Archive for January, 2012

Plaza Theatre Company Nominees for the 13th annual Column Awards

It was quite a night for Plaza Theatre Company’s 2011 productions. Every eligible production from PlazaCo’s 2011 season received nominations in non-Equity categories. In all the Company received 51 nominations. At Plaza, we strongly feel that recognition of any one part of a production is recognition for the whole production. So to ALL our wonderful actors, designers, technicians and musicians we send our congratulations and gratitude.

The folks listed below received the top six number of votes in their respective category. They have now moved on to the Final Round of voting which opens today. Only those who voted in the first round are eligible to vote in the Final Round. As usual, we encourage all to vote fairly and honestly. Voting for this final round closes next Friday, February 10th.

We also encourage all to attend the 13th Annual Column Awards Gala on Monday February 27th at the Patty Granville Performing Arts Center. As more information becomes available about ticketing we will post it here. We hope to see a large contingent in attendance on this special night.

Here is the list of nominees from Plaza Theatre Company’s 2011 productions for the 13th annual Column Awards: (all in the non-Equity category)

MAN WITH THE POINTED TOES – 4
Best Play
Best Actor – David Cook
Best Actress – Tina Barrus
Best Featured Actress – Milette Siler

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN – 3
Best Actor – JaceSon Barrus
Best Actress – Daron Cockerell
Best Original Set Design / Musical – Kyle Macy, JaceSon Barrus, Aaron Siler

THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL – 10
Best Musical
Best Director / Musical – JaceSon and Tina Barrus
Best Actor – David Cook
Best Actress – Christine Atwell
Best Supporting Actor – Joey Geisel
Best Musical Director – Dick Helmcamp
Best Original Costume Design / Musical – Tina Barrus
Best Original Set Design / Musical – JaceSon Barrus
Best Lighting Design / Musical  – Cameron Barrus
Best Sound Design / Musical – Aaron Siler

HARVEY – 3
Best Supporting Actress – Milette Siler
Best Featured Actress – Trich Zaitoon
Best Lighting Design / Play – Cameron Barrus

HELLO, DOLLY! – 1
Chita Rivera Dance / Male – Michael Sylvester

JOSEPH … DREAMCOAT – 9
Best Musical
Best Director / Musical – JaceSon and Tina Barrus
Best Actor – Gregory Gerardi
Best Featured Actress – Mimi Barrus
Best Choreography – Tabitha Barrus
Best Musical Direction – Bree Cockerell
Best Original Costume Design / Musical – Tina Barrus
Best Lighting Design / Musical – Aaron Siler
Best Sound Design / Musical – Aaron Siler

TREASURE ISLAND – 14
Best Play
Best Director / Play – Aaron Siler
Best Actor – Luke Hunt
Best Actor – Cooper Rodgers
Best Supporting Actor – Jon Kennedy
Best Supporting Actor – Aaron Lett
Best Supporting Actress – Tabitha Barrus
Best Featured Actor – Aaron Siler
Best Featured Actor – JaceSon Barrus
Best Featured Actress – Kristi Taylor
Best Original Costume Design / Play – Tina Barrus
Best Original Set Design / Play – Aaron Siler
Best Lighting Design / Play – Aaron Siler
Best Sound Design / Play – Aaron Siler

CRAZY FOR YOU – 3
Chita Rivera Dance / Male – Jonathan Metting
Chita Rivera Dance / Female – Rachel Hunt
Best Choreography – Courtney Sikora, Tabitha Barrus, Rachel Hunt

ANNIE – 4
Best Supporting Actor – JaceSon Barrus
Best Supporting Actress – Caroline Rivera
Best Featured Actor – Joey Geisel
Best Musical Director – Joey Geisel

…and even though they don’t assign the Best Stage Manager nominations to a specific theatre group, both of these ladies were nominated for their work on PlazaCo shows –

BEST STAGE MANAGER
Cessany Ford – JOSEPH … DREAMCOAT
Stefanie Glenn – THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL and HELLO, DOLLY!

A full list of all nominees in all categories is available by visiting here: http://thecolumnawards.org/nominations-2012.asp

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Wanna be better prepared at AUDITIONS? Join the Plaza Academy AUDITION PREP Class (for all ages)

QUESTION?

Do you dread auditions? Do you wish you could walk in the door with absolute confidence in yourself, no matter the situation? Ore you preparing for college scholarship auditions?

Then we’ve got a great course for you at Plaza Academy. During our 14 week Spring Semester, we are offering and in-depth AUDITION PREP course. By the end of the semester, each student will be prepared with 4 songs, 4 monologues, headshots and the know-how to succeed in any audition situation.

This class is available to ALL AGES, as well as to those who are interested in succeeding at every level of performance from community to professional productions.

