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2018-2019 Season Announcement

August 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

TRANSY  THEATER PROGRAM ANNOUNCES TOSHA FOWLER , HAILED A “FEARLESS LEADER” OF THE CHICAGO THEATRE SCENE, THE NEW CHAIR OF THEATER, AND  FOWLER’S INAUGURAL 2018 / 19 SEASON
 

 

Trany’s 2018 - 19  season includes ( (from left) The New Chair of Theater Tosha Fowler directing Stupid F---ing Bird by Aaron Posner,  A New Play Reading of Carlos Murillo’s The Killing of a Gentleman Defender, directed by Bo List, and Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Ave Lawyer (not pictured). Hi-Res photos available upon request or attached.

 

LEXINGTON, August 2018 – Transylvania University has announced new leadership for its Theatre Program and the 2018-19 Season:

 

Transylvania University is excited to welcome Tosha Fowler as the new Lucille C. Little Chair of Theater and the Director of the Theater Program. Fowler has had an extensive professional career in theater as an actor, director, producer, teacher, and playwright in both Chicago and Atlanta. Hailed as the “Fearless Leader” of  her founding company Cor Theatre, Fowler was named “One of the Top People Who Really Perform” by Newcity Chicago. Fowler states, “I could not be more excited to join the Transy faculty and to work with the Lexington Theatre Community. It is an exciting time to create theatre in this thriving city and I am ready to get to work! I plan on collaborating with local talent as well as bringing in colleagues from across the country to enrich the Transy Theatre experience.”

 

This Fall, Fowler will direct Stupid F---ing Bird, a sort of adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, by Aaron Posner.  As heartfelt as it is irreverent, the NYT praises it as “Chekov for the 21st Century… Brashly Funny...with Beguiling Charm.”  Featuring an ensemble of writers, actors, and those who choose to watch, it will tickle, tantalize, and incite one to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel the pursuit of happiness.

 

After Thanksgiving,  the program will introduce Lexington to award-winning playwright and Mellon Foundation recipient, Carlos Murillo. Working with Transy and the surrounding theatre community, Murillo’s visit will culminate in a public staged reading of his new dark comedy, Killing of a Gentleman Defender, directed by Bo List.  First commissioned by The Goodman Theatre, this diverse production explores  youth violence and the 1994 murder of Colombian soccer star Andres Escobar. Murillo will host a talk-back with the audience after the reading.

 

Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Ave Lawyer, will conclude the Transy Mainstage Season. Gunderson, an award winning playwright was named “Most Produced Playwright” in 2017, a first for a female. Fowler and Gunderson, who have been long-time colleagues and friends, view this as a first step to many collaborations in Lexington for the future. Silent Sky tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt’s groundbreaking contribution to astronomy at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. “Lauren Gunderson’s luminously beautiful play SILENT SKY is an intellectual epic told on an intimate scale. Bottom line: Heavenly.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 

In the Spring, The Student Theater Guild will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the Transy Student Series. The Guild will bring an electric theatrical vision to the classic romance about the supernatural nature of love.

 

All productions are open and free to the public thanks to the generous support of the Dixon-White Fund. Visit transytheater.com or call XXX for more information or to reserve your tickets.


 

More about the new Lucille C. Little Chair of Theater and Director of the Theater Program

 

Tosha Fowler is an educator, director, and actor. She is thrilled to assume the Chair of Theater and Director of the Theater Program position at Transylvania University after spending the last eleven years in Chicago’s thriving arts scene. As an educator, Fowler has taught at The Theatre School at DePaul University, Kent State University, Green Shirt Studios, and Georgia Southern University. She specializes in acting, directing, producing, and new work. While in Chicago, she founded Cor Theatre and serves as the Executive Artistic Director. With Cor, she has directed the U.S. premiere of “Christina, The Girl King” by Michel Marc Bouchard and the Midwest Premiere of “A Map of Virtue” by Erin Courtney, which was named “Most Promising Debut” by TimeOut Chicago. As an actor with Cor, she most recently was seen in the Midwest Premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s “Late Company.” The Chicago Theatre Review said of her performance, “Fowler magnificently plays sophisticated Debora... with all the ferocity of Medea.” Other roles with Cor include: “What of the Night?” by Maria Irene Fornes (Nadine), “Love and Human Remains” by Brad Fraser (Benita) and “Skin Tight” by Gary Henderson (Elizabeth). Fowler was named one of the “Top 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago” by New City. She has been seen on-stage as Charlotte in “Charlotte’s Web” at the Broadway Playhouse and with various companies in Chicago including A Red Orchid, Lifeline, MPAACT, Cock & Bull, and Circle Theatre. She co- produced, wrote, and performed in her original solo show, “Mami, Where’d my O go?”, and has produced theatre for fifteen years for companies including Mary-Arrchie Theatre, The Chicago Fringe Festival, The Academy Theatre in Atlanta, and her founding company, Fowl Brick in Savannah, Georgia. Other directing credits include “Desdemona”, “God of Carnage”, “A Doctor’s Stories”, “Poof!”, “Bash”, “Bully Breakdown in HD”, and “The Ironmistress”. Fowler also worked as a director for Erasing the Distance, a company that disarms stigma around mental health issues through docu-drama. Fowler has served as a playwright with American Theatre Company’s “Chicago Chronicle Project,” the DePaul University Diversity Initiative, and the Academy Theater in Atlanta.

