DEAR SANTA… Returns! The Holiday Treat is Back!

DEAR SANTA… Returns! The Holiday Treat is Back!

Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg (Actors Rep) announces the 2018 public performances of the  Christmas comedy

Dear Santa

 

Performances:

Café Rocas / ‘Place des Bains’ / 33 rue des Bains / 1313 Luxembourg

  • Wednesday, November 28th 
  • Thursday, November 29th
  • Thursday, December 6th
  • Tuesday, December 11th
  • Wednesday, December 12th
  • Thursday, December 13th

All shows are at 7.30pm (19.30).

Tickets: 15€ / Students 10€

ActorsRep.tickets@gmail.com or (+352) 35 63 39

This sweet and funny short play (approximately 45 minutes), which Luxembourg Times critic Sarita Rao called ‘delightfully witty’, reveals a couple, still very much in love, making plans for the holiday season. They explore a latent childlike sense of wonder by writing letters to Santa—one more willingly than the other—and review their gift list, chuckling (and fretting) about their extended families, celebrating their connections, and touchingly and humorously assessing their own relationship.

Dear Santa… is a warm cup of festive joy.

‘It’ll put the spice back in your eggnog and the sprinkles on your sugar cookies.’ – Wendy Winn, Delano.

Matilda Hansson directs Christine Probst and Erik Abbott in this little soupçon of holiday charm.

Tickets 15€  /  Students 10€

Email: ActorsRep.tickets@gmail.com

Phone: (+352) 35 63 39

 

Dear Santa… is also completely portable and is available as an entertainment for seasonal parties and events.DEAR SANTA... Returns! The Holiday Treat is Back!Actors Rep can bring this charming cup of seasonal cheer right to you!

Share the gift of theatre with your colleagues and employees!
For details and information contact Actors Rep at ActorsRep.Erik@gmail.com.

www.ActorsRep.lu

Actors Rep and #WTF HAPPENED? at the KC Fringe: A Reflection

 

Wow.

What an amazing experience.

Six performances, audiences that exceeded everyone’s expectations, enthusiastic responses, an opportunity to broaden Actors Rep’s reputation and reach to an international level, and three weeks in a beautiful and charming city and area that are brimming with culture and theatre (a reasonable sample of which I was able to see).

We very proud of what we achieved:

The Fringe run of #WTF HAPPENED? ON THE PHENOMENON OF TRUMP was Actors Rep one of the best attended single runs of any show we’ve ever done.

UPDATE (04. September 2018) : We have received the final numbers from the KC Fringe and we now know that over 300 people saw the show there. That makes it our most popular production ever, with the highest total attendance of any show we’ve done (across the three runs in September 2017, June 2018 and July 2018).

#WTF HAPPENED? was named ‘Best of the Fringe’ for its venue (Musical Theatre Heritage Mainstage — ‘MTH’), a determination based largely on audience attendance.

The show received yet another glowing review (by Bob Evans of KC Applauds — linked below).

We opened dialogues with a couple of KC-area theatre companies about potential future collaborations.

 

 

‘The Coal Miner’

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to see six other shows on the Fringe plus two additional great productions at the Kansas Repertory Theatre (KRT) in Lawrence, Kansas, where Actors Rep Artistic Associate Peter Zazzali is Artistic Director.

We also did some touristy things, taking advantage of KC’s superb cultural and historic sites — the World War I Memorial and Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a Kansas City Royals baseball game, ‘The Plaza’…

 

 

‘The Conspiracy Theorist’

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an actor and writer, I was struck by the different responses the show has received not only from different audiences through all its runs, but also by the marked differences between Luxembourg / European audiences and US / Kansas City ones. I confess I experienced some trepidation about doing the show in the States, especially in a part of the country where President Trump is generally popular (although less so in the city itself).

Although the play is not, in our view as a company, politically partisan — and indeed we worked very hard to create a piece that did not take partisan political views (even though the characters within the play do) — we were (and I am as a playwright) very aware that the title of the play might suggest otherwise to some.

We did get one profane response to a Facebook post about the show from someone who lives in the greater KC area. I don’t know for sure whether the gentleman came to see the show, but my assumption is that he did not. A couple of people walked out of one performance, but we’ve no way of knowing whether they were upset about the play attacking the President, or not attacking him, or whether they were perhaps just late for an appointment they’d forgot.

The show is of course political, though not partisan. Overtly political theatre will often, even usually, offend someone.

And probably should.

