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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2013
The Baltimore Symphony is about to become one of the very few, if not the first, major classical orchestras in the United States to officially appoint a playwright in residence. This weekend, Didi Balle will preside over the third of her "symphonic plays" to be performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The form, which Balle invented, combines a live orchestra, a conductor who delivers a scripted narrative and professional actors. In a news release, conductor Marin Alsop said that the appointment formalizes a relationship between Balle and the symphony that began in 2008.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
Local playwright Rosemary Frisino Toohey has taken first place for having written the best script to be performed in the recently concluded Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Toohey picked up $250 for her Holocaust-themed drama, "Under the Poplar Trees, the festival announced in a news release. Toohey previously won top honors in the 2005 and 2009 festivals. Second place, carrying a $100 award, went to Lewis Schrager's script for "Fourteen Days in July", while Joycelyn Walls won third place and $50 for "The Soulman's Soul.
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NEWS
March 9, 1992
IT HAS been quite a couple of weeks for H.B. Johnson. First he won WMAR-TV's 10th annual drama competition with his play, "A Gift From the Hunters," winning over 75 other entries. Then the Arena Players held a preview of the play Feb. 26, followed by Channel 2's screening of it Feb. 29 as part of the station's celebration of Black History Month. Finally, the playwright/poet was featured on NBC's "Today" show Monday morning, March 2. He read two of his poems, both published earlier on this page.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2014
Binnie Ritchie Holum, a dancer, choreographer, playwright and actress who had been a co-founder of the Baltimore Women's Theatre Project , died Sept. 21 at her parents' home near Saranac Lake, N.Y., of a gioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor. She was 64. "Her talent was just endless and she had more energy than three people combined," said Harvey M. Doster, her collaborator, who is director of the International Baccalaureate Theater Program at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson.
FEATURES
By Winifred Walsh and Winifred Walsh,Evening Sun Staff | September 4, 1991
An opportunity for area playwrights of all experience levels to learn about the money-making aspects of their craft will be provided at the Seventh Annual Playwrights' Conference being held on Sept. 7 at Catholic University's Hartke Theatre in Washington.Sponsored by the Playwrights' Forum of Washington, D.C. the conference will conduct workshops on writing techniques of the short play, the one-act play, the screen script, musical theater and young people's theater. The final workshop will center on the playwright-in-residence programs.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | November 22, 1992
For some people, fame arrives like a bolt of lightning -- swift, sudden and unexpected. For others, like playwright Jon Klein, it sneaks up, winding around and teasing a little before it strikes.Never heard of Jon Klein? Well, that sort of proves it -- though lately he's becoming a bit better known.Klein is the author of "T Bone N Weasel," a 1986 script that's had more than 50 productions across the country, not to mention having been made into a cable TV movie that was broadcast on Turner Network Television earlier this month.
ENTERTAINMENT
By MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY and MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY,SUN REPORTER | July 16, 2006
Playwrights just hate it when actors mess with their precious words. And actors moan that playwrights don't always write dialogue that trips easily off the tongue. So Marian Licha, who is both the primary author and sole performer of Frida Vice-Versa has had some interesting conversations with herself. "There are times when I'm rehearsing Frida and I'll stop and say, `What could that playwright have been thinking,' " Licha jokes. "Then I'll ask my director, Jennifer Lefkow, if the playwright would consider changing some of the lines.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck | October 5, 1992
Marion McClinton has won the $10,000 Kesselring Prize for his play "Police Boys," which was produced at Center Stage last spring. The Minnesota playwright was nominated by the theater, which staged his inner city drama as part of its 1992 re:Discovery series.Awarded annually by the National Arts Club, the Kesselring Prize is funded by a bequest from playwright Joseph Kesselring, author of "Arsenic and Old Lace." This year's judges were playwright John Guare, recently named New Yorker magazine critic, John Lahr and Lincoln Center dramaturg Anne Cattaneo.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | February 14, 1993
Canadian playwright George F. Walker doesn't need to do any special research when he writes about the urban working class, as he does in "Escape From Happiness," which is receiving its first major U.S. production at Center Stage."
