Thursday, August 5, 2010

Promotional Video for As You Like It !!!!

Our good buddy Joseph Weindl made this super cool promo for As You Like It. He did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the production through his interviews, photography, and excellent use of Tony Sanchez's banjo slidin'. So follow the link below to get stoked about the show!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

All Aboard !!!

Here we are. Two weeks from launching out upon a vast unknown, with so much left to solve, discover, forget remember, go back and get, and so much yet to build. We are excited by what is yet to come and all that is left to do in bringing this great experiment to life! We invite you, and extend a hand to come along with us deep into the Forest of Arden, where poems grow on trees and love is in the breeze. Where hearts sing, and fools roll, where there is laughter for the soul !

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jesse Mattes (Oliver)

Jesse Mattes (Oliver) is exhilarated to be apart of As you Like It. Jesse is currently an English major at VCU entering his third year of school. He is an avid member of the Conciliation Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to open open and honest dialogue between people through the active and challenging works of art, such as he was last seen perform it, Global Sexxxism: Unwrapped and Yellow Fever: the internment. He would like to thank his parents and teachers for their support as well as the various relationships with people he has experienced over the years. He would also like to thank the people of this production for their amazing insight and especially the audience here tonight.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Foster Solomon (Jacques and Charles the Wrestler)

Foster Solomon (Jacques and Charles the Wrestler) After four years in Los Angeles, Foster is happy to be back in Richmond to play Charles the Wrestler and Jacques in As You Like It. Previous Richmond credits include Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Prospero in The Tempest, and Hamlet in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Richmond Shakespeare); Lincoln in Top Dog/Under Dog and William in Lobby Hero (TheatreGym); and directing To Kill a Mockingbird at Barksdale Theatre. All love to his beautiful wife, Susan and his boys, Trey and Jordan.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jerome Weiss (Adam)

Jerome Weiss (Adam) received a BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School, then toured Europe and North America with Netherlands Dance Theater, Harkness Ballet of NYC, and San Francisco Ballet. He moved to Richmond in 1989 to teach for Richmond Ballet. He was certified to teach Pilates in 1997, had his own Pilates studio for 12 years, and now is back performing character roles and teaching at Richmond Ballet. He feels like a silent movie actor making the transition to “talkies.” His very first speaking role was as Percy in Richmond Shakespeare’s “Elizabeth Rex” earlier this year.

Trevor Kimball (Duke Senior)

Trevor Kimball (Duke Senior) began his stage career wearing tights at age 12 (explains a lot), playing Hamlet. He went on to roles in various onscreen and stage productions on both coasts. Favorites include Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, Cable in South Pacific, Gollum in The Hobbit, Peck in How I Learned to Drive, and Dromio of Syracuse in Comedy of Errors. He is most proud however of his role as husband to Melanie and dad to Grace.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tony Sanchez (Amiens)

Tony Sanchez (Amiens) is a recent graduate of the BFA Theatre Performance program at VCU. He is pleased to make his first post-university appearance with such an innovative project. He was last seen in the Ensemble of Grapes of Wrath at the Barksdale Theatre, and as the Host of VCU's late night variety show No Shame. His primary concentration has been on Mask and devised theatre, and he plans to pursue projects both on the Eastern Shore of the US, and abroad. As always he has his parents, younger sister, and loved ones to thank for the unwavering support.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Carolyn Boucher (Phebe)

Carolyn Boucher (Phebe) is a proud BFA graduate of TheatreVCU. Favorite roles include John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Madame Curie in VEIL (devised with the Smelter Theatre Ensemble), Joy/Lee in Aloha! Say the Pretty Girls with Nightlight Collective, and Sara in Stop Kiss at Sycamore Rouge.

Kimberly Exum (Rosalind)

Kimberly Exum (Rosalind) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University this past May. Her TheatreVCU mainstage credits include Roxie Hart in Chicago and Lady in Pink in For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide/ when the rainbow is enuff. She also performed at University of Richmond's Modlin Center as Ann in The African Company presents: Richard III. Kimberly recently participated in The Conciliation Project's productions of Yellow Fever: The Internment and Global Sexxxism: Unwrapped. She is also a member of The Conciliation Project, whose mission is to promote through challenging and dramatic work open and honest dialogue about racism in America in order to repair its damaging legacy. Kimberly would like to thank Mom for all of the continued care and support!!!

