Posts filed under 'Theatre'

Tickets for RENT – The Musical are now on sale!

Steve Josephson, the director who brought “Sweeney Todd” and “The Glass Menagerie” to Prague, has joined with a cream-of-the-crop group of Czech musical theater stars to present the no holds barred, hard hitting musical. The production features a live band and is presented in English with Czech subtitles. The talent and energy from the cast is simply electric. Don’t miss what is sure to be one of the most powerful theater experiences of the year! 

For more information about the show, check out the preview article on expats.cz. You can also join the facebook page to get regular updates from the cast and crew.

The show plays every weekend in August (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 19:30) at Divadlo Na Pradle (Besedni 3, Prague 1 at Ujezd tram stop). Tickets are 690 Kc, but you can get a 200 Kc discount (!) by using this link: http://www.ticketstream.cz/pls/czech/partner_access.partner_init?code_id=3821&event_id=103406. Be sure to click “English” on the left hand side of the header bar if you need the ticketing process to be in English.

The tickets may seem expensive by Prague English-language theater standards, but this show is far above those standards. You simply don’t get show with this much talent, heart, direction and power. You will not be disappointed!

August 4th, 2013

Glass Menagerie In Depth: Rachael Collins, Props

rachael collinsBy Damien Smethurst

Between now and May, when their new production of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennessee Williams opens, Prague Playhouse will be bringing you a series of short articles which will hopefully give you an insight into how things work behind the scenes in the world of theatre. In light of Prop 8 fight in the United States, todays article is going to focus on props, and more importantly on how they come to be on the stage when they need to be and one of the people responsible for getting them there.

Rachael Collins has been in Prague since late 2007, and she is one of the prop mistresses for this latest play. We managed to talk her into giving up a few minutes of her time to answer a few questions for us.

1 – First of all, how about an introduction. Can you tell us who you are and how you came to be working with the Prague Playhouse?

Hello, this is Rachael Collins, resident of Praha since late 2007. When I first came to Praha I didn’t know anyone and had never been to the city. I turned to my love of theatre in order to feel ‘more at home’ and get to know other people, both expats and locals alike. Someone put me in touch with Brian Caspe not long after I arrived, so here I am.  This is my first show with Prague Playhouse.

2 – People dream of being famous actors, writers, or directors, but as far as I’m aware most kids don’t grow up wanting to be a props guy/girl when they grow up. How did you get involved in this aspect of theatre?

I don’t want to be the actor that says ‘ Well, if I don’t have a part in the cast, then I won’t do anything at all!’ A show isn’t just a talented cast and a skilled director, its costumes, stage crew, advertising, and, of course, props. I want to do what I can, to do my part.

3 – What are the special challenges facing someone when it comes to finding the right props for a particular play?

Making sure the props match the time and circumstances of the play and its characters is a key issue. Depending on the action of the show, making sure you have back-ups or, have someone that can repair props if need be. 

4 – Are there any challenges specific to this particular play, such as finding articles from a certain time period for example?

Yes. Late 20s early 30s design in the American south is not the same as late 20s and early 30s design in he Czech Republic. Therefore, any larger props will have to be almost time-period neutral. Finding the glass figurines is the central challenge and one that will require creativity and ingenuity. 

5 – What kind of places do you generally go to when you’re looking for props?

Flea markets and Bazaars are your friend in this case. Same goes for thrift shops. Scouting other prop departments in local theatres is also helpful.

6 – Can you tell us what kind of budget you generally have to work with for a typical play, and how that gets worked out?

As this is my first time dealing with props and managing a budget with the others, I couldn’t tell you what I consider typical. Being able to stretch your crowns goes without saying. 

7 – What skills would you suggest people who want to work with props on a regular basis aim to improve?

Good question. Well, persevere when it comes to hunting down that perfect set piece and learn to think outside the box, be creative with what you have.

8 – Are there any specific tools that you consider important when it comes to creating props?

A good reference book for the era that you are dealing with, such as picture books, photograph collections, etc. I don’t know if you would consider this a tool, but unless you are dealing with a modern play resources like this can be very helpful. 

9 – How closely do you tend to work with the writer/director or set designer when designing props?

As I said before, this is my first time working with props in such a hands-on way, so I will interact with the writers and directors as much as they see fit or necessary. 

10 – What sort of percentage of found, bought and made do you generally aim for with the props for a particular production?

