Friday, December 16, 2011

Raspberry Fizz at Loop 2012



Wonderful news! We have just received word that Brad McEntire's new play RASPBERRY FIZZ has been accepted into the 2012 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival at the Water Tower Theatre in Addsion, Texas. This will be the eighth appearance of an Audacity piece in that festival (if you count the old Audacity production days) and it is an excellent place to World Premiere work.

Better yet, local theatre artist Andy Baldwin has agreed to come on board to direct and ATL member Jeff Swearingen will step into one of the main acting parts.

Andy Baldwin: Director

RASPBERRY FIZZ is a thematic exploration of expectation and the potentialities of the future tied up in a slice-of-life coming-of-age encounter between two young adolescents in 1949, in small town America.

Look for it in early March of 2012. More information as details develop. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

EYE episode 5 & 6 have been recorded

John Flores, Brad McEntire and Angela Parsons

John Flores and Brad McEntire with Suzanne Thomas as she reads Mark Rigney's IN WHICH GILLIAN AMBER COPES WITH MIRACLES
 ATL artist got together and recorded the last two episodes of the mega-epic EYE IN THE SKY project last night. John Flores, Angela Parsons, Whitney Holotik, Ruth Engel, Suzanne Thomas and Brad McEntire read pieces by Jeff Hernandez, Mark Rigney, John Flores, Vicki Cheatwood and Zach Gonzales.

The raw footage will be sent off to Chris Humphrey in Austin for her to work her magic.

Check back on the website towards the end of December.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spotlight: RHIANNA MACK


In this edition of Spotlight, we wanna shine a little on ATL's newest company member, Ms. Rhianna Mack. A wonderful actress who has worked several times in Audacity productions over the last few years, Ms. Mack is keeps extremely busy and is just starting to really spread her wings as a fully rounded theatre artist.
 
Q: Hometown?
A:Shreveport, LA

Q: Strangest Theatre-related job? 
A: Hmm.... this one is tough because I honestly can't think of anything..... Wait! Does this count....? (see the following short story) I was on a national tour for a show a couple of years ago. The weather was extremely wintry we had traveled pretty far north on the way to our next venue. The cast usually drives a 15-passenger van and a 24-foot truck hauling a massive set and cast luggage. Well this particular day- the big truck decided to break down on the side of the highway and we were miles away from a tow truck place or Budget (the place who rented us the truck). Nevertheless, calls were made to both Budget and a towing company. The snow fell steadily while we waited. After exercising much of everyone's patience, eventually, the new truck showed up! We had to walk everything (set, luggage, and all) over from one truck to the other in the freezing cold and snow- and, as you could imagine, that took quite a while.

Q: What experience(s) made you want to go into the theatre?
A: Getting cast in my first show after auditioning for the first time during my first semester of acting school made me feel like I could be successful in the theater industry. Though I still have a great interest in doing more film, performing in front of a live audience is such a uniquely rewarding experience as well as the exchange between the audience and performer(s).

Rhianna Mack as Charlotte in Greg Romero's MILKY WAY CABARET (with Tyson Rinehart as Buzz) (ATL 2009)

Q: Tragic flaw? 
A: I, too, suffer from "overanalyctus procrastinactus". In other words-I am working on not being so over-analytical about how to approach or finish a project that it causes me to procrastinate somewhere in the process of beginning and/or completing the task. (...if I could just think of a way to stop over-thinking....)

Q: If you could change one thing about theatre, what would it be? 
A: I think the more we push the envelope of all-around creativity and diversity the better off it'll be. Certain shows will always be staples in the theater community, but it's so refreshing to see the success of fresh ideas and the pushing of creative boundaries in story-telling, direction, and casting.

Q: Who are or were your theatrical influences? 
A: I cannot name particular names, but I am always influenced when a talented actor/actress (local or otherwise) manages to "convince" me into their alternate universe so skillfully that I forget about anything and everything else.

Q: What kind of theatre really excites you?
A: Out-of-the box and extremely well-performed theater excites me. Perhaps this is a blanket answer, but it's accurate. Also, theater that doesn't rely on "black-outs" and has genuinely good direction and use of the stage/blocking is best.

Rhianna Mack with the cast of VOLUME OF SMOKE by Clay McLeod Chapman (ATL 2010)

Q: What is in the near future for you as far as your work in the theatre? 
A: Currently, I am on a national tour for approximately the next 9 months to a year. Once this is complete, I look forward to producing more of my own original works. I am also planning to do a 6-month stint in New York.... just to see what's what, ya know?

More information on Rhianna at her website: www.RhiannaMack.com

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CHOP a Producer's Pick at Houston Fringe


We just got word that CHOP was selected as a "Producer's Pick" at last month's Houston Fringe Festival. This is a wonderful honor. We were chosen based on the high artistic content and quality of our work in combination with the audience survey responses that were collected after performances. 

Yay! Thanks Houston Fringe!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Interview with Brad McEntire after his performance of CHOP for Frenetic Theatre’s 2011 Houston Fringe Fest


McEntire performing CHOP
August 22, 2011
www.EaDoLife.com - By Alec Lasar


[Note: Spelling mistakes and some factual information have been corrected from the original version]


CHOP is the account of a character’s own surreal life experiences leading up to the moment when he first appears on stage, nervously greeting the audience – a nervousness that gradually evolves into wonder, excitement and a devilishly keen desire to share a personal gift he discovers about himself…


We briefly spoke with Brad McEntire about his show revolving around isolation, amputation fetishes and sacrificial love after he performed the solo act on the stage at Super Happy Fun Land for the Houston Fringe Fest, organized by the Frenetic Theatre.



EaDo Life: How did you come up with the idea for CHOP?


Brad McEntire: Two things sort of led up to CHOP. First, I run a theatre up in Dallas, Audacity Theatre Lab, [Formerly Audacity Productions] and have for the last decade. I worked mostly as a director and for many years as a playwright, producer and marketer, all behind the scenes. I studied acting, but then I totally drifted away from acting. I started to do a lot of non-acting projects. I love just working with a bunch of people, you know, other collaborators in the theatre. Except, with a big group of collaborators, I was never able to get onto the stage the pure, uncompromising vision of my idea for a project… I was trying to get [where I could perform] exactly the stuff I wanted to. So, I still direct and produce with many actors, but I became really interested in doing something that I could control from beginning to end. For that I turned to solo work.


You start out with the idea for a play and it’s kind of a challenge how much of it you can keep - how much of that original idea and spark you can retain - until the audience sees it. I also wanted to do something I could go on the road with, like to here in Houston. So it had to be something low tech and mobile. All I need for CHOP are a few lights, a few sound cues, a few props and the back drops – it all packs into a duffel bag.


The other part of the answer involves Asia. Ruth Engel [Brad's fiancĂ© and technical support] and I lived in Hong Kong a few years ago and, for me at least, I found that the prevailing sentiment in South East Asia doesn’t allow so much for loud, independent Americans. I felt really removed, at a distance. And that’s approximately when I started working on CHOP. A lot of the isolation I was feeling, living as a stranger in a strange land, showed up as I was working on the piece.


I created this character that’s just completely isolated from everyone. this character is the protagonist – this guy that just can’t connect with anyone – and then explore what happens to him. I was just toying around with the idea about this totally isolated character and wondered to myself, how would he get connected with people?

I also began exploring this stage image that kept coming to me, of an axe coming down on something, like a log or block or something. I mean, it's this great percussive sound and action, kinda violent. At some point I thought, ‘Oh yeah, let’s explore this axe thing, find a place for it in there somehow’ and that led to the, well, chopping...


Chopping led to amputation and this strange and unlikely love story started to emerge. Actually, I didn’t initially know that the amputation thing -  the way it is referenced in the play - was a real thing! About a week before I opened the first show I was at a party and a friend of mine commented, ‘Oh yeah, Apotemnophilia...’ Now, as I’ve travelled with the show for the last year and half, occasionally I’ll have a sex therapist or a psychologist come up to me and say they’ve had a patient experiencing that exact issue!



EL: How important do you feel the character’s “love of his life”, Rosie, is in CHOP?


BM: I think this story does well to have this really quite charming and sweet romance involved given the unrelentingly weirdness! With no softness to it, no tenderness, it would just be this horribly dark, bizarre story!

Rosie is the protagonist's compass, a literal compass rose, giving direction to an otherwise unfocused, aimless, detached existence.


