Make Your Own Masks and Shakespeare

For a college project, FIU student, Samantha Palomino created masks for our 2017 School & Community Tour of The Taming of the Shrew in the style of Commedia del’Arte. She has shared the process with us so you too can make your own mask at home. Remember to share photos with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Commedia del’ Arte was a Theatre style developed by a traveling improvisational show in Italy. The shows centered around a certain group of caricatures including, lovers, old perverts, and reedy servants, displaying hilarious antics in masks with exaggerated features, like large noses or flared eyebrows and perked cheeks. The style was so popular that future playwrights would use these characters as inspiration for their own, such as Tartuffe by Moliere and Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare.

Materials Needed:

Newspaper
Plaster of Paris
Face Mold
White Glue
Water
Vinegar
Paint Brush
Molding Clay
Acrylic Gloss
Felt
Mod Podge
Sandpaper
Scissors
Fake Hair/Fabric for decoration
Elastic, thread or ribbon

Step 1 (If using a Pre-made store bought face mold, exclude this step)
Prepare a face mold to build upon as the inside of your mold. First apply Vaseline or any other kind of nontoxic lubricant to the face, especially over any facial hair. Cover your face in wet plaster strips from rolled plaster and wait until warm and dry. To remove, scrunch and open your face to loosen the plaster face mold and  gently pull off. Apply Vaseline to the inside of the mask as well. Use a quick drying kind of cement like mixture and fill. Let sit till completely dry (24 hours) and remove.

Step 2
Use the face mold to apply modeling clay creating large cheeks, pronounced eyebrows and very broad features for the foundation of the mask. The exaggerated features make it specific to the Commedia del’Arte style.

Step 3
Now for your paper mache mix. Start with 2 oz of the white elmers glue, 1 tbsp of water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and mix. Then add ¼ cup of Plaster of Paris and mix. The vinegar keeps the mix from setting so quickly. Add one coat of this mix to the face without paper. Then add small to medium strips of paper and add another coat of plaster. Add paper, then another layer of plaster and one more layer of paper and last coat of plaster paste.

Step 4
Cleanup time, sand down any wrinkles of paper and use one coat of Acrylic gloss. This will smooth out any mistakes, and give a smooth finish.

Step 5
Now cut away any excess paper mache for the desired shape. Clean and even up the edges with sandpaper.

Step 6
Add a layer of Mod Podge to clean up the rough outside. Let dry and wait till dry. Now the surface is smooth enough to paint, and seal with acrylic gloss. Now that the outside is decorated, you can add felt to the inside for comfort and foam to fill in any spaces. Add either ribbon, thread or elastic into small holes to hold onto the face.

Decorate creatively and according to the character!

See the performance Sun Feb 26 at 3pm at the Sandrell Rivers Theater OR Sun Mar 5 at The Seminole Theatre!

Thank you to our collaborators What if Works, Inc and FIU Associate Professor, Phillip Church.

 

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reviews Between Riverside and Crazy

An Angry Cop Gets Big Laughs

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer-winning serious comedy gets a staging in Florida

by Terry Teachout

Leo Finnie (Pops), Marckenson Charles (Junior), Arturo Rossi (Oswaldo) in Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis at GableStage. Photo by George Schiavone.

 

The Pulitzer Prize for drama is not infrequently given for reasons other than pure excellence, but on occasion it hits the right target with admirable exactitude. Such was the case when the 2015 prize went to Stephen Adly Guirgis’s “Between Riverside and Crazy,” an uncommonly fine serious comedy about a widowed cop who got shot off duty eight years before and who, now unhappily retired, is stewing in his own acidic juices. By all rights, “Between Riverside and Crazy” should have transferred to Broadway after its highly successful Atlantic Theater Company run, but new plays, funny or not, no longer tend to do well on the Great White Way. Instead it has been enthusiastically taken up by regional theaters. The latest of these companies, Coral Gables’ GableStage, produced Mr. Guirgis’s “The Motherf**ker With the Hat” in 2012 and did it at least as well as the play had been done on Broadway the preceding season. GableStage’s production of “Between Riverside and Crazy” is yet another coup, a bases-loaded four-bagger that will remind anyone who’s still wondering that you don’t have to go to New York to see great theater.

Like “Motherf**ker,” “Between Riverside and Crazy” is a tough-minded domestic comedy about urban life that never settles for been-there-seen-that predictability. Pops (Leo Finnie), the cop who got shot, longs to exact revenge on the New York Police Department for having cynically given him what he believes to be the run-around. Beneath his boiling rage, he’s also a decent guy who wants to do the right thing by Junior (Marckenson Charles), his troubled son, and Oswaldo and Lulu (Arturo Rossi and Gladys Ramirez), two of Junior’s friends who have also taken up residence in his apartment.

