Monday, January 26, 2009

Want a preview of Guys on Ice?

Still trying to decide if Guys on Ice is the show for you? Enjoy this video clip, courtesy of The Daily Iowan. (You'll need Quicktime to view the video.)

Now what's more fun than singing and dancing in snowsuits and boots?

Join us in the ice fishing shanty from now until February 22. Reserve your tickets today by ordering online, or by calling the box office at 319-338-7672.

Hope to see you at the show!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Summer Thoughts on a Snowy Day...

Need some summer thoughts on a snowy day?

Think ahead to the 2009 Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival!

We are proud to announce (and feeling warmer just thinking about) the 2009 Riverside Theatre Shakespeare Festival. This summer’s 10th annual festival will feature Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III. Both shows will run in rotation from June 12 through July 12. Tickets will be on sale in April.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Ron Clark, is one of Shakespeare's most magical comedies. Join us for a delightful romp through an enchanted forest as a quartet of mismatched lovers and a gang of hapless actors cross paths with the king and queen of the fairies.

Watch Richard III wage his own private war as he murders, manipulates, and marries his way to the throne. Kristin Horton directs this story of a self-proclaimed villain battling to obtain and retain the crown in one of Shakespeare’s most diabolical history plays.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III will be performed at the Festival Stage in Lower City Park. (We are thrilled to be back in the park after last summer's flooding!) The space, which seats over 400 people, is based on Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre of 1600. Based on a concept by theatre designer Paul Sannerud, the space was designed by Neumann-Monson Architects.

Looking for more information about Riverside Theatre or the festival? Please visit! And keep thinking warm thoughts!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Guys on Ice: Choreographer's Blog

I sat down with Jody at our initial meeting. She told me about the show and what she was looking for in terms of choreography. I had not yet heard the music but was informed that one dance would include the use of snowmobile suits. And I thought to myself, "Well... I'm up for a challenge."

I immediately thought of Ralph from A Christmas Story not being able to move in his snowsuit. But the one thing that stuck with me from that meeting was when Jody said that the show had a lot of heart.

So I got home, read the script from front to back. I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with the characters. I turned on the music and started dancing around my kitchen scribbling notes to myself. I love that the movement needs purpose. It needs to flow and complement what the actor is feeling and portraying to a larger crowd. The dance cannot overpower the music, and it cannot be so intense that the actor loses their breath. So imagine me in my kitchen singing and dancing, completely out of breath, but determined to find movement that worked.

I went into the first rehearsal with a bunch of notes and ideas, but knew that this process was going to be more of a collaboration between the actors, director, and me. It was fun working with Ron and John on stage! The first two rehearsals we set four songs, and it's amazing that once the material soaks in, they danced with ease! They adapted the movement, and it started becoming their own. One thing I love about these actors is that they fully become their character, and are not afraid to take risks! And the direction from Jody was always comforting; she knows what works and has so many great ideas.

It has been so refreshing being with an enthusiastic cast that's willing to do anything! Also, live music (Ruth) is amazing to work with!

I was sitting in on a rehearsal the other night, and got so giddy seeing "Ode to a Snowmobile Suit." It was splendid! The stage and set has grown, the characters have developed, and the dancing looked so natural. Nothing felt forced and, as a choreographer, I felt so proud that they had accomplished that. I am really excited to see the full production from start to finish because, Jody was right, it has a lot of heart!

- Erika Christiansen, Choreographer for Guys on Ice