Tag Archives: Drama

ALL MY SONS – 3 Shows Left!

ICT MainStage enters the final weekend of its production of Arthur Miller’s classic American drama, All My Sons.  The critically acclaimed production has only three performances left, beginning at 8 PM tonight in the Dupree Theater at the Irving Arts Center.  Hailed by Edge Dallas as “an inspired, intense, enervating drama,” All My Sons is a show you do not want to miss.

I have been privileged to work with an amazing cast and crew on this production.  Below are bios of our amazing ensemble of talent:

PAUL ARNOLD (Frank Lubey) is better known in Dallas as a lighting designer, with shows at Theatre Three, Theatre Too, Garland Civic Theatre, and Theatre Coppell. This is his second role in Dallas, and is debuting with ICT.  Some favorite roles include Marcellus/THE MUSIC MAN, Drake/HONK!, Hero/FORUM, Albert/DEAR RUTH, Pedant/TAMING OF THE SHREW, and Foreman/12 ANGRY MEN.

LYZZ BROSKEY (Lydia Lubey) is making her debut with ICT. Lyzz recently appeared as Gayle in Black Box Operations’ production of ALMOST, MAINE. She is a 2nd semester student in the Career Acting program at KD Studio in Dallas.

CATHERINE DuBORD (Ann Deever) is thrilled to be back on stage with ICT MainStage. She was last seen making her New York debut with The Modern Stage in MY FAVORITE ANIMAL.  She graduated from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Acting. Her favorite theatrical credits from Dallas/Ft. Worth include PILLOWMAN (Kitchen Dog Theatre), PROOF (ICT MainStage), POPCORN (Theatre Three), LUANN HAMPTON LAVERTY OBERLANDER and SYLVIA (Contemporary Theatre of Dallas), and EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK (Classical Acting Company). You can see Catherine next in SOME GIRL(S) with Second Thought Theatre. As always much love to Mom, Dad and the boys. Ms. DuBord is represented by The Mary Collins Agency.

DIANA GONZALEZ (Sue Bayliss)  is very excited to be a part of ALL MY SONS with ICT. A graduate of the University of Dallas, Diana has also received extensive training through The Actors Conservatory Theatre Summer Intensive Program in San Francisco, California. She has been seen on many stages around Dallas including Cara Mia, Groundhog Theatre, as well as Risk Theatre Initiative.  Some of Diana’s favorite performance credits include PINKALICIOUS, VOLPONE, AS YOU LIKE IT, THREE SISTERS, CLOUD TECTONICS, NIGHT TRAIN TO BOLINA, THE FESTIVITIES, THE FORCED MARRIAGE, ANOUILH’S ANTIGONE, HAMLET, and THE SLEEP OF REASON.  She would like to thank the wonderful cast and crew and her amazing family and friends for their never-ending love and support.

MICHAEL MCNIEL (Joe Keller) was last seen on the ICT stage as Howard Bevans in PICNIC.  Other roles have included The Skipper/GILLIGAN’S ISLAND:  THE MUSICAL, Gerald Gannett/WOMAN IN MIND (Rover Dramawerks), Manolo Costazuela/THE ODD COUPLE (FEMALE VERSION), Linus Larrabee, Jr./SABRINA FAIR and Dr. Phillip Thorwold/NOTORIOUS, PSYCHO BIRDS IN THE NORTH BY NORTHWEST REAR WINDOW (The Pocket Sandwich Theatre).  Michael would like to thank Marco Salinas for allowing him to work with such a talented cast.

FRED PATCHEN (Dr. Jim Bayliss) This is the Fred’s first production with ICT.  Some of his more recent work includes shows with Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Garland Civic Theatre and Project X.  He dearly thanks his family and Gary for their constant love and encouragement, and all of his friends who supported him in getting back on stage.

DREW SMITH (Bert) is making his first appearance at ICT.  He has previously been seen in church performances as Drew/FISH TALES and Jackson/LIVING INSIDE OUT.  He is thrilled to be making his debut in public theater with this performance.  When he isn’t acting, he plays baseball and basketball in Irving and attends The North Hills Preparatory School where he is in 3rd grade.  He would like to thank his parents and sister for their support and encouragement.

