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MURAL to be unveiled!

October 3rd, 2012
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The mural is almost complete!

Join us for the

GRAND UNVEILING

this Saturday at Arts Alive!

 

If you haven’t had a chance to walk by our building on First Street and meet “Bearymore, the Great Winged Grizzly,” we hope you will come by soon.  Artist Daniel C. Nyiri is up on the scaffolding most days bringing Bearymore to life. 

Additionally, we have contracted with Brant Electric to add more lighting to the alley entrance.

Yes.  It has taken much longer than we had hoped or anticipated.  And it’s taken more money: supplies, unexpected permits, fees, equipment, and…even more permits.

 

So – We need your help to finish our projects, which are attracting a great deal of attention in Old Town….just what we need to build audiences.  And just what First Street needs to add some excitement and attraction to the growing development around First and C Street Market Square!

In fact, we have received so much buzz about the mural, that we’ve garnered a matching grant!

Donate by October 15 and a portion of your contribution will be matched!

Please take a moment and give what you can to help us finish the projects and refill our coffers, so we can continue to grow and bring you the best in Humboldt County theatre!

With heartfelt thanks for your continued support,

 

Join us at Arts Alive October 6 – we’re going to unveil the new mural around 620pm!  Come eat Grizzly cake at 220 First Street, Eureka.

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Beware…the Great Winged Grizzly!

June 26th, 2012
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Sometimes….I am not a patient woman. 

Two years ago, we decided to raise funds to paint a mural on the 1st Street side of our theatre.  As more activity and traffic takes place on the boardwalk, we wanted to get noticed!  We commissioned our friend and artist Daniel Nyiri to design a mural for us – Daniel has designed many of our sets over the years and is an accomplished scenic artist, muralist and watercolorist.  He submitted several design options, which we – Clint and myself and the board – pondered and opinionated about for some time.

Many generous donations came in during that fundraiser, although we fell a bit short of our goals.  Back to the sketches – what can we afford?  Which one will work best?  Get approval from the landlord.  Talk to the city.  Look at more sketches.  Wait for another board meeting.  Look at the sketches again.

Time went by.  (Time is not something we have a lot of.  A volunteer staff producing five shows a year, plus our annual radio fundraiser, all the while reading scripts and planning the following year’s productions, has to squeeze in moments for those “extra” projects.)  It felt imperative to get something moving  – people donated money to a mural project, so we needed to have a mural.  We needed help and we didn’t know where to turn. 

Then – ta da! – one of our board members ran into Kati Texas, a local artist who leads the Rural Burl Mural Bureau, a project of the Ink People.  Katie offered her help – she had experience in these kinds of projects, in communicating with the city, and with presenting to the Design Review Board.  Kati, along with a couple of persistent board members, nudged the project along, until…..

The Great Winged Grizzly is about to appear!

The Great Winged Grizzly, by Daniel Nyiri

Work has actually now begun – Kati and the fine young people of the RBMB are currently doing the prep work on the wall, base painting, and then sketching out the basic design of the mural.  Daniel will then come in and do the painting, finishing and finessing.  Come by and see the progress!  (Better yet, come see a show and check out the mural while you’re here!)

Many thanks to Daniel, Kati, the terrific young people of the RBMB, and the RC board members who nudged this project along.

Thank you again to all who donated to the mural and other building improvements.  And if you haven’t had the chance to contribute, it’s not too late!  Donate online, send us a check, or come see our next production SHOW PEOPLE (July 5-28) and hand a donation directly to a member of our friendly house staff.

I’m still not a patient woman. 

~Peggy

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Reflecting….and looking forward.

December 13th, 2011
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What a year it has been!  In our second year in our new Old Town space, we had quite a few adventures!  After opening the year with our annual Live Radio show, this time titled The Road to Zoundsibar!, we launched an exciting World Premiere, The Lawn, which really got people talking!

