THE SHARON SCOOP Volume 1, Issue 3
THE SHARON SCOOP
A Word From
Whitney Morse, Artistic Director, The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center On picking Directors for the inaugural season of The Studio Theatre…. We have a different process for how we choose plays and directors for The Studio than other companies, I would presume. We are incredibly fortunate to have a very gifted director on staff here with us, our Education Director: Trevin Cooper. And since it is very important to the production that the director be passionate about his source material, Trevin and I had many meetings and conversations trying to narrow down the two plays he was to direct. We finally settled on his two (Proof and Private Lives) about 5 months ago. Choosing the directors for the other two pieces was a bit more straight forward. I had recently worked with a director in Chicago, a brilliant theatre maker, named Andrew Park and we had often dreamed of doing The Last Five Years together. The Studio’s inaugural season seemed to me
to be just about the perfect time. The last directorial puzzle piece for our season only just fell into place about 3 weeks ago and that is the director for our first production: Next To Normal. We interviewed a select few candidates that I knew from around the country, and many were quite good, but none seemed to fit the project more perfectly than Aradhana Tiwari. She came in to her interview with such a fresh take on this modern classic that we all were in awe. The whole team just knew she was the perfect fit to direct our very first show at The Studio. More from Whitney on The Studio Theatre on Pages 4-5.
The Studio Theatre Louis Prima Jr. & The Witnesses Howie Mandel The Spinners Staff Spotlight
The Sharon Performing Arts Center The Sharon is pleased to expand the cultural offerings found in The Villages by bringing Broadway quality entertainment to Villagers and friends through-out Central Florida. The Sharon seats just over 1,000 guests in a multi-level theater offering state of the art audio, visual, and theatrical rigging systems to create an entertainment experience second to none. Performances spot-light a variety of artistic disciplines ranging from concerts and comedians to dance, musicals, and operas.
Volume 1, Issue 3 | July 2016
Named for the matriarch of the Morse family, Sharon herself was an accomplished performer, and an avid patron of the arts. While she enjoyed her time on stage, her favorite moments were perhaps those spent with her family watching others perform. She and husband Gary enjoyed the theater in Chicago, and shared that joy with their children and grandchildren when they were old enough to attend.
Wine Walk Don’t Tell Nonnie
While construction is well underway at Tierra del Sol, the staff of The Studio Theatre™ has been hard at work! Artistic Director, Whitney Morse took a moment to give us the Scoop! Tell us about the Audition process that took place in June. The first audition we went to was the Florida Professional Theatre Association’s Unified Audition. We saw at least 300 actors audition alongside at least 12 different professional companies from around the state. We then invited some of those actors to our callbacks here in The Villages, or we simply called them back there at FPTA’s. Then on June 12th we had a very long day of auditions from 10am5pm immediately followed by callbacks that evening from 6pm-10pm. Since then we have been making offers to actors and nailing down all of our casting. We are very close to being able to announce all of our casting for the first season. Stay tuned! Discuss the acting process and how you juggle Artistic Director and Actress. Well, it will be a challenge that’s for sure. With rehearsals and performances roughly 6 nights a week, I am sure I will have many nights of not enough sleep, and I will go through countless tubes of concealer. But for me it’s all worth it. I am living the dream, I am making theatre all day and all night long. How many people can say that? What drew you to pick Next To Normal to kick off the Theatre? I have experienced this show as both an audience member (I saw it 3 times on Broadway) and as a performer (I played Diana
in Chicago last summer) and it is one of the most exhilarating shows to experience in both capacities. I remember the curtain coming down after I saw it for the first time and I was glued to my seat. I had been so emotionally effected by the story that I couldn’t leave the theater. My husband had to drag me out of there! And as a performer, there is just so much there. I have played the role before but I know there is so much more to Diana that I didn’t find the first time and I can’t wait to dive back in! But more importantly I think the story is very important. Mental health issues have been only talked about behind closed doors for years, and this show puts them right out there in the open. And it does so with such humor and relatability. By the end of the show the audience doesn’t simply know the story of The Goodman’s they really know The Goodman’s. You start to realize that they could be anyone, they could even be your family. What’s your favorite Black Box seating style? My favorite is “In the Round” because it is so intimate, and the audience sees everything. You can hear actors breathe and clock the tiniest twitch of the lip or raising of an eyebrow. Also, you get to watch the other side of the audience watch the play. I find that fascinating, what resonates with one audience member and what doesn’t with another.
Preview: NOV 14th-17th Opening: NOV 18th Closing: DEC 17th
Preview: JAN 16th-19th Opening: JAN 20th Closing: FEB 12th
Preview: FEB 20th-23rd Opening: FEB 24th Closing: MARCH 19th
Preview: APRIL 3rd-6th Opening: APRIL 7th Closing: APRIL 30th
TICKETS: Available to the purchase in September (subject to change) $15 Preview Performances
| $30 Performances
$99 Individual Season Subscription | $179 Season Subscription For Two
AUGUST 3RD • 7PM • $20 - $55 5
“The legendary swing and swagger of yesteryear’s jazz songs spring back to life when Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses recapture the sounds and sensations of his famous father.” Robin Leach - Las Vegas Weekly
Born into an undeniable musical legacy, Louis Prima Jr. picks up the torch lit by his iconic father and leads his incarnation of The Witnesses headfirst into the future. Their seamless blend of hard driving big band jazz,
insanely danceable swing and, at its core, real rock and roll has been wowing crowds worldwide for over a decade. Make no mistake, this is no tribute act. Although the band most certainly Jumps, Jives, an’ Wails "Prima style," they are their own musical beast — thoroughly modern, laying down a blueprint for the future on the foundations of the past. Audiences will be treated to an evening of classics from the Louis Prima catalog, selections from LPJ & Co.'s two CDs (Return of the Wildest and BLOW) and a healthy dose of sure to please surprises. Equal parts band leader and ringmaster, Prima Jr. brilliantly distills the finest elements of his father's five decade career through a contemporary filter, adding his own indelible stamp. "This is the happiest music on Earth!" he enthuses. "My father was rock n’ roll; Mozart was rock n' roll. It’s a state of mind; I don’t think it’s a genre of music. It’s how aggressively do you play and do you play it like you mean it.” and The Witnesses mean it. From Passaic to Palermo and Seattle to Sicily, they're bringing Prima music into the 21st century with new energy and attitude to match. It's The Wildest Show this side of the '60s!
Members of the Band: Louis Prima, Jr. A.D. Adams, Drums
Ryan McKay, Guitar Gregg Fox, Keys Marquis Howell, Bass
Leslie Spencer, Vocals Marco Palos, Sax William Pattinson, Bari Sax
Phillip Clevinger, Trombone Ted Schumacher, Trumpet Donny Palmer, 11th Witness
“Facets of swing, rock and soul, and packing it into one giant punch!” Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses are bringing Prima music into the 21st century. Not content to sit on the legacy they so
offering. From the first thunderous stomps of the title track, it is evident that this isn’t your daddy’s swing music, but a raucous roller coaster ride of tail-‐shakin’, foot-‐stampin’, horn-‐driven smiles.
Less concerned about reliving the past than about creating a future for it, Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses bring new energy and a current attitude to the masses with The Wildest Show this side of the 1960’s. Since their breakout performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival #TeamPrima has performed everywhere from Seattle to Palermo, from small clubs to performing arts centers, from casino showrooms to music festivals, and from Access Hollywood Live to PBS.
If you’ve seen them in concert, you’ll know a bit about what to expect from the musical minds of the Witnesses. As energetic and over-‐the-‐top as their live shows, BLOW continues the ever- changing musical journey that Prima Sr. began in the 30s. "With the band’s collective talents and diverse musical tastes, we wind up with a sound unique to this band, while staying true to the boisterous Prima style,” says Louis. “We didn’t set out to simply write music we thought the fans wanted to hear. We wanted to challenge ourselves musically and also challenge the listener. You can’t fool the fans by trying to force the word ‘daddy-‐o’ into every song. If music does not come honestly from your soul, it will ultimately be short lived.”
passionately protect, LPJ and the band are taking a page from his father’s playbook, by wailing Prima Swing like it’s 2014.
