Sunday, January 24, 2010

Miranda Marks

It's always a great day when a former drama student drops by the Little Theatre! Recently, Miranda Marks stopped in to catch me up on her doings.

Miranda was one of the brave students who came to Miller South in our first year -- she was in 7th grade drama, which in those days was a combination class with both 7th and 8th grade students in one class. She played a leading role in a A Midsummer Night's Dream and other productions as well. After attending FHS in the Theatre Arts program there, she went on to pursue theatre in college and moved out west to the Seattle area.

These days, she is an entrepreneur, who is using recycled rubber to make artistic goods like wallets, key chains and jewelry. Her company is named Rubber Revolution and you can order her unique and eco-friendly goods online by clicking here.

Miranda still cherishes her theatre background and is sure she will be doing theatre once again soon. By creating her own business, she is giving herself some economic stability along with flexible hours so that if the opportunity comes, she can find time for theatre.

I'd like to point out to my current students that developing a support plan is essential if you are planning on going into the theatre. Many theatre people sign on at temp agencies to pay their bills while auditioning. Others, like Miranda, set up a business that allows them to make money and yet have the time for auditioning and rehearsing. My dog's trainer is also an actor. His training business allows him to schedule sessions at both his and his client's convenience. Assess your skills and see how they can become marketable and a means for furthering all your goals.

Robert Keith Woyzeck production photos

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Robert Keith in Woyzeck at NYU Steinhardt last fall. Now you can check him out in this series of production photos.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this production was the design of the setting. Inside the black box theatre, the audience sat in a right angle formation looking across the playing space. The opposite side of the black box featured cell like bars through which the audience could see the actors seated on chairs waiting to make their entrances.

Robert played the title role of a poor deluded soldier who was so hard up for money that he volunteered to undergo bizarre medical experiments in order to feed his family. The experiments took their toll on Woyzeck who began to lose his sanity. At the end of the play, the NYU production made effective use of a water effect that streamed down around Woyzeck as he committed his final act of madness.

For an update of Robert's career so far, check out his profile at NYU STeinhardt.

Erica Wright

I recently ran into Erica Wright online and seized the opportunity to catch up with her on her post Akron Public Schools career. Erica came to Miller South in drama in the early formative years of the school. She was an articulate leader and a talented and confident student. I always had a hunch she'd do well in Communications and Media. I asked her to send along her bio to share with us:

Erica’s broadcasting career started many years ago as a news reporter for “Kids Voting in the 20th Century,” a local program completed as a student at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts. As a theatre student there as well as at Firestone, Erica made the most of her opportunities to appear onstage. Once she even shared the stage with then president Bill Clinton at a Race Forum held at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, which aired nationally on C-Spann.

She appeared in several productions at Firestone including You Cant Take it With You, The Real Inspector Hound, and Much Ado About Nothing. She was a member of Firestone’s first VPA Theatre class.

Erica has pursued a wide range of professional experiences through internships. “The coolest thing is getting the truth about what happens behind the scenes,” Erica says. “I’ve already seen the politics involved in the entertainment industry.” She witnessed the politics at MTV first-hand as a production intern—assisting talent and artists and conducting pre-interviews for a variety of shows. Erica assisted production of the 2002 Video Music Awards, TRL, and several other MTV programs.

Erica has served as a production assistant for a film being shot in Cleveland. She enjoyed barking orders at extras, “Even though they don’t listen,” she adds. Erica has also had the pleasure of being a tour assistant for DefJAM records. Touring with famous artists has been “interesting and challenging” she says, “You never know what to expect next.”

Erica studied Television, Radio, and Film at The Ohio State University. While a student there, she served as a spokesperson for a TV program called “A Kids Life in the 20th Century” which aired nationally on the NBC station. She transferred schools and graduated in December of 2006 from Middle Tennessee State University, where she was the music entertainment host for Middle Tennessee Television.

Erica’s adventures have allowed her the opportunity to be shown in tons of commercials, fashion shows, calendars, magazine covers, flyers, and other media outlets. She currently resides in Boston where she is furthering her education. Most recently, she can be seen hosting a show on for Massachusetts Single Magazine.

She hasn’t given up her dreams yet. Erica still plans to host her own show.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Terita Parms in A Song for Coretta

Terita Parms will be in a play this quarter at The Ohio State University. The play is called "A Song for Coretta" by Pearl Cleage. It is about 5 fictional black women who are standing in line for Coretta Scott-King's memorial service, their lives and what brought them there. She will play Mona Lisa Martin a woman from New Orleans who is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and who is now living out of her car. This production will be performed at OSU and will also tour to schools around the Columbus area.

If you would like to attend, the play will be at the renovated Lincoln Theatre (see image above), located at 769 E Long Street in Columbus on March 5&6 @ 7:30pm and on the 6&7 @ 3pm. More information may be found here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Deven Fenn in The Poe Play at Tallmadge HS

The Poe Play
at Tallmadge High School*

Tallmadge High School will have 3 performances of their fall drama, The Poe Play, directed by Dave Obney. Originally written by the Rogue Artists Ensemble in California, The Poe Play captivates the audience and leads them through a blend of Edgar Allan Poe's most chilling works: The Raven, The Black Cat, The Tell Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, and Berenice. Performances will be November 12, 13, and 14 at the new Tallmadge High School Auditorium (located in THS on 140 N. Munroe Rd. in Tallmadge). Doors open at 7:30, curtain is at 8:00. Tickets are $7 for Adults and $5 for Students and Senior Citizens. Call 330-633-5505 for tickets.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adam Nelson: The Survivor Project

Adam Nelson continues his involvement in film. He participated in the creation of a documentary about local Holocaust survivors and sent me a link to the trailer of this must-see film, which I have posted below. (You can not view the link from school computers.) Perhaps we can get Adam to give a showing at Miller South.

Adam writes: "Last year, Pennies for People and the Holocaust Education Federation of the Akron Jewish Federation appointed me to direct their documentary, The Survivor Project. It was an incredible project to produce and it was premiered last April. There were nearly 400 people at the premier."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Former Miller South students shine on stages near and far!

Some familiar names are lighting up stages both local and far away!

Stephen Carder will be playing Lumiere in Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the North Canton Playhouse. Stephen recently appeared there in Rent.

Amanda Davis is currently on stage at Weathervane in a Sondheim revue called Putting It Together. Amanda originated the commedia character of "Columbinzia" when she was at Miller South.

Robert Keith has the lead in NYU Steinhardt's production of Woyzeck this fall. Robert played the roles of "Dottore" and "Lelio" as a Miller South Commedia Troupe member.

Katie Markovich will be directing a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream next spring at the College of Wooster. Katie will be in charge of programming for her college's black box theatre this year. Katie played "Isabella" in the Miller South Commedia Troupe.

Adam Nelson will be playing the part of Scrooge in Revere High School's production of A Christmas Carol. Adam appeared in Miller South Commedia's Christmas Carol as Bob Cratchit (as portrayed by Arlecchino!)

Got news about a former Miller South student? Please send it our way!