Tag Archive for Mark Anderson

Pre-Season Opener Opener

Theatre Gigante pre-empts its own 32nd Season Opener, The Beggar’s Opera, with a monologue performance by Gigante Artistic co-Director Mark Anderson, at the upcoming Fourth Milwaukee Fringe Festival.
I JUST WANT TO SAY… features excerpts from three of Anderson’s twisted, witty monologues: 80 Words for Snow (1986), Who (1995), and White Clown (1999). The solo performance takes place at 3:30pm, Saturday, August 24, in the Todd Wehr Theatre at the Marcus Center.

 

 

For over 30 years, Mark Anderson has been writing and performing monologues that playfully and poetically examine the anxieties and harmonic tremors of modern living. His work has been seen in many cities across the USA, including Houston, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Boston, D.C., Atlanta, and closer to home, Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Green Bay and Sheboygan.  He has toured with PS122 Field Trips, has received several commissions for new works, and has twice earned the Wisconsin Arts Board Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowship. His book of monologues, Making a Living, was published by Woodland Pattern. He has performed six of his monologues under the auspices of Theatre Gigante.

What critics have said:
Washington Post – Alan M. Kriegsman
Mark Anderson, tall and pencil-thin, is a natural wit whose mock metaphysical disquisition on the human life cycle pitted an almost schoolmasterish text and delivery against an undertone of wry, wistful and mordant observation.

Pittsburgh Press – Lynne Conner
Anderson’s “speaker” moved through a self-conscious stream of observations on the big themes – birth, marriage and death – with a calculated humility…

Milwaukee Magazine – Paul Kosidowski
Anderson has a knack for making “the everyday” interesting—and even pleasantly perplexing. When he talks about art, after all, he is talking about decades of a life devoted to it—its questions, joys, challenges and frustrations. And, of course, its rewards. …it is informed by artistry, thought and reflection—the willingness to discover or uncover something new, original and even beautiful.

Third Coast Daily – Tom Strini
Time seemed to stop within Anderson’s loopy, spiraling mind — and yes, we were as much into Anderson’s brain as he was into ours.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Mike Fischer
…material this good and delivered this well is bound to sustain, long after the lights come down and we walk back out into the night, no longer alone.

 

I JUST WANT TO SAY…
Saturday, August 24, 2019, at 3:30pm
Todd Wehr Theatre, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
ticket information:  http://mkefringe.com/tickets/

Wisconsin Gazette preview for The Way Things Go

check out this great preview from the Wisconsin Gazette  

Shepherd print review of QUORUM

Theatre Gigante’s ‘Quorum’ of Satire, Frustration


By Russ Bickerstaff
October 12, 2016

The characters in Theatre Gigante’s production of Mark Anderson’s Quorum form a cozy ensemble of local theater veterans. Anderson is first to arrive, playing a fragile, silent giant named Sammy. Next is Gigante co-founder Isabelle Kralj as Vivian, a comically contemptuous and domineering figure who quickly takes control as the rest of the ensemble arrives. Leslie Fitzwater is warmly ingratiating as Sylvia, someone very cautious of upsetting anyone else. Ron Scot Fry tenderly plays a dreamer named Martin.

Everyone in the room seems more or less in favor of coming together as a group except the charmingly surly Abner played by Michael Stebbins. Will resolution come in the form of a lab-coated Bo Johnson as a secretary with perfect penmanship? What of the mysterious arrival of Roberta, a relatively silent woman made all the more mysterious by the very expressive eyes and postures of Jocelyn Ridgely in the role?

Anderson’s comedy of petty unproductive action is particularly potent in an election year marked by incompetence on nearly every side of every political issue imaginable. The satirical sharpness is overwhelming as we watch in horror a group of people seemingly incapable of getting even the smallest thing accomplished. In a theater setting, it’s something we can all safely laugh at. In the context of the world around us, Quorum is delightfully upsetting. It’s the most fun you’ll have being frustrated in a theater this year.

