Story: It’s 1816, and a group of young poets, philosophers and artists has gathered at Lake Geneva in Switzerland for a summer of sailing, writing and late-night conversations. With steady rain forcing them to stay inside on many days, they entertain themselves by telling old German ghost stories. This inspires one of them, George Gordon (aka Lord Byron), to propose a contest in which each of them will write a ghost story.
Story: An American physician, an Irish journalist and an English academic find themselves unwillingly sharing the same tiny cell after each of them is captured by unseen terrorists and held hostage in Lebanon. With only a chair, a Bible and a Quran for diversions, the chained prisoners are left to conversations in which they can recount their lives as well as dream of better days ahead, hoping against reality for freedom from their private hell while clinging desperately to sanity.
So, you’re looking for something different to do this weekend? Well, you’re in luck, because you’ve just hit the performing arts jackpot with the third annual St. Lou Fringe Festival.
Story: Ten years after graduating from high school, a group of women gather in a hotel bridal luxury suite on the night before the wedding of one of their former classmates.
Recognition of stellar productions by nearly two dozen local theater companies will take center stage when the St. Louis Theater Circle presents its second annual awards ceremony honoring the best in local professional theater, on stage and behind the scenes, on Monday, March 17, 2014 at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA), 524 Trinity Avenue in University City.
All of a sudden it’s nearing the end of December and thoughts of New Year’s resolutions dance in our heads. Before we enter 2014, however, let’s reflect on what the past year has given us on local stages.
Story: Elderly solicitor Mr. Kipps has rented a theater to read a biographical story about his encounter with a deadly specter decades before. His delivery, though, leaves much to be desired, something a young actor at the theater repeatedly observes in rather brusque fashion.
Way back in the days when I was a lad, Labor Day marked the beginning of the school year. Now, of course, school districts and universities get their fall semesters underway a couple of weeks earlier.
Story: In Sketch, two women “explore fragmentation and time lapse through a series of duets,” according to publicity material. Identified as ‘1’ and ‘2,’ they investigate their surroundings and their predicament in brief but expressive dances.
The year 2012 was tumultuous in many respects, so perhaps fittingly Wicked is the title of the production that brings down the curtain on the last 12 months. A record drought plagued the St. Louis area, temperatures sweltered in an elongated summer and the area’s economy staggered toward a slow but steady recovery. All of this took place in the face of impending doom predicted centuries ago by the Mayan calendar.
Story: Dorothea, an eccentric, 75-year-old free spirit, has suffered a stroke and is unconscious. Her precocious granddaughter, Echo, continues to talk to her, however, convinced that Dorothea continues to communicate.
Story: Anna recently has returned from the funeral of one of her roommates, Robbie. He was a gifted dancer, and choreographer Anna is still angry that no one from his New Jersey family had ever seen him perform in New York City. Robbie was homosexual but never came ‘out’ to his family, or so she tells her other gay roommate, an advertising executive named Larry, as well as Burton, a wealthy writer who is also her lover.
Story: Long-time pals Proteus and Valentine are separated when Valentine leaves their home town of Verona for the more cosmopolitan Milan. Upon arriving in Milan, Valentine falls in love with the Duke of Milan’s daughter Silvia, who is betrothed to a foppish aristocrat named Thurio. Shortly after, Proteus, who is in love with Julia, is sent by his father Antonio to Milan as well, where he also falls in love with Silvia, forgetting about Julia.
Some say that St. Louis in recent years has been experiencing a renaissance in theater, but I’m not entirely sure about that. While matching the second definition of ‘renaissance’ in my Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as ‘a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity,’ it doesn’t necessarily jibe with the third definition of ‘rebirth, revival.’
Play: Top Girls
Remember when theater in St. Louis took a sleepy hiatus before The Rep kicked off its new season in September? Apart from The Muny, culture from May through August was derived mainly from a good book or a trip to the museum.
Play: 4.48 Psychosis