 

More about Transy’s 2018-19 season
 

Stupid F---ing Bird

By Aaron Posner

Directed by Tosha Fowler

Presented at The Lucille C. Little Theatre, 300 North Broadway on the Transylvania University campus

November 1 - 10 Thurs, Fri, and Sat at 7:30 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m.

Note: For mature audiences only. Contains mature language and adult content.

 

An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be. In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. Original songs draw the famously subtextual inner thoughts of Chekhov’s characters explicitly to the surface. Stupid F---ing Bird will tickle, tantalize, and incite you to consider how art, love, and revolution fuel your own pursuit of happiness.

 

Aaron Posner (playwright) is a Helen Hayes- and Barrymore Award-winning director and playwright. He is a founder and former Artistic Director of Philadelphia's Arden Theatre, an Associate Artist at both the Folger Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and has directed at major regional theaters from coast to coast including the Folger, Seattle Rep, Portland Center Stage, The Alliance, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Company, Milwaukee Rep, California Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Roundhouse Theatre, Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, Theatre J, American Player's Theatre, and many more. His adaptations include Chaim Potok's The Chosen and My Name Is Asher Lev (both of which have enjoyed successful runs at more than 50 other theaters across the country and the latter of which ran for ten months off-Broadway in 2012-2013 and won both the Outer Circle Critics Award for Best New off-Broadway play and the John Gassner Award), as well as Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion, Mark Twain's A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage, an adaptation of three Kurt Vonnegut short stories, entitled Who Am I This Time? (and other conundrums of love). His Chekhov-inspired Stupid F***ing Bird debuted at Woolly Mammoth and received eight Helen Hayes nominations. Posner was raised in Eugene, Oregon, graduated from Northwestern University, is an Eisenhower Fellow, and lives near Washington, D.C.

-more-

 

Transy Theater Program Announces 2018-19 Season

 

Creative Team: Missy Johnston (Costumes), Frankie Castrovillari (Set and Light Design), & Jeffrey Levine (Original Composition and Sound Design).

 

A Staged Reading of The Killing of a Gentleman Defender

By Carlos Murillo

Directed by Bo List

Presented at The Lucille C. Little Theatre, 300 North Broadway on the Transylvania University Campus

Thursday, November 29 at 7 pm.

A talkback and reception will directly follow the reading. This performance is free and open to the public.

 

In some rooms he’s Martin. In others he’s Martín. Hired by a well-funded arts institution on Chicago’s Northside to create a show with Chicago youth about violence on the Southside, Martín finds himself torn not only by the pronunciation of his name, but by the conflicting needs of the institution and the young people they believe they're “serving,” and by a city in a death struggle with its own divided self. Does Martin/Martín make an exploitative confessional docudrama? Or does he try to find a metaphor? Reaching into his own history, he unearths, with his young ensemble, the story of the 1994 murder of soccer star Andres Escobar in Medellín, Colombia, hoping a past-tense allegory of violence in a deeply divided, faraway city will illuminate violence in the deeply divided Chicago of now. When a very real act of violence hits home, what story will Martin and his youth ensemble tell? Commissioned by the Goodman Theatre, Robert Falls, Artistic Director, 2015.

 

