"Threepenny Opera" kicks off the 2009-2010 season at NWSA

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2009-2010 Theater Season kicks-off with the
uncanny musical Threepenny Opera
MIAMI— Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s 1928 uncanny musical Threepenny Opera, launches New World School of the Arts’ 2009-2010 Theater season, with a 32 member  NWSA college seniors: Ashley Price, Tom Anello and Renata Eastlick. [Center] Rachel Clarkcast comprised of NWSA college sophomores, juniors and seniors. Directed by NWSA theater faculty Stuart Meltzer, this powerful musical highlights the talent of Renata Eastlick – Music Theater senior, in the role of Jenny Driver, Ann Marie Olson - Music Theater senior, who will play Mrs. Peachum  and Tom Anello – Music Theater senior, as MacHeath, head of the gang of crooks. The six-day schedule begins on Friday, October 9, 7:30 pm. Louise O’ Gerrits Theatre, 25 N.E. 2nd Street downtown Miami.

Additional performances will be on October 10, 16 & 17 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, October 11 & 18 at 2:00 pm.  General admission is $12, students and seniors $5.
“Threepenny Opera will give the students an understanding of a true theatrical style that is still modeled to this day in contemporary theatre,” assured Meltzer, “It also encourages the student to question political systems, be aware of current world events and places and true understanding as to why the theatre is vital in a living, thriving society.”

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s classic retelling of Jon Gay’s The Beggars Opera in Threepenny Opera is a dark, satirical look at the beggars, thieves and whores of Soho, London. Threepenny is the story of Mack the Knife, the most wanted criminal in all of England as he continues to escape the authorities and seduce women.  Unfortunately for Mack, he has seduced the wrong girl, Polly Peachum. Polly’s father is King of the Beggars and will not sit idly by while a man takes away his security nest for when he gets older. Mack has also broken the heart of Jenny the whore as she comes to the lucrative decision of betraying him. In the setting of Queen Victoria’s coronation, Threepenny Opera is a classic theatrical experience that reflects the cycles of man-eating-man, the struggle and oppression of socio-economical class structures and political oppression.  The Kurt Weill music are haunting sounds memories of Germany in the 1920’s and ’30. Weill’s music is still considered some of the most complex and disturbing ever. The Weill sound, a mix of jazz, opera, pop standard, continues to inspire musicians and composers today.

Stuart Meltzer received his M.F.A. in Directing in 2002 from the Actors Studio. For the last two years, Meltzer served as Artistic Director for City Theatre in Miami, he produced more than 60 ten-minute plays. Among the playwrights produced under Meltzer’s tenure were David Mamet, Harold Pinter, Paul Rudnick and local playwrights Michael McKeever, Marco Ramirez & Christopher Demos-Brown.  As part of Artistic Director, Meltzer was a co-sponsor of the National Ten Minute Play contest with Actors Theatre of Louisville.  Favorite South Florida credits include Everything will be Different, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Melt, & others. New York credits include Gint, One for the Road, Lysistrata, For Colored Girls… as well as Striptease (Produced at The Actors Studio).  Meltzer served as full time faculty at New World School of the Arts in Miami and had the opportunity to direct Marat/Sade, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, The Last days of Judas Iscariot, Blood Wedding, Metamorphosis and Poor Murderer.

Theater and music theater students at NWSA hone their craft through acting technique, movement and speech classes, focusing on fundamentals of physical and emotional preparation. With performance at its core, training is based on the classical texts and the principles of drama as well as practical incursions into the contemporary and experimental edges of theater. Consequently, alumni are found performing on stage nationally and internationally and their talent and vision are recognized and highly regarded in the industry.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, and is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. Through its partnership with the University of Florida NWSA is able to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.
For more information about the theater program at NWSA, call (305) 237-3541 or visit www.mdc.edu/nwsa.
Photo Captions: 011: Tom Anello and Renata Eastlick.  
014: [left to right] NWSA college seniors: Ashley Price, Tom Anello and Renata Eastlick. [Center] Rachel Clark.         

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