Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Artes de la Rosa tours Latin American Countries with 2015 Season dedicated to the Rhythm of Latin America

Artes de la Rosa
Cultivates the 2015 Season of Cultural Events With
RITMO: Rhythm of the People
In its ongoing mission to bring Latin art & culture to the North Texas Community, Artes de la Rosa’s Artistic Director Adam Adolfo has designed a season to bring to the Rose Marine Theater for the 2015 calendar a season programs that he calls “RITMO: Rhythm of the People.”

When you stop to consider Latin people on the whole, we are an extremely musical and vibrant community. If you’ve ever talked to a “Spanish Mom” you know we don’t just talk with our voices, we sing! Simple conversation turns into dueling arias, not only with words but our hands, and certainly our hearts. The common denominator amongst the diverse Latin cultures of the world is music!

Twelfth Night is Shakespeare’s most musical play and I’m anxious to provide it the excitement of the Samba beat,” says Adam Adolfo. Inspired by Baz Lurhman’s film Moulin Rouge and the musical episode of tv’s Grey’s Anatomy, Adolfo notes that he’s venturing into new territory. “It’s exciting to do something new and different. As theatre makers, if we are not ambitiously trying to break new ground, we might as well just give up.” New and different is certainly the Artistic Directors style and he’s promising that with creative reimagining of Man of La Mancha. “I’m not ready to let the cat out of the bag yet on that show, but I will say that I was inspired by Dallas Theatre Center’s production of Les Miserables. It was daring, provocative, and inspiring… it inspired me to look for another musical that should be seen with fresh eyes. So I dug deep into Man of La Mancha’s book and found a new way to look at the material that excites me to no end. It will definitely be like no production you’ve seen before.”

A Musical Comedy Carnival
February 13th – March 1st

Adapted from Shakespeare and Directed by Adam Adolfo
Musical Director: Kristin Spires
Choreographer: Maegan Marie Stewart

What do Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, and Shakespeare have in common? Twelfth Night! Amid the costumes, confetti, and chaos of Rio’s carnival, 4 young lovers unlock the secrets of their hearts while donning disguises, exchanging kisses, and surrendering to the rhythm of carnival’s samba beat. Transport yourself to the golden sunlight of Rio’s beaches as you holiday by the sea in this deliriously romantic comedy filled with, sun and sand, melancholy and madness,  comedy and chaos… all over flowing with a feast of songs that will leave your heart lighter and your family closer. Adapted by Artistic Director Adam Adolfo, the combination of Latin flavor and Shakespeare’s words mean that “The Rhythm is gonna get ya!”

In collaboration with the Consulate General of Peru
TENTATIVE: March 20th – 22nd

Artes de la Rosa in collaboration with the Consulate General of Peru in Dallas to bring a three day film festival celebrating contemporary Peruvian Filmmaking. All four films are in Spanish with English subtitles.

In collaboration with the Artes Academy Parents Guild
April 25th

Artes de la Rosa and Artes Academy Parent’s Guild present this festival to give families a free, bilingual event that join everyone together in a day of learning, interactive activities designed to stimulate creativity while bringing joy. Join us for performances, crafts, face painters, food and so much more at our afternoon event!

The Musical
May 15th – 31st

Written by Dale Wasserman
Music by Mitch Leigh & Lyrics by Joe Darion

Directed by Adam Adolfo
Musical Director: Kristin Spires
Choreographer: Maegan Marie Stewart

A thrilling new production of one of the best loved musicals, Man of La Mancha vividly imagines Don Quixote through the life of the great Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes. The musical moves seamlessly between realities and Cervantes’s own outsized imagination, where his noble idealism finds expression in his great literary creation, Don Quixote.  With a heartfelt score that includes the worldwide hit “The Impossible Dream” – Man of La Mancha is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. His dream is Everyman’s dream. His tilting at windmills is Everyman’s great adventure. Somehow, the footlights disappear, time is telescoped and the Man of La Mancha speaks for humankind remaining with your soul well after the shows final bow. Dare to dream the impossible!
In collaboration with the Consulate General of Mexico
September 18th – 20th

Celebrating our roots as a movie house, Artes de la Rosa proudly screens films from the history of the Rose Marine Theater. In conjunction with the Mexican Consulate, Artes de la Rosa screens films from the Mexican Golden Age of Cinema featuring Spanish speaking stars Pedro Infante, Dolores Del Rio, Maria Felix, and Cantinflas! Check out the art gallery while you’re here and experience a piece of the Rose Marine Theater’s fantastic history!