LPJ and the Band are currently touring in support of their second Warrior Records/Universal Music Distribution release, BLOW – a collection of original music (save for a couple of surprises) as eclectic and unique as each member of this powerhouse band. Building off of the success of their critically acclaimed debut CD Return of the Wildest!, the band has brought together many years of diverse musical tastes into their second
Recorded at Capitol Records in Studio B, where Prima Sr. recorded his hits of the 50s and 60s, the seriousness of this music is masked only by the obvious fun that was had making it. It’s been 50 years since legendary Prima music shook the walls of Capitol. A new legend is being born, and it will BLOW you away!
AUGUST 5TH • 5PM & 8PM • $45 - $75 7
HOWIE mandel “The success of any stand-up act comes from experience” Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for over 30 years. Mandel is executive
producer of many shows through his production company ALEVY PRODUCTIONS, which has produced the series Take It All and Howie Do It for NBC, and Mobbed for FOX, among others. Mandel also serves as one of the judges on NBC's summer hit talent competition series America's Got Talent alongside Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howard Stern. Previously, Howie received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Host For A Reality or Reality- Competition Program" for Deal or No Deal and a Daytime Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Game Show Host" for the syndicated version of the show. Howie's versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy-Award winning St. Elsewhere to the international animated children's series Bobby's World, Howie has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene. In 2009, Howie added another title to his resume, author, when he released his frank, funny, no-holds- barred memoir Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me. The memoir that revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD-and how it has shaped his life and career made the New York Times Bestseller list on its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks.
Howieâ€™s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. Howie started his career on a dare in Toronto in 1979 and then one night during a trip to Los Angeles he was at the legendary Comedy Store on amateur night and Howie was coaxed by his friends to get up and try his luck. As fate would have it, there was a producer in the crowd who immediately hired him to appear on the comedy gameshow Make Me Laugh. His appearance on the show led to talk show appearances, a stint as Diana Ross' opening act and eventually to the television series St. Elsewhere, where Howie spent six seasons as "Dr. Wayne Fiscus" on the award-winning NBC drama. Howie's Emmy Award-nominated animated children series Bobby's World ran eight seasons on FOX and now appears in syndication six days a week in 65 countries. As the series' creator and executive producer, Howie was closely involved in its writing, as well as providing the voice of Bobby, Bobby's dad and other characters. Howie attributes the show's success to drawing the story lines from real life. Howie has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show, The Howie Mandel Show, and continues to be a mainstay on the talk-show circuit. Howie also continues to perform as many as 200 concerts a year throughout the US and Canada. Howie lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Terry, and their three children.
AUGUST 27TH • 5PM & 8PM • $20 - $65 9
Motown Magic Coming To The Sharon!
Today, THE SPINNERS, original member Henry Fambrough is joined onstage by lead singer Charlton Washington, high tenor Marvin Taylor, tenor Ronnie Moss, and bass singer Jessie Peck; a soul-infused 5-piece band, led by Keith Ferguson, backs them up.
“I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside. Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died.” The Spinners, Working my Way Back to You After a brief time at Motown, The Spinners signed to Atlantic Records in 1972. There, under
the helm of producer and songwriter Thom Bell, The Spinners charted five top 100 singles (and two top tens) from their first post-Motown album, Spinners (1972), and went on to become one of the biggest soul groups of the 1970s. A partial list of their hit singles on Atlantic include “Mighty Love,” “Then Came You,” “I’ll Be Around,” “One Of A Kind (Love Affair),” “Games People Play,” and “Could It Be.” In 1979, The Spinners completed their first collaboration with producer Michael Zager, and by early 1980, the single, “Working My Way Back to You,” was topping Pop and R&B charts giving the group its 12th gold record. The Love Trippin’ album’s release included “The Cupid Medley,” one of the fastest selling records in The Spinners’ career. The follow-up album, Labor of Love, featured such stand-out tunes as “Yesterday Once More,” and “Long Live Soul Music.” With the release of “Can’t Shake This Feeling,” their fourth LP in just over two years, the quintet entered a brand new phase of their remarkable career as they joined the award winning producing/
writing/ playing team of James Mtume and Reggie Lucas. Other past releases include songs on the motion picture soundtracks of “Twins” and “Spaceballs,” and a single on Arista Records with Dionne Warwick entitled “Then Came You.” The Spinners have six Grammy nominations and have performed twice during the awards ceremony. Inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999, they have also been awarded the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Award for their contribution to the genre. The group has performed for presidents, received a star on the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” and has appeared in numerous network and cable television specials paying tribute to the music of the 70’s. In September 2011, 57 years after forming in Detroit and 50 years after "That's What Girls Are Made For", the group was announced as one of 15 final nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, their first nomination. Today, this legendary R & B group maintains an active touring schedule, performing for fans of all ages in sold out houses around the world.
