Horizon Theatre Blog

A Conversation with Brittany Inge

Brittany Inge speaks to Horizon Theatre about her current role as Vinette in Ché Walker’s production of The Ballad of Klook and Vinette.

You’re starring in Ché Walker’s play, The Ballad of Klook and Vinette at Horizon Theatre through February 18. Could you describe what the play is about?

This play is about love, fate, destiny and karma. It beautifully captures the good, bad and ugly that comes with trying to outrun your personal history.

You’re playing Vinette. Could you describe your character?

I always describe Vinette as a caged bird. She’s afraid of the size, depth, and beauty of her own wings and even more afraid to spread those wings and have them be seen by others. She’s witty and feisty; a lover of language and a diamond in the rough.

So how do you go about discovering this character? And do you identify with her at all?

I allowed Vinette’s language and personal history to guide me in discovering and developing the character. I identify with her in many ways— as a young Black woman, as a fellow artist/creator, as someone who has fallen in love, as someone who has experienced personal and professional disappointment— she’s a very relatable character. And in the ways that I don’t personally identify with her, I had fun melding my own experiences with the backstory that was created for Vinette both on and off the page.

What’s it like working with director and playwright Ché Walker?

Ché is brilliant and he won’t ever let you forget it! *laughs* No but seriously, it has been a huge learning experience working with Ché and I have benefited from being a sponge. Whenever a playwright directs their own work, the hired actors are always met with the challenge of rising to meet the vision that was in the playwright’s mind before we were ever thought of. It has taken a lot of hard work (that I’m very grateful for) to get our show to the level that matches the vision inside of Ché’s mind.

Could you describe the rehearsal process for The Ballad of Klook and Vinette? In comparison to Blackberry Daze?

This rehearsal process was a lot more intimate than any other project I’ve worked on, so far. Not only because it’s a cast of 2 people— but also because, the subject matter of the show is such that it requires you to dive deep inside yourself to reveal maybe some lesser known truths within the work. There were no larger-than-life characters to hide behind, which has been the case in other shows I’ve done— this process came down to pure and simple truth-telling.

What was it like working in a small cast of two?

More fun than I ever imagined— but that’s only thanks to a great partner. It takes a lot of mutual respect and trust to get through a piece this intimate.

For any aspiring actors and musicians out there, what advice would you give them?

If you want to make a career out of being an artist, don’t treat it like a hobby. Work harder for yourself than you’ve ever worked for anyone else and commit to the journey. Every path on the journey won’t be perfectly cleared but, like my Mom always tells me: “as long as you stay on the field, you’re still in the game”.

Is it a musical, or a play with songs? And does it matter?

Is THE BALLAD OF KLOOK AND VINETTE a musical, or a play with songs? And does it matter?

Playwright Ché Walker reflects on the difficulties of categorizing shows with music (or should that be musical shows?)

When I was nine years old, my father directed Guys and Dolls at the tiny Half Moon Theatre (where he was the Artistic Director), with a cast of seven, including Maggie Steed and Robin Hooper. I watched it every single night, and never got enough of it. I loved it. Everything I’ve worked on – even the ‘straight plays’ – has been a response to this perfect piece of writing.

Whether something is categorized as a ‘musical’ or ‘play with songs’ seems to be somewhat driven by the exigencies of marketing a show in the crowded city scene. Perhaps audiences arrive with different expectations if they buy a ticket for a musical. I certainly don’t think any of the shows I’ve worked on fit the mold of a cheerful night out you could take your grandmother to (unless your grandmother is Patti Smith.)

So what is a play with songs? What is a musical? Does it matter?

Perhaps the distinction between a ‘musical’ and ‘a play with songs’ comes down to the work that the songs are doing. Sometimes a song is in the service of the character’s rhetoric – they burst up out the scene because the stakes are so high and the situation has become so urgent that the character has no option but to launch into amplified sound with rhymes and a backing band.