 

 

 

‘The Christian’

 

 

 

 

 

Laughs came at different places. The KC audiences found humour in things that Luxembourg audiences did not — and vice versa. The first two audiences, on Friday and Saturday, July 20th and 21st, laughed often and heartily. The critic, who attended one of those shows, described the piece as a ‘parody of Trump Supporters’ and termed it ‘a rollicking review’ of ‘character-types’ — a perspective I found interesting and unexpected, as we’ve never thought of the show as a parody. Still, Mr Evans loved the show and I personally take it as a point of playwright satisfaction that different audiences and different audience members can respond to the same piece in so many varied (and overwhelmingly positive) ways.

 

Bob Evans’ review: https://www.kcapplauds.net/parody-of-trump-supporters-makes-fun-political-humor/

 

 

 

‘The Guy Down the Street’

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list of ‘Thank yous’ is a long one, but I’ll repeat it here (with hopes I’m not leaving anyone out):

– FOCUNA, who gave us a travel grant that covered travel to and from KC.

– Our sponsor, e2advance, whose great work on our website has been essential to spreading the word about Actors Rep.

 

– Peter Zazzali, a long-time friend and loyal supporter of Actors Rep (and now our first Artistic Associate), who suggested we try to bring the show to the KC Fringe when told we were considering applying to one or more US Fringe Festivals — and who introduced us to Forrest Attaway and Kokopelli Theatre Company, our local on-the-ground co-producers.

– Forrest Attaway and Kokopelli, who were fantastic and generous collaborators and partners (and the two Kokopelli shows I saw, How Does Your Garden Grow? and Little Headshop of Horrors were very very funny).

– Steve and Wallace, the technicians for the run.

– The staff of the Musical Theatre Heritage space, a lovely complex of three performance spaces set on the top floor of a downtown retail and food complex (Crown Center). These folks were wonderful hosts.

– The staff and volunteers of the Fringe, for their hundreds of hours of work and incredible organisation. I’ll especially single out Program Manager and Director of Operations Tiffany Chappell, Executive Producer Cheryl Kimmi, and Technical Director Skip Gordon. The execution and organisation of (and communication about) this mammoth project was extraordinary, from the first email right through to the final party.

– The audiences. Of course.

 

– Christine Probst, without whom neither #WTF HAPPENED? nor Actors Rep would still exist. Actors Rep audiences have seen what magic she creates onstage as an actress. Her work as a director and dramaturgical collaborator is no less spectacular.

– Charles Muller, former Director at Théâtre D’Esch, who commissioned the earliest version of #WTF HAPPENED? in early 2017.

– Dena Abbott, who has been tireless in her support of Actors Rep (and its chaotic Artistic Director).

 

 

 

‘The Congresswoman’

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what’s next?

For #WTF HAPPENED?

For Actors Rep?

This show has proved to be popular in three separate runs in two countries; it appears to have struck a theatrical nerve in these interesting times. So we hope to keep doing it. We’re exploring other possible venues, festivals, etc., where we might be able to present it to new audiences — in Luxembourg, in The Greater Region, in Europe, in the UK, in Ireland, in North America — anywhere an audience might be open to the questions posed and the ideas presented in what we feel is the exciting theatricality of #WTF?

If you have any ideas, please contact us. The production is extremely portable. We took it 7,500 kilometres; we can take it anywhere.

Know of a theatre that might like to feature it as a visiting production?

A school that might like to have it presented to its students?

A company, organisation, club or group that might fancy a bit of thought-provoking theatre?

Ask around. Let us know.

 

As for Actors Rep in the coming months…

We will present Dear Santa… again for the holiday season.

This completely portable 45-minute dose of seasonal cheer is available for booking for your company or organisation’s holiday event.

We can bring it to you!

Last year’s response — both in the public and private shows — was overwhelmingly positive. Don’t miss your chance to brighten your holiday with Dear Santa…

Details about booking available soon — book early!

 

We’re planning on offering a workshop this autumn — probably a fun two-session playwriting exercise — and are looking at the possibility of offering a set of classes.

 

And we’ll be hard at work planning for 2019 — to bring you another year of outstanding professional English-language theatre.

 

So keep in touch. We’ll see you at the theatre…

 

 

 

Actors Rep on the Fringe in Kansas City

Day Five of the Kansas City Fringe Festival, performance number three of #WTF Happened? On the Phenomenon of Trump.

I arrived late on Sunday, July 15th, met with Forrest Attaway, Artistic Director of Kokopelli Theatre Company, on the 16th, had the tech rehearsal on the 18th, preview night on the 19th and opened on Friday the 20th.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s been fabulous. The staff and volunteers working to make the Fringe possible are truly amazing. The level of organisation required to provide and opportunity for roughly 75 independently produced productions is staggering and they have pulled it off with extraordinary aplomb.

Actors Rep has been extremely fortunate to have Kokopelli as co-producers on the ground, with Forrest Attaway getting five of their productions up and running as well as helping bring #WTF to the KC stage.