Almost, Maine, a sweet love story, captured the hearts of our wonderful audiences, and Kimberly Akimbo kept them rolling in laughter and quarters!   Yankee Tavern roiled in some intriguing conspiracies, and The Last Five Years was a two-person musical delight.

All along, we worked with creative, generous artists.  We welcomed appreciative audiences.  And we were grateful for hundreds of hours of volunteer assistance.

Thank you for a successful season….and on to the next!

Our fifth annual live Radio show, A Fifth of Zounds, kicks off the New Year on January 21.  Think Prairie Home Companion meets Saturday Night Live, with a Humboldt County twist! Buy tickets here

And Season Tickets are now available for five delightful and spirited productions…featuring an exciting mix of seasoned company members and new faces.  What a wonderful gift for under the tree this year!

May the holidays and the new year bring you the very best!

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Makeover Campaign Update

October 1st, 2011
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UPDATE…

Thank you to all who donated to our extreme Makeover campaign!  We raised about $4000 of the $6000 we needed to do all of the improvements we wanted to do.  We are currently planning and designing the implementation of improvements, which will be followed by applications for permits – it all just takes much more time than we’d like it to.  But hopefully you will start to see some changes soon.  In the meantime, our eternal thanks and we will keep seeing you at the theatre!   (And you can still donate to the cause by clicking HERE.)

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Bringing it back around….

April 25th, 2011
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Once upon a time, I started college as a Freshman at California State University, Chico.  Being a theatre geek from the get-go, I went to the first audition I had the opportunity to go to – for a production of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” – directed by the late, great Donna Breed.  I got the small but pivotal role of the Abbess (I was tall and had a loud voice, despite my youth).

The costume designer on that marvelous piece of theatre (this was the early 80’s by the way, just to date myself) was a lady named Gail Holbrook.  The costume I wore in that show included a large hat that looked fairly – well, medieval, for lack of a better word – with a large round circle on the top of my head.  Later on, I came to find out that the technicians on that show, over the headsets, would, upon my deus-ex-machina-like entrance at the end of the production, refer to me as “toilet-bowl head.”  An auspicious beginning to college theatre.

But it was the beginning of a long friendship with Gail Holbrook.  There were many productions over the next few years in Chico, usually her directing and me acting:  Blue Window, Steel Magnolias, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, to name a few.  And there were many parties (many parties – it was Chico in the 80’s, after all), road trips, and laughter.  And many other friends in common – many now keeping in touch via Facebook.

More recently, Clint met Gail through his affiliation with the American College Theatre Festival – both as frequent adjudicators of college productions.

Clint and I have been talking to Gail for several years about coming “over to the coast” to work with us at Redwood Curtain.  Although the desire has been there – the time to do so was not.  But now that she is officially retired from her Professorship at Chico State, the time has come.

And we couldn’t be more thrilled.  Firstly, because she is an experienced and professional director to add to our talented pool of theatre artists.  And secondly, for me personally, when we’ve had the time during her stay, we drink wine and reminisce (and gossip) about the “good old days.”  I’m sure there are a few Chico State Theatre alumni from those years whose ears have been burning lately.

This is one of the things I love about theatre – the friendships and bonds that we accumulate.

Priceless.

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How to stage a World Premiere, and have a great time doing it

February 3rd, 2011
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So, a director walks into a bar….um, no.

Once Upon A Time….nah….

So, last Fall Michael Fields, Producing Artistic Director of the Dell’Arte Company, called us.  He was fresh from a reading of a brand new play at CalArts, where he also serves as Director of the California State Summer School for the Arts Theatre Program.  “This play called The Lawn,” he said, “would be a great piece for Redwood Curtain, and I’d love to direct it.  It’s offbeat, hilarious…and a little nuts.  I think you’ll love it.”  Since our collaboration with Michael in 2004 with Big Love was such a big success, both financially and artistically, we were eager to read The Lawn.

We did love it.  We said yes.  That was easy.

