in June of 2021. The season will build towards the theatre’s 30th Anniversary next season.

The Journey to 30 is divided into three themes, and offered in four acts (see attached for specific date and titles).

 

 

 

  • The Past: Three streaming videos of previous productions recorded live in the Percy Browning Performance Space starring some of Ithaca’s favorite actors (Karl Gregory, Susannah Berryman and Erica Steinhagen) capped by a personal retrospective film directed by KTC’s Artistic Director Emerita Rachel Lampert.

  • The Present: KTC will tackle the vital conversations happening around racial and social justice through our online Script Club. Featuring 5 plays by Pulitzer, Obie and Ovation-award winning playwrights of color, each event will be hosted by some of the best actors and directors of color from around the U.S.

  • The Future: The Kitchen will offer a front row seat to the creation of the next generation of American plays through two innovative New Play Development Workshops, performed live and streamed directly from the Kitchen Stage.

The season will conclude with a return to production, with one live, in-person World Premiere, staged outside in June of 2021 – SHAPE by Kara-Lynn Vaeni – with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Southern Methodist University, and Ithaca’s own Advantage Fitness.

“This season is so incredibly rich with great stories” said Interim Artistic Director David Winitsky. “The amazing 30-year story of the Kitchen Theatre itself; the vital stories of Americans of