Early on, I leaned on the dark humor and weirdness factor to market the piece. Then this girl in New Orleans, at the New Orleans Fringe, stayed behind after the show and mentioned how powerful she thought the romance element was. My fiancé and technician backed up this thought.



EL: How has the story changed since the girl pointed that out?



BM: Well, I always used to look at it as this dark, hero’s journey, which it is. I didn't emphasize the love story aspect of the piece. Now with the romantic element, well, for one thing, it has made the character Rosie – who you never see, just hear – it made her a more rounded and believable person. She's not just the catalyst.


Now on the marketing stuff, such as the postcard, it says “Romance on the outer edge!”


I used to stand in line for other shows playing at the same festival, in the same venue as CHOP,  to see what people were saying about CHOP. While in line I'd chat up people around me. I would ask potential audience members while they waited to buy tickets, “Heard of this show CHOP? What do you think about it?” and they’d reply “I don’t know… does he amputate someone on stage? Does he amputate his own arm? Is it like a freak show, I don’t know?” and, you know, I found that it was turning people off before they had even sat down to experience the show! Their initial perception, or misunderstanding, of it was hurting ticket sales. They heard the title or seen the axe of the graphic and formed these kind of grotesque impressions of the piece.


So, discovering and then beefing up the love story in the piece has been a delightful benefit, both for perspective audiences, but for me, the performer. The piece continues to unfold, performance by performance as I uncover hidden layers to explore.



EL: Apart from the romantic element, how have you refined the play to make it a little softer?



BM: I'm not sure how interesting this discussion is to people who haven't seen the show yet.


EL: Still...


BM: I have embraced the softness of the opening of the play.


EL: How so?


BM: I have include a lot of exposition at the beginning of the piece, which I think is important. The audience gets lot of initial background so you know where this guy is coming from. And exposition is difficult. It is not an easy way to hook the audience. So the whole opening is sort of a soft sale. He comes out nervous. And as he grows more and more emboldened throughout the piece, the audience is drawn in more and more. By the end he’s at the front of the room, the center of the room, a place of control and power, with the axe…

So, the soft opening has turned out to be a way to handle the exposition at the play's start and the gradual change, with the audience asking “what happens next,” hopefully. My hope is that it clicks with them and they’re really drawn into the story!




 Original post HERE.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nice CHOP write-up in HoustonPress


Houston Fringe Festival Wrap-Up -- Weekend One
This past weekend was the kickoff to the Houston Fringe Festival. Art Attack wanted to cover as much of the weekend's events as we could, so I took on the personal challenge of doing my own Fringe Crawl. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see it all (hey science, figure out that whole clone thing already, will ya), but I was able to soak up quite a few of the performances.

Saturday:
Chop
chop.jpg
Courtesy of Houston Fringe Festival and Audacity Theatre Lab
 
Chop, another one-man show, written and performed by Dallas-based artist Brad McEntire, tells the story of a man forced to grow up in isolation when his parents run away to join the circus. McEntire recalls the tale of the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull that was also forced into solitude to be taunted, mocked and perpetually on guard against unknown predators. McEntire certainly knows his bull alliterations, as they smartly popped into his stories seamlessly. As his character, McEntire describes a lonely existence as an office temp, friendless and unloved. One day he meets an exotic European beauty and finds himself in a relationship.

So, we've all been with people who were into odd "stuff," but when McEntire finds out his love is into self-amputation, things get a bit weird.

McEntire has an enjoyable, self-deprecating manner. You feel bad for him, but at the same time wish he would grow a pair, and he seems to feel the same way. It's an excellent internal conflict, which he plays very well. The story holds you the entire way, not to say there aren't a few odd turns, somewhat off topic. There is a place at the end where his clever bull imagery could have made a nice comeback, but you get the idea and very much enjoy getting there.

Thursday through Sunday, various times and venues. For information, visit www.houstonfringefestival.com or call 832-426-4624. $10 per show, packages available.

