Kingfisher: Year Two Begins

It’s hard to believe that we’re about to announce and dive into our second season. I could write about how looking back we’ve come a long way, and our humble beginning and all that, but really, if you want that, just read the first blog post.

Instead, I’m going to talk about the people that have come together around the shared mission of investigating the great works for the stage and thrusting them into the modern era.

If it weren’t for the people who have helped me launch this thing over a year ago, there would be no thing, and I’d still be a pacing around my parents’ garage, smoking too many cigarettes (I quit!).

I freaking love theater. I’ve always loved theater. I love theater because it’s a collision of worldviews and a collision of tastes and an intersection of souls. As a lifelong actor with probably a bit more self-awareness than is healthy, I’ve always fed off collaborating with other people.

It’s the other people around me that feed my own work, that keep me going, and that also constantly keep me in check. Sartre was only half right. Hell is other people. But my grandmother was also right when she said, “I’d rather go to Hell, that’s where they have all the fun.”

Whether one person has a more extensive knowledge of theater history, or the other is younger and more hip than I, or another has kept more of their natural empathy (something happens to middle aged men in that regard!), or still another knows more about digital media, or design, or speech, or Alexander Technique, or writing, or even is just a more natural actor : these are the people that make up our theater and these are the people that I’m proud to work with.

And I am blessed to have found these people here in The Kingfisher Theater. We truly are creating space or ‘artists to nest in stormy seas.’ We’ve come a long way, and while yes, there’s still an infinite space to travel, I am beyond grateful that we’re all in it together, huddled, while the storm swirls around us.

Our next season announcement is coming soon, and there have been all sorts of important adjustments to our process. We’ve updated mundane things and added a little spice here and there.

Last year we did three ambitious shows: Oedipus Rex, The Devil, the Witch, and the Blacksmith, and Sir Patient Fancy. It was exhilarating, at times harrowing, and there were definitely a few ‘dramatic’ moments, but man if it wasn’t a blast.

Most importantly: we’ve come out on the other end, mostly intact, invigorated, and with a hunger to dive right back in. This time we aim to do everything just a little bit better.

Anyway, I felt a need to write something tonight about how excited I am that we’ve got to Year Two. I’m thrilled about it, and I’d like to thank my fellow theatre artists here in Rochester for making it happen.

 

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**Call For Theater Director**

**Call For Theater Director**

The Kingfisher Theater is conducting a search for a theater director for our spring 2017 production of Votes for Women! by Elizabeth Robins.

ABOUT THE SHOW:  In an era when few women playwrights were able to make their voices heard, Votes for Women! premiered at the Royal Court in London in 1907.  Known as the “first suffragette play,” Votes for Women! announced, through Robins’ Ibsenesque style, the reasons why women needed the right to vote. Many of the issues Robins touches on–the sex trade, homelessness, poverty, and abortion–still resonate today.

It is England. Bee, a sheltered, wealthy young woman, is newly engaged to the Honorable Geoffrey Stonor, a somewhat older man, who is campaigning for a position as Cabinet Minister. At a Sunday gathering at her aunt’s house, she is introduced to the beautiful, mysterious Miss Levering, an independent woman who is heavily involved in the fight for women’s rights.  In learning about Miss Levering’s past and the terrors that can occur because of women’s dependence on others, Bee’s own feminism begins to develop, much to the chagrin of her conservative fiancé.

You can find the full text at:  http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/vwwp/view?docId=VAB7192&doc.view=print

PERFORMANCE & REHEARSAL DATES: The performances dates are currently TBA, but will likely be during 3 weeks in late April / early May 2017. Location is also TBA in the City of Rochester. Rehearsals will depend on you and your cast availability, but The Kingfisher Theater will provide a space and other logistical support. More details upon receipt of a proposal.

CASTING PRACTICES: The Kingfisher Theater adheres to the Actors Equity standard of encouraging and promoting Non-Traditional Casting. “Non-Traditional Casting is designed to increase artistic options by expanding casting opportunities for women, actors of color, seniors and actors with disabilities in roles where race, gender, age or the presence or absence of a disability are not germane.”  The Kingfisher Theater will offer Buffalo/Rochester Special Appearance Equity Contracts to Equity actors who may be cast in this production. No roles have been pre-cast although we require our company members to have the right of first refusal. There will likely be doubling of roles. This is a medium to large sized ensemble cast (roughly 10 actors of various ages, although it is somewhat flexible.)

COMPENSATION: The Kingfisher Theater acknowledges that artists are the essence of theater and strives to compensate them for their work. We plan to offer a small stipend (between $50 and $100) and other benefits to our director, to be discussed upon receipt of proposal.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: If you would like to be considered for this position, please submit as much of the following to Kevin Dedes at kdedes@thekingfishertheater.org:

  1. a theatrical resume, preferably showing directing experience, although acting or other resumes will be considered
  2. A short statement regarding your interest in this show, and perhaps some ideas of how you’d like to conceptualize this production.  Please note that due to casting limitations, the second act “crowd scene,” needs to be conceived in such a way that there is no actual crowd.
  3. any specific technical, costume, or design elements you would like to use in this production
  4. any other production or artistic collaborators you would like to bring to this production

The deadline for submission is August 15, 2016.

