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The Charger Bulletin

Actress Lynn Redgrave Has Died at Age 67

by The Associated Press | May 5, 2010

NEW YORK – Lynn Redgrave, an introspective and independent player in her family’s acting dynasty who became a 1960s sensation as the unconventional title character of Georgy Girl and later dramatized her troubled past in such one-woman stage performances as Shakespeare for My Father and Nightingale, has died. She was 67.

Her publicist Rick Miramontez, speaking on behalf of her children, said Redgrave died peacefully Sunday night at her home in Kent, Conn. Children Ben, Pema and Annabel were with her, as were close friends.

“Our beloved mother Lynn Rachel passed away peacefully after a seven year journey with breast cancer,” Redgrave’s children said in a statement Monday. “She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before. The endless memories she created as a mother, grandmother, writer, actor and friend will sustain us for the rest of our lives. Our entire family asks for privacy through this difficult time.”

Redgrave was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2002, had a mastectomy in January 2003 and underwent chemotherapy.

Her death comes a year after her niece Natasha Richardson died from head injuries sustained in a skiing accident and just a month after the death of her older brother, Corin Redgrave.

The youngest child of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, Lynn Redgrave never quite managed the acclaim — or notoriety — of elder sibling Vanessa Redgrave, but received Oscar nominations for Georgy Girl and Gods and Monsters, and Tony nominations for Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Shakespeare for My Father and The Constant Wife. In recent years, she also made appearances on TV in Ugly Betty, Law & Order and Desperate Housewives.

In theater, the ruby-haired Redgrave often displayed a sunny, sweet and open personality, much like her ebullient offstage personality. It worked well in such shows as Black Comedy — her Broadway debut in 1972 — and again two years later in My Fat Friend, a comedy about an overweight young woman who sheds pounds to find romance.

“She was adored by audiences, and although she embarked on a medical treatment as previews began, she never missed a show and gave magnificent performances eight times a week,” said Lynne Meadow, artistic director of MTC.

“We admired her strength, her talent, her courage and her enormous good heart. There wasn’t a stage hand, a press rep, a box office person who didn’t worship Lynn. She was true theatre royalty.”

Lynn Redgrave is survived by six grandchildren, her sister Vanessa, and four nieces and nephews.

A private funeral with be held later this week.

Students Are Stunning in Dolores

by The Charger Bulletin | April 21, 2010

By Molly Seely

“Dolores” is the second half of the play Broken Hearts and Busted Jaws by Edward Allen Baker and is currently in production by the Elm City Theatre Company. This two-woman act is simultaneously sad and humorous, as two sisters reminisce about their less than idyllic childhoods, even bleaker presents, and questionable futures.

The adorable Gabriella Miceli plays the title character, Dolores. Miceli’s stunning performance compels the audience to feel nothing but empathy for the ill-fortuned, trouble-strewn Dolores. Dolores is the quintessential black sheep and outcast of the family, and Miceli gave a stellar performance portraying Dolores’ desire to be wanted, loved, and protected by her younger sister. Alyssa Biggs plays the role of responsible, earthy Sandra, the younger and more mature of the two sisters. Biggs is exceptionally convincing as the contented homemaker and seems to evolve alongside her character as the act progresses. The two sisters, while seemingly complete opposites are truly two halves of the same coin, each revealing how the other became who she is today. Individually the two actresses are amazing; together they are luminescent. The fast-paced dialogue is natural and flows smoothly, making me feel as though I were spying on some true-to-life private conversation between two very real sisters. If I had indeed been eavesdropping, I would not have been able to turn away. While the stage set was not yet complete when I was privileged to get a sneak-peak of the performance, I can honestly say, it makes little to no difference; the natural chemistry between Biggs and Miceli commanded all of my attention. The director, SonnieMarie Lebbing, is to be commended for marvelous interpretation of the script.

Lebbing fine-tuned the piece to near perfection, giving subtle stage directions that took certain moments from “nice” to “niiiiiiccccceeeee.”

While I adored the play, I am not ashamed to admit it had one large flaw:

It left me wanting more…

Baby With the Bath Water Full of Laughs

by Charlie Diguglielmo | April 21, 2010

Have you ever thought your parents were bad parents or that your childhood was traumatizing? Have you ever thought that those parents aren’t fit to be parents? Have you ever just thought those types of situations were funny? If so, this past weekend’s performance of Baby with the Bath Water was definitely for you.

The play revolves around a boy, no girl, no boy…well you get the point. The young Daisy/Rocky (Kyle Melnick) is brought up in a crazy household with young parents Helen (Cindy Raymond) and father John (James Zap). Neither is aware of how to raise a baby. John is collecting unemployment and Helen is trying to write books, but it seems that she can only produce cliff notes for Twilight. They hope their prayers are answered when Nanny (Sally Niebosky) shows up to help, but Nanny has another little man to take care of. The only person that seems to care for the baby is Cynthia (Stephanie Storer). Cynthia has no furniture and a crazy dog that ate her own baby. When she tries to kidnap the young Daisy, the baby runs out in the road and gets hit by a bus.

