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Performing Arts

Midshipmen take on Shakespeare on youth, war and relations between the sexes

Megan Geigner, the new director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s midshipman theater group The Masqueraders, grabbed the helm with deft touch and a focused vision, staging a delightfully energetic version of Shakespeare’s popular comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. She chose the play because it’s about young people, more specifically young people coming home from war, and about gender relations.

World Artists make themselves at home in Annapolis

Betty Mcginnis dreamed big. She wanted to bring together not just her community but the whole world. That’s how World Artists Experiences was born as an all-volunteer effort to bring international arts to Annapolis.     That’s a nice way of saying that World Artists Experiences depend on human resources rather than money. Especially as you see and hear all performances for free.

Back to the ’80s

To celebrate its 50th season bringing musical theater to Annapolis, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has chosen this summer to stage, in reverse order, The Producers, Rent … and The Wedding Singer. The Producers won 12 out of its 15 Tony nominations, setting the nominations record and joining the short list of musicals winning in every nominated category. Rent was nominated for 10 Tonys and won four, plus the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Wedding Singer … five nominations, no wins and critical yawns.

An impressive troupe of young people takes on one of the most challenging races in theater

Producing a Shakespeare play is similar to running a marathon. It’s grueling, frustrating, thrilling and exhausting — and that’s just training.  Maintaining forward motion through the entire course is an accomplishment for any age.     Twin Beach Players youth production of Much Ado About Nothing has taken on that challenge with great success. 

A very good play balancing good ­fortune with bad luck

“To live in poverty is to exist in a war zone,” award-winning Colonial Players director Edd Miller notes in the playbill for Good People. “Not necessarily with bullets and bombs but with situational choices of conscience.”     Do choices pull people out of poverty? Determine our lot in life? Or is it luck? Or hard work? Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and Miller ask us not to decide but to ­consider.

Actors aren’t the only ones dressing up for the play

When Colonial Players’ Boeing Boeing opened Friday, February 19, all eyes focused on the actors. And they’re the ones who’ll take the bows — or dodge the tomatoes — when the play is over.

Local theaters serve a mix of seasonal cheer

The spirit of Christmas is a more complex concoction than a dash of ho-ho-ho and a splash of jinglebells. For this is the season of deliverance: hope is born, sorrow and loss salved, our better selves risen over our baser. Getting it right — mixing big dreams with dark regret, leavened by love and served in hope — is an annual job done for us by our local theater companies.

The sounds of Maggie’s Music bring on the season

Need help transitioning into the holiday mood? My go-to solution is playing seasonal music. This year, I’m jumping out of the same old rut with Cold Frosty Morn at West River, by local Celtic musician Maggie ­Sansone.

See the world according to young artists

“Write plays that matter,” playwright Terrence McNally admonishes. “Raise the stakes. Shout, yell, holler, but make yourself heard. … Speak from the heart about the things that matter most.” This sage advice for aspiring dramatists comes from one of the best contemporary American playwrights.

Colonial Players awards $1,000 to 2015 contest winner Mark Costello

Over 67 years, The Colonial Players of Annapolis has made its reputation by producing top-quality plays and musicals like The Liar, which earned the British Embassy’s 2015 Ruby Griffith Award as the best overall community theater production in the Washington-Baltimore area.     The all-volunteer company also encourages new works. Since 1973 it has sponsored a biennial Promising Playwright competition. 2015’s winner was in the spotlight last weekend.