Readers for *What Vicious Loves*

Posted: January 31, 2017 by nrhelms in Casting Call

We’re still looking for a few good readers for Meredith Meredith Noseworthy’s What Vicious Loves: A Play, which we’ll be staging on February 26th in Gorgas 205. An adaptation of the myth of Romulus and Remus that casts the twins as women, What Vicious Loves is, to say the least, a timely piece. Here’s a bit of the author’s note on casting:

“All characters are fluid enough to be played by any actor of any racial or gender identity.”

If you’re looking to participate in the kind of theatre that embraces diversity and addresses contemporary understandings of who we are as human beings, email me at nrhelms@ua.edu and I’ll give you the details.

I’ll leave you with some cute twin wolves…

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Cute-Baby-Wolves by NightShine99 on DeviantArt

 

 

I’m pleased to announce the spring 2017 lineup for Improbable Fictions! We’re organizing a wide variety of events this semester, including workshops on Shakespearean appropriations and two separate staged readings, one of Shakespeare and one of the early modern Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon. For the first four events, we ask that you RSVP to nrhelms@ua.edu to indicate your interest.

  • Sunday, Jan 29th from 7:00 to 9:30pm, a cold reading workshop of Meredith Noseworthy’s What Vicious Loves. 301 Morgan Hall.
  • Tuesday, Feb 7th from 7:00 to 9:30pm, a cold reading workshop of work by Diamond Forde. 301 Morgan Hall.
  • Sunday, Feb 26th from 7:00 to 10:00pm, a staged reading of Meredith Noseworthy’s What Vicious Loves. 205 Gorgas Library.
  • Thursday, Mar 30th from 7:30 to 9:30pm, a staged reading of Perdon Calderon’s Life is a Dream, directed by Deborah Parker (parkerburch@comcast.net). 205 Gorgas Library. Contact Deborah for details.
  • Sunday, April 16th from 7:30 to 9:30pm, a staged reading of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Annie Levy (aglevy1@ua.edu). 205 Gorgas Library. Contact Annie for details.

Finally, I’d like to note that the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies is thrilled to be hosting the American Shakespeare Center’s “Hungry Hearts Tour 2017” for two (FREE!) productions at the BAMA Theatre, February 10-11: The Two Gentleman of Verona and Romeo and Juliet.

Both performances begin at 7:30 (with pre-show music beginning at 7:00PM). These shows are free and open to the public. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This is a rare opportunity to see a longstanding, professional Shakespeare company perform free of charge (most of the host institutions are charging admission for ASC shows, but we are making them available to students, faculty, and members of the community for free to encourage as broad and large an audience as possible).

We have a dedicated webpage for the ASC shows: http://english.ua.edu/grad/strode/asc

The website includes more information about both performances as well as a brief history of the ASC and its unique, high-energy performance style based on Shakespeare’s original staging conditions.

Strode ASC Poster 2017.png

King John: Shakespeare’s Diamond in the Rough

Posted: November 12, 2016 by Jacob Crawford in Uncategorized

An outspoken tyrant besieges himself behind family, lobbyists, yes-men, and a misinformed bastard; a seasoned autocrat, pocketed by a foreign diplomat, stokes his ego with unnecessary bloodshed; and a peace-seeking populus is stifled, unnamed, underwritten, and soon forgotten. Lies, scandal, corruption, and intrigue. This isn’t American politics. This is King John.

But political commentary was not my intent when I originally set out to direct this play; its timeliness is merely an irony. No, I picked the play because it provides an unique insight into Shakespeare’s process. Written in the mid-1590s, the history introduces, tests, and tinkers with several plot threads that emerge, matured, in his later tragedies. As such, these fledgling moments often push in directions contrary to their more memorable counterparts. In Act IV, for example, a prophet predicts the exact hour and nature of John’s death; however, unlike Macbeth, John quickly accepts his fate and withdraws to meet it. In Act III, John attempts to neutralize Arthur by blinding him, but unlike Cornwall in King Lear, Hubert empathizes with the boy and ultimately frees him, unharmed. And like the inciting incident in Hamlet, John dies, poisoned, in his orchard; unlike King Hamlet’s death though, no one pursues the treasonous murderer. Instead, Henry and the Bastard mobilize England to defend against Louis and France, claiming that England will never fall to invaders. Again, the play isn’t perfect, but it’s entertaining, and it deserves to be performed.

Improbable Fictions will read King John at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center on November 17th at 7:30PM. Admission is free and open to the public; doors open at 6:30PM, and re show music starts at 7:00PM.

king-john-poster

If you missed September’s Bechdellian Shakespeare, fret not! Here you can find audio and photos of the event, courtesy of Megan McCarter.

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Image  —  Posted: November 2, 2016 by nrhelms in Audio, Performance, Shakespeare, Staged Reading
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Here’s the schedule for the Spoken Word Tent at this year’s Kentuck Festival of the Arts! Improbable Fictions events are below in bold:

Saturday, October 15

9:30 am, Steven Hobbs
10:30 am, Improbable Fictions, The Letters of Augusta Evans
11:30 am, Jack Day and the OLLI Storytellers
12:30 pm, Tall Tales and Telling Truths
1:30 pm, Steven Hobbs
2:30 pm, Improbable Fictions, Selections from American Literature
3:30 pm, Tall Tales and Telling Truths

Sunday, October 16
9:30 am, Tall Tales and Telling Truths
10:30 am, Steven Hobbs
11:30 am, Improbable Fictions, The Letters of Augusta Evans
12:30 pm, Tall Tales and Telling Truths
1:30 pm, Jack Day and the OLLI Storytellers
2:30 pm, Steven Hobbs
3:30 pm, Pure Products

Jack Day’s daddy used to spank him for telling stories, but Jack grew up to become a storyteller with the stage name of “Storytelling Day.” Jack loves to tell tall tales, personal stories, folk tales, multi-cultural stories, stories crafted to communicate life-lessons, and Bible stories. He teaches storytelling at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama, and has invited several of his students to share the stage with him at Kentuck. The OLLI offers courses for adults who desire to continue to study. One of the courses taught is storytelling. OLLI storytellers have stories that they want to tell and that you will enjoy hearing.

