Sunday, May 31, 2009

Festival News & Notes #3

Each year at the ITS Festival there are dances in the evenings, usually after main-stage productions. These dances have "themes" and give you a chance to dress accordingly. As theatre folk often love costumes, you may want to take the opportunity presented. But as we'll be travelling from afar, you won't likely have things on hand just by chance.

So to help you prepare for the dances, here's some information about the themes of this year's dances.

The themes are

Character Bash

Red Night (BC/EFA=Broadway cares/Equity fights AIDS)

Zombie Prom


And some images that may help you decide on how to interpret these!

Photo by Amy Nelson Blaine

Photo by Dan Suit

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Commedia dell'Arte-some photos

I took very few photos during the one-act plays the Thespians and Junior Thespians recently staged.

THE COURTERS (which should be translated as THE PARAMOURS or THE ENGAGEMENT or something better than such a ridiculous word as "courters").

THE MARVELOUS PLAYBILL (by Miguel de Cervantes)

THE MAGIC OF SALAMANCA (by Miguel de Cervantes)

As always, if you have more to share, send them to by e-mail and I'll post them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Festival News and Notes # 2

Main stage productions are one the favorite highlights of the experience at the International Thespian Festival.

This year's collection of productions include the following:

Dubuque (Iowa) Senior High School, Troupe 69, John Cariani’s ALMOST MAINE

The Missouri All-State Show production of William Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

FOREVER PLAID, written by Stuart Ross, performed by Flower Mound (Texas) High School, Troupe 6154

Lanford Wilson’s THE RIMERS of ELDRITCH, by Harry S Truman High School, Troupe 5008, Levittown, Pennsylvania

The Memorial High School, Troupe 2980, production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Linda Woolverton

Joe DiPietro’s ALL SHOOK UP by the Ohio All-State cast and crew
Tom Griffin’s The Boys Next Door, Owensboro (Kentucky) High School, Troupe 3161

THE WEDDING SINGER, Lemon Bay High School, Troupe 257, Englewood, Florida

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED), Mountlake Terrace (Washington) High School, Troupe 3627.

I'm sure there will be more, but for now, this list is looking like a lot of fun!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ITS Festival News and Notes #1 -college auditions

One of the most significant benefits our CNMI students get from attending the International Thespian Festival is the chance to audition for colleges. Unlike students who live in the mainland, our students are so far away that they do not have this opportunity except at the ITS Festival.

Here is this year's list of colleges auditioning at the 2009 ITS Festival, with their links. Check out some of these, and see where you want to go next!

*The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, AMDA, New York, New York
*The University of the Arts, UARTS, Philadelphia
*Chicago College of Performing Arts, CCPA, Chicago
*University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, UC-CCM
*Cornell College, Cornell, Mount Vernon, Iowa
*DePaul University, DePaul, Chicago
*University of Evansville, UE, Evansville, Indiana
*Florida International University, FIU theatre & dance , Miami, Florida

Floria International University-Lakewood housing

*Fontbonne Univeristy, Fontbonne, St. Louis, Missouri
*Gustavus Adolphus College, Gustavus, St. Peter, Minnesota
*The Hartt School, University of Harford, UH, West Hartford, Connecticut
*The University of Houston, UH, Houston, TX
*Long Island University, LIU, Brookville, New York
*Loyola University New Orleans, Loyola, New Orleans, LA
*Marquette University, Marquette, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
*Messiah College, MC, Grantham, Pennsylvania
*University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater,
UM-Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
*University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UNL
*Nebraska Wesleyan University, NWU, Lincoln, Nebraska
*The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, NYCDA, New York, New York
*The New York Film Academy, NYFA, New York, NY
*University of Northern Colorado, UNC, Greeley
*Ohio Northern University, ONU, Ada, Ohio
*University of Oklahoma, OU-drama, Norman
*University of Oklahoma, OU-musical theatre, Norman
*Otterbein College, Otterbein, Westerville, Ohio
Otterbein University campus

*Rockford College, Rockford, Rockford, Illinois
*Rowan University, RU, Glassboro, New Jersey
*Saint Louis University, SLU, St. Louis
St. Louis University-Library

*Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, St. Mary's, Winona
*Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD, Savannah, Georgia
*University of Southern California, USC, Los Angeles
*Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, SMU, Dallas, Texas
*University of South Dakata, USD, Vermillion
Southwestern College, SC, Winfield, Kansas
*Texas Christian University, TCU, Fort Worth
*Viterbo University, Viterbo, La Crosse, Wisconsin
*Wake Forest University, WFU, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
*Webster University, Webster, St. Louis, MO
*Western Michigan University, WMU, Kalamazoo, Michigan
*William Woods University, William Woods, Fulton, Missouri
*University of Wyoming, UWyoming, Laramie
*Youngstown State University, YSU, Ohio

It's very "in" to use You Tube to give a close-up look at life on campus. So enjoy these looks!

A Very Busy Time

It seems to me that every time during the school year is a very busy time, but the end of the school year seems to be the busiest!

Our competition students are getting ready for the national events in the U.S., and that means forms to complete, travel arrangements to detail, and of course rehearsals for the individual competition pieces.

As if all of that weren't enough, the Thespians also stage two one-act plays--one presented by the Junior Thespians, and one by the high school Thespians.

This year's one-acts will take us back in time to the middle-ages/early Renaissance period in Spain.

The Junior Thespians present THE MAGIC OF SALAMANCA, based on the Cervantes play, "The Cave of Salamanca." You can see an original 1915 costume design from the Russian Vesvlod Meyehold Studio here. It is being directed by SSHS freshman Anna Rose Deleon Guerrero, and will feature the talents of Reece Brown, Royze Banados, Zalika Joyner, Ray Mark Denora, Dayanara Flores, and Tony Bai. The play is an adaptation of the maxim "when the cat's away, the mice will play."

The high school Thespians will produce another play, THE MARVELOUS PLAYBILL, also set in Spain. It is being directed by MHS junior Matt Wheat, and features the usual suspects (Tommy Baik, Moon Hsu Lee, Adelayah Mojica, Miki Nadia and Akiko Dela Cruz, Liezel Tiples, Aisha Joyner, Dowen Jocson, Tori Brown, etc.)! It contains a "play within a play" and will remind the viewers of the folk-tale, "The Emperor Has No Clothes."

Also there will be a third play, recently added, called THE COURTERS, in the same style. Student actors in this one include Roland Arii, Dennis Chen, Ruthie Quiatchon, Chantee, and others.

These one-acts introduce a style that draws on Commedia dell'Arte.

With stock characters and specific costumes, the commedia dell'arte gave room for improvisation, character development and physical stunts on stage that introduced professional acting to Europe. It also enlivened theatre to attract large audiences.

Commedia dell'Arte is still an active force in theatre today. We recently saw a 20th century American version of Commedia dell'Arte style here in Saipan in THE FANTASTICKS, produced by Friends of the Arts. If you want to research, there is a lot of information available online.

Our Thespians productions will no doubt be enjoyable and help our students practice more theatre techniques. And then they'll take these one-act plays to the ITS Festival at Lincoln, Nebraska, where the high school Thespians will perform in the CHAPTER SELECT Showcase, and the junior thespians will stage their one-act in the Freestyle arena.