2005-06-03 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Rockaway Artists Alliance Escape To A Famed Summer Theater And More
by Susan Hartenstein

Rockaway Artists Alliance
Escape To A Famed Summer Theater And More

Fort Tilden Happenings:

Upcoming – American Women: A Portrait Series by Constance Del Vecchio Maltese celebrating women of great accomplishment from the worlds of aviation, academics, family, finance, politics, medicine and space. June 4 – June 26. sTudio 6 Gallery. Opening reception June 5, 1-3 p.m. Meet the artist. Live entertainment and refreshments. Admission is free. Gallery hours: Saturdays 12-5 p.m.; Sundays 1-4 p.m. and by appointment.

Seaside Songfest - rhythm and blues, rock and roll, gospel, jazz and classic pop all come to the Post Theater on Saturday, June 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. “Star-studded” concert to benefit RAA and RTC. Seaside Interprise and Traditionally Yours, composed of singers from The Drifters, The Coasters, The Revlons and The Flamingos, will perform approximately 30 “oldies but goodies” from the 50’s through the 90’s.

Call the RTC hotline to reserve tickets for a donation of $15: 718 850-2450.

Summer theater will soon be blooming in some of the most beautiful and inviting places in the Northeast and across the country. What better opportunity to experience live theater while enjoying a family vacation, especially if the theater is located in an area with various cultural, natural and historic attractions. There is no better example of this than the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) in Williams-town, Massachusetts. Located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills in the western part of the state, it is one of a group of attractions to stimulate the eyes, soul and mind.

WTF is one of the best-known and most respected summer theaters in the country. In 2002, it was the first summer theater to win the Regional Theater Tony Award, which is given each year to a theater company that has proven a continuous level of artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theater nationally. Each year throughout the span of the summer, WTF presents more than 200 performances of classic and new plays on two stages, an outdoor Free Theatre, Cabaret, readings, workshops and other special events that include an outreach program for local young people called the Greylock Theatre Project. Since its founding in 1955, the company has grown from 26 members to over 500. Their varied, innovative and ambitious productions have included works by Anton Chekov, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard as well as musical theater. Many of the productions have gone on to Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theaters and television. Part of the mission has also been to attract the best talent and the most promising new playwrights. Just some of the accomplished actors and directors who have worked at and return to WTF are Blythe Danner, Edward Hermann, Scott Ellis, Mois├Ęs Kaufman and Frank Langella.

Coming in July 2005 are a wide range of productions that include afternoon and evening performances of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, Kids’ Night and morning performances of the Free Theatre Productions for family audiences. In July and August productions include The Sugar Syndrome, a powerful, honest and funny contemporary play for mature audiences dealing with chat rooms and their implications. For a full summer schedule and more information about all aspects of WTF, visit www.wtfestival.org

WTF provides some of the finest training programs and job opportunities available for actors, directors, designers, technicians and managers. It encourages alumni to return to further hone their crafts. Young actors train with seasoned professionals. Gwyneth Paltrow, Christopher Reeve and Sigourney Weaver are just a few on the long list of fine actors who began their careers at WTF. Internships and Assistantships in directing and stage design allow the opportunity to assist Broadway directors and designers and are frequently a way of moving on to work in New York City and at regional theater companies. Directors George C. Wolfe, Will Frears and Gregory Boyd and designer Santo Loquasto all began at WTF. Many students and interns in the scenic, costume and lighting departments and in the management programs have also gone on to important Broadway, regional theater and television positions.

The Williamstown area is filled with not-to-be-missed cultural attractions. MASS MoCA, to which a previous From the Artist’s Studio was dedicated, is the largest center for contemporary art in the United States. Located in North Adams, it is dedicated to the creation and presentation of provocative visual and performing arts pieces. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is an art museum and research center and houses an extraordinary collection of European and American art, particularly its collection of French Impressionist paintings. It is located on 130 acres of expansive lawns, meadows and walking trails of incredible beauty. The Williams College Museum of Art, one of the finest college art museums in the United States, presents works that span the history of art. Its emphasis, however, is modern and contemporary art, late 18th century American art and the art of world cultures. Images Cinema is the area’s only year-round independent film house. It showcases the best of independent film and sponsors discussion groups, film festivals and other movie-related events. Also located in the Berkshires is Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The Berkshire Museum and The Norman Rockwell Museum. To learn more about all these cultural destinations, find directions and the lodging and dining available in the area, log onto the above mentioned website. Enjoy. CU@RoCA.

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