Olivia Luna (Celia)

Olivia Luna (Celia) is a third year Theatre Performance major who hopes to graduate with a BFA from VCU. She has recently been seen in TheatreVCU and Barksdale Theatre's collaboration of Grapes of Wrath, and VCU Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theatre performances of A Thousand Faces: Everyday Heroes, The Elephant Man, and The Colored Museum. She sends a great deal of love and thanks to her friends and family for all their support and guidance. And a special thanks to her sisters Courtney, Derizz, Dani, Jessie, and Ahjah for holding her up these past two years.

Charley Raintree (Touchstone)

Charley Raintree (Touchstone) has most recently appeared in the TheatreVCU and Barksdale Theatre production of The Grapes of Wrath as Jim Casy. Previous credits include Cabaret, Shadow Play and The Glass Menagerie at TheatreVCU. Charley has performed with The Conciliation Project, Shoe String Players, Night Light Collective, Showtimers Theatre, Little Town Players, Viriginia Western CC, and the Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theatre. Charley took 1st place in the VA/NC Regional NSAL acting competition and received the Donald Wilson Scholarship Fund for Excellence in Acting. This opportunity to bring live theatre into Battery Park is an excellent honor.

Bryan Gabriel Lamorena (Orlando)

Bryan Gabriel Lamorena (Orlando) is currently a senior in TheaterVCU’s Bachelor of the Arts program with a focus in Performance and Literature. His credits include: Cementville¸ A Thousand Faces; Everyday Heroes, and Daniel On A Thursday for the Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theatre. He was also a part of VCU’s mainstage production of Shadow Play, a collaborative project of David Leong, Gary Hopper, and Leeland Faulkner. His Shakespeare credits include: Feste the fool, Antonio, and Sebastian from Twelfth Night and Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet. Bryan is very excited about this opportunity to start a public outdoor venue for Shakespeare. And hopes you enjoy the journey as well.

Michael Sater (Silvius, Le Beau)

Michael Sater (Silvius, Le Beau) is thrilled to be performing with some of the most talented and respected artists in the city for this inspired project. He holds a BFA in Theatre from VCU, where he focused on English literature and Shakespearean studies. His favorite roles include Henry David in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, The Painter in Titus Andronicus, Malcolm in Macbeth, and Catesby in Richard III. He would like to thank Joe and James for this opportunity found through a diner window.

Melissa Carroll-Jackson (Vocal Coach)

Melissa Carroll-Jackson (Vocal Coach) is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her MFA in Theatre Pedagogy (with an emphasis in Voice and Speech). She also has an MA from Oklahoma State in Theatre Studies and a BFA in Theatre Performance from Wichita State. After her undergraduate work , she spent five years in New York training with The Atlantic Theatre, creating her own theatre company, “The Sum of Us”, and acting in film and on stage. As a voice and dialect coach, her work has also been heard all over Richmond including such venues as the University of Richmond, Richmond Shakespeare Company, the Chamberlayne Actors Theatre, Cadence Theatre Company, Virginia Commonwealth University and the Henley Street Theatre Company. When not voice coaching, Melissa enjoys acting and directing in Richmond. While in VA she has been seen on the stages of VCU, Richmond Shakespeare Company and will be playing three roles in Richmond Triangle Player’s upcoming production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles. She’s glad to be back working with old friends on such an exciting production and thanks them and her family for all their support.

Lauren Hafner (Audrey)

Lauren Hafner (Audrey) is entering her last year as a Theatre-Performance major at VCU. She was last seen on the TheatreVCU mainstage in The Who’s Tommy. Some of her other credits include Elephant Man, A Thousand Faces: Everyday Heros, The Mixed Tape Project, Fatherhood ReThought and the sketch comedy show Ant Farm. She is thrilled to be a part of Theatre in Battery Park’s inaugural production!

Freddy Kaufman (Duke Frederick)

Freddy Kaufman (Duke Frederick) is thrilled to be involved in the inaugural production of "Theatre in Battery Park". Freddy was most recently seen in Henley Street Theater Company's productions of A Servant of Two Masters, A Doll’s House, Romeo and Juliet, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Seagull. Freddy has also been a staple of the Richmond Shakespeare Company, performing in Hamlet, The Tempest, Comedy of Errors, Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice. Freddy is a full time criminal defense attorney. He brings his theatrical talents to criminal defense trials and criminal defense tactics to the stage. Which better benefits society is debatable.