October 31st

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with our annual celebration featuring a drum and puppet procession from Marine Park to the Rose Marine Theater Plaza. Complete with music, dancing, face painting and pan de muerto, this family event is a perfect way to celebrate the rich Mexican culture.

Friday December 11th

The traditions continue at Artes de la Rosa with the sounds of the season! Get into the true spirit of the holiday season this year with your family with A MARIACHI CHRISMAST at the Rose Marine Theater on Friday December 11th. With the sounds of traditional mariachis you can ring in Christmas and the New Year with a certain Latin flair.

About Artes de la Rosa
Artes de la Rosa is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and interpreting the art, lives, and history of Latino culture for all.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Artes de la Rosa Partners with Constable Ruben Garcia for A Constable Christmas!

Artes de la Rosa has partnered with Precinct #5 Constable Ruben Garcia to host “A Constable Christmas Holiday Toy Drive” to distribute toys and books to low income children of Fort Worth. Starting Tuesday November 18th – December 18th individuals will be able to drop off new unwrapped toys and books for children age infant to 12 years old at the Rose Marine Theater Administrative Offices and other community partner locations.  On Thursday December 18th Artes de la Rosa will host a curbside Toy Drop Off Event from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the Rose Marine Theater, 1440 North Main Street, Fort Worth Texas 76164, patrons will not need to even get out of their car as volunteers will be on hand to accept your donations. Applications for families will be available beginning Tuesday November 18th at the Rose Marine Theater. Other application intake locations and times will be forthcoming. Toy distribution will occur Monday, December 22nd from 12pm - 8pm. Eligible applicants will need to secure an application and meet eligibility requirements including, Picture ID of applicant/head of household (must be 18 or older), children between birth and 12 years of age, have limited income, live in Fort Worth City Limits (proof of address), proof of age for children 12 and under (birth certificate, shot records, etc.).



A host of organizations have joined with Artes de la Rosa as Community Partners to help make A Constable Christmas a rousing success. Amongst the partnerships are Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, El Asadero, Como Community Center, Straight Edge by Virginia, Justice of the Peace Sergio De Leon, Texas State Representative Ramon Ramero, City Councilman & Mayor Pro Tem Sal Espino, Fort Worth ISD District 1 Trustee Jacinto Ramos, Fort Worth ISD District 9 Ashly Paz, MANO – Men Advancing New Opportunities, HWNT - The Hispanic Women’s Network, & Tarrant County College Trinity River.



Artes de la Rosa Administrative Offices: 1442 North Main St. (Next to the Rose Marine Theater)

Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: 1327 N Main St.

Criminal Courts Building – Precinct #5 Office: 300 W. Belknap

El Asadero: 1535 N Main St.

Como Community Center: 4900 Horne St.

Straight Edge by Virigina: 3720 Hemphill St.


Friday, November 7, 2014

A New Era with Louis Zapata's Acting Company

Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts, in anticipation for its 2015 season has announced a change in its producing style. For its 2015 season, Artes de la Rosa will be attempting something different; something ground-breaking for the midsize organization. Later this month, Artes de la Rosa will be holding auditions for its first resident acting company

The Resident Acting Company is an essential component of the artistry and uniqueness of Artes de la Rosa’s 2015 season. The need for this ensemble enhances the work of the company through its ability to continue to develop complex and ambitious productions over time; plan seasons to utilize the unique strengths of an ensemble of actors; and undertake large cast productions on a regular basis, consistently achieving inspired performances with its actors in both large and small roles.

“It was important to name the company after Mr. Louis Zapata,” says Adolfo. “In
Artistic Director announcing the formation of the Louis Zapata
Resident Acting Company at the Community Memorial Service
Artes de la Rosa held at the Rose Marine Theater.
many ways, ‘Big Lou’, as he was known to his friends, is the father of The Rose Marine Theater, the home and creative heart of Fort Worth’s Northside community.”  Mr. Zapata was the first Latino elected to City Council and helped spearhead the renovation of the Historic Rose Marine Theater. His fierce commitment to the Rose Marine continued till the end of his life this past April where he made a friend promise that “nothing would happen to the theater.” Mr. Zapata passed away shortly following that promise and to honor his many contributions Artistic Director Adam Adolfo named the Resident Acting Company in his honor.