BRAD STEPHENS (George Deever) is an award-winning filmmaker and actor with more than 20 years of film and television experience.  He has been in commercials for Pepsi, Southwest Airlines and Joe’s Crab Shack.  His local stage credits include Olsen in ICT’s LAURA, Bob Cratchit in EBENEZER SCROOGE, Canon Pennefather in MURDER ON THE NILE and Chris Keller in Mesquite Community Theatre’s ALL MY SONS for which he received MCT’s 2008 People’s Choice Award.  Brad is privileged to return to this material and to ICT.  His gratitude goes out to this wonderful cast and director, his supportive family and devoted wife.

DIANE TRUITT (Kate Keller) is glad to be performing with ICT MainStage after a long absence. Diane has appeared over the years in various productions locally and out of state, most recently as Elaine Wheeler in NIGHT WATCH at Rotunda Theatre in Dallas.

JORDAN WILLIS (Chris Keller) is thrilled to be returning to ICT MainStage having last appeared as Hal in last season’s PROOF.  He was most recently seen in Theatre Three’s production of MURDER ON THE NILE as Smith.  Jordan is proud to serve on the boards for both John Garcia’s The Column as well as ICT. Other ICT roles include Anthony Marston/TEN LITTLE INDIANS, Shelby Carpenter/LAURA, and Gideon Temple/THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. Jordan wishes to thank Marco for this awesome experience!! “Ab imo pectore”

MARCO E. SALINAS (Director) is delighted to return to ICT MainStage, having previously directed PICNIC there in 2007. His most recent directorial efforts include THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH in 2007 and TWELFTH NIGHT in 2005, both for Shakespeare Dallas. He is also The Director of Educational Tours with Shakespeare Dallas, having written and directed local school tours for over seven years. As an actor, he most recently appeared at ICT in their production of THE SECRET GARDEN as Dr. Neville Craven, for which he was given a Leon Rabin Award nomination. Marco works predominantly as a local area sound designer, having designed over 100 shows in the last decade for companies such as Dallas Children’s Theater, WaterTower Theatre, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas and Echo Theatre.  Additionally, he has won several awards for his work as Sound Designer.

WADE GIAMPA (Set Designer) This is Wade’s third show with ICT. He is one of the three busiest set designers in Dallas.

SUZI CRANFORD (Costume Designer)  is happy to be working with ICT MainStage for a third time. Her work was seen in SHAKESPERE FOR THE MODERN MAN, LESSON ONE MACBETH last year, and AN AMERICAN DAUGHTER two seasons ago. She currently serves as design associate at Dallas Costume Shoppe.Thank you, ICT, for a wonderful opportunity and experience (as always!)

SAM NANCE (Lighting Designer) is pleased to be designing ALL MY SONS.  He has designed numerous shows for ICT MainStage  where his most recent work was SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE  and NOISES OFF.  He is the resident lighting designer for Pegasus Theatre where he has lit their innovative “living black and white” shows for a number of years as well as their more colorful presentations.  Other companies that have seen his light, include the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, Dallas Theater Center, Theatre Britain, the Lois Pope Theater in Florida and Theatre Three.  Shows include WOODY GUTHRIES AMERICAN SONG, THE LION IN WINTER, CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRLS, AND A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM.  He has received two Column Awards for his lighting of THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA and NINE at ICT.

FERNANDO LARA (Properties Designer)  has worked on many shows for ICT MainStage and ICT Theatre On The Edge. Fernando was Stage Manager for THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT and Assistant Stage Manager for DRACULA, SHAKESPEARE FOR THE MODERN MAN-LESSON 1: MACBETH, PROOF and Co-Producer of the critically acclaimed award winning musical NINE.  Fernando has worked as an Actor, Sound Designer and Stage Manager for TV, Film and Theater for many years.

JO ANNE HULL (Set Dressing) has designed props and set dressing for many ICT shows including BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, CRIMES OF THE HEART, NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY, PROOF and most recently, SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE.  She enjoys the challenge of those “just right and hard to find” items that allow her to indulge and excuse her attraction to thrift shops, garage sales and antique stores.  Jo Anne is an ICT Board Member.
TOM ORTIZ (Stage Manager) is grateful to once again stage manage a great classic directed by such an inspiring director and all star cast. Tom appreciates that his family and friends always support his endeavors and especially those here at ICT.

