The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Jul18Filed under: Arts administration, Central Kentucky Arts News, Film, slide shows, Social Media, Television; Tagged as: Asbury College, Ben Jacobs, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Chad Gundersen, Jason Epperson, Jeff Day, Jessica Morgan, Lucky Day Studios, Michael Welch, On the Lot, Sarah Habel, Tom Lockridge, Twilight, Unrequited
They were going with the rain plan.
With just five days left to film, the cast and crew of Unrequited faced something they have not seen much of in the previous three weeks of filming the teen psychological thriller in Central Kentucky: precipitation. But that meant they could easily adjust to shoot a key interior scene between troubled Ben Jacobs and his ex-girlfriend Jessica Morgan.
This didn’t faze actors Michael Welch and Sarah Habel.
“We’ve got some important stuff to do today,” Habel, who just came downstairs in the secluded Scott County home where they have been filming, cheerfully saids to director Jason Epperson.
Unrequited is an important film to most everyone involved.
For Kentucky-based Lucky Day Studios, it will be the debut feature that they hope will show they are capable of making high quality films.
For Winchester native Epperson, it will be his debut feature after making a name for himself nationwide as the first runner up on the Fox film director series On the Lot.
For Welch, it’s a chance to take the lead after getting on many movie fans’ radars with his supporting role in Twilight, and fellow actors such as Habel also hope to turn heads with their performances in the gritty drama.
And for much of the Kentucky-based crew, its a chance to put their best feet forward as brand new tax incentives could potentially start attracting more film work to Kentucky.
“The crew senses this is something meaningful,” Epperson says. “We want to all be successful together.”
Jul18Filed under: Music, Musicals, Opera, SummerFest, UK; Tagged as: La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Luther Lewis III, Manuel Castillo, Margo Buchanan, Once On This Island, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, SummerFest, Taylor Eldred, The Little Mermaid, t’s a Grand Night for Singing, UK Opera Theatre
University of Kentucky opera singers aren’t developing their musical theater skills only at It’s a Grand Night for Singing.
While many of their colleagues in the UK School of Music headed off to summer festivals, workshops and other programs across the country and overseas, four students stayed in Lexington to be part of the cast of the musical, based in part on The Little Mermaid.
For doctoral student Manuel Castillo, it is a first brush with musical theater.
“I don’t have a lot of experience with musicals, so I knew it would be a good opportunity to learn and get a little taste of it,” says Castillo, 35, from Guadalajara, Mexico.
For Taylor Eldred, the show is familiar territory. The Lexington native was in shows in the Arboretum when the event was the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, and she was in a production of Once on This Island at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
But none of those productions was under the direction of her college acting coach, Margo Buchanan.
“When Margo said she was doing Once on This Island out at the park, I said, that’s a great opportunity to be out there with the family,” says Eldred, 21, a rising senior in vocal performance.
Luther Lewis III, 22, and Tai-Kristin Smedley, 21, the other students in the cast, also got their starts in musicals, before immersing themselves in opera. All four students have sung in recent UK productions such as La Bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor.
“Vocally, it is not as hard as opera,” Castillo says of the musical by writer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty, whose other shows include Ragtime and Seussical.
“But there’s a lot of dancing and movement and staging, and it requires another kind of intensity in the acting.”
And there’s the point of getting opera students into musicals and on other stages.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich