- Mission Statement and Letter
- Board of Directors
- History of Proctors
- F. F. Proctor
- Proctors and the Environment
- Proctors and the Community
- Job Opportunities
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Great Audiences
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Space Rental
- Group Sales
- What to Expect
- Box Office Information
- Directions & Parking
- Ways to Save
- Signed Performances
- Stage Information
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Education Home
- Education Brochure 2012-2013
- Event Listing
- Live Performances
- GIANT Screen Films
- Educator Extravaganza
- School of Performing Arts
- Media Programs
- Community and School Initiatives
- Grants and Awards
- Field Trip Information
- Giving & Support
- Giving & Support
- Individual & Family Membership
- Members Only
- Corporate Opportunities
- Scholarship Campaign
- Commemorative Gifts
- Stocks & Planned Estates
- Expansion Campaign
- Donate Now
- My Account
MARY POPPINS, WICKED, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, LES MISÉRABLES, and more! Proctors State Street Schenectady proctors.org ONLY THE HITS…ONLY AT PROCTORS The excitement continues as Proctors packs enjoyment and sizzle into months ahead Through 2012 – 2013 Key Private.
Read Rich's take at http://www.didyouweekend.com/
Proctors to offer drama, fun in 2012-13
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The Million Dollar Quartet performs at the invitation-only Broadway Bash on the Mainstage at Proctors on Tuesday night.
SCHENECTADY — What do Victor Hugo, Walt Disney and Elvis Presley have in common? They’ll all be represented in the Proctors Key Private Bank Broadway Series package for the 2012-2013 season.
“Les Miserables” and “Mary Poppins,” two timeless classics, seemed to produce the most cheers from the 1,500 or so season subscribers that made their way into the main theater Tuesday night to listen to Proctors’ CEO Philip Morris announce next season’s lineup. Also received with much applause was “Wicked,” which packed the Schenectady theater for three weeks during December 2009 and January 2010. Also part of the Broadway series is 2011’s “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and 2010’s “Million Dollar Quartet.”
Read BILL BUELL'S full story at:
Coming soon: Elvis, Mary Poppins
Proctors announces its varied 2012-13 Broadway schedule, including a jukebox musical
SCHENECTADY — Rock legends, storybook characters, drag queens and French revolutionaries are headed to the Capital Region as part of Proctors' 2012-13 Broadway series.
Members of the Broadway cast of "Million Dollar Quartet" got a jump start on the action Tuesday night, performing seven of the show's songs — including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" — before more than 1,000 people at the venue's season announcement event.
The jukebox musical, which is slated to run at Proctors from Jan. 22 to 27, tells the story of one legendary night — Dec. 4, 1956, in Memphis — when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins came together for a recording session.
The other four shows on Proctors series are:
The place to discuss the arts in the Capital Region
March 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm by Michael Janairo, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Cast members from the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet perform during Proctors 2012-13 Broadway season announcement in Schenectady, NY Tuesday March 20, 2012. MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is the new smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.( Michael P. Farrell/Times Union )
Members of the Broadway cast of “Million Dollar Quartet,” one of the five announced shows, showed up Tuesday night at Proctors to perform selections from the musical to help the venue launch its next season.
Read the full story:
A conversation with ‘Herself’
Shirley MacLaine sets up no boundaries in one-woman chat with her audience
Sunday, March 18, 2012
In more than 55 years in the public eye, Shirley MacLaine was never one to pull any punches. She expects nothing less from her audience.
“It’s like we’re just having a conversation in my living room, and what happens there stays there,” said MacLaine, who will be at the Mainstage at Proctors on Friday night for her one-woman chat titled “Herself. Shirley MacLaine.”
“I show some clips from my movies, talk about things and nothing is off limits. We’ll talk about anything.”
The 1983 Oscar winner for “Terms of Endearment,” MacLaine said sometimes her conversations can get pretty personal.
“At one of my Florida shows, a woman got up in the aisle and said that she had an affair with my father,” she related. “So, we talked about it. I asked her if my daddy was the guy who made her a woman, I asked her how he was in bed and why they had broken up. I actually do remember a time when my mother had been so jealous.”
Friday night’s presentation will allow time for a question-and-answer period, and
‘Herself. Shirley MacLaine’
WHERE: Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
HOW MUCH: $70-$20
MORE INFO: 346-6204, www.proctors.org
MacLaine expects to handle a few questions about the time she spent with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other members of The Rat Pack.
“There was no hanky-panky, never,” said MacLaine...
GAZETTE reporter BILL BUELL tells all in his facinating interview with Shirley MacLaine:
ALBANY — How do you define crowd-pleaser? Capital Repertory Theatre is doing it with “Black Pearl Sings” by taking two opposites and giving them a dream to share and emotional music to sing.
“Black Pearl Sings” is a touching show, as it adheres to a certain formula to establish an emotional bond between a couple of decent people who share a common goal. The play tends to be manipulative, but in its defense it adheres to the rule that says all’s fair if you take the audience where it wants to go.
Get the inside look. Read the full story:
MacLaine: icon, a major talent and fascinating woman, says film historian Audrey Kupferberg.
“Whenever I see a handbag, umbrella, mug or t-shirt with the face of Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe prominently displayed, I think of other female movie stars who deserve that kind of iconic treatment. One certainly is Shirley MacLaine, and this beautiful and intriguing woman will be appearing at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady on March 23, where she will be presenting an evening of stories, film clips, and a Q&A session.
“MacLaine’s film career pretty much begins in the mid-1950s, when she made an impression with audiences in Alfred Hitchcock’s quirky comedy of murder in New England, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, and then played the Princess in Mike Todd’s epic AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS.
“Risking a platitude, let me say the rest is history. SOME CAME RUNNING, THE MATCHMAKER, TWO FOR THE SEESAW, THE APARTMENT, IRMA LA DOUCE, SWEET CHARITY, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, THE TURNING POINT, MADAME SOUZATSTKA, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, MRS. WINTERBOURNE, and COCO CHANEL. 5 Oscar nods and a win for TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.
“Her cropped red hair was a fashion trend. Her delicate features and searching, piercing eyes have impressed movie audiences for almost six decades – whether she is playing comedy, drama, or melodrama. She gives strong and memorable performances even in films that miss. I just took a look at a 1959 melodrama called CAREER which never came out on DVD but is streamable on various websites. This is an overblown melodrama about an actor who is hell-bound to reach stardom. In it, MacLaine plays a drunken, free-and-easy rich gal who keeps throwing her legs up over chairs to attract the men in her life. This is the kind of role that could appear laughable today, particularly in such a problematic film, but she rises above the material. Another lesser-known little gem of a performance by MacLaine is in MY GEISHA, a 1962 comedy that she filmed in Japan with Yves Montand and Edward G. Robinson. In this film, she plays a movie star who poses as a geisha so convincingly that she supposedly fools her husband about her identity. Far-fetched, yes, but a wonderful guilty pleasure movie!
“Indeed, Shirley MacLaine proved to be much more interesting than a Hollywood mannequin when she was approaching middle-age and began to reveal her interests, beliefs, and backbone to the public. She became an expert on life in China and co-directed a feature-length, Oscar-nominated documentary on the subject. She wrote several books and gained attention with her strong spiritual side and belief in the Occult. In the 1970s, she was the first unchaperoned woman to insist upon being served a beer at Farrell’s bar in Brooklyn, thereby breaking down the gender wall there.
“And now Shirley MacLaine has just returned from London where she just finished shooting Season 3 Episode 1 of DOWNTON ABBEY. She is playing Martha Levinson, Lady Cora’s American mother. The show will air in the U.S. in January 2013. Amid the hum of excitement is the big question: Will MacLaine as Levinson play any scenes with Maggie Smith in her role as The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Countess of Grantham? If so, not since the dueling banjoes of DELIVERANCE will there be such a high-strung match!
“MacLaine really is an icon, a major talent and a fascinating woman. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to see her – as herself—on Proctor’s main stage on March 23.”
Audrey Kupferberg is a Lecturer at the University at Albany, where she teaches courses in film history in the Art Department.
She also is a film and video consultant, archivist, and appraiser, and has been Director of the Yale University Film Study Center and Assistant Director of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute. During her tenure at AFI, she also served as Moving Image Archivist and as Project Director of The American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films.
Her film commentary can be heard on WAMC (Northeast) Public Radio.
Additionally, she is a Film Consultant to the Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College and is a frequent lecturer at film screenings presented at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie and at Mohawk Valley Library System venues.
Kupferberg is an alumnus of the University at Albany, class of ’71, and holds a Masters Degree in Cinema Studies from New York University.
With her husband and creative partner, Rob Edelman, she has co-authored several books, including Matthau: A Life; Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen; and Meet the Mertzes, a dual biography of I Love Lucy’s Vivian Vance and William Frawley. She has written essays for and entries in The International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers; St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture; Women Filmmakers and Their Films; St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia; Leonard Maltin’ s Family Film Guide; Magill's Survey of Cinema; and Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Screenwriters.
Capital Repertory Theatre and the
University at Albany (SUNY) Department of History,
Researching New York Conference, and Documentary Studies Program,
with support from the New York Council for the Humanities
an afternoon exploration of New York’s rich musical heritage,
featuring renowned musicologist Rena Kosersky
and famed Albany-area folklorist/performer George Ward.
Albany, NY – March 16, 2012 – Capital Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce support from the New York Council for the Humanities for its upcoming event, New York Sings!, a lively, 90-minute discussion and performance with renowned musicologist Rena Kosersky and famed folklorist/musician George Ward. New York Sings!, which is free to all (no tickets required), will be held on Saturday, March 24, from 1-2:30 pm at Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 North Pearl Street in Albany. In discussion and song, the program explores New York’s rich musical traditions, including 19th and early 20th century folksongs gathered in the Schoharie region, such as “A Dutch Lullaby” and “Billy Boy,” that reflect the roots of New York’s earliest settlers.
“Events such New YorkSings! are at the heart of Capital Repertory Theatre’s mission,” notes Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill. “We look at the community as a source of inspiration, and seek to celebrate the upstate region in particular as a cultural destination point, both past and present. The relevance of this exceptional offering in concert with the upcoming Black Pearl Sings! at Capital Rep cannot be overstated.”
In addition to support from the New York Council for the Humanities, the March 24 event is co-sponsored by the University at Albany Department of History and Researching New York, a conference on New York State history sponsored by the department each November; and the UAlbany Documentary Studies Program.