Some other songs work as soliloquies; the characters’ private thoughts, shared with his/her new confidante, the audience. Other songs operate as a kind of Greek chorus, where we pause the action and reflect on what we’re watching and what we feel about it. It looks like all the shows I’ve worked on in the last five years use songs in all the ways described, so I’m still confused.

The Ballad of Klook and Vinette is mixture of drama, spoken word, and jazz. We’ve aimed to create a theatre piece that interweaves these elements seamlessly, like its one long movement of music.

Is it a play with songs? That’s what they tell me. Personally, I don’t have time to think about it. I’ve got a story to tell. A good one, I think, with maybe just a hint of Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown in it. I hope you come and see.

(http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/06-2014/che-walker-klooks-last-stand-blog_34737.html)

Guest Speakers for PROJECT DAWN

We are thrilled to be hosting post-show discussions with experts in the field who are knowledgeable about sexual exploitation and trafficking in Atlanta and Georgia. Join us and become part of this important dialogue.

9/22 @ 8:00 Vanessa Jackson, LCSW
9/23 @ 8:30 Paula R Amor, Motivational Speaker and Survivor of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
9/24 @ 5:00 Kelsi Deel, Director, House of Cherith
9/27 @ 8:00 Paula R Amor, Motivational Speaker and Survivor of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
9/28 @ 8:00 Paula R Amor, Motivational Speaker and Survivor of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
9/30 @ 3:00 Melba Robinson, Program Director, HavenATL
9/30 @ 8:30 Jessica Lamb, Founder, Atlanta Redemption Ink
10/1 @ 5:00 The cast of Project Dawn
10/4 @ 8:00 Kim Schofield
10/5 @ 8:00 Drew Meritt, Founder, Redeeming Men Ministries
10/6 @ 8:00 Vanessa Jackson
10/7 @ 3:00 Christy Showalter, Associate Director, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
10/7 @ 8:30 Jenifer Duncan, Director of Outreach, Street Grace
10/8 @ 5:00 Karen Hartman, Playwright of Project Dawn
10/11 @ 8:00 Kasey McClure, Founder, 4Sarah
10/13 @ 8:00 Dalia Racine, Deputy Chief ADA,
DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, Human Trafficking Unit
10/14 @ 3:00 Dr. Yolanda Graham, Medical Director, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Georgia
10/14 @ 8:30 Margie Gill, Founder, Tabitha’s House &
Pamela Perkins Carn, Coordinator, Interfaith Children’s Movement
10/15 @ 5:00 Hazel Fasthorse, Case Manager /Advocate, Beloved Atlanta
10/18 @ 8:00 Paula R Amor, Motivational Speaker and Survivor of Commercial Sexual Exploitation
10/19 @ 8:00 Renee Shelby, Research Director, youthSpark
10/20 @ 8:00  Commissioner Tim Echols, The Unholy Tour
10/21 @ 8:30 Susan Norris, Founder/ Exec. Director, Rescuing Hope & Paula Brathwaite
10/22 @ 5:00 Dave Olsen, Board Chairman, Rescuing Hope
10/25 @ 8:00 Amy Shipp, Georgia Cares
10/27 @ 8:00 Amy Waldron, Devereux
10/28 @ 8:30 Dr. Jordan Greenbaum, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
10/29 @ 5:00 Kasey McClure, 4Sarah

Meet Our 2017-2018 Horizon Apprentices!

Meet the company!  This year we welcome eleven Actors, four Playwrights, one Stage Manager, and our first ever Producing Apprentice.

Alexandra Catlin [Actor Apprentice] is an Atlanta native, and graduated with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre at Western Carolina University. In addition to acting, Cat is trained in stage combat and is certified in Unarmed and Single Sword stage combat through the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD). At Western Carolina, she worked as a fight captain for several shows, including King Lear. Cat also enjoys journaling, and has written several plays, including a children’s play entitled The Spot.