The acting instructor for the AUDITION PREP class is Tina Barrus. She has served as the Director of Education at Plaza Theatre Company as well as has co-Directed several of Plaza’s productions with husband JaceSon.

The vocal coach for the course will be Bree Cockerell. She has Musically Directed several Plaza Theatre Company productions. Her philosophy of vocal coaching is as follows:

“In each lesson we will focus on good vocal technique, how to warm up, auditioning practice and techniques, work on appropriate songs as well as those that will challenge the student. We will discuss how to get the most out of your practice time as well as how to work with an accompanist, the lifeline for a singer! Vocal health will be covered as well as hints for staying healthy including what to do if “your throat hurts”. Important concepts such as proper vowels, deep breathing and song interpretation are emphasized.

Singing is a process and we will always be working towards your best voice. The most important goal in a voice lesson is to have fun and make progress!”

Further, students will be provided the opportunity of getting new and up-to-date headshots with renowned local photographer Ginny Rodgers.

The 14 week Semester for the class begins TODAY, though anyone who wants to join the class late can pro-rate the tuition.

Classes at Plaza Academy have been a smashing success at the new Studio. Over 100 students have signed up in the 13 classes we are offering. We are also very excited about this new class at Plaza Academy. We hope you’ll consider improving your audition skills by joining this very unique class. Give us a call at 817-202-0600 to get the space reserved.

Another outstanding review of THE FOREIGNER – only two weeks left to see it!!!

Well friends, the word on the street is that THE FOREIGNER is not-to-be-missed. And the good news is, there are still two weekends left to see this outrageously hilarious comedy being presented at PlazaCo. Read on for the stellar review of the show by Richard Blake of The Column by John Garcia. Then give us a call at 817-202-0600 to get your reservations. Don’t wait, we promise you’ll have a great time.

___________________________THE FOREIGNER_____________________

Reviewed by Richard Blake, Associate Theater Critic
for John Garcia’s THE COLUMN

Plaza Theatre Company launches its 2012 season with an exciting cast that offers a comedic and well executed presentation of The Foreigner!

The Foreigner was first produced at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in January of 1983, and the boisterous laughter it created there made the play an enormous local success. Named by the American Theatre Critics Association as one of the best regional theatre plays of the 1983-1984 seasons, The Foreigner was subsequently produced Off-Broadway in November of 1984 at the Astor Place Theatre in New York City. Lukewarm responses from the critics failed to quench the play’s enormous audience appeal and, as Laurie Winer reported in a 1988 New York Times article, “one of the few Off-Broadway plays to overcome negative reviews, The Foreigner played 685 performances and fully recouped its $250,000 investment.”

In 1980, Shue studied with a theatre company in Japan. He developed the central idea for The Foreigner when he discovered that the Japanese would tolerate even his most bizarre behavior (because he was unaware of Japanese social customs), dismissing his inappropriate actions as the conduct of an outsider. The Foreigner remains Shue’s most highly regarded work and is considered the most perfectly realized of his plays.

The Foreigner is a well-rounded production with comedy, drama, farce, and a bit of darkness. It is because of this wide variety of events that producers either love to present it or shy away. I won’t reveal the plot twist(s) but it will definitely shock you. Plaza presents it in a very good way, making it the turning point in the production, just as it should be.

Direction by Luke Hunt is very well executed and he features his actors’ talents well. Plaza is an “in the round” space which always poses a challenge to producers. Mr. Hunt uses his stage space very well and effortlessly pulls the audience into every scene in a seamless fashion.

Scene design by JaceSon P. Barrus is simple yet to the point and fills out the space well. Stage exit doors represent different rooms in “Betty Meek’s Fishing Lodge Resort” and a raised area featuring a bar leads to the upstairs rooms of the lodge. That area is also the location of the “major twist” in the production and Mr. Barrus provides the perfect design for it. A couch, chair, dining room table and small wood burning stove round out the space and fit everything perfectly. If you pay close attention to the show and its references, you’ll even get a surprise in the lobby that Mr. Barrus added. I noticed it and it made me smile and appreciate the subtlety.

Costume design by Stacey Greenawalt is basic and perfect for the characters. None of the characters are “over the top” unless need be and subtle changes make for perfect accents to the production. Ms. Greenawalt obviously understands the written characters and demonstrates that understanding, for example, with mismatched shoes on the “slow” character of Ellard Simms in one of his scenes. The attention to detail is shown throughout the production and executed well.

Lighting and Sound design by G. Aaron Siler is well done and accents the action very well. Background effects and major lighting effects are just right and doesn’t distract from the action on stage. There were a few late cues on mics for character entrances but nothing that was terribly distracting. The only issue I had with the sound is the placement of the body mic transmitters that seem problematic for the actors and their costuming.

