Beneath the Big Top
By Bonnie Goldberg
Have you ever just wanted to run away...to the circus? Would owning a circus be high on your to-do list? Author Cathy Day wrote a book, "The Circus in Winter," about her family and her hometown, Peru, Indiana, deemed the Circus Capitol of the World and the winter headquarters of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Her story cycle of eleven tales of the Big Top is being tumblesaulted into a brand new musical, of all things colorful and creative, and a strange and most intriguing tale it is.
In her three decades of teaching, Beth Turcotte never imagined herself at the center of a three ring circus. An Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Performance at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, she had always wanted to write a musical, but the opportunity never presented itself. In the spring of 2010, however, the universe aligned itself in a bizarrely wonderful configuration and Turcotte grabbed the brass ring and ran for the gold.
Leading an immersive learning experience with fifteen undergraduates, Turcotte found herself with redheaded twins Christopher and Justin Swader who had talents in lighting design and big dreams of making a musical of "Hocus Pocus" as well as a music student Ben Clark who walked into class with a musical version of "Robocop." Clearly the class was ripe for a new musical adventure. This student-driven production began with an exchange of ideas, looking for the perfect topic to forge into a musical show. In Turcotte's mind, "It takes a community to write a musical."
(Photo: Cast of 'The Circus in Winter. Photo by Emma)
Searching for Lorca's Ghost
Playwright Michael Bradford
On October 2, OLIVES AND BLOOD will open on the stage at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, making its regional theatre and Connecticut premiere. The production marks the culmination of a journey that playwright Michael Bradford began nearly a decade earlier. The play explores the mystery surrounding the unsolved murder of the Spanish poet-playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca, a promising and polarizing young artist, was disappeared during the Spanish Revolution.
Michael Bradford, also a professor at UConn, was doing research for a course he was teaching on 20th century drama. Already familiar with the poet-playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, Bradford was captivated by the writer’s poetic voice and startling mysterious murder. It began an artistic journey for Bradford that took nearly a decade to complete.
Articles of Interest:
"The Honeymooners" Coming to Goodspeed? --
Blogs of Interest
Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.
Joe's Views -- Joe Meyers' Blog
Artes Magazine -- fine art, architecture, design and theater
Back Stage Buzz - current and archived interviews with CT artists
susangranger.com -- movie reviews
CT Arts Connection
WMNR Fine Arts Radio (Rosalind Friedman's Review)
www.courant.com/curtain (Frank Rizzo reviews)
www.reflectionsinthelight (Lauren Yarger reviews)
www.nytheaterscene.com (Irene Backalenick/David Rosenberg reviews)
Stu On Broadway -- Reviws and comments
Two on the Aisle -- NYC and Connecticut Theater News and Reviews