We contacted the L.A.-based playwright, Cody Henderson, who turned out to be a great guy.   Arrangements were made, calendars were discussed, casting took place, and rehearsals began.  Cody visited for a long weekend during the rehearsal process, working closely with the director and the actors.  Great discussions (with pizza and beer) ensued.  The company loved having him here to, as Michael put it, “focus the lens and deepen the understanding.”  And to have pizza and beer.

We are proud to be the first company in the nation to produce this hilarious, quirky comedy.  We are humbled to enjoy such a wonderful collaborative spirit with Michael and with other professionals from Dell’Arte.

Now it’s YOUR turn to be involved in this exciting collaboration.  The play is not “finished” until the first audience experiences it.  The playwright watches and listens to YOUR reactions, to YOUR laughter (or not), to focus subsequent revisions.   Adjustments may be made.  YOU become part of finessing and perfecting this play, for future productions by theatre artists.

So come on down to the theatre and view the Lawn:   join us on this creative journey, and we hope you enjoy it.  We’ve had a ball.

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So much fun….

June 24th, 2010
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Producers’ Log.  Stardate, June 24, 2010

For four years there was very little.  Today, the producers are juggling three shows, or is it four?  Oh-em-gee!

Blue Lake Casino loves us.  Since we began doing our annual “Zounds!” radio show there in 2009, they have asked for more.  So we have teamed up with them for this weekend’s special event – Some Enchanted Evening, the Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein.  Featuring the fabulous vocal talents of Jim Buschmann, Christina Jioras, Anthony Mankins and Rebecca Nichols, with accompaniment by the brilliant John Chernoff, this cabaret-style show features glorious tunes from such shows as South Pacific, Sound of Music, The King and I, and Carousel.  Tickets to the performance on Saturday June 26 are $30 and include dinner – available by calling the Players’ Club at BLC.  If this is as successful as we hope for both Redwood Curtain and the casino, this could become an annual event….the Redwood Curtain Cabaret?

Fortune is in rehearsal currently, with technical rehearsals this weekend.  It should be very fun to see how the sound and lighting effects work together to create storms and dreams and magical effects.  Director Jyl Hewston has a great design team gathered, and actors Clint Rebik (yes, it’s true!) and Cassandra Hesseltine are hard at work creating delightful characters in this sweet, quirky romantic comedy.  Look for more news as we approach the July 15 preview.

And our September show, Moonlight and Magnolias, has cast and designers lined up and the first “table read” is being planned.  Director James Read has cast some talented Redwood Curtain veterans (that’s the diplomatic way of saying these guys have been working with us for a loooong time, and we love them):  James Floss, Ron Halverson, and Jerry Nusbaum.  And an exciting newcomer joins the RC acting company:  Andrea Zvelco.  This rollicking comedy celebrates the golden age of movies – and that makes us happy.

And did I mention how successful the Redwood Curtain Gallery has become?  The gallery is open for every Eureka Arts Alive! on the first Saturday of each month, and features fabulous local artists.  The July/August installation is “Starshine” featuring the exquisite watercolors of Ellen Briggs, a long-time supporter of Redwood Curtain.  We are thrilled to finally have a space where we can welcome and celebrate the visual arts, as well as the performing arts.

Wow.  That’s a lot going on.  We need a nap.

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We’re getting there….

April 6th, 2010
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April has just blossomed and the progress has been amazing.  Our sign went up this weekend.  That was an exciting moment.

The sign goes up!

Stage is built.  Seats are in.  Lighting grid hung.  Everything painted.  Technical booth built and “tricked out.”  Still much to do to put on the finishing touches to the theatre…and get the lobby and greenroom areas ready to open.  The work continues…

We are in researsals for our first production in our new home:  Glorious!  Now THIS is the fun part!  An amazing cast of Redwood Curtain “veterans” (in addition to some newcomers):  Lynne Wells, Bonnie Halverson, Bob Wells, Pamela Lyall, Larry Pitts, and Elisa Abelleira.  Our veteran design team includes Daniel Nyiri, Michael Burkhart, and Jon Turney.   It’s like coming home.