 

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**Call for Theater Directors**

**Call For Theater Director**

The Kingfisher Theater is conducting a search for a theater director for our upcoming winter production of The Devil, the Witch, and the Blacksmith by Amy Canfield and Kevin Dedes.

ABOUT THE SHOW:  This script, adapted from Nikolai Gogol’s short story by company members Amy Canfield and Kevin Dedes, is our signature ‘Winter Show’. Our inaugural production this past January was a great success, and we look forward to making next season’s show even bigger and better!

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the Ukrainian village of Dikanka, visions of caroling and vodka and love were dancing in everyone’s heads. The Devil, of course, has other plans. Vakula, the town blacksmith, has humiliated His Evilness for the last time! As revenge, he will steal the moon and unleash a blinding snowstorm, stopping at nothing to ruin Vakula’s chance to win the beautiful but conceited Oksana. Vakula’s mother, the town witch and ‘comforter’ of half the town’s menfolk, gets in on the action along with Oksana’s wealthy Cossack father–then mischief abounds! Gogol’s masterful tale of magic and farce in a sleepy Ukrainian village on Christmas Eve makes for a joyful holiday treat!

For a full synopsis of the inspirational story: wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Eve_(Gogol)

PERFORMANCE & REHEARSAL DATES: The performances dates are currently TBA, but will likely be during 3 weeks in the month of January 2017. Location is also TBA in the City of Rochester. Rehearsals will depend on you and your cast availability, but The Kingfisher Theater will provide a space and other logistical support. More details upon receipt of a proposal.

CASTING PRACTICES: The Kingfisher Theater adheres to the Actors Equity standard of encouraging and promoting Non-Traditional Casting. “Non-Traditional Casting is designed to increase artistic options by expanding casting opportunities for women, actors of color, seniors and actors with disabilities in roles where race, gender, age or the presence or absence of a disability are not germane.”  The Kingfisher Theater will offer Buffalo/Rochester Special Appearance Equity Contracts to Equity actors who may be cast in this production. No roles have been pre-cast although we require our company members to have the right of first refusal. There will likely be doubling of roles. This is a medium to large sized ensemble cast (roughly 10 actors of various ages, although it is somewhat flexible.)

COMPENSATION: The Kingfisher Theater acknowledges that artists are the essence of theater and strives to compensate them for their work. We plan to offer a small stipend (between $50 and $100) and other benefits to our director, to be discussed upon receipt of proposal.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: If you would like to be considered for this position, please submit as much of the following to Kevin Dedes at kdedes@thekingfishertheater.org:

  1. a theatrical resume, preferably showing directing experience, although acting or other resumes will be considered
  2. A short statement regarding your interest in this show, and perhaps some ideas of how you’d like to conceptualize this production.
  3. any specific technical, costume, or design elements you would like to use in this production
  4. any other production or artistic collaborators you would like to bring to this production

The deadline for submission is July 1, 2016.

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**AUDITION NOTICE**

**AUDITION NOTICE**

The Kingfisher Theater presents

Sir Patient Fancy

by Aphra Behn

directed by Kevin Dedes

ABOUT THE SHOW:

Sir Patient Fancy’s daughter Isabella is in love with Lodwick, Lady Knowell’s son. Lady Knowell’s daughter, Lucretia, is in love with Leander, Sir Patient Fancy’s nephew. Neither Fancy nor Knowell like these match-ups at all. To further complicate matters, Lady Knowell wants Lucretia to marry Sir Credulous Easy, a country bumpkin; and Sir Patient Fancy wants Isabella to marry Fainlove, who is actually his own young wife’s secret lover! This rarely performed Restoration comedy by one of England’s earliest women playwrights is a raucously funny, bawdy romp, full of witty dialogue, mistaken identities, and sexual intrigue.

More on Aphra Behn here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphra_Behn

AUDITION DATES AND TIMES:

Monday, February 15th from 7:00 – 9:00pm. (please send an e-mail to kdedes@thekingfishertheater if you cannot attend this audition but would still like to be considered for a role.) 

AUDITION LOCATION: St John Fisher College – NURSING 105 

CLICK HERE FOR MAP

**NOTE: As a Rochester-area theater and member of TheatreROCS, we encourage everyone to audition for both our production as well as RCP and Wallbyrd’s Romeo and Juliet (audition notice is here: http://www.wallbyrd.com/auditions). These shows do not conflict.**

PREPARATION: Auditions will consist of readings of sides from the script. E-texts of the uncut script are available online, including at http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/behn/fancy/fancy.html

If you have a comedic monologue, please bring it in. We are looking for actors of all ages, types, and abilities.  We are an ensemble conservatory theater, and may cast against type.

Everyone is welcome!

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE: The rehearsal schedule will be fully developed once casting is complete. Rehearsals will be in February and March 2016, with the show tentatively opening on April 8th. Generally we rehearse a few weekday evenings and some weekends.

