Category Archives: Theatre

Six Thoughts on Learning Shakespeare in Six Weeks

MSND-484x252Learning Shakespeare can be tough – but having to learn it in six weeks and then perform it in front of an audience while you juggle classes, your job, and your personal life? (Lord, what fools these mortals be.)

That’s the challenge for the Community College of Aurora’s student actors as they prepare for the production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” premiering next month.

The play is still Shakespeare’s traditional tale of crisscrossed lovers, mischievous fairies, and an amateur acting troupe. This CCA production is set in an urban 1920s – think New York City – and features some characters with their genders swapped, which adds more layers to the performance.

Many of the CCA student actors have never tried Shakespeare on stage before, outside of brief flirtations in English class. And because “Midsummer” is the spring play, they face an accelerated schedule compared with the fall production.

So what’s it like to learn Shakespeare in six weeks?

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CCA’s fall production offers humor and understanding

Pronoun-fbimageThe social media channels and news feeds have been abuzz with talk of the LGBTQ community lately, most recently with stories about transgender people. Often these stories are full of tragedy, sadness and bigotry, but at CCA, we have an opportunity to focus on a story of triumph, perseverance and ultimately, humanity.

“Pronoun” by Evan Placey is the story of Dean, a transgender male who is in the process of discovering himself. This comedy documents his journey through his relationships with family, friends and his love interest.

The CCA production of “Pronoun” debuts on November 12 and offers numerous shows over the following two weekends. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets.

Check out this behind the scenes look at the making of “Pronoun.” Continue reading »

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Experience the courageous tales of Los Valientes

LosValientesIn celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15 to October 15, CCA’s School of Liberal Arts and Office of Student Life will present “Los Valientes” on Monday, October 12. “Los Valientes” (The Courageous Ones) is a musical theater production by The Core Ensemble.

The theatrical interpretation of “Los Valientes” will feature the stories of three influential and audacious men, Diego Rivera, Archbishop Oscar Romero and Joaquin Murrieta. All three will be played by Kevin Melendez, who will be backed by a musical trio consisting of cello, piano and percussion. The Core Ensemble, who hail from Lake Worth, Fla., have redefined chamber music and are on a mission to spread their compositions to a wide-reaching demographic. Continue reading »

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CCA’s Theatre Production: Mok’ing-burd to open minds and hearts

mok'ing-burd-imageUnderstanding the human experience is the key to both acceptance and harmony. CCA’s Theatre Director, Stacey D’Angelo, tackles the misconceptions of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through theatrical interpretation in the Spring 2015 production:

ASD is represented as a spectrum because it is quite different in each person, with varying levels of severity. It is known to affect communication, socialization and sensory processing, and is often misunderstood by people not on the autism spectrum. Many people with ASD have an average or above average intellect, but may struggle with how they interpret social cues, experience a sensitivity to sounds, lights or even smells, and sometimes calm themselves with repetitive behaviors. Misunderstanding can often manifest itself in the form of judgment, fear or ostracizing individuals that don’t fit in. But the antithesis to misunderstanding is education and empathy, which are both key lessons in this semester’s production. Continue reading »

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‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a timelessly relevant story

TKAM-blogimage-editOne would think that a novel written in the ’60s about an event that occurred in the ’30s may not be significant in 2014, but unfortunately, many themes still ring true regarding race and judgment all these decades later. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel focuses on uncomfortable, yet very real topics such as racial inequality, rape, justice, innocence and evil. Told in a warm and candid manner, the story in “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a well-known one, and CCA’s Theatre Department has taken on the task of relating it to events occurring today.

Stacey D’Angelo, CCA Theatre Director picked “To Kill A Mockingbird” as her fall production because she wanted to prompt a dialogue regarding race. Though she selected the piece long before the struggles in Ferguson, Mo. began, she now sees how timely and relevant these discussions are. “It’s important,” she states matter of factly about a revisit to the themes expressed in the play, “We won’t be giving any answers, we’ll be posing questions.” Continue reading »

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