Vantage Sponsors New Perspective Festival
Twenty-four short plays by local playwrights, 18 directors, and over 60 actors. Each play performed twice in a six-night repertory in addition to three previews for a total of nine performances Vantage Theatre stepped in to fill the gap left by Actors Alliance to provide an opportunity for local theatre artists to continue an annual presentation of their work. Vantage Theatre, well known for its commitment to developing new works by local playwrights was the perfect partner for this Festival. The mission of Vantage to offer theatre from a “different vantage point” fit well with the New Perspective Festival’s motto: “change your view.”
Artistic Director Dori Salois and Artist In Residence Robert Salerno honored as "Best of the Fest."
“ hip, cutting edge topical fare, stepping in shoring up local theatre’s public presence in a gritty principled way …" City Beat
“Provocative, Insightful, humorous, dramatic and fully satisfying…" Pat Launer
SD Theatre Scene …KUSI
Best of the Fest
Here are some of the highlights of the event, from my perspective.
Themes: The war and the cross-cultural divide seemed to be on many people’s minds. Those turned out to be some of the most interesting and/or moving plays:
• Li’l Heroes, another piece by Stephanie Timm, this one directed by Robert Salerno. Chilling tale of two prissy, white-gloved, tea-drinking women (Krissy Tobey and Maya Baldwin) who are having a mindless, Importance of Being Earnest conversation, punctuated by offstage screams. We come to learn about the monstrous world they live in, where even the unborn are drafted into the war. A blood-curdling look into the not-too-unforeseeable future, well written and presented.
• The Thing, by Jack Shea, directed by Dori Salois, seems more like the germ of a play than a fully realized creation. But it confronts a critical current concern: how Westerners conceive of who and what lies beneath the burka. The young Americans, played by Jennie Olson and Kristina Meek, call a veiled Muslim woman ‘it’ and ‘thing,’ and fail to see any shared humanity. Harrowing and discomfiting (and begging for further development)
• Rocky Road, by Stephanie Timm, about a family waiting for a solider to come home from the war. Celeste Innocenti and Patrick Hubbard were especially good as the heavily-in-denial parents. Well directed by Sally Stockton (Vantage Tech Director).
---Pat Launer, http://www.dalemorris.net/Curtain%20Calls.htm
"But damned if it didn’t pull off some hip, cutting-edge,
topical fare... That goes for Stephanie Timm’s very good Li’l
Heroes, a futuristic piece about motherhood as a weapon of war.
Director Robert Salerno coaxes a great, understated death scene from Krissy Tobey..."
---Martin Jones Westlin, http://www.sdcitybeat.com/cms/story/detail/matter_of_principle/7045/
June 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 2008
1531 Tyler Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Vantage Announces New Season!
SAN DIEGO-- Artistic Director Dori Salois announced Vantage Theatre's 2007season. "We are excited to offer two world premieres of significant new works by playwrights who are not afraid to confront Big Ideas." The first production is slated to be School Of The World, by Sal Cipolla. This play draws upon a remarkable event in Renaissance history. In 1503 the two leading artists of the Florentine Renaissance were commissioned to paint giant murals in the same room of the Palazzo Vecchio. They were known to have an intense public rivalry. The play speculates about what might have happened in that room, and why both murals were mysteriously left unfinished. It also examines critical questions about the relationship of art, power, religion, and politics. It will be directed by Salois and Artist In Residence Robert Salerno.
The second production will be 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.
Sara Morgan, Taylor Henderson, Dominique Salerno
Artist In Residence Robert Salerno directs
If you’re an actor, you’ve had this nightmare, but it was never this hilarious!
THE STORY: This play was inspired by the well known dream that many people in professional and amateur theatre have, that they go must perform in a play that they have inexplicably never been to rehearsals for, and for which they know neither the lines or the plot. So in this play George is an accountant who wanders onto an empty stage, not certain where he is or how he got there. The stage manager informs him he’s the understudy, and must go on in a few minutes. George doesn't know his name, doesn’t think he’s an actor (“I think I’m an accountant”), and has no idea what play he’s supposed to do. He’s pushed onstage dressed as Hamlet, and finds himself opposite a glamorous actress who seemingly is in Noel Coward’s Private Lives. George does his best to guess the lines, and guess appropriate behavior, but then the actress leaves, and suddenly a new actor comes in, spouting Shakespearean verse (from Hamlet). This is much harder to guess, and after a while George is left alone and must improvise his own Shakespearean soliloquy. In the closing sections, George finds himself thrust into a Samuel Beckett play (a combination of Waiting for Godot and Endgame), which he has very little knowledge of. And then suddenly he’s Sir Thomas More in the historical drama A Man for All Seasons, facing a beheading for opposing Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boylen – and alarmingly the executioner seems more real than he should.