Ten years ago we premiered our very first production, with some of these same actors and designers, just a literal “stones’ throw” from our new home.  We are thrilled with the response we are getting about our “re-birth” – donations flooding in, and excitement abounds.  Occasionally we will see people pop their heads into our new space as we are working…..when they find out it’s us, they are thrilled.

Season brochures are going to press right now and should be in the mail soon, so you can order your season tickets!  Our new space is intimate….only about 80 seats….so ordering season tickets is a great idea to make sure you get in to your preferred night. 

It’s all overwhelming…what we’ve accomplished, and what we have yet to do before April 29.  We are overwhelmed as well with the support and encouragement we continue to receive from our fans.

Thank you, and thank you again.

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How to re-build a theatre in ten easy steps

February 11th, 2010
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 1.  Find the perfect place.  Check.

2.  Move all your crap from the dusty, dingy storage place it’s been hanging out in for four years.  Wonder why you kept some of the crap you did.  Check.

3.  Find a fabulous project manager named Ben who will:

  • plan what needs to be done and in what order to be ready for April 29 opening
  • organize crews of brawny volunteers to put everything together
  • manage volunteers, channel their excitement, make sure they are fed and thanked appropriately
  • keep the directors appropriately updated on progress, needs, spending etc.
  • Check.

4.  Find a fabulous designer named Daniel who will:

  • Design the best way to fit a theatre into a shoebox, getting the most number of seats and the largest stage, while adhering to safety regulations
  • Lead the volunteer crews on building a lovely, sound-proof stage, a back wall to the stage that can be exceedingly flexible for whatever kind of scenic design will be needed for future productions, and audience risers built to safety standards
  • Check.

5.  Round up volunteers who are willing to donate lunch to the weekend volunteer crews.  Check.

6.  Send out a campaign letter announcing to your fans that you’ve found a new home and you need donations to rebuild it.  Coming soon.

7.  Hold auditions and round up cast, directors, designers and stage managers for an exciting four-show season.  Coming soon.

8.  Get another volunteer crew together to organize the storage loft, including office, costumes and props.  Get rid of a lot of the crap you kept that you shouldn’t have.  (See #2 above.)  Set up and decorate the new lobby with box office and concessions areas.  In progress.

9.  Hold a “sneak peek” open house on April 3 (Arts Alive!) for people to come by, see the new space and get all excited!

10.  Have a Gala opening night (May 1) with a fabulous show (Glorious!) with all our lovies and fans in attendance, and thank the HELL out of everyone who helped bring the dream together and for all the years of support.  Cry a bunch.

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Our new home

January 26th, 2010
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We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of our new home in Old Town!  After four years of searching, we finally ended up where we have always wanted to be – back where we began.

Some of our audience members may remember that our premiere production, “A Perfect Ganesh,” opened at the Eagle House in 1999.  Now we are right around the corner from there.  The advantages to being in Old Town are numerous - the ability for tourists to know about and attend our productions, the number and variety of restaurants within just a few blocks making a great evening of dinner and theatre, and the ability for us to participate in the monthly Arts Alive! evenings.  (All of that AND ample parking!)

On January 1st, we began moving in.  Over three subsequent weekends, a brawny and generous group of people helped us move all of our belongings out of storage and into the theatre, where it sits, piled up, ready to get magically transformed into a thriving venue of fabulous productions.  Over the next two months, work parties will be planned to build a stage, build audience risers and attach seating, build a lighting grid, hang curtains, and decorate and set up the lobby area.  Whew!  SO much to do before opening our first show at the end of April. 

We are busy.  But it’s a HAPPY busy!

If you are willing to help us build, paint, clean, organize….send us an email at info@redwoodcurtain.com.  Our Project Manager will put you on an email listserve to keep you in the loop about when we need help.

And our thanks to YOU, our supporters, for continually encouraging us over the last four challenging years.  It was your faith in us and our dream that kept us going.

THANK  YOU and welcome home….to Redwood Curtain.

~Peggy

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