These turn of events draw young Daisy/Rocky to buses. Her caring teacher Miss Pringle (Shana Clore) and her feminist male-loving principal (Sara McGuire) bring the situation up at school but to no avail. The fascination with buses continues through most of the first act. The show picks up when Daisy is about 17. He (emphasis on the he) is now at college. The next several years go by and Daisy/Rocky is seeing a psychiatrist to discuss his intense sex life, which includes about 1400 people and 800 females. He/she has spent over 13 years in college and has yet to graduate. He still cannot let go of the fact that his parent yelled at him and were completely unfit to be parents. I don’t want to ruin the ending, but he/she gets a girl pregnant, his father becomes an alcoholic, and the crazy, lunatic actors of the show continue to make appearances across the stage.

All in all, Baby with the Bath Water was incredibly funny. If you missed it shame on you: the play was a great representation of the caliber of talent in the UNH theatre department. So if you ever get a chance to catch a play at UNH you won’t be disappointed. Congratulations to the cast and crew!

Kennedy Festival Offers Students Opportunity

by Sara McGuire | February 17, 2010

Every year, New Englanders and New Yorkers alike gather at a local university for a celebration. Only a privileged few are invited, but the opportunity to become one of those few is great. This gathering is known as region one’s Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. This year, the festival occurred at the end of January at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.

The festival, which occurs in numerous regions around the country, is a celebration of theater. There are numerous workshops, performances, classes, and training sessions for actors, stage crew, and technical crew. Hundreds of colleges and universities located in New England and, most recently, New York compete for the honor to perform their dramas, comedies, and musicals in front of their peers. Only six shows are chosen each year. Two years ago, the University of New Haven’s Columbinus was selected as one of these pieces. This year, as is every UNH Fall drama,

The Pillowman was nominated, held, but unfortunately was not selected to be performed.

Several actors involved in the University of New Haven’s theater department were chosen to compete in the Irene Ryan acting scholarship competition. Robert Ceriello, A. Michael Forgette, and Alyssa Biggs were nominated for their work in The Pillowman (Ceriello and Forgette) and A Flea in Her Ear (Biggs). The actors performed their chosen scenes for the competition for Kennedy Center judges. None of the UNH actors won, but all who attended the festival had an excellent time, learning much by watching various stages of the scholarship competition, attending workshops, and in networking with actors and tech from schools throughout the region.

With the festival over, the winning play, the winners of the acting scholarship, set design award, lighting award, costume award, and numerous other awards will, in April, be going to the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, DC. Here, they’ll have the opportunity to compete for even greater scholarships, awards, and earn the prestige and merit they deserve for their hard work. Last year, UNH’s own Jessica Emerson and Emily Gorecki won the regional award for set design for Two Rooms, and traveled with head of the Theater Department Robert Boles to Washington for the national competition.

This spring, the university will be putting on Christopher Durang’s Baby with the Bathwater. The actors in the show will again be eligible for nomination for the Irene Ryan scholarship competition. Should any reader be interested in acting and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, feel free to investigate the university’s theater department. And I expect to see a good deal of you at the spring play. Yours truly will be a particularly interesting educational figure.

The Pillowman to Be a Hit

by Zack Rosen | November 19, 2009

According to UNH Theatre Director Bob Boles, “people will definitely be wanting to see this one.”

Need something to do this week? The Theatre department has you covered with their rendition of a dark comedy and murder/mystery.

The fall play is beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 in Dodds Theatre. The Pillowman, a play written by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, tells the tale of a fiction writer who is interrogated about his gruesome short stories and their similarities to a number of bizarre child murders in the local town. The play has been a success around the world, receiving the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play, the 2004-2005 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play, and two Tony Awards for production; additionally, it was nominated for the 2004 Evening Standard Award for Best New Play.
And now, it’s at UNH!

The Pillowman will run at 7pm on Wednesday, Nov. 18, Thursday, Nov. 19, Friday, Nov. 20, and Saturday, Nov. 21. On Sunday, Nov. 22, it will start at 3pm. It stars Bobby Ceriello, Benjamin Hollies, A. Michael Forgette, Alyssa Biggs, Michael Crocker, Sara McGuire, Kyle Melnick, Katelyn Noyes, Samantha Prusski, Cindy Raymond, James Zap, and Shana Clore. Theatre director Bob Boles also stars in the play with a featured supporting role as the chief detective.

Set design is by Jessica Emerson, who won the Kennedy Center prize last year for her set design of UNH’s fall play, Two Rooms.

In addition to their performances, the Theatre Department is excited for future changes to the Theatre program. With the recent approval of a theatre major, Boles says he is excited for those classes to start. Dodds will be having its electrical system redone by 2012, and future plans include an advanced backstage area and reconstruction acoustics.

The theatre department has been an ever-growing project at the University of New Haven, and will be even stronger after hosting the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in January 2012.

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