Fun shots below from Fury Theatre's very successful fundraiser, Bottom Shelf Theatre!
Great news - The Curse on Mordrake House has finally been assigned a venue and official show times for our Chicago Fringe Festival debut! *throws confetti*
Check out all the details on the Current Projects page! We'll be performing at the Gift theatre, primarily over the first weekend, with a final show on Friday, 9/9 at 7pm. $10 Tickets can be purchased at the door or online starting in August at ChicagoFringe.org. Don't forget, if you plan to see the show, you must make a one-time purchase of a Fringe Festival Button for $5 in order to gain entry to the festival. These can be purchased online or at the door also!
You can also check out the show website and subscribe to the newsletter for updates at curseonmordrake.weebly.com (PS I designed the site using Weebly!) and consider a donation to help out with production costs at www.gofundme.com/curseonmordrake and earn some sweet rewards.
Check out our teaser video and rehearsal photos below!
Apologies for the lack up updates - there's been a lot going on!
Here are the big highlights:
And in personal news.....
Jonah and I have signed a new lease in Chicago in the West Edgewater neighborhood, AND we recently had to replace one of our cars. So the two of us with our two Honda's, Hank and Rhonda, will be moving in the next month before Jonah leaves for Normal, Illinois to perform in the Illinois Shakespeare Festival through mid August. Meanwhile, I have a wedding to plan..... sleep is for the weak!!!!
Yesterday I wrapped my part on Iron Horses Can't Be Broken with Burning Brigid Media. It's a little bittersweet, as it's been a truly delightful group to work with. Everyone was a total pro, and I was utterly impressed by the level of talent that came together to make this 11 episode audio-drama a reality. It's going to be a thrilling ride and I can't wait to share the podcast with everyone once it's live! Voiceover is definitely something I want to start doing a lot more of, if I can. It's totally convinced me that it's time to invest in a good home studio mic!
Audience Annihilated 3: The Trouble With Angels closed last weekend as well (to awesome final Halloween loving audiences) so now I can focus 100% of my efforts on my next project, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. You may be familiar with the Frank Capra film, but this rendition of the holiday favorite is performed in 1946 by a Manhattan radio station as a live radio play! The viewers become the live studio audience and will be prompted to laugh, cry, and applaud along as the actors create the characters and live sound effects on stage. There are even a couple "live commercial breaks" and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa for all audience members. I am Sally Applewhite, Miss Ohio 1943, fresh off the set of her latest Hollywood film, playing the role of Mary Hatch in the radio play. The entire cast, aside from my role, are returning from last year's acclaimed production. I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into the Sally Applewhite role and help continue this Oil Lamp Theater tradition - which is already selling tickets like gangbusters! OLT now features reserved seating, so I highly recommend getting tickets early so you get your pick of seats. Tickets can be purchased at OilLampTheater.org Use my special "Friends & Family" discount code "life" to get $5 off tickets!
Hope to see you at the theater, friends! <3
Sorry for the bit of a pause between update!
I like to take a hiatus from major theatre projects over the winter holidays if I can help it, but things have not been silent on the Amanda front.
"Day-Job" Career News:
I have officially left my position as Assistant Manager at Adagio Teas, to pursue a new path in project management. It was a really tough decision, as Adagio has been incredibly good to me over the years, providing stability while I navigated the theatrical waters. As luck would have it, I assistant directed Rio nearly 1 year ago with the lovely and talented Laura Gouin, who was looking expand her project management team. Laura is a project manager with 10+ years experience, and has taken me under her wing as her protégé! The truly wonderful thing about this change, aside from being able to work from home and more or less working the hours I want, is that I can also work from anywhere in the world that I have an internet connection. So now traveling to perform in shows is a logistical possibility!
Dream Theatre Company News:
Talent Coordination time is in full swing! DTC is currently casting for our 2015 Season on February 21st, and the response has been nearly overwhelming (I've got it under control though ;) We've decided on the season's line-up and done a promotional photo shoot as well. I can't make any official announcements yet, but I will definitely be acting in at least one show, possibly more!
We also did a special performance of The Mechanical Man at the Midwinter Gaming Festival, to a lovely turnout. It was definitely a fun rump up to Wisconsin (my first time!). Made it home with local beer and cheese curds, so I'd say it was a successful trip for sure ;)
Next up I've got lots of auditions on my plate, and hopefully we'll begin principle photography/shooting for Terms come April/May!
That's all for now!
Here's a few behind the scenes shots from my weekend project, "Kind of Crazy," a short film written by Michael Singleton, directed by Michael Tanner Flynn! Loved meeting and laughing with the crew and my costars! Thanks Keith Emroll for the photos!
New photos of Medea here and Mechanical Man here!
ONLY 2 WEEKENDS LEFT!
