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Theatre & Film Festivals

The Trouble with Harry at BEAT

Read more: The Trouble with Harry at BEATThe quirky but down-to-earth residents of a small town are faced with the discovery of Harry Worp inconveniently appearing on the hillside above the town. Each person has a different idea of what needs to be done with Harry and whom is responsible. The trouble with Harry is that he’s dead.

Alfred Hitchcock is the acknowledged Master of Suspense. He could simply say “Good Evening” and send a suspenseful thrill through the listener. “Indeed, the willful perversity of Hitchcock’s films is what makes them so effective. Even the most ordinary details become the source of nameless dread: a shower, a staircase, a window, a flock of birds, an innocuous door that just can’t seem to stay closed. And it’s always ordinary, everyday people who become entrapped and entangled in this web of Hitchcockian intrigue,” wrote Judge Gary Militzer.

BEAT (quality youth theatre) has taken on the challenge of presenting Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry on stage. Leila Smith-Daines is directing the cast and is delighted to see the actors’ reactions to 1954, specifically to no cell phones and test patterns shown on TV, but also to the witty banter. Even the six year old character, Arnie Rogers (LioDitta), is caught up in the uniqueness of being able to run free in the woods unaccompanied, living the dream.

The film, The Trouble with Harry was experimental, an odd black comedy which perfectly combined many of the elements of obsession, suspense, witty observation and human psychology that Hitchcock doted. The play’s small cast is crucial to the success of The Trouble with Harry.

It is built upon peculiar non-responses to the death. It is as if the audience is taken into a slightly eerie dream formula. Hitchcock wryly called this film an “expensive self-indulgence” but he continued with, “the humor is quite rich.”

Peter Bradshaw wrote, “Bernard Herrmann composed the music for The Trouble with Harry; it was his first score for Hitchcock. This rhythmic musical soundtrack and the rollicking tongue-in-cheek attitude taken by Hitchcock . . . are two of the chief reasons that it works so well.” Smith-Daines loves the depth Herrmann’s scores bring to the scenes.

The character Sam Monroe (Riley Kenna), is a misjudged artist whose paintings are sold by the local shopkeeper. She hangs one the wrong way up. With a tolerant snicker, Sam turns it around – but isn’t the least bit annoyed. When the film was released, no one knew which way up to hang The Trouble with Harry. It’s time to take another look! Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant and comedic whodunit is fun for the entire family.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry, screenplay by John M. Hayes, based on the novel by Jack Trevor Story, stage adaptation by Daniel Estes.

2nd Street Theater Performances

September 26, 27, October 3, 4 at 7pm, September 27, 28, October 4, 5 at 2pm
beattickets.org, 541-419-5558

Thoroughly Modern Productions Presents The Wizard of Oz

Read more: Thoroughly Modern Productions Presents The Wizard of OzThoroughly Modern Productions (TMP) is in the midst of rehearsals for a production of The Wizard of Oz on a scale that Central Oregon has never seen before. It’s all in preparation for the curtain going up for six shows August 22-31 at Bend’s Summit Theater, on the campus of Summit High.

With a cast of nearly 70 actors, singers, dancers and musicians, The Wizard of Oz will fill nearly every inch of Summit’s massive stage and state-of-the-art theatre with excitement. The driving force behind the production are members of the same creative team that delivered Monty Python’s Spamalot to record-breaking audiences at the Tower Theatre last Fall: David DaCosta, the show’s director and TMP’s artistic director, Musical Director Scott Michaelson and Dakota Weeda, choreography director. Together, they are working with a cast of some of Central Oregon’s most seasoned talent to bring this classic, now celebrating its 75th anniversary, to life.

Along with a cast of adults, The Wizard of Oz will feature some of Central Oregon’s most talented youth. Currently enrolled in TMP’s Wizard of Oz Summer Theater Camp, nearly 40 children ages five to 16 will join the cast of adults in roles ranging from munchkins to flying monkeys to the lead role of Dorothy.

Skylar Adams, a 16-year-old member of TMP’s Summer Theater Camp, earned the role of Dorothy by auditioning alongside the adults. “Skylar came out of nowhere, much like Dorothy herself when she landed in Oz, and surprised every one of us with her talent, spirit and energy,” says the show’s Producer, Gary Fulkerson.

“It was quite a magical moment when we all looked across the table at each other and realized that our Dorothy was coming right out of the camp itself.”