This cast works together very, very well, especially since in the program noted that over half of the cast is new to Plaza or new to the stage! The cast is led by Robert Shores as Charlie who does an amazing job with his role, especially since most of his stage time is as someone who doesn’t speak English (thus, the Foreigner). He uses facial expressions, body movement and a side-splitting version of his “own language” that keeps you involved, laughing, and in some cases sympathizing for the poor man. His portrayal is spot-on and leads you through this myriad of action seamlessly.

Luke Hunt as Froggy keeps you thoroughly involved with his character. Opening the show and setting the story for the audience, Mr. Hunt has to do it just right… that he does splendidly. His accent, playful nature and wonderful timing make him a pleasure to watch. Being the director also, he definitely spends as much time on his character as he does on the whole production, which can be difficult to achieve when a director is also an actor. You will really fall in love with Froggy.

Trich Zaitoon as Ms. Meeks has put a wonderful spin on her presentation in this role. I’ve seen many productions of The Foreigner and her character portrayal is excitedly fresh and new. She’s not too ditzy yet not too serious, always paying attention, and then not, Ms. Zaitoon is such a pleasure on stage you just don’t want her to go… but when she does, you never know just what to expect when she returns… bravo to her!

David Johnson as Rev. Lee does a great job instilling the back story into this production. His presentation of two sides of the same story works very well and the end of the show is definitely a surprise, in fact, the audience actually gasped out loud when it occurred. To get that kind of reaction you must involve the audience in your character, and that he does. This is one character you love… then hate!

Jenn Fortson as Catherine leads you on an adventure of personal and perspective growth. You listen to her every word, follow her every moment, and truly fall in love with her character. Ms. Fortson is perfect in this role and plays an important part in this story. She has very subtle actions and close ties to the underlying story of the play and without her perfect execution, the audience will be lost in the story. This is an amazing performance by Ms. Fortson, simply amazing.

Owen is played by Michael Lain is done very well. His biography states this is his first community production but you would never know. He does very well as the redneck buddy with a surprising secret. He never lets on to what his character is all about until the story requires him to, and when he does it draws shock from the audience. I know the story line and Mr. Lain’s portrayal, especially in this pivotal moment, is superb. Sometimes I had to listen intently to some dialogue delivery, but with more stage experience I believe that will much more improve.

Jerry Downey, playing Ellard, is a true pleasure to watch. His character can sometimes be played over-the-top but in this case Mr. Downey executes the role perfectly. His body language and presentation make you simply love his character, even in the darkest times. He never goes too far unless the script calls for it, and when that happens… watch out as you’re in for one heck of a bumpy ride!

Overall this is a well-oiled cast, working well with each other to tell a story that will entertain you in every sense of the word, and is a great start to the Plaza Theatre 2012 season!

Reviewed by Richard Blake, Associate Theater Critic
for John Garcia’s THE COLUMN

Audition: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Plaza Theatre Company is holding a SPECIAL AUDITION to cast 3 as yet unfilled roles in its upcoming production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. The audition will be held at the Plaza Theatre Company location at 111 S. Main Street in Cleburne THIS upcoming Saturday January 21st at 1:00pm.

We are looking specifically for 3 men for the following available roles:

Gangster #1
Gangster #2
Male Ensemble

Those who are interested in auditioning should call the Plaza Box Office any time between 10am and 6pm to reserve a spot at the audition. Please come prepared with 32 bars from a musical in the style of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE – a pianist will be provided. A cold reading from the script will be administered by the director.

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is under the direction of Kyle Macy with Musical Direction by Kristin Spires, Choreography by Eddie Floresca and Stage Management by Stefanie Glenn. The show will open at Plaza Theatre Company on March 16th and play thru April 14th. Rehearsals have already commenced. For further information visit the Plaza website at http://www.plaza-theatre.com or call the Plaza Box Office at 817-202-0600.

Today’s Plaza Academy Highlight: Ballet and Tap classes

Plaza Academy’s Spring Semester begins in just 1 week, January 24th. And space in each class is filling up fast. But there’s still room in several of the classes we’re offering this session. Today we’re highlighting one of the new classes we’re offering for the Spring Semester.

