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Local theater companies to participate in weekend competition
By Heather M. Goodwin, hgoodwin@firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday, two local theater groups will compete against each other for a chance to advance in a national competition.
Texas Nonprofit Theatres will hold its Quad II competition, part of the national AACTFest qualifications, in the performance hall of the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St. in Lewisville, featuring two live performances.
At 3 p.m., Grapevine's Ohlook Performing Arts Center will present "Spring Awakening," a 19th century play by German dramatist Frank Wedekind that was updated for a Broadway run in 2006.
"Spring Awakening" is a rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik. The book and lyrics were written by Steven Sater. It won eight Tony awards and is based on the German play "Spring Awakening" by Frank Wedekind. It was banned in Germany because of its content, which includes abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide. "Spring Awakening" follows a group of people who are discovering who they are from their adolescence to adulthood. The play contains adult material.
Ohlook won both the 2011 national competition and the 2012 International Theatre Festival in Canada with a presentation of "Dog Sees God" that also won local and regional qualifying competitions held during 2011 at MCL Grand.
At 4:30 p.m., Denton Community Theatre will present "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" by Lanie Robertson. Set in a seedy Philadelphia bar, this show recreates Billie Holliday's final performance, given in 1959 four months before her death.
"Part of the reason we chose to do this play is because it's not mainstream. We performed it last season in our Black Box, and the audience loved it," said Mike Barrow, DCT managing director. "We try to do edgier shows, and it turned out to be a wonderful performance."
Barrow said in order to prepare the show for the competition, the script had to be shortened in order to follow the competition rules. He said DCT also had to reconstruct the show to fit the MCL Grand, which is a larger setting than the DCT's space.
"We've been working on this for about four months," Barrow said. "We feel pretty ready to go. With a two person cast, it's a little different than staging with a lot of people. They're excited for the competition."
Denton won the national AACT competition in 2008, and later performed in the international showcase in Germany, with a presentation of "Crowns."
During the competition, both groups will have 10 minutes to set up the stage, 60 minutes to present its performance and 10 minutes to strike the set. Judges will assess all areas of their performance and rank the competitors.
Tickets are $10 for one show or $15 for both shows, and are available at www.texastheatres.org. A small convenience fee will be added to on-line purchases. An awards reception will be held at 6 p.m.
AACTFest is conducted by American Association of Community Theatres and is designed to find the best work being done throughout the country by amateur theater groups. It was started in the 1960s as a means to identify the U.S. participant in the International Amateur Theatre Festival that was started by Monaco's Princess Grace former movie actress Grace Kelly.
The 2013 Texas AACTFest competition will be held March 13-17 at MCL Grand with 10 live performances by amateur theater companies from around the state.
For information visit www.texastheatres.org or call 972-219-8446.
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