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By Alexandra Fenwick and Alexandra Fenwick,SUN STAFF | May 13, 2004
Growing up, Tana Hicken always wanted to be an actress, but no one knew it until she won a part in her high school musical, cast appropriately as a character named Ingenue. That first role launched an unstoppable career, and today there is no doubt that acting is her passion. Just look at her 35 years in regional theater, her latest appearance coming in Picnic, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play opening tomorrow at Center Stage. Hicken has appeared in five shows at Center Stage between 1977 and 1985, and this performance marks her return to the Baltimore playhouse after almost two decades.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2014
Tana Hicken, a Baltimore actress and teacher who deftly portrayed a wide variety of characters on stage during a professional career that spanned more than four decades, died Aug. 17 at her home in Sparks of myositis, an autoimmune disorder. She was 70. "I think she was the finest stage actress I've ever witnessed in my life. She was just riveting," said Vince Lancisi, founder of Everyman Theatre , who first saw Ms. Hicken at Washington's Arena Stage when he was a student at the Catholic University of America.
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FEATURES
By Holly Selby and Holly Selby,Sun Staff Writer | June 11, 1995
Monday night is the Hickens' lifeboat. No matter what character Tana Hicken plays, no matter which theatrical project Donald Hicken is driven to finish, the two Baltimoreans cling to an agreement they made long ago: They stay home on Monday nights.After that, anything goes.At other times, the Hickens, who are among the small group of theater professionals nationally who have developed full-bodied, successful careers outside New York or Los Angeles, are either teaching drama or rehearsing or performing, or are en route to teaching or rehearsing or performing.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Alexandra Fenwick and Alexandra Fenwick,SUN STAFF | May 13, 2004
Growing up, Tana Hicken always wanted to be an actress, but no one knew it until she won a part in her high school musical, cast appropriately as a character named Ingenue. That first role launched an unstoppable career, and today there is no doubt that acting is her passion. Just look at her 35 years in regional theater, her latest appearance coming in Picnic, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play opening tomorrow at Center Stage. Hicken has appeared in five shows at Center Stage between 1977 and 1985, and this performance marks her return to the Baltimore playhouse after almost two decades.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | October 5, 1998
"What family doesn't have its ups and downs?" Eleanor of Aquitaine says in James Goldman's "The Lion in Winter." The Hicken family, however, is definitely in an up cycle these days.Donald Hicken, head of the theater department at the Baltimore School for the Arts, has directed the production of "The Lion in Winter" that opens at Everyman Theatre Friday). His wife, Tana Hicken, who spent 15 years as a company member at Washington's Arena Stage, stars as Eleanor. And their daughter, Caitlin Bell, fresh out of graduate school at New York University, is Everyman's very first education director.
NEWS
By Patrick Hickerson and Patrick Hickerson,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | June 16, 1996
Jazz legend Dave Brubeck and everyone else on stage at the Columbia Festival of the Arts share at least one trait: They have impressed Donald Hicken.For seven of the past eight festivals, the Baltimore theater teacher has been the artistic director -- the one who decides the performers, roster and concept for each festival.Hicken, 51, has booked international stars such as Max Roach, Garrison Keillor and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, along with regional performers who make up the popular lakefront festival.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN STAFF | March 22, 2002
The picture of poet Emily Dickinson created by The Belle of Amherst and by actress Tana Hicken is startlingly robust. It's a portrait of the artist not as a tormented genius, but as a bit of a scamp. Eccentric, perhaps, but charming. Certainly, someone you might like to know. And it's a framing that intentionally downplays the poet's famously odd behavior. If Dickinson became a recluse at age 39, never venturing beyond her garden and hiding from visitors, it wasn't because she was fragile.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | January 23, 1997
Baltimore actress Tana Hicken will perform "The Belle of Amherst," William Luce's one-woman play about the reclusive 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson, on Saturday and Sunday at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts.A member of the acting company at Washington's Arena Stage and former leading actress at Center Stage, Hicken has performed "The Belle of Amherst" at various venues over the past 15 years. She has described Luce's popular biographical play as "an affirmation of the joy of living and of nature."
FEATURES
By Shanon D. Murray and Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF | September 16, 1996
Some Baltimoreans remember Tupac Shakur, who lived here for almost two years while a teen-ager, as a person who liked to smile and kid around, not the 25-year-old gangsta rapper who served time in jail and was shot in two separate incidents before dying Friday of his most recent wounds."
