Tag Archives: alexis and jim pugh theatre

“The Flick” Director Kenny Howard Answers 5 Questions

This week Gen Y Productions brings a 4 week engagement of Annie Baker’s “The Flick” to the stage at the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This marks the Florida premiere of the play which earned the 2013 Obie Award for Playwriting and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  “The Flick” runs June 17 through July 12.

Central Florida Theatre in Process’ John DiDonna asked the show’s director Kenny Howard to answer five questions:

Kenny Howard, director of "The Flick" playing at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts June 17-July 12

Kenny Howard, director of “The Flick” playing at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts June 17-July 12

JD: The production team you were part of is both Tony winning and Grammy nominated. Why the return to producing in Central Florida?

KH: For me it was about artistic vision and community. I went up for an AD job off-Broadway and to further my career as a director, yet ended up a managing member of a Tony Award-winning Broadway Producing company and a record label for Original Broadway Cast and Broadway artists’ cabaret albums.   Every moment was an amazing experience, but I needed to regroup and focus on what I actually wanted. That ended up being expression as an artist and a sense of community; both of which were things I had always felt I had here, so I came back for that purpose, as well as I just missed my family here in Central Florida. It was 17 years in the theatre community when I made the move to NYC, and I missed it horribly.  

 

JD: How does it feel being one of the first long-run shows in the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts? What are the risks? What are the benefits? (Okay, it is three parts but still one question!)

KH: Great question(s)! I had made a play to use the Pugh previously. I wanted in that space.

It is a gorgeous space that reminds me of the Jewel Box at the Signature Theatre in NYC.   Being a resident of Orlando almost 22 years, I was aware of the Pugh as the theater “for all lives,” (or whatever phrase they finally settled on), and I wanted to take them up on that.   I can’t tell you how it really feels until we load in on Sat (Note: June 13)., but I am a huge fan of the space and I’m excited as hell. The risks are many. Although not as expensive as first thought, it is still the most expensive venue of its kind in Central Florida, which requires a certain amount of attendance to be truly successful financially. AND, although not a producer for this production, I cannot help with my years of experience as a producer concern myself with that reality.

We are very fortunate to have a producer who not only rises to the challenge, but chose a play that challenges me, the cast, and crew, as well as the audiences. The benefits are that we are doing another production there in August. It is a musical that is over four times the size in cast and we have the benefit of acclimating ourselves to the space. Also, I believe in the vision of the Pugh that was first presented, and I hope that working with DPC for this project makes them amenable to doing the same for many local theatre companies. We are blessed to have a thriving theatrical community and I would like to see theatre companies follow suit and have more local productions take place there.

 

JD: Tell us about “The Flick”! What about this show will pull people into a live theatrical experience this summer?

KH: I can honestly say that personally I have never seen a show quite like “The Flick.” The setting of the play is inside an old movie house, that uses an old 35mm projector, and much like the theatre, the lives of the three lead characters are stuck in a rut. It is a story of the human spirit, change, heartache, yet very funny and extremely poignant. The audience is the screen and we watch the lives of 3 everyday people that we would normally pass in the theatre or on the street without a second glance. But in the movie house named “The Flick” we find ourselves immersed in three people doing their job and examining their lives and the need for connection. It is falls into a category of complete realism so these characters are not “performed,” as much as lived in by the fantastic cast.

 

JD: What is it like collaborating with the team of “The Flick”?

KH: This team is fantastic. Gen Y’s Managing Member Aaron Safer is amazing when it comes to artistic freedom, and he is a champion of the show, and can hustle. Chris Yakubchik as AD is another who provides great insight to the text. The cast collectively is so strong. Anastasia Kurtiak is a dream stage manager who keeps us all on track. Marcellis is a reserved man, but is bringing Avery to life in a beautiful way. Jessie Grossman is the bomb! She is a consummate professional and her Rose is truly lovely to watch. And then Daniel Cooksley is someone I have admired on the stage for years and the audience and we are extremely fortunate to have him breathe life into Sam. Coletyn is young, but he is bright and funny, and we are lucky to have him. Bonnie Sprung is our set designer and has out done herself for this one, and lastly Roy Brown, who I have used for most of my lighting design needs who in each instance has not only succeeded but gone above and beyond expectations. So as far as collaborating with this team…I’m very fortunate. J

 

JD: What is coming up next for Kenny Howard? Projects? Vacation?

KH: Next up in July is “Wanzie’s Court Ordered Therapy: Ladies of Eola Heights-Continued” at The Abbey which reunites Chris and I with Beth Marshall, Peg O’Keefe, Blue Star, Sam Singhaus and our newest cast member of the Locksdale tribe…Kevin Kelly. Then in August “Heathers: The Musical” we are back in the Pugh Theatre at DPC. In September I have BMP’s Play-in-a-Day, and the reboot of The Abbey’s Monday Night Cabaret Series, then in October “Bat Boy” at The Abbey. I do have another project in both the spring and summer of 2016, but it has not been announced yet. Vacation? What’s that? I will get to NYC whenever I can, and I will get to KY to visit my parents.

But mostly….”I can’t – I’m in rehearsal.”

