During my working life I was a science teacher and high school administrator. I started learning to paint as I approached retirement, wanting to use the right side of my brain for a change. Fortunately where I lived outside Chicago there were many opportunities to learn and appreciate art. However, my learning really took off when I moved here to The Villages almost ten years ago. I couldn’t believe all the clubs, the Lifelong Learning College/Enrichment Academy and the amazing Villages Art Workshops.
Do you have a preferred medium (watercolor, charcoal, pencils, etc)?
I like using a Sharpie and watercolor or colored pencil for everyday sketching in a sketchbook. The sketchbooks have become a visual record of where I have been and what I have been doing. If I am doing a painting for someone else I prefer acrylics.
What are your favorite types of things to draw?
I most enjoy drawing faces, and I attend the Portrait Club every Friday, where we have a live model for about an hour and a half. It’s amazing what over nine years of portrait practice does for one’s skill development!
What is your favorite Studio production to date and why ?
I have enjoyed every one of The Studio productions I have seen over the past few years. Being so close to the actors is wonderful. If I have to pick one, it has to be Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement. The set was so clever, with the two very different houses and the abstract river running between them. It was funny and entertaining with so many layers of meaning that I still think about it often.
What drew you to the sets of our shows in particular?
I am amazed at how well the sets work within the space. I like plays in general more than movies because the sets are not so detailed as to be distracting, just enough to get the idea across and let one’s mind fill in the rest. I love the way the props or spotlights are moved or changed just a little to completely change the scene or mood.
*all production photos for The Studio by Brian Sumner **all sets designed by Kenneth Constant
First, a quick introduction: The Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol is a black box venue located in The Villages, FL, that seeks to inspire people with thoughtful and relevant storytelling. We seat roughly 125 patrons per show and our location is connected to the Tierra del Sol Bar & Grill. Our first season started in the Fall of 2016 and we have been producing exciting a groundbreaking stories ever since!
What is a Black Box Theatre?
Most theatrical venues fall into the same categories; usually they are fixed (like The Sharon) or they what is considered a “black box” (like The Studio). Being a black box means that we have the flexibility to change our seating arrangements for each show because there are very few permanent fixtures within the space. We tend to do very similar setups however, because we know that they are effective. The Sharon on the other hand, has the same essential seating arrangement, with only the pit section either set up or removed depending on the needs of any given performance.
What does that mean? What kinds of seating arrangements do you use?
This past season (2021-2022) we used 3/4 Thrust (Broadbend, Arkansas and The Cake), Proscenium (Urinetown), and Theatre in the Round (No. 6)! You can classify each type by the number of sides the audience can sit. For 3/4, the audience is on 3 sides; Proscenium has the audience on 1 side, and “in the Round” has the audience on all 4 sides. We have also done a “Wedge” style (audience in two sections in the same corner) and “Alley” (audience in two sections on opposite sides).
The style of the set and audience seating is determined by a whole team of people including the director, scenic designer, artistic director and several others. The vision for each show requires the full team to accomplish!
What about the shows you choose?How and why are those ones selected?
We have a Script Selection Committee that anyone on staff at The Sharon or The Studio may join. It is led by the Artistic Director Whitney Morse and Literary Manager Rachel Whittington, however the process is very democratic. All members pitch scripts that we then read, analyze and vote on. It is a long process, but we take pride in being intentional in our selections. Although each show may not be to everyone’s taste, we feel that the particular story/stories fulfill our mission and should be told.
We hope that we have established a form of trust with our audiences to provide high quality productions that they are not likely to see at other venues. In fact, we have had several regional premieres including: Bad Jews (2017), Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement (2019), Broadbend, Arkansas (2021), and No. 6 (2022). Our upcoming season has two regional premieres (In the Next Room and The Chinese Lady). Each show we produce is unique in genre, style, setting, and time period – and well-worth the trip!
How are the shows cast? Do you have open auditions?
Each year we have auditions that are open the public. Although general auditions for the 2022/2023 season have already come and gone, our process typically starts in the Spring of each year. You can find out more information and sign up to be notified of future auditions on our website.
Tell me about ticketing options!
We have a few different options for tickets: Subscriptions, Individual Tickets, and Preview Tickets. Subscriptions are for the full season (4 shows); new subscriptions are still available for a discounted rate of $130 per person in 2022. Individual tickets are $35/person for plays and $40/person for musicals.
Previews are not available for subscriptions, however they are a unique opportunity to purchase individual tickets at a steep discount. These occur the first few days prior to Opening Night and are priced at $15 for plays and $20 for musicals. For Preview performances audiences will see the full production, however some elements may not be fully finalized. Previews are fun because (1) you get a discount, (2) you can see the show before any reviews are written, and (3) because things are still changing you might get to see a part of the show that a regular audience doesn’t!
Juneteenth (short for June 19th) honors the date in 1865, when federal Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. It is the oldest celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
More than two years earlier, The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, establishing that all enslaved people in Confederate states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
Despite the orders in 1865, emancipation didn’t happen overnight – in some cases, enslavers withheld the information until after harvest season or until Union troops arrived at their property. Finally, in December 1865, slavery in America was formally abolished with the adoption of the 13th Amendment.
The next year, freedmen in Texas organized the first of what became the annual celebration of “Jubilee Day” on June 19, 1866.
Why not celebrate on July 4th? Frederick Douglass declared on July 5, 1852: “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity.”
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Four Hundred Souls by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimke (the first known play written, produced, and acted by Black creatives)
How can we celebrate?
Make June 19th an annual day of reflection or conversation that celebrates emancipation
Reflect on Black history in the U.S. and the recent and on-going killings of unarmed Black people
Celebrate and recognize the contributions of Black people in America
Buy or donate books about Juneteenth or Black history and share them with local school districts
Republished from The Studio Theatre Tierra del Sol Instagram 2021.
The Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol will be holding in-person auditions in THE VILLAGES, ORLANDO, and CHICAGO. Please read instructions very carefully! Each location has a different sign-up link.
DO NOT GO TO THE STUDIO VENUE FOR ANY AUDITIONS.
NON-UNION RATE is $375/week + housing. AEA* RATE is OAT Category 4, $451/week + Health and Pension + housing. UNDERSTUDY positions are also available at $100/week; local actors preferred.
Show and rehearsal dates are subject to change.
To be considered for Plays AND Musicals please bring a 60-90 second monologue and a 16-bar cut of a musical theatre song in the style of the shows. No a cappella. “Legit” music theatre style preferred.
To be considered for the Plays ONLY please bring one 60-90 second monologue. Be prepared with a contrasting monologue if requested.
Accompanist will be provided for in-person auditions; No tracks or acapella auditions.
Actors without appointments will be seen as time permits and should bring a physical copy of their headshot and resume.
A note on casting: At The Studio we practice Non-Traditional Casting. Non-Traditional Casting is a method designed to increase artistic options by expanding casting opportunities for women, actors of color, seniors, and actors with disabilities in roles where race, gender, age or the presence or absence of a disability are not germane. To that end we encourage all actors to audition.
IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY BY SARAH RUHL
Directed by Celine Rosenthal Intimacy Direction by Dan Granke Rehearsals start: 9/6/22 Opening 9/30/22 – Closing 10/22/22 *Regional Premiere!*
Please note: all characters in this production take part in intimate situations that may involve the implied use of a vibrator as a medical device, kissing, physical touch, and the simulation of orgasms. In addition, a few characters are scripted in instances of implied or partial nudity (noted in character breakdown). The degree to which these are implemented will be agreed upon by the actor, director, and intimacy director; however, the script will not be changed in any way.
THE CHINESE LADY BY LLOYD SUH
Directed by Reiko Ho Rehearsals start: 10/25/22 Opening 11/18/22 – Closing 12/17/22 *Regional Premiere!*
Please note: Seeking actors with Chinese ancestry for both roles.
This audition process will be focused on identity conscious casting. The director recognizes that considerations of race and ethnicity are vital components to telling this story. It is the director’s hope that this production will be crafted in ways that honor individuals who identify as Asian, Mixed Asian or Asian American–especially those who identify as Chinese or Chinese American. The audition process may include discussions about race, ethnicity, or personal experiences.
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES MUSIC AND LYRICS BY JERRY HERMAN AND A BOOK BY HARVEY FIERSTEIN
Directed by Nathaniel Niemi Music Direction by Gary Powell Choreography by Indigo Leigh Rehearsals start: 1/3/23 Opening 2/3/23 – Closing 3/4/23
Please note: It is our intention to represent the diversity of gender and drag expression in our Cagelle ensemble and welcome performers of all expressions/identities. Performers should have strong dance/movement ability. Drag artistry and special skills (i.e. silks, juggling, acrobatics, death drops, and burlesque) are most welcome.
Advisories: Adult Content – 4, Sexual Content – 5, Language – 1
The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh
Regional Premiere! The true story of the first Chinese woman in America presented in a poetic and whimsical production. Spanning a half-century, this two-person play depicts her daily life as a touring museum attraction.
La Cage Aux Folles – music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein Welcome to La Cages Aux Folles: a dazzling nightclub run by Georges and starring his partner Albin as The Queen of Drag herself, “Zaza”. Hijinks ensue when Georges’s son, Jean-Michel, brings home his fiancée’s disapproving parents. This Broadway stunner is uproariously funny and endlessly heartwarming.
Advisories: Adult Content – 3, Sexual Content – 3, Language – 1
These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich Based on the true story of the spirited women who worked at the Radium Dial Company. Moving but never dreary, this lovely imaginative play tells their story of persistence, friendship, and justice that inspired lasting change.
Passover, or Pesach, celebrates the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and subsequent freedom from slavery. This year, Passover begins on the evening of April 15th and will last for 8 days (7 in Israel).
Why is it called Passover?
As described in the Book of Exodus, G-d told Moses and his brother Aaron to ask the Egyptian Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to leave (and no longer be enslaved). Moses went to the Pharaoh nine times and after each denial, G-d sent a plague upon the land. After the tenth denial, G-d sent an angel of death to kill all the firstborn sons; Moses was instructed to tell the Israelites to mark their doorposts with lambs’ blood and their sons would be spared (literally “passed over”).
To mark this miracle and the subsequent Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites celebrate every year on the anniversary of this time.
How is Passover Celebrated?
Before Passover starts, Jews will clean their homes and purge any leavened bread (chametz). The removal of chametz commemorates how the Jews left Egypt in a hurry and did not have time to let their bread rise.1 The first night of Passover is marked with a Seder using fine plates and flatware. Once candles have been lit, the 15-step feast begins, centered around telling the story of the Exodus.2
Throughout the Seder 4 cups of wine are consumed (marking different parts of the Exodus) as well as elements from the Seder plate including: Maror (bitter herbs), Chazeret (bitter lettuce, typically romaine), Charoset (sweet paste of fruits and nuts), Karpas (vegetable dipped in salt water, typically parsley). Blessings, songs, and games with children – including The 4 Questions and finding the afikomen – feature throughout!
The following day is a day of rest, followed by a Second Seder that night. The rest of the week, no leavened bread may be eaten but some work may be done. At the end of the week are two more days of rest and final celebrations are held.