New YorkSings! is scheduled to coincide with Capital Repertory Theatre’s regional premiere of Black Pearl Sings!, which runs from March 13 through April 7. A play with music by Frank Higgins, Black Pearl Sings! brings audiences back to the 1930s and an encounter in a Texas prison between Alberta "Pearl" Johnson, an African-American woman convicted of murder (played by Jannie Jones, who delighted audiences in last year’s Crowns), and Susannah Mullally, a white academic collecting traditional songs for the U.S. Library of Congress (played by Jessica Wortham, known locally for her memorable work in Boston Marriage). When Susannah discovers that Pearl is a living storehouse of songs passed down from her African ancestors, Pearl must decide whether or not to trust her—not only with her songs, but also her only chance at freedom.
Higgins has said that his work was inspired by the true story of song collector John Lomax, a white academic who met African-American musician Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, in a Louisiana prison in 1933. The March 24 discussion invites the general public to look more deeply into the legacy of collectors like Lomax. “It seemed like a terrific opportunity to bring New York scholars, performers, and the public together to discuss and celebrate the music of New York in the context of this play,” said Sheila Curran Bernard, who organized the event with Mancinelli-Cahill and is a faculty member at the University at Albany.
Bernard contacted Rena Kosersky, an expert in American folk music and music collecting, including the work of John Lomax. “By focusing on music in certain regions of the country, Appalachia and the Deep South, as Lomax did,” Kosersky explains, “collectors often privileged that music as ‘American’—a designation that overlooks rich traditions elsewhere.” For the 90-minute presentation on March 24, Kosersky will team up with famed regional performer George Ward to introduce audiences to the rich song and folklore legacy of New York State. Of particular interest is Kosersky’s research into the 19th and early 20th century folk and popular songs of Schoharie County as collected by Ida Finkell (whose “songster” or ballad book was kept from 1879-83) and Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner (Folklore from The Schohairie Hills New York, 1937).
“In New York, as in Texas, Louisiana, and elsewhere, music played a key role in establishing and preserving communities, and it can serve as a lens through which to understand the historical past, both before and after the advent of recording technology,” adds Kosersky. “The music of New York is an important part of the musical traditions that illustrate the United States’ dynamic and diverse population.”
Kosersky is planning to discuss a number of songs that George Ward will perform. While the program is not yet finalized, selections may include “Uncle Sam’s Farm,” a popular 19th century protest song; “Ding Darling,” a tune also known as “It Was on One Morning in 1855”; “When the Stars Begin to Fall,” a spiritual;and “Pretty Polly,” a ballad with English, Irish, and American roots.
Support for New YorkSings! was provided by the New York Council for the Humanities, whose mission is “to help all New Yorkers become thoughtful participants in our communities by promoting critical inquiry, cultural understanding, and civic engagement.” Like all projects supported by the Council, New YorkSings! is intended for and open to a general public audience. Tickets are not required, and the event is free of charge.
Please note: A matinee performance of Black Pearl Sings! will follow the discussion, beginning at 3:00 pm on Saturday, March 24, 2012. Tickets are required for Black Pearl Sings! They can be purchased online at www. capitalrep.org, in person at the Tickets by Proctors Box Office, by phone at the Tickets by Proctors phone line, or in person two hours prior to the performance at the Capital Repertory Theatre Box Office.
For more information, contact:
Sheila Curran Bernard, Assistant Professor, Department of History
University at Albany, SUNY, email@example.com
Thom O’Connor, Marketing Communications for Proctors and Capital Rep
Phone: 518-382-3884 x 166, firstname.lastname@example.org
CAPITAL REPERTORY THEATRE: www.capitalrep.org
UALBANY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY: www.albany.edu/history
UALBANY DOCUMENTARY STUDIES PROGRAM: www.albany.edu/docstudies
RESEARCHING NEW YORK 2012: http://nystatehistory.org/researchny/rsny.html
NEW YORKCOUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES: http://www.nyhumanities.org/
RENA KOSERSKYis a renowned musicologist whose research and music supervisor credits include the PBS programs The Great Depression, Woody Guthrie and Eyes on the Prize. A resident of Schoharie County and NYC, Kosersky has expertise in the Lomax archive and in the 19th and early 20th century songs of Schoharie County, including the collections and writings of Ida Finkel, Emelyn E. Gardner, and others.
GEORGE WARD, a folklorist by academic training, has spent more than 30 years collecting and performing traditional songs and drawing on the rural singing tradition of the American Northeast. A frequent performer at concerts, festivals, and educational series, his CDs include O! That Low Bridge!: Songs of the Erie Canal and All Our Brave Tars: Songs of the Age of the Fighting Sail. See www.mulesong.com.
SHEILA CURRAN BERNARD holds a joint appointment in history and documentary studies at the University at Albany. She is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and the author, with Kenn Rabin, of Archival Storytelling (Focal Press). Her most recent film, Slavery by Another Name, premiered on PBS on February 13, 2012. See www.sheilacurranbernard.com.
MAGGIE MANCINELLI-CAHILL, Producing Artistic Director of Capital Repertory Theatre, has brought new and documentary-based works by diverse playwrights to the stage at Capital Rep and elsewhere. Productions include Having Our Say, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, 33 Variations, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, and for young people, Friend of a Friend and Petticoats of Steel.
