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Saturday, January 28, 2012

An Actor, A Script, A Space - Dreams Don't Always Need Bells and Whistles

Above: Dukesbay's Randy Clark (far right in black vest) chats with guests during intermission.

Above: Dukesbay host Aya Clark warmly greets audiences at the door before a recent reading of local playwright Roger Iverson's well-written "Merry Noel" and "A Window of Opportunity" at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, Wa.

Above: The theatrical equivalent of a simple, good and satisfying dinner - a jug, a loaf of bread and thou.

Celebrities! So many of us enjoy reading about them. Whether you are young or old or inbetween there's always a short list of celebrities over which we can easily bond. I used to read about celebrities such as Bing Crosby, Dyan Cannon and Elinor Donahue and their links to Tacoma, WA when I was coming up many years ago.

How many more have filled these shoes in decades since? How many more celebrities in the wings are still waiting? Why wait until the media discovers the next stars from Grit City? Why not get out - not only to the restuarants, clubs and dance halls, but to the ballet, opera, regional, community and musical theatre?

Discover your list of emerging performers, plays and playwrights and lend your support to the ideas that tomorrows hits will be made of when it is most critical and most enduring - at the very beginning.

This is the same recipe Dukesbay Productions a local Tacoma based theatre production company has been employing with success during a series of live performances the past two years under the banner of "Java Tacoma" and most recently at a series of readings just begun featuring home-grown playwrights and performers.

A brainchild of the husband and wife team of Randy and Aya Clark - Dukesbay is committed to present theatrical works that reflect and celebrate our diverse society in the Pacific Northwest; to develop the work of local playwrights that portray the stories of Pierce county communities and to provide artistic opportunities for local actors who represent a diversity of ethnicity, age, religious background, training/experience and acting type.

While headlines tout the return of the economy on a national level - movie makers, theatres and other arts organizations and companies can still be observed having to cut back, prune or purge time honored programming, pictures, productions and events, Dukesbay is moving ahead with increasing its support and schedule with more not less programming and events.

The beauty of the performing arts is that prior to bells and whistles, digital imaging and special effects, multi-sound systems, video production, moving pictures, silent films, typewritten scripts - before the circus, opera houses, outdoor rounds and soapboxes - all good drama and great storytelling needed to rivet crowds in front of the campfire was a performer and an receptive audience.

Most recently Dukesbay put the spotlight on two plays by local playwright Roger Iverson - the quirky and throughly captivating "Merry Noel" about a woman who has learned to overcome the devasting double loss of her spouse and child within a short period of time and find a new mission, and the most honest and heartfelt "A Window of Opportunity" about a contemporary couple learning to navigate the ins, outs and depths of dealing with the painful issue of marital infertility.

It's writing like Iverson's and previous show author "Java Tacoma" playwright Curtis B. Swanson whose talents combined with the skill of local actors and actresses and the acumen of producers/directors like the Clarks whom audiences will discover, pour through and eagerly relish once their names and careers jump to the big lights, on big screens and on pages of multi-million deals and multi-billion dollar contracts.

But wouldn't it be more fun to say you've been familiar with the playwright since his work first hit the streets? Wouldn't it be more fun to say you've already got the framed picture of you and the actors? That you even have uh ahem - small anecdote to share about them before they were famous that you would be happy to share with friends or a willing listener?

Admittedly not everyone crosses over the bridge of fame and fortune. What if you should end up rooting for a runner-up? After all America loves winners! This is what I would say to you: no matter what genre you enjoy, someone is working on their debut. Be one of the ones that discover them, keep them going, keep them believing until they could find out if Fate does too. In easy times and hard this is the one area where the 1 percent can't make that final difference and it's where the rest of us really shine. Whether you're the dreamer or in crowd in the dream, your spot is guaranteed. Stand up and be counted!

1 comment:

Lorraine Hart said...

You know I'll always stand up with you for Art's sake, Mizu..yeah!