Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Insignificance: Meet the Actors

Jim Johnson (The Professor) - Jim Johnson has appeared in the following shows at the Dragon - Waiting for Godot, Becky's New Car, Marvin's Room and Sideman.  He has also appeared in many shows at the Pear Theater, most recently in What You Will and Geeks vs. Zombies. He has also done shows with Los Altos Stage, Renegade Theater Experiment, City Lights and Epic Immersive Theater.

Jessica Lea Risco (The Actress) - Jessica Lea Risco is so excited to be working with The Dragon Theatre Company for the first time! She has worked in Minneapolis, New York City, Tucson, Dublin, Honolulu and now the San Francisco/Bay Area, which has become her home. Locally, she has worked with Golden Thread, Berkeley Rep, San Francisco Playhouse, The Playwright's Foundation, The O'Neill Foundation and Boxcar Theatre where she originated the role of Dorothy in The Speakeasy, performing over 100 times. Thank you to Laura Jane for being an amazing mentor and director!

Nick Mandracchia (The Ballplayer) - Nick is thrilled to be making his debut with Dragon! He was seen most recently seen playing Robert E. Lee and others in A Civil War Christmas at Town Hall Theatre Company, and Rochefort in Three Musketeers at Marin Shakespeare Company. Regional credits include Amadeus and Frankenstein at City Lights Theatre Company, The Kid Thing at New Conservatory Theatre Company, The Beard of Avon at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, The Little Mermaid at Palo Alto Players, and many more. Next, he will be seen playing Salerio in The Merchant of Venice at City Lights Theatre Company. Nick is a proud member of the Equity Membership Candidacy Program.

Gary Mosher (The Senator) - Gary recently appeared on the Dragon stage in The Columnist, at The Pear Theatre in August, Osage County and The Quality of Life. Gary spent many years in Los Angeles on stage and screen, appearing in films Jack of Hearts, Maximum Justice, Ordinarily Madness, Forgive Me Father and many others. Gary first appeared on stage in Jack and the Beanstalk at the age of 6. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

The makings of Frigid

Bora "Max" Koknar, Janice Solasteas, and Alika Spencer-Koknar have created a new holiday show called Frigid. Not only did they write the script but they also had to create the costumes and props to tell the story. Here's a sneak peek at the creation of some of the props for the upcoming shows.

Making the storybook.

Modge Podge!

Sometimes leverage and standing on chairs is necessary.

Trimming the cover paper.

Voila! A finished product. 

I don't recall Darth Vader looking like that. 

Alika as Walt.

FRIGID runs at the following times:

Friday, December 15 at 10:30p
Saturday, December 23rd at 8p
Sunday, December 31 at 9:30p as a party of the New Year's Eve event

Get details and tickets at

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Some of the Characters in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler  -  Newly married to George Tesman, she has less money and freedom that she's used to, and is bored with both marriage and life. A bright woman who is constrained by societal conventions, she is the daughter of the famous General Gabler.

Mammie - The devoted slave to Scarlett O'Hara and the O'Hara family in Gone With the Wind. Actress Hattie McDaniels portrayed in in the film and scored the first Oscar nomination and win for an actor of color.

George Tesman  -  Raised by his Aunt Julie, is an amiable, intelligent young scholar. He tries very hard to please his young wife, Hedda, and often does not realize that she is manipulating him. Tesman is hoping for a professorship in history and spent much of his recent honeymoon in the library doing research. His academic competition is Eilert Lovborg.

Medea - The title character of the Euripides. Based on the myth of Jason (of the argonaut and the golden fleece fame) and Medea, and particularly Medea’s revenge against Jason for betraying her with another woman, Medea is often considered Euripides’ best and most popular work and one of the great plays of the Western canon. It only won third prize when it was presented at the Dionysia festival in 431 BCE, along with the lost plays “Philoctetes”, “Dictys” and “Theristai."

Ejlert Lövborg -  A genius, and an alcoholic, Ejlert Lövoborg is Tesman's biggest competitor in the academic world. After a series of scandals related to his drinking, he was once a public outcast but has now returned to the city and has published a book to rave reviews. He also has another manuscript that is even more promising. Mrs. Elvsted helped him with both manuscripts. He once shared a close relationship with Hedda.

Other Characters:

From Hedda Gabler:

Juliane Tesman  -  Juliane Tesman, or Aunt Julie, is the aunt of George Tesman. After Tesman's parents died, Aunt Julie raised him. She is well-meaning, and she is constantly hinting that Tesman and Hedda should have a baby. Aunt Julie tries to get along with Hedda, but the difference in their class backgrounds is painfully apparent.

Judge Brack  -  He is a friend of both Tesman and Hedda, and he visits their house regularly. He has connections around the city, and is often the first to give Tesman information about alterations in the possibility of his professorship. He seems to enjoy meddling in other people's affairs. He is a worldly and cynical man and seems to be somewhat enamored of Hedda.

Mrs. Elvsted -  Mrs. Elvsted is a meek but passionate woman. As a girl she went to school with Hedda Gabler and was bullied by Hedda. She and her husband hired Ejlert Lövborg to tutor their children, and Mrs. Elvsted grew attached to Ejlert, acting as his personal secretary and aiding him in his research and writing. When Ejlert leaves her estate to return to the city, Mrs. Elvsted comes to town and goes to Tesman for help, fearing Ejlert will revert to his alcoholism.

Miscellaneous Other Characters in The Further Adventures: 

Cassandra - In Greek mythology, the daughter of Priam, the last king of Troy, and his wife Hecuba. According to Aeschylus’s tragic play, Agamemnon, Cassandra was loved by the god Apollo, who promised her the power of prophecy if she would comply with his desires. Cassandra accepted the proposal, received the gift, and then refused the god her favours. Apollo revenged himself by ordaining that her prophecies should never be believed. She accurately predicted such events as the fall of Troy and the death of Agamemnon, but her warnings went unheeded. During the sack of Troy, Ajax the Lesser dragged Cassandra from the altar of Athena and raped her. For this impiety, Athena sent a storm that sank most of the Greek fleet as it returned home. The rape of Cassandra by Ajax was a popular scene in Greek art. In the distribution of the spoils after the capture of Troy, Cassandra fell to Agamemnon and was later murdered with him.

Tosca - Floria Tosca, the title character from the Puccini opera. A tragic and political love story, Tosca explores how love overcomes all. In the end Tosca's lover is murdered and Tosca kills herself to avoid arrest for murdering the man who killed her lover.

Little Orphan Annie - The comic strip turned Broadway musical. A relentlessly optimistic orphan girl who is adopted by a wealthy single man and goes on adventures. In the musical, her signature song is "Tomorrow."

Jar Jar Binks - A reviled comical character from George Lucas's Star Wars prequel film The Phantom Menace. Known for his clownish movement and verbal ticks. 

The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler: About the Playwright

Jeff Whitty is an American playwright and actor. Born in 1971 in Coos Bay, Oregon, Mr. Whitty got his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, and received a master’s degree in acting from NYU. Best known for his award winning musicals, Mr. Whitty wrote the book for Avenue Q, which won him the 2004 Tony Award for best book of a musical and best overall musical. He also wrote the libretto for Bring It On, the Musical which features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Locally, you might recognize his work because he wrote the libretto for the musical version of Armistad Maupin’s Tales of the City for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. The Futher Adventures of Hedda Gabler was commissioned by and world premiered at South Coast Repertory in January of 2006 and then played at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2008.