At a glance:
An exploration of New York State’s musical heritage with
musicologist Rena Kosersky and folklorist/musician George Ward
When: Saturday, March 24, 2012, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 North Pearl Street, Albany, New York
Tickets: No tickets necessary; the event is free and open to the public
Info: 518-346-6204, http://www.proctors.org
Primary sponsor: New York Council for the Humanities
NOTE: A separate, 3:00 pm performance of Black Pearl Sings! follows the discussion. Tickets for Black Pearl Sings! can be purchased either:
1) At Tickets by Proctors Box Office (432 State Street, Schenectady, NY)
Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat-Sun 10-5
2) By Tickets by Proctors phone: 518-445-SHOW
Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat-Sun 10-5
3) Online at www.capitalrep.org
4) At Capital Rep Box Office, 111 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY two hours prior to the show.
Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in New York Sings!
do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
# # #
Capital Rep’s STAR Program
Accepting Job Applications from Teens
for employment as theatre interns
Albany, NY (March 16, 2012)– In cooperation with the City of Albany’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), Capital Repertory Theatre is accepting applications from teens ages 14-18 through March 23, 2012 for employment as theatre interns for the Summer Theatre At the Rep (STAR) program.
Potential applicants for a position as a production or acting intern should contact Margaret E. Hall, Assistant to the Producing Artistic at (518) 462-4531 x410 or email@example.com.
To be eligible for the SYEP program, teens must reside within the city limits of Albany, and must also register with the SYEP on March 31, 2012 at Bleecker Stadium, 721 Clinton Avenue in Albany in addition to applying with Capital Rep. SYEP has been a powerful addition to the theatre’s STAR program
Eligible teens who are interested in acting and technical theatre will learn the discipline and commitment it takes to create theatre from the ground up. Paid jobs for young people in the arts are rare, but with the assistance of the City of Albany, teens can have their first paid jobs as artists and theatre technicians.
“With many families expecting their teens to get part time jobs in the summer, Capital Rep is thrilled to be able to hire them to learn more about the art they love,” according to Margaret Hall, Assistant to the Artistic Director. “The Summer Youth Employment Program is a great gift provided by the City of Albany and a program the theatre is delighted to participate in, allowing Capital Rep the opportunity to provide young people with their first job in the arts!”
For more information on the SYEP program, contact (518) 438-1082 or your local high school guidance office.
Grooming STARS of tomorrow
STAR is a 5-week summer theatre intensive (based on New York State Education Department’s Learning Standards for the Arts) that allows up to 35 area youth (aged 12-16) to explore the world of theatre. Students work with professional artists to develop an original work, gaining skills in writing, costume and set design, dancing, acting, and singing. The program culminates in a series of there performances offered free to the community on August 3, 4 & 5, 2012. Participants learn to work cooperatively and with professional staff – right in the theatre.
STAR 2012 will explore the theme of Individuality and participants will create an original 45 minute musical theater presentation called “Me! The Musical” that celebrates each individual’s uniqueness and what can be accomplished when people work together. STAR 2012 promises to be a fun-filled summer of creative exploration and discovery.
Established fifteen years ago by Capital Rep's Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, STAR programs have served over 600 children of the Capital District and have helped further the careers of many young actors and theatre practitioners.
Michael Burns returns to STAR 2012 as the Playwright/Director. Burns is the Artistic Director of the Mop & Bucket Co., and has specialized in developing new theatre pieces with youth for many years for such organizations as The American Folk Theatre, Very Special Arts and Steamer 10, among others.
Music Director Elizabeth Sears and Choreographer Celeste Hudson will also be returning this year.
And joining the staff this summer, as Acting Coach, is Margaret E. Hall Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director at Capital Rep.
STAR begins July 2 and runs through August 5, 2012. There will be no program activities on Wednesday, July 4th, Independence Day. Program hours: 9AM to 4PM, with extended care hours available.
Tuition for the 5-week theatre intensive is $850. Families that register before May 1st will receive $50 off the tuition fee. Limited need-based scholarships are available.
To register for STAR, please contact Margaret E. Hall, Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director or Education Program Manager Agnes Skiff at (518) 462-4531 ext. 410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A downloadable registration form can be downloaded from the Capital Rep website at www.capitalrep.org.
Capital Repertory Theatre is a not-for-profit professional theater with a mission to create meaningful theater generated from an authentic link to the community it serves. Now in its 30th season, Capital Rep produces a balanced season of dramas, comedies, musicals, contemporary and classic plays to appeal to all tastes. Possessing a history of more than 22 world premieres and dozens of regional premieres, Capital Rep’s productions feature the finest actors, directors and designers from New York City, other American regional theaters and the world. These world-class professionals are supported by a dedicated staff of theater professionals and artists who live and work in the Capital Region, and whose talents serve the theater’s 78,000 patrons. In addition to the professional theatre of the highest caliber, Capital Rep produces education and outreach programs that serve more than 20,000 students and adult learners each year. The only affiliate of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) within the fourteen counties of the Capital Region, Capital Rep has produced more than 4,750 performances, employed more than 1,200 artists and has contributed more than $30 million to the local economy since its inception in 1981.
- STAR -
March 14, 2012 at 11:12 pm by Michael Eck
by Michael Eck
“The folk process” is a term coined by Pete Seeger to describe the way old songs are changed over time, with additions and elisions, melodic and lyrical, contributing to what is, essentially, a living entity. Some say the folk process is a corruption. Others call it a rebirth.
A similar thing has occurred in the world of historical fiction of late, with authors freely borrowing and bending facts and events to their own end. And, as with the folk process, some call such work a corruption; others, a rebirth.
“Black Pearl Sings!,” now on stage at Capital Repertory Theatre, certainly feels like the latter.
...The downtown theater is taking a chance with this play, which hinges on an obscure but important facet of American history and American song.
That gamble should be rewarded with an audience. See this play.
Read the full and informed perspective from musician and reviewer Michael Eck:
BLACK PEARL SINGS!
Performance reviewed: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Capital Repertory Theatre, 111 S. Pearl Street, Albany
Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes; one intermission.
Continues: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Matinees, 3 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Through April 7.
Info: 445-7469; http://www.capitalrep.org
3/13-4/7 Black Pearl Sings
Go See This Show
by Richard DiMaggio
Black Pearl Sings made its regional debut at the Capital Repertory Theatre March 13th, to the standing delight of the entire audience. Alberta “Pearl” Johnson (Jannie Jones) sings, alright, to a halo of diamonds. This play is fantastic. The singing is incredible, the acting air tight, and it comes with a story line that will make you laugh, then cry, and then leave you singing along in the audience. Two great female performers, Jones and Jessica Wortham (Susannah), two great voices, and a story line second to none.
Black Pearl is the creation of author Frank Higgins. It is the story of the Library of Congress song collector Susannah Mullally (Jessica Wortham), who travels the country collecting folk songs. She finds her way to a Depression-era prison in Texas seeking songs that came over the seas with the slaves and survived the stitches of time. We find the culture of the slaves in the songs they sang in Africa. Do any of those songs still exist today? Susannah finds herself listening to the beautiful music of a prisoner by the name of Pearl, whose voice of an angel rifles through the prison sanctuary. It is in Pearl that Susannah finds the secret connection between the music of the slaves and today. “I want to hear the songs your great grandfather brought with him from Africa,” Susannah says.
Both Wortham and Jones are past guests of the Capital Rep, and both seasoned performers in their own right. These ladies can sing, and complement each other perfectly on stage. Pearl rocks the audience with some of our favorite melodies, all the while saving the secret African song for herself. She is pained but bittersweet, accepting what God has given her and forgiving Him for what He has not. Susannah herself is a tangled web of tension, out to prove herself to the world, leaning on Pearl’s grasp and depth of understanding of the meanness of life. One suffered externally, one suffered internally, and through their joint strengths and weaknesses they try and pull each other to the plateau.
Read the full story:
'Black Pearl Sings' is like art imitating life
ALBANY — The musical drama that will open this weekend at Capital Repertory Theater, Frank Higgins’ “Black Pearl Sings,” is a story of two women from vastly different cultural backgrounds. They are brought together through a shared experience of music and discover they are kindred spirits.
Backstage at the Capital Repertory production, a parallel story is at work. Two actresses, both of whom have performed for the Albany audience before in separate productions, have been brought together by “Black Pearl” and developed a unique chemistry and friendship that informs their performances.
Jessica Wortham, a Kentucky native who made her Cap Rep debut in the surprise hit “Boston Marriage” two seasons ago, and North Carolina-born Jannie Jones, a real find in last season’s “Crowns,” re-create roles they originated in “Black Pearl Sings” as it developed in several regional theaters.
“Jannie and I were cast in the first large production of this play at San Jose Repertory in August and September of 2010,” Wortham said. “The playwright just enjoyed the energy Jannie and I brought to it.”
Though the characters in “Black Pearl Sings” are wholly fictional, they are rooted in an historic footnote. During the Depression, a host of government programs created jobs for the unemployed and the arts were often secondary beneficiaries.
Read Joe Drew,s fascinating report:
BLACK PEARL SINGS! made its regional debut at the Capital Repertory Theatre March 13th, to the standing delight of the entire audience. Alberta “Pearl” Johnson (Jannie Jones) sings, alright, to a halo of diamonds. This play is fantastic. The singing is incredible, the acting air tight, and it comes with a story line that will make you laugh, then cry, and then leave you singing along in the audience. Two great female performances, Jones and Jessica Wortham, two great voices, and a story line second to none.
Read the fukll review :
The taking of photographs ...
By Cindy LaRoe
Monday, March 12, 2012
... is strictly prohibited.
We hear that a lot at Proctors. Most shows have a front-of-house announcement that addresses the camera/cellphone issue. And, even if you miss the announcement, it’s in the program, it’s on the bookmark in your program, there are signs.
Of course, some people are going to try it anyway. Not YOU, of course, but someone.
What most people don’t realize is that this isn’t about Proctors trying to be all big and bad and bossy. This is about the company on the stage that has rules about such things and we are charged with enforcing them. That’s the reality of having good shows here. (Did I say "good?" I meant "amazing," "fabulous," "fun," "exciting" … you get the idea.)
The show is a form of art that is copyrighted. Therefore, it is protected, by law, from any form of reproduction, including pictures and video. (Yes, even if you DON’T use your flash.)
So, here we are, mid-show, and someone is taking pictures. If we’re really lucky, we see it before the company does. By "we," I mean the front of house staff … house manager, our volunteer ushers, etc. Whether we see it first, or the company sees it and tells us about it, we need to confiscate your camera/phone and delete the pictures. Yes, really. No, we will not delete the pictures of your wedding and/or children. We’re pretty careful about that.
Do we enjoy doing this? Absolutely not. Do we get yelled at for it? You betcha!
But, it’s a balancing act. Here we have an amazing company of actors and actresses on stage, who are counting on us to protect their images from being spread across the Internet, via Facebook and YouTube, and whatever other personal posting sites there are. And we have a house full of people who are trying to watch the show, paid lots of money to do so, and are trying to have a good time. Except that they’re following the rules and are now distracted by the fact that the photographer sitting near them is not.
So, as quickly and as painlessly as possible, we go get the camera. (Because, yes, they really did mean YOU when they made that announcement!)
And, inevitably, we get accused of being rude about it. I mean, really, as much as I’d love to chat, there’s a show going on and a whole bunch of people who would really like to watch the show and not hear some long-winded (albeit polite) explanation about why we have to enforce this rule. So, yes, it appears rude. We’ll be happy to explain it to you politely, later, when you come to claim your camera, sans pictures and video. Sorry.
Side note: I’ve actually had people argue with me that it was their cellphone and not a camera. If you’re using it to take pictures … just sayin’.
While we’re on the topic, please also do not text or check your e-mail or play Words With Friends during the show. In fact, just turn your phone off and leave it in your pocket. If we see the light from it during the show, we have to ask you to put it away. Why? Because if we see the light, so can everyone else. It’s distracting. And inconsiderate. And, we’re liable to mistake it as an attempt to take pictures.
And we all know what happens then, right?
Cindy LaRoe is the audience services manager at Proctors. She joined the Proctors staff in June 2005 and still believes that Proctors' audiences and volunteers are the best anywhere!
Words and Music
Observations and opinions essayed in pursuit of a sensibly cultured life.
By B.A. Nilsson
Backstage with the Jersey Boys: Schenectady's Jersey Boys interviewed by Albany's YNN.
BEING FRANKIE VALLI is a full-time job. Ask actor Brad Weinstock. “It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever done theatrically,” he says. “It’s definitely the most challenging.” Weinstock is one of the core quartet in “Jersey Boys,” now playing at Proctors in Schenectady. Once every performance day he progresses from warbling “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” to powerhouse renditions of “Sherry” and “Walk Like a Man” and the many other Four Seasons hits, in a dead-on version of Valli’s signature style.
B. A. Nilsson (Glen, NY) works as a writer, actor, singer, sound designer, photographer, chef, and much, much more. See my more recent work at www.metroland.net.
Read Byron Nilsson’s perspective at
Proctors overcame ‘disaster’ with teamwork
Friday, March 9, 2012
SCHENECTADY — It was the worst news anyone at Proctors could imagine. With a packed house waiting for a matinee of “Jersey Boys,” the sound system wouldn’t work.
Five minutes after the show was supposed to start, engineers were desperately trying to isolate the problem, but the sound computer couldn’t even get started. It would boot up, detect an error in the system and automatically reboot.
The management team that handled the disaster sat down this week to discuss something they’d never done before — cancel a show at the last minute, with 2,400 patrons already in their seats.
In the decades that Proctors officials have worked at a half-dozen different theaters, only one of them has ever before seen a show stopped before the end. In that case, the performer collapsed onstage, mid-show, from a stroke that later killed her.
This time, the show didn’t even get started.
Read the fascinating, full story by Gazette Reporter Kathleen Moore:
‘Black Pearl’ preserves history
Two actresses convey roots of American music
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Jannie Jones, left, is Pearl and Jessica Wortham is Susannah in a scene from the Capital Repertory Theatre production of “Black Pearl Sings!”, which begins with previews on Friday night. (photl: Virginia Stage Company)
It was music that brought Jannie Jones and Jessica Wortham into the theater world, so in “Black Pearl Sings!,” Frank Higgins’ tribute to folk songs, slave spirituals and the 1930s, both actors feel right at home.
“I feel like this show was written for me,” said Jones, who shares the stage with Wortham in the Capital Repertory Theatre production of Higgins’ 2007 work. The show begins with previews Friday night, opens next Tuesday and runs through April 7. “This is the kind of music I was raised on. It’s exactly my style.”
In “Black Pearl Sings!,” Jones is Alberta “Pearl” Johnson, a black woman who, along with being imprisoned for murder, is a walking encyclopedia in the realm of African-American roots music. Along with her knowledge of the slave spirituals, Pearl is also a talented singer and is “discovered” by Susannah Mullally, an ethnomusicologist played by Wortham.
Read Bill Buell's complete report in the Daily Gazette at
Let your star shine!
School of The Performing Arts at Proctors
Classes for all ages and interests -- from beginners to pre-professionals
in the performing arts.
Schenectady, NY -- March 7, 2012– Even as delighted participants assess their recent success at Proctors Winter Adventures camps, many already are looking ahead to the excitement of warmer months and being part of Summer Academy and Summer Adventures at the School of The Performing Arts at Proctors, the Capital Region’s premiere arts and entertainment complex.
- Summer Academyoffers pre-professional training for young motivated artists looking to refine their technique and explore a career in the performing arts. Academy programs are taught by professionals in each discipline, giving students world-class training in their field of interest.
- Summer Adventuresprovides opportunities to explore the performing arts in a fun and non-competitive environment.
According to Jessica Johndrew Gelarden, Education Program Manager, “Proctors summer programs build the foundation for students with interest or talents in the arts, help them identify and explore different art forms, and aid them in pursuing career choices in the performing arts.”
What’s more, says Gelarden, “Our programs are taught in non-competitive, accepting environments that foster growth and professionalism in the arts.”
From her perspective in managing the performing arts programs at Proctors, Gelarden is guided by the principals that inform all performing arts programs at Proctors: early training and creative experiences are what inspire and transform student, resonating with them as they develop to their full potential.
By design, Summer programs at Proctors are led by internationally acclaimed artists and professionals; producers, directors, choreographers and actors direct from Broadway who have toured the world with their talents; musicians and dancers who compose, choreograph and perform their work regionally and internationally; and artists with extensive teaching experience who also flourish as professionals in their field.
“You won’t find a better leading cast than the teaching faculty at Proctors,” says Ms. Gelarden. “And, our programs are offered for all ages, interests and skill levels.”
What to Expect
Broadway Camp Jr.
July 9 – 13, 2012 M - F 9am – 4:30pm
The chance to show your talent and hone your skills in musical theatre with industry veterans and current Broadway professionals, who will spend the week sharing their experiences and talent with you!
Proctors Broadway Jr. Camp is for students who take acting, dance and/or voice lesions; participate in school or community stage productions and/or dream of going on to perform in college or professionally.
The week focuses on mentoring student s in voice, dance and acting master classes. Along with classes, each student will have a headshot taken and work on his/her resume. There will be many opportunities to learn from the professionals that share your passion for THEATRE!
- 5 days of instruction in voice, acting and dance by trained professionals
- Master classes with Broadway artists
- Professional headshot taken
- Official Broadway Camp t-shirt
Age Range:12 – 14
Skill Level:Performance experience and prior, acting and dance training required for enrollment into the program.
Prior preparation required:Students must come prepared with 1 monologue and 1 song with piano score.
Tuition: $320.00 before April 1, 2012, $350 after April 1, 2012
July 30 - August 10 M – F 9am – 4:30pm
An opportunity to hone skills in musical theatre with professionals who work on Broadway and are veterans in the industry. .
These 2 weeks will focus on mentoring students with master classes in voice, dance, and acting, audition technique and professionalism in the industry. Each student will also walk away with professional headshots. Here is your opportunity to have 10 days of intense quality time with professionals that know what it takes to work on Broadway.
- 10 days of instruction in voice, acting and dance
- Master classes with Broadway artists
- Professional headshot taken
- Official Broadway Camp t-shirt
Age Range:15 – 19 year olds
Skill Level:Performance experience and prior, acting and dance training required for enrollment into the program.
Prior preparation required:Students must come prepared with 1 monologue and 1 song with piano score.
Tuition: $435 before April 1, 2012, $450 after April 1, 2012
Jazz Institute-- with special guest Ray Vega*
Week One:July 16 – July 20, 2012, M – F 9 AM – 3 PM
Week Two:July 23 – July 27, 2012, M - F 9 AM – 3 PM
Performance:July 27, 2012 at 7pm
Students will be swingin’ it at Proctors in Jazz Institute, which is back for an 8th season with a revved up group of teachers (who are also professional musicians) committed to teaching in a collaborative, exciting and hands-on environment. Students will build essential jazz performance skills, including listening, critical thinking, communication and team work, while groovin' to music's ultimate greats.
Program includes special guest artist Ray Vega who will teach master classes, prepping students for an all-out spectacular jazz performance in the GE Theatre. No music needed, as students learn everything by ear!
Vega has established himself as one of the innovators of the international Jazz and Latin music scenes. A multi-talented trumpeter, percussionist, composer, and arranger, he presents Jazz from a refreshingly original and contemporary perspective. His two recordings on the Concord Picante label, his self-titled debut "Ray Vega", and "Boperation", along with his first release on the Palmetto label "Pa'lante" have been well received by critics, audiences and musicians alike. Vega's second Palmetto CD "Squeeze, Squeeze" has also received critical acclaim including Four Stars in Down Beat Magazine.
Skill Level:all levels of experience welcomed
Tuition: Week 1: $200, Week 2: $250, for both weeks: $430
Instructors:Keith Pray and Arthur Falbush
* subject to change
Reel Adventures: Young Filmmakers
New Students: July 23 – August 3 M-F 10am – 2pm
Returning Students: July 30 - August 10 M-F 10am - 2pm
Work alongside an industry professional creating your own short movies this summer! Gain the experience of college-age career professionals and beyond, all before you enter high school! Go from script to screen and everything in between: writing, planning, assembling cast and crew, location scouting, camera, and lights.
Last year's finished piece has shown at venues across the state, and has been submitted to worldwide festivals. Yours can too!
Ages:10 - 14
Skill Level:all levels of experience welcome
New Student Tuition: 2 Weeks: $250
Returning Student Tuition: 2 Weeks $200(Must have been in last years camp & approved by faculty)
July 30 – August 3, 2012 M – F 1pm – 5pm
Get moving like a Broadway Star! A week full of master classes focused on technique, style and musicality, ranging from ballet to jazz, will help you infuse your dance with passion, artistry and character!
Combinations will focus on musical theatre style and telling a story through dance. At the end of the week, students will study with actor, director & choreographer Freddy Ramirez (from Broadway’s Grease) and then present their work for parents and friends in a small performance!
Age Range:9 – 13 yrs old
Skill Level:Prior voice and dance training required for enrollment into the program. Performance experience would be helpful but not required.
Faculty:Marcus Rogers, Bruce Williams and Freddy Ramirez* Subject to Change.