Steven H. Hobbs is a storyteller, educator, lawyer, poet, historian, actor, and community organizer.  Hobbs sees himself as a story framer, one who structures stories around history, law, entrepreneurship, culture, and life.  Storyteller Hobbes likes to share stories of wisdom, humor, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Improbable Fictions is a staged reading series sponsored by the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. The series was co-founded in 2010 by Nic Helms and Alaina Jobe Pangburn as a way for students of English Literature to see classic plays in performance. For this year’s Festival, IF has partnered with UA’s W.S. Hoole Special Collections to present a reading of 19th century novelist Augusta Evans’ letters.

Pure Products is a reading series run by English Instructors Eric Parker and Abe Smith from the University of Alabama who hope to create a tighter writing and arts community in the Tuscaloosa area. This year, they will host bi-weekly open mic nights, alongside monthly Northport Art Night readings. All readings will be held at Tea Town Alabama: 412 22nd Ave Northport, AL (next to Mary’s Cakes).

Tall Tales and Telling Truths is a new community group of storytellers organized by Wescott Youngson and focused on tales of diversity and personal experience.

IMPROBABLE FICTIONS WANTS YOU!
http://www.mobilebaymag.com/Mobile-Bay/October-2012/This-vs-That/
Why: We need readers!

What: In collaboration with UA’s Hoole Special Collections Library, Improbable Fictions will be reading at the Spoken Word Tent of this year’s Kentuck Festival of the Arts.

When: October 15 and 16, 2016

Where: Beautiful Kentuck Park  in Northport, Al.

What: We will be reading selections from the writings of  Alabama native and 19th century writer Augusta Evans Wilson. Readings include selections from the collection of her letters at The University of Alabama and some of her fiction. A second session will feature readings across American literature. Pick a favorite poem or a passage from a short story and join us!

We have transcripts of the letters available for readers, but you can find the originals below in Acumen.

Letter summaries
1859-12-08
Augusta writes to her friend Rachel of unanswered letters, domestic affairs, and the illness of her siblings with an emphasis on her brother’s typhoid fever. She describes the weather being usually cold for Mobile and the orange trees dying from it. She recounts the books that she had read and correspondence received.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000012

1860-01-04
Augusta wishes Rachel a happy New Year. She expresses that she would like to have Rachel with her when she travels to Europe. With the sales of her book, Beulah, doing well she is expecting to have time to do this. Augusta relates the books that she have read and her view that one must process an intimate knowledge of Dante. She tells of recent correspondence from Colonel Seaver, Mr. Derby, and Nina Moses.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000011

1860-02-16
Augusta responds to Rachel’s letter about the health of Mr. Caldwell. She has delayed her trip to Europe until she can find friends who are going to Italy. Augusta writes about correspondence from their mutual friends and the coming of spring.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000019

1860-07-30
Augusta writes to Rachel, acknowledging the poor health of Mr. Moses. Augusta urges her friend to write a Jewish tale (as she was Jewish). She relates that women cannot serve two masters, fame and love. Women writers cannot marry. Augusta rebuts the rumor that she is getting married. She says that she will never marry. [Note: Augusta does get married, 8 years later, to a veteran named Lorenzo Wilson.]
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000009

1860-11-15
Augusta writes to Rachel explaining to her that she has been moving to town for the winter perhaps the year. She encourages Rachel to write and gives her tips from plot to characters. Augusta mentions the Southern problem of secession and expects that South Carolina will lead the way.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000006

1861-02-02
Augusta writes to say she assisted in preparing over 9,000 bags to be filled with sand for use at Fort Morgan. She is very anxious about her father and two brothers serving at Fort Morgan. They will be sent to Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida, if needed. Augusta replies to questions about Mr. Derby, a strong Union supporter, who has returned to New York City. She expresses her wish that Virginia secedes soon as well as other border states.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000007

[1863]-03-28
Augusta writes to Rachel of her disbelief in her news of hiding from her parents her engagement to Dr. Heustis, who is a Christian.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000022

1864-02-28
Augusta writes to Rachel of her return trip from Columbus to Mobile and the many troubles she met along the way. Augusta thought the immediate threat in Mobile of an attack was subsiding. She conveys that she cannot find the cotton or the dress that Rachel wants.
•    http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0003/0001563/0000020

Shakespeare at Kentuck

Posted: September 20, 2016 by nrhelms in Casting Call, Shakespeare

Improbable Fictions will be performing Shakespearean Scenes at the 2016 Kentuck Festival of the Arts’ Spoken Word Tent on Oct 15-16. If you’re interested, chime in! We’re still in the early planning stages. You can contact me at nrhelms@ua.edu.

http://www.kentuck.org/the-festival/