I think it’s good to have an even mix of everything. I’m not sure what percentage I would give, but if you have a limited budget you would tend to have more found and made rather than all bought on sight. 

11 – What is your favourite thing about working with props?

Finding a long sought after piece or making a really fantastic set piece that really pulls the whole stage together. 

12 – Is there a particular prop or set from past productions that you’re particularly proud of?

Years ago, in college, our department put on a production of ‘As You Like it’, and I signed on as part of the set building crew. For the Forest of Arden, we created a central store made of dozens of pieces, a wooden mosaic if you will, painted in greens and browns and yellows to resemble a forest and meadow. It was incredible. It took hours upon hours to cut, paint, and assemble, but it was worth it. From the sound booth above it reminded me of a stained glass window such as cathedrals have. 

 

March 29th, 2013

Auditions for “The Glass Menagerie”

We will be having auditions for “The Glass Mengaerie” by Tennessee Williams, directed by Steve Josephson on Sunday, February 3 and Monday February 4, 2013. Auditions will be held at Besign Studio: Panska 8, Prague 1. The production will open in May.

Please prepare a 2 minute dramatic monologue in English and be available to read from the script if asked. Please also bring a headshot or recent photo and an acting resume (preferably in English). If you have questions or to schedule an audition time, please write to brian@pragueplayhouse.com with your preferred time.

We will consider non-native English speakers for all of the roles, but all auditioning should be proficient in English.

Play Description:
Amanda Wingfield is a faded, tragic remnant of Southern gentility who lives in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. Amanda strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating. Tom is driven nearly to distraction by his mother’s nagging and seeks escape in alcohol and the world of the movies. Laura also lives in her illusions. She is crippled, and this defect, intensified by her mother’s anxiety to see her married, has driven her more and more into herself. When Tom invites a young man of his acquaintance to take dinner with the family, Jim, the “Gentleman Caller”, he is pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura. The world of illusion that Amanda and Laura have striven to create in order to make life bearable collapses about them. Tom, too, at the end of his tether, at last leaves home.

Amanda Wingfield – (40’s-60’s) Laura and Tom’s mother. This faded Southern belle is a proud, vivacious woman. She clings fervently to memories of a vanished, genteel past. Abandoned by her husband, she can appear to be overbearing, admirable, charming, pitiable, and laughable.

Laura Wingfield – (20’s-30’s) Amanda’s daughter and Tom’s older sister. Laura has a bad leg, on which she has had to wear a brace, and walks with a limp. Twenty-three years old and painfully shy, she has largely withdrawn from the outside world and devotes herself to old records and her collection of glass figurines.

Tom Wingfield – (20’s-40’s) Amanda’s son and Laura’s younger brother. An aspiring poet, Tom works at a shoe warehouse to support the family. He is frustrated by the numbing routine of his job and escapes from it through movies, literature, and alcohol.

Jim O’Connor – (20’s-30’s) An old acquaintance of Tom and Laura. Jim was a popular athlete in high school and is now a shipping clerk at the shoe warehouse in which Tom works. He is unwaveringly devoted to goals of professional achievement and ideals of personal success.

January 15th, 2013

Auditions for Zastrozzi

We will be having auditions for Zastrozzi, a play by the Canadian playwright George F. Walker in early January 2013.

 

The play, set in the late 1800s, has all kinds of swordplay, revenge, sex, witty dialogue and banter. It is really fun and should be a blast to be a part of! Peter Hosking is directing.

We will have more details about the production shortly, but if you’re interested, please prepare a 1 minute monologue (can be contemporary or classical) and contact brian@pragueplayhouse.com to be placed on the mailing list for specific times and audition location.

December 26th, 2012

A Christmas Carol Closes on December 16th!

We are very excited to bring you the final weekend of A Christmas Carol at Divadlo Inspirace. There are only a few seats left so make your reservation now by going to our online box office.

If we are no longer taking reservations for the show you want to go to, or you find you are able to come to the show last minute, then you should still come! It is quite common for several (5-10) reserved seats to become available at the last moment. So don’t be afraid! Come and ring in the Christmas spirit with us!

