Daily Propeller Updates: Links to all the stories from our guest bloggers
Our guest bloggers, Leslie Stainton and Jen Leija, will be blogging all week long on the UMS Lobby. I’ll be compiling links here to each of their stories so that you can easily follow all their reporting from the week. Hope you enjoy! And, please, feel free to comment because Leslie and Jen would love to hear from you.
- Meet Our Guest Bloggers
We’ve asked two community members, Leslie Stainton and Jen Leija, to cover all the Propeller events and report about them here. Our bloggers will have behind-the-scenes access and will bring you recaps and reporting from all of Propeller’s performances and residency activities.
- People Are Talking: Richard III and The Comedy of Errors
Tell us what you thought! This is the place to comment on the performance, and hear what others are saying.
- In Closing, An Open Letter to Propeller
You are a company of talented, passionate, dedicated, vocally gifted, really good looking men who make Shakespeare into something brand new while somehow getting closer to the root and core of the text and than any production I’ve ever seen.
- What’s Next for Propeller?
Sometime in the future, Hall wants to do his own cycle of the Shakespeare history plays—the three “Henry VI”s, “Henry V,” and “Richard III.” The working title is “Blood Line.” MacKay says they’re not sure when they’ll do it, “but we’re working toward it.” A2 audiences who reveled in the RSC’s first residency here back in 2001 may find this news as tantalizing as I do. UMS, are you listening?
- Propeller: Was there a doctor in the house?
You bet. In fact, there were no fewer than 35 of them at Friday night’s performance of Richard III—med students and house officers, all part of the UM Medical Arts Program, a joint UMS–UM Medical School initiative designed to enrich physician training through exposure to the arts and humanities
- Propeller: In an Age of Tweets and txts, Musical Signposts
I suspect it’s the music as much as anything that makes me want to see—to hear—these plays more than once. I suspect that’s the part of Propeller’s work that will linger the longest with me after the company packs its bags and heads back to London tomorrow (may they return!).
- Richard III Recap: Taking Sides
Propeller gives us Shakespeare inside out – covered in blood and steeped in the realities of humanity, that begs us to question who we are. And why, however unwittingly, we side with the diabolical murderer after all.
- Tossing Grenades at Shakespeare—and Other Lessons from Propeller Director Ed Hall
All week long I’ve been hearing people sing the praises of Propeller director Ed Hall. Having now seen Hall up close, in a riveting exchange Thursday morning with a dozen or so BFA directing students from the UM School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, I get what everyone means.
- Sex, Blood, & Body Bags: Richard III Opens at Power Center
Last night, an appropriately powerful Richard III—full of blood and plenty of gore, but also, surprisingly and happily, quite a lot of laughs—opened at the Power Center.
- “The Boys” Are In Town
So I’ve basically been given everything I ever wanted from life: a group of British men, playing Shakespeare, just for me. That is to say that I got to sit in on Propeller’s cue-to-cue rehearsal Wednesday afternoon before attending the opening night of Richard III.
- From the Bard to the Boardroom..
It’s easy to forget that these plays are also about real issues—the kinds of things we grapple with in our own lives. Richard III, for example, asks about leadership. These issues surfaced in Tuesday’s workshop, “From the Bard to the Boardroom,” with the Ross Leadership Initiative at UM’s Ross School of Business.
- A new kind of Shakespeare?
Perhaps the most staggering moment of Monday night’s panel was Professor Rutter’s insistence that the breaking of the fourth wall is pivotal in Propeller’s productions. Simply, that men playing women is not the biggest leap of imagination we all take when we go to the theater, and that if we trust the actors, their craft and skill and dedication, to entertain us, then we will be glad to see actors acting rather than imagining them to be the characters they portray.
- Propeller: What would Brook think?
Peter Brook’s “The Empty Space” published in 1968, has long been a touchstone for anyone who cares about the theater. The book came up last night during Carol Rutter’s energetic talk at the UM Museum of Artabout the Propeller Theater Company and its uniquely “rough” style of performance.
- Propeller: Q&A with UMS Programming Director Michael Kondziolka
For years, Michael Kondziolka, UMS’s Programming Director, has been my go-to guy for all things cultural. If Michael says see it (as he does about Propeller), I move heaven and earth to heed the call. So I asked him how Propeller caught his eye…
- Caro MacKay, Producer for Propeller, Shows Some Love for Ann Arbor Audiences
Caro MacKay, executive producer of Propeller, will zip into Ann Arbor to see her company in action, but over the weekend she was at home in London, where I reached her by phone. The former Royal Shakespeare Company producer knows us well—she was here for both the first and second RSC Ann Arbor residencies, in 2001 and 2003.