Original post here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

CYRANO A-GO-GO mentioned in D Magazine Blog

McEntire performing CYRANO A-GO-GO

Audacity Offers a Companion to ‘Cyrano’

D Magazine's FrontRow Blog
Author: By Peter Simek
Post date: June 23rd, 2011 9:30am

Shakespeare Dallas kicked off its summer season with a play not by the Elizabethan playwright, but rather Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. As Kris Noteboom writes on TheaterJones, Cyrano is also the favorite play of Audacity Theatre Labs’s Brad McEntire, and in conjunction with the Shakespeare Dallas run, McEnire is presenting his Cyrano A-Go-Go at the Green Zone. From the TJ piece:
Throughout the hour-and-15-minute piece, McEntire delivers more of the history from his favorite play whilst tying it in with events from his own life in an engaging, educational experience sure to enrich the impact of Cyrano.
During the oration, McEntire recounts the nerve-wracked opening night and the subsequent two hour standing ovation, the conundrum of being the brother-like guy friend, and the impact of the play on his pursuit of theater.
The whole of the piece is well-organized, jumping from past to present, from fiction to fact, between his life and Cyrano’s with great aplomb. There’s never a dull moment, and the experience will not only augment your appreciation for Rostand’s masterpiece, but the theater and arts in general, with an interesting bit of history thrown in.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

CYRANO A-GO-GO has begun!


McEntire has opened his new solo show, an "oration" on Cyrano de Bergerac and how the piece has impacted his life. Info on this "free" show here.

Also, a swell essay by McEntire has recently run on TheaterJones.com about the opening night of Cyrano in 1897. Check it out here.
Nice mention of CYRANO A-GO-GO on Neighborsgo.com. Check it out here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

CHOP at the Houston Fringe

We at ATL are happy to announce CHOP has been accepted into the 2011 Houston Fringe Festival. Brad McEntire's one-man show about a man finding love and identity in the most unlikeliest of places has appeared at the New Orleans Fringe Festival, Phoenix Fringe, Out of the Loop Fringe in Addison, Texas, the College of Santa Fe, the Portland Mini-Fringe. Now we are pleased as punch the piece will have a chance in front of Houston audiences.

Playing August 11-13, 2011 at SuperHappyFunLand! More info coming soon!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CYRANO A-GO-GO



Brad McEntire presents a new monologue coinciding with the Shakespeare Dallas production of the Rostand play this summer!

CYRANO A-GO-GO is semi-autobiographical exploration of one restless theatre artist's fascination with the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. A chance encounter with the script at a suburban public library at the age of 15 leads to a cruel and wonderful calling. Mixing the personal, historical and literary into a journey through Rostand's play and the behind-the-scenes story of it's creation. McEntire puts a funny, warm, insightful spin on the usual coming-of-age one-man show.

Plays Saturday afternoons at 3 PM from June 18 to July 9, 2011.
At the Green Zone, 161 Riveredge Drive, Dallas, TX 75207 (map)

Admission FREE! (though suggested donation of $5-10 is appreciated)

Friday, May 13, 2011

CYRANO A-GO-GO: Study Guide up

Wanna bone up on your Cyrano de Bergerac in anticipation of ATL's CYRANO A-GO-GO or maybe the Shakespeare Dallas production of Cyrano this summer?

Here's your chance! We've put up a handy dandy study guide on the Audacity website HERE.

Knowledge for all! Theatre for all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CHOP in Portland - Media!


CHOP is mentioned on the KBOO Out Loud Queer Culture Radio broadcast as part of the Portland Mini-Fringe. Mentioned about 14.00 minutes in.

The Interview is with Kate Mura. She works with the Fuse Theater Ensemble, and is very involved with the Portland Mini Fringe Festival. Grant Knutson joins the conversation to discuss the many theater events happening with this festival.

Listen to it here.

CHOP in Portland

CHOP, the twisted, romantic solo show about a man finding his place in the world by finding himself in a subculture of amputation fetishists makes it's way to the Pacific Northwest. Invited for an exclusive one-weekend engagement at the Portland Mini Fringe Festival.

Playing March 17-19, 2011 at 8 PM. At the FUSE Theatre, 3430 SE Belmont Ave., Portland OR 97202.

CHOP promo trailer from FT Bonnigan on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

GREAT GOD off to a good start


Loop Review: I Have Angered a Great God
Audacity Theatre Lab gets Tiki with it at Out of the Loop.
by Kris Noteboom
published Monday, March 7, 2011

If there’s one thing theater sometimes needs, it’s a lighter side. In a landscape strewn with weighty dramas, the occasional quirky comedy is an oasis for the laughter-famished gut.

