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News stories tagged with "theater"

Parmalee Tolkan kneels near a hand-painted scenic backdrop in her studio in the basement of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.  She's been living in the Adirondacks and creating costumes for Broadway shows for more than 30 years.  Photo:  Todd Moe
Parmalee Tolkan kneels near a hand-painted scenic backdrop in her studio in the basement of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. She's been living in the Adirondacks and creating costumes for Broadway shows for more than 30 years. Photo: Todd Moe

Broadway magic created in a Lake Placid artist's studio

Hours from the lights of Broadway, an Adirondack artist has made a career of creating costumes for some of the city's biggest shows.

For more than 30 years, Parmalee Tolkan has been painting costumes and scenery for the theater, working with some of the greatest designers and scenic artists on Broadway. Scenic arts and colorful costumes from a studio in one of the most scenic parts of the country.

Parmalee Tolkan works in a quiet space in the lower level of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Email, social media and FedEx allow her to create costumes in the Adirondacks that will end up on stage in New York City.

A member of the United Scenic Artists Union, she's also painted murals for venues like the Northwoods Inn and the Adirondack Carousel, but Parmalee told Todd Moe that she prefers the collaborative process of theater over the life of a solitary artist.  Go to full article
Burdette Parks as Rothko (right) and Tyler Nye as Ken, his assistant, in Pendragon Theatre's production of "Red".  Photo: Bonnie Brewer
Burdette Parks as Rothko (right) and Tyler Nye as Ken, his assistant, in Pendragon Theatre's production of "Red". Photo: Bonnie Brewer

Preview: "Red" at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake

Pendragon Theatre has opened its summer season with the award-winning play "Red." The two character bio-drama, written by John Logan, is set in Mark Rothko's art studio in New York City in the late 1950s. Rothko was a well-known abstract expressionist known for images which featured large, and luminous color blocks. In the play, Rothko is painting a group of murals commissioned by an exclusive restaurant, and the story follows the initiation of Ken, a young assistant, into Rothko's world. Pendragon's production features a local cast, and is sponsored by the Adirondack Artists Guild.

Todd Moe spoke with director Kim Bouchard, who also teaches drama at SUNY Potsdam. Bouchard says she was intrigued by the script's intense dialogue between teacher and pupil, and its exploration of art, artists and generational clashes.  Go to full article
Broadway veteran Jonathan Hadley will be up north this summer at the Depot Theatre in Westport.  Photo: Depot Theatre
Broadway veteran Jonathan Hadley will be up north this summer at the Depot Theatre in Westport. Photo: Depot Theatre

Broadway star heads north to manage the Depot Theatre this summer

Broadway actor Jonathan Hadley returns to the Depot Theatre in Westport this summer. Hadley takes the reins at the theatre as its Interim Producing Director in a slightly abbreviated summer season.

Todd Moe talks with Hadley, who appeared on stage at the Depot in the 1999 production of "Born Yesterday," about his love of summer theater in the Champlain Valley.  Go to full article
Olivia Zeis plays Dorothy in The Community Theatre Players spring production, "The Wizard of Oz", in Saranac Lake.  The show opens on Thursday night in the Harrietstown Town Hall.  Photo:  Community Theatre Players Inc.
Olivia Zeis plays Dorothy in The Community Theatre Players spring production, "The Wizard of Oz", in Saranac Lake. The show opens on Thursday night in the Harrietstown Town Hall. Photo: Community Theatre Players Inc.

Off to see "The Wizard" in Saranac Lake

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the classic American film, "The Wizard of Oz." A large cast and crew from the Saranac Lake area is in the midst of final rehearsals this week for their production. The show, which opens at the Harrietstown Town Hall on Thursday night, is presented by The Community Theatre Players Inc. The performances are part of a worldwide celebration of the 1939 motion picture starring Judy Garland.

Director Matt Sorensen talks with Todd Moe about directing the popular musical during this anniversary year with a cast of more than 40 local performers--and Toto, too!

