The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Trish Clark, former drama teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and former artistic director of the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, has been named as the interim artistic and executive director of Woodford Theatre.
Clark steps in for Steve Arnold, who left the theater in October after just over a year in the post. He had succeeded longtime director Beth Kirchner, who made the Versailles theater one of the region’s premier community theaters during her 16-year tenure.
Clark, 59, said the opportunity came along at a good time after her position with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s educational outreach programs was eliminated in a widespread round of layoffs earlier this year. She says she has not decided whether she will apply for the permanent director job at Woodford.
“They needed some immediate care, and that’s what I can do,” Clark said, taking a break from watching rehearsals of The Christmas Foundling, which opens Friday and runs three weekends. “Being around so long, I knew I could get people together, and they’ve been really good about stepping up.”
In two weeks, Clark has retained directors for the three remaining shows on the season after The Christmas Foundling, including bringing Kirchner back to direct Driving Miss Daisy, Feb. 1 to 17. She changed the April production of Neil Simon’s God’s Favorite to Simon’s The Odd Couple, because she said the cost of the set for the originally scheduled play would be prohibitive. Tonda-Leah Fields will direct Odd Couple and retired University of Kentucky Theatre professor James W. Rodgers will direct the season finale, The Secret Garden, May 31 to June 16.
Clark said she does not know what role she will play in selecting a 2013-14 season for Woodford Theatre.
Clark’s daughter, Ellie Clark, is one of three co-directors of Lexington-based Project SEE Theatre, so there are now two theaters in the family.
Jul14Filed under: slide shows, SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: Annie Barbera, Avery Wigglesworth, Drew Davidson, Ellie Clark, Erin Cutler, G.B. Dixon, Holly Brady, Jane Austen, Jon Jory, Pride and Prejudice, Sarah Levy, Stephanie Peniston, SummerFest, Tim Hull, Tom Phillips, Trish Clark, Vanessa Becker, Walter Tunis
Rains Tuesday delayed construction on the set for SummerFest’s Pride and Prejudice‘s. But crews – including cast members from other SummerFest shows – worked through the night and Jon Jory’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic is set to open under clear skies tonight.
Read more: SummerFest’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has a real mother-daughter act
Read more: SummerFest’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has a real mother-daughter act
Read more: SummerFest’s Pride and Prejudice a real mother-daughter act
Apr18Filed under: Classical Music, Rent notebook, SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: American Idol, Berea College, exington Shakespeare Festival, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joe Cannon Artz, John Dawson, Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory, Mark Calkins, Partly Cloudy, Rent, SummerFest, Tracey Bonner, Trish Clark
- See the entire cast list for Rent and the other SummerFest shows, The Merchant of Venice and Pride and Prejudice.
- Read the first entry in our Rent Notebook.
Tracey Bonner and Mark Calkins had seen several traditional musical theater vocal auditioners for SummerFest‘s production of Rent. Then things got a little American Idol on them.
John Dawson, a member of the Lexington-based band Partly Cloudy, stepped into the room. He didn’t have 16 bars of prepared sheet music as the others did. He didn’t need an accompanist. He just had a song from the rock-opera band Dear Hunter to sing.
And in many ways, he was exactly what Bonner, the stage director, and Calkins, the music director, were looking for.
“You have a real musical soul,” Calkins said, taking Dawson through some vocal scales.
Bonner had given him a little direction on how to sing his song a second time, and “he jumped right into that world,” she said.
Rent is a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, but it’s also a rock show. SummerFest officials hoped to attract local musical theater talent to auditions last weekend, but they also were looking for people like Dawson, rock singers with stage experience that’s more oriented to fronting bands.
SummerFest and its predecessor, the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, have had success with rock musicals the past decade, but casting has often been a nail-biter.
“We did five auditions for Hair,” Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory director Trish Clark said of the 2008 production. In 2004, the Shakespeare Festival put out a specific call for actors to play the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar after several rounds of auditions failed to yield a leading man.
This year, things weren’t left to chance. SummerFest and conservatory president Joe Cannon Artz trolled local clubs with business cards, encouraging singers to come out for roles including Roger, the rocker trying to write one great song before the effects of AIDS start to take his life. That attracted Dawson, who was cast as Roger.
Although it’s cast for a rock vibe, the Rent ensemble will get a classical experience working with Calkins, an accomplished tenor and an assistant professor of music at Berea College.