Felix Crutcher [Playwright Apprentice] is a Huntsville, Alabama native and has recently graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a B.A. in English, Theatre. His first ten-minute play was produced at UAB and received a staged reading at Horizon Theatre during the New South Young Playwrights Festival (2016). Now, as a playwright apprentice at Horizon, he looks forward to expanding his knowledge as a writer and as a professional artist. In addition to writing, Felix enjoys practicing yoga and meditation, learning how to write code, and playing all the board games/puzzles. He also has an interest in mixing music and DJing in the future. After the apprenticeship program, Felix hopes to pursue an M.F.A. in Playwriting.

Ellen Curry [Stage Manager Apprentice] grew up in New Orleans, LA. She attended the University of Georgia, where she had the opportunity to study abroad in London, and recently graduated with a B.A. in Theatre. She has previously worked with Theatre NOW New York, The Space London, Alliance Theatre, Southern Repertory Theatre, Rivertown Theaters, Rose of Athens Theatre, and Two Left Feet Theatre Company. Ellen also has a passion for immersive theatre experiences, and aspires to one day direct an immersive production of A Streetcar Named Desire in her hometown of New Orleans.

Miranda Dyer [Actor Apprentice] recently graduated at the top of her class from The Professional Actors Training Program in Chattanooga, TN, where she trained in improvisation, dance, and performed in many musicals. Miranda also regularly practices yoga, and aspires to become a certified instructor.

Chasity Evans [Actor Apprentice] is a proud Atlanta native. She graduated from Spelman College this year with a B.A. in Drama and Dance, and has won performance based awards in local competitions. Chasity has traveled to Brazil, France, and China for educational studies, and has even traversed the country’s Great Wall! She enjoys dancing and writing plays centered around social activism from a feminist perspective.

Jake Jessup [Actor Apprentice] was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Johnson City, Tennessee. He attended Greensboro College and is currently working towards obtaining in M.F.A. in Acting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has a passion for road-tripping, and has traveled to the Grand Canyon and the Great Salt Lake.

Jerron Johnson [Playwright Apprentice] is a 2015 graduate of the illustrious North Carolina A&T state university where he obtained a B.F.A. in Theatre and wrote, produced, and directed his first stage play, Straw Dogs. After graduating, Jerron relocated to Atlanta where he continues to pursue his career as an actor, playwright, and director. Jerron is also interested in pursuing motivational speaking in the future.

Sloka Krishnan [Playwright Apprentice] is a Midwestern transplant interested in magic; extravagance; ritual; and the disavowal of moral purity and coherent identity. In the DC area, Sloka‘s plays have received readings by the Rainbow Theatre Project and as a part of Forum Theatre (Re)Acts, and he was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting. Sloka‘s work has been described as subversive, multilayered, and eviscerating (by a boy he once slept with) and as darkly surreal comedy (by a legitimate online publication). During the day, Slokaworks in fundraising for an immigrant rights nonprofit.

Amy Levin [Actor Apprentice] is an actor/singer/sound designer from Decatur, GA, and holds a degree in Religion and Theatre from the University of Georgia. Amy has done several shows in and around Atlanta since graduating in 2015 and won the Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Award for Best Sound Design of a Musical for her work on The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at OnStage Atlanta last year. Amy is a jazz singer/musician with a yet-to-be-named vocal group, and she recently recorded and mastered and album for local Renaissance Fair favorite, The Shenanigans. Check out www.amyllevin.com for more!

Erika Miranda [Actor Apprentice] graduated with a B.F.A. in Acting from the The Theater School at DePaul University. Her love for movement encouraged her to deepen her yoga practice and embrace DePaul’s very own Movement to Music. Her passion for the classics led her to further study Shakespeare at LAMDA where she received her certificate in Performance of Classical Text. Erika has performed both Shakespeare and World Premieres on stages of some Chicago’s cherished storefront theatres. Most recently, Erika moved to Los Angeles to shoot Act II of The Gallows, a sequel to the WB New Line Cinema film. She also worked with the the team at Echo Theater in L.A., that premiered Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake.

