Thursday, September 30, 2010

Talking With... Chris Lawson

Chris Lawson (Director) last appeared at BFT as Martin in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (1995-1996). He has acted in and/or directed over 100 plays, films, documentaries, and music videos. He is also a regional, national, and international visual artist with recent exhibitions in Cambodia, Haiti, NYC, and at the Corcoran’s White Walls Gallery in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BFT and Monty Stabler Galleries featured artist: Bethanne Hill

The Haden Gaines Marsh Gallery in the lobby of BFT features works from Monty Stabler Galleries for the production run of Jane Martin's Talking With..., directed by Chris Lawson. Five paintings by Bethanne Hill are on display.

Bethanne Hill was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 12, 1966. She was raised in Birmingham, the youngest of 6 children. She is a 1985 graduate of the visual arts department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and holds a BFA in painting and sculpture from Birmingham-Southern College.... Bethanne and her husband Darius Hill (also an artist and Chair of the Art Department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts) and their children live in Birmingham. (Excerpt from "Artist's Bio 2004")

"As a young artist, my first great influence was primitive art, specifically Australian Aboriginal art. The bold outlines, patterns and simplified shapes seemed to me to directly convey the power of the animals depicted. Their energy was there to see. Often, in what is called “x-ray style”, the Aboriginal artist will show the insides of the animals, as well. Their way of filling every inch of the format with mark-making was very appealing to me. As I read through Joseph Campbell’s The Way of the Animal Powers and Sir James George Frazier’s The Golden Bough, the imagery leaped out at me." (Excerpt from "Artist's Statement," by Bethanne Bethard Hill)

You can find Bethanne's work at Bethanne Hill—Painting & Illustration on the web and on Facebook.

Monty Stabler Galleries is also on the web and on Facebook. Christine Alfery is featured in the current show at the galleries, located at 1811 29th Avenue South: (205) 879-9888.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Talking With... Susan Johnson Lawrence

Susan Johnson Lawrence (Marks) did her first show at BFT, Counter-Culture, in 1979, directed by Carl Stewart. She is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College where she studied with Arnold Powell. Mrs. Lawrence lived in Philadelphia for seven years before going to NYC to study Shakespeare with Uta Hagen. She left NYC for Aspen and came home to Birmingham in 1997. Then her life began for real with kids and a mortgage. In 2000 she directed Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde here at BFT. Other roles have included Rita in Educating Rita and Agnes in I Do, I Do at Aspen Theatre in the park, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chestnut Hill Shakespeare, Desiree in A Little Night Music at Town and Gown, and Amanda in Private Lives at the Alys Stephens Center.

Talking With... Holly Croney Dikeman

Holly Croney Dikeman (Handler) was last seen on the BFT stage as Cherie in Bus Stop, and is glad to be back. Previous BFT credits include The Great Wrong Way and Miss Witherspoon. She was recently in the Theatre LJCC production of The Will Rogers Follies (Betty), and was also in The Spitfire Grill (Effie), The Who’s Tommy, and Lots of Life (Doreen) at the LJCC. Favorite roles include Alice in Alice’s Even Bigger Tea Party at the Alys Stephens Center; Missy in Winter Wonderettes and Maria in El Grande de Coca Cola, both at the Terrific New Theatre; and Cinderella’s stepsister, which she played once in Cinderella, and once in Into the Woods, both at Virginia Samford Theatre.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Talking With... Adriana Keathley

Adriana Keathley (French Fries) is so glad to be back on the BFT boards. Born and raised in Miami, she received her dance training there before becoming the lead dancer with the Miami Ballet. After moving to New York, she performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and danced and acted on Broadway in Camelot and Ballroom. Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway credits include Uneasy Lies and The House of Bernada Alba at the Roundabout Theatre. In regional theatre, she’s performed in Ballroom, Pack of Lies, A Perfect Ganesh, and The Desert Song. She appeared in The Oldest Profession, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, and Kindertransport at Birmingham Festival Theatre and played Thelma in ‘night, Mother at Theatre Downtown. Adriana was last seen as Martha in The Octette Bridge Club at the South City Theatre. Adriana also tours with The Seasoned Performers, Alabama’s only senior adult theatre. She teaches ballet at the Pointe Dance Arts. Adriana dedicates her performance to her oldest brother, George Keathley, the Emmy Award-winning director.