The Arthur Miller play will run through Saturday, June 13, 2009.  All performances will be held at the Dupree Theater in the Irving Arts Center located at 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75062. Tickets may be purchased by visiting irvingtheatre.org or by calling 972-252-2787.

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Theater review: ALL MY SONS

NOTE: The following review incorrectly reports that I am playing the part of Dr. Jim Bayliss.  My part is that of Ann’s brother, George Deever.  Due diligence aside, though, it is a fairly decent review.  — Brad

The ColumnICT Mainstage tackles Arthur Miller’s classic All My Sons this month in the Dupree Theater at Irving Arts Center. Though a few audience members did not return to their seats after a slow first half, they missed out on a very finely handled climax and conclusion.

Though it first debuted on Broadway in 1947, All My Sons has plenty to say to a contemporary American audience. The year is 1946 and the Keller family is entertaining a visit from Ann Deever (Catherine DuBord), a childhood friend of son Chris (Jordan Willis) and former girlfriend of his brother Larry, who went Missing in Action during World War II. Chris and Anne would like to marry, but must overcome the disapproval of mother Kate Keller (Diane Truitt), who believes her son Larry will return any day. More importantly, they must deal with the truth about their fathers’ former business partnership, during the course of which several U.S. war pilots lost their lives due to faulty parts Keller and Deever delivered, which landed Anne’s father in prison.

The first act (of three, though there is only one intermission and rightly so) is largely expository – which is more Arthur Miller’s doing than anyone else’s – but director Marco Salinas does little to keep the act moving. Brad Stephens, as the Keller’s neighbor, Dr. Jim Bayliss, proves himself a competent actor, but he has difficulty finding his timing and brings the action to a crawl at the top of the play. The first act relies heavily on the Kellers’ neighbors, most of whom won’t be seen much later on; as Dr. Bayliss’s wife Sue, Diana Gonzalez brings the strongest stage presence in the cast, along with a clear grasp of the play’s time period.

Though they are fine actors, it is a sense of time period that is lacking in Willis’s and DuBord’s performances. Some of the youngest in the cast, they play their scenes with overly contemporary movements and line readings. Too, they never quite move beyond the brother/sister relationship to find the strong romantic chemistry that would justify their rehashing of such dark issues within and between their families. Still, the entire cast does fine work in the second and third acts, each of which is shaped quite nicely. Both Willis and DuBord move from innocence to jaded understanding at a clear and appropriate pace, and both McNiel’s Joe Keller and Truitt’s Kate unravel piece by piece. The intensity is fairly high after intermission and continues to build in such a compelling way that Miller’s genius shines through beautifully. Salinas has created a particularly riveting final half hour, during which a good deal of game-changing information comes forth. It is often far too easy for a director and production to lose control and lose the audience in the face of this much revelation, but Salinas develops the play’s final actions with both power and precision.

Wade Giampa’s scenic design, while nicely conceived and realized, is at times a bit of a distraction. Giampa creates a strong sense of suburban America in the 1940s, but it is perhaps too strong. There is a certain genius in the painfully bright yellow he chooses for the exterior of Keller’s house, the cheery nature of which so strongly contrasts the darker secrets that live within its walls; the brightness of the scenery, however (and especially under an equally bright lighting design by Sam Nance), is at times overpowering. From time to time, the actors fade away and the action is lost as the looming, yet ever so slightly cartoonish scenery takes center stage. Nance’s lighting design draws equal attention to itself; though they are always functional and appropriate, the lights often seem to change mid-scene with little or no apparent reason.

Costumes, hair and makeup are hit and miss. The women fare better in Suzi Cranford’s costumes, many of them vintage dresses and ensembles, though some of these items could use a little attention; several audience members commented in the middle of the third act about the loose threads hanging several inches from the hem of DuBord’s beautiful party dress. The men, however, receive less care, each outfitted with slacks and a somewhat ill-fitted sweater vest that looks generic beside the women’s sweater sets and seamed stockings. Too, great pains have been taken to give the women distinctly 1940s hairstyles – all except DuBord, whose flatly dyed blonde hair is absently pinned up at the side.

