Theater

Matthew Murphy

The Phantom of the Opera has been haunting stages across the globe for more than thirty years and is now the longest-running musical in the history of Broadway. Andrew Llloyd Webber’s classic musical returns to Boise’s Morrison Center Wednesday, June 14 and continues for an extended stay through Sunday, June 25.

The star of the current North American tour of Phantom is Derrick Davis, only the third African American actor in the musical’s history to wear the famous mask. Just prior to arriving in Boise, Davis talks with Weekend Edition host George Prentice.

When it opened in New York, the play “The Clean House” was championed by The New York Times as a production of “theatrical audacity and emotional richness.” It is the work of celebrated playwright Sara Ruhl; and it opens this weekend at Boise Contemporary Theater and runs through May 6th.

Traditions of Christmas

During the holidays, you can enjoy choirs, plays and theater from local and national groups – both big and small. Now Nampa has become home to a full-blown Radio City Music Hall-like production, featuring local singers, dancers, and performers. It began with a leap of faith.

Called the Traditions of Christmas, this show is a huge undertaking, with around 65 local cast members, 400 costumes, kick-line dancing, comedic skits and a nativity scene with live animals.

Wiki Media Commons

A valuable, rare book is coming to Idaho for a month-long exhibition at Boise State University. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. is doing a national tour of the first collection of William Shakespeare’s plays, known as the First Folio. The university expects thousands of people to come and see this 400-year-old book.

To explain why this book is considered so important, George Prentice talked with reporter and the KBSX newsroom’s resident Shakespeare enthusiast Adam Cotterell.

Mary Hallock Foote

It was an Idaho controversy more than one hundred years in the making. And one playwright is bringing the story to the stage Saturday in Boise.

The story begins in the 1880’s. Mary Hallock Foote lived in Boise with her husband as he tried to build a canal system. She later wrote about her time in Idaho and the West in letters and prose. Almost 100 years later, a famous author used her words and her story, without giving her any recognition. That sparked a controversy over what constitutes plagiarism that lingers to this day.

Sarah Conwell / facebook.com/thefuturesoon

You may know Jonathan Coulton for his humorous, often nerd-culture themed songs. Or maybe you know him as the co-host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. But Coulton is also the inspiration for a new musical that premiered Friday night in Boise.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater's latest play is a secret. No, really – it's called "SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething" for a good reason. (It's also called "S5" for short.) But what's less of a secret is the life it’s breathed into the Boise arts community, and the way audiences have embraced the show. The piece has sold out the rest of its four-week run, which ends June 6.

Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Idaho playwright who was awarded a MacArthur 'genius' grant this week has traveled far from his hometown of Moscow, but continues to revisit the state in much of his work.

Samuel Hunter now lives in New York, and has a play opening this weekend in Chicago.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A new original play opens Saturday at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT), and there’s a chance the actors might be handed new lines between now and then. I’ve been following the creation of The Uncanny Valley for nearly a year, ever since I had a chance run in with BCT’s Dwayne Blackaller last April. He told me about the new play he was writing with BCT artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark.

Josh Ritter
Tim Teeling / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s largest arts organization Tuesday announced its performance schedule for the upcoming season. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts kicks off its annual summer concert series in July and its winter concerts in October. Its lecture series also begins in October and features a noted historian, a rock n roll photographer, and NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantum will talk about how our brains shape our lives.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater's new original play, The Uncanny Valley opens in less than three weeks and the script isn't yet finished. The new original play is a work in progress we’ve been following for a few months.

Just last month actors gathered for their first table read.  This was the first time writers and co-directors Dwayne Blackaller and Matthew Cameron Clark showed all the actors the play. Clark is also acting in this show.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Rehearsals start this week at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) for a play that opens in three weeks. For a professional company like BCT, three weeks is a slightly tight, though fairly normal rehearsal schedule.

Three weeks is usually plenty of time for experienced actors to memorize lines, work on their characters, and learn what they’ll be doing on stage. But for the play, The Uncanny Valley memorizing lines and actions has an added challenge. They're still being written.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater’s Artistic Director Matthew Cameron Clark and Education Director Dwayne