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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2013
Michael Stebbins, who has guided Rep Stage since 2005, has resigned as producing artistic director, effective May 5. "I have decided to go back to being a freelance actor and director," Stebbins, 47, said Friday, "which is something I have wanted to do for some time. " Although Stebbins has directed and acted in Rep Stage productions -- he will be featured in the season-closing revival of "Boeing Boeing" that opens April 17 -- much of his attention has been focused on the administrative and fund-raising duties expected of an artistic director.
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By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
At Bay Theatre's Wine and Words production of "Four Weddings and an Elvis," a staged reading by Bay's brilliant team of actors on Sept. 8, the capacity audience discovered that life sometimes imitates art. The "Four Weddings" became five, with the fifth a real-life wedding ceremony in which Bay's co-founder and artistic director, Janet Luby, married longtime love Stephen Strawn in a ceremony on stage. The nuptials came with much applause and best wishes from at least 250 audience and family members in attendance, turning the show into a true wedding party.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2011
Center Stage announced Monday that British playwright, actor and director Kwame Kwei-Armah will be the company's new artistic director. He succeeds Irene Lewis, who steps down at the end of this season after 19 years. "I've just fallen in love with Center Stage and fallen in love with Baltimore," Kwei-Armah said from London. "When the position became available, I felt it might be somewhat disrespectful to Irene to throw my hat in the ring, but she said it was a wonderful idea.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
I think Arian Khaefi's tenure as artistic director of the Handel Choir of Baltimore is going to work out just fine. He capped his first season -- the choir's 79th -- with a program Sunday afternoon at Second Presbyterian devoted to Rachmaninoff's a cappella choral masterpiece, "All-Night Vigil," music well beyond the ensemble's usual terrain. The results proved very respectable. Khaefi was not inclined to dawdle. He emphasized momentum even when this richly atmospheric work was at its most reflective, but only rarely did things turn a bit brusque.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 2, 2013
Rep Stage, the two-decade-old Equity theater company based at Howard Community College, has named two Marylanders to succeed Michael Stebbins as artistic director. Suzanne E. Beal and Joseph W. Ritsch will serve as co-producing artistic directors. Beal, who has directed several Rep Stage productions in the past, is current board chair, resident director and associate artist of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick. She is also a playwright and educator. Ritsch is co-founder and former associate artistic director of Baltimore's Iron Crow Theatre Company, which focuses on LGBT works.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2010
Center Stage artistic director Irene Lewis said Wednesday that she's been asked to leave her post as head of Baltimore's largest regional theater. Lewis, who has guided Baltimore's venerable company for nearly two decades, surprised her staff yesterday, saying that she will no longer provide artistic leadership after next season. The announcement signifies a major shift in direction for a troupe that once enjoyed a national reputation for producing daring new shows and reimagining classics, but that in recent years has become less prominent.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone and Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff | February 5, 1991
IRENE LEWIS, who has worked as a free-lance director fo Center Stage for some 10 years, has been named acting artistic director for the coming season, 1991-1992. She will replace Stan Wojewodski Jr., who leaves Center Stage in July to become dean of the Yale School of Drama and artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theater.Lewis, who lives in New York, is 48. She will take an apartment in Baltimore but will commute to New York.Lewis is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Hofstra University.
NEWS
November 22, 1993
Ken Skrzesz has been selected to be the new artistic director of Kinetics Dance Theatre in Ellicott City. Kinetics is the home of Kinetics Dance Company, a professional modern dance company and the Contemporary School of Dance, with a population of about 300.Mr. Skrzesz was suggested by Dorothy Fried, the founder of the organization and 10-year director.Mr. Skrzesz has been with the organization since June 1993 working as managing director while performing as a dancer with the Kinetics Dance Company.
FEATURES
By Eric Siegel | April 10, 1991
Dorothy Fried, co-founder and artistic director of the Kinetics Dance Theatre, has announced she will resign her position in July, citing professional and personal considerations.Ms. Fried, who helped found the Ellicott City-based modern dance troupe seven years ago, said late Monday that she is frustrated at the inability of the small company of part-time dancers to "take a step up" and "become more professional" in the present recessionary economic environment and at what she described as two years of negative reviews in The Sun.She also said she needed a "bigger income" than the $20,000 she earns now and is weary after a nearly yearlong bout with breast cancer.