Stephen McKinley Henderson, who created the role of Pops in the play’s original off-Broadway production, is one of America’s top character actors. I can say no better about Mr. Finnie than that he makes a wholly individual impression in the same part: His anger is more deeply buried than that of Mr. Henderson, enough so that you’ll jump when it boils over. Ms. Ramirez, who was delectably brassy in GableStage’s “Motherf**ker,” is no less pungent here, and the other members of the seven-person cast leave nothing to be desired in the way of plausibility.

The unusually wide and shallow stage of GableStage’s 150-seat theater is a tough space on which to mount plays that, like “Between Riverside and Crazy,” require multiple scene changes (Walt Spangler’s off-Broadway set made use of a turntable). Not to worry: Lyle Baskin has crammed three railroad-flat interiors and a fire-escape scene onto the stage without breaking anything, and Joseph Adler, the company’s artistic director, has staged the proceedings with his usual directness and clarity. The result is one of the most satisfying shows I’ve seen so far this season.

Mr. Teachout, the Journal’s drama critic, is the author, most recently, of “Satchmo at the Waldorf.” Write to him at tteachout@wsj.com.

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Coconut Grove Playhouse Update #2

On December 8, 2016, Miami-Dade County held a meeting to release and discuss the proposed Master Plan for the Coconut Grove Playhouse. You can find all of the information released to the public concerning site testing, historical research, and the initial site plan here as well as continue to follow along with updates directly from Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

Miami Herald writes Andres Viglucci published an account of the meeting and description of the plan on December 12, 2016.

“The storied, state-owned Coconut Grove Playhouse abruptly dropped the curtain on its last show at mid-season a decade ago, the victim of crippling debts that critics blamed on mismanagement by a nonprofit board, a run of mediocre productions and one stark reality: In a city of 2.5 million, the theater couldn’t fill its 1,130 seats.

It wasn’t the first time that the theater, built in the 1920s as a silent-movie house, failed.

The movie house had closed after a few years, even after adding sound. It had again failed after being converted by private owners into a live, for-profit theater in the 1950s, before two efforts to run it as a nonprofit venture under state ownership also stumbled — all that despite a long run of legendary productions featuring some of the biggest stars of stage and screen of the day.

That tenuous financial history, and a determination not to repeat it, now underpins a slow-moving but escalating effort by the administration of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to revive the playhouse, albeit in a much different form that has split the city’s theatrical community.

Under a $20 million master plan unveiled earlier this month after a year of close-to-the-vest design work and analysis, the county would shrink the size of the playhouse to 300 seats by tearing down the existing auditorium and replacing it with a new, free-standing theater. The new house would be programmed by GableStage, a small but critically lauded — and financially solid — theater company that now operates at the Biltmore Hotel.

The plan would also fully restore the separate Mediterranean-style, wing-shaped three-story building on Main Highway that gives the playhouse its public face and, county consultants say, its unparalleled architectural and historic value.

That approach, Gimenez’s cultural czar says, will ensure both financial stability and artistic excellence with the money already on hand. The county earmarked $20 million from two bond programs for construction of the new playhouse. (A garage to be built separately by the city’s parking authority would rise in the theater’s surface lot and parking revenue would cover renovation costs.)

Given GableStage’s record for artistic prowess and tight management, and with help from the county, the company would then grow at the playhouse into what Miami has long lacked, said Miami-Dade cultural affairs chief Michael Spring: a true regional theater group that puts on new and classic plays while nurturing local actors, directors and writers and, not incidentally, drawing enough of an audience to pay the bills.

Spring and GableStage director Joe Adler say 300 seats, double the capacity of the company’s current space and with adequate backstage space that the Biltmore lacks entirely, will allow the company to expand its reach and the range and frequency of its productions while maintaining the intimate, close-in feel that distinguishes it.

‘This is the theater we think is right,’ Spring said. ‘This is what works for this company, what works for this community.’

The new playhouse would be largely self-sustaining even as GableStage grows, generating income from the garage as well as ticket sales and private fundraising, Spring and Adler say. The 18-year old company, which currently has a $1.3 million annual budget, receives only $100,000 from the county, like most cultural groups, and has no debt.

The county plan — the result of a complex agreement with the state, which retains ownership, and Florida International University, which has a 99-year lease on the playhouse property — has been embraced by a good chunk of Miami’s growing professional theater community. It’s also won support from some preservationists, who had been worried the county would seek to demolish the entire playhouse.”

Read the full article here.

 

 

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Coconut Grove Playhouse Update #1

GS logo - LIn banner

 

Dear Friends of GableStage,

We are making steady progress on our new home at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

All of us at GableStage are so excited to share some of the developments with you:

  • World-class architectural firm Arquitectonica and historic preservation architect Jorge Hernandez are part of a “dream team” hired and at work now on designing the project.
  • GableStage has completed the building program for our 300-seat theater with the guidance of renowned New York theater designers, Fischer Dachs Associates.
  • By the end of this summer, we should see the first preliminary architectural drawings for the Playhouse and share them with you in public meetings and on our website.

Our goal is to work with our designers and our project partners – Miami-Dade County and Florida International University – to have the architectural and engineering work completed and construction bids issued as early as 2017. With a contractor on board, we will be will on the way to our new home at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs is posting Playhouse updates on its website. Click here to see the latest news.

We will continue to post periodic news about the progress on launching our next era of great theater – GableStage at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Join our e-mail list for immediate updates.

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about the evolution of our company’s name once we are officially “moved”!

Warmest,

Joseph Adler
Producing Artistic Director

Playhouse Fact:

GableStage has a 100-year agreement with Miami-Dade County to be the operator of the new 300-seat theater being designed and built with $20 million of secured County funding. Soon, we will be sharing opportunities for you to have your name associated with this historic project!

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Stalking the Bogeyman featured on WPBT2 Art Loft

While Stalking the Bogeyman has now closed at GableStage, it left a lasting impact on our audience. Watch the video that aired as part of WPBT2’s Art Loft to see a little from the performers and our Producing Artistic Director, Joseph Adler, on why we choose plays like this to produce.

Featured in the video: Taylor Miller (David Holthouse), Alex Alvarez (Bogeyman), David Kwiat (Robert Holthouse), Patti Gardner (Nancy Holthouse), Bill Schwartz (Russ Crawford), and Barbara Sloan (Carol Crawford)

Lighting Design: Bryan Kaschube

Set Design: Lyle Baskin

Costume Design: Ellis Tillman

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Announcing the 2016-2017 Season!

Season 19

AN ACT OF GOD by David Javerbaum

Nov 19-Dec 18, 2016

Broadway’s #1 Comedy and The New York Times Critics’ Pick – this sinfully funny and critically acclaimed new play has the Almighty and His devoted Angels answering some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. He’s returned to set the record straight…and He’s not holding back! This hilarious 90-minute comedy was written by God and transcribed by 13-time Emmy Award winner David Javerbaum (The Daily Show)!

“Deliriously, Divinely Funny! Comedy Genius!” –The New York Times

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Jan 21-Feb 19, 2017

From the author of The Motherfucker with the Hat (which GableStage produced in 2012). The play has won numerous awards including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2015 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. The Pulitzer judges called it “a nuanced, beautifully written play about a retired police officer faced with eviction that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death.”

Between Riverside and Crazy is a dizzying and exciting place to be. It traffics in paradoxes, which is to say it deals with the walking contradictions that are human beings!”-The New York Times

DRY POWDER by Sarah Burgess

Mar 25- Apr 23, 2017

This viciously, deliciously funny new drama is about the people shaping and skewing the American economy. About rapacious wheeling and dealing in the world of high finance – the play addresses the hot-button topics of income inequality and the collapse of American manufacturing.

“A gripping, razor-sharp new play about the price of success and the real cost of getting the deal done.” –The New York Times

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE by Matthew Lopez

May 27-Jun 25, 2017

How can an Elvis impersonator become a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? With an empty bank account and pregnant wife, Casey’s going to have to answer that question fast in this music-filled comedy about finding your true voice.

“A stitch-in-your-side funny first-rate play full of sass and good spirits!” –The New York Times

INFORMED CONSENT by Deborah Zoe Laufer

Jul 29-Aug 27, 2017

With genomic breakthroughs happening at breakneck speed, we can learn more about what our futures may hold than ever before. But how much should we know? And who gets to decide? The play takes us into the personal and national debate about science v. belief, and whether our DNA is our destiny.

“Critics Pick! A thoughtful and engrossing play…that raises questions about the potential conflicts between scientific discovery and religious beliefs.” –The New York Times

TBA

Oct 7-Nov 5, 2017

An exciting new play that is CURRENTLY in negotiation.

Subscriptions can be purchased Online, at the theatre or by calling our Box Office at 305-445-1119!

New Subscription = $275

Renewal Subscription = $250

All subscriptions include:

  • 6 flexible tickets to be used for any shows throughout the season
  • First choice on seating
  • Fee free ticket exchanges and purchasing (Subscribers are asked to give 24 hrs notice for cancellation or exchange)
  • $5 off unlimited additional ticket purchasing for guests
  • Discounts of special events
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Exciting changes to the 15-16 SEASON & a 16-17 Sneak Peak

The final production in the 2015-2016 Season will be the Southeastern Premiere of HAND TO GOD by Robert Askins (tickets on sale July 30) running Oct 1-30. This hysterical and provocative new comedy was hailed by the New York Times as “ferociously funny” and the New York Daily News called it “irreverent, raunchy and bound to leave you sore from laughing!” STALKING THE BOGEYMAN adapted by Markus Potter and David Holthouse will now be running Jul 30-Aug 28. I’M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD by Halley Feiffer will be shifted to a future season.

Sneak Peak into the 2016-2017 Season:

Our exciting 19th Season opens with David Javerbaum’s AN ACT OF GOD running Nov 19-Dec 18. Based on the satirical book and twitter account, this new comedy reveals the mysteries of the Bible while answering existential questions that have plagued mankind since Creation – in just 90 minutes. Additionally, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY by Stephen Adly Guirgis will have its Southeastern Premiere from Jan 21-Feb 19. As the 2015 Winner of the PULITZER PRIZE for DRAMA this new play was labeled by Newsday as a “smart, exuberantly funny urban dramedy with a spirit as shrewd and forgiving as its motormouth language is wild and lush!” Four additional plays are currently in negotiation.

Subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased online or by calling the GableStage Box Office at 305-445-1119.

Resubscription Letter - Flyer (FINAL)

 

Renewal Subscription $250

New Subscriptions $275

NOTE: Renewal Subscriptions, if purchases prior to June 30, include an additional ticket to bring a guest to the theatre or attend a show multiple times. 7 total tickets for the season! This is a savings of $188!

Subscribers receive preferred seating, easy exchange and cancellation with 24 hrs. notice, no additional fees, flexible ticketing, $5 off additional ticket purchases, and discounts on special events.

SINGLE TICKET PRICES FOR THE 2016-2017 SEASON: 

Thurs & Fri at 8pm $45.00

Sat at 8pm $60.00

Sun at 2pm $55.00

Sun at 7pm $45.00

Per Ticket Convenience Charge $3.00

*Prices, Dates, and Plays are subject to change

 

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Our 1st GIVEAWAY!

Thanks to USB Memory Direct, we have some unique and functional 8GB Custom USB Drives to giveaway to the next people who sign up for our e-mail list via the link below (until supplies last). We’ve only had a limited quantity made and you can be the first to have one. Show your support for GableStage around town and always have a pen when you need one.

*Photos not representative of actual size*

0418161254

0418161255

Sign up for our email list via this survey!

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL Reviews IT’S ONLY A PLAY

Insider Comedy for the Masses

Terrence McNally’s backstage farce is filled with humor that can be appreciated by everyone from seasoned theatregoers to dramaturgical neophytes.

By TERRY TEACHOUT

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Michael McKeever and Joe Ferrarelli in IT’S ONLY A PLAY by Terrence McNally

It’s Only A Play, Terrence McNally’s 1982 backstage farce about the opening-night party for a play that gets roasted by the critics, was given a new lease on commercial life by a Jack O’Brien-directed 2014 Broadway revival that starred Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham. Now Florida’s GableStage, whose intimate 150-seat theater is in Coral Gable’ Biltmore Hotel, is presenting a production of the same play that doesn’t have any stars but is fully as funny.

While the effectiveness of this production is partly due to the quality of Mr. McNally’s one-liners, it has at least as much to do with Joseph Adler’s direction. GableStage performs in a wide, shallow space that is hard to use effectively, but Mr. Adler knows its quirks and makes the most of them, and the modes size of the house (there are only six rows of seats) makes you feel as though you’re a guest at the party. The seven members of the cast act broadly but without exaggeration, as befits the close quarters, and you laugh at them even harder  because they’re so believable. Michael McKeever, for instance, plays the role assumed by Mr. Lane on Broadway, a stage actor turned sitcom star who can’t decide whether to hate or love himself, and his neat, dapper malevolence is as right in its own way as was Mr. Lane’s play-to-the-top-balcony flamboyance.

Mr. McNally updated the period references in It’s Only a Play for the Broadway revival, and he’s added a few new inside-baseball touches since then (yes, there’s a Hamilton bit). Fortunately, you don’t have to know who Daryl Roth or Scott Rudin are in order to get most of his jokes, and there are more than enough to go around.

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