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Black Artists’ Voices 3

Posted on September 11, 2020

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 13

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 13: Host Atim Udoffia (Actor, Director, Teaching Artist) talks with Judith Moreland (Director, Actor, Teacher), and Adrian Roberts (Actor), to discuss their experiences with the performing arts industry in Sacramento and beyond.


Atim Udoffia
Host, Actor, Director, Teaching Artist
Follow Atim on Facebook

Atim Udoffia is an actor, director and teaching artist working in theatre, film and video. Recent acting credits include MACBETH (Sacramento Theatre Company), THE ROYALE (Aurora Theatre Company), ZENITH (SF Playhouse), THE TEMPEST (Sacramento Theatre Company) and DISGRACED (Capital Stage). In 2018 she received accolades for her directorial debut with OTHELLO at Big Idea Theatre and followed that with a staged reading of THE DRILL at Capital Stage. Atim holds a cross-disciplinary degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. After completing the post-graduate program at the London and International School of Acting, she studied for several years with Judith Weston in Los Angeles. Atim currently teaches Shakespeare to middle school and high school students at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts.


Judith Moreland
Director, Actor, Teacher

Judith Moreland directed BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY and AN OCTOROON at Cap Stage. She’s also directed at The Road Theatre (North Hollywood), The Blank Theatre (Hollywood) and at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television where she teaches acting. As an actor her film and television credits include Aftermath, Dark Skies, Blackish, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Parks and Recreation, and recurring roles on Bosch and Animal Kingdom. She’s worked with many theater companies including the New York Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theater/LA, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, and was a company member of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater for many years.


Adrian Roberts
Actor

Adrian Roberts has been an actor for over 25 years. He is a graduate of the American Conservatory Theater MFA program. Has done many shows around the country, Bay Area, and Sacramento. Credits at Capital Stage include FIRST PERSON SHOOTER, JESUS HOPPED THE ‘A’ TRAIN, and HOW TO USE A KNIFE.


Black Artists’ Voices 2

Posted on July 31, 2020

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 12

Local artists Atim Udoffia (Actor, Director, Teaching Artist), Imani Mitchell (Actor, Director, Writer), and James R. Ellison, III (Actor) discuss their experiences with the performing arts industry in Sacramento.


Atim Udoffia
Actor, Director, Teaching Artist
Follow Atim on Facebook

Atim Udoffia is an actor, director and teaching artist working in theatre, film and video. Recent acting credits include MACBETH (Sacramento Theatre Company), THE ROYALE (Aurora Theatre Company), ZENITH (SF Playhouse), THE TEMPEST (Sacramento Theatre Company) and DISGRACED (Capital Stage). In 2018 she received accolades for her directorial debut with OTHELLO at Big Idea Theatre and followed that with a staged reading of THE DRILL at Capital Stage. Atim holds a cross-disciplinary degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. After completing the post-graduate program at the London and International School of Acting, she studied for several years with Judith Weston in Los Angeles. Atim currently teaches Shakespeare to middle school and high school students at the East Bay Center for Performing Arts.


Imani Mitchell
Actor, Director, Writer
Follow Imani on Instagram
www.iamfilmstudios.com

Imani Mitchell was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. She has been acting for over 20 years and her most recent performance was ‘Morris’ in Capital Stage’s production of THE NETHER. Recently, Imani founded her film company I AM Studios with the mission to create compelling and unique works that primarily feature actors of color. Her first feature film, “Whirlpool”, will be finished for release in Fall 2020.


James R. Ellison, III
Actor

James R. Ellison, III is a natural born entertainer. Since the age of four he knew that by performing he could touch lives and inspire. James has done plays, stand-up comedy, improv, and local films all over southern and northern California. Recently seen as Junior in Capital Stage’s production of BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY. Other credits include Martin Luther King, Jr. in THE MOUNTAINTOP at Celebration Arts and Evan in the Capital Stage production of SWEAT.


CELEBRATION ARTS LIVE

Storytelling is rooted in many cultures and originates from African Diaspora traditions. This series presents a variety of engaging tales with host, James Ellison, III. You be the judge of which are fact and which are fiction. Every first Saturday of the month.

August 1st Featured Storyteller: PETRI HAWKINS-BYRD

You know him as the bailiff on the Judge Judy show. You’ve seen him on tv, now watch Petri Hawkins-Byrd uncensored with Celebration Arts as a guest storyteller.

