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Friday, October 14

The Music Hall Presents: Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers

The Music Hall Presents
Martha Clarke’s
Angel Reapers
Saturday, October 22, 2011 8pm
 
 
Shaker founder Ann Lee (1736-1784), a visionary mystic and powerful spiritual leader,
is the inspiration for this breathtaking goldmine of dramatic content
and mesmerizing theatrical dance.
 
“Angel Reapers is Riveting” - Herald Sun
” the balance between spiritual expression and sexual repression”
—Classical Voice of North Carolina
 
Star-studded production
Director/choreographer Martha Clarke, founding member of Pilobolus;
Playwright Alfred Uhry, wrote Driving Miss Daisy; costume designer Donna Zakowska worked with Julie Taymor;
 music director Arthur Solari worked on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
 
A companion program
Explore + Learn: Discover Shaker Life
Tuesday October 11, 2011 5:30-6:30pm
Free admission to this lecture
 
 
Legendary award-winning choreographer Martha Clarke, known as a founding member of Pilobolus and for her work with Martha Graham Company, brings her latest production to Portsmouth Saturday October 22, at 8pm at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater. The production, Angel Reapers, is an exploration of Shaker life, and the balance between its creative expression in music and dance and sexual repression.
 
About Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers
Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall says, “What do you get when you combine Pulitzer, Tony and Academy Award winning writer Alfred Uhry, MacArthur genius director/choreographer Martha Clarke, traditional Shaker music, and sexual repression? Angel Reapers is a lively song and dance piece, inspired by the life of Ann Lee, founder of the Shaker movement. Mother Ann, as she came to be known, was a visionary, mystic and powerful spiritual leader. Her categorical denial of sexuality and determination to erase it from herself and her followers inspires the stunning, rhythmic, and . . . often hilarious choreography in Angel Reapers. Inspired by the Shaker’s deep roots in New England communities, The Music Hall brings this world class exploration of sexual repression, faith, and inspiration, to Portsmouth for one stunning performance. Don’t miss it!”
 
BRIEF BIOS – SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION
 
About Martha Clarke (Director/Choreographer)
This MacArthur Award winner’s career spans dance, theater, and opera.  She was a founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, has choreographed The Martha Graham Company and directed many original productions around the world. She has also received the Drama Desk Award, two Obie Awards, and the L.A. Critics Award. 
 
About Alfred Uhry (playwright)
The only American playwright to have won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and two Tony Awards. His first play, Driving Miss Daisy  was made into a film, starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, which won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture Award. A revival of “Driving Miss Daisy” at the Golden Theater shows off two titans of Broadway: James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave.
 
About Christopher Akerlind (Set & Lighting Designer)
Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Obie Awards for works on Broadway, for Steppenwolf, and for theaters around the world.
 
About Donna Zakowska (Costume Designer)
Studied dance and painting at Columbia University and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.   She has designed for film, theatre, circus, opera, music and puppet theatre, including nine seasons for the Big Apple Circus and a concert tour for Mick Jagger, and she has worked with luminaries such as Eve Ensler, William H. Macy, and Julie Taymor.  
 
About Arthur Solari  (Music Director)
Cited by The New York Times as “virtuosic,” he specializes in 20th and 21st century chamber music, experimental music, and multidisciplinary roles for theater, dance and film. He has worked on feature films such as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, he is co-founder of the musical amplification electronics company MagMa Technologies, inventing and developing amplification systems for acoustical instruments, and he holds a full time faculty position at Hofstra University, NY, as Music Director for the Dance Program.
 
As a lead in to the dance production, The Music Hall is presenting Discover Shaker Life:
 
About the companion program
Explore + Learn: Discover Shaker Life
Music Hall Loft
Tuesday October 11, 2011 5:30pm-6:30pm
Free admission to this lecture
 
Led by Shelburne Museum Curator Jean Burks (formerly curator for Canterbury Shaker Village and author of three books on Shaker furniture), Discover Shaker Life is a not-to-be-missed introduction to the breathtaking dance performance, Angel Reapers,  by the legendary Martha Clarke on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 8pm. Discover Shaker Life will open a window onto the utopian society of the New England Shakers. Burks will examine the nuances of Shaker life in a presentation with takeaways for those familiar with the Shakers as well as for those just learning about their unique society – with Shaker objects on hand lent from Canterbury Shaker Village.
 
Season Sponsor
River House Restaurant
 
American Treasure Sponsor
Raka
 
Funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts. The National Dance Project is supported by lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.
 
To purchase tickets
Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers will perform at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 8pm. Tickets are $65; $48 and can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online at http://www.themusichall.org.
 
About The Music Hall
The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner from the Historic Theater. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. Two radio shows broadcast on NH Public Radio originate here. This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy. The Music Hall is 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 business supporters and 40 community partners.  Welcoming more than 100,00o patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.
 
“The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire’s seacoast” – Boston Globe
 
BIOGRAPHIES
ALFRED UHRY (Playwright) is distinguished as the only American playwright to have won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and two Tony Awards. A graduate of Brown University, Uhry began his professional career as a lyric writer under contract to the late Frank Loesser. In that capacity, he made his Broadway debut in 1968 with Here’s Where I Belong. His first major success came when he collaborated with Robert Waldman on a musical adaptation of Eudora Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom, which opened at the Mark Taper Forum in 1976 and went on to Broadway, winning Mr. Uhry his first Tony nomination. He followed that with five re-created musicals at the Goodspeed Opera House. His first play, Driving Miss Daisy opened at Playwrights Horizons Theatre in New York in 1987. It moved subsequently to the John Houseman Theatre where it ran for three years and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. The film version, starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1990. The film also won the Best Picture Award. His next play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It opened on Broadway the next year where it ran for over 500 performances and won Uhry the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award and the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play. His book for the musical, Parade, directed by Harold Prince with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, won the Tony Award in 1999. A revised production at the Donmar Theatre in London won Mr. Uhry an Olivier Award Nomination and went on to Los Angeles where it opened to rave reviews in October, 2009. His play, Without Walls, starring Laurence Fishburne, opened at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in June of 2006. His next play, Edgardo Mine, played the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis in 2006 and the book for Lovemusik, a musical about Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya ran on Broadway in 2007. It was directed by Harold Prince. For this, Mr. Uhry won another Drama Desk nomination. He is currently finishing a play commissioned by the Manhattan Theatre Club.
 
 
MARTHA CLARKE (Director/Choreographer) MacArthur Award winner Martha Clarke’s career spans dance, theater, and opera.  She was a founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theatre and has choreographed for the Nederlans Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, and The Martha Graham Company, among others.  As a director, Clarke’s many original productions include Garden of Earthly Delights, Vienna: Lusthaus, Miracolo d’amore, Endangered Species, An Uncertain Hour, The Hunger Artist, and Vers la flame.  She directed the premiere of Christopher Hampton’s Alice’s Adventures Underground at the Royal National Theatre in London.  Clarke has directed The Magic Flute for the Glimmerglass Opera and the Canadian Opera Company; Cosi fan tutte for Glimmerglass; Tan Dun’s Marco Polo for the Munich Biennale, the Hong-Kong Festival and the New York City Opera; and Gluck’s Orfeo and Euridice for the English National Opera and the New York City Opera.  She directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the American Repertory Theatre and created Belle Epoque, a work based on the life of Toulouse Lautrec, for Lincoln Center Theater.  Clarke has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.  She has received the Drama Desk Award, two Obie Awards, and the L.A. Critics Award.  Her Kaos, presented and New York Theatre Workshop, was awarded the first Tony Randall Foundation Award in 2006.
 
CHRISTOPHER AKERLIND (Set & Lighting Designer). Broadway: Top Girls, 110 In The Shade (Tony nom.), Shining City, Well, Awake and Sing! (Tony nom.), Rabbit Hole, A Touch of the Poet, In My Life, The Lights In The Piazza (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics awards), Reckless, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Seven Guitars (Tony nom.), Philadelphia Here I Come!, The Piano Lesson. Recent: Kafeneion (Athens Festival); Superior Donuts (Steppenwolf); Orpheus X (Edinburgh & Hong Kong Festivals); Kaos (NYTW).  Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.
 
DONNA ZAKOWSKA (Costume Designer) studied dance and painting at Columbia University and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.   She has designed for film, theatre, circus, opera, music and puppet theatre, including nine seasons for the Big Apple Circus and a concert tour for Mick Jagger. Her theatre work has included projects with Fernando Arrabal, Martha Clarke, Eve Ensler, Richard Foreman, John Kelly, Harry Kondoleon, William H. Macy, Tom O’Horgan, Roman Paska, Carey Perloff, Steve Reich and Julie Taymor.   Her designs have been seen at theatres throughout the world, including the Hebbel Theater (Berlin), the Barbizon and Royal Festival Hall (London), Bobigny, Châtelet and the Théâtre du Rond-Point (Paris), Teatro Argentina (Rome), BAM, Lincoln Center and the Public Theater (New York). She designed sets and costumes for Roman Paska’s Dead Puppet Talk at the Kitchen, and for Souls of Naples, starring John Turturro, at the Duke on 42nd Street (NY) and the Teatro Mercadante (Naples).  After beginning her film work with Woody Allen, John Turturro (Mac) and David Salle (Search and Destroy), movies and television projects have included Harriet the Spy, The Pallbearer, Polish Wedding, Forces of Nature, Illuminata, One True Thing, Invisible Circus, Original Sin, Kate and Leopold, Empire Falls, Romance and Cigarettes, Then She Found Me, HBO’s John Adams, Bunraku, and Rehearsal For A Sicilian Tragedy, a magical-realist documentary due for release this year.
 
ARTHUR SOLARI (Music Director) has collaborated with McArthur award winning director and choreographer Martha Clarke on her three most recent original productions, Garden of Earthly Delights, Angel Reapers and In the NIght. Cited by The New York Times as “virtuosic”, Mr. Solari specializes in music of various cultures and styles. His varied background includes 20th and 21st century chamber music, experimental music, and multidisciplinary roles for theater, dance and film. Performing and creating in both established and avant garde arenas, Mr. Solari has appeared throughout the world regularly with various esteemed groups and artists as conductor, percussionist, music director and sound designer. As a long time member of the venerable New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, founded by his mentor Raymond DesRoches, and leader of derivative groups under its auspices, Mr. Solari has performed hundreds a of works including many world premieres by artists such as John Cage, George Crumb, Charles Wuorinen, and Steve Reich to name a few . He most recently has been a guest of Jerome Begin’s The Left Hand Path Ensemble, Maya Trio, and Chris Peck’s Finger Ensemble among others. Mr. Solari has also worked on feature films such as Cabin Fever, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and an upcoming HBO documentary film, Ultimate Wish. Lastly, Mr. Solari is co-founder of the musical amplification electronics company MagMa Technologies, inventing and developing amplification systems for acoustical instruments, working in collaboration with musician and composer Stephan Moore (of Hemisphere Speakers and former music coordinator the Merce Cunningham Dance Company). He holds a full time faculty position at Hofstra University, NY, as Music Director for the Dance Program.

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