Those selected for the resident company will receive perks such as new headshots, training and workshops, and paid rehearsals. Artes de la Rosa previously only paid small stipends for performances. Adolfo explained that the Latino arts organization is celebrating its 12th year of producing seasons. "This is just a new model for our theatre interests. In many ways it is a big experiment that we owe to ourselves and our patrons. We have to see if this model will help us to continue to dream big and conquer new artistic ambitions."
Adam Adolfo took time out for a short interview to discuss how these changes will affect artists who work on the Rose Marine Theater Stage.
What does all this change mean for Artes?
Michael Alonzo Diego with Rebekah Ruiz
& Austin Ray Beck in Artes de la Rosa's
production of Romeo & Juliet!
Adam Adolfo: Artes will be presenting 3 shows in its 2015 season. Each show will have its own audition date approximately 8 weeks prior to the show dates. However, before any of that, ARTS will have auditions to be in the resident acting company. At these auditions, you will need to prepare a 2 monologues (one contemporary, one classical – Shakespeare or Marlowe preferred), 32 bars of a song, and have an interview with the resident directors for the season including Artistic Director Adam Adolfo, Music Director Kristin Spires, and Choreographer Maegan Marie Stewart. Each audition will take approximately 15 minutes. Those interested in auditioning should email info@artesdelarosa.org or call 817-624-8333to get a timeslot reserved on either available audition day. A secondary dance call will be requested for some.
What happens next?
Adam Adolfo: What happens is what always happens - actors 'wait' to find out. LOL. After the audition and interview days are over, the directors will meet to discuss all applicants, and offers will be made to those we would like to see in the resident company.
“Offers”? What’s the heck is that?
Adam Adolfo: Resident actors will be guaranteed three (3) roles in the season.
What else do I get if I’m a company member?
Adam Adolfo: Not only do you get to work on all shows for the season, but there is a
Claudia Acosta as Kate in a production
photo of The Taming of the Shrew
financial perk. For the first time, Artes de la Rosa will being paying for rehearsal time in addition to performances.

What else do actors in the resident company get?
Adam Adolfo: All members of the Louis Zapata Resident Acting company will receive free admittance to any Artes de la Rosa event for his or her year in residence. Company members will have a featured profile on the Artes de la Rosa website, Facebook page, Instagram and in the lobby of Artes de la Rosa for his or her year in residence. As an added bonus, members of the resident acting company will also receive discount show shirts for all of the productions they are involved in, as well as a free Resident Acting Company shirt.
What kind of commitments are we talking about for these actors?
Adam Adolfo: Well in additional to the three shows they are cast in, some company members will be asked to perform at gallery events, fundraisers, and serve as an ambassador for the organization at public events when opportunities arise.
If an actor is not cast in the company, can I still audition for individual shows? Will there be roles left?
Adam Adolfo: Absolutely and absolutely. The goal of the company is to have people dedicated to Artes de la Rosa for a year’s time, while offering them something in return for their time and talents. All roles not filled by resident acting company members will be available to the public at large. That being said, we are going to be casting our first two shows at the same time this year. Following a "Season Audition" model, just so we can lock in our talent. 
Emily Kate Hardy in Artes de la Rosa's
Kiss of the Spiderwoman!

So what if I don’t like the offer I’m given?
Adam Adolfo: The Artes de la Rosa staff will only make one offer. If you don’t like what is offered - no harm, no foul. We thank you for your time, wish you well and hope to see you at the auditions for each show as they arrive.
It's important to remember, the company auditions are for all 3 shows in the Artes de la Rosa season. The offers will be made after consideration of conflicts, your audition and your interview. The directors will create your offer based on how you can best serve the Artes de la Rosa season. As previously stated, you will be offered 3 roles. If you turn down the offer, you would be turning down not only that, but also the rest of the benefits of being a company member.

If I'm a company member, can I still audition for other shows at other theatres?
Adam Adolfo: Of course you can! In fact we want our company members to! They get to be our ambassadors - as long as they don't conflict with your responsibilities at Artes de la Rosa.
Who was Louis Zapata?
Adam Adolfo: Oh my! "Big Lou!" - well that's what his friends called him - in many ways,
Louis Zapata photographed in the Rose Marine Theater
auditorium which bears his name.
Louis Zapata is the father of The Rose Marine Theater, the home and creative heart of Fort Worth’s Northside community. Mr. Zapata was the first Latino elected to City Council and helped spearhead the renovation of the Historic Rose Marine Theater. His fierce commitment to the Rose Marine Theater continued till the end of his life where he made a friend promise that “nothing would happen to the theater.” Mr. Zapata passed away shortly following that promise and to honor his many contributions Artistic Director Adam Adolfo named the Resident Acting Company in his honor.
Why is Artes de la Rosa doing this?
Adam Adolfo: We believe that to be a true resource for DFW, that we must aspire to something greater. By having a resident acting company, Artes de la Rosa continues to grow, forming a community of talented, dedicated, hard-working artisans, striving for the best possible theatre we can create. Together.