Flaws aside, though, ICT Mainstage’s All My Sons is an earnest production that recognizes and honors one of the most significant playwrights of the American theatre. In a theatre world often more interested in contemporary voices and big musicals, productions like this one go a long way to remind us why an Arthur Miller or a Eugene O’Neill is still so highly respected. ICT brings a fantastic play that has become somewhat peripheral to a contemporary audience in an interesting, relatable production.

— by Dennis Sloan of John Garcia’s The Column

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Edge Dallas Reviews ALL MY SONS

All My Sons - ICTSet in the turbulent summer of late August, 1946, the year after World War II ended, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons is a study in false values and their resulting devastation. Joe Keller (Michael McNiel) the patriarch of a prosperous, upper-middle class home, is trying to persevere after calamity and upheaval has shaken his family nearly to pieces. His elder son, Larry, has died in the war, a fact his wife, Kate (Diane Truitt) has refused to confront. In a scandal involving his factory and defective airplane parts, his neighbor, friend and business partner, Steve Deever, has been sent to prison.  As the play opens, his younger son, Chris (Jordan Willis) has brought home Steve’s daughter, Ann, with the hope of getting married. But doing so would mean getting Kate to admit that Larry is never coming home, because in her mind, Ann is still Larry’s girl.

Diane Truit, Michael McNeil

Diane Truit, Michael McNeil

“All My Sons” begins with great frantic energy and resolve. Despite the fact that the mother, Kate, verges on hysteria, she hangs on vigilantly to the version of truth that sustains her. The Kellers are good-hearted folks, and they have held up in the midst of personal and public catastrophe, even when they are vilified and harassed. The younger son, Chris, hasn’t an aggressive bone in his body; he sees the good in everyone. Ann has assumed the courts have convicted the right man, subsequently cutting off all ties with her incarcerated father, and falling in love with her dead fiancé’s younger brother. As one by one, each character’s defenses are knocked down, horrible revelations and recriminations are brought to light. Where once tranquility and contentment prevailed, instead there is chaos and confusion.

Miller’s story involves the extended family of humanity, as well as the immediate, nuclear family. There is much talk about growing up together, memories of childhood and yearning for a bright future. A central metaphor for unexpected destruction appears in the shape of a tree split open and destroyed by a lightning bolt, obviously by forces beyond their control. Miller goes to great lengths to show us it’s not only about looking out for your own, but taking responsibility for the more pervasive impact of your actions. That we needn’t succeed to the detriment of others. The quintessentially American suburban dream-home the Kellers occupy (designed by Wade Giampa) looks sunny and serene at the beginning, but by the end it has acquired a pall.

Jordan Willis, Brad Stephens and Catherine DuBord

Jordan Willis, Brad Stephens and Catherine DuBord

ICT MainStage’s production of “All My Sons” is an inspired, intense, enervating drama. Bleak and absorbing, implosive and heartbreaking, it is a domestic tragedy of meaningful proportions, carried out with authenticity and dedication by director Marco Salinas, and his extensive, talented cast. Jordan Willis was mesmerizing and deeply touching as the passionate, altruistic Chris Keller. Fred Patchen, as Dr. Jim Bayliss, was wry and reflective, if not always easy to understand. Catherine DuBord, a knockout in earlier productions of “Proof” and KDT’s “The Pillowman”, is poignant and affecting here as Ann Keller, caught between her family and devotion to Chris. Diane Truitt was splendid as Kate, overcome by grief but still holding fast to sanity as best she can. Truitt was simultaneously frail and courageous, exquisitely genuine and wistful. Michael McNiel was powerful and overwhelming as Joe Keller, the bombastic, troubled, steadfast father of the Keller family, driven to provide and insure their security and prosperity. McNiel has navigated a balance between optimism and ferocity, creating a role that is marvelous, stirring and implacable.