MEDEA - the epic tale continues at DREAM LABORATORY
MEDEA must close September 14th. Tickets are still available for the last two weekends. 5 more performances play on September 6, 7, 12, 13 & 14. Closing weekend is expected to sell out quickly and seats are limited in our intimate storefront space. *No performance Sept. 5*
Don't miss you chance to see the show critics have claimed, "is like nothing else you'll see on a local stage." As Medea, "Martindale is outstanding" and "Jeremy Menekseoglu's range is impressive" and "the language rich and powerful."THE BUZZ ABOUT MEDEA:
Chicago Theatre Beat: 3/4 Stars
EDGE Media Chicago: Recommended
Chicago Reader: Recommended
DTC Audience Member Letter
THE MECHANICAL MAN This all-girl, silent, steampunk play full of debauchery, revenge and insanity tells the of the struggle between an inventor's scientific obsession and his daughter's innocent connection to the virtues of humanity. The audience is transported into a dark world reminiscent of turn of the century silent film.
FINAL 2 PERFORMANCES
Thursday 9/4 @ 10:00pm
Friday 9/5 @ 7:00pm
CHICAGO FRINGE FESTIVAL
(The Gift Theatre)
Located at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave
more info: www.chicagofringe.org
The Mechanical Man opens Saturday 8/30 @ 2:30pm! So excited to make my Chicago Fringe Fest debut with fellow Dream Theatre company members, Nicole Roberts, Madelaine Schmitt, and Anna Menekseoglu. Writing and projection design by DTC Artistic Director Jeremy Menekseoglu, and directed by company member Greg Callazzo. Anna also designed our awesome costumes! Check out these photos for our crazy awesome all-girl, silent, steam-punk play of insanity, debauchery, and revenge!
Kind words from Chicago Theatre Beat for this must see show!!
Review by Joy Campbell
In Jeremy Menekseoglu’s creative re-imagining of the Euripides tale of a woman scorned, the classic tragedy is made more complex with the addition of personal and marital issues of our age. Characters are more layered, and the line between good and bad is less clearly drawn.
In this tale, it’s not the temptation of a younger woman and the promise of power that lures away Jason (Jeremy Menekseoglu); long before the young princess entered his life, his marriage to Medea (Rachel Martindale) had collapsed. Allegations of slovenliness, depression, and unwanted parenthood show us that even the marriage between an Argonaut and an exotic witch is not immune to the banalities of day-to-day pressures. At open, we see Medea as a Corinthian version of trailer trash, living in a filthy shack with her two young sons. She walks around half undressed, disheveled, and emotionally and physically dominating her sons, the sullen Mermerus (Anna W. Menekseoglu), and nervous Pheres (Madelaine Schmitt).
The two sons, a mere device in Euripides’ original, are more of a central focus here as the play examines the effects on children when caught in the battle between hostile, self-involved parents. Glauce (Amanda Lynn Meyer) is the virgin princess of Corinth who, ironically, tries to reconcile the family into a semblance of civility, and who treats the boys with love. She offers the olive branch to Medea with an offer worthy of Medea’s abilities. Her kindess to Mermerus and Pheres melts Jason’s heart, and he realizes his regret at not being there for them. Rather than a housebreaker, she’s the reconciling voice of sanity in their domestic mess.
As Medea, Martindale is outstanding, carrying the intensity of her characters and the poetry of Menekseoglu’s script, shifting easily from beaten-down has-been to proud priestess who is either a deeply intuitive woman or a psychopath unhinged by bitternes. As Jason, Jeremy Menekseoglu’s range is impressive, going from pompous jerk to sympathetic father.
The script is beautiful, and the language rich and powerful. Menekseoglu shows a range of skills as director, actor, and scenic and sound designer: his use of music and sound effects is immersive. Anna W. Menekseoglu’s lighting design combines with the skillful use of sound to transform the small, minimalist set into a foreign land filled with black magic and supernatural events.
The cast is solid, and the simple set and minimal props combined with Martindales’s modern costume designs create a sense of a fable hanging in time. The Deus Ex Machina is, oddly, presented fairly traditionally; I would have expected something a bit less predictable; the same goes for the resolution. Still, these are minor issues in an otherwise very enjoyable show. Dream Theatre takes some interesting chances, and shows a novel approach to old themes.
Rating: ★★★ Medea continues through September 14th at Dream Laboratory, 5026 N. Lincoln (map), with performances Fridays-Sundays at 8pm (no shows Sunday, Aug 31 or Friday, Sept 5). Tickets are $20, and are available online through Artful.ly (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at DreamTheatreCompany.com. (Running time: 90 minutes, includes an intermission)
Rachel Martindale (Medea), Anna W. Menekseoglu (Mermerus), Madelaine Schmitt (Pheres), Jeremy Menekseoglu (Jason), Amanda Lynn Meyer (Glauce), Kaitlin Stewart (Hera, Glauce understudy)
behind the scenes
Jeremy Menekseoglu (adaptor, director, scenic design, sound design), Collin Carroll (stage manager),Anna W. Menekseoglu (lighting design, co-prop design), Rachel Martindale (costume design), Dana Von (co-prop design), Paul Knappenberger (technical director)
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