Performances: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7 pm; Matinees Saturday 11 am and Sunday at 2 pm.
Tickets: General admission $20, seniors/students $15, children 12 and under $10. Tickets available at the door. Cash or check only.  Go to full article
Rona Waddington.  Photo: St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival
Rona Waddington. Photo: St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival

St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival chooses new leader

The St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival in Prescott, Ontario has hired a new artistic director. Rona Waddington, who brought "Hamlet" to Prescott last summer, succeeds Ian Farthing in December. Farthing will step down at the end of this summer's 12th season.

Waddington has an impressive background as an actor and director at theatres across Canada and Europe. And she told Todd Moe she loves the idea of presenting Shakespeare outdoors along the St. Lawrence in the summer months.  Go to full article
The modular synthesizer, played by Wes Kline, plays a major role in the piece. Photo: Joel Hurd
The modular synthesizer, played by Wes Kline, plays a major role in the piece. Photo: Joel Hurd

Listen: "Now at the Uncertain Hour" at Edwards Opera House

On Friday, NCPR, with Square Top Theatre and St. Lawrence University, presented "Now at the Uncertain Hour" a new theatre piece written by Damon Falke and directed by Charlie Pepiton (learn more about the piece in this interview with the show's creative team, on NCPR.)

According to
the show's web site, "Now at the Uncertain Hour" "takes the audience on a journey through the landscape of a soldier's memory as a collector attempts to make sense of what will be left behind. The show asks: in the midst of the relentless currents of time, what can we take hold of that will go on, that will not be lost? The stories blend with the sounds of old time banjo and modular synthesizer to create a unique listening experience."  Go to full article

Edwards theatre event explores technology, memory, with banjo!

"Now at the Uncertain Hour" is an intriguing new theatrical event for live performance, online streaming, and radio. The show takes the audience on a journey through the landscape of a soldier's memory as a collector attempts to make sense of what will be left behind.

In the midst of the relentless currents of time, the play asks what we can take hold of that will go on, that will not be lost. The collector combs through the soldier's memories as captured on an old reel-to-reel tape as they blend with the sounds of old time banjo and modular synthesizer to create a unique listening experience.
Todd Moe stopped by a rehearsal last week at St. Lawrence University to talk with cast members Megan MacDonald, Wes Kline, Camilla Ammirati and director Charlie Pepiton.  Go to full article
Students from Beekmantown and Saranac Lake gathered at Pendragon Theatre this month for a playwrighting festival, led by      Executive Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham (right).  Photo: David Zwierankin
Students from Beekmantown and Saranac Lake gathered at Pendragon Theatre this month for a playwrighting festival, led by Executive Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham (right). Photo: David Zwierankin

Saranac Lake's Pendragon Theatre taps next generation of playwrights

High school writers gathered in Saranac Lake this month to learn more about theater and writing plays. Pendragon Theatre hosted a day of playing with words and acting as part of its newly revived Young Playwrights Festival.

More than 30 young writers from across the region entered their original one-act plays that were judged by a panel of experts. Two plays were given public performances. It's part of Pendragon's mission to help foster the next generation of theatre artists.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake's Witter Swanson (center) and the cast from his winning play, "Elmer", at Pendragon Theatre.  Photo:  Karen Lordi-Kirkham
Saranac Lake's Witter Swanson (center) and the cast from his winning play, "Elmer", at Pendragon Theatre. Photo: Karen Lordi-Kirkham

In Saranac Lake, young playwrights take a bow

Two North Country teens got the chance to see their plays performed on stage at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake last weekend. Witter Swanson, a student at Saranac Lake High School, received a full production of his one-act play "Elmer." The runner-up, Amber Baker, a student at Beekmantown, received a reading of her play "The Esteemed Institute." The two playwrights were the winners of this year's Young Playwrights contest at Pendragon.  Go to full article

Pendragon Theatre looking for young playwrights

Pendragon Theatre will hold its first annual Young Playwrights' Festival the first week in April. 7th grade, 8th grade and high-school aged playwrights across the region are being asked to submit original one-act plays and musicals for a chance to have it presented on Pendragon's stage in Saranac Lake.

The deadline for submissions is February 1st, and the winning play will be performed by a cast and crew of professionals. Pendragon's artistic director Karen Lordi Kirkham shares some playwriting tips and suggestions.  Go to full article

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