Players’ Ring season revealed
The Players’ Ring recently held its 2018-19 Season Reveal and its annual auditions.
The final season tally: 15 mainstage shows of which eight are original works, and three are musicals, both a bit larger numbers than recent years. The Late Night Summer Series (2019) features five shows, four originals. Also back, Generic Theatre Reading Series and, of course, Tuesday Night Improv.
“It’s what we aim for, originals, but, yes, we have more than normal … a bumper-crop,” President Barbara Newton says.
There’s lots of “more” in the upcoming season.
The number of musicals slotted is “unusual.”
“As a rule we don’t do much with musicals,” Newton says. “This time we had seven proposed (which probably is a record).”
There’s a larger number of new production companies as well, six in the mainstage, the most in a single year for sometime.
A fair number of plays are returning. Among those are “The Gift of the Magi: The Musical,” an adaptation by David Mauriello of O. Henry’s short, followed by the traditional Ring’s “Christmas Carol,” and the annual “Discovering Magic,” with Andrew Pinard. The latter two come with changes.
Also back, “Proof,” this time by a theater.unmasked (its first production at the Ring), and “Baby in the Bathtub,” produced by Veterans in Performing Arts.
“Jonathan (Rockwood Hoar, VIPA’s founding artistic director) did that our first or second season,” Newton says.
Full Time Fools Circus is back with its unique mix in a new show, “The Treasure of the Cirque Fou.”
Participating companies include some from the Seacoast, some as far south as Rockport, Mass., west to Gilford, N.H., and north to Portland, Maine. More info at playersring.org.
‘Christmas Carol’ gets a makeover
The Ring’s “Christmas Carol” will get a new treatment this season. Actress Whitney Smith, who directed in 2016, takes the helm again, and Christopher Savage is back to finish reworking the script.
“The vision I used (in 2016) was Chris’s revision. I thought the work he did … was lovely,” Smith says. “He let me know at the time he had some ideas to complete it, the revision.” He’d reworked Act I, but time ran out before the second.
Smith contacted Savage “to give him time,” she says. “I felt if he thought it could still be improved on, I’d love to give him that chance.”
Savage’s revision lifts from both the Ring (F. Gary Newton’s) adaptation, and Charles Dickens’ original book. “That was his goal. He didn’t want to take the essence of the Ring’s version away, he wanted to improve on it.”
Some things are the same: Roland Goodbody and Spencer Bateman return as Scrooge and Tiny Tim respectfully. All other roles are open. Auditions for “Christmas Carol” will be held Wednesday, July 25, 7 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, July 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I am going to let the revision speak for itself this year, classic-style and period,” Smith says. “Although the ghosts are open to be played by any gender or age.”
Rochester MFA expands into new space
The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts (RMFA) has expanded its space at the Rochester Community Center to include the former Economic Development suite. The new space will be named for former Rochester Mayor Harvey Bernier.
“We’re excited about getting the word out,” co-founder and president Matt Wyatt says. “Seems like there’s a big interest in this.”
The RMFA started in 2011 as “a community art museum that utilized public spaces to exhibit art,” he explains. It has put together a collection, and shown at numerous city locations, including RCC ‘s long corridor for years. The new, two-room space will allow RMFA to exhibit more of its collection, offer rotating shows, and have more storage.
“We’ll put more of the collection in one room, in partnership with the hallway,” Wyatt says. “Then in a small, attached room we’ll feature a new artist every couple of months.” First up, an exhibit featuring six members of the curatorial committee.
The museum is already ensconced in the suite. The expansion celebration is June 1, with a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce at 2 p.m., and an opening reception 5 to 8 p.m.
The museum will also debut a smart phone app, which will offer information regarding both the exhibited and stored museum’s collection items. iPads will be provided to patrons without smart phones. More info at www.rochestermfa.org
Talbot designs Marvel Studios poster
Matt Talbot can finally share the news about his outstanding Marvel Studios poster: “A 24 x 36, eight-color (with glitter layer) screen printed poster” commissioned by Marvel Comics as a film wrap gift for the crew of “Avengers: Infinity War!”
“It is extremely exciting,” Talbot says.
“Every (three) years, I’ve done a horror poster a day for the month of October. … About halfway through the month (this year), I noticed someone from Marvel started following me on Twitter.”
Talbot followed back and Evan Jacobs, stereoscopic supervisor, reached out. “He said ‘I like your work do you ever take on project?’ I was thinking ‘For Marvel? Yes!'”
The long and the short of it is Jacobs asked Talbot to create the film’s gift poster. Jacobs “being from the 3D department” asked if Talbot would create something in the vein of the 1950s 3D film poster “when 3D was getting popular … and posters looked like they had things coming out of them.” Jacobs gave the basic concept and let Talbot go.
“It was finished in March. … Marvel just got the delivery yesterday (May 8). I got mine a few days ago,” he says.
The Marvel deal doesn’t allow Talbot to share files. To see the poster, follow the artist on Twitter or check out the printing process by VG Kids (lots of close-ups) at https://www.facebook.com/VG-Kids-196219991026/.
Talbot has no idea if there’s any future Marvel projects “because they consider this chapter of Marvel as closed,” he says. “I really don’t know if they’d want to work with me again – but I enjoyed chatting and working with them.”
Talbot’s other recently completed project does allow sharing. Talbot has made the card art (packaging) for a selection of Acquired Taste Industries short-run toys.
“Generally, they’re editions of 30 pieces. I think (Count Tastus, the artist) scours old vintage Star War toys, and then he makes molds of them and combines them in different ways with different figures. Then he casts with resin and hand-paints them,” he says. “I did not know this, but there is a whole culture of these (toymakers) in an underground scene.”
To date, Talbot has created four packages. See them at acquiredtasteindustries.bigcartel.com.
“I definitely enjoy it. I like science fiction and it’s just a fun and different thing – to draw aliens and little robots. It’s a low pressure thing for me, and a good creative opportunity,” Talbot said.
Finally Talbot is exhibiting at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, which focuses on pop culture themes. Talbot created They Live,”a poster for its most recent ’30 Years Later, The Films of 1988,’ exhibit,” and will take part in July’s “Idiot Box.” Check out Talbot’s work at mattrobot.com.
Jeanné McCartin has her eyes and ears out for Seacoast gossip. E-mail email@example.com.