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | September 6, 2001
`Watch on the Rhine' opens at Everyman Everyman Theatre opens its 11th season tonight with Lillian Hellman's 1941 drama, Watch on the Rhine. The Nazi threat hits home when Sara Muller and her German, anti-Fascist husband seek refuge with Sara's mother, who lives just outside Washington. Tana Hicken, who played Sara in Center Stage's 1980 production, now plays the mother. Deborah Hazlett and Bruce Nelson co-star. Direction is by Donald Hicken, head of the theater department at the Baltimore School for the Arts (and Tana's husband)
NEWS
By Sandy Alexander and Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF | April 17, 2003
Two Howard County theaters have earned a combined eight nominations for the Helen Hayes Awards, which honor theatrical achievement in Washington, Virginia and Maryland. Three Rep Stage actors were nominated: Bruce Nelson, as a supporting actor for his role in Faith Healer; Christopher Lane, as a lead actor in The Swan; and Tana Hicken, as a lead actress in The Belle of Amherst. Toby's Dinner Theatre received a nomination for Outstanding Resident Musical (a show that does not tour) for Jekyll & Hyde The Musical as did Toby Orenstein for her direction of that show, lead actor Russell Sunday and lead actress Janine Gulisano.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,SUN STAFF | March 22, 2002
The picture of poet Emily Dickinson created by The Belle of Amherst and by actress Tana Hicken is startlingly robust. It's a portrait of the artist not as a tormented genius, but as a bit of a scamp. Eccentric, perhaps, but charming. Certainly, someone you might like to know. And it's a framing that intentionally downplays the poet's famously odd behavior. If Dickinson became a recluse at age 39, never venturing beyond her garden and hiding from visitors, it wasn't because she was fragile.
NEWS
By William Hyder and William Hyder,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 21, 2002
It's hard to say how much a performance owes to the actor who gives it and how much to the director who shapes it. In Rep Stage's production of The Belle of Amherst, it doesn't matter. Actor Tana Hicken and her husband, Donald Hicken, who directed, have worked together to produce an impressive portrait of Emily Dickinson. Dickinson (1830-1886) spent her life in a Massachusetts college town. As an adult, she never left her house but divided her time between performing everyday domestic chores and writing inward and personal poetry.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 8, 2001
"I have not often in my life felt what I feel now," the outraged and sickened matriarch, Fanny, says in the third act of Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine. When a stunned Tana Hicken speaks these words in Everyman Theatre's stirring production, you not only understand what she means, you feel it, too. A pall has descended on Fanny's comfortable suburban Washington home. The year is 1940 and suddenly, World War II has burst through the elegant front doors. The well-to-do widow of an ambassador, Hicken's Fanny is the type of refined, self-assured grande dame whose chief vice is an occasional outburst of rudeness.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | September 6, 2001
`Watch on the Rhine' opens at Everyman Everyman Theatre opens its 11th season tonight with Lillian Hellman's 1941 drama, Watch on the Rhine. The Nazi threat hits home when Sara Muller and her German, anti-Fascist husband seek refuge with Sara's mother, who lives just outside Washington. Tana Hicken, who played Sara in Center Stage's 1980 production, now plays the mother. Deborah Hazlett and Bruce Nelson co-star. Direction is by Donald Hicken, head of the theater department at the Baltimore School for the Arts (and Tana's husband)
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 13, 2000
There's a scene near the end of Everyman Theatre's production of "The Road to Mecca" in which all of the many candles on the set are lighted, and the walls, which are filled with glass mosaic fragments, glow like a curtain of stars on a clear night. It's a magnificent image in a production that would sparkle even without candles. Loosely based on the life of an Afrikaner visionary artist named Helen Martins, this three-person play by South African playwright Athol Fugard is metaphorically as well as literally about light and darkness.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | August 31, 2000
Everyman Theatre launches its 10th anniversary season Wednesday with Athol Fugard's "The Road to Mecca." Based on a real-life South African visionary artist named Helen Martins, the play examines artistic freedom in a repressive country. Tana Hicken stars as Miss Helen, under the direction of her husband, Donald Hicken. The cast also includes Deborah Hazlett and John Dow. The Sept. 6-7 performances are pay-what-you-can previews. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. The official opening night is Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | October 8, 1998
"The Lion in Winter," James Goldman's play about the feuding family of Henry II, opens the season at Everyman Theatre tomorrow. Co-produced by Silver Spring's Round House Theatre, the production is itself a family drama since it stars Baltimore actress Tana Hicken as Eleanor of Aquitaine and is directed by her husband, Donald Hicken, head of the theater department at the Baltimore School for the Arts.Co-starring with Hicken, who spent 15 years as a company member at Washington's Arena stage, is Jerry Whiddon, producing artistic director of Round House, where the production will move on Nov. 11. Kyle Prue, Drew Kahl and Dwayne Nitz portray Henry and Eleanor's three sons.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J. Wynn Rousuck | August 31, 2000
Everyman Theatre launches its 10th anniversary season Wednesday with Athol Fugard's "The Road to Mecca." Based on a real-life South African visionary artist named Helen Martins, the play examines artistic freedom in a repressive country. Tana Hicken stars as Miss Helen, under the direction of her husband, Donald Hicken. The cast also includes Deborah Hazlett and John Dow. The Sept. 6-7 performances are pay-what-you-can previews. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. The official opening night is Sept.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 15, 2000
On a whim in June 1996, Baltimorean Sheilynn Wactor went to an audition for "Stomp." "They were looking for percussionists who could move and dancers who had rhythm, and that doesn't describe me because I'm an actor," she recalled last week. "Then I thought, `What have I got to lose?' that it would be a great first audition experience." Not only did she get cast in the show -- more about the audition later -- but over the past four years it has taken her to Europe and South America, as well as throughout the United States.
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