(By the way, take a moment to head over to the Plaza Academy page on Facebook and you’ll stay in the know about everything going on at Plaza Academy)

Tap Stars

Age: 8-11

Instructor: Tabitha Barrus

As a Tap Star, students will have a blast putting the fundamentals of tap to work. Over the semester they will learn new steps, rhythms, patterns, and combinations in cute and fun routines. (60 mins)
Tuition: $175

Plaza Academy Tap StarsTappin’ Teens

Age: 12-18

Instructor: Tabitha Barrus

In this high-energy class, teens start with the basics to build solid tap technique in a fun and supportive environment. Students will incorporate steps, rhythms and combinations into routines, danced to some of their favorite music. (60 mins)
Tuition: $175

Ballet Stars

Age: 8-11

Instructor: Faith Brown

Plaza Academy BalletThis is a class for students who are new or returning to ballet. Students will learn ballet fundamentals and terminology while developing strength, confidence, balance, and flexibility. (60 mins)
Tuition: $175

Ballet for Teens

Age: 12-18

Instructor: Faith Brown

Teens will enjoy learning the basics of ballet while developing confidence, mental concentration, physical coordination and grace. This is a class for students who are new or returning to ballet. (60 mins)
Tuition: $175

This class is offered on Thursdays  from 5:00 to 5:45PM beginning on January 24th. The Dance Showcase will be held Monday May 7th at 7:00PM.

About Plaza Academy

Plaza Academy is Plaza Theatre Company’s fine arts education program. Our Academy offers a variety of fine art disciplines for youth ages 3 to 18. Classes include study in acting, musical theatre, voice, tap, ballet and more!

Classes are available in two fourteen week semesters and culminate with a recital. We also offer two fantastic summer camps that include the opportunity to be a part of a Plaza Theater Company production.

Taught by experienced and caring instructors, students will be inspired to grow in their individual area of study.

Our goal is to provide children and teens with many opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise in the fine arts.

How To Register?

Classes will be held at the new Plaza Academy Fine Arts & Dance Studio located at 221 S. Mill Street in Cleburne (just kitty corner from the Plaza Theatre location). Call the Plaza Box Office at 817-202-0600 or visit www.plaza-theatre.com/Studiop for more information about all of the classes being offered. Registration is available by phone, in person, or online.

The official cast list of Plaza Theatre Company’s production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Plaza Theatre Company is pleased to announce the official Cast List of the upcoming production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. The production will be under the direction of Kyle Macy with choreography by Eddie Floresca, musical direction by Kristin Spires, assistant direction by Cessany Ford and stage management by Stefanie Glenn. The show will play the Plaza from March 16th thru April 14th.

The Cast List is: (Double cast where noted)

The Man in the Chair                            Kyle Macy
The Chaperone                                      Caitlan Davis / Milette Siler
Robert Martin                                        Jonathan Metting
Janet VanDerGraff                                Daron Cockerell
Mr. Feldzig                                              Jamie Long
Kitty                                                          Jaye-Jenny Smith
Mrs. Tottendale                                   Trich Zaitoon
Underling                                               Luke Hunt
Aldolpho                                                 Ben Phillips
George                                                     Doug Henry
Trix/Ensemble                                     Jill Baker / Caitlan Davis
Gangster #1                                           TBA
Gangster #2                                           TBA
Ensemble                                               Nikki Hinson
Ensemble                                               Kasi Hallowell
Ensemble                                               Julia Ekpo
Ensemble                                               Lloyd Ekpo
Ensemble                                               Emily Warwick
Ensemble                                               TBA

Today’s Plaza Academy Highlight: DANCE BUGS

Plaza Academy’s Spring Semester begins the week of January 24th. And space in each class is filling up fast. But there’s still room in several of the classes we’re offering this session. Today we’re highlighting one of the new classes we’re offering for the Spring Semester.

(By the way, take a moment to head over to the Plaza Academy page on Facebook and you’ll stay in the know about everything going on at Plaza Academy).

Dance Bugs

Age: 6-7

Instructor: Tabitha Barrus

This tap/ballet combo introduces basic concepts and terms in a fun imaginative way. Students will learn basic terminology, short combinations and correct placement while nurturing the imaginative atmosphere. (45 mins)

This class is offered on Thursdays  from 5:00 to 5:45PM beginning on January 24th. The Dance Bugs Showcase will be held Monday May 7th at 7:00PM.

About Plaza Academy

Plaza Academy is Plaza Theatre Company’s fine arts education program. Our Academy offers a variety of fine art disciplines for youth ages 3 to 18. Classes include study in acting, musical theatre, voice, tap, ballet and more!

Classes are available in two fourteen week semesters and culminate with a recital. We also offer two fantastic summer camps that include the opportunity to be a part of a Plaza Theater Company production.

Taught by experienced and caring instructors, students will be inspired to grow in their individual area of study.

Our goal is to provide children and teens with many opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise in the fine arts.

How To Register?

Classes will be held at the new Plaza Academy Fine Arts & Dance Studio located at 221 S. Mill Street in Cleburne (just kitty corner from the Plaza Theatre location). Call the Plaza Box Office at 817-202-0600 or visit www.plaza-theatre.com/Studiop for more information about all of the classes being offered. Registration is available by phone, in person, or online.

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