7 Stages Theatre http://www.7stages.org Where Else? Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:49:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SNEAK PEEK AT OFIR NAHARI’S NO(SE)ONENOWHERE! http://www.7stages.org/sneak-peek-ofir-naharis-noseonenowhere/ Wed, 02 Nov 2016 19:22:55 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7329 The post SNEAK PEEK AT OFIR NAHARI’S NO(SE)ONENOWHERE! appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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An interview with the creators of COWBOY http://www.7stages.org/interview-creators-cowboy/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 20:40:52 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7297 The post An interview with the creators of COWBOY appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Our summer marketing interns, Sarah Summerbell and Ryan Williams, had the opportunity to interview the creators of Cowboy, Niv Sheinfeld and Oren Laor. Below, they talk about the story behind the western theme, abstract versus concrete story lines, and bringing the production to America:

Q. The word “cowboy” invokes a stereotypical American image of masculinity. How does your show comment on or play with American themes?

A. Cowboy is not only an American icon – when we were growing up (late 70s and early 80s), most Israeli boys choose to wear a cowboy costume in Purim (A Jewish holiday in which kids put on costumes, like Halloween). So it is very much part of our childhood as well, we were also dressed up in cowboy costume back then, and more than once. As we grew up, the image of the cowboy became more complex and came to stand for not only masculinity, but also for the romantic notion of living alone and of being an outsider. In the show we play with all kinds of masculine and feminine images. In the vogue scene they call it Gender Fuck. We play with what we are expected to be, and with what we are expected not to be, we play with the questions of how we men ask for closeness and touch, how we communicate and how we eliminate communication when we need to be alone. We play with the contrasting fragments of our identity as men and as gay men (or are they really contrasting…).
Q. This is your first time performing Cowboy in America. How do you expect American audiences to react?

A. We think that the show carries universal themes, and yet some of its content is directly connected to American culture. There’s a lot in common between American and Israeli cultures, so we hope the public will feel at home right from the start.
Q. How did you come up with this piece? What were your influences?

A. The romantic image of the cowboy (lone ranger, isolated in the mountains for long periods), the movie Brokeback Mountain, the American vogue scene, the movie Paris is Burning.
Q. Could you categorize this piece into a theatrical style. If so, what would that be?

A. It’s very limiting to try and categorize the work into a theatrical style. It is a mix of dance, theater, performance. We like to call it “stage event”.
Q. How do you experiment with abstraction vs. concrete storytelling? How much is abstract? How much is concrete?

A. It’s concrete enough to have the public understand what is happening, however it is still abstract in a way because there’s no narrative to follow or dramatic story telling.

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The Threepenny Opera cast spotlight! http://www.7stages.org/threepenny-opera-cast-spotlight/ Thu, 15 Sep 2016 05:00:58 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7231 The post The Threepenny Opera cast spotlight! appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Jessica De Maria as Lucy

Q. What song from the production gets stuck in your head for days?

A. Selfish, but definitely THE BARBARA SONG. Yes, it’s the one I learned first…but mostly because I find myself quoting it pretty regularly. Oops. Men amiright?

Q. What is your favorite line from the production?

A. I have several marked in my script…from the profound to the hilarious. But I think my favorite has to be:

“WHAT KEEPS A MAN ALIVE? HE LIVES ON OTHERS.

HE LIKES TO TASTE THEM FIRST, THEN EAT THEM WHOLE, IF HE CAN.”

Q. Threepenny has been around for MANY years, what makes this production timeless in your opinion and what do you hope audiences will walk away feeling?

A. Threepenny is timeless because the state of these characters is timeless. The situations they find themselves in, that created them still exist. We just are able to hide them in an easier way. We put a nice pretty, clean duvet cover on it. I want the audience to have their eyes opened, I want them to find themselves in the show and I want them to feel empathy where they didn’t think they could or would.

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Shannon Murphy as Dotty

Q. What song from the production gets stuck in your head for days?

A. Instead Of Song

Q. What is your favorite line from the production?

A. “You who dote on our despair and your desire, may learn the simple truth from this our song. Whatever you may do, wherever you aspire. First feed the face, and then talk right and wrong.”

Q. Threepenny has been around for MANY years, what makes this production timeless in your opinion and what do you hope audiences will walk away feeling?

A. Threepenny is timeless because the Brecht wrote it inclusively. He calls upon everyone from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich to reflect upon their relationship with morality. I want the audience to laugh and gasp and feel uncomfortable and ask the beggar in all of us how filling morality actually is.