And in I Have Angered a Great God, Audacity Theatre Lab gives the audience that healthy dose of comedic nourishment they so desperately need.

The brainchild of Audacity founder Brad McEntire, I Have Angered a Great God takes the audience on the flashback-laden tale of Robert von Ritchie Ritchie (Oscar Contreras), as he tries to figure out just what he did to spark the wrath of an ancient Tiki god (Jeff Hernandez).

Much of this introspection is accomplished in the office of his therapist (Jeremy Whiteker), who coincidentally also happens to treat Robert’s now ex-girlfriend, Martha (Angela Parsons), and the Great God itself. Due to a crippling selfishness, Robert is oblivious to how his actions affect those around him, particularly the Great God. Naturally, he comes to realize his mistake and make amends, but not until after most of his friends and family have paid the price in his stead.

Opening with a rapped prologue complete with cardboard cut-out Tiki gods, McEntire quickly establishes the expectations for the performance. It’s gonna get a little weird…but, in a good way.

Jokes pepper the non-sequential, sometimes hard to follow, script, and while they don’t always fully land with the appropriate oomph, McEntire’s offbeat sense of humor still manages to shine through.

Parsons and Whiteker bring substantial comedy chops with them to the production, and it shows. With all apologies to Hernandez, whose lines under his giant, cardboard Tiki head consisted of a series of grunts and barely decipherable words, Parsons and Whiteker stood apart from the bunch when it came to communicating McEntire’s unique comic voice.

McEntire himself, who delivers the opening rap and plays several other minor characters, channels Graham Chapman with his deadpan delivery. The purest measure of a truly gifted comedic performer is their ability to make any character funny. McEntire does that with his turns as a barista and a MENSA rep.

I Have Angered a Great God is a quirky romp through the human psyche, externalized in the visage of a blue-clad Easter Island escapee. The comedy is sometimes bungled in the delivery, but enough of it connects that this remarkably peculiar, yet boldly inventive, story comes out all smiles.

I Have Angered a Great God plays at the Addison Theatre Centre's Stone Cottage. View a full Out of the Loop Fringe Festival schedule here.

One critic's opinion of GREAT GOD

Loopy lite 2011: Audacity Theatre Lab’s I Have Angered A Great God

Alexandra Bonifield - Mar. 8, 2011 - CriticalRant.com

Audacity Theatre Lab produces some outstanding work regionally, so I was curious to see their show. According to the program notes, this is company founding artistic director Brad McEntire’s sixth presentation at Out of the Loop. Although it had a modicum of artistic continuity with respectable acting performances, the short work was less than compelling to watch.The rap-style prologue went on too long (don’t tell me what you’re going to show me, just show me) and its cardboard cutout puppets failed to amuse me or hold my interest. The female puppet lost a leg early in the show, inspiring polite tittering and causing improvised script adjustments. I expected more creative depth from Audacity, felt disappointed by what appeared to be very hastily thrown together. Pay to see this? Really? Acting ensemble: Oscar Contreras, Angela Parsons, Jeff Hernandez, Jeremy Whiteker and Brad McEntire ~AB

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I HAVE ANGERED A GREAT GOD at Addison Water Tower Theatre's 2011 Out of the Loop Fringe Festival


ATL Artistic Director Brad McEntire presents the World-Premiere of his hilarious new satire.

I HAVE ANGERED A GREAT GOD follows mover and shaker Robert von Ritchie Ritchie. He has somehow upset a Great Tiki God with anger-control issues. Robert retraces his steps over the past few days to discover where things went so wrong. It might be easier if he weren't constantly on his cell phone talking with his now ex-girlfriend Martha, who barely made it into MENSA. A comedy of modern public etiquette, therapy and childhood mishaps. With music!

Featuring Jeremy Whiteker, Oscar Contreras, Angela Parsons, Jeff Hernandez and Brad McEntire.

Playing at the Addison Water Tower Theatre, Studio Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison TX 75001

Performances: Sunday March 6 at 5 PM, Wednesday March 9 at 7:30 PM and Saturday March 12 at 2 PM. Info and tix: click here or call 972-450-6232