Maariyah “M.F.” Espinoza [Actor Apprentice] is an actress, songwriter, rapper, and record producer. She was born in Los Angeles, CA, and raised in Marietta & Kennesaw, GA. She received her B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Columbus State University and was an intern with the Alliance Theatre in the Theatre for Youth and Families program. When she’s not at Horizon, she’s engaged in her own creative projects, including the production of her first EP “Internal Reflection”, artist management, and studying other great artists of differing mediums to grow her expressions in a higher direction.

Heather Pharis [Actor Apprentice] is from East Dublin, GA, and recently graduated from Berry College with a B.A. in Theatre. While at Berry, she had the honor of being nominated for the Kennedy Center’s Irene Ryan Award four times. Heather also enjoys the visual arts, and has a passion for painting, crocheting, and creating collages using mixed mediums. When not engaging her artistic interests, Heather spends her free time watching M*A*S*H and ogling over her cat, Walter Kanye O’Reilly.

Jocelyn Rick [Playwright Apprentice] is a writer originally from Meadville, PA, who made the awesome mistake of living in the culturally burgeoning Pittsburgh and befriending far too many actors. Before graduating from Point Park University with a degree in Screenwriting, she served as a literary intern for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera (CLO). She has recently relocated to Atlanta from Orlando where she resided for the last year to live out her childhood dream of working in Walt Disney World. Jocie currently works remotely as a story analyst for Readers Unlimited providing coverage on screenplays and teleplays in addition to relentlessly coercing her hands to transfer the rest of her own untold stories to paper.

Russell Scott [Actor Apprentice] is a theatre artist from Marietta, GA. He recently graduated from the University of Georgia where he studied Risk Management and Insurance and Theatre. While in college, Russell toured with the University’s premier choral ensemble, The Hodgson Singers, in several cities across Eastern Europe. Russell is also an athlete, and competes in regional tournaments for racquetball. In the future, he would like to pursue his photography skills, adding to his slate of lifestyle and event photography, and professional headshots.

Katherine Smith [Actor Apprentice] is a 2016 graduate of University of Northern Iowa’s Theatre Performance program. Born in Memphis, TN, but raised in Iowa, Katherine was eager to return to her Southern roots post-graduation and to begin her pursuit of her career as a performer. Katherine was a proud recipient of various acting and academic-related scholarships in college. However, her most recent distinction is “Best New Character,” awarded to her by her fellow street performers at the Georgia Renaissance Festival where she performs improvised interactions as an original character. Kat enjoys similar work as children’s fairytale characters in festivals, charity events, and parades.

Justice von Maur [Producer Apprentice] is from Nassau, Bahamas, and recently graduated from Wake Forest University where she studied History, Theatre, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS). She was a Presidential Scholar for Distinguished Achievement in Theatre at WFU and devoted much of her extracurricular energies to various aspects of theatre including acting, stage management, and producing. Outside of theatre, Justice enjoys writing poetry and being active through yoga and contemporary dance. She also loves animals, and currently works at a doggy-daycare.

Alexis Young [Actor Apprentice] is a Georgia native from Ellaville. She has a B.F.A. in Theatre, Communications, and Media Arts with a concentration in Performance from Georgia Southwestern State University. While at Southwestern, where she served as class representative for three years, Alexis took part in a cultural experience program in Shanghai, China.

Wellspring Living Inc. 2017 Donation List!

 

 

 

 

Wellspring Living Inc.’s mission is to transform the lives of those at risk or victimized by sexual exploitation. Their vision is to help create a world where every victim of sexual exploitation has access to transformative care.

Consider donating to Wellspring Living Inc. when you come to see Project Dawn! We will be collecting donations in the blue room before and after the show.