This is the first big step. We realize it can sound daunting, but we hope, more than anything, that is sounds exciting. We hope that you want to join us on the ground floor. This is the first of many seasons at Artes.
Press Photo for Artes de la Rosa's IN THE HEIGHTS

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's all in the Hair! A look at the classical fairy tale of Rapunzel

Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah….j/k (if you don’t get this joke, come see the show!)

Okay…I have a confession. I knew NOTHING of Into The Woods at all when I auditioned for it at Artes de la Rosa! (I kind of have a bad habit with doing that… I did the same thing when I auditioned for In The Heights!) I always sort of avoided this musical because I’m a fairytale/ Disney / Princess /Mermaid /Unicorn FREAK and didn’t want anything messing with my beloved fairytales. But the day would of course come when I would need to give it a chance, and I’m so glad I did. Not only is ITW truer to the actual Grimm’s Fairytales than any Disney movie could ever be, but it teaches a much deeper lesson – everything you’ve ever wished for may not be what you actually want.
Rapunzel & Jack!
Sarah with Jeremy Coca
So then which do you pick:
Where you're safe, out of sight,
And yourself,
but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right

And you know that you'll never belong?
Sarah Maria Dickerson at
the first reading of the script
Can you imagine your entire LIFE being alone in a high tower with no one to accompany you except a witch that claims to be your mother popping by to climb your insanely long hair every so often? It would be blissful ignorance to an extent, but the want for knowing what else is out there in the world would have to be so great. Rapunzel has one thing in the show that no one else has – she is The Witch’s one weakness. Rapunzel is The Witch’s world. She is the only one with the innocence to see her as nothing more than her mother – not a witch, not an evil villain, but the one person in the world who even exists to her. To have that when all the rest of the world shuns her is something she cannot lose. Hence, why Rapunzel is locked away from when she was a baby and can never leave the tower – if she left, she would learn the "evil" of the world –her mother is a witch, someone to fear. She lets Rapunzel believe that she needs nothing else in the world but her.

Backstage look at the press photo shoot!
But of course, The Witch’s over-protectiveness and control gives Rapunzel no life skills or way to cope with the outside world. If she ever left the tower, what would happen to her? The version of Rapunzel that most people know is very lighthearted - everything works out in the end, the magic hair OMG etc...but if you want to know the not-so-Disney outcome of Rapunzel’s life (and everyone else’s as well!) you may want to come see our production of Into The Woods.

I feel incredibly blessed to be given this opportunity to bring a new view of Rapunzel to the audiences of Artes de la Rosa and our beloved DFW theatre community. I hope to see you here at the show – be sure to come say hi to me afterwards and give me a hug! Much Love, Sarah

Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes a spell may last
Past what you can see

And turn against you...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Witches Can Be Right... A Moment in the Woods with Amanda Williams Ware

Today we blog with Amanda Williams Ware who stars as the Witch in Artes de la Rosa's staging of INTO THE WOODS which opens in just over a week! Witches can be right…… You'll probably remember Amanda for her scene stealing vocals in last years production of In the Heights where she played the salon diva, Daniella alongside Sarah Maria Dickerson & Natalie Coca. All three return this season in this epic retelling of the Grimm Fairytales.

Witches can be right...
The role of “The Witch” in Into the Woods is not the stereotypical villain character. She may be what her opposites consider to be evil at times, but like them she is driven and motivated by emotion and need, not by hatred or circumstance as most villains are. She also serves as a constant reality check and bubble-popper for the characters she is in the woods with, even if a cynical one. She comments on their self-absorption and lack of decision-making skills, taking on the role of conscience as well as manipulator. This is not to say she isn't jaded or selfish – she can be. Even though she has, in my opinion, justifiable reasons for being downright nasty, not to mention justifiable reasons for manipulating a desperate couple into doing her bidding, she still gets carried away with her self-pity and lets it be a negative motivator.  
Amanda Williams (The Witch) with
Sarah Maria Dickerson (Rapunzel) at
the first reading of the script.
Nevertheless, she is right. She is always right. She is so right, in fact, that she is blinded by her rightness. She is so sure of it that she loses sight of everything around her. She knows she’s right about locking Rapunzel in a tower, but can’t see past it enough to realize what it’s doing to Rapunzel. She knows she’s right about completing her spell, but gives no thought to what it might cost. Most of all, she knows she’s right about human nature. How, in her knowledge, we are selfish and ignorant and capitalizing. She knows we will blame and ruin and kill each other to protect ourselves, and she knows children watch it all and learn those habits only to repeat them, and don’t listen when we say, “Do as I say, and not as I do.”