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Jed Drummond as Readymoney Matt/Band

Q. What song from the production gets stuck in your head for days?

A. As the pianist for this production, all of the songs are zooming around madly in my head at all times. I must admit a particular love for our leading ladies’ big solo numbers : “Pirate Jenny”, “Barbara Song”, and “Solomon Song”.

Q. What is your favorite line from the production?

A. Macheath : Confidentially, I’m thinking of going into banking exclusively. It’s safer and the takes are bigger.

Q. Threepenny has been around for MANY years, what makes this production timeless in your opinion and what do you hope audiences will walk away feeling?

A. I don’t think that the show is exactly timeless; rather, it continues to be TIMELY because the negative repercussions of capitalism remain, and are only becoming more egregious.

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Finding love at The Threepenny Opera http://www.7stages.org/threepenny-love-story/ Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:29:31 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7224 The post Finding love at The Threepenny Opera appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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During our 1983 run of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, two of the actors found more than just another stage credit. Nick Crabb and Sue Gilman found each other. Below is Sue’s tale of finding her Mackie.

“I was one of the whores, Betty. The cast was so large and the show so complicated we rehearsed in small groups for several weeks – the whores together, the singers, of course, like that. So the first time the whole cast came together was with the choreographer, Joanne. She was introducing us to the big scenes where pretty much the whole cast is on stage. As she was putting us through some warm up exercises I was looking around the room to see who was there, who were all these people I would be working with. I knew a few of them, George Nikas and Tom Turbeville and Del and Faye, of course. My eye fell on a man I’d never seen before. Tall, very slim, dark hair. I thought, “Who is that!?” And that was it. My life was changed forever.

Turned out that was Mack the Knife aka Nick Crabb. I didn’t fully know it at the time but I fell madly in love right there on the spot. And I hadn’t even heard him sing yet! Oh Lord, that man could sing. I spent the run of the show falling more and more in love with him. He clearly liked me but was insanely hard to get. He had just ended an engagement and was at loose ends and a bit broken hearted. So that was part of it. I worked harder to get that man’s attention than just about anything I’ve ever done in my life. I would show up anyplace I thought he might be. I would always make sure he was invited when I knew a group of us were going to the Pub after rehearsal (then it was the Little Five Points Pub; today it’s the Corner Tavern). I was truly shameless. All the scenes we had together were completely thrilling, of course. Especially those little bits here and there where we actually touched or even danced together. I was a complete helpless fool for this man. By the end of the show we had become ‘friends’ but I was really worried about losing touch with him.

Thank God he and George cooked at the Pub so I could always find him there. It’s so strange that we had never met. I had been working at Southern Theatre Conspiracy for a couple of years and he had been at 7 Stages for ages. We were right around the corner from each other, both doing theatre, I ate in the Pub all the time, I had known George, who was his best friend, for years, but, somehow, we never met. Later I did realize that I had seen him before. I think it was when 7 Stages was doing one of the Mama Dada plays and he had dyed his hair blue. I suddenly remembered I had seen this guy standing on the sidewalk on Moreland with blue hair one day.

I managed to continue to find ways to see him after the show closed and I remember the first time we kissed. He was living at Del and Faye’s on Elmira. He and I had been out somewhere and I was dropping him off in front of their house. When he got out of the car he came around to the driver’s window and kissed me on the lips. Honestly, I thought I was going to die. It’s really embarrassing what I did. I whooped. Like a cowboy. I whooped and drove away. Anyway, I believe I remember correctly that it took me 8 months from that first sighting at the choreography rehearsal to, well, you know, commitment. After that it didn’t take long before we were living together. We did lots of shows together for the next couple of years. Being with him was completely extraordinary. He was brilliant, magical, sensitive, sooo talented, and loved me without reservation (once I finally got him to realize I was the love of his life). I learned so very much about what it is to love another human being from him. He was a master at it. I only got to have him in my life for 3 short years. He died on July 3, 1987. Next summer will be 30 years. I’ve never really recovered, I guess. I miss him pretty much every day.

As for Threepenny. It’s just weird isn’t it? It’s embarrassing to use the word timeless but I’m afraid it’s true. Such a delicious romp through the vagaries of morality on all levels. Who’s good and who’s bad here? Who’s got the power? Who’s got the brains? Such wonderful cynicism. And the music is brilliant. After all these years, completely without provocation, a tune will just arrive unbidden in my mind. Always a pleasure and a delight. Not just because it is a path to Nick but because, to me, it’s extraordinary work. Weill and Brecht – thank you!”

