Thursday, December 30, 2010

The 2010 My Theatre Award Nominees

Today marks the expansion of a tradition at My Entertainment World. Following in the footsteps of My TV, this year My Theatre is giving out our own awards.

The following is a list of the 2010 My Theatre Award nominees. Any production that one of our writers saw between Jan 1 and Dec 31 2010 qualifies for an award. Nominees have been divided into 15 categories in 3 areas: National/Professional, Local/Independent and Student. Performer of the Year Awards and My Theatre's Honorary Award will be announced with the winners in the New Year.

Please post a comment or send us an email if you wish to share your thoughts, predictions or votes. (Nominees can email us any time at to sign up to be included in our 2010 nominee interview series).

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Alumnae Theatre's Hedda Gabler

Photo by Joshua Meles
 In Jane Carnwath's production of Hedda Gabler this fall at Alumnae Theatre, Ibsen's complex play about a caged animal of a woman was done excellent justice. Using Judith Thompson's clever translation, the company effectively turned the beautifully intimate studio theatre into a claustrophobic den of domesticity in which Sochi Fried's Hedda spiraled into fascinating madness.

The enthralling piece was anchored impressively by Fried's cunning performance. From the wild dance prologue straight through to the ending, Fried brought brilliant energy and commitment to the complicated anti-heroine. Her intense professionalism, however, seemed rather out of place among the rest of the cast. Principally, Hedda's bumbling husband (James Harbeck), and a John Slattery-esque Judge Brack (Andrew Batten) led a supporting cast who seemed keen on just having a ball telling the story.
Photo by Joshua Meles
Alumnae veterans Jane Reynolds and Ilene Cummings were absolutely delightful as Aunt Juliana and Berthe and, with few exceptions, the company gave off a distinct sense of joy at working in the theatre.

The smartly-directed piece made great use of the studio space and the lighting was very inventive, creating windows and a fireplace. The pre-recorded gun shot sound effect was a little lame (a simple 2x4 is simpler and far more convincing) but overall the tech was very effective. Carnwath's character direction was also sublime and her interpretation of the text very insightful.

Overall, Alumnae Theatre's Hedda Gabler was a delight to watch and, it was very evident, just as much fun for most of the cast- and isn't that, after all, much of the point?