Wednesday, July 08, 2015

ATC's Summer on Stage: 55 Area Students Creating Productions of Modern Classics Adapted for Today, July 24


From: [] On Behalf Of Steve Carr
Sent: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 1:48 PM
Subject: ATC's Summer on Stage: 55 Area Students Creating Productions of Modern Classics Adapted for Today



For Immediate Release 


See Three Classic Stories Reinvented At The Temple Of Music And Art, July 22-24

            TUCSON, Ariz. (July 8, 2015):  Fifty-five curious, ambitious high school students from across Tucson are engaging with modern adaptations of three classic stories by William Shakespeare, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens as part of Arizona Theatre Company's Summer on Stage program.

"These young people are the future of theatre and they've chosen to spend five weeks of their summer vacation learning everything they can about our art form," said ATC's Director of Learning & Education Stephen Wrentmore, also the Artistic Director for Summer on Stage. "They are passionate about theatre and life and are becoming great friends.  We call it 'finding their tribe': other people who are equally dedicated and engaged and who learn from and feed off each other."

            During the five-week program, Summer on Stage and Summer Backstage students explore every aspect of mounting professional theatrical productions; from designing and building sets and props to learning choreography and Shakespearean verse. ATC staff and local theatre artists mentor and challenge students to reach new artistic heights in a collaborative and supportive environment; the staff in turn, are inspired by the generosity, dedication and talent of these 55 students, Wrentmore said.

            The students' hard work is celebrated in performances of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale adapted by Wrentmore on July 22, David Ives's adaptation of Mark Twain's Is He Dead? on July 23, and Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Rupert Holmes on July 24.  All shows are at 7 p.m. at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.  Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Box Office the night of the show or by calling ahead at (520) 622-2823.

            "Our material this year has an important theme," Wrentmore said.  "We took three classic authors and have three contemporary adaptations of their works.  These shows form a bridge between classic and contemporary theatre and create a framework within which the students are engaging in classic technique, developing their skills and using source materials to deepen their experience in rehearsal and backstage. In our exploration of the past we make a bold and informed comment on the future."

The Plays:

            • The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, adapted by Wrentmore: one of Shakespeare's most ambitious and magical plays, The Winter's Tale is a story of jealousy, loss and redemption. The doubts and jealousies of King Leontes set in motion events that betray his Queen Hermione and divide the kingdoms of Sicilia and Bohemia, changing lives across land and time. The Winter's Tale is also notorious for one of theatre's most challenging stage directions: "Exit, pursued by bear…"

            • Is He Dead? by Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives: originally written in 1898 but unpublished until 2003, Twain's farcical comedy, "wickedly adapted by David Ives (Venus in Fur), is set in the studio of a fictionalized version of French artist Jean-François Millet," Wrentmore explained.  "Millet and his friends come up with a plan to stage his death to increase the value of his art so that Millet is freed from debt and save his lady love, Marie. This cunning plan requires Millet to pose as his mourning sister to keep the secret safe - leading to a slew of hilarious situations."

            • The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a musical by Rupert Holmes: based on a novel Dickens didn't have a chance to finish before his death, "this musical interpretation by Robert Holmes means there are 300 possible endings," Wrentmore said.  "The audience gets to vote on how they want the story to play out, so the students need to learn to sing and dance to multiple endings without having any idea who the audience will pick to be the killer."

            "Each year we are painstaking in our thought and planning. We want to combine a professional and expert experience with a sense of fun and discovery," Wrentmore said.  "Each year we raise the bar for these students and what we expect of them and time and again they excel and transcend our expectations. It is a delight and honor to serve them."

            For nearly half the students, this summer learning experience has been made possible through scholarships graciously underwritten by The Stonewall Foundation, Sandra and Dr. Robert Maxfield, the Tucson Museum of Art Docent Council, as well as other donors to ATC's Learning & Education programs. For more information about Arizona Theatre Company, visit


About Arizona Theatre Company:

Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) is the preeminent fully professional theatre in the state of Arizona committed to inspiring, engaging, and entertaining - one moment, one production, and one audience at a time. Boasting the largest seasonal subscriber base in the performing arts in Arizona, ATC is the only resident company in the U.S. that is fully based in two cities providing its wide array of programming and community outreach across the region. Now in its 49th season, more than 130,000 people a year attend our performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of home-grown productions reflects the rich variety of world drama—from classics to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works—along with a wide array of community outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives and new play programs. Designated The State Theatre of Arizona, ATC is led by Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein, Interim Managing Director Matt Lehrman, Managing Director Emeritus Jessica L. Andrews, and a dedicated Board of Trustees.  

Contact: Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (602) 317-3040,

 Attached Image: Miana Corona, Kim Laney and Joanna Galons at Summer on Stage (Stephen Wrentmore photo)



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