Amanda Williams Ware stars as The Witch in
at Artes de la Rosa
February 21st - March 16th
I won’t tell you if “The Witch” is finally overcome by her hubris, or if she gets away in the end, or if she learns her lesson and magically turns into a good person. It’s up to interpretation which of these is true. I will tell you, though, that she will convince you she’s right about at least one thing before the night is over. And we’ll see how you feel about her in the morning. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nice is Different then Good: A Moment in the Woods with Taylor Wallis

I played Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods once before. I was 17-years-old. I remember the director delicately trying to explain to me just exactly WHAT my storyline was really all about. I remember understanding, to a point, but never fully grasping what is REALLY going on here. What 17-year-old me thought was just a story teaching us the importance of not “straying from the path,” has turned into a story that 25-year-old me can really learn from.
Little Red Riding Hood starts out with a child-like innocence and naivety that is almost endearing, if not a little annoying. She encounters people and situations that force her to look at herself in a new way and therefore have a new attitude and way of living. Some of the things she experiences (I’ll let you come see the show to find out just what I’m talking about…) she enjoys (perhaps a little too much) and they help her grow positively into the young woman she becomes. But then some things she has to deal with (death, loneliness, fear) she doesn’t enjoy as much.
This is where I started to find the story interesting and relatable. A LOT of the things that happen to her and every other character in this musical are awful and unthinkable. But each character comes out at the end pretty scarred, but ok; and has a lot more knowledge than they did before. I have heard people refer to life as a “journey” and every event that happens to you, good or bad, is a piece of your journey. You are ultimately headed to where you are supposed to be. Each piece of the journey is getting you there; and though you may not realize it at the time, sometimes the worst parts get you to the best places. You have to learn to trust your journey. I think that shines though in Into the Woods, and I think the idea of finding your way through what can seem like an impossible journey at times, and coming out at the end stronger than before, is what makes this musical so beautiful and one of my absolute favorites.
Taylor Wallis with Alden Bowers Price & Joshua Sherman
in rehearsal for Into the Woods
Little Red is a lot like all of us growing up. She’s skipping nicely along her path and then BOOM one day 'life' messes everything up. She deals with a lot. She learns a lot. But at the end of the story, she is surrounded by people who love her and has a new sense of who she is.
I am so excited for the opportunity to take another look at this role and entire show as an adult, especially which such a talented cast around me. This was an intimidating company to step into (I mean, who in DFW DIDN’T hear about In the Heights??), but it was also an exciting new step. As Little Red says, “scary IS exciting!” And I’m very glad for this piece of my journey. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mother Knows Best: A moment in the woods with Pamela Garcia Langton

Today we spend a moment in the woods with Pamela Garcia Langton! Many will remember Pamela from her performance as the fiery Camila in last years In the Heights. This year she plays a very different type of mother - one she was surprised to find she had more in common with then she previously had thought.
When I auditioned for this show I knew who my favorite characters were and that out of all the characters, I probably would not want to be Jack's Mother.  She's not attractive, she is a nag, she's grouchy and well, no one really ever likes her.  Guess what, I got Jack's Mother.

Now, I have seen Into the Woods about a million times, no exaggeration, but it wasn't until I started working with Adam that I am seeing Jack's Mother in a different light.  And it is scary!!  All of this time I never thought of her as real person with real feelings and problems, just some fairy tale old lady who yells a lot and wears bad clothes.  But she is and worse, she is a little too much like me!!

Now let me explain, I am not too bad looking, I am not a nag or grouchy all of the time and I think people like me.  But, she and I have had similar experiences that have made us the people we are.  Like Jack's Mother, I too was a single mother.  After reviewing the show again, this time with a different eye, I imagine she has gone through similar things as me and is the way she is because of those things. 