QUORUM: playwright’s comments.

 

QUORUM is a play about a bunch of people, fumbling around in an attempt to organize themselves into a group of people.  They struggle with the basics of democracy:  voting, equality, and fairness, and always go away with a hint of promise to maybe try again tomorrow. The seven characters are clown-like, in a way, and the play is full of humor.
QUORUM had three primary sources of influence and inspiration:  monkeys, politics, and Robert’s Rules of Order.
I believe my initial inspiration was the social behavior of monkeys, explained to me by a television documentary I watched several times, plus research visits to “Monkey Island” at the Milwaukee County Zoo.  (In fact, “Monkey Island” was a working title, at one time.)  I started imagining people behaving like the monkeys I’d been studying, and scenes and dialogue began to emerge.
I began writing QUORUM in 1992, during the election campaign between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Campaign tactics, politicians’ behavior, and voter attitudes were an ongoing stream of inspiration and information as I was writing.
And somewhere along the way, I bought a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, and those essential rules for running a meeting found their way into the story.
This play is a social/political satire, and looks at our world, which otherwise deserves a piercing gaze, with a light touch and humor.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about the play as being a cross betweeHarold Pinter and PogoIn other words, Pinter, a British playwright (the dark influence in my writing) meets Pogo, a comic strip I read when I was growing up, that brilliantly and fearlessly presented political and social satire with a lot of laughs!
I began writing QUORUM 24 years ago, in a very different era of politics and American society.  Or was it?  The characters – what they say and what they do – seem painfully familiar when we look at the bullies and buffoons of our current, ongoing political campaigns.  Are we still this bunch of slightly inept strangers?

Mark Anderson

September 22, 2016

 

for tickets and show schedule, follow this link.

Next up: Theatre Gigante presents QUORUM

QUORUM, a play by Gigante Artistic co-Director Mark Anderson, opens October 7, at Plymouth Church, on Milwaukee’s East Side.
A social/political satire, first produced in Milwaukee in 1993 by Theatre X, takes a look at democracy in the hands of the people.  A bunch of strangers meet in a room, and attempt to form themselves into a group, which turns out to be not so easy.  Votes are split 50/50, not everybody fully appreciates the responsibilities of being a member of the group, the whole thing seems to be run by bullies and buffoons….

As we surveyed the current political landscape, Theatre Gigante decided to dust off our copy of QUORUM and see if it is still relevant.  It is.  Perhaps even moreso than it was 23 years ago.
Our new production features a cast of Gigante veterans: Leslie Fitzwater, Michael Stebbins, Bo Johnson, and Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson, plus some wonderful newcomers, Ron Scot Fry and Jocelyn Ridgely.
The second stop on this season’s “Gigante Tours Milwaukee” series, QUORUM will be performed at Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Street (two blocks East of UWM’s Mitchell Hall).  It’s a very appropriate setting for a play about strangers meeting in a rented room, attempting to form a group.
For tickets and show schedule, follow this link.

Gigante’s WOYZECK in Swiss press

The Swiss newspaper Le Nouvelliste recently brought its attention to Parisian singer Christine Zufferey and Theatre Gigante’s upcoming production of WOYZECK, to be presented in Kenilworth 508 Theatre March 4-12, 2016.
Theatre Gigante’s acclaimed production of WOYZECK brings Christine back to the Gigante stage to perform the evocatively beautiful songs written by Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan which, interlaced throughout the story, underscore the poetic nature of this WOYZECK, written by George Büchner and adapted for Gigante by James Butchart.
Here, Christine’s powerful voice lends itself well to the hypnotically charged music of Waits & Brennan, and she will perform it with Gigante regular Frank Pahl, a brilliantly innovative musician from Ann Arbor, who, as Music Director of the production, will display his talents on various instruments, including those self-devised and made.
Gigante audiences will remember Christine performing on Gigante’s Studio Series in February 2015, and Frank, who performed with his scintillating Little Bang Theory on the same Series in July.
Gigante is thrilled to welcome both back as part of WOYZECK!
Follow this link to more information about Gigante’s WOYZECK.

