Friday, December 3, 2010

Day in the Life - Michael Doherty, THE THREE MUSKETEERS

Another Day in the Life?  Yes!  These entertaining photos were taken by Michael Doherty, who plays the Thumb Box 360-loving King Hughy the XIVth in The Three Musketeers.  (His Majesty is too busy playing his game, so we wrote the captions for this one!)

Chelsea Carle (Aplomado) and Laura Giknis (Kestral)

The Dame, Queen Agnes of Malvaria.  Also known as PLTC company member Mark Lazar!

The infamous Thumb Box 360!

Chris Faith (Athos), Andrew Kane (d'Artagnan), Rachel Brennan (who was apparently in the process of taking pictures for her Day in the Life feature as this picture was being taken!), and Julia Stroup (Gyrfalcon).

Brad DePlanche (Porthos) and Rachel Camp (Peregrine)

Tom Teti (Aramis)

Laura Giknis and Richard Ruiz (Horace the Hound)

Two very funny men, Chris Faith and Mark Lazar (oh, and Brad DePlanche is in the mirror!  He's very funny, too.)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day in the Life - Rachel "Hennie" Brennan, THE THREE MUSKETEERS

It's time for another "Day in the Life," and this time we've asked Rachel Brennan, who plays Henrietta the Chicken in The Three Musketeers.  There are a lot of them, because they're so great we couldn't leave any of them out!  The captions are Rachel's--the italics are added by us.

Not having time to make my bed in the morning is usually a good indicator of impending disaster, so I try very hard to do so.

 French Press Coffee is a morning necessity. Vitamins, Emergen-C and breakfast are too.

There are certain things I do every morning. Letting the dogs out is one of them.
Usually, it's still dark. We are very early-risers.

 Laura GI knis
(Laura plays Kestral, one of Lord Mazarotti's falcons--she likes shiny things.)

Kim (Carson, who plays Collette) and I like to call this shot "Dead Monk and a Ghost".

Chris (Faith, who plays Athos) and Andrew (Kane, who plays d'Artagnan) being silly in the green room.

This is my station in the dressing room. The other girls tease me for having so much stuff,
but that doesn't stop them from using any of it :)

Chelsea (Carle, who plays Aplomado, another falcon) using her dramatic acting skills.

 Not sure if Tom (Teti, who plays Aramis) thought she was serious or if he was just playing along.

 Kim and Kate (McSorley, the wonderful and very patient Panto stage manager) napping between shows. Adorable.

Happy Birthday Chelsea!!!
Celebration continued.
(Notice how Michael Doherty, who plays King Hughy, is the only male present--good for him!)

Laura's character, Kestral, may be invading her reality. I caught her ogling at shiny candy bar wrappers.
(See?  We told you!)

 My very BIG baby. Who takes up a lot of room on the couch.

Couch-time with my beasts is my favorite way to relax.

 Exile in Bridgeport doesn't seem so awful from this angle.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sam Bellomo is one of BenFM's Women of the Week!

The cast of Snow White: A Musical Panto, 2009

Sam Bellomo, Assistant Director, Choreographer and Fight Director for The Three Musketeers, spoke with BenFM's Marilyn Russell for their Woman of the Week feature. Click here to listen!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LEGACY OF LIGHT - Hank Murta Adams Interview

Hank Murta Adams, brother of PLTC Artistic Director Abigail Adams, talks about how he became a glass artist, how he got chosen to create a piece for the Legacy of Light set, and more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Day in the Life - Emilie Krause from LEGACY OF LIGHT

Fresh new face to People's Light Emilie Krause, who plays Millie/Pauline in Legacy of Light (starting October 13th!), picked up her camera and took a few "insider" shots for us this past week during tech*.  She wrote her own captions, too!  (Any italics were added by us.)  Check 'em out:

Breakfast before rehearsal at a favorite coffee shop in Philly.

 The walk to the train.

 Testing different "dirt" concoctions for a very special moment in Legacy of Light.  Note the wonderfully visible dirt smear on my chin.  Go Liz! (Liz Stump, left, is PLTC's Props Master.)