The rest of this extraordinary cast includes : Brad Stephens (George Deever) Diana Gonzalez (Sue Bayliss) Paul Arnold (Frank Lubey) Lyzz Broskey (Lydia Lubey) and the engaging Drew Smith as Bert.

ICT MainStage Presents: Arthur Miller’s All My Sons playing May 29th – June 13th, 2009. Irving Arts Center, 3333 North MacArthur Blvd.Irving, TX 75062. 972.252.ARTS. www.irvingtheatre.org.

by Christopher Soden, EDGE Contributor

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ALL MY SONS is Great American Theater

The Irving JournalICT theatergoers will have the opportunity to experience the work of one of America’s greatest playwrights when “All My Sons” is performed May 29 through June 13 at the IAC Dupree Theater.

All My Sons won Tony Awards for Arthur Miller for Best Author and Elia Kazan for Best Director when it debuted on Broadway in 1947. Restaged in 1987, All My Sons earned the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. A 2008 Broadway revival starring John Lithgow, Diana Weist, and Katie Holmes also received critical acclaim.

Inspired by a true story, the play deals with how business conducted without ethics can destroy the lives of others. Joe Keller becomes a successful businessman by selling defective airplane parts to the U.S. government that result in the deaths of World War II servicemen and the imprisonment of his business partner. The personal stories constructed to cover up loss and guilt eventually unravel, forcing all to confront the truth.

Diane Truit, Michael McNeil

Diane Truitt plays Kate Keller; Michael McNiel is Joe Keller. Photo by Mike Morgan.

ICT MainStage has assembled a stellar cast of talent to perform one of the most powerful works in the American theater. Stage favorite Michael McNiel takes the part of Joe Keller, whose pursuit of success destroys the domestic tranquility he worked hard to achieve. Diane Truitt makes her longawaited return to ICT as Joe’s wife, Kate, who believes in the eventual appearance of their son Larry, missing in action during wartime service.

Theater talent Jordan Willis is back at ICT in the role of Keller’s younger son, Chris, a service veteran who desires to marry his missing brother’s girlfriend. Catherine DuBord adds to her bountiful stage credits the role of Ann Deever, Larry’s girlfriend and the daughter of Joe’s imprisoned former business partner.

Stage and screen vet Brad Stephens is also back at ICT as Ann’s brother George Deever. Theater pro Fred Patchen makes his ICT debut as Dr. Jim Bayliss, family friend of the Kellers. Popular stage talent Diana Gonzalez takes the part of Sue, wife of Dr. Bayliss and a Keller family friend.

Paul Arnold steps out from behind his familiar stage lighting role in his debut as Frank Lubey, who keeps alive the belief in Larry’s eventual return home. Promising theater student Lyzz Broskey makes a memorable ICT debut as Lydia Lubey, Frank’s wife. Taking his first public stage bows is third grader Drew Smith as Bert, a neighborhood boy and frequent visitor to the Keller home.

Marco E. Salinas is again in the ICT MainStage director’s chair, bringing numerous director credits and sound design awards with him. Much-in-demand set designer Wade Giampa and costume designer Suzi Cranford work their magic at ICT for a third time.

Column Award winner Sam Nance again adds his lighting design genius to an ICT production and is joined by all-around ICT vet Fernando Lara as property designer. ICT MainStage favorite Tom Ortiz is back to stage manage the production, while Jo Anne Hull is again in charge of set dressing. ICT MainStage vets Evelyn G. Hall, Mary Bongfeldt, and Binnie Tomaro handle producer responsibilities.

A powerful theater experience, All My Sons is a play not to be missed. For ticket information and reservations, call (972) 252-2787 or go on-line at www.irvingtheatre.org.

Performances are Fri. and Sat. May 29, 30 and June 5, 6, 12, 13, at 8 00p.m. Thursday, June 4, 11, at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, June 7 at 2:30 pm. at the Dupree Theater, Irving Arts Center 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. Tickets prices are Thursday: Adults $15 and Seniors/Students $13. Friday – Sunday: Adults $18 and Seniors/Students $16. Student Rush – $5 cash 5 minutes before curtain if seats are available.

— The Irving Journal, May 26, 2009

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Sons, Daughters and Airplane Parts?