With several shows already on her resume and as the reigning Miss Teen Central Oregon competing this year for the title of Miss Teen Oregon, Skylar is no stranger to the stage. She will be featured as Dorothy singing the National Anthem at the Bend Elks home closer on August 10.

Thanks to the theatre camp element, The Wizard of Oz will feature a number of Central Oregon families sharing the stage together for the first time. “It’s an amazing story on so many levels,” says DaCosta. “Our goal is always to bring people together by producing the highest level of theater in Central Oregon for them to enjoy. But with so many families coming together on stage for this classic show, we’ve taken it to a whole new level.”

There is no shortage of storylines or talent with this production. Says DaCosta, “We are incredibly excited at Thoroughly Modern Productions to have developed a true partnership with the amazing people at Summit Theater. Expect the highest quality show. Expect surprises at every turn. Expect the time of your life enjoying this timeless classic.”

A local production company that has grown rapidly since its debut in 2013, Thoroughly Modern Productions strives to inspire, nurture, challenge, educate and empower artists and audiences alike. TMP is an alternative performance company with a commitment to helping develop original theatre artists locally, serving the community by providing a wealth of theatrical experiences to people of all ages and abilities, fostering new works that examine our present through the past, and presenting theatre that is experienced actively, not passively.

David DaCosta, 541-678-0313, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tickets www.ThoroughlyModernProd.com

The Barista Times

by JEFF SPRY Cascade A&E Feature Writer

Read more: The Barista TimesCapitalizing on the coffee-crazed culture of Central Oregon, local actor and comedian Nathan Woodworth has just completed work on The Barista Times, a humorous web-series filmed entirely at Sisters Coffee Company in downtown Sisters. Woodworth has teamed up with filmmaker Sam Pyke to create this caffeinated cup-of-life dramedy at a bustling java joint and plans to broadcast it on YouTube starting in July.

“It’s an online sketch comedy series that takes place only at a coffee shop,” said Woodworth. “It satirizes the crazy life of hardworking baristas and their loyal coffee-loving customers. Most of the sketches are based on true stories that have been slightly altered and we make a point of keeping our personal views balanced by poking fun at employees and customers with equal opportunity.”

Woodworth started writing this percolating project after he finished assignments for The Second City’s celebrated online comedy writing courses while waiting to get into the next level at Los Angeles’ The Groundlings school and theater, where stars like Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and Jimmy Fallon got their start.

“I went down to Southern California in 2012 to begin training in improvisation at The Groundlings and had to audition,” he said. “I made it through all the improv levels really fast. We watched classic Monty Python, Laurel and Hardy, Malcolm in the Middle and Saturday Night Live. For Barista Times I wanted to challenge myself by seeing how many sketch ideas I could come up with in one location. My sister, Emily, who is a professional writer, and I both decided to set it at a coffee shop where we work. Confining it to one location actually gave us more ideas, and doing it at a coffee house allowed us access to the full spectrum of humanity.

“Everybody will be able to relate to the material. It’s not just about coffee or baristas, it’s about humans and the everyday errors we make and particular quirks we carry.”

This intriguing new web-series is highly influenced by the manic works of Monty Python, especially the antics of legendary cast members John Cleese and Graham Chapman.

 “What we write is socially satirical but we didn’t set out to write it that way,” he explains. “We filmed nine episodes that each average three minutes. Five of the episodes are titled, Things Baristas Shouldn’t Do and those are what I like to call Scatter Sketches, basically brief bits featuring rapid-fire one-liners all having to do with one topic. A lot of it is centered on miscommunication, eccentric characters and rude customers.”

The Barista Times was filmed over the course of several weeks during off-hours in May by Sam Pyke at Hill Shadow Pictures.

“Sam and I co-directed it and my sister and I co-wrote and co-produced it. We used only professional actors and comedians in the lead roles, including myself and Emily, Derek Sitter, Gavin Douglas from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Chris Sulak, who spent six years at Second City in Chicago with Steve Carell. The show turned out to be really hilarious and we had an amazing improvisational cast that brought it to life.”

The premier of The Barista Times screens on July 5 at the Volcanic Theatre Pub in Bend. Doors open at 6pm. Live comedy starts at 7:30pm before showing all nine episodes. Derek Sitter will also be showing an enlightening documentary called Happy included with admission. Advanced tickets are $5 per person or $7 at the door.