Wishing all of you a joyous and healthy 2019

2018 was another exciting and productive year for Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg (Actors Rep) and we look forward to a great 2019.

In March we began a residency at Bamhaus, the creative industries co-working space in Dommeldange. We presented our June production, Anne Nelson’s THE GUYS, there in June. This was the culmination of a multi-year desire to produce this beautiful and moving play about a New York City firehouse Captain seeking out a writer to help him memorialise the men he lost in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

The production featured Actors Rep Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst and Artistic Associate Peter Zazzali, who travelled again from the US to work with us. Probst, Zazzali and Artistic Director Erik Abbott, who directed the show, were all living in New York at the time of the attacks.

THE GUYS was met with acclaim (and tears) from critics and audiences alike. Thank you to all who came to see and support the production and to the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kansas (where Zazzali is an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair) for granting him leave to come again to Luxembourg.

Christine Probst and Peter Zazzali in THE GUYS (Photo by Margo Skwara)

In July and August, the Actors Rep production of Abbott’s solo play, #WTF HAPPENED? ON THE PHENOMENON OF TRUMP, was revised and revived for three performances in Luxembourg (at Café Rocas) before travelling to Kansas City, Missouri (US), to be presented in the Kansas City (KC) Fringe Festival. The revival, again directed by Christine Probst, was enthusiastically received by audiences and critics in Luxembourg and KC, and it was named one of the Festival’s ‘Best of Venue’ shows. #WTF HAPPENED? is now Actors Rep’s most-seen production.

(Photo by Margo Skwara)

For the festive season, we once again presented our holiday (almost) classic, DEAR SANTA…, for six public performances (at Café Rocas) and for two private events, one at Arendt House in Kirchberg (where we produced BIG BOYS in 2017), and the other at Brasserie Bosso in the Grund for the Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ILCC).

This year’s production was directed by the wonderful Matilda Hansson (with tech support from Mayalani Moes). Probst and Abbott reprised their roles as the married couple writing letters to Santa, planning the annual celebrations with their extended family, and reviewing their gift list.

Audiences again loved the show and we as a company had a terrific time doing it.

Next year?

At your company or association’s holiday event?

It’s never too early to plan.

Get in touch and we can meet to discuss bringing this theatrical burst of seasonal cheer right to you.

Christine Probst and Erik Abbott in DEAR SANTA…

(Photo by Margo Skwara)

In November we presented a playwriting workshop, THE GREAT LUXEMBOURG PLAY BAKE-OFF, based on the ‘Bake-Off’ workshops popularised by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel. In the workshop (led by Abbott), participants were given a list of ‘ingredients’ which they used in plays they wrote over a course of a few days. It was great fun and the performing world now has a few new scripts!

So what is Actors Rep doing in 2019?

We are still in the planning stages for the coming year — looking over a few of the many many plays we’d love to produce, considering possibilities for workshops and classes, and as always, comprising our wish list, which is very much the same as it has been: increasing our financial support and finding affordable space(s) for performance, rehearsals, administration, storage, etc.

As of the end of 2018, we have, with sadness, had to end our residency at Bamhaus. The costs of continuing were simply no longer viable. We are deeply grateful to the team there — Ben Barnich and Christian Muno — and the other creatives who make it their home for their help and encouragement. We hope it may be possible at some point to return.

Professional theatre requires extensive resources. Almost everyone in the business — almost everywhere — continually scrounges to scrape together enough for the next project. We are no different. Our limited resources mean that we mostly produce small cast productions with correspondingly limited technical requirements.

We have embraced these limitations and have worked to hone an artistic aesthetic focused primarily on acting and directing and the production of strongly theatrical (and frequently new) writing. This year we honoured the ‘repertory’ part of our name by reviving two of our most popular shows. We believe the results are as artistically solid as any — that we have created and that we continue to create excellent professional theatre out of very little.

The responses from our audiences validate that belief again and again.

We are, however, always willing to work with more. A stronger financial footing would allow us to plan further in advance, to consider bigger projects, to approach potential collaborators — and to apply to join the Luxembourg Theater Federatioun.

So if you know of a space that is potentially a good fit, please get in touch.

If you want to contribute to our continuing commitment to delivering passionate, professional, thought provoking English-language theatre to Luxembourg audiences, please get in touch.

We need your help to continue the work no other theatre company in Luxembourg is doing.

Thank you for your support and for a great 2018. We hope to see you at the theatre again soon!

We wish all of you a happy and safe 2019.