21
Sep

Meet Jo Sullivan, Agnes in BUG

Jo Sullivan (Agnes White) is thrilled to be working with Dominion Stage for the first time. The cast, board and leadership and support from Jennifer and the production team has been such a gift and as she watched the audition notice go up and counted the days til the audition – it really was an honor to get that call offering her the part. Jo has been acting on and off her whole life in productions as varied as Viola in Twelfth Night in Westchester, NY all the way to Jenny Malone in Chapter Two (CP). Her first love is always the dark and twisty so Agnes fits that perfectly. Having explored Tracy Letts before as Barbara in August: Osage County she thought she knew what she was in for – but Agnes is the most perfectly broken character Letts has created to date. In her daily life, Jo is a fundraising and nonprofit professional but is taking an unplanned mid-life crisis to explore other fields and currently studying to become an Addiction Counselor. HUGE thanks to Dan – the best line drill man who has never been on stage.

Jo Sullivan 1 240x300 Meet Jo Sullivan, Agnes in BUG

Jo Sullivan as Agnes White in BUG




Come see Jo and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!

What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

I became a Lett’s fan after doing August: Osage County. There is something sad, vulnerable and tragic in his characters. He spins stories of mental illness, addiction and dysfunction in a way that’s believable and recognizable today’s society. For BUG – I was drawn to Agnes because I saw parts of me in her – the good and the bad – and exploring her as a character was also an exploration in some dark and twisty stuff in me. Each of the characters brings a set of demons into the hotel room and how the story unfolds is intense and tragic – but more importantly – real because of the depth of characters the play and Jennifer Lyman allows us to build.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

I am too old to actually count years!! But, I can say my Mother used to tell me when I was 3 or 4 I used to tell her I wanted to be Dr. Doolittle or Carol Burnett. So, most of my life I have been in or around theater. There were periods I just didn’t have the time to commit because life did what life does – but never more than 18 months or so before I’d find a way back to my first love!

What creeps you out the most?

Spiders. I am HORRIBLY afraid of spiders, And have a visceral reaction to them….I tend to want to go all Peter and tape up the house with plastic and bug bomb the crap out of everything. Sad but true….I’ve made myself physically ill tracking a spider all over the house and spraying a mushroom cloud of raid. Whole can…….mostly fuming around my face…..had a headache for days.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

If you want to transition to something professional…patience, commitment, build a network and be ready to hear “no” a lot!

What have you learned about yourself in doing this show?

Like all shows that force me to go somewhere dark and twisty – I like the journey. I relish the opportunity to go into worlds like this as a voyeur and it also touches some real life experiences of mine – so it is a cheap form of therapy. Or more expensive depending on how I look at it!

When a scene calls for you to display hatred, what do you think about?

I had a director once tell me that anger and hatred were boring. That every character had SOMETHING redeeming in the character you feel the emotion toward OR how you react if you’re on the “hate” side. I’m not sure I’ll ever be that good. But – I do try. I try to think of Goss – and maybe the time he picked up diapers and brought flowers or whatever….and hope a tender spot emerges before he’s an a** again and the hate and anger take over

19
Sep

Meet Mike Fox, Jerry Goss in BUG

Mike Fox (Jerry Goss) is delighted to be making his Dominion Stage debut. Past favorite roles include Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, Laertes in Hamlet and as Prince Hal in Henry IV Part One and Prince Hal/Henry V in Henry IV Part Two. Mike can next be seen as Torch in Beirut by Alan Bowne and as Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in The Clare de Lune by Terrance McNally. Stafford, I know you’re looking down and smiling.

Mike Fox 1 240x300 Meet Mike Fox, Jerry Goss in BUG

Mike Fox as Jerry Goss in BUG

Come see Mike and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!