PERFORMANCE DATES: Tentatively, there will be 3-4 performances a week: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees. More details upon final casting. Rough show dates are April 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24.

CASTING PRACTICES:  The Kingfisher Theater adheres to the Actors Equity standard of encouraging and promoting Non-Traditional Casting. “Non-Traditional Casting is
designed to increase artistic options by expanding casting opportunities for
women, actors of color, seniors and actors with disabilities in roles where
race, gender, age or the presence or absence of a disability are not germane.”  The Kingfisher Theater will offer Buffalo/Rochester Special Appearance Equity Contracts to Equity actors who may be cast in this production.

The Kingfisher Theater believes that actors are the essence of theater and will make all efforts to compensate our actors for their work.  As we are brand-new, the theater cannot guarantee compensation at this point, but will strive to meet this goal. We have been able to offer a little compensation to our actors for our first two productions.

ROLES AVAILABLE: No roles have been pre-cast. There may be doubling of roles.

Sir Patient Fancy – an old rich Alderman
Leander Fancy – his nephew
Wittmore – Gallant to Lady Fancy, a wild young fellow
Lodwick Knowell – Son to Lady Knowell, in love with Isabella
Sir Credulous Easy – A foolish country Knight.
Curry – His groom
Roger – a footman
Lady Fancy – Young wife to Sir Patient
Lady Knowell – An affected, learned woman, mother to Lodwick and Isabella
Lucretia – Daughter of Lady Knowell
Isabella – Daughter to Sir Patient Fancy
Fanny – Daughter to Sir Patient Fancy, 7 years old
Maundy – Lady Fancy’s woman
Betty – Waiting woman to Isabella

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A Very Gogol Christmas

Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol

I was about 19 years old when I first heard about Nikolai Gogol. A young Biology undergraduate with very little direction in life other than a healthy appetite for learning, I enrolled in a course called “International Short Story” at Binghamton University.

The professor was an eccentric man with a penchant for innuendo, and I was immediately onboard his comedy train. There was no ‘Rate My Professor’ back then, and I can’t remember his name, but he left quite an impression on me. It was in his course that I discovered writers like Chinua Achebe, Marie de France, Giovanni Boccaccio, and of course, Gogol himself.

I’m not sure what it was about the surreal and hysterical stories that grabbed me. Was it his sardonic take on Empire? The skewering of self-centered people who otherwise consider themselves pious Christians? Maybe it was just the connection I felt to my own Orthodox Christian upbringing and Ukrainian heritage? Nobody nose…

The Nose! That was it!

The Nose. Gogol’s roller-coaster ride of a farce chronicling the sad pursuit of Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov and his desperate attempts to regain his own nose–which had disappeared earlier that morning– who wore much nicer clothes.

I had never read anything like it! Surreal, dark, and it made me laugh out loud. It was a far cry from other comedies I had come across until that point. This was no Neil Simon! I was hooked.

Luckily, course requirements stated I had to buy his collection of short stories (thanks student loans!) I read them all, including the most famous such as “Diary of a Madman” and “The Overcoat.”

But The Nose! THE NOSE!

2007-02-16-the-overcoatCut to: Grad school at The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco (thanks student, loans!). From Toronto, Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling’s ‘The Overcoat’ was a site to be seen! Then, just a year or two later, Carey Perloff’s production of The Government Inspector. Not only did I get to work on a workshop of that production, but I got to see Gogol’s work right up close at one of America’s premiere stages!

Cut to: Summer 2015, and we’re planning our very first season. What to do during Christmas? Everyone already does A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Story, while a ‘classic’ film, might be too much of a stretch, and The SantaLand Diaries couldn’t accommodate our company of actors…  what could we do? Something we could make our own…   Something unique…

Then I discovered that Gogol had written a story called  ‘The Night Before Christmas.’

After many months of development, Amy Canfield (literary manager and director of this production) and I are thrilled to present to Rochester this irreverent and hilarious Winter’s tale full of booze, boobs, and magical shenanigans.

But here’s the thing about Gogol: Even while he expertly skewers small-town life and big-city pretensions, even as he pokes fun at his own faith and the hypocrisy of others, there’s an immutable kernel of humanity in all his works. This expression is a central reason Gogol’s works aren’t just silly comedies, but instead truly timeless works of art.

We’re proud to say The Devil, the Witch, and the Blacksmith is no exception. We know you will enjoy this ‘New Classic’ as much as we do, and aim for it to become part of the Rochester theater tradition for years to come.

On behalf of our entire company…  Happy Holidays!

-Kevin Dedes

Devil and Witch Final Poster (1)

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Annual Holiday Gala!

Join us on Tuesday, December 15 from
5:30 to 7:30 for our first ever
Annual Holiday Gala!

Have a drink or two, some snacks, and let’s celebrate the Holiday Season,

Theater-making, and our Fair City of Rochester!

Proceeds from this event will go to supporting more great theater!

winter gala header_v2

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