Thank you, Sue Gilman, for sharing this story with us!

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Don Finney featured in GA Voice http://www.7stages.org/don-finney-featured-ga-voice/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 05:00:36 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7221 The post Don Finney featured in GA Voice appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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 Out actor talks return of ‘The Threepenny Opera’ to Atlanta

Next week, the play with music “The Threepenny Opera” – known for its score including numbers such as “Mack the Knife” – opens at 7 Stages to launch the company’s 38th season. Written in the 1920s by Bertolt Brecht, this version – directed by Michael Haverty – brings out actor Don Finney back to the stage. We caught up recently with Finney – a veteran of the company – to talk about the show, his amoral character and his return to acting after a long layoff.Hello, Don. How did you get involved in this production?
I got a call from Heidi (Howard, the company’s artistic director) asking if I would be interested. I have always wanted to do it. I went in assuming I would be looked at for Mr. Peachum but when I got to the audition they had me learn Mrs. Peachum’s number and the rest is history.

For those not familiar with the piece, tell us a little about it.
It’s basically just a crime story about the catching of the most notorious gang leader in London. It is filled with characters who are not the nicest people in the world. It’s also filled with lust, sex, guns, and violence.

Tell us about your character.
My character, Mrs. Peachum, is probably the darkest in the play. She will do anything to get what she wants, but she is trapped in a horrible marriage, a marriage of convenience. She’s in a very dark place.

Why does this hold up?
There are so many human aspects. One of the most important things about the play is how its power and corruption really resonate now. There seems to be something in the world today where people feel trapped. Just look at our election now, and what’s happening in the U.K. with Brexit.

The interesting thing is that there is a lot of comedy in the play but when done well, it turns your mind inside out. It’s almost like a nightmarish cartoon; there is something profoundly human that comes out of it. On top of that, there is this fabulous score.

Is there any significance to the fact that a gay man is playing this role?
I don’t know that there is one. I don’t look at it that way personally. I look at it as an actor taking on another role. If anything, it might make her more monstrous.

Why did you take a break from acting?
I walked away for a while. I didn’t think I was getting what I wanted out of it. There were other things in life I wanted to pursue,

How has theater changed since?
You walk in and the cast is very young. Yet the wonderful thing is, for me, coming back, I do feel like I am home. I have worked at 7 Stages for years. I have known Heidi forever. Bryan Mercer is doing the music and he and I have known each other 30, 35 years. The surprising thing is to work with all these young people and they look up to me.

What can gay audiences get from the show?
Besides the human element I mentioned earlier and the score, we have a really hot leading man. And a fat man in a dress. I think it’s going to be fun.

“The Threepenny Opera”
7 Stages
1105 Euclid Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307
Through September 25
www.7stages.org

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7 Stages presents Cereal: Episode 1 http://www.7stages.org/7-stages-presents-cereal-episode-1/ Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:44:35 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7218 The post 7 Stages presents Cereal: Episode 1 appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Two crunchy interns talk about 7 Stages 2016-17 Season and share insight into each production, the actors, design teams, and hot topics. Also, they eat a lot of cereal. Please excuse the crunching, slurping and references to Lucky Charms.

In Episode 1, our hosts, Sarah and Ryan, talk to a couple members of the apprentice ensemble in The Threepenny Opera.

This podcast series was created by the summer 2016 marketing interns at 7 Stages. Thanks to Sarah Summerbell and Ryan Williams for their hard work and love for the arts!

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The Threepenny Opera featured in American Theatre Magazine! http://www.7stages.org/threepenny-opera-featured-american-theatre-magazine/ Sun, 04 Sep 2016 05:00:42 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7208 The post The Threepenny Opera featured in American Theatre Magazine! appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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Trailer released for The Threepenny Opera http://www.7stages.org/trailer-released-threepenny-opera/ Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:20:29 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7206 The post Trailer released for The Threepenny Opera appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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THREEPENNY OPERA TRAILER RELEASED! Be the first to see Mack in action with all of his lovely ladies, menacing goons, and those that love to hate him! #MackIsBack #See3PO On stage 9/9-9/25!

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We are Orlando http://www.7stages.org/we-are-orlando/ Wed, 15 Jun 2016 18:31:07 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=7107 The post We are Orlando appeared first on 7 Stages Theatre.

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7 Stages’ staff and interns visited the candlelight vigil at 10th and Piedmont for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. We spoke to members of the Atlanta community to share their words of hope and reactions to this horrific tragedy.

