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People Are Talking: Royal Shakespeare Company Live in HD: Shakespeare’s Henry V

henry v production

Tell us what you thought! This is the place to comment on the performance and talk to other people about what you saw and heard. What will you remember about the performance one year from now?

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People Are Talking: National Theatre Live: Shakespeare’s Hamlet

hamlet production

Tell us what you thought! This is the place to comment on the performance and talk to other people about what you saw and heard. What will you remember about the performance one year from now?

Don’t forget to click the option to be notified when new comments are posted. For more information, review our community conversation guidelines.

For more behind the scenes photos, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

People Are Talking: Royal Shakespeare Company Live in HD: Shakespeare’s Othello

othello production poster

Tell us what you thought! This is the place to comment on the performance and talk to other people about what you saw and heard. What will you remember about the performance one year from now?

Don’t forget to click the option to be notified when new comments are posted. For more information, review our community conversation guidelines.

For more behind the scenes photos, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

U-M Theater Community on Peter Brook’s The Suit

Director Peter Brook changed contemporary theater. His production of The Suit will be in Ann Arbor on February 19-22, 2014. We chat with University of Michigan faculty, as well as with former Royal Shakespeare Company director Michael Boyd, about why they’re excited to see the production and the importance of Brook’s work:

Interested in learning more? Check out our infographic of the highlights of Brook’s life and work.

Top Auction Items (that you can get at this year’s On the Road!)

On the Road is an annual dinner and auction benefiting UMS Education and Community Engagement Programs, which bring arts experiences to over 25,000 students, teacher and community members yearly. The evening features a silent auction, a live auction, fabulous food and extraordinary entertainment.

The Big Apple with UMS President Ken Fischer

Imagine the excitement of a weekend in New York, with its shopping, fine dining, museums and theater, all within walking distance of your hotel.

We spent an afternoon with the Martha Graham Dance Company as they rehearsed for an upcoming performance. While we were standing against the studio wall, only inches away from the dancers, the Director shared information about each of the dancer’s roles. After a sumptuous dinner and wonderful conversation with Ken and U-M Musical Theatre alumnus Leonard Navarro at a posh new restaurant in Lincoln Center, we enjoyed A Little Night Music from the best seats in town. After the theater, we were invited to a late evening reception at Ken’s suite, where we were treated like royalty as Ken introduced us to his counterparts from around the world.

The purest form of inspiration, the kind that touches your heart, is in watching the faces of the students as they disembark from their buses and the excitement flowing out of the building after experiencing a UMS Youth Performance, and we were able to support these experiences through our purchase of this item. Now that’s money well spent!

This package is part of the live auction.

—Eileen and Ted Thacker won this item last year. Eileen was the Chair of “On the Road” in 2010 and will be Chair of the Advisory Committee during the 2012-13 season.

UM Football Package

Five years ago I was the lucky bidder for this package.

Before the game, at UM President Mary Sue Coleman’s popular tailgate party, we had the chance to meet Mary Sue Coleman, Mike Wallace (retired CBS newsman and U-M grad), and many other interesting people. (I do believe Ken knows everyone in Ann Arbor and beyond!)

Being on the field before the game brought me face to face, literally, with members of the Michigan Marching Band as they high-stepped off the field. I was tempted to reach for the board where the coach marks the Xs and Os just to see how well I could do. At half-time I saw a totally different, beautiful view of the field from the press box. The game was great—Michigan won.

This package is part of the live auction.

—Louise Townley is a long-time UMS supporter and former chair of the Advisory Committee. She chaired the 2010 Ford Honors Program, which recognized Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

Fly-fishing Package

Begin your fly-fishing adventure on the shores of the Huron River with one of Ann Arbor’s most notable fly-fishing teachers, Mike Mouradian (president of Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited), who will provide lunch from Zingerman’s along with his expertise.

Michigan’s trout streams are  unrivaled, and continue to be restored and protected with the efforts of organizations like Trout Unlimited, and many volunteers.

Certificates and brochures regarding details of this exciting adventure are contained in an antique French creel from the collections of former Advisory Committee member Steve Rosoff’s France Ici, adorned with hand-tied flies created by flyfisherman and friend of UMS Arnold Kluge.

This package is part of the live auction.

—Jean Kluge is a former member of the Advisory Committee and a legendary retired Ann Arbor Public Schools kindergarten teacher.

52 Card Wine Draw

We love UMS’s On the Road for so many reasons: wonderful food, terrific entertainment, and socializing with friends all while supporting the Education and Community Engagement Program. This year we are anxiously hoping that we purchase the winning ticket for the amazing wine raffle. We are already salivating over the possibility of 3 cases – 36 bottles of exceptional vintages. Since each bottle is guaranteed to be worth a minimum of $75 that means we – if we only purchase one ticket – have a 1-in-52 chance of winning wine worth over $2,700. (However, I’ve been told that the actual value is closer to $5,000!) We love to cook and pair wine with food, so this is truly our type of opportunity. Even if we don’t win, we still “win” by helping to support UMS and who knows, maybe someone we know will win and invite us to one of the wine and food pairings they are sure to have.

This item is part of the Super Silent auction.

—Susan Fisher and John Waidley are perennial UMS concert-goers and supporters. Susan is the current chair of the Advisory Committee.

Hand Blown Glass Bowl

 I saw this Selo/Shevel glass bowl in the gallery last spring and loved it. It’s more a burst of sunlight than a bowl. I didn’t buy it at the time, though I kept thinking about it. When I learned that it was donated to the OTR auction, I thought, “How wonderful!”  Now I’ll have a second chance to buy it and I can support UMS Education at the same time. I’ve ushered at Youth Performances and served as the coordinator of the first Royal Shakespeare Company Residency, two amazing arts education experiences made possible by UMS. I’m grateful to UMS for bringing the performing arts into our lives every year, and I can’t wait to bid high on the sunburst bowl!

Silent Auction item #501, Hand Blown Glass Bowl, Studio Tour and Glass Blowing Class

—Debbie Herbert is a long-time UMS supporter and a member of the UMS Senate.

On the Road with UMS 2011 takes place Friday, September 16th at 6:30PM in the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building.  Please call 734-764-8489 for more information.

 

 

 

Caro MacKay, Producer for Propeller, Shows Some Love for Ann Arbor Audiences

Later this week 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. I asked her why she wanted to bring Propeller here…

CM: Having done two seasons at Ann Arbor, I know your enthusiasm. But you’re also a tremendously thoughtful audience, and you’re obviously in a university town, so there’s great intelligence there, and I just thought you’d really like this company. Propeller offers something different—it’s very immediate and physical theater, but it’s also very intelligent Shakespeare.

You even decided to premiere Richard III here.

CM: Yes, it’s premiering in Ann Arbor. That’s really exciting for me. I’m thrilled that we’ll be presenting both shows [Richard III and The Comedy of Errors] because you will see the measure of what the company is capable of. And the different actors—they’ll be doing something in one show and something utterly different in the other show.

What was it about Propeller that made you want to get involved with the company?

First, their love of the text. It is there in all the shows. The text is very true to Shakespeare’s text. The second thing is, for me, every really, really, really good director is a great storyteller. And I think the way that [Propeller director] Ed Hall tells the actual story is terrific. That’s what leapt out at me. It’s the clarity—the actual clarity of the story, so that you can follow it. And the energy. Propeller is enormously physical.

Tell me about the ensemble. They’re onstage the whole time, for both shows, which is so intriguing.

It’s very particular to Ed’s work. And it means everybody is in rehearsal all the time. They’re in there all the time, all the day. You’re never only called for the scenes that you’re in. Rather than having just a half a dozen people working lines in rehearsal room, you’ve got 14. Everybody is always concentrated. I just think it is a true ensemble—everybody is looking at the scene that is the play and asking what is that scene doing for the play? What is the story line behind it?

It’s an all-male ensemble. How’d a woman like you wind up being the producer?

It’s quite funny, isn’t it? A girl to be running an all-male Shakespeare company. It took me a little while for me to really go, yes, I believe in this. But after a couple of shows, I got the clue. What you find with just having one sex is that actually you’re listening to the words. Whether you’re a male or a female, you’re just listening to what Shakespeare is saying and asking, what does that mean? That’s what it allows you to do—to scrape away the sexual politics and just listen to the words.

CLICK HERE FOR OTHER PROPELLER RELATED STORIES!

This Day in UMS History: Royal Shakespeare Company History Plays (March 10-18, 2001)

Ten years ago today, UMS audiences began a great experiment — the Royal Shakespeare Company presenting four Shakespeare History plays (Henry VI, parts i, ii, and iii, and Richard III) over the course of 27 hours with lunch and dinner breaks built in. The productions, directed by now-RSC artistic director Michael Boyd, marked the beginning of a long relationship between the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor with the RSC. Over the past decade, this partnership has included three major residencies, as well as workshopping new plays on the U-M campus.  Each residency was accompanied by dozens of free educational events for students and the public-at-large.

Those who were present will no doubt fondly recall some of these images from the productions:

David Oleyowo as Henry VI

Fiona Bell as Joan of Arc, Henry VI, part i

Clive Wood as Duke of York, Henry VI, part iii

Aidan McArdle as Richard III with Fiona Bell as Queen Margaret

The three Henry VI plays were presented at 11 am, 2 pm, and 8 pm on a Saturday, with audiences returning on Sunday for the climactic production of Richard III. (There was also one mid-week cycle, which ran Tuesday, Wednesday [both matinee and evening], and Thursday.) Since that season, UMS’s theater programming has expanded significantly, with an annual commitment to presenting both live and high-definition broadcasts of international theater — including this season’s productions of Richard III and The Comedy of Errors by another British theater company, Propeller.  Like the RSC, Propeller presents contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare and works with an ensemble cast; unlike the RSC, Propeller uses an all-male cast to present the Bard’s works, as would have been the case in Shakespeare’s day.

Richard III opens at the Power Center on Wednesday, March 30, and The Comedy of Errors opens the following evening.  Tickets can be purchased at www.ums.org or by calling 734-764-2538.

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