The Spinners’ Top Hits:
One Of A Kind (Love Affair) I’ll Be Around
Could It Be I’m Falling In Love It’s A Shame Ghetto Child Mighty Love
Working My Way Back To You/ Forgive Me, Girl I Don’t Want To Lose You
I Love The Music I Just Want To Be With You
Games People Play
I’ll Always Love You
So Far Away Then Came You
THE SHARON STAFF SPOTLIGHT
TREVIN COOPER Director of Education
Trevin Cooper serves as The Director of Education for The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.
He has an extensive background teaching introduction to theatre, theatre history, script analysis, acting, directing and voice for the stage at both the University and Community College levels. Prior to returning to Graduate School for his terminal degree, he served as an adjunct professor of acting and theatre history at The University of Tampa. Before returning to Florida in 2009, he served in the office of eight-time Tony-Award Winning, theatre producer, Jeffrey Richards as Director in Charge of Celebrity Relations on the Broadway productions of August: Osage County, The Homecoming and November. He has also held the positions of Department Administrator, Development Advisor and Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre History for The Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at The University of Oklahoma Acting credits include Martin Dysart in Equus, Don Quixote/Cervantes in Man of La Mancha and Freddie in My Fair Lady. Directorial work includes: Always Patsy Cline, The Last Five Years, The American Plan, The 39 Steps and The Miracle Worker, among others. Trevin holds a B.A. from Rollins College, an M.A. from The University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. from The University of Central Florida.
Trevin will be Directing 2 of the 4 plays held this first inaugural season at The Studio Theatre, Tierra del Sol.
With Tommy Tune
With Whitney Morse
With Bobby Rydell
With Derek Jacobi
Q & A WITH TREVIN COOPER, The man behind Education at The Sharon What are you most excited about with The Studio? The opportunity to bring more art to this community. The performing arts have been a cornerstone of The Villages for nearly five decades, and the chance to bring more theatre and art to this community is a blessing.
Can you tell us about Directing your upcoming plays? For me directing a play always begins with reading the play many, many times. I never read or reread a play that I do not find some new facet in its structure. My next step is to ask myself “what is the world of this play?” How do I bring this to the stage and maintain the intention of the playwright?” Generally production meetings with designers begin long before a play is cast. The collaboration between the director and the design team is crucial. Creating a vision of the play and bringing it to life is thrilling. Finding where we see commonalities, differences, and how to best service the play. When casting a play, I already have a pretty strong working knowledge of the piece, and I am looking for an actor to surprise me! How do they make choices about the characters? How do they see ways to bring the character to life? I like to say I cast by the chill down my spine. When an actor makes a choice that excites me, even after months of working with the play I know they are demonstrating what I am looking for.
What is your favorite type of seating arrangement in a black box theater? I have to say that depends on the show. The pliability of a theatre that can be placed in so many different configurations is a playground in the imagination of a director.
Opening night—what does your role look like? Every director has a different perspective of Opening. I come from the school of thought that my job is done. I must take a backseat and trust my actors and stage managers to uphold the vision we have created together.
What drew you to the 2 plays you are directing? Both plays speak to the mission of The Studio. For months we have discussed choosing a season of plays that are both familiar and cutting edge to our audience. Private Lives is one of the finest plays in the canon of twentieth century drama when it comes to examining both the love and the turmoil that can exist in married life. I had the opportunity to see the original production of Proof on Broadway, only a few months after It transferred from off-Broadway. The play, is a benchmark of twenty-first century theatre. It examines intricately the parent/ child relationship, in a very intimate, very three dimensional style of playwriting that is honest, beautiful and heartfelt.
WINE WALK AT THE SHARON
The Sharon joined the Town Squareâ€™s Wine Walk on Friday, June 3rd!
There was Matua white wine from New Zealand, fruit by Edible Arrangements, a photo booth with props, and entertainment led by Music Director, Gary Powell. And outside, a gorgeous rainbow flew overhead. A fun time was had by all!