I am extremely grateful to all of these people.

The show itself has been enthusiastically received. Somewhere around 150 people have seen the first three shows and we have received very positive feedback — and one standing ovation!

It’s been interesting seeing the difference in these US audiences and the Luxembourg audiences who just saw the piece in early July (and in its previous incarnation last September at Théâtre National du Luxembourg — TNL). Both sets of audiences were and have been great, but there have been differences — laughs coming at different times, moments of recognition landing perhaps in a different way.

As a writer it is enormously gratifying to see that my words have had an impact on both the mixed cultures of Luxembourg audiences as well as the mixed cultures of audiences in Kansas City.

As an actor, the generous and thoughtful response to the work has been humbling and gratifying.

I treasure the many conversations I’ve had with audience members after the shows and look forward to many more.

#WTF Happened? wouldn’t be here without the inspiration and work of Charles Muller, who commissioned the first version last year at Théâtre D’Esch, and without the brilliance of Actors Rep Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst as collaborator and Director in the subsequent productions in Luxembourg and now Kansas City. It wouldn’t be on stage again without the encouragement of Actors Rep Artistic Associate Peter Zazzali and the help of Forrest Attaway and Kokopelli, and the tech support of Matilda Hansson, and Steve and Wallace working in the booths at the Musical Theatre Heritage (MTH) for the Festival. And I wouldn’t be able to do the work without the support of Dena Abbott.

We’re grateful also for the financial support of FOCUNA, whose generosity assisted with the travel expenses of coming to the Fringe, to the Ministère de la Culture of Luxembourg and the Fondation Indèpendance for their financial support of the September production, and to e2advance, who does the tremendous work of the website design and maintenance.

We at Actors Rep hope this show will have a continued life and that we may be able to present it to additional audiences in other cities. The piece seems to spark thought and emotion and laughter in and dialogue with its audiences. We hope to be able to continue sharing it with new audiences. We look forward to doing so and to engaging in the dialogues that result.

In the meantime, we understand President Trump is on his way to Kansas City. We’d be happy to have him see the show.

NEW Video Trailer for THE GUYS

Filmmaker Mak Wolven came to our tech rehearsal a couple of days before opening (TONIGHT — WEDNESDAY, 30 May 2018 at 8pm) and shot a few minutes of the show as we rehearsed.

Take a look:

 

Performances:

Wednesday, June 30th, at 8pm

Thursday, May 31st, at 8pm

Friday, June 1st, at 8pm

Saturday, June 2nd, at 3pm AND 8pm

Monday, June 4th, at 8pm

Tuesday, June 5th, at 8pm

Wednesday, June 6th, at 8pm

 

ActorsRep.tickets@gmail.com

or (+352) 35 63 39

 

At Bamhaus:

18A / 18D rue de la Cimenterie

L-1337 Luxembourg-Dommeldange

 

Happy New Year from Actors Rep!

Happy New Year

from

Actors Repertory Theatre

Luxembourg!

 

 

 

We hope that 2017 has been a good year for all of you.

It was an incredible year for Actors Rep in many ways.

And it is all thanks to you, our committed, enthusiastic audiences, supporters, friends, and fans.

This year we were able to engage with English-language audiences and communities more than ever before.

 

For the first time, we produced three shows:

#WTF HAPPENED? ON THE PHENOMENON OF TRUMP (September)
BIG BOYS (November)
DEAR SANTA… (November / December)

 

 

#WTF Happened? On the Phenomenon of Trump

 

 

Audience Success!

 

Combined, the audience totals were our best ever. More people saw an Actors Rep show this year than in any of our five years of producing passionate, professional thought-provoking English-language theatre in Luxembourg.

 

Take a look at the small photo gallery of pictures from those productions on our website:

 

Actors Rep 2017 Production Photo Gallery

 

Additional pictures are also on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

What You Had to Say

 

Audiences loved our 2017 shows — and so did the critics:

‘Absolutely stupendous!’ – Wendy Winn, ‪Chronicle.lu (#WTF Happened?)
‘The audience leaves breathless… and having been highly entertained.’ – Duncan Roberts, Delano (#WTF Happened?)
‘A thoroughly entertaining evening.’ – Jess Bauldry, Delano (Big Boys)
‘You’ll walk home wondering just what you’ll be asking Santa for.’ – Sarita Rao, Luxembourg Times (Dear Santa…)

 

 

New Faces and a Favourite Collaborator Returns

 

We were privileged to work again with Peter Zazzali (left, below), who travelled from the US to direct Dear Santa…, and, for the first time, Luxembourg actor Maximillien Jadin (right, below), lit up the Actors Rep stage in Big Boys. Leslie Fischbach also came on board as an invaluable Assistant Director for Big Boys and Dear Santa…

Jill Robertson Kibbey designed the wonderful props and set for Big Boys, and Jess Arling did the terrific graphic designs you saw on our posters, flyers, programmes, and Facebook banners.