For instance, maybe she fell in love with the bad boy of the neighborhood, followed her heart, made some bad choices and became pregnant.  Upon finding out she was with child, he left her to deal with the problem. She may have been made to believe that it was shameful to have a child without a husband.  She was terribly hurt that she lost most of her friends because they were disappointed in her. She might have been humiliated by the fact that she was not allowed to have a baby shower because unwed mothers didn't deserve to celebrate the birth of their child, so she had to dress her baby in hand me downs and thrift store clothes and use old strollers and yard sale items for her nursery.  Her siblings may have expressed to her what a loser she was and that she was never going to amount to anything because she was stupid enough to get pregnant at age 21.  Eventually, she may have even felt it was the biggest mistake of her life to have a child and so after a while she started resenting Jack and took to alcohol and other things to be able to cope.

I did experience all of those things, luckily, the latter didn’t.  I fought hard to prove to everyone I was going to become something, I could raise my child alone and I survived slightly wounded by my experience.  Without going through any more detail, let me just say it was the roughest time in my life and I apologize to my beautiful daughter, Kelly, if I ever made her feel like I resented her or didn't want to be a mother.  I love her with all of my heart and soul and wouldn't give up being her mother for anything in this world.  If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be the woman that I am today, she is so very special and I owe her my life!!

Jack's Mother however has yet to learn to cope with all of it.  She has never gotten over the fact that she had little support from family and friends, especially not Jack's Father.  She hasn't gotten past the humiliation and shame and has become sad, powerless and unable to truly see the beauty in having a child and being a mother.  It isn't until she thinks she is going to lose him that she realizes how lucky she is to have this child and her love for him is stronger and worth more than Golden Eggs or Singing Harps.

We can all learn a great lesson from this.  When things don’t go how you have planned, don’t cry about it, fight to survive and know everything happens for a reason. Be grateful for every day that you are alive and for all of the people in your life.  Love your family; be there for your children. Take every experience as a lesson, make the most of everyday and be thankful for everything God hands you. 

Jeremy Coca, Aigner Mathis, and Pamela Garcia Langton
star in Artes de la Rosa's

Monday, February 3, 2014

I never met a wolf who didn't like to howl! He Said/She Said with Kyle Lester and Georgia Fender

Today we meet a pair of actors who make us howl! Both of them are making their Artes de la Rosa debut this season with the Stephen Sondheim musical, INTO THE WOODS! Kyle Lester and Georgia Fender are taking the Little Red Ridinghood fairy tale and turning it on it’s head with a sizzling and powerful new staging on the Sondheim classic, “HELLO LITTLE GIRL.” Take a moment and say hello to these wolves!

DIARY OF A SHE WOLF by Georgia Fender
Into the Woods has always been one of my favorite musicals. This is partly because it was the first musical I did in high school, playing Granny, a role I get to reprise in this very different production.  But what I’ve always loved most about this show is that everyone can find a little bit of themselves in each of the characters, as far fetched and fantastical as they may seem at first. Even the most outlandish of these characters have something relatable about them, something human.

Now that said, certain characters are much easier to relate to than others. I think most of us are hesitant to see something of ourselves in the more villainous characters, such as Kyle and my roles of the Wolves. I know that as thrilled as I was to be cast, I was immediately aware of what a challenge this role would be for me. The Wolves are definitely not the first characters I relate to when I see a production of Into the Woods, but part of that is probably due to the fact that my part is traditionally played by a man.
However playing a traditionally male role is not a new challenge for me. Not sure what it is about me but I’ve been playing male roles since high school. So my challenge as an actor was to find what I could relate to and appreciate about the “She-Wolf” as we’ve taken to calling her. As I looked past the violence and raw sexuality, I began to see qualities I could relate to. I like to think of myself as a strong, confident woman but it’s not always easy to be strong and confident. I doubt myself frequently and struggle with a multitude of insecurities, as most of us do. The Wolf however does not. She is completely secure in her body, in her sexuality and in who she is as a person. This is a woman who knows exactly what she wants, goes out and gets it, and doesn’t apologize to anyone. Although her desires stray pretty far off the beaten path, this drive and confidence is something I wish I had more of.

As I examined the Wolf, I began in a strange way to admire her. Maybe not quite everything about her, but her unapologetic nature is something I hope to take with me, if only slightly. In our table work, Adam and I discussed this side of the Wolf. It is not her desires that make her scary, but refusal to apologize for them or be ashamed of them. To be secure in one’s sexuality and not be ashamed or apologetic will get a person, more specifically a woman, labeled all sorts of insulting and frankly narrow-minded things. But the Wolf doesn’t care. And while I don’t think we need to follow the example she sets with her other half and Little Red, perhaps we can all take a little bit away from her. She teaches us, in a strange and slightly twisted way, to stop apologizing for what we want and who we are, but instead to go after what we want. And whenever possible to do so in killer heels. 

