Tag Archives: Karen Stephens
Intriguing premises are the jumping off points for the nine flights of theatrical whimsy in City Theatre’s annual festival of short plays, Summer Shorts. While no discernable thread runs through the disparate works, the deftly comic playlets are shot through with a striation of poignancy, and the moving entries are leavened with flashes of humor.
Here’s a look back at 2014 including a very subjective subjunctive reductive list of outstanding shows, performances and developments guaranteed to make someone unhappy they were not on the list. Take comfort in that there was so much good work that this is the crème de la crème de menthe.
The Timekeepers, a harrowing drama mounted on a tiny stage by a company only in its second season, swept six of its six nominations including best play at the 38th Carbonell Awards Monday night. Those wins, along with a best director award for the fledgling Slow Burn Theatre Company’s musical next to normal, was greeted as a sign that young theaters could make inroads in a program dominated by a handful of venerable and well-funded troupes.
Certainly, The Mountaintop is about Martin Luther King’s place in the civil rights struggle, but the superb production at GableStage examines a more universal issue of how ever-present mortality makes impossible reaching an ultimate goal – which makes the pursuit all the more laudable.
Spotlight On The Arts is a weekly panel discussion of issues facing the local creative community and their audiences, featuring an irreverent group including actress/teacher/producer Iris Acker, actor/playwright/designer Michael McKeever, actress/writer Karen Stephens and critic Bill Hirschman. Guests so far include Christopher Demos-Brown, Michael Leeds, Stephanie Ansin and Jennifer Cronenberg
Christopher Demos-Brown’s compelling world premiere Fear Up Harsh from Zoetic Stage is a penetrating interrogation of how our need for heroes can trump the values of truth, honor and loyalty that they fought to preserve. It’s like watching a Humvee drive toward an IED and be stunned by the explosion, first in slow-motion and then an annihilating blast.
Iris Acker has transformed her 25-year-old interview TV series into a no-holds-barred and light-hearted panel discussion of thought-provoking topics with Ms. Acker leading an irreverent group including Karen Stephens, Michael McKeever and Bill Hirschman
Quick Hits Two one-actor shows have been added to this month’s calendar in the last few days, one about noted Floridian Zora Neale Hurston and the other about Nazi hunter Simon Weisenthal. Karen Stephens, who did acclaimed work as multiple …
Karen Stephens’ ability to submerge herself in disparate characters was highlighted in her stunning tour de force playing 14 characters in 90 minutes in Sarah Jones’ Bridge & Tunnel which she has performed several times in the state. But just as impressive is her skill to disappear into less flamboyant characters, people who might live next door to you, such as the pragmatic mother she just finished portraying in Doubt at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre production under J. Barry Lewis’ direction merits being seen for three finely-crafted performances by Maureen Anderman, Jim Ballard and Julie Kleiner, plus an outstanding portrait by Karen Stephens. But thematically, it’s thrown out of whack because the deck seems stacked toward one truth and then irreversibly stacked the other way. Few people will leave this production indecisive about the priest’s guilt or innocence.