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.
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:
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
or (+352) 35 63 39
18A / 18D rue de la Cimenterie
Happy New Year
Actors Repertory Theatre
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)
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.
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).
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.
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!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!