SEPTEMBER 13TH • 7:30PM • $15
All of our proceeds from the June 14th Don’t Tell Nonnie Event went to the families of the Orlando victims. We donated over $1,100. I want to express my deep sadness over the unimaginable loss of 49 lives from our community this weekend. I would like to take this opportunity to “pass the hat” in support of the families who are now dealing with the financial burden of final expenses and medical bills. We will be donating all of the proceeds from Don’t Tell Nonnie tonight to the Go Fund Me Account set up by Equality Florida called “Support Victims of Pulse Shooting.” This is a direct quote from the organization: “Every penny raised will be distributed directly to the victims and their families. We are
working with a team of attorneys and experts, including the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both Chattanooga and Aurora, to ensure funds are distributed correctly.” I don’t have the words to express how I feel tonight so as Shakespeare says: “When words fail, music speaks” so let’s make some music! - Whitney Morse, Artistic Director, The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center
MORE LOVE. L E S S H AT E .
COMPASS CREATIVE DRAMATICS 17
“We are so pleased to be able to share our passion for education and for theatre with families and organizations across the United States.” -Compass Creative Dramatics Children’s Theatre Camp at it’s finest... Compass Creative Dramatics partners with school and
community organizations to offer quirky, engaging theatre programming designed to provide arts enrichment and cultivate personal growth and character. At The Sharon, we had over 40 children attend the week-long Theatre camp! Each day of the week-long camp, two professional actors/ educators from Compass Creative Dramatics—Cassandra Quinn & David Fink—rehearsed with the 40 students for several hours a day! Each child was cast into their roles through a simple, no-pressure audition. After the brief audition, roles were announced and rehearsal was off and running. In between rehearsing lines and scenes from The Jumping Jacks & The Beanstalk, the staff of The Sharon also taught the students some theatre skills. Our Director of Education, Trevin Cooper taught the students several popular acting warm -up exercises, as well as techniques for how actors tell a story using their bodies without their voices and vice versa. While our Sharon intern, Danielle Laufersky taught the children dance steps! A huge emphasis was placed on the value and need for discipline, concentration, and focus to work in theatre. At the end of the week, on Friday, June 24th and Saturday, June 25th two final performances were enjoyed by large audiences that showcased all of the hard work the students had learned and rehearsed throughout the week
THE SHARON CALENDAR
AUGUST & SEPTEMBER PERFORMANCES
The Sharon is now offering: Acting Classes, Theatre History Classes and more! Classes currently instructed by Trevin Cooper and Whitney Morse. ACTING
(Some sessions ages 14+) Whether you are a beginning theatre artist, seeking first time experience, or a seasoned professional, wanting to improve your skills, our classes are constructed to teach and improve theatre artists at any level of his or her capability.
Along with our courses in acting and theatrical design, we also offer classes in the History of Theatre. We cover a wide range of topics from Greeks to Shakespeare, Neil Simon to Rodgers & Hammerstein and beyond.
The area just off stage, of a theatre is referred to as “The Wings.” Our “In the Wings” series’ presents students with an introductory experience of theatre from the perspectives of a technical director, scenic, lighting, sound or costume designer.
Theatre History I.......... $150
Level 1 .............................$250 Theatre History II ........ $150 Level 2 .............................$250 Musical Theatre............ $200 Level 3 .............................$250 Theatre Appreciation......$25 Level 4 ............................. TBA Level 5 ............................. TBA History classes meet 90 minutes a week for 4 weeks. Acting classes meet 3 hours a week for 6 weeks.
MASTER CLASSES (Ages 14+)
Our Master Class series is offered multiple times a year. These sessions, allow our students the opportunity to work with acclaimed professional actors, directors and casting agents who are noted for their work on Broadway, Europe and across America.
Lighting .......................$150 90 Minute Classes ..............$75 Scenic ...........................$150 120 Minute Classes ..........$100 Sound ..........................$150 180 Minute Classes ..........$125 Technical Direction ......$150
For questions and registration visit: The Sharon Box Office | www.TheSharon.com/academy | 352-751-7799
The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center has a mission to provide quality entertainment to The Villages® and its surrounding communities.
© 2016 Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., All Rights Reserved. © 2016 The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. Prices and availability subject to change without notice.