VANTAGE NewWorks/Vantage Theatre
Theatre From a Different Vantage Point
“Vantage is one of the few companies in San Diego that is brave enough to produce new theatrical works and should get a sustained standing ovation"-- SD Theatre Scene
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RAVE REVIEWS FOR VANTAGE!
"So Small a Thing"
“ I even learned Greek for you, which was a bitch and a half, by the way” (Medea in the play)
So Small a Thing is a reference to the main bone of contention between
former lovers stuck in an elevator, likely on the way down
(via the elevator communications
system, an unseen guy named Charon, apparently in charge, periodically
updates the stranded regarding the progress of repairs).
Medea fails to understand why Jason and everyone else seems so worked up over the fact that she killed the couple’s children, her only recourse when the heroic Jason, long her husband, abandoned her to marry King Creon’s daughter. He protests he did it to protect Medea from the regime. She is skeptical.
To one who knows the ancient myth and has experienced it in one or more iterations (Euripides wrote the Greek play; countless others addressed the tale in drama, opera and literature), Salerno’s is a fast-moving and deliciously funny name-dropping confrontation, with Jason bent on some kind of reconciliation, and Medea determined to convince him of her rationale. And after all these years, he still lusts for her (it was ordained by the gods).
As Medea, Jennie Olson Six displays surprising steel and stature. John Anderson provides an unkempt and impatient Jason, for whom things have not gone well since the annihilation of all he loved. Robert Salerno directs.
For the fact of Ms. Salerno’s talent and accomplishments: A graduate of Princeton University, she holds an MFA from American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) and is currently appearing in Caryl Churchill’s recent play, Love and Information, which inaugurates the new Strand Theatre at ACT.
Vantage Theatre has the most extensive and colorful and complete printed program of any I’ve attended in the San Diego Fringe Festival – you’re lucky if there is a program at all in many cases. Not only that wonderful program, Vantage presented a double bill the night of my attendance (Wednesday) at Swedenborg Hall. I’d already seen Warren David Keith in Lynne Kaufman’s Be Here Now, the Journey of Ram Dass, so I saw only the first play, So Small a Thing by Dominique Salerno. ------http://charleneandbrendaintheblogosphere.blogspot.com/
DURING THE SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL
SAN DIEGO PREMIERE
So Small A Thing
by Dominique Salerno
A new, modern take on the ancient story of Jason and Medea. Trapped in a stuck elevator in the afterlife, this mythic couple grapples with issues of love, sex and loyalty, that still resonate in today’s modern world. This brand new play, astonishingly well-written, is full of humor, wit, and passion. This is sure to be an audience favorite.
Plus, are you ready for
THE SECOND COMING?:
In 2014, all performances sold out, and people had to be turned away. Now,
BE HERE NOW:
The Journey of Ram Dass
BY LYNNE KAUFMANN
Starring WARREN DAVID KEITH
A pitch-perfect performance by Warren David Keith... An anecdotal meditation…a
tale as might be told by its subject, full of self-deprecating humor…tantalizing; teeters
on the brink of enlightenment.”—Rob Hurwitt, SF Chronicle
“ An engaging performance…humorous, gently affecting one-man show”— Georgia Rowe, SF Examiner
“ An unforgettable show about an unforgettable man, with acting, writing and directing all hitting the mark.”—Doug Konecky, SF Theater Blog
Turn On, Tune In, Drop By…
Come on a psychedelic journey to enlightenment with Ram Dass (aka, Richard Alpert) who, along with Timothy Leary, was kicked out of Harvard for LSD experiments in the 1960's. After that glimpse behind the curtain of life, Alpert traveled to India, studied intensively with his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, and was given the name Ram Dass which means “Servant of God.” He returned and wrote the definitive book, Be Here Now and became the spiritual father of the 60's. The rest is history…
The play has been seen by Ram Dass himself and received his blessing.
Vantage Theatre is once again taking San
Diego audiences on an enlightened journey-- presenting this critically acclaimed new play.
