Most Happy Fellow
We can now count Amy Mueller of Brava! for Women in the Arts among the recipients of the coveted fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts/Theater Communications Group. Starting in the fall, Mueller will spend six months working with several different theaters and directors across the country. Though she doesn't know yet exactly who those folks will be, she's interested in Tina Packer at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, Mass.; free-lance director Mark Wing-Davey; and Perseverance Theater Company in Douglas, Alaska, which is dedicated to new works by members of its community (fancy that!). “I want to work on text-driven plays because my work has been so focused on physical solo performance and creating new work on the spot,” she says. “In other words, I'd like to see what it's like to get a script before the first day of rehearsal.” Though we don't think of Mueller as an “early career” director — she's been directing for 10 years — she says, “One reason I wanted to do it is I didn't go to graduate school. I chose to learn my craft on my feet, and I really feel I've come up through the ranks. But I don't feel that savvy working in a larger venue with a short rehearsal period.” In addition to her efforts with Brava!, Mueller has directed productions at ACT's Young Conservatory and Z Collective's Good Night Desdemona (good morning juliet).
Lamplighters Music Theatre is hoping to teach some old dogs new tricks — for the summer, maybe longer. The company needs to retrain its faithful audiences to head for a new venue for Rosencrantz & Guildenstern's Excellent Adventure, opening June 18. That's a tall order, since Lamplighters has performed at the Presentation Campus Building theater since 1968. The University of San Francisco owns the building, which is undergoing renovations. At first, Lamplighters planned to go ahead with its summer show in the Presentation, but there were so many inconveniences (like losing electricity and water) that they decided to move elsewhere. You can find them at Lindland Theatre (at Riordon High), 175 Phelan, S.F.
To the Nines
Berkeley Repertory Theater's An Ideal Husband went a wee bit over budget, thanks in part to the exquisite gowns and suits worn by the cast. But the administration ain't regretting the indulgence one bit, since it has a bona fide hit. Chronicle theater critic Steve Winn hailed the production as the freshest and best of the Bay Area's season, and I have to agree. Director Stephen Wadsworth is a gem, if not a genius — and luckily for us, he returns next season.
By Laura Jamison