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NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Last year, Elm Creative Arts School in Milwaukee failed to live up to its name. A gallery for student artwork had become a storage area and meeting space. The performance space, dubbed the "great room" with theater-style seating, was used as an alternative route to cut down on hallway traffic. The only arts class students regularly attended was dance. The school's divergence from its mission reflected a time that Milwaukee Superintendent Gregory Thornton says students across Milwaukee's public schools were being "starved" of an educational staple.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2014
Something is delirious in the state of Illyria. This fictionalized Balkan setting in Shakespeare's antic comedy "Twelfth Night" has been given quite the makeover in a giddy, irresistible revival at Center Stage. It's not surprising to see a Shakespeare work transposed to a more modern era, in this case the late 1930s. What counts is how dynamically the change has been accomplished. Josh Epstein's scenery, dominated by tall, elegantly styled doors, suggests a movie set of the period.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2014
Center Stage will offer a mix of new, nostalgic and musical for the 2014-2015 season. The new includes a double-header next spring of works by celebrated young American playwright Amy Herzog. "After the Revolution" and "4000 Miles" which set off glowing notices when they received Off-Broadway productions in 2010 and 2011, respectively, will be performed in repertory with shared casts. "I just think Baltimore deserves to know who the most exciting playwrights are now in this country," Kwei-Armah said, "and Amy's one of the bright stars in the firmament.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Richard Gorelick, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2014
Laurence "Larry" O'Dwyer, who delighted Center Stage audiences with his theatrical irreverence and memorable performances, died of cancer Feb. 28 at his home in Knox City, Texas. The former Mount Vernon resident was 77. A local favorite, he was often greeted with applause when he stepped on a stage. He was the 2009 recipient of a Helen Hayes Award for his role in "The Fantasticks. " He was recalled for his eye-catching costumes and the red tennis shoes he wore in "A Midsummer Night's Dream.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2014
Two weeks ago, we could only preview the coming attraction of the Ballet Theater of Maryland's full-length production of "Swan Lake. " Now, after seeing its debut performance last weekend, it's safe to say artistic director Dianna Cuatto has made good on her goal to redefine innovative choreography and dance artistry at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Viewing Cuatto's study of the enchanting mythical characters battling evil and discovering the power of love, it's easy to see why this ballet ranks high on every balletomane's list.
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.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2014
J. Ernest Green, musical director of the Annapolis Chorale, has been performing with his group at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts since 1985. And for those nearly 30 years, Green has thought the facility has needed significant help. "Oh, I noticed it immediately," he said. "As soon as I got there. " Maryland Hall is housed in the former Annapolis High School building on Chase Street, constructed in 1932. The community arts hub took over the space in 1979, and its leadership team is now planning a five-year, $18 million renovation for the building, which has seen few updates in its history.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2014
No one can beat the Irish when it comes to spinning a yarn. And when they weave threads of satire and bittersweetness in between the humor, we're talking a little bit of verbal heaven. "Stones in His Pockets" is a cool example. The witty work from 1996 by Belfast-born playwright Marie Jones receiving an exhilarating production at Center Stage, is, above all, a great yarn. If you only heard the lines spoken - on the radio, say - this story about the collision of a rural Irish town and a big, dumb movie company from the States would easily spring to life.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2014
"Stones in His Pockets," a play about an American film company invading a community in rural Ireland, has more than a dozen characters, but only two actors. That means a lot of quick switches between genders, ages and, above all, accents. For its production of this work by Irish playwright Marie Jones, Center Stage started with a pair of versatile performers - Clinton Brandhagen, an Everyman Theatre resident member; and New York-based Todd Lawson. Then the company brought in a dialect expert to help those disparate voices ring true.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 17, 2013
There has been a change in the spring lineup at Center Stage. Instead of "The Liquid Plain" by Naomi Wallace, the company will present the Baltimore premiere of Christopher Durang's comedy, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. The production will begin previews on April 16; the regular run is April 23 to May 25. "I was so looking forward to 'Liquid,' so this is a regrettable change," said Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, who was to have directed the Wallace play -- he directed its world premiere last summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
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