Talking With... Mindy K. Wester

Mindy K. Wester (Dragons) is thrilled to be back on stage again after a 6-year hiatus which allowed her to glean some real world inspiration for her work in this production. She was formerly seen on the BFT stage in Angels in America Part One, The Country Club, and Tom Jones. Her design credits here are into double digits.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Talking With.... Jane Trechsel

Jane Trechsel (Lamps) did “Lamps” 25 years ago here at BFT: “It’s always great to get a second chance at anything. And now I’m age appropriate!” This is her first time back on stage since the final run of The Belle of Amherst in 2002. Other roles here include Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Desiree in A Little Night Music, Cole Porter and Noel Coward revues with Carl Stewart (yes singing and dancing!) Her training? On the job.

Talking With... Ginny S. Loggins

Ginny S. Loggins (Clear Glass Marbles) is thrilled to be returning to the BFT stage for the umpteenth time, and returning to one of her favorite plays. In 1985 she played the Handler at Studio Theatre on Long Island. This is apparently her year to return to old shows in new roles: in February she played Hesther in Equus at Theatre Downtown, having played Jill in 1979; and in March, she played Glinda in the ASC’s version of The Wizard of Oz titled Down the Yellow Brick Road, having played Dorothy in the fourth grade. On February 3, 2011, she’ll be reprising her role as feisty civil rights activist Virginia Durr in Lee Shackleford’s monodrama Too Many Questions at Vulcan Park and Museum.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Talking With... Penny Thomas

Penny Thomas (Rodeo) has worked on several interesting projects with Chris Lawson over the years, including a short film about Big Foot and a performance art piece that involved dancing with wild abandon on top of a refrigerator to looped footage of atomic explosions and children's songs. Penny most recently appeared in After School Special at Theatre Downtown. She has also performed in Theatre Downtown's productions of Equus and We Three Queens, and in Terrific New Theatre's productions of Dixie Swim Club, El Grande de Coca Cola, The Glass Mendacity and Sordid Lives. She will be appearing in the short film "Brunch" this year at the Sidewalk Film Festival.

Talking With... Camille Spratling

Camille Spratling (Audition) is delighted to be a part of Talking With.... This is her third production at BFT, having also played Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Grace in Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens. Other favorite roles include Rosemary in MBHS’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Madame Pernelle in BSC’s Tartuffe.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Talking With... Caroline Page

Caroline Page (Twirler) is a senior at Shades Valley High School. She was last seen at BFT as Mary Tilford in The Children's Hour. Recent credits include Mother in Ragtime at VST, Eponine in Les Miserables at VST, Charlotte Hay in Moon Over Buffalo Shades Valley Theatre Academy. Regional credits include Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Theatre of the Stars Atlanta, The Music Man at TOTS Atlanta and Theatre Under the Stars Houston, Doc Marsh in Cry Havoc and Kelsi in World Premiere Disney's High School Musical, both at Stagedoor Manor NY.

Talking With... Annalisa Crews

Annalisa Crews (Scraps) is a library media specialist at Homewood High School when not in Oz. After beginning her love of theatre in high school, Annalisa continued to perform at the University of Alabama and The University of Montevallo. For the past four years she has been active in Birmingham community theatre. Some of her favorite roles include Joanie in Little Footsteps, the Stepmother in Into the Woods, Frenchie in Cabaret. This is her first role at BFT.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Talking With... Ellise Mayor

Ellise Mayor (15 Minutes) made her acting debut at BFT as Tillie in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds directed by Vic Fichtner in 1974. Since then she has appeared in or directed over a dozen shows here. Most recently she had the great pleasure of directing Almost, Maine. During the daytime she is Artistic Director of The Seasoned Performers, Alabama’s only Senior Adult theatre company.