Artistic Advisor:Darlene Myers, trained numerous Broadway dancers
Enroll now. Space is limited. Questions about these excellent programs or outstanding staff -- or the kind of experience that awaits your own “rising star” -- please contact:
Education @ Proctors Season 2011-12 proctors.org/education
Stay up to date:Education at Proctors is on Facebook!
- School of The Performing Arts at Proctors -
The Acting Company
in association with The Guthrie Theater presents
Tuesday, March 27, 8:00pm
The Mainstage at Proctors
The struggle of power. The clash of arms. Timely. Relevant.
Schenectady, NY – March 7, 2012 -- The Acting Company proudly announces its 39th national tour featuring a new production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, one of the greatest political dramas of all time. The tour that originated in January at the Guthrie in Minneapolis and will travel to 31 communities in 21 states plus Ontario, Canada and will play at Proctors on Tuesday, March 27 at 8pm for one performance only.
Shakespeare’simmortal Julius Caesaris the classic story of pride and envy, arrogance and honor, opportunity and tragic strategic errors. Written in one of the most productive times of Shakespeare’s life, Julius Caesarblends the historical events of the reign of this iconic Roman emperor with tragic elements and compelling language to create one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. The rhetoric and verse are some of the finest in the Shakespearean canon.
Julius Caesaris seen by some as a highly ambitious political leader in Rome hoping to become dictator — by others as a noble and worthy leader. He is warned that he must beware the Ides of March… the prophecy comes true in perhaps the most famous death scene ever written — "Et tu, Bruté?" followed by Mark Antony’s famous funeral oration, "Friends, Romans, countrymen…"
The Acting Company’s use of modern dress allows for greater accessibility for audiences and their engagement with Shakespeare’s story. The production will not recreate Shakespeare’s story; it stands on its own merits and demands exploration and questioning as much today as when it was written.
Rob Melrose, artistic director of San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theatre, will direct. Called by Stage and Cinema a “theatrical marvel,” Mr. Melrose will develop a work whose production quality will equal what we predict will be a profound and lasting impact on audiences nationally.
The superb cast, trained at the leading acting conservatories in the country includes Ernest Bentley, Kaliswa Brewster, Caleb Carlson, Ray Chapman, Bjorn DuPaty, Zachary Fine, Whitney Hudson, Joseph Midyett, Kevin Orton, Noah Putterman, Sid Solomon, William Sturdivant and Kathleen Wise.
Ticket Prices forWilliam Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR performed by The Acting Company at Proctors are $15, $20 & $25and are available atProctors Box Office, (518) 346-6204 or online at proctors.org.
Recommended for age 12 & above for scenes depicting death and violence.-Running Time: 2 hours plus one intermission.
The Acting Company
Since its founding in 1972 by the legendary John Houseman and current
Producing Artistic Director Margot Harley, The Acting Company has performed 136 productions touring to 48 states and ten foreign countries and is America’s most respected and praised touring repertory theater. It’s innovative education programs are provided in conjunction with the tour and include student matinees, Learning Through Theater artistic residencies, master classes, workshops and Shakespeare for Teachers professional training workshops designed to make the classics more accessible to teacher and students alike.
Rainn Wilson, Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Jesse L. Martin, Frances Conroy, David Ogden Stiers and Keith David are but a handful of actors who began their careers on tour with The Acting Company. Honored by the TONY® Awards for Excellence in Theater, The Company has won the Obie, Audelco, Citibank’s Excellence in Education and Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.
The Guthrie Theater, founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963, is one of America’s leading regional theaters and is widely recognized as an American center for theater performance, production and professional training. In addition to plays presented on the Guthrie’s mainstage, the theater provides an additional season of new works by contemporary playwrights such as Arthur Miller, Edward Albee and Warren Leight at the Guthrie Lab.
Under the directorship of Joe Dowling, the Guthrie has built one of the finest multistage theater centers of our time including a classic thrust for grand scale classics, a proscenium for more intimate productions and a studio for developing new works. In 1982, the Guthrie received a TONY Award acknowledging its outstanding contribution to the American Theater.
William Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR performed by The Acting Company at Proctorsis made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.
Free Parking forWilliam Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR performed by The Acting Company at Proctors is available in the Broadway Garage, courtesy of Times Union. Go to timesunion.com for news and entertainment.
- Et tu, Bruté? -
'Black Pearl' finds voice at Capital Rep
By Michael Eck
Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill has a long record of bringing music to Capital Repertory Theatre.
Yes, she's brought in traditional musicals like "My Fair Lady," refashioning them and recharging them at the same time, in order to fit the downtown theater's space. She's produced jukebox musicals, like "Plaid Tidings" and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." She's made a habit of offering musical biographies, ranging from "Always ... Patsy Cline" to "Unforgettable: The Nat King Cole Story" to "Uptown Downtown."
Properties like "8-Track: The Sounds of the Seventies," "The Marvelous Wonderettes" and "Striking 12" have featured music as prime elements, sometimes blurring the edge between concert and drama.
Mancinelli-Cahill, the company's producing artistic director, has also been a champion of diversity, presenting a wide range of plays and musicals that tackle or at least touch on issues of race and culture, ranging from "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years" to "Crowns."
"Black Pearl Sings!" pulls all of those disparate threads into a compelling tale based, in part, on the story of American folk icon Lead Belly.
Full story and photos at