And Deirdre Wolohan and e2advance continued the terrific work on our website.

We couldn’t have done it without any of them.

 

 

Peter Zazzali

Peter Zazzali

 

 

 

                                                        Maximillien Jadin    

 

 

 

 

Classes and Workshops: Actors Lab and Guest Instructor

 

Associate Artistic Director Christine Probst (left, below) taught four sections of classes delving into the Development of Truth in Acting, Play for the Actor, and Vocal explorations. Keep an eye out on the website for new classes coming soon!

We presented an ‘Impulse Training’ workshop with the great Cologne based actor, director, and acting, comedy and Improv trainer Hans Kieseier (right, below).

 

 

Associate Artistic Staff Christine Probst-Staffen is a professionally trained actressc  

Christine Probst-Staffen

 

 Hans Kieseier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lëtz Go Local!

 

In March (in Ettelbruck) and again in October (in Luxembourg) we had a stand at ‘De Lokale Maart’, a recurring event presented by lët’z go local. Dozens of people stopped by, chatted, learned about Actors Rep and signed up for our email list.

We look forward to participating in more ‘Lokale Maarts’ later this year!

 

 

 

Ready, Set… Live!

 

Finally, we were honoured to be onstage at Delano’s final ‘Delano Live’ event of the year with the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, as well as being featured with them in their cover story on professional English-language theatre in the Grand Duchy.

 

 

 

Onward into 2018!

 

We have big plans for the coming year.

In June, we plan to produce Anne Nelson’s extraordinary and profoundly moving play The Guys, about a New York City firehouse Captain who loses eight men in the ‪September 11th attacks. Paralysed by his grief and shock, he enlists the help of a journalist to help him write memorials for his lost comrades.

The New York Post described The Guys as ‘a generous, sad, touching play about the braveries of grief’.

The Guys will feature Peter Zazzali and Christine Probst and will be directed by Erik Abbott.

We’re also planning an autumn 2018 show, to announce by spring.

 

 

December 2018!

 

After an enthusiastic reception from public performances and a corporate Holiday party at State Street in Kirchberg, We will revive Dear Santa… during the 2018 holidays. We will host a few public performances and the show will also be available as an entertainment for your company or organisation’s holiday event.

Look for details about booking the show for your holiday event in late summer.

 

 

On the Road?!

 

Also in the summer, we hope to present #WTF Happened? in two theatre festivals in the US.

Applications have been submitted, and we are eagerly awaiting to hear back — fingers crossed!

 

 

Dear Santa 33 rue des Capucins, 1313 Luxembourg.

 

 

Resolutions for 2018 and Beyond:

 

We are committed to continuing to deepen our connection to the Luxembourg English-speaking community.

But we need your help.

Professional theatre is expensive to produce. We rely on ticket sales, of course, but those box office receipts cover only a fraction of the costs of producing professional theatre, even for a small company such as Actors Rep. The rest comes from grants and donations – including individual contributions.

We were very fortunate in 2017 as we saw our contributions from corporate and individual sources rise – allowing us to present our fullest schedule of programming in our history.

Still, the financial challenges are steep.

Would you consider making a contribution to help us continue that success?

Drop us a line (info@actorsrep.lu or ActorsRep.Erik@gmail.com) or phone (‪+352 621 304 916) and we can answer any questions you might have.

Our bank details are below.

It’s about the people.

Every production has people behind the scenes making what the actors do onstage possible.

Like all professional theatre companies, we are always looking for great actors, but we also need people whose passions may lie backstage in designing or building scenery, helping with costumes or props, or in administration or fundraising or publicity.

Actors Rep is committed to establishing a permanent professional English-language theatre in Luxembourg. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish towards that goal in the last five years.

You are the most vital part of the community which believes in and supports that vision.

What can you do?

Do you have fundraising skills? Get in touch. (Please!)

Can you help organise events to help us reach a wider audience?

Can you spend a couple of hours distributing posters and flyers?

Do you have a barn or other space where we can store things?

Do you have a space where we can rehearse?

Do you know of a space where we can perform? (Appropriate performance spaces are difficult to find and book and are always expensive.)

Do you have an idea of a play you’d like to see us produce? A focus for a workshop or classes you’d like to take?

There are so many ways you can be a part of the community we’re building and the vision we’re creating.

Together.

And of course if you or your company would like to make a financial gift to support us or to become one of our sponsors, please contact us.

Most importantly, be part of our audience.

 

We hope we see you at the theatre!