Gift Cards:
Gift cards (in any amount) are needed to purchase shoes and clothing to fit various body types and sizes as well as basic grocery needs.
• Target
• Walmart
• Kroger
• Visa/Mastercard

In-Kind Household & Program Items:
• Laundry Detergent
• Paper Towels
• Toilet Paper
• Dish Detergent
• Dishwashing Soap
• Sponges
• Disinfectant Bleach Wipes
• Multi-surface cleaner
• Swifter Dusters
• Rectangular Laundry Baskets (Sturdy baskets)
• Wash cloths & towel sets
• Silverware sets • Dove Body Wash & soaps
• Dove & Garnier Fructis Shampoo & Conditioner (not the all-in-one combo)
• African American & multiethnic hair care products
• Pajama Sets (All sizes)
• Bras & undergarments (All sizes)
• Tampons (Plastic Only)
• Journals (medium & large sizes)
• Coloring books (for Adults)

Guidelines for Items Donated:
(Please do not include the following items in boxes unless approved by Wellspring living Staff person)
• No Glass/Breakable Items
• No Sharp items

14 Suzi Award Nominations for Horizon in 2017!

We are excited to announce that Horizon has been nominated for 14 Suzi Bass Awards in 2017! Congratulations to everyone nominated!

Outstanding Musical Production
Nobody Loves You

Outstanding Featured Male Actor – Musical
Brad Raymond (Nobody Loves You)
Austin Tijerina (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Featured Female Actor – Musical
Jennifer Alice Acker (Nobody Loves You)
Wendy Melkonian (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Choreography
Heidi Cline McKerley & Jeff McKerley (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Musical Direction
Alli Lingenfelter (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Direction – Musical
Heidi Cline McKerley (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Lead Male Actor – Play
Brian Kurlander (How to use a Knife)

Outstanding Sound Design – Musical
Rob Brooksher (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Scenic Design – Musical
Isabel Curley-Clay & Moriah Curley-Clay (Nobody Loves You)

Outstanding Scenic Design – Play
Isabel Curley-Clay & Moriah Curley-Clay (Freed Spirits)
Isabel Curley-Clay & Moriah Curley-Clay (How to Use a Knife)

Outstanding Lighting Design – Play
Mary Parker (Constellations)

Wallace Shawn Comes To Horizon!

Remember this guy? Wallace Shawn returns to Horizon after many, many years!
Fun fact- he wrote a play called Aunt Dan and Lemon that Horizon produced back in 1987, starring Lisa Adler and Rosemary Newcott (current Artistic Director for the Alliance Children’s Theatre). He subsequently became an acclaimed political playwright and character actor for TV/Film (The Princess Bride, The Good Wife).Having passed the ripe age of 70, Wallace Shawn wants to drop his little bit of wisdom “before death or dementia close down the brief window available to him.” Toni Morrison calls his new book, Night Thoughts, “lovely, hilarious and seriously thought-provoking.”

On Thursday, August 31 at 7PMWallace Shawn will appear
at Horizon Theatre to read and discuss Night Thoughts.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets include a signed copy of the book.
Buy Tickets Here

A Cappella Books is the official bookseller for this event.
If you are unable to attend this event, you may still pre-order a signed copy below.
Pre-Order a Signed Copy Here

Announcing auditions for Madeline’s Christmas 2017!

Announcing auditions for Horizon Theatre/Atlanta Children’s Theatre co-production of Madeline’s Christmas 2017!

Audition appointment requests must be made through the online request form at www.atlantachildrenstheatre.com/auditions.html

Atlanta Children’s Theatre is collaborating with Horizon Theatre once again to present the 10th Anniversary Production of Madeline’s Christmas!  We’re casting roles for 24 young ladies. This is an exciting opportunity for selected young actors to work with professional adult actors at one of Atlanta’s premiere professional theaters. We are committed to producing the highest quality professional production as possible.  It’s important for both child actors and their families to understand they are committing to a professional creative process, including preparing for and attending all rehearsals.  Parents will have an opportunity to review the rehearsal schedule and disclose conflicts prior to casting.