By Sarah Johnson of the Dallas Observer

sunset-high-an-inner-city-winner_3435276_43Did you know the famous Arthur Miller play All My Sons was based on a true story? Kind of upsetting considering it’s about businessmen who knowingly sold the government defective airplane parts during World War II. Not to mention that the play includes a man falling in love with and getting engaged to his MIA soldier brother’s girlfriend. Also, to make things more complicated, the newly engaged couple’s fathers were the business partners who sold those not-so-good airplane cylinder heads. Turns out one goes to jail, and well, the other one doesn’t. Obviously, it has all the makings of a Greek tragedy. ICT MainStage’s production of All My Sons will run Friday through June 13 at the Dupree Theater, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving. For ticket prices and showtimes, call 972-252-2787 or visit irvingartscenter.com.

Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: May 29. Continues through June 13, 2009

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ALL MY SONS Opens Friday

Beginning this Friday, May 29, 2009, ICT MainStage will present a classic of American drama, All My Sons.

Jordan Willis, Brad Stephens and Catherine DuBord

Jordan Willis, Brad Stephens and Catherine DuBord

Brad Stephens has been cast as George Deever in the upcoming production directed by Marco Salinas. No stranger to the play, Brad performed the role of Chris Keller last year at Mesquite Community Theatre. That highly acclaimed production earned him the 2008 MCT People’s Choice award for best actor.

The Arthur Miller play will run through Saturday, June 13, 2009.  All performances will be held at the Dupree Theater in the Irving Arts Center located at 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75062. Tickets may be purchased by visiting irvingtheatre.org or by calling 972-252-2787.

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GILLIAN Sails Away Saturday

Cast of TO GILLIAN ON HER 37th BIRTHDAYThe final curtain descends on To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday this Saturday at the Mesquite Arts Center.  The Michael Brady play, under the direction of Brad Stephens, has moved hundreds to laughter and tears since opening on April 10th.  The critically acclaimed production is the second in Mesquite Community Theatre’s highly successful 25th Anniversary Season.

DAVID is in perpetual mourning for his wife, killed two years ago in a boating tragedy on her birthday.  Retiring to his summer cottage in Nantucket with his teenage daughter, David prepares to spend a weekend celebrating Gillian’s life on the anniversary of her death.  Joining them is Gillian’s sister, brother-in-law and a woman from David’s past.  But while his family hopes to lure him out of his grief, David has resurrected his wife in his mind, sinking ever deeper into depression and further from those who care for him.

Cast of TO GILLIAN ON HER 37th BIRTHDAYOnly three more shows remain Thursday, April 23rd and Friday, April 24th with the final performance Saturday, April 25th.  Curtain for all shows is 8 PM.  Don’t miss your chance to see what The North Dallas Gazette promises “is well worth the drive to Mesquite!”

All performances are held in the Black Box Theater at the Mesquite Arts Center, 1527 N Galloway Avenue in Mesquite, Texas.  Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and S.T.A.G.E. members, and $8 for children 2-6 years old.  All tickets for Thursday’s show are $10.  Cash or check only, please.  No credit or debit cards accepted.

Though not required, reservations are recommended to assure your seat.  For reservations call (972) 216-8126 or e-mail Reservations@mctweb.org.  Be sure to include your full name, phone number and the number of $12.00, $10.00 and $8.00 tickets you wish to reserve as well as the performance date and time.


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GILLIAN Reveiws Published

Two reviews of To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday were published this week, providing this director with a mixture of joyful praise and bitter-tasting yet necessary critical feedback.  Both reviews can be found online at www.pegasusnews.com.

north-dallas-gazette1The more positive review comes from Rick A. Elina, Theatre Critic for the North Dallas Gazette.  Mr. Elina’s background as a playwright is evident in the way he pens his review, making even his rebukes a pleasure to read.  Fortunately, rebukes are few and far between as he presents his experience of a joyful evening of theater and giving insightful and poetic perspectives on the story and each character’s journey.  While taking issue with a few key scenes, for the most part Mr. Elina praises the cast, calling particular attention to Larry Jack Dotson (“superb”),  Rebekah Kennedy (“extraordinary”) and Arlette Morgan (“divinely inspired”).  Lastly, I was humbled to have a critic of Mr. Elina’s reputation consider my work to be “remarkable direction.”