How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

One day after lacrosse practice back when I was a freshman in college, I was walking back to my dorm and I saw this extremely good looking girl sitting on a bench talking to herself. I asked her if she was okay. She giggled and told me she was getting ready for an audition for a school production of Othello. I had read the play in high school, I understood Iambic pentameter as well as scansion and started talking about it because I wanted to impress her. We hit it off and she convinced me to audition for the play. I figured it would be another good way to impress her and she was really hot so I went. There I was in lacrosse shorts and practice jersey at an audition fumbling over lines from sides. They kept having me read over and over and I wound up getting cast as Iago. I had a lot of fun doing the show although I never did hook up or date the girl but we became friends. That is how I found out I would enjoy acting.
Throughout my adult life I’ve done shows whenever there was time permitting which was few and far between but theatre has always been a constant in my adult life and has been my friend through so much. It’s kind of like Motley Crüe and Iron Maiden in that it helped mark certain milestones in my existence and like going to concerts it is a form of escape for me.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?

The show is blocked first. I’ve never done a show that was blocked before lines. It’s interesting.
I have gained some weight since i retired from US Army back in 2011 and this is the first show I’ve done as a heavy person. Considering I will be doing Beirut in summer 2015 for a friend of mine out in San Francisco, this will be the last show I do heavy because I have to lose 60-70 pounds for Beirut. Which is a good thing because I need to start running regularly again and get back on the bike.

What creeps you out the most?

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone but what creeps me out most is midgets or “little people.” I was stuck in an elevator for 40 minutes with a female primordial dwarf when I was 17 years old. She kept hitting on me and making sexual innuendos. The “escape hatch” was actually bolted shut or I would’ve climbed out.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

The same that I want from every show. I want the audience to experience a slice of life and to forget about the outside world for the time they are with us.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

Jump in with both feet and don’t let anyone else limit you. If you want to do a role then go and get it and if there is no one putting that show up, then there is nothing stopping you from putting up the show yourself.

What have you learned about yourself in doing this show?

I don’t know if I’ve actually learned anything new about myself doing this show but I have met wonderful people and I am very much enjoying myself.

When a scene calls for you to display hatred, what do you think about?

My cleaning list.

17
Sep

Meet Mike Rudden, Peter Evans in BUG

Mike Rudden (Peter Evans) is making his second appearance with Dominion Stage, having previously been seen as Alex in last spring’s The Little Dog Laughed. Other recent credits include Logan in Tell-Tale (Grain of Sand), Domin in R.U.R. (Naked Theatre Company), Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest (Castaways), Billy Bibbitt in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Prince William Little Theatre), and Geoffrey in The Lion in Winter (Vpstart Crow). He has received education degrees from Northern Michigan University and George Mason University, and currently teaches high school mathematics for Fairfax County Public Schools.

Mike Rudden 1 240x300 Meet Mike Rudden, Peter Evans in BUG

Mike Rudden, Peter Evans in BUG

Come see Mike and the rest of the cast in Bug by Tracy Letts, Oct. 3-18, 8pm; Gunston Theatre One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. Buy Tickets Now!


What do you find most appealing about this show and your role in it?

I’m attracted to shows that will be an acting challenge, and provocative for the audience. BUG is effective because it builds tension and raises the stakes for the characters until the whole play, almost literally, explodes. My particular role has been challenging for two reasons. First, it has required a significant amount of research into recent American history, drug addiction, and mental illness that I wasn’t previously familiar with. Second, discovering a way to honestly portray and balance a desperate character in extreme circumstances while maintaining sincerity and authenticity.

How long have you been involved in theatre and what made you get into it?

I’ve been involved in theater almost 15 years, since high school, though I discovered by passion for it working on more “serious” material while working on my undergrad at Northern Michigan University. I enjoy discovering new characters, situations and environments so different from my own experiences. I appreciate the challenge of taking a character so different from myself, and exploring their motivations, beliefs, values, and obstacles.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? or, What’s something you’ve done in this show that you’ve never done before in any other show?

It’s one of the darkest and most physically demanding shows I’ve worked on. Though I’ve had some experience with stage combat and special effects before, the intensity of the physical and technical elements in this show will be challenging.

What creeps you out the most?