 Greg Wood (Peter/Monsieur du Chatelet) and Jefferson (Saint-Lambert/Lewis) having a "man-jam" during some down  time.

Anna is our loyal Assistant Stage Manager, quick-change expert, resident coffee brewing extraordinaire, and all around swell person.

We were lucky enough to snag Jano Cohen for some "Alexander time" during our tech!  Here, Jefferson Haynes is  undoubtedly feeling open and free.

Daisy relaxing with me after a long day at the theatre.  (Daisy is our resident mascot dog, and belongs to Artistic Director - and director of Legacy of Light! - Abigail Adams.)

The dressing room station, my home away from home!

* Tech is the week of rehearsal before a show opens, during which the sound and lighting becomes part of the rehearsals and everything gets put together.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Biographies of Voltaire & Émilie du Châtelet

How do actors prepare for a role? It's called dramaturgy, and we want to share some of it with our audiences! For Legacy of Light the dramaturgy includes bios of key figures Émilie du Châtelet and Voltaire, a glossary of scientific terms used in the play, as well as musical selections that show up in the production. Read on to find out more!

François-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire (1694-1778), was a prominent playwright, author, and philosopher in 18th century France.  In 1726, Voltaire insulted the powerful young nobleman, Chevalier de Rohan, and was given two options: imprisonment or exile.  He chose exile and from 1726 to 1729 lived in England.  While in England, Voltaire was attracted to the philosophy of John Locke and the ideas of mathematician and scientist Sir Isaac Newton.  He studied England's Constitutional Monarchy and its religious tolerance.  Voltaire was particularly interested in the philosophical rationalism of the time and in the study of the natural sciences.  After returning to Paris he wrote a book praising English customs and institutions.  It was interpreted as criticism of the French government, and in 1734 Voltaire was forced to leave Paris again.

At the invitation of a highly-intelligent woman friend, Marquise du Châtelet, Voltaire moved into her Chateau de Cirey near Luneville in eastern France.  They studied the natural sciences together for several years.  In 1746, Voltaire was voted into the L’Académie Française.  In 1749, after the death of Marquise du Châtelet and at the invitation of the King of Prussia, Frederick the Great, he moved to Potsdam (near Berlin in Germany).  In 1753, Voltaire left Potsdam to return to France.

In 1759, Voltaire purchased an estate called Ferney near the French-Swiss border, where he lived until just before his death.  Ferney soon became the intellectual capital of Europe.  Voltaire worked continuously throughout the years, producing a constant flow of books, plays and other publications.  He wrote hundreds of letters to his circle of friends.  He was always a voice of reason.  Voltaire was often an outspoken critic of religious intolerance and persecution.

Voltaire returned to a hero’s welcome in Paris at age 83.  The excitement of the trip was too much for him and he died in Paris.  Because of his criticism of the church, Voltaire was denied burial in church ground.  He was finally buried at an abbey in Champagne.  In 1791 his remains were moved
to a resting place at the Pantheon in Paris.

Émilie du Châtelet
Although recognized for many years by the mathematical and scientific communities as an impressive intellect, Émilie du Châtelet’s contributions have been obscured with time.  She scoffed at societal conventions, rebelling against the prejudices which barred her from intellectual debate because she was a woman.  Her translation of Newton’s Principia, published ten years after her death, remains the only French translation of the text.

Born on December 17, 1706 and christened Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, the future Marquise du Châtelet grew up under privileged circumstances.  Her father, the Baron de Breteuil, was Principal Secretary and Introducer of Ambassadors to Louis XIV, and thus she spent the early years of her life in the presence and company of many notable celebrities and thinkers of the day.  At the age of sixteen, her father introduced her to the Court of Versailles and by age nineteen she had chosen a husband: Marquis Florent-Claude Chastellet (Voltaire standardized the spelling of her last name to “Châtelet” in his writings).  As was common for her station in life, the spouses understood each would have extramarital affairs; Émilie had affairs before and throughout her marriage, usually with men whom she found intellectually stimulating, such as her mathematics tutor and member of the Academy of Sciences Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis. 

