QTC Fundraising Concert & Silent Auction on 30 & 31 May and 1 June

Save the dates 30 & 31 May at 8pm and 1 June at 2pm for QTC’s fundraising concert by the brilliant D.C. band Sligo Creek Stompers. Tickets are on sale now at Brown Paper Tickets. The Stompers will perform in concert with a silent auction — LIVE at 4508 Walsh St in Bethesda, MD — and, beginning 1 May, ONLINE at 32auctions. QTC props and costumes, as well as tickets to the first-ever Helen & Hayes Awards in 2015, Folger Shakespeare Theater, Washington Stage Guild, QTC, and Londontowne Symphony Orchestra will be up for bidding, starting at bargain prices compared to retail. Also up for bids are a 10-lesson adult pass to the Maryland Youth Ballet and violin lessons from Stompers’ violinist, Sarah Foard. Take a sneak peek at all our items up for bid so far. Much more to come!

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QTC is honored to have the Sligo Creek Stompers perform for this event. They will be playing selections from their most recent CD, Vital Mental Medicine, along with some new tunes. A number of Quotidian Theatre Company members attended one of their concerts last year and were overwhelmed by their talent, energy, authenticity, exuberance, and truly brilliant performances! They are something very special, so we hope you won’t miss this opportunity to hear them live. I promise you will not be disappointed!

– QTC Co-founder Stephanie Mumford

For more about the Stompers and their CD Vital Mental Medicine, the following was taken from their website at http://www.sligocreekstompers.com.

Antarctica, November 1915. While on expedition, Ernest Shackleton risked his life to save a banjo from his sinking ship, calling it “vital mental medicine.” For three weeks, the survivors had little more than an upturned boat and that banjo to keep their bodies warm and spirits fed.

The Sligo Creek Stompers turn to this story of inspiration for their second album,
“Vital Mental Medicine.” The Washington-area band keeps the spirit of stringband music alive with their unique interpretation of American roots music. The album’s thirteen songs explore traditional New Orleans jazz, scrappy old time and Irish fiddle tunes, and country rags. Hailing from another era, the recordings offer a cure to the trappings of the urban jungle.

The band’s four members — Sarah Foard, Adrian Erlinger, Jess Eliot Myhre, and Chris Ousley — first began playing together in 2010 at farmer’s markets, street corners, and barn dances. The group created their own raucous but refined blend of traditional music and got to work playing at venues and recording material. In August 2012, the Sligo Creek Stompers brought their sound to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, a show that made them fixtures in the local traditional music scene. “Vital Mental Medicine” was released in January 2013 to a sold out audience at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

With a slew of stringed instruments in tow, the Sligo Creek Stompers aim to delight audiences and passersby with their youthful energy and a firm grounding in tradition.

Sligo Creek Stompers play a raucous but refined blend of traditional roots music: Appalachian & Midwestern old time and bluegrass, New Orleans-style traditional jazz, haunted Irish fiddle tunes, honky tonk & classic country, Texas & gypsy swing.

Inspired by scratchy 78 rpm records, contra dancing and a good bottle of whiskey, the Stompers are keeping the flame of American stringband music alive in the Washington, DC area.

Contact: sligocreekstompers@gmail.com
Website: http://www.sligocreekstompers.com

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ICEMAN blog post by Steve Beall: Part 2 | Quotidian Theatre Company

Steve Beall

Steve Beall

Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s ambitious ensemble piece The Iceman Cometh runs through November 24. Reviews can be read at DC Theatre Scene and DC Metro Theater Arts. Actor Steve Beall has appeared in five previous QTC productions, including last season’s hit musical James Joyce’s The Dead. He has also acted with Pallas, Red Eye Gravy, Spooky Action, Chesapeake Shakespeare, Synetic, Lean & Hungry, Journeymen, Taffety Punk, Constellation, Folger Shakespeare, Forum, Inkwell, Bay, and Rep Stage theatre companies. This is the second of two pieces he’s written aboutIceman, the first being here.