Saturday, August 1 at 5:00 pm

A Virtual Interview with Peter Mohrmann

Posted on July 21, 2020

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 11

Peter Mohrmann

In addition to last year’s THE WICKHAMS, Peter has directed Capital Stage productions of MISS BENNET, THE TOTALITARIANS, MAPLE & VINE, THE NORTHPLAN, IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, OR, FICTION, DINNER WITH FRIENDS, THREE DAYS OF RAIN, RELATIVELY SPEAKING and JACK AND JILL. His other directing credits include SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, SCAPINO!, THE FALL OF X, BULLY BUSINESS, and THE BEAUX’ STRATAGEM for City Theatre, and THE CRUCIBLE for Falcon’s Eye Theatre. As an actor, he has appeared in many Cap Stage productions, as well as performing with Sacramento Theatre Company, Foothill Theatre Company, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, City Theatre and River Stage. As a co-founder of Capital Stage, Peter has worked in the capacity of managing director and marketing director. Currently, he is a professor of Theatre Arts and Film at Folsom Lake and Sacramento City Colleges. Peter received his MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

A Virtual Interview with Amy Resnick

Posted on July 11, 2020

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 10

Amy Resnick

Amy has truly enjoyed working with Capital Stage, where she last appeared in ADMISSIONS (for one lucky preview audience), SWEAT, LUNA GALE, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, BLACKBERRY WINTER and also directed BAD JEWS. Other credits include New York: Lincoln Center, Synchronicity Place, Cherry Lane, Barrow Theatre, Westbeth Theatre, Women’s Project. Regional: Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Rep, Alliance Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Wilma Theatre, Magic Theatre, Arena Stage, B Street Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Theatreworks, Arizona Theatre, San Jose Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, South Coast Rep. World Premieres: by Aaron Sorkin, Stephen Belber, Claire Chafee, Leigh Fondakowski, Carlos LaCamara, Moises Kaufman, Steve Yockey, Wendy MacCleoud, Allison Moore, and Jon Jory. TV: Law & Order, Picket Fences, St. Elsewhere, Simon & Simon, Paper Dolls, Paper Chase, Back To The Streets Of San Francisco, Midnight Caller. Film: The Sure Thing, Haiku Tunnel, Love & Taxes, The Californians. Amy is also a B Street Theatre Company Member.

A Message from Designer Gail Russell

Posted on July 3, 2020

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 9

When you have done as many creative, innovative, and soul searching shows as I have at Capital Stage, and worked in as many costume shops with amazing and talented people, and you are suddenly told to “Go home!”, what does a person do? They tumble into their library/guest room and set up to make MASKS!

May you and your family and friends be healthy and happy during this time of secured shelter.

I look forward to seeing everyone again as soon as soon is.

Gail Russell
Associate Artist, Capital Stage


Collaborating with Capital Stage for over a decade, her favorite shows include: MARJORIE PRIME, AN OCTOROON, BETRAYAL, THE HOMECOMING, A DOLL’S HOUSE, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR, DANGEROUS LIASONS. Other local credits include STC’s KATE, THE WHIPPING MAN, GEM OF THE OCEAN; Fair Oaks Theatre Festival’s SUESSICAL, WILLY WONKA, SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER; BECOMING JULIA MORGAN, and LOVE ISADORA California Stage; HAIRSPRAY, THE SEAGULL, JEKYLL AND HYDE, BEAUX STRATAGEM, STOP KISS, and JULIUS CAESAR at American River College where she also teaches in the Theatre Arts and Fashion departments. Gail is the recipient of several SARTA Elly Awards for Costume Design.

Black Artists’ Voices

Posted on June 27, 2020

Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 8

Local artists Atim Udoffia (Actor, Director, Teaching Artist), James Wheatley (Teacher, Director Celebration Arts), and Omari Tau (Artistic Director Rogue Music Project, Professor of Voice Cosumnes River College) discuss their experiences with the performing arts industry in Sacramento.

A Virtual Interview with Janis Stevens

Posted on June 19, 2020

The Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 7

A Virtual Interview with VIETGONE Director Jeffrey Lo

Posted on May 20, 2020

The Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 6

In our Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 6, Producing Artistic Director Michael Stevenson interviews Director and Playwright Jeffrey Lo virtually. To learn more and to follow our Ghost Light Chronicles, visit: capstage.org/blog. To learn more about Jeffrey Lo visit his website at www.jeffreywritesaplay.com.