NEWS
October 6, 2004
John Stix, former artistic director at Baltimore's Center Stage who taught acting for the last 30 years at The Juilliard School in New York City, died of a heart attack Saturday at a hospital in Hackensack, N.J. He was 83 and lived in Sneden's Landing, N.Y. The St. Louis native was a 1942 graduate of Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor's degree in musicology. After Army Signal Corps service in Europe during World War II, he earned a master's degree in fine arts from the Yale School of Drama.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
The 79-year-old Handel Choir of Baltimore has made a point of honoring its namesake every year with a performance of the oratorio "Messiah. " But on Saturday at Old St. Paul's, the chorus will focus on the "Baltimore" portion of its name with a concert celebrating the city's history and diversity. This program is the brainchild of the Handel Choir's artistic director, Arian Khaefi, now in his first season with the ensemble. "I tried to choose repertoire that would reflect the different ethnic communities and faiths," Khaefi, 29, said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2014
Five months before Kwame Kwei-Armah's initial three-year contract as artistic director of Center Stage was to expire, the board of directors has extended this tenure through June 2018. The company's managing director, Stephen Richard, who started in 2012, has received a similar contract extension. "We hired Kwame with the hope that it would be for a longer-term relationship than three years," said Jay Smith, president of the board of trustees. "And when we hired Stephen, we thought that gave us a great team.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
These are hard times for PBS. Vast changes in technology and lifestyle, coupled with withering economic forces and timid leadership, threaten the existence of public television as we've known it for the past 43 years. So on the rare occasions these days when the Public Broadcasting Service does something bold and gets it mostly right, it's a cause for celebration by all those who believe that America should have at least one national channel that isn't commercial. “A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage,” a documentary that traces the arc of Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 drama from its setting on Chicago's South Side to Baltimore's Center Stage in 2013, is one of the bolder and better things PBS has done this TV season.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2013
Single Carrot Theatre, one of Baltimore's most successful out-of-the-mainstream companies, has named Kellie Mecleary as interim artistic director, effective Aug. 1 and continuing through July 2014. She succeeds longtime Carrot member Nathan Cooper, who is heading off to start a theater career in Bulgaria. Mecleary has spent the past two years with Center Stage as senior artistic fellow. She has an M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University, a B.A. in English and Theater from Goucher College.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 16, 2013
Last year, the Strand Theater Company , "dedicated to providing opportunities for women actors, designers, directors, and writers," scored quite a coup with the appointment of noted writer and performer Rain Pryor as artistic director in time for its fifth season. Unfortunately for the company, Pryor's own career took off anew during the season, with a popular run of her one-woman show in New York, and she decided it was best to step down from the Strand post. Pryor will be succeeded by Elissa Goetschius, a director and dramaturg who has worked in the area with Glass Mind Theatre, EMP Collective and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 2, 2013
Rep Stage, the two-decade-old Equity theater company based at Howard Community College, has named two Marylanders to succeed Michael Stebbins as artistic director. Suzanne E. Beal and Joseph W. Ritsch will serve as co-producing artistic directors. Beal, who has directed several Rep Stage productions in the past, is current board chair, resident director and associate artist of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick. She is also a playwright and educator. Ritsch is co-founder and former associate artistic director of Baltimore's Iron Crow Theatre Company, which focuses on LGBT works.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2013
Michael Stebbins, who has guided Rep Stage since 2005, has resigned as producing artistic director, effective May 5. "I have decided to go back to being a freelance actor and director," Stebbins, 47, said Friday, "which is something I have wanted to do for some time. " Although Stebbins has directed and acted in Rep Stage productions -- he will be featured in the season-closing revival of "Boeing Boeing" that opens April 17 -- much of his attention has been focused on the administrative and fund-raising duties expected of an artistic director.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2013
For his first full season as Center Stage artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah focused on works that could spark conversation about a variety of heady issues. Midway through that season, he has unveiled a very different theme for the next one. "If this season is cerebral, with the join-the-conversation message, [2013-2014] is one of spirit and joy and fun, I'm hoping," Kwei-Armah said. "I have been traveling a lot and looking at productions across the country. I have seen audiences react to several of these plays, which gives me the security to present them.
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