Being in Nothingness

A long time ago I read or heard somewhere that the whole world is based upon a single crazy “miracle”:  the fact that instead of there being nothing, there is something.

That stayed with me. It seemed so obvious, but every now and then I’ve found myself reminding me of it. “Instead of nothing, there’s something.” (“Myself reminding me.” Catchy, right?)

That “something”, of course, includes me. You, too, near as I can tell. And all the rest of what Eugene O’Neill called “the whole misbegotten mad lot of us…”

L to R: Tiffany Garfinkle as Cora, Christian Sullivan as Chuck, Brandon Mitchell as Mosher, John Decker as Jimmy Tomorrow, Louis Pangaro as Lewis, Frank Britton as Joe, Carolyn Kashner as Margie, Genevieve James as Pearl, Matt Boliek as Willie, Frank Vince as Rocky, Ken Lechter as Wetjoen, Manolo Santalla as Hugo, Ted Schneider as Harry Hope in The Iceman Cometh

L to R: Tiffany Garfinkle as Cora, Christian Sullivan as Chuck, Brandon Mitchell as Mosher, John Decker as Jimmy Tomorrow, Louis Pangaro as Lewis, Frank Britton as Joe, Carolyn Kashner as Margie, Genevieve James as Pearl, Matt Boliek as Willie, Frank Vince as Rocky, Ken Lechter as Wetjoen, Manolo Santalla as Hugo, Ted Schneider as Harry Hope in The Iceman Cometh. Photo by St. Johnn Blondell.

So when a character in our production of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh expresses his admiration for a preacher, citing “the way he sold them nothing for something…” Well – the line really lands for me, every time.

From where my character sits, that’s what’s happening. I’m being sold nothing for something. In this case, the nothing is what most of us would call “reality.” The something we pay is the loss of the world we’ve created in the face of the vast nothing that is reality. The pipe dreams.

I know. It seems convoluted. But that’s part of the great achievement of this play. It makes real  the emptiness of a life of mere fact, the richness of the world we create out of our passion (or, in other words, our suffering), our compassion, our good humor, our fears, our hopes, our fleeting triumphs and our enduring failures – all of that appears simultaneously. Continue reading

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Stephanie Mumford on True Theatergoer | Quotidian Theatre Company

True Theatergoer's John Hauge with Quotidian's co-founder and artistic director Jack Sbarbori.

True Theatergoer’s John Hauge with Quotidian’s co-founder and artistic director Jack Sbarbori.

Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s ambitious ensemble piece The Iceman Cometh is open now and runs through November 24. You can read about the play in a new Gazette article: Director finds warmer side of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh. QTC co-founder and Iceman costume designer Stephanie Mumford writes here about True Theatergoer and your opportunity to support Quotidian without spending a penny:

QTC would like to thank John Hauge of True Theatergoer.com again for helping to make The Iceman Cometh possible. The $10,000 first prize QTC won in his annual True Theatergoer.com competition — thanks to all the reviews submitted by our wonderful audience members — plumped up QTC’s budget so we could pay the extra expenses of a big period production with an 18-member cast. John will be joining us on 17 November for the post-show discussion following the 2pm matinee. True Theatregoer’s (TTG) mission is to do the same, to provide a forum where Washington, DC and Broadway theatergoers can share their personal views about the shows they see. Continue reading

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ICEMAN blog post by Steve Beall: Part 1 | Quotidian Theatre Company

Steve Beall

Steve Beall

Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s ambitious ensemble piece The Iceman Cometh opens tonight and runs through November 24. Steve Beall has appeared in five previous QTC productions, including last season’s hit musical James Joyce’s The Dead. He has also acted with Pallas, Red Eye Gravy, Spooky Action, Chesapeake Shakespeare, Synetic, Lean & Hungry, Journeymen, Taffety Punk, Constellation, Folger Shakespeare, Forum, Inkwell, Bay, and Rep Stage theatre companies. This is the first of two pieces he’s written aboutIceman:

Rotgut and the Blessed Rage for Order

I’m playing Larry Slade in what I believe to be a unique – and uniquely entertaining – production of Eugene O’Neill’s magnum opus, The Iceman Cometh. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play one of my favorite characters in American theatre and – more importantly – to play it in a way that makes sense to me as no other production of Iceman has. Continue reading

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Eugene O’Neill on THE ICEMAN COMETH | Quotidian Theatre Company

Eugene O'Neill at rehearsal for The Iceman Cometh in 1946

Eugene O’Neill at a 1946 rehearsal for The Iceman Cometh

Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s ambitious ensemble piece The Iceman Cometh opens tomorrow night and runs through November 24. A Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, O’Neill wrote this play based in part on people from his past, and said this when the monumental piece was first staged:

I knew ‘em all. I’ve known ‘em all for years. All these people I’ve written about I once knew. I do not think you can write anything of value or understanding about the present. You can only write about life if it is far enough in the past. The present is too much mixed up with the superficial values; you can’t know which thing is important and which is not. Continue reading

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ICEMAN blog post by Don Slater | Quotidian Theatre Company

Don Slater

Don Slater

Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s ambitious ensemble piece The Iceman Cometh opens Friday and runs through November 24. Quotidian’s resident lighting designer Don Slater has this to say about his work onThe Iceman Cometh:

I have been lighting Quotidian Theatre Company productions for 14 years. Almost all have been at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. As a lighting designer, every production brings with it a related set of challenges: some to the script, some to the director, some to the other designers, and some to the space. QTC’s production of Iceman is no exception, but is heightened by the intensity of the script, not to mention the quality of this cast.

Steve LaRocque, seen here as lit by Don Slater in Dancing at Lughnasa, plays Hickey in The Iceman Cometh

Steve LaRocque, seen here as lit by Don Slater in Dancing at Lughnasa, plays Hickey in The Iceman Cometh.

QTC's previous O'Neill production, Long Day's Journey into Night, was also lit by Slater. L to R: Andy Brownstein, Michael Avolio, Stephanie Mumford, and Steve LaRocque

QTC’s previous O’Neill production, Long Day’s Journey into Night, was also lit by Slater. L to R: Andy Brownstein, Michael Avolio, Stephanie Mumford, and Steve LaRocque.

Having lit over 35 productions in The Writer’s Center, I know what I can and can’t do. I am very familiar with Stephanie Mumford’s costuming and Jack Sbarbori’s set dressing. I have done several shows for QTC in which Michael Avolio was a member of the cast. He is a talented, hard-working actor. Iceman is his directorial debut. He is a brave man. This is a wonderful show, but it is seldom produced because it is an enormous challenge. Michael has devoted himself to it and I am indebted to him for having asked me to light it. We have had many discussions about the lighting, my concepts, and Michael’s expectations. I will do my best to meet them. My lighting design is spare and simple. The lighting is very “space-focused” rather than “face-focused”.  There will be a lot of shadows. Continue reading

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ICEMAN blog post by Manolo Santalla | Quotidian Theatre Company

Manolo Santalla

Manolo Santalla

Quotidian Theatre Company’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s ambitious ensemble piece The Iceman Cometh runs October 25 – November 24. Manolo Santalla has acted at WSC Avant Bard,  Constellation Theatre Company, GALA Hispanic Theatre, 1st Stage, Spooky Action Theater, and Journeymen Theater Ensemble. He makes his Quotidian debut with Iceman, and has this to say about his history with the play and his character Hugo:

I’m a freshman in college at the University of Maryland. My new best friend Fred and I are in the Student Union cafeteria between classes drinking coffee, smoking (everyone smoked indoors then — deal with it), and talking about plays.  He mentions Eugene O’Neill, whom I don’t know, and tells me about two of his plays: Mourning Becomes Electra — I like the title right away and want to read it — and The Iceman Cometh – I dismiss it because I don’t like the title.  I tune out most of what Freddie says about the latter because, well, I dislike the title. But he mentions a character who is onstage all the time, wakes up periodically, says weird stuff, and falls back asleep.  I’m intrigued.  I read the play.  I’m too young to understand a lot of it, but the character of Hugo Kalmar makes an impression. Continue reading

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