Émilie had three children with Châtelet: a daughter in 1726, a son in 1727, and finally a second son in 1733 who died in 1734.  Her husband, a military man, spent much of his time on garrison duty away from home, so Émilie was free to enjoy the society of Paris, as well as to explore and expand her mind.

Émilie met Voltaire upon his return to France after his self-imposed exile.  From 1734 until her death in 1749, the pair spent their time investigating energy, moral philosophy, metaphysics, history, critical deism, and physics.  They theorized and worked proofs on Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, both of whom were considered anathema by the French government for not following the same line of thought as Descartes.  In 1748 Émilie fell in love with Marquis de Saint-Lambert and became pregnant.  Fearing that at the age of forty-two childbirth would kill her, Émilie redoubled her exertions in completing Newton’s Principia.  She completed the translation shortly before giving birth to a daughter on September 9, 1749 and died the next day from an infection contracted during childbirth.

Scientific Terms Used in LEGACY OF LIGHT

How do actors prepare for a role? It's called dramaturgy, and we want to share some of it with our audiences! For Legacy of Light the dramaturgy includes bios of key figures Émilie du Châtelet and Voltaire, a glossary of scientific terms used in the play, as well as musical selections that show up in the production. Read on to find out more!


Brown dwarf: Stars are formed from collapsing gases which have sufficient mass to generate their own heat and, therefore, light.  Planets are formed from the dust leftover from these colossal events, which is why they are captured by stars.  Brown dwarfs are “failed stars” – bodies which collapsed but with insufficient mass and density to generate their own light.

Dark matter: A hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up 90% of the universe; it is invisible (does not absorb or emit light) and does not collide with atomic particles, but exerts gravitational force.

Elements of the Philosophy of Newton: Voltaire published this book which he wrote with help from Émilie (her Latin was apparently more fluent than his, and Newton, like most scientists of the period, wrote in Latin for an academic and international readership).  Voltaire’s book helped to popularize Newton’s theories with French audiences.

Gravitational collapse: This is the point at which massive objects collapse under their own gravity.  The force is so great that not even light can escape; the consequence is a black hole in the universe.

Newton's Laws of Motion: Newton's three laws of motion are physical laws that define the relationship between the forces acting on a body and its motion due to those forces. The first law states that every body remains in a state of rest unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force. The second law states that acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated), the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object). The third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Newton’s Principia (Philosophiae Naturalis Principiae Mathematica): Published in 1686 with help from Sir Edmund Halley, the Principia states Newton’s Laws of Motion, the foundation of classical mechanics.  Émilie translated the Principia into French, but it was not published until 1759, ten years after her death.  Émilie’s Principia is still widely read in France.

Rubin, Vera: an American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates.  Rubin is credited with proving the existence of “dark matter,” or non-luminous mass, and forever altering our perceptions of the universe.

Stellar nursery: A region within a nebula where stars are forming.

Vega: Vega is the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra, one of the brightest in the night sky and one of the closest stars (“only” 25 million light years away) to our solar system.  Olivia calls her planet, which revolves around Vega, Vega B.

Music from the Production

How do actors prepare for a role? It's called dramaturgy, and we want to share some of it with our audiences! For Legacy of Light the dramaturgy includes bios of key figures Émilie du Châtelet and Voltaire, a glossary of scientific terms used in the play, as well as musical selections that show up in the production. Read on to find out more!

Click "Play" to start each song.

"She Blinded Me With Science" - Thomas Dolby

"Dodo L'Enfant Do" - French lullaby

Monday, October 4, 2010

Interview With CUCKOO'S NEST Cast Members Bill Zielinski & Brandon Oakes

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest cast members Bill Zielinksi (McMurphy) and Brandon Oakes (Chief Bromden) talk to us about performing such an iconic story, and how they got into acting. Check it out!

Monday, September 20, 2010


We interviewed audiences members after One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to see what they had to say - check it out!