We encourage everyone to fight with love, make their voice heard, and never be afraid to be who you are.

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Georgia Tech professor tackles autism advocacy in her new book http://www.7stages.org/georgia-tech-professor-tackles-autism-advocacy-new-book/ Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:13:01 +0000 http://www.7stages.org/?p=6735 We spoke to Jennifer Singh, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, about her new book on autism, Multiple Autisms: Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science. Read our interview with the author below: Q. Your book uses data from over 70 interviews with scientists, parents, and people living with autism. What was it like mapping out all this […]

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Jennifer S. Singh, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor School of History, Technology and Society Ivan Allen College Georgia Institute of Technology

Jennifer S. Singh, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
School of History, Technology and Society
Ivan Allen College
Georgia Institute of Technology

We spoke to Jennifer Singh, assistant professor at Georgia Tech, about her new book on autism, Multiple Autisms:
Spectrums of Advocacy and Genomic Science. Read our interview with the author below:

Q. Your book uses data from over 70 interviews with scientists, parents, and people living with autism. What was it like mapping out all this research?

A. Mapping out this much data is always a challenge. The approach I take is to start the data analysis immediately. As soon as I conduct an interview, I write theoretical memos on key themes that are identified and new questions that arise, which shapes the direction of my research. I take a grounded theory approach, which is a systematic approach for gathering, synthesizing, analyzing, and conceptualizing qualitative data to construct theory. In other words, I constructed the meanings of autism from the ground up, starting with interviews from people living with autism. Once I have established central themes, I incorporate focused coding of the data to help sythesize and explain larger segments of the data. I also developed situational maps that helped me to identify  and connect human and non human elements/actors/actants, collective human elements/actors, as well as implicated/silent actors/actants. This is an approach developed by my PhD Advisor, Dr. Adele Clarke.

Q. What interview resonated the most with you?

A. The interviews that resonated with me the most were the ones I conducted with people who have autism. These were my first set of interviews, which I started before I knew very much about autism. This is traditionally how grounded theory should be conducted. Among these interviews, I had the opportunity to meet a young women who was newly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. She was 33 years old and was able to reflect on her entire life not quite understanding her battles with anxiety, social communication, and anorexia. I keep coming back to this interview because it demonstrates how girls and women are overlooked in the screening and diagnosis process (boys are diagnosed 4 times more than girls) and how gendered stereotypes shape how certain symptoms are interpreted over others. I think I listened to her interview the most because shared with me such intimate details of how she interprets the world. She told me it was like trying to communicate in a foreign language without an interpreter and the constant work she does to try and keep all the elements of a social conversation in her head. These interviews also resonate in my new research on working with adults on the autism spectrum with life transition issues, especially in areas of independent living, employment, and long-term health.

Q. During your time as a sociologist of science, technology, and medicine at Georgia Tech, have you found a community of autism advocates and people living with autism here in Atlanta?

A. Yes! As I indicated earlier, I am working with the Atlanta Autism Consortium (AAC) to develop community-based intervention workshops that target the needs of adults living on the spectrum in metro Atlanta. The AAC is a non-profit organization that consists of a broad range of stakeholders, including: autism researchers, public health professionals, educators, service providers, policy makers, and people with autism and their families. Over the years the AAC has developed a closer relationship with a group of autistic self-advocates who are helping us identify and develop an agenda on how the AAC can utilize it’s network to focus on adult quality of life issues. I advertised the play to the AAC and we would love to organize a group to come to the play.

Q. Since the publishing of your book, how has autism awareness progressed or digressed in Atlanta?

A. This book was just published (Jan 2016), so I am uncertain how to answer this question other than to say that in Atlanta, organizations like the AAC, have really help over the years to organize different stakeholders to target specific agendas. For example, they helped to write the Insurance reform bill (Ava’s Law) that was passed in Georgia. This requires employment-based insurance to cover autism therapies such as applied behavioral analysis or occupational therapy. There are so many grass roots efforts throughout Georgia, many that are initiated by parents. One is the Parent to Parent Network, which provides a much needed service to parents who are newly diagnoses help navigate the complex systems of care in Georgia. They are especially useful for low-income and under served families. This state is certainly not the best for autism services and has limits compared to other parts of the U.S. I am however, seeing a movement in the Latino Community through efforts by the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State. Again, this is being charged by a parent with a child with autism who understands the complexities of navigating the system in a different language. So much more work to do here, which is also another new area of research for me.

 

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