column-onlineEqually humbling, Clyde Berry of John Garcia’s The Column, a major online daily entertainment-related column in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, provided honest criticism from his perspective.  He gives kudos for the set (decorated to perfection by David Jetre), lighting design (props to Gillian producer, Scott Croy) and Larry Jack Dotson’s “delightfully created” performance.  He also grants that the story moves “at an effective pace, and the piece moves quickly.”  Beyond that, Mr. Berry has a lot to say about what he didn’t like about the play.  Some of his views clearly sprout from a clash in theatrical style; other opinions were a bit befuddling; but some of what he wrote was good criticism, a teaching aid for which I am grateful.

The polarized nature of the reviews might lead one to think Mr. Berry got stuck viewing an “off-night” for the production.  However, both critics attended the very same performance.  Such is the subjective nature of the critic.  Often, our own preferences and expectations color our perception of any work we view with critical eyes.  Who’s right, who’s wrong?  The truth is each reviewer gave an honest interpretation of their experience of the show.  One liked it, the other did not.  Simple as that.

Meanwhile, there were many other critics whose opinions go undocumented.  These are the kind people who came to our opening weekend, laughed and cried in all the right places, and left our show thanking the performers for a great time.  If you have seen our show, I’d be interested in your feedback as well.  If you haven’t yet come out to Mesquite, I invite you to do so and leave your insights, good and bad, here on this blog entry.

To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday runs for two more weekends with shows tonight and tomorrow at 8 PM, a Sunday matinee at 2:30 PM, and 8 PM shows next Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  Only six performances left!  More information can be found at www.mctweb.org.  For reservations,  e-mail reservations@mctweb.org or call 972-216-8126.

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Brad Accepts Role at ICT MainStage

Get info about the show!

Brad Stephens has been cast as George Deever in the upcoming ICT MainStage production of All My Sons, directed by Marco Salinas.  The Arthur Miller play is often regarded as one of the great dramatic classics of the American stage.  This will mark Brad’s return to performing after a four-month hiatus spent directing To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday, currently playing to enthusiastic crowds in Mesquite.

No stranger to the play, Brad performed the role of Chris Keller last year at Mesquite Community Theatre.  That highly acclaimed production earned him the 2008 MCT People’s Choice award for best actor.  Brad is eager to revisit the material, anticipating many new discoveries and fresh perspectives as he tackles the role of George.

All My Sons will open Friday, May 29 and run through Saturday, June 13, 2009.  All performances will be held at the Dupree Theater in the Irving Arts Center located at 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, TX 75062.  Tickets may be purchased by visiting irvingtheatre.org or by calling 972-252-2787.

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david-and-rachelMesquite Community Theatre continues their Silver Anniversary season with their second production, To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday, opening tonight at the Mesquite Arts Center. The Michael Brady play is my D/FW stage directing debut. Thursday’s preview audience responded very favorably with laughter and tears in all the right places.  My cast, as always, exceeded my expectations and truly delivered heartfelt performances.  I could not be more proud!

Performance schedule is as follows:

  • kevin-and-cindyFriday, April 10, 2009 at 8 PM
  • Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 8 PM
  • Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 2:30 PM ($10)
  • Friday, April 17, 2009 at 8 PM
  • Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 8 PM
  • Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 2:30 PM ($10)
  • Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8 PM ($10)
  • Friday, April 24, 2009 at 8 PM
  • Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 8 PM

paul-and-esther1All performances are held in the BLACK BOX THEATER at the Mesquite Arts Center (MAC), 1527 N Galloway Avenue in Mesquite, Texas.  Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and S.T.A.G.E. members, and $8 for children 2-6 years old.  Cash or check only, please.  No credit or debit cards accepted.

Though not required, reservations are recommended to assure your seat.  For reservations call (972) 216-8126 or e-mail: Reservations@mctweb.org.  Be sure to include your FULL NAME, PHONE NUMBER and the number of $12.00, $10.00 and $8.00 tickets you wish to reserve and the PERFORMANCE DATE & TIME.


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