Photos by Gunther Doe || Perfect Pixel www.perfectpixel.cz

December 12th, 2012

Join Us For: “A Christmas Carol” December 7-16, 2012

It’s Christmas time, and the Prague Playhouse is once again bringing you Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, A Christmas Carol. In what is fast becoming an annual family tradition, director Michael Pitthan offers a fresh retelling of this tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who starts the play in greed and selfishness to find his humanity in the end. Pitthan explores the Scrooge in all of us: if Scrooge, the worst of us, can come out of the darkness to find redemption, can we not too come into the light?

Pitthan, a long-time member of the Prague Playhouse, has a background of work in the U.K. which was orientated towards a strong ensemble approach involving performers playing multiple characters. He brings music, dance and song together and invites the audience to actively participate.

Musical director, Tyson Jaquez, is a new addition to the Prague Playhouse. Having only been in Prague a short time, Jaquez is very excited to work with the cast and crew on this production. He studied music education in the United States and has over five years of innovative teaching and performance experience in addition to his musical directing.

Pitthan and Jaquez have brought together a brand new international cast that brings an incredible range of skills to this year’s production. Combining traditional carols with original interludes, composed by Jaquez and accordionist Jirka Čevela, the music sets the scene for the journey of a human soul from darkness into light. Milan Malinovsky, Stuart Mentha, Azadeh Mohammadi, Marie Majkusova, Lloyd Waldo, Veronika Bellova and Eric Sammons make up the ensemble cast.

The Prague Playhouse’s production of A Christmas Carol comes on the heels of this summer’s successful production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Carol will be a much more intimate production than Todd, which featured a cast of twenty and a live nine-piece orchestra.

A Christmas Carol plays for 9 performances only at Divadlo Inspirace (December 7 at 19:30 and December 8, 9, 15, 16 at 14:00 and 19:30). Tickets are 250 Kc general admission, 200 Kc for students under 26 and seniors 65 and older. Tickets can be reserved online at http://contacts.pragueplayhouse.com/boxoffice/new-order/198. For more information, please contact Laura at 776 605 227 or Anezka (for enquiries in Czech) 737 113 161.

1 comment November 18th, 2012

Auditions for A Christmas Carol: Saturday October 6!

The Prague Playhouse is looking for performers of all ages who can act, sing, or play music for its upcoming production of ‘A Christmas Carol‘ by Charles Dickens’. We would like to invite actors who can play music or musicians who would like to act to come and audition. The show will have strong elements of movement involved, but this does not mean that we are looking strictly for dancers.

The performances will run from December 5 – December 15.

The audition will be at the Prague Playhouse Acting Studio (Frantiska Krizka 1, 3rd floor, near Strossmyerovo Namesti) from 2-5pm.

Please come with a short monologue prepared of around 1-2 minutes but be ready to take direction and have it changed in various ways. We will want to hear you sing, so come with a short tune prepared. We would like to know if you can play an instrument too, from a basic level to virtuoso, we will not necessarily ask you to play, but if you like you can perform your song accompanying yourself.

We may also ask you to stick around for call backs the same day for some group work, but we will also have call backs over the next two days depending on demand. So don’t worry, we know it’s short notice and we will try to be accommodating and see everyone who is interested if possible.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Questions? Email abby.kraemer@gmail.com or phone 774 803 081.

October 3rd, 2012

Off and Running – Sweeney Todd’s First 3 Shows!

Well, we opened Sweeney Todd on Thursday to a packed house and a standing ovation! There will be more photos from the performance later (there are some photos from the dress rehearsal — we did not have all the makeup and hair — here).

We now have a break in our performance schedule until July 13 and are feverishly selling tickets!

Here are some audience comments from the first three shows:

“It was absolutely brilliant – the singing, acting, directing, scenery. Congratulations.” – Valerie Levy

“I organised a party of 5 to attend last night’s performance and we all agree that the presentation was fantastic! You must be thrilled with it.” – Sean O’Sullivan

“Congratulations to you and especially Caryn Stringer who I, having seen 8 different Lovetts in ten different productions over the years, will rank her up in the top 3. Why she’s not in the West End somewhere is a mystery.” – Paul Margulies

“Recently, we saw 3 different shows in New York. Your collective performance and musical ability equalled anything we saw there. The individual performances by the leads was admirable but we also were especially impressed by the ensemble cast.” Cheryl Caspe