 

Tickets range from $35 to $60 for the hilarious and heartrending “The Flick,” and are on sale now at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

 

– Interview and post courtesy of guest blogger John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process

Central Florida Theatre in Process Picks June 5-11

CENTRAL FLORIDA THEATRE IN PROCESS (CFTIP) WEEKEND CHOICES and PICKS –  June 5th – June 11 2015

Openings, continuing shows, upcoming events and auditions/education!
OPENING THIS WEEK
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Element Earth – presented by Emotions Dance. Friday June 5 and Saturday June 6 at 8pm at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center’s Mandell Theatre.

Tickets are $20 GA and $15 for students and seniors (65+). https://www.facebook.com/events/1637882156432283/
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BULLSHOT CRUMMOND – Valencia College Theater (Orlando) Check out the campy British comedy at Valencia’s East Campus Black Box Theater!

June 5, 6 ,8, 11, 12, & 13 at 7:30pmJune 7 & 14 at 2:00pm. SAVE $2 per ticket when you purchase online at www.valenciacollege.edu/arts and use the Promo Code ‘VALENCIAWEB.’
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CALAMITY JANE presented by Circle Theatre Company at the Orlando Repertory Edyth Bush Theatre, June 4th-June 7th. This good-hearted Western musical is the story of gun-totin’, hard-ridin’, tough-talkin’ Calamity Jane, and her love-hate relationship with famed gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok.

Tickets $12-$14 (Family friendly) www.circletheatrecompany.com/shows/calamity-jane/
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ONGOING PRODUCTIONS
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ONGOING: “DRIP” DRIP, industrial bar and show. Dress down, drink up and rock out while dancers tell a love story while dancing in paint, flying water and sand, backed by a LIVE rock band. You will get messy!
Thursdays (followed by a local art night), Fridays, Saturdays
Doors opens at 8pm, show starts a little after 9pm.
Tickets: www.ILoveDRIP.com
$35 DRIP 8747 International Dr. Ste 102 Orlando, Fl 32819
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ONGOING: “SAK Comedy Lab” is a 200 seat improv comedy theater in downtown Orlando. Conveniently located at the City Arts Factory’s second floor, 29 S. Orange Ave. SAK performs LIVE improv comedy shows that are fun and suitable for ALL AGES, Tuesday through Saturday. www.sak.com
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OPENING SOON

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The Flick, written by Annie Baker and starring Daniel Cooksley, Jessie Grossman, Marcellis Cutler, and Coletyn Hentz, opens June 19th in the Dr Phillips Center Pugh Theater, tickets on sale now!

Industry Night: June 29th, Tickets only $25.
http://www.drphillipscenter.org/…/20774-the-flick.stml
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SPOTLIGHT CABARET SERIES featuring David Almeida – Winter Park Playhouse, 711-C Orange Avenue, (Winter Park).  Mr. Almeida will perform popular songs made famous by Broadway divas, television shows and comedies like the popular British comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Tickets are $18 + one drink minimum. Standing room tickets are available for $10 (with no drink minimum) when seating has sold out.

Wed & Thu, June 24 & 25 ONLY!

(Rated PG) The Winter Park Playhouse online: winterparkplayhouse.org or call 407-645-0145

https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=53512

EDUCATION
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DANCE/FITNESS: Now offering a Student/Theater/Dancer discount for Dion Leonhard’s Dance Barre classes at Barre Bellas! Drop-in rate for any classes Monday or Wednesday 10:30am and 11:30am is $15 (your very first class is free).

Package of 5 classes for $50; (package good for a year). A unique combination of classic Pilates Technique blended with ballet exercises, dance stretches and cardio. http://barrebellas.com

AUDITIONS/JOB OPENINGS
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The Athens in DeLand will hold open auditions for Footloose! on June 8 & 9 (starting at 6-8pm) at the Athens Theatre. An additional Call Back Date is Wednesday June 10. The Athens Theatre is located at 124 N. Florida Avenue in Downtown DeLand. https://www.facebook.com/events/625255240944004/
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AUDITION NOTICE: Orlando Repertory Theatre is seeking Equity and Non-Equity actors for six exciting shows the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Please visit http://www.orlandorep.com/auditions/ for the Audition Schedule, Audition Guidelines, and Character Breakdown. We strongly encourage all ethnicities to audition for all productions!
There are a total of three general calls, each of which requires an appointment.
General Audition #1 – Friday, June 5th (9:00am-5:00pm)
General Audition #2 – Wednesday, June 10th (2:30pm-9:30pm)
General Audition #3 – Wednesday, June 24th (2:30pm-9:30pm)
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Auditions for Neil Simon “God’s Favorite” this Sunday and Monday Show will be at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, July 17th and 18th. call 909-560-7454 auditions will be at 203 Washington, in NSB 32168 https://www.facebook.com/events/1619102021680913/
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IMMEDIATE HIRE: TheatreWorks Florida is now accepting submissions for COSTUME DESIGNER for SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!. 3+ years of musical theatre experience required. Salary: Independent Contractor Salary. To apply, please send a cover letter of interest highlighting your experience and a resume to Abel Gonzales, TWF Company Manager, at: theatrecares@theatreworksfl.org
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Auditions for Clandestine Arts production of “Carrie The Musical” are quickly approaching, and slots are filling up. Be sure to schedule an appointment so you don’t miss out on this rarely produced show!  https://www.facebook.com/events/955259921162696/
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