March 26, 2012

An Evening of Jazz!

On Saturday, March 31, from 7:30pm until 10:30pm, the graduating class of MFA Actors will be holding An Evening of Jazz at Regent University's Ordinary.
Admission is free and includes a free dessert bar! However, the event IS a fundraiser for the MFA Showcase, so your donations are gratefully accepted! All donations will go towards the May showcase, which will take place in Naples, FL. May 16th-18th.

From 7:30 - 8:30, dance lessons will be given by Britain Willcock and Whitney Rappana.  Then from 8:30 to 10:30, you'll have the chance to try out what you've learned by dancing the night away to jazz standards played by a live trio and sung by the graduating actors themselves! The repetoire includes such favorites as "The Way You Look Tonight", "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "Come Rain or Come Shine" and many, many more.  Come for the dance lessons, come later in the evening just to dance or enjoy the music, come for the free desserts...just COME!!!

Bring a partner, bring the kids, bring your friends...this is an evening you won't want to miss.

Diana Coates, Britain Willcock, Amy Dunlap, Nathanael Fisher
Jeff Fazakerley, Micaela DeLauro, Whitney Rappana
Mike Salsbury, Zach Bortot, Madeline Ranson
MFA Cohort A!
An Evening of Jazz...this Saturday night!

March 8, 2012

Doubt opens this weekend!

Don't miss Regent's opening weekend of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt: A Parable.  Here are some thoughts by director Mark Paladini.

Mark Paladini

I remember the television replay of Kennedy’s funeral in November of 1964, which is when our play begins. I also remember snippets of the Latin Mass and how excited my mother was about the changes that Vatican II was bringing about. I remember being petrified of the principal of Notre Dame Elementary School, an austere nun with marked similarities to Sister Aloysius in Doubt. When I was older, our pastor, Father O’Connor, always called upon me to serve as an altar boy, but I never experienced any of the problems discussed in Shanley’s play or in headlines today. I have fond memories of another priest, Father Deegan, visiting our home and playing basketball with us, removing the distance previously observed by the clergy. Times, they were a changin’.

Shanley titled his play Doubt – A Parable, because he created a fictional story in order to teach us all a lesson about doubt vs. certainty in a changing world. I believe he chose a more innocent time, because the progressive movement in 1964 seems quaint when compared to our current cultural norms. Many things that appear to be black and white to Sr. Aloysius during the time of the play have been discarded just as the Latin Mass was replaced shortly thereafter. This provides a backdrop for the universal struggle of good vs. evil in conjunction with the battle of doubt vs. certainty. Hopefully, the doubts that arise from the lesson of the parable will give us an opportunity to reflect on our own imperfect natures.

The story asks us all to examine our lives and speculate whether our points of view might seem antiquated 20 years from now. Do we suffer from an inelasticity that we gain as we get older, a disdain for leaving our comfort zone? Is our certainty a vestige of our loyalty to our jobs, cultural norms or political affiliations? Shanley is using a more innocent time to encourage all of us to ask these questions and make distinctions between non-negotiable truths and temporal priorities with a soon-to-be-expiring shelf life.

I have a fond place in my heart for my Catholic upbringing. When researching the play, I discovered that Father O’Connor was subsequently accused of improper behavior at his next parish. Father Deegan left the priesthood and married my brother’s first grade teacher. And one-by-one, the nuns disappeared. I still pray for vocations (men and women who are called to work for the Lord) and know in my heart that these selfless people should not be stained by the few who have stumbled.

- Mark Paladini

Call the box office for tickets at 757-352-4245