I don’t think anything in the show particularly creeps me out, though I am nervous about being able to maintain the energy and intensity required for the show throughout the rehearsal process and performances. All three scenes in the second act, especially, end with Peter in a physically traumatic situation. But in general…mayonnaise.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

Just like any show, I want the audience to be entertained, and to feel like they’ve experienced a world completely foreign to their own. Art about fear and anxiety can be cathartic for a lot people.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

Since I don’t work in theater, I might not have much practical advice to give. As an amateur community theater actor, I suggest only auditioning for shows you really want to do, and that you find interesting or challenging.

When a scene calls for you to display hatred, what do you think about?

I’m more of a technical actor than a method actor, so I don’t draw from my emotions/previous experiences as much as other actors might. I focus on my motivations and tactics, objective and obstacles, how I feel about the other characters on stage, and how I can express these things physically and vocally to the audience. This has been nice for this play, because it means I can “turn off” after an emotional scene easier than other actors might.

23
Jan

Dominion begins their final weekend of Urinetown, The Musical tonight!

contributed by Katie Holloway and Blake Rivers

Urinetown13 300x191 Dominion begins their final weekend of Urinetown, The Musical tonight!

Upon hearing the title, Urinetown, the first questions that quite often come to mind are, ” Who’s in town? What on Earth is this show about? There can’t possibly be a musical about pee, can there?” The answer is, well….yeah.

Urinetown is a place dreamed up by Greg Kotis, a New York playwright must know for his absurdist plays. He certainly never expected to write a musical, but Kotis got the idea on a trip to Paris in 1995 where he was shocked to learn he had to pay for access to some of the city’s urinals, something he hadn’t planned for in his budget. Kotis ended up having to count the trips to the pay toilet that were ubiquitous in the city, as he was a student at the time, and couldn’t afford to pay for several trips a day. Once back in New York, he joined with Mark Hollman to write the music and lyrics to bring this funny gem of an idea to life.

The story takes place in a grim dystopian city run by Caldwell B. Cladwell (Michael Bagwell). Cladwell monopolizes the city’s restrooms for the unsavory purpose of profiteering. Cladwell’s business, Urine Good Company, is protected by a ruthless police force who deports any violators of the tax to the oft-talked about, much feared, Urinetown. When the story’s hero, Bobby Strong (Matt Liptak) by chance crosses paths with Cladwell’s daughter, Hope (Melissa Berkowitz), she unwittingly inspires him to lead a pee-for-free rebellion, and then proverbial toilet over-flows!

Urinetown19 300x221 Dominion begins their final weekend of Urinetown, The Musical tonight!

Self-aware narration is one distinct attribute in Urinetown, with the narrator often chiming in to guide the story and let us know he’s in on the joke. The matchless production puts a strong emphasis on the entire ensemble of the production, rather than focusing on only the main characters. Dominion’s staging showcases a 20 person cast, ranging from Dominion Board members, actors who are making a repeat appearance with the group, and quite a few new faces.

Urinetown7 300x202 Dominion begins their final weekend of Urinetown, The Musical tonight!

This marks Patrick M. Doneghy’s third time directing and choreographing for Dominion. Previously he directed the heavenly fun musical, Altar Boyz, and a period comedy called Glorious! Doneghy already has wanted to direct Urinetown ever since playing Officer Lockstock in the Damascus Theatre Company’s production in 2008. “Urinetown is one of my favorite shows,” he said when asked why he wanted to direct the show. “It’s smart, funny, and irreverent. The writing is clever and the music is fantastic!”

At the helm as Music Director is Kevin Diana, another new face to the group. Despite being new to Dominion, Diana’s resume boasts a wide range of experience, including music directing shows like Don Carlo, Un Ballo in Maschera and Godspell, opera performance to choral conducting. He was the assistant music director for the Washington Master Chorale for the 2010-2012 season.

By confronting pressing modern issues like the role of capitalism in society and the hopes and dangers of populism, Urinetown is a perfect fit for the DC area and a definite must-see this winter. Urinetown is anything but traditional, and reflects the eccentric styles of Dominion productions. The clever vernacular in the musical not only provides the audience with entertainment, but teaches lessons applicable to the real world.

Urinetown, The Musical at Dominion Stage runs for three more performances only, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 8pm, at the Gunston Arts Center, Theater One, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206

urinetown1 300x214 Dominion begins their final weekend of Urinetown, The Musical tonight!
For tickets and more info, please visit: www.DominionStage.org

Music by Mark Hollman
Lyrics by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis
Book by Greg Kotis

Produced by Shawn g. Byers and Richard Isaacs
Directed by Patrick M. Doneghy
Music Direction by Kevin Diana
Choreographed by Richelle Howie and Patrick M. Doneghy
Stage Managed by Christine Farrell

Urinetown, The Musical, satirizes the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and municipal politics. The show also parodies musicals such as The Cradle Will Rock and Les Misérables, and the Broadway musical itself as a form. In reverse pantomime style, the unconventional plotline shatters audience expectations of a somewhat pleasant ending. The character of Bobby Strong was included on New York Theatre Monthly’s list of “The 100 Greatest Roles in Musical Theatre”.

Gunston Theater One
2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206

02
Jan

What is Urinetown?

With such an…unusual…title, many people find themselves asking, “What is Urinetown?” So as we approach the opening next week, here’s a little history on the show!

A musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself. The musical takes place in an undisclosed city. For decades, a serious drought has inflicted society with vast poverty, although callous business tycoons such as the main antagonist Cladwell B. Cladwell, have made a fortune through bribery and the monopolization of restrooms. All toilets have become property of his corporation “Urine Good Company.” A brutal police force maintains order, sending violators of the law to a place called “Urinetown.”

Hunter Foster joins Bridges of Madison County cast st th What is Urinetown?

Greg Kotis, who wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics for the show, had the idea for Urinetown while traveling in Europe. A traveling student on a budget, he encountered a pay-per-use toilet, and began writing shortly thereafter, joining with Mark Hollmann, who wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics.

urinetown1 300x205 What is Urinetown?

The journey to Broadway wasn’t easy for this show. At first, nobody was interested in putting this show up. At one point, an experimental theatre group in Chicago agreed to include it in their 1999-2000 season, but eventually those plans fell through. Finally, they were able to produce the show as part of the New York Fringe Festival where it was well-received. This led to an Off Broadway the Off-Broadway stint. Once people realized how clever and funny the show was it was given the opportunity to make the move to Broadway. The show was supposed to open on September 13, 2001, but due to the attacks on September 11th, it was postponed for a week. Finally, on September 20, 2001, Urinetown made its Broadway debut.

urinetown bway What is Urinetown?

The show which nobody wanted to produce at first did so well on Broadway, that it garnered nominations for 9 Tony Awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award. The show won the Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Direction of a Musical in 2002. The actress who originated the role of Little Sally from the very beginning also won a Theatre World Award for her performance.

More than a decade after its Broadway run, Urinetown: The Musical is about to make its West End debut! The show will open at the St. James Theatre in London in February 2014.

Urinetown The Musical Poster 300x298 What is Urinetown?

But you can see it before that! Catch Dominion’s production starting January 10th and running through the 25th! See below for more info!

urinetown1 300x214 What is Urinetown?
For tickets and more info, please visit: www.DominionStage.org

Fridays > January 10, 17, 24
Saturdays > Jan 11, 18, 25
Thursdays > January 16, 23
All shows start at 8 pm

Music by Mark Hollman
Lyrics by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis
Book by Greg Kotis

Produced by Shawn g. Byers and Richard Isaacs
Directed by Patrick M. Doneghy
Music Direction by Kevin Diana
Choreographed by Richelle Howie and Patrick M. Doneghy
Stage Managed by Christine Farrell

Urinetown, The Musical, satirizes the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and municipal politics. The show also parodies musicals such as The Cradle Will Rock and Les Misérables, and the Broadway musical itself as a form. In reverse pantomime style, the unconventional plotline shatters audience expectations of a somewhat pleasant ending. The character of Bobby Strong was included on New York Theatre Monthly’s list of “The 100 Greatest Roles in Musical Theatre”.

Gunston Theater One
2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206





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