Carlos Murillo (playwright) is a Chicago-based, internationally produced and award winning playwright of Colombian and Puerto Rican descent. He is a recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award for his work in the theatre.  He also received a 2016 Mellon Foundation Playwright Residency at Adventure Stage in Chicago. His body of work has been widely produced throughout the United States and Europe. His best known play Dark Play or Stories for Boys premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and has been performed throughout the US, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania. The play appeared in the anthology New Playwrights: Best New Plays of 2007 (Smith & Kraus). His other work has been seen in New York at Repertorio Español, P73, the NYC Summer Playwrights Festival, En Garde Arts, The Public Theater New Work Now! Festival, and Soho Rep, in Chicago at The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Collaboraction, Walkabout Theatre, Adventure Stage and Theatre Seven, and in Los Angeles at Theatre @ Boston Court, Circle X and Son of Semele. His plays have been commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman, the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf and Adventure Stage and developed by The Sundance Theatre Lab, The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New Dramatists and others.  The Javier Plays, a trilogy of works, published in spring of 2016 by 53rd State Press was called by American Theatre Magazine "an absolutely extraordinary achievement from a writer at the height of his powers." Other publications include Mimesophobia (Broadway Play Publishing), A Human Interest Story (Dramatists Play Service) and his TYA play Augusta & Noble (Dramatic Publishing). Awards include the Met Life Nuestros Voces Award from Repertorio Español, the Frederick Loewe Award from New Dramatists, the Ofner Prize from the Goodman Theatre, the Otis Guernsey Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival, a Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, a Jerome Fellowship at The Playwrights' Center and two National Latino Playwriting Awards from Arizona Theatre Company. He has served on numerous selection panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital MAP Fund, New Dramatists, The Playwrights' Center, the William Inge Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship. From 1993 to 1995, Carlos served as the Associate Literary Manager at The Public Theater in New York. Carlos heads the BFA Playwriting Program at The Theatre School of DePaul University, and is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. He serves on the board of directors of the MacDowell Colony. Carlos lives in the south side of Chicago with his wife, the director, Lisa Portes, and their two children Eva and Carlitos.

 

Bo List (Director) serves as Producing Artistic Director of AthensWest Theatre Company, and as Director of Theatre for Sayre School. He has served as Associate Artistic Director of Chicago’s Bailiwick Repertory (later Bailiwick Chicago), and Executive Producer of Germantown Community Theatre in the Memphis, TN area. As director he has worked with area groups Actors Guild
 of Lexington, Balagula Theatre, the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, and the University of Kentucky, and in theatres as far-flung as Chico, CA and Loch Sheldrake, NY. As educator, he serves as Drama faculty with the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and as a frequent writer/collaborator with the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Chautauqua series of performances (telling the stories of Mary Todd Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Jefferson Davis, and Nancy Green). His adaptation of Frankenstein was recently published by Dramatic Play Publishing, and has been produced across the country in professional, community, and academic theatres – having premiered in Lexington with KCT/Summerfest.

Transy Theater Program Announces 2018-19 Season – pg 4 of 4

Silent Sky

By Lauren Gunderson

Directed by Ave Lawyer

Presented at The Lucille C. Little Theatre, 300 North Broadway on the Transylvania University Campus

February 21 - March 3 Thurs, Fri, and Sat at 7:30 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m.

 

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.
 

Lauren M. Gunderson (playwright) is the most produced playwright in America of 2017, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, she is also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Cost Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The O’Neill, The Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire and more.  She co-authored Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley with Margot Melcon, which was one of the most produced plays in America in 2017. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit Pursued By A Bear, The Taming, and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists (The Revolutionists, The Book of Will, Silent Sky, Bauer, Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). LaurenGunderson.com and @LalaTellsAStory

 

Ave Lawyer (director) is originally from India, where she co-founded a theater company called The Red Curtain while still in high school. Her work in Lexington includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The House of Blue Leaves, Proof and Joe Egg for Studio Players, Orphans, Reckless, The Story and Arcadia for Actors Guild of Lexington and Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice, for the Lexington Shakespeare Festival/Summerfest Galileo for Berea College Theater and Vietnam 101: The War On Campus for Transylvania University Theater.  Ave is a founding member of On The Verge, an informal alliance of seasoned theatre practitioners which creates non-traditional audience experiences including site-specific productions of The Little Foxes, Another Part of the Forest, Three Viewings, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Much Ado, and most recently, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard performed at historic Ward Hall in Georgetown.

 

Creative Team: Missy Johnston (Costume Design), Tom Willis (Set, Lights, and Projection Design), Rob Thomas (Sound Design)

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream

By William Shakespeare

Presented by The Student Theater Guild

Presented at The Lucille C. Little Theatre, 300 North Broadway on the Transylvania University Campus

May 2 - 5, Thurs, Fri, and Sat at 7:30 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m.

 

In May, The Little Theater will transform into the most enchanted forest in all of theater in Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. When the merry sprite Puck meddles with a magical love potion, young lovers lost in the woods mysteriously find themselves infatuated with the wrong person in this hilarious, fairytale fantasia that proves the course of true love never did run smooth. Produced by the students of Transy, the Guild brings an electric theatrical vision to the classic romance about the supernatural nature of love.

 

Creative Team will be gathered by The Student Theater Guild at a later date.

 

 

For more information, visit www.transytheater.com, like Transy Theater on Facebook, and follow us on instagram, @transytheater!

 

 

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