Innovative Project Grant

We are proud to announce that our inaugural production: As You Like It has received the 2010 Culture Works Innovative Projects Grant. Ours was one of three projects from 20 applicants selected and has received $4,000 in support to help us meet our budget goals.

The astounding part is that before we received this grant we had already been blessed with an accomplished passionate director, brilliant cast, an unspeakably supportive, smart, and capable stage manager (an often unheralded position) all of whom agreed to work for little to no money. I believe it was this commitment that evidenced our promise and encouraged the generous support from Culture Works.

This grant serves as our "good house-keeping" seal of approval. We can't thank Yellow House enough (another local non-profit) for signing on as our fiscal agent to help with the distribution and management of these funds. Now our next step is to use this success to raise more money to meet our budget hopes in order that we may compensate the dedication, determination, hard work (and buckets of sweat from performing outdoors in the summer) of the cast, crew, director, and musicians.

Below you can find a link to the Culture Works web-site to learn more about this important organization that champions arts in Richmond.

But I felt like included their mission in this post was important so here it is also:
  • Lead public and political advocacy expressing the collective voice of the region’s arts and culture.
  • Strengthen arts and culture organizations and independent cultural artists by providing grants, engaging technical training and support, enabling networking and collaboration, and publicly celebrating their work.
  • Be a catalyst for diverse partnerships, and a convener of diverse players, for projects that make the Richmond region ever stronger.

Stay tuned Bard Fans for upcoming Cast bios, and head-shots as we continue to create Theatre in Battery Park!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A fine example of my post below is this beautiful poster designed by Theatre VCU's own Glynn Brannan Director of Public Relations and Graphic Design. Glynn graciously donated her time, talent, and creativity to our project, and I was just so excited I couldn't wait for the final draft (also I figured out how to save a pdf to a jpeg, a small yet grand accomplishment for a technological novice).

Feel free to post this on your facebook pages as a profile pic. in support of Theatre in Battery Park!

Get by with a little help from our Friends

When this project began, it was only an idea. An image in my mind's eye. A vision wherein hundreds of average folk gathered on blankets, and chairs, with children on shoulders of their father's, couples lounging with one another in the late evening sun, some brave performers and swinging musicians offering up a healthy serving of fresh fine art (and I don't mean fine just as in high art, but fine as in the man or woman you see walking down the street in passing and think "Damn their fine!"). I saw strangers congregating and communing at the alter of story, to witness our commonality. Now I also saw, and continue to see a lot more (stilt walkers, fire spinners, large scale puppets), but the simplicity of our first task is duty enough, and that is to bring a worthy piece of art to the world that is our stage for free.

I have a lot of ideas. Some more worthwhile and realistic than others, but not every idea, like not all seeds, fall on rich soil and take root. As we continue our initiative I become more and more delighted and inspired by the individuals willing to work for something greater than money. While we pursue grants and reach out to patrons that can donate what they will, we have already found a wealth of human spirit dedicated, determined, and excited to make this a grand event. From a cast of 13 that agreed to work for free, to an accomplished director that turned down paying work to direct in an open field, a pair of costumers who offered their talents from the onset to the elders of our arts community who have given council around breakfast tables, heads of other community organizations, journalists, photographers, composers, musicians and the buzz of the residents in and around the neighborhood. There has been an out poor of public support that when the doubts that accompany any endeavor creep into the crannies of my consciousness their enthusiasm washes all those fears away.

It did not happen all at once, and we continue to receive new persons "glad to help." This project is more than just a play, and its more than just providing access to and re-imagining the bard. It's about the very essence and power of Theatre to gather, share, and shape the world in which it works. I am grateful for all those who have given and those that will offer themselves selfishly for the advancement of our City.

So stay "tuned" to this blog to watch the work reveal itself, gain it's feet, and take off running. And if you want to get involved, don't hesitate to reach out and invite yourself, just as we have reached out and found warm receiving, able hands.

Joe Carlson
Producer and Artistic Director of Theatre in Battery Park

Monday, June 21, 2010

As You Like It

Check here for all the exciting news detailing the development, process, and production of a unique community event on the North side of RVA in Historic Battery Park. Cast Journals, Bios, Pictures, Video, Info on how you can get involved, and much much more!