NEWS
By Rona Hirsch and Rona Hirsch,Contributing Writer | December 5, 1993
Thirty sophomores clustered in a semicircle watch as a 15-year-old tells her mother she wants to leave home.Scratching their heads and tapping their pens, the students scribble reasons why the youngster must go while giving equal consideration to the hard-working mother who wants her to stay.Although the teen and parent are only characters in an improvised scene, classmates dig deep into their imaginations searching to bring reality and resolution to the fictional struggle.The students are one of the Howard High School classes that participated last week in Center Stage's "Playwrights-in-Schools Program," learning to turn thoughts and experiences into dialogue and drama.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2013
The Baltimore Symphony is about to become one of the very few, if not the first, major classical orchestras in the United States to officially appoint a playwright in residence. This weekend, Didi Balle will preside over the third of her "symphonic plays" to be performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The form, which Balle invented, combines a live orchestra, a conductor who delivers a scripted narrative and professional actors. In a news release, conductor Marin Alsop said that the appointment formalizes a relationship between Balle and the symphony that began in 2008.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2012
For its first production of the new year, Colonial Players presents a loopy fairy-tale retelling in Don Nigro's "Cinderella Waltz" that delivers laughs and leads to rethinking what constitutes a happy ending. Prolific playwright Nigro once told the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism that he values "emotional truths, and every play is a new investigation into truth. " Presumably, his 1978 "Cinderella Waltz" is such a philosophical search for truth by examining the choices made by his quirky fairy-tale characters.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | September 1, 2011
With an award-winning play in hand, the Colonial Players turned a reading into much more — delivering a compelling study of a female artist that touched on issues such as women's independence and the nature of madness. The Aug. 21 read-through of Evan Guilford-Blake's "An Uncommon Language" offered a look at the winning play in the players' biennial Promising Playwright Contest. Artistic director Beverly van Joolen said there were 102 applicants whose works were read before narrowing the list "to five extraordinary finalists, and the committee was unanimous in its choice of Guilford-Blake's play that really glowed.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 2011
Here's a look at the 2011 Baltimore Playwrights Festival: •"The Sculptress" by Marilyn Millstone. The former mistress of famed sculptor Rodin is visited in an insane asylum by a young female artist who tries to rekindle a creative spark. Friday through July 31 at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St. 410-276-7837, fpct.org. •"Web of Deceit" by Colin Riley. Mia is attracted to the online world; her roommate, Keysha, controls the computer. Both women are jolted by the arrival of Keysha's internet buddy.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2011
Kwame Kwei-Armah has a way of pulling others into his gravitational field, whirling them around and then depositing them in a place at some distance from where they started out. People leave an encounter with Center Stage 's incoming artistic director staggering a bit and with their hair mussed, but visibly charged up. The 45-year-old Kwei-Armah, who takes over leadership of Maryland's largest regional theater on July 1 from Irene Lewis, was...
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.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | September 1, 1993
For most of us, adolescence begins around age 12 and is one of life's most awkward phases. But for the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, currently completing its 12th season, adolescence has taken the form of a relatively smooth period of maturity, acceptance and growth.BPF is one of the few non-professional playwrights festivals in the country, according to its chairman, Richard Jackson. And it has become a fixture of the local summer theater scene. But that doesn't mean stasis has set in.Judging from this year's eight scripts, the festival is attracting writers willing to tackle serious themes and, in a few cases, to experiment with theatrical form.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | November 3, 1992
Baltimore playwright Kenneth F. Hoke-Witherspoon wanted to write a play about what some people will do for love -- and what others will do for politics. So he chose the subject of abortion.The result, "Babies' Breath," debuts tonight at the District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), an alternative gallery and theater in Washington with a history of presenting controversial work.Hoke-Witherspoon, who also directs and produces the play, chose to open the play on Election Day because one of the most hotly contested issues on the Maryland ballot is Question 6, the abortion referendum.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | February 11, 2011
From time to time, playwright Heather McDonald lets loose her fury at the supreme being. It is, she says, a form of prayer. "I think of God as someone I can abuse, and who abuses me back," says McDonald, 51, who until recently lived in Catonsville. "It's a relationship, though not always a warm one. But I'm giving him my full attention. " Plays dealing with crises of religious faith are staged about as often on Broadway as burlesque acts are performed in churches. But McDonald's spiritual quest has consumed her since she was a teenager, and it spills over into the seven plays and one libretto that have been performed in some of the nation's most prestigious theaters, including Center Stage in Baltimore, the La Jolla Playhouse near San Diego and Houston's Grand Opera.
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