Apr16Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, Music, Musicals, Rent notebook, SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: Adam Luckey, Ave Lawyer, Ellie Clark, Jeff Sherr, John Dawson, Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory, Lisa Thomas, Nick Vannoy, Pride and Prejudice, Rent, Sullivan Canaday White, SummerFest 2010, The Merchant of Venice, Tom Phillips, Tracey Bonner, Trish Clark
In many pursuits we talk about how something looks on paper — how capable are the forces that have been assembled at accomplishing the task at hand? By that criteria, it looks like a great July in the Arboretum for SummerFest 2010.
Cast lists have been released for all the Summerfest productions, and they all include some of the Lexington area’s top talents as well as intriguing new names, and a few old friends we haven’t seen on stage in a while.
The Merchant of Venice, for instance, includes Lisa Thomas and Jeff Sherr, one-time local stage mainstays who’ve been away lately. Pride and Prejudice has Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory director Trish Clark playing mother to her real life daughter, Ellie Clark, as Elizabeth Bennett and also features the return of Tom Phillips to local stages as Mr. Darcy. And the Rent cast mixes fresh faces like local rocker John Dawson as Roger with familiar musical talents like Nick Vannoy as Collins in an intriguing cast. And the cast lists overall are dappled with actors in “I can see that” roles like Adam Luckey as Shylock in Merchant.
So here’s how SummerFest looks on paper. In a few months we’ll see how it looks on stage.
The Merchant of Venice
July 7-11, directed by Ave Lawyer
Shylock - Adam Luckey
Portia - Lisa Thomas
Antonio - Carmen Geraci
Bassanio - Bob Singleton
Gratiano - Evan Bergman
Salarino - Ryan Briggs
Lorenzo - Tanner Gray
Jessica - Joe Elswick
Nerissa - Rosanna Hurt
Launcelot - Patrick Davis
Duke - Jack McIntyre
Aragon - Jeff Sherr
Balthazar - Cameron Perry
The roles of Tubal, Morocco, and Salanio have yet to be cast
Pride And Prejudice
July 14-18, directed by Sullivan Canaday White
Mrs. Bennett - Trish Clark
Elizabeth Bennett - Ellie Clark
Jane Bennett – Holly Brady
Mary Bennett - Annie Barbera
Kitty Bennett - Erin Cutler
Lydia Barrett / Georgiana - Avery Wigglesworth
Mr. Darcy - Tom Phillips
Mr. Bingley/ Colonol Fitzwilliam - G. B. Dixon
Charlotte - Sarah Levy
Sir William Lucas/Mr. Collins/Mr. Gardner - Tim Hull
Miss Bingley/Mrs. Gardiner - Vanessa Becker
Lady Catherine - Stephanie Peniston
George Wickham - Drew Davidson
The role of Mr. Bennet has yet to be cast.
July 21-25, directed by Tracey Bonner
Mimi Márquez - Jessica Lucas
Roger Davis - John Dawson
Mark Cohen - Chip Becker
Maureen Johnson - Caroline Griffeth
Angel Dumott Schunard - Emanuel Williams
Tom Collins - Nick Vannoy
Joanne Jefferson - Sheronda Piersall
Benjamin ‘Benny’ Coffin III - Thomas Gibbs
Seasons Of Love Soloist - Jessica French
The Ensemble Includes: Casey Mather, Justin Norris, Sarah Matthews, Brandon Smith, Andrea Johnson, Beth Kovarik, Wood Van Meter and Katie Berger.
If you are a musical theatre performer, Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory literally has a way for you to start the year off on the right foot.
Tracey Bonner, who will direct this summer’s production of “Rent” for KCTC’s SummerFest, will be leading a three-day musical theater intensive starting at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 and running through Jan. 3. Admission is $50 to the workshop, open to high school students and up.
Bonner is a Lexington native who has performed in national touring companies and regional productions as well as choreographed and directed across the country. She is currently adjunct faculty at Azusa Pacific University and Miracosta College in California.
The workshop, held at the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center across from the Singletary Center for the Arts on the University of Kentucky Campus, will focus on Rent in both individual and ensemble classes.
For an application, visit the KCTC website. For more information, call KCTC education director, Trish Clark at 859.806.7429 or email@example.com.
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