Deception, Violence, and a Little Red Cape! OH MY! by Kyle Lester
Little Red Riding Hood is one of those stories that I never remembered actually hearing, but always knew. I mean, who doesn't? It's got a wolf, it's got deception, it's got terrible violence against a young woman and her grandmother...everything a growing boy needs! But if I'm being honest, I don't think I ever truly understood the point of the story until I was cast as the male wolf in Artes de la Rosa's production of Into the Woods.

While reading through the original story and through Sondheim's very similar interpretation, one question plagued me more than anything: if the wolf wanted simply to eat Little Red, why all the bother with her Grandmother and the deception? Why not just get on with eating her right then and there and get away with it.

To understand the answer to this question, you have to realize that the story itself isn't about a little girl being eaten by a wolf. It's about a child making an adult choice to give in to her desire to deviate from a carefully navigated path and encountering unintended consequences for both her and a member of her family. After all, the wolf doesn't force Red to stray from her path, he merely (strongly) suggests it, and tempts her to do something she already wanted to do in the first place. It's Red's choice whether or not she acts on it.

And therein lies the story's truth: that Red chooses her fate. In a way, the wolf is nothing more than a representation of Red's unbridled desire and, therefore, Red is essentially her own villain. That is why this story is timeless. It simultaneously represents the rapid growth into adulthood as well as the very real consequences of our choices.

...but that doesn't mean it's not fun to play the consequence of Red's decision to stray from her path. The song, Hello Little Girl, is without a doubt, one of the most fun songs to play out on stage in all of musical theater. The realization that Red is almost as much to blame for her fate as the wolf has put the song and the both characters in a new light that makes it all the more interesting to be a part of. It's a true privilege to perform that story, and I know the audience will enjoy our take on it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Finding moments in the woods with the Baker's Wife, Alden Bowers Price

Alden Bowers Price (The Bakers Wife)
with Joshua Sherman (The Baker) in
Artes de la Rosa's Into the Woods
Today we venture into the woods with Alden Bowers Price. Alden is making her Artes de la Rosa debut in Into The Woods but is no stranger to Artistic Director Adam Adolfo having starred in Lee Blessing's poignant political drama, Two Rooms for him at Runway Theater.  A true star, Alden is making the iconic role of the Baker's Wife all her own!
We all know and love the stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood. They are familiar to us and stir memories, which in turn takes us to a place of joy, safety, and endless possibilities! These are stories that have stood the test of time because of their life lessons and seemingly magical "moments". Is it possible for any other story to seem as magical and moving as the ones listed above? I think so.

Alden Bowers Price talking with
director Adam Adolfo
I believe that the story of The Baker and The Baker’s Wife is equally if not more magical than the others because it is a story about two "real" people facing real struggles and sharing an incredibly vital lesson to all: Love and respect those close to you, exist to fulfill your dreams, fight for what you want, be content with what you have.

I’m going to be honest with you and say that I have actually struggled with coming to like The Baker’s Wife. It might sound odd to hear as most of us envision the original Broadway star Joanna Gleason tromping around the stage delivering each line with perfect comedic timing while making us feel that infidelity is acceptable so long as it is just a "peculiar passing moment".

Original Broadway "Bakers Wife"
Joanna Gleason
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Joanna Gleason! Her portrayal of The Baker’s Wife leaves me with a goofy grin on my face as I nod along to her songs. I just think it is easy to glaze over the real "moments" that take place. Like the way she is quick to be condescending and not afraid to talk down to her husband. Or the moment she compromises her morals by lying to a little boy saying beans carry magic when in reality she has no idea if they do. The way she finds something else to complain about (their house being too small) immediately after she got what she had always wanted; a child. Oh and let’s not forget the biggest one of all… infidelity.
Alden Bowers Price in TWO ROOMS directed
by Artes Artistic Director Adam Adolfo
I struggled for several days (*cough*weeks*cough*) in deciding what it was that made her likeable. What about her should make people pull for her and The Baker through their struggles? What makes people want her to succeed in obtaining her goal? I was working on her main solo, ‘Moments in the Woods’, last week when I had my personal "moment" in coming to love her. That moment where everything seemed so clear and seamlessly fit together. ‘Moments in the Woods’ is the song she sings right after her moment of selfish weakness. Wait, selfish…weakness… those are two of the most human qualities I’ve ever heard a character possessing. That’s when it hit me. She isn’t unlikeable… she is incredibly human. Then it hit me, she was feeling remorse. Finding her so human in that moment was so jarring that it immediately helped me find things/"moments" to love about her.