1950s Poet Frank O’Hara featured at Gigante Studio

In the upcoming BEAUTIFUL AND POINTLESS (Dec 4-6), Theatre Gigante stages five plays by poet Frank O’Hara: Try! Try!, Grace and George, Change Your Bedding!, Lexington Avenue, and Very Rainy Night.

FRANK O’HARA (1926-1966) was a poet, playwright, art critic, and curator in 1950s and 60s New York. In his life and work, he was a creative and social force connecting writers and artists, being close friends with writers John Ashbery, Joe LeSeuer, Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) V. R. “Bunny” Lang, Kenneth Koch, and visual artists Grace Hartigan, Alfred Leslie, Alice Neel, Willem de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Jasper Johns, Joan Mitchell — and many many others.

O’Hara wrote his friends into his plays and poems, and his friends painted, drew, photographed and wrote about him. In Try! Try!, O’Hara’s fellow poets John Ashbery and Violet Lang played the leads; Grace and George were played by painters Grace Hartigan and George Montgomery.

This is Gigante’s third foray into the world of Frank O’Hara. In 2000, Ed Burgess took O’Hara’s Very Rainy Night and wrote a framework around it, adding another character, more dialogue, and including music and movement in his staging. Two years later, director Wes Savick directed three more O’Hara plays for the company, including Lexington Avenue and Change Your Bedding!  Gigante is excited to re-visit Ed and Wes’ work, and to add two new scripts, Grace & George, and Try! Try!

COME SEE THE SHOW!
Dec 4 @ 7:30
Dec 5 @ 7:30
Dec 6 @ 3:00

call 414.961.6119 to reserve a seat

Gigante Studio
706 S Fifth Street
Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point Neighborhood

For more information, click!

TERMINUS preview at Boswell Book Co.

Gigante at Boswell Books
Tomorrow, April 21 at 7:00pm*

Come hear about the Irish contemporary theater scene
and kick-ass playwright Mark O’Rowe from dramaturg and critic Paul Kosidowski

Hear about the play TERMINUS from Isabelle & Mark

Get a preview of the fabulous script
from the cast
Megan Kaminsky, Tom Reed, and Isabelle Kralj

 

TERMINUS
May 1-16

Kenilworth 508 Theater

*copies of Terminus will be available for purchase at Boswell Books!

Boswell Book Company
2559 N. Downer Avenue
on Milwaukee’s Glamorous East Side

For tickets, go to giganteterminus.brownpapertickets.com
or call
1.800.838.3006

TERMINUS opening soon — Tickets available.

with
ISABELLE KRALJ           TOM REED        MEGAN KAMINSKY
directed by
MARK ANDERSON

For tickets, go to giganteterminus.brownpapertickets.com
or call
1.800.838.3006

2014-15 Season, part 2

Studio Series: In concert with Christine Zufferey
& Catherine Capozzi

Friday and Saturday
February 20 and 21, 2015, @ 7:30pm


Gigante Studio, 706 S. 5th Street

Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point

Follow this link to more information

 

Mainstage: TERMINUS by Mark O’Rowe

directed by Mark Anderson

with Isabelle Kralj, Megan Kaminsky, Tom Reed

Scenic Design by Rick Graham, Lighting Design by Alan Piotrowicz

TERMINUS is a supernatural fantasy of interlocking monologues sweeping the audience on a helter-skelter ride through the wildest parts of the imagination,
our greatest hopes, and our darkest fears.

Be warned – it’s not for the faint of heart!

May 1-16, 2015


Kenilworth Square Studio 508
1925 E Kenilworth Place
Milwaukee’s East Side

Follow this link to more information