“na Vašem představení jsem byl se svojí matkou, která moc anglicky neumí a přesto bylo Vaše představení tak skvěle hrané a připravené do detailů, že si odnášela nezapomenutelný zážitek. Naše poděkování Vám patří i za starost o námi objednané lístky. Do divadel chodíme často, ale ještě se nám nic podobného nestalo, aby přišla zpráva o uložení lístků na pokladně. Díky za starostlivost i za silný umělecký zážitek. Vaše představení doporučíme všem svým známým, protože by byla škoda nevidět hrát herce s takovým nasazením a nadšením. O velice příjemné atmosféře nemluvě. Ještě jednou veliké, upřímné díky a mnoho dalších hereckých i životních úspěchů.” – Jakub Cadil

(translation: I went to your show with my mother, who doesn’t really speak English and despite that, the performance was so wonderfully played and prepared in detail that she had an unforgettable experience. We want to thank you as well for taking care of us even during the ticket ordering process. We go to a lot of theater and I’ve never had it happen that I get an email confirming that I have tickets waiting for me at the theater. Thank you for the devotion and the strong artistic experience. We are recommending your show to our friends because it would be a shame not to see actors play with such a setting and passion, to say nothing of the pleasant atmosphere in the theater. A big and heart felt thank you and we wish you much success in art and life.)

Don’t miss this show!

July 3rd, 2012

Attend The Tale Of SWEENEY TODD: Starts June 28!

Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens on June 28 (less than 2 weeks away)! The show features a live orchestra, a large ensemble and amazing performances from professionals from all over the world. This is truly not to be missed! There is more information on the show as well as links to order tickets at the Sweeney Todd Website. You can also join us on Facebook!

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this musical is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. This is the first time it will be shown in Prague and there will only be 10 performances! Don’t wait to get tickets.

Steve Josephson, our director who has come from California to stage the show, has created a magical atmosphere on stage. It is sure to give you chills. Set in a graveyard, the story is told by the ghosts of Sweeney’s victims, all fighting to impart the message: To seek revenge may lead to Hell, but everyone does it…

Brian Caspe and Caryn Stringer head up the cast as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Jan Tenkrat and Veronika Bellova play the young enginues Anthony and Johanna. Karel Korsa plays Tobias, Milan Malinovsky plays Judge Turpin and Jamie King plays the Beadle. Lucie and Petr Novotny round out the cast as the Beggar Woman and Pirelli. Ensemble members David Bousa, Hana Kadlecova, Jana Machova, Viktoria Matusovova, Michael Pitthan, Eric Sammons, Tereza Trnkova, Boris Wilke and Monika Ziskova provide amazing support to the show with outstanding musicality and presence. For full biographies, please visit http://pragueplayhouse.com/season/sweeneytodd/whos-who/.

Emmanuel Placier, who provided the music for last year’s A Christmas Carol, is conducting and doing the musical direction. Ruth Siller and Abby Kraemer head up our technical side with Stage Management and Technical Direction respectively.

SWEENEY TODD, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

June 28 – 30, July 13 – 14, 18 – 20, 28 – 29 all at 19:30

Venue: DIVADLO NA PRADLE, Besedni 3, Mala Strana, Prague 1 (near Ujezd tram)
Tickets are available at the theater, or you can order them at http://contacts.pragueplayhouse.com/boxoffice/new-order/128
Tickets are also on sale at Bohemia Ticket (Na Prikope 16)

For more information visit http://pragueplayhouse.com

2 comments June 18th, 2012

Sweeney Todd! Sneak Preview May 30!

The entire Prague Playhouse team is ecstatic to announce our upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The production, which opens June 28, 2012 and runs until July 29, 2012, is our most ambitions project yet. It will feature a live 10 piece orchestra and 20 actor/singers performing one of the most challenging and beautiful musicals ever written.

Over half the cast are Czechs from the professional musical theater. Steve Josephson, a veteran musical theater director, choreographer and performer has come from California to stage the show. This is a multi-cultural production in the true sense of the word.

And we want you to join us for a SNEAK PREVIEW at Belushi’s Bar (Odboru 4, Prague 1) on May 30th from 18:00-21:00. For just 100 Kc we will buy you a drink while you can listen to songs from the show performed by our company (including the orchestra). We will also have some wonderful prizes for you to bid on in a silent auction (see our list of sponsors below!).

If you’re excited to hear the music performed by our outstanding company, if you might be out of Prague during the summer and miss the performances, if you want to be among the first to experience a part of this show, then come out to see us! This Sneak Peak is one night only!

2 comments May 16th, 2012

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