Posts Tagged Neal Skoy

AIRNESS BRINGS ROCK GLORY TO SAINT PAUL

Air guitar crosses into theatre with an epic feel-good comedy at Park Square

Three people all doing air guitar moves.

Neal Skoy, Julia Valen and Michael Terrell Brown are ready to rock out in Airness.

Saint Paul, MN. April 11, 2022: For its first full production since March of 2020, Park Square Theatre offers a breath of fresh air with an uplifting story about air guitar enthusiasts. AIRNESS, by Chelsea Marcantel, directed by Angela Timberman will be staged on Park Square’s Proscenium Stage, May 11 – June 5, 2022. (link to photos)

A righteous and smile-inducing comedy, AIRNESS begins as newcomer Nina enters her first air guitar competition. She thinks winning will be easy, but as she befriends a group of charismatic fanatics all committed to becoming the next champion, she discovers that there’s more to the art form than playing pretend; it’s about forging friendships, finding yourself in your favorite songs, and performing with raw joy. 

“Have you ever tried to find something you really want and then you accidentally find what you really need instead?” ask director Angela Timberman. “That’s what this play is about.” With samples of favorite rock anthems threaded throughout, including hits by Queen, the Ramones, Pat Benetar and many more, AIRNESS is an exuberant reminder that everything we need to rock is already inside us.

“An all-out comedy that’s fricking funny, hella heartfelt, and badass brilliant.” — DC Metro

A  group from Park Square fell in love with the play when it premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville in 2017. The original January 2021 production was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so it is with a roar of rock catharsis that AIRNESS at last makes its shredding, stage ascension. 

“I love how AIRNESS doesn’t take itself too seriously,” says Park Square Artistic Associate, Ellen Fenster. “It’s even better after the pandemic, it’s the breath of freshness which we all need right now, and yet, it really resonates today in terms of trying to ‘figure out how the skin I’m in connects to others.’ It portrays a place, physically and emotionally, where the characters really feel seen, when they are usually not seen in that way. It celebrates the human capacity for strange and unique passions, things people find to make meaning in their lives, connect with others, and find a place of belonging. Who knew air guitar was such a serious business?”

The play’s title comes from the three judging criteria of competitive air guitar: technical merit, stage presence and airness. “The last criteria is the most difficult to define yet often the most decisive of all,” according to the US Air Guitar Association’s website. “Airness is defined as the extent to which a performance transcends the imitation of a real guitar and becomes an art form in and of itself.” Minneapolis hosted the U.S. Air Guitar Championships in 2012, but anyone looking to get involved in 2022 will have to travel as the nearest competitions (at time of writing) are in Cleveland and Nashville. So put on your coolest power outfit, grab your best friend or a new crush, and head to Park Square to rock out with a play for everyone whose inner rock-god is waiting to break free.

The cast for AIRNESS includes Shae Palic* (Astrid “CANNIBAL QUEEN” Anderson), Daniel Petzold* (Mark “FACEBENDER” Lender), Neal Skoy (Ed “SHREDDY EDDY” Leary), Michael Terrell Brown (Gabe “GOLDEN THUNDER” Partridge), Julia Valen (Nina O’Neal), and understudies Berto Borroto and Maggie Cramer.

The production team for AIRNESS includes Angela Timberman* (Director), Dorian Brooke (Assistant Director), MJ Leffler (Set Designer), Ash M. Kaun (Costume Designer), Eric M. C. Gonzalez (Sound Designer), Alex Clark (Lighting Designer), Christopher Heilman (Props Designer), Jess Rau (Wig Designer), Kathy Maxwell (Projection Designer), Leslie Ritenour (Assistant Projection Designer), Ashley Raper* (Stage Manager), and Jaya Robillard (Assistant Stage Manager).

*Member, Actors Equity Association

TICKET PRICES: Previews: $27-$37. Regular Run: $40-$55. Discounts are available for students and educators, seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale by phone at 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #pstAirness

COVID-19 vaccinations or negative test results as well as masks are required at all performances. 

PHOTOS by Richard Fleischman Photography on the Park Square website HERE, or in Google Drive HERE.

Girl Friday Productions Stages 1943 Pulitzer Prize Winning Masterpiece THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH

Park Square Theatre, peforming arts community hub with two stages in Saint Paul, Minnesota             

 

Girl Friday Productions Stages 1943 Pulitzer Prize Winning Masterpiece
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder

Media Contact: Connie Shaver
612.308.5785 shaver@parksquaretheatre.org
Tickets: 651.291.7005 or
parksquaretheatre.org

St. Paul, MN, Jan. 8, 2019 – A surprisingly modern and optimistic tribute to the invincibility of the human spirit, Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, produced by Girl Friday Productions and directed by Joel Sass, opens February 9, 2019 on the proscenium stage at Park Square Theatre. Girl Friday Productions brings its signature large ensemble cast to this comedy of epic proportions.

“All I ask is the chance to build new worlds…” – Mr. Antrobus in THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH.

Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH juxtaposes everyday life with the historical and mythological past to create a wonderfully odd world. The play follows the adventures of an eternal American family residing in prehistoric and contemporary New Jersey who prevail over a series of apocryphal catastrophes. The ice age, the great flood, world war, family strife, political conventions… the Antrobus family, their maid Sabina, and a host of other characters survive through eons of calamity with their hope intact. Continually facing the end of days, humanity perseveres. This 75-year old comedy about resilience and hope feels fresh and profoundly relevant for today.

Girl Friday Productions is offering a rare opportunity for Twin Cities’ audiences: the last local professional production of THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH was their own. “When Girl Friday first explored this work in 2009, our country was in the depth of economic crisis,” says Girl Friday Productions Artistic Director Kirby Bennett. “Ten years later, we find ourselves at a time of moral peril, facing different yet familiar world calamities: conflicts at home and abroad, a refugee crisis, climate change, a loss of faith in our leaders, a loss of hope. THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH explores all this and more, in ways that are at once unexpected, hilarious and moving. And where else will you see a dinosaur and mammoth onstage?”

Acclaimed Twin Cities’ theatre artist Joel Sass is both directing and creating the scenic design for THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH. A longtime collaborator and advisor to Girl Friday Productions, Sass previously designed sets for Girl Friday Productions’ OUR TOWN and STREET SCENE. His work has been seen regionally and nationally at the Guthrie Theater, Jungle Theater, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Open Eye, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arizona Theatre Company, among many others. A prolific director, designer and adaptor, and winner of multiple local and national awards, Sass is among the most lauded theatre artists in the region.

“So many people read the play for the first time and cannot believe it was written in 1942,” comments Sass. “THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH still feels utterly fresh, edgy, funny and topical—and if it were written this year it would still be worthy of its Pulitzer Prize. A particular joy of working on this production will be the double opportunity to collaborate with a handful of people I’ve known and grown with for nearly two decades—and another group of amazing talents I have admired around town but not yet worked with. Together we will tackle this ‘mammoth’ of a script and bring its humor, political critique and optimism to a new audience.”

Actors Alayne Hopkins as Sabina, John Middleton as Mr. Antrobus and Kirby Bennett as Mrs. Antrobus lead Girl Friday Productions’ stellar ensemble cast of 15, which features many Twin Cities’ favorites as well as upcoming talent. The full cast includes: Kirby Bennett, Ernest Briggs, Pedro Juan Fonseca, Wendy Freshman, Kathryn Fumie, Alayne Hopkins, Sam Landman, Alice McGlave, John Middleton, Victoria Pyan, James Ramlet, Taj Ruler, Neal Skoy, Mike Swan and Dana Lee Thompson. Joining Sass on the exceptional design team are: Lighting Designer Mike Kittel, Costume Designer Kathy Kohl, Projections Designer Kathy Maxwell, Sound Designer C Andrew Mayer and Properties Designer Rick Polenek.

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by the Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program. THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH is being produced by Girl Friday Productions as part of Park Square’s “Theatres in Residence” Series.

Photo of Alayne Hopkins as Sabina by Richard Fleischman HERE
Group photo by Richard Fleischman HERE. Pictured left to right Front row: Taj Ruler, Kathryn Fumie, Neal Skoy, Back row: Dana Lee Thompson, Kirby Bennett, John Middleton, Alayne Hopkins, Ernest Briggs.

About Girl Friday Productions
“It’s wonderful to see these rarely produced gems.” – Girl Friday Productions audience member

The little company that does big plays, Girl Friday Productions focuses on larger scale American plays of exceptional literary merit that are less frequently produced today. The company’s mission is to nurture artists, inspire audiences and illuminate the human condition. Girl Friday Productions chooses to focus on a singular major project every other year. This approach maximizes efforts to work with challenging texts, large and skilled ensemble casts, and distinguished directors and designers. Girl Friday Productions’ work is characterized by exceptional literature, humanity, relevance and stimulating theatricality.

Founded in 2004 by Artistic Director Kirby Bennett, Girl Friday Productions’ most recent productions were IDIOT’S DELIGHT (Lavender Magazine notable performances in 2017), THE MATCHMAKER (2015 year-end recognition from Twin Cities Theatre Bloggers), CAMINO REAL (Lavender Magazine notable performances in 2013) and STREET SCENE (2011 “Top Ten”/Year End Highlights in the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and Lavender Magazine; Ivey Award for director). Other highlights include THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (MinnPost “Favorite for 2009”) and OUR TOWN (Pioneer Press’ “Top Ten Shows of 2007”).

Girl Friday Productions presents THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH by Thornton Wilder
February 7 – March 3, 2019

Location: Park Square Theatre’s Proscenium Stage
Historic Hamm Building in Downtown Saint Paul
20 West Seventh Place
Saint Paul, MN 55102

Tickets: Preview: $20/$27/$37; Regular Run: $25/$40/$60; discounts for seniors, students,
age 30 & under, groups, fringe buttons, MPR members, active military personnel; Pay What You Wish February 25.

Tickets: parksquaretheatre.org or call 651.291.7005 (noon – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday – Friday)
Information and company website: girlfridayproductions.org

Performance Schedule (18 performances over 4 weeks)
Evening shows at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm. The specific performance dates are:
Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 pm Preview
Friday, February 8 at 7:30 pm Preview
Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 pm Opening night and reception
Sunday, February 10 at 2 pm

Wednesday, February 13 at 7:30 pm Post show discussion
Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 15 at 7:30 pm Audio description and sensory tour
Saturday, February 16 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 pm

Thursday, February 21 at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 22 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 pm American Sign Language and post show discussion
Monday, February 25 at 7:30 pm Pay What You Wish

Thursday, February 28 at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 1 at 7:30 pm Open captioning
Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 pm Open captioning
Sunday, March 3 at 2:00 pm Open captioning, closing performance

– End –

Tickets

The Park Square Ticket Office is open for phone calls Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 5:00 pm.
Please call 651.291.7005.

For service other days of the week, please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets can be purchased online at anytime.

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