AUDITION DATES
Saturday August 19, 2017 • 10am-5pm
Sunday  August 20, 2017 • 12pm-7pm

CALLBACKS
Saturday August 26, 2017 • 10am-4pm

REHEARSAL PERIOD
September 30 – December 1
Typically Evenings & Weekends. We do rehearse the Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving.
More information given at auditions

PERFORMANCES
December 2 – 31, 2017. Each child actor will perform half of the shows. Last year, each cast performed 20 or 21 shows out of 41 total. There are shows every day during Christmas week except for the 25th.

REQUIREMENTS
Girls, ages 8+ years old, maximum height of 60”, must sing. Auditioners need to prepare an upbeat 1-2 minute song from a musical, as well as a brief memorized monologue or story. Please be sure to bring an accompaniment CD or MP3 from a phone or other electronic device (no lead vocals). We will provide a CD player and laptop/auxiliary cord for MP3s. Please provide two 8×10 headshots or other photographs. A short monologue is preferred.

For helpful audition tips, please visit https://www.atlantachildrenstheatre.com/auditiontips.html

Cast Announced for PROJECT DAWN | Horizon Theatre

Artistic Director Lisa Adler announces the cast for the final show of Horizon Theatre’s 2017 mainstage season, the gritty and gripping play inspired by a real-life story PROJECT DAWN, beginning performances on September 22, with a press opening on September 29.

The powerhouse, all female cast will include Lane Carlock (Stupid F**ing Bird at ACTOR’S EXPRESS, My Name is Asher Lev at THEATRICAL OUTFIT), Carolyn Cook (The City of Conversation and Time Stands Still at HORIZON, Lombardi at AURORA, August: Osage County at ALLIANCE), Bobbi Lynne Scott, Marianne Fraulo (The Perfect Prayer at HORIZON, Wit at AURORA THEATRE), Maria Sager (Grand Concourse and The Book Club Play at HORIZON, In the Heights at THEATRICAL OUTFIT), Christy Clark (Blackberry Daze at HORIZON), and Brooke Owens (Anne Boleyn at SYNCHRONICITY, James and the Giant Peach at GEORGIA ENSEMBLE THEATRE).

Gritty, gripping, and shockingly funny, go behind the bench in this inspired-by-real-life story of the women on both sides of the law in Project Dawn, an innovative court designed to transform the lives of women in the sex trade. In this daring and vital tour de force, seven actresses double as victims/participants and Court staff. Whether you are to the left or the right, Project Dawn will gnaw at your heart and open your eyes to see clearly what’s happening in your own backyard.

PROJECT DAWN will begin performances September 22, open September 29 and play until October 29. PROJECT DAWN features a script by Karen Hartman (Goldie, Max and Milk and Going Gone) and will be directed by Lisa Adler (Horizon Co-Artistic Producing Director; Night BloomsThe Perfect Prayer, and The Waffle Palace and Charm School at HORIZON).

PROJECT DAWN is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere where it kicked off its first production at PEOPLE’S LIGHT in Philadelphia earlier this summer, now HORIZON will be the second theatre to produce and continue development of this timely and powerful play.

Blackberry Daze on “City Lights” with Lois Reitzes

Horizon Theatre’s Blackberry Daze Shows How Great Prose Inspires Music

July 18, 2017

Horizon Theatre’s current production, “Blackberry Daze,” takes its audience to small town Virginia at the end of World War I. There, Mae Lou, her daughter Carrie, and blues singer Pearl under the spell of gambler Herman Camm. To get an idea of his character, the story foreshadows his death, and no one is particularly interested in figuring out who did it.

The musical is based on Ruth P. Watson’s 2012 novel “Blackberry Days of Summer.” She adapted the play with Thomas W. Jones II, who had the idea to turn the story into a musical

Jones and actor TC Carson spoke with “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes about the production, which is now on stage at Horizon Theatre through Aug. 27.

To listen to the full interview click here.