The Sixteenth Annual Actors Festival
SD Rep's Lyceum Theatre, Horton Plaza
Tickets at the Lyceum Box Office: 619-544-1000
Upcoming World-Premiere Production
by Award-Winning Playwright
Elizabeth Ruiz's "Death By Survival"
SALERNO TO DIRECT "THE VENTRILOQUIST'S WIFE"
AT SD REP'S LYCEUM IN AASD FESTIVAL
Charles Ludlam's "Reverse Psychology"
San Diego-- Jan 1, 2005 Vantage Theatre has announced that it will present Charles Ludlam's hysterical comedy, "Reverse Psychology" in association with Diversionary Theatre, opening March 18, 2005. Award-winning director Robert Salerno will lead a cast and crew that includes the award-winning designer David F. Weiner, whose set for Billy Crystal's "700 Sundays" can be seen currently on Broadway. Salerno, who is Artist In Residence at Vantage, is excited about his newest assignment, "I saw Ludlam perform the play when it first opened in New York. It was the first of many performances if his that I was lucky enough to attend at the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. At once, I sensed that here was a rare genius-- a Modern Moliere, an American Aristophanes."
As part of its New Play Program, Robert Salerno, Artist In Residence at Vantage Theatre, has been hired to direct the world premiere of Marianne McDonald's new play "The Ally Way" at Sixth & Penn Theatre.
Euripides meets the Marx Brothers in the 21st
Running 7/31/04 to 9/1/04
"Director Robert Salerno let out all the stops for an unabashedly sexy, over-the-top, vaudevillian romp... the play earned a lively response with its outrageous fun and gags, and its great new spins on the old story – definitely a success."--- S.D. Playbill
Devlin, Frankie & Johnny
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy or Drama:
Daren Scott, Frankie & Johnny
Vantage Presents at The Lyceum Theatre
"A rare treat... A rich artistic melange... Priscilla Allen, grand dame of local theatre has outdone herself!..."
--Anne Marie Welsh, SD Union Tribune (Read Review)
"Director Robert Salerno, choreographer Esther Emery and designer Nadja Lancelot all provided me with a hearty boost to my bliss, using their handsome cast of 17 actors as though they had bred them for this very occasion. (Salerno and Lancelot even did a slick new translation ). I just relish the joyous leaps through torn logic and the startling images in such improbable juxtapositions."-- Welton Jones, SanDiego.com
"An evening of absurdist delight... a true tour-de force... astonishing... rife with craft and subtlety... must be seen."-- Charlene Baldridge, Village News
"Two brilliant, hilarious, and thought-provoking productions... "-- Rob Hopper
"ENCORE, DAMMIT! Vantage program reveals void in local theater... This avant-garde milestone...had her (and the rest of us) by the ass."--Martin Jones Westlin, San Diego City Beat
"Entertaining absurdist concoction"-- S.D. Theatre Scene (Read Reviews)
"Using a singular sense of comedy, symbolism, and satire... under the insightful direction of Robert Salerno, the show moves at a breathless pace leaving one always thinking, laughing, and feeling a bit confused – but definitely never bored."-- Playbill.com
Robert Salerno's award-winning production of The Wedding on The Eiffel Tower, by Jean Cocteau
Running with Eugene Ionesco's hysterical farce, The Painting,
both starring Priscilla Allen
Playing in Repertory with:
DJ SULLIVAN’S CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION OF
FRANKIE & JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, STARRING DAREN SCOTT AND DEVLIN
"This talented duo reached Frankie and Johnny's emotional cores and got every joke along the way...gets as many laughs today as when it premiered in 1987 -- thanks to director D.J. Sullivan, actors Daren Scott and Devlin, and the Vantage Theatre production" ---S.D. Reader
“a delightful production, teeming with talent”—Pat Launer, KPBS
“Vantage Theatre has provided yet another totally satisfying evening of exceptional theatre.”—SD Playbill