February 23, 2012

Regent Alum Kaja Dunn cast in Brownie Points

From BWW News Desk:

MFA Alum Kaja Dunn
Lamb’s Players Theatre today announced its cast for Brownie Points by Janece Schaffer. Ms. Schaffer is an award-winning playwright living in Atlanta, Georgia, and has had a long relationship with the Alliance Theatre there.

Brownie Points, written 2010, has seen previous productions in Atlanta, Sacramento and Seattle. The production at Lamb’s resident theatre in Coronado will be the play’s Southern California premiere.

The show centers on "five modern-day moms on a campout with their Girl Scout daughters in the pine hills of Georgia when an unexpected storm erupts. With a sharp ear for true conversation and a very funny wit, Schaffer asks which is more powerful – the bond of friendship, the shared experience of motherhood, or the divisiveness of race or religion? Funny, moving and powerful, it is easy to see why this new play has already won awards, and raves from audiences and critics across the country."

Brownie Points is directed by Lamb’s Associate Artistic Director, Deborah Gilmour Smyth, with scenic design by Michael McKeon, costume design by Keith Bonar and lighting design by Nathan Peirson.

The cast features Lamb’s Artistic Ensemble members Cynthia Gerber and Erica Phillips, along with award-winning San Diego actresses Monique Gaffney, Karson St John and Kaja Dunn.

Brownie Points goes into Previews April 13, with Opening Night April 20, running thru May 27.

Read more: http://sandiego.broadwayworld.com/article/Monique-Gaffney-Kaja-Terese-Dunn-et-al-to-Lead-Lambs-Players-Theatres-BROWNIE-POINTS-20120216#ixzz1nE1dFX4H

February 15, 2012

Graduating MFAs Fundraise in Fun Ways!

Mike and Sandy Salsbury serenade
Elinor Malendoski
Cupid and the Valen-twins, and the Salsburys
deliver a Valentine to Suzanne Morton

If you were passing through the halls of the Com building on February 14th, you may have heard the melodious strains of "You Are My Sunshine", "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" or "Follow My Heart".  Or perhaps you caught a glimpse of the Valen-twin fairies.  If you were really lucky, you may have seen Cupid - as you've never seen him before!

The graduating class of MFA actors held a singing telegram fundraiser on Valentine's Day, and it was a ringing success! Thank you so much to all who participated.
Zach Bortot as Cupid

Whitney Rappana and Jeff Fazakerley
sing "Follow Your Heart"

The next event is being held this very weekend.  On Sunday, February 19th, at 7:30pm, in the Studio Theatre... "They Fight!"
This is an evening of theatrical combat, performed and choreographed by Regent students and alums.  Performances include scenes from Shakespeare, a Kung Fu showdown, Rapier and Dagger in corsets, a warrior goddess dance with broadswords, and much more.  The evening will conclude with a Gladiator match, in which your donations and crowd participation determine the fate of one of the fighters.  Admission is free, but it a fundraiser after all, so donations are gratefully accepted! Please be advised, there is a strong parental advisory due to language and realistic violence. 

Finally, mark March 31st on your calendar now! The MFAs will be holding a jazz night, featuring swing dance lessons, cabaret style entertainment, food, and dancing.  This would be a great date night, or a fantastic evening to hang out with a group of friends.  More details will be coming soon, but make plans now to be there.  You won't want to miss it!

All proceeds from these fundraisers go towards the annual industry showcase, where the graduating actors have the opportunity to have their work seen by casting directors, talent agents and other industry professionals.  It's an important launching pad towards their future careers as Christian artists.  Your support is gratefully appreciated!

February 8, 2012

Super Bowl Commercial Wins Big!

by Rachel Judy

Adjunct Professor Derek Leonidoff
Most of the time, commercials provide television watchers a chance to step away from the couch. On the biggest sports Sunday of the year, however, they usually provide the motivation to stay put. It was just such a commercial that had Derek Leonidoff, Regent University adjunct professor and coordinator of Regent's Varsity Improv Players (VIPs) troop, and many of his students and colleagues
glued to their seats Sunday night during the Super Bowl.
A Virginia Beach-based actor and drama director at Spring Branch Community Church, Leonidoff recently starred in a commercial titled "Man's Best Friend" produced by Virginia Beach-based Jonathan Friedman. The commercial was entered into the "Doritos Crash the Super Bowl" contest, which gave online voters a chance to select their two favorites from five finalists.

Fans had to watch to see which two Grand Prize winning commercials would air during the Super Bowl XLVI broadcast. On Sunday, Feb. 6, Leonidoff and his canine costar Huff were broadcast nationally during the game's second quarter.

For many of Regent's theatre arts students, seeing Leonidoff on screen and watching his commercial win national acclaim was both exciting and encouraging.

"Theatre is a collaborative art, and the professors in the department do an excellent job of cultivating community," said Sarah Grice, a theatre student in Regent's School of Undergraduate Studies (RSU). "[He] is a mentor and a friend to many of us."

Grice and fellow RSU student Jared O'Dell both agree that Leonidoff's work encourages them as inspiring actors. "It is beneficial to learn from people who are actively participating [in the industry]," O'Dell explained. "Their advice is not just 'this is what worked 20 years ago' but rather what worked last year. Plus, it is exciting to join them in their victories."

"You learn so much by working with actors who have more experience and training than you do," Grice said.

Because the commercial also made it to one of the top three spots (including ties) according to the USA TODAY Ad Meter rankings, Doritos awarded its creator $1 million and a consulting contract with a Hollywood professional with the opportunity to produce an additional commercial.

February 3, 2012

Fight Night!

On February 19th at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre Regent University students will perform "They Fight” a night of scenes exploring the many unique facets of the world of stage combat.

"They Fight" is a benefit to help fund the graduating M.F.A. Cohort’s acting showcase. There will be no admission charged but donations are welcome. This production will be an entirely student-run event including choreography from recent Regent graduates Chad Rasor and Sean Cowan along with current 3rd year students Zach Bortot and Britain Willcock. The scenes will include a classic scene from Shakespeare, a Kung Fu face off, a dance of warrior goddesses with broadswords, and much more.

The night will conclude with a gladiatorial style match in which extra donations from the audience will decide the fate of one of the fighters.

This event has a parental advisory for realistic violence and language.

Please join us for a night of creative combat and help support the graduating cohort’s first step into the professional world of theater!