I love her strength and the fact that she doesn’t take "no" for an answer. I love the way she is so dedicated to her dream that she is not going to sit on the sideline and let someone else do the work for her. I love the moment in ‘It Takes Two’ when she falls back in love with her husband, The Baker, after a long battle through anger, resentment, and the embarrassment of not being able to have a child. I adore the fact that she is so proud of her husband when he succeeds in his own battles. I find it thrilling that she is captivated with their little "wish". I find her riveting in the way that she will protect others from the giant although she has no reason to feel so strongly for their safety.
"Behind the scenes" of the press photo shoot.
Yes, I even accept and appreciate the fact that she feels remorse for the horrible act she commits. I am so in love with the fact that at the end of the show, she is able to show her husband love and encouragement in assuring him that he was meant to be a father, that he can fill the voids for their little one that he is so fearful of, and that the two people she loves most in the entire world, her husband and their son, will never truly be alone.

Just know that when you meet The Baker’s Wife in our show, she will not be the typical one you encounter in most journeys into the woods! I hope people feel comfortable walking alongside her and ultimately fall even more in love with her than I have.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Baker is more than just bread... or so Joshua Sherman Tells Us.

Joshua Sherman
Twitter: @JShermanActor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/joshua.sherman.actor
Today we spend some moments in the woods with Joshua Sherman who is returning to the stage at the Rose Marine as the Baker. Many may remember Joshua for his show stopping vocal performance in IN THE HEIGHTS or his chilling take on Central American Military Politics in THE FIFTH SUN. In our production of INTO THE WOODS, Joshua shows us a tender side that has many people questioning the heroism under his submissive demeanor.

A Baker is more than just bread...
...Is he a hero or just a baker?

1. a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities
That is the definition of 'hero' word for word. So... feminist, don't be angry! Besides, you gals have heroine. The word. Not the drug... Well, that went downhill quickly; such is a hero's life.
Much like The Baker in Stephen Sondheim’s classical hit musical 'Into The Woods'. It seems like everything The Baker does in this high energy musical puts himself in harm’s way. Not only his physical well-being but within himself as well.

Joshua as The General in The Fifth Sun
It's hard to say if he is a hero or not. I mean, by definition listed above... he's not very heroic. He shows some courage but he is not idealized for it!  He has some achievements, and I say they are rather outstanding! But... he didn't reach his achievements alone. In fact, he wouldn't be able to do much alone!

And as for noble qualities... He's a baker! His father and mother, who died in a baking accident, were merely bakers before him. No nobility there.

By definition The Baker is no hero.

That being said; I believe he is a Hero. Just, not in the traditional sense. The Baker doesn't save the day. He doesn't fight off evil with his abilities to make cakes and pastries. (Which are very good, mind you.) He doesn't wear a spandex suit and don a cape and mask to gallivant around the woods or
Joshua Sherman & Lorens Portalatin starred as
Nina & Benny in Artes de la Rosa's In the Heights
village looking for crimes to solve! But what he does do is much more important. He chooses not to run away. He chooses to make his own happiness, to forge his own path in life surrounded by people he cares about, when things are at rock bottom. His super-strength comes not in the form of being able to lift  a tree from the ground but rather being able to pick himself up after being shattered completely; Gluing himself back together and filling in the missing pieces with reflections of what he's lost.... and then some! And we all know how difficult that can be sometimes.

This is the beauty of fairy tales. (Especially the Grimm Fairy Tales that Into The Woods is based on.) That there is evil in this world and sometimes, evil wins. Think about it; Snow White takes that bite. Little Red Ridinghood strays from her path. Jack steals from the giant. The big bad wolf destroys the houses of the first two piggies. But, with that in mind; if you just persevere, if you just keep on going through the woods and all of the bad, if you consciously make the choice to get your happily ever after… You’ll get it. It might not be what you had originally thought it to be. But it’ll be there. That’s what The Baker does.

He is a hero…he is the hero of his own life.

Alden Bowers Price and Joshua Sherman star in
February 21st - March 16th