FREE PARKING IN LOT ON CAMPUS AVE (1/2 BLOCK AWAY)
See a live stage production on the life and works of Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass from his years with Timothy Leary at Harvard through India, Summer of Love, the perils of the Guru life, the re-birth through the Dharma path, the Stroke, to the present.
"BUY HERE NOW"
So you can "BE THERE THEN."
CADENZA PLAYS TO SELLOUT AUDIENCE
in a new collaboration with
MAINLY MOZART and THE TIMKEN MUSEUM.
As part of the 25th Anniversary Season of Mainly Mozart,
Vantage Theatre presents a staged reading of Robert Salerno's highly acclaimed
"Cadenza: Mozart's Last Year"
at The Timken Museum
Balboa Park, San Diego
May 25th at 7pm
Champagne Reception with the artists following the performance.
Baldrige's Theatre review:
Mozart in a Gallery
I saw Robert Salerno's reworked Cadenza: Mozart's Last Year on May 25.
originally wrote it in honor of Mozart’s 250th anniversary, and
after its creation Vantage Theatre presented it at Centro Cultural de la
Now produced by Mainly Mozart, the Timken Gallery and Vantage Theatre, the fantastical work concerns Mozart's last year and how he struggled with way too many commissions (among them La Clemenza de Tito written for Emperor Leopold’s coronation) and ill health, working feverishly to finish his Requiem before the end, which he knew was coming. Salerno weaves in music principally from The Magic Flute and Requiem. It dawned on me, as Mozart (Rhys Green) died a peaceful death thanks to one of his characters, Sarastro, played by the imposing Steve Oliver, that the in-box is never empty; that all creative people want to finish their work before the end comes. It is a blessing to know that in the great scheme of things, it doesn't really matter; that Mozart is remembered even though he left his Requiem vv incomplete; and that by extension lesser artists will be remembered as well, even if the magnum opus is incomplete.
Salerno managed to pare his magnum opus to fewer than 90 minutes without sacrificing the humor, the grandeur and the assurance it conveys. What a blessing it is to die peacefully even though one’s inbox is never emptied. All one need do is oust the Queen of the Night.
Others in the company were Allison Boettcher as Mozart’s wife, Constanza; Leigh Scarritt as diva Josepha Weber Hofer/Queen of the Night; Skyler Dennon as Magic Flute promoter Schikenader; Abner Genece as opera producer Guardasoni; Darren Kelsen as the young Beethoven; Dan Feraldo as Mozart’s collaborator, Süssmayr; and Greg Stevens as Einstein, who declares, “I don’t make reality; I’m merely reporting it.”
Salerno’s vision of reality, seen throughout Cadenza: Mozart’s Last Year, is worthy of more sightings/hearings. As it is, the one-time performance during the Mainly Mozart Festival was not enough. Twice the capacity of the Timken gallery could have been sold.
"A thought-provoking contribution to one's personal 'field of dreams'..."
"Touching... and marvelously funny throughout..."
--San Diego Newspaper Group
"Salerno's otherworldly play made for a rare day to be savored for months to come..."
"There’s a lot to commend here. Vantage is certainly to be commended for taking chances, with new work and provocative ideas."
"creative exuberance bursts through..."
Cadenza: Mozart's Last Year by Artist In Residence Robert Salerno, a new look at the most famous tragedy in music history. At the height of his creative powers, Mozart is stricken by a horrible fatal illness. Now, it is a race against time to complete the work that means everything to him. Ever the creative genius, he confronts death on his own terms, aided by several unusual characters and a trip into the eleventh dimension of Modern Physics.
MORE INFORMATION, REVIEWS, PICTURES, ETC. CLICK HERE)
VANTAGE GOES TO MEXICO!
Artistic Director receives commission from Tijuana for Tchaikovsky project.
"When you open someone's horizons up-- that changes lives. That's why I got into theatre in the first place."-- From Interview With Robert Salerno
NEW WORKS IN PROGRESS
Staged Reading Series
By Richard Kalinoski
What is the right thing to do? A young woman receives the Medal of Honor for her heroic actions but is haunted by the consequences.
Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 2pm
St. Paul’s Villas 2340 Fourth Avenue
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OUR PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS:
Vantage Presents the Hit New York Show
“VITALLY IMPORTANT, WIDE-RANGING AND ULTIMATELY VERY MOVING”—L.A. Times
"Ms. Smith is a national treasure, and her performance demands to be seen."-- SanDiego.com
"You won’t want to miss the tour de force"-- Pat Launer, SD Metro
FOR GROUP RATES* CONTACT:
*A Group consists of 8 or more people for the same performance
About Anna Deveare Smith
Called “the most exciting individual in American Theatre” by Newsweek, Anna Deavere Smith is said to have created a new form of theater. She has won numerous awards, among them two Obies, two Tony nominations, a Drama Desk Award, the USA Susan V. Berresford Award from United States Artists, and a MacArthur fellowship. She was runner up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires In the Mirror. Her work combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance.
In addition to her award-winning plays, Smith has published two books, Talk to Me: Travels in Media and Politics (2000)and Letters to a Young Artist: Straight-up Advice on Making a Life in the Arts-For Actors, Performers, Writers, and Artists of Every Kind (2006). She is founding director of Anna Deavere Smith Works, a nonprofit that convenes artists whose work addresses the world's most pressing problems. Television and movie credits include "Nurse Jackie," "The West Wing," (as National Security Advisor Nancy McNally) "The American President," and others.
As a dramatist Smith was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for Fires in the Mirror which won her a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show. She was nominated for two Tony Awards in 1994 for Twilight: Los Angeles. One for Best Actress and another for Best Play. The play won her a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and a Theatre World Award.
Smith was one of the 1996 recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, often referred to as the "genius grant." She also won a 2006 Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for her contribution to civil rights issues as well as a 2008 Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications, Inc.[ In 2009 she won a Fellow Award in Theater Arts from United States Artists. She has received honorary degrees from Juilliard, Arcadia University, Bates College, Smith College, Skidmore College, Macalester College, Occidental College, Pratt Institute, Holy Cross College, Haverford College, Wesleyan University, School of Visual Arts, Northwestern University, Colgate University, California State University Sacramento, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wheelock College, and the Cooper Union.
About Let Me Down Easy
For the past eight years, Smith has interviewed hundreds of Americans to create a virtuosic and moving show about the power and vulnerability of the body, the price of health, and the resilience of the human spirit. She speaks directly to our hopes and discomforts about life, death, whom we should take care of and who should (or should not) take care of us. This show is a bracing, poetic experience you won’t want to miss.
Additional Show Information:
Listen to Anna's KPBS Interview: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/apr/28/anna-deavere-smith-takes-health-care-industry/
Watch The Bill Moyers Interview: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11132009/watch.html
Read The N.Y. Times Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/health/10easy.html
Listen to Art Rocks! Interview: http://filesource.abacast.com/wsradio/artrox/041311/segment2041311.mp3
Vantage Sponsors New Perspective Festival
Twenty-four short plays by local playwrights. Each play will be performed twice in a six-night repertory during the last two weekends in June.
Artistic Director Dori Salois and Artist In Residence Robert Salerno honored as "Best of the Fest."
June 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
Sara Morgan, Taylor Henderson, Dominique Salerno
The Sixteenth Annual Actors Festival
Lyceum Theatre, Horton Plaza
The poignant story about the Dirty War in Argentina,
its disappearing young students,
and a terrifying
leap into the future.
Death By Survival
by Elizabeth Ruiz
Directed by Dori Salois
Vantage Theatre Wins 3 "Billies"
For 2004 Productions at
San Diego Repertory Theatre's Lyceum Theatre
(Click here for more information)
Best Direction-- Robert Salerno
Outstanding Costume Design
Importance of Being EarnestThe Musical