Spotlight: The American Stage Podcast

Posted on May 15, 2020

This episode features a conversation between Stephanie Gularte, CEO/Producing Artistic Director of American Stage in Florida, and Michael Stevenson, Producing Artistic Director of Capital Stage in California.  Their conversation includes the partnership between these two companies, the co-production that was planned for this season, Joshua Harmon’s ADMISSIONS, and what it is like to lead an arts organization in the middle of a pandemic in 2020.  americanstage.org/cross-country-collaborations

Produced by: Sadie Lockhart

The Show Must Go On

Posted on April 22, 2020

The Ghost Light Chronicles, vol. 5

A Message From Actor & Apprentice Alum Elyse Sharp

Elyse Sharp in various productions, on and off stage, with Capital Stage and Shakespeare on the Vine. Photos by Misty McDowell, Charr Crail , and Leda Mast Photography.

“The theater is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.” – John Steinbeck, Once There Was a War


The show must go on.

Last summer, I was playing Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I woke up on opening day with plenty of time to do the complicated braided hairstyle that the director and I had agreed on. The final dress rehearsal had gone as smoothly as we could hope for, and although other shows I’ve been in still need one last rehearsal the day of opening night, the cast had been given the day off to rest.

Then, my phone rang.

It was the company’s artistic director. The assistant stage manager had been in a car accident on their way home after rehearsal and was in the hospital. This person spent most of the first act of our show as my dresser to help me with my quick changes.

If you’ve never seen a quick change, imagine a choreographed dance between the actor and one or more dressers who move with precision and speed–and there’s clothes.

Have you ever tried to help someone else put on or take off clothes? If you are home with another person right now, feel free to try. We all have the time.

It isn’t easy, so, there’s an exact order: As I run offstage after the discovery of Duncan’s body, I’ll undo the clasp at my neck on this nightgown so you can help me get it over my head once I hit the quick change booth. Then, I’ll kick off the pair of shoes I’ve been wearing without socks, and you’ll help me put back on the socks and boots I had been wearing earlier, but not before you’ve handed my shirt which is already layered under a leather tunic. I’ll work on tucking that shirt in and fastening the tunic while you roll down the legs of the pants that I had kept on and worn rolled up so they wouldn’t show under the nightgown. Another cast member will arrive just in time to help me finish putting on the tunic–there’s one latch-like thing that I can’t reach and your hands are full with either my boots or getting the final touches for my costume–then they’ll hold open the cloak while you help me put on a necklace and crown. I’ll maybe get a sip of water before walking back on stage.

This all happens in under two minutes.

And I have five of these changes in Act One. And they are all different, all complicated.

But the show must go on.

So, we adjust, we hatch a plan, and I do that complicated braided hairstyle in record time before arriving at the theatre three hours early in order to teach another crew member how each change functions.

The show goes on.

Take an introductory improvisation class, and you’ll hear about the concept of “Yes, And.” At its basic level, it is about accepting what someone else has said in an improv scene and building on it. So, if someone else says that the office building is on fire, then you have to agree to that setting and add something to it — maybe your character grabs the bottle off the top off the water cooler to do their best to stop the fire before the firefighters arrive.

Eventually, Yes, And becomes more about stepping into the unknown, letting go of anything you had planned, accepting the situation you found yourself in, and adjusting to it.

Capital Stage is the theatre that said, Yes we will do theatre on a river boat, And it will be excellent. Yes, we will take that old gun store, And we will turn it into Sacramento’s home for cutting edge theatre.

We are all improvising life right now — finding new ways of living and working through the unknown. We can’t change what is going on, so we have to Yes, And it. Capital Stage excels at Yes, And, and it is what I believe will see us through this never-before-seen situation.

For now, I’ll be catching up on reading plays and finding new material for when auditions start back up again. I’ll be video-chatting with friends, discovering new outlets for creativity, and taking walks with my fiance. And I’ll be looking forward to the next time I can walk in through that door on J Street, sit down in a seat (I’ve honestly tried them all, and there isn’t a bad one), and watch a show in the theatre that feels like home.

The show will go on.

I’ll see you at CapStage when it does.

Elyse Sharp

Actor & Apprentice Alum
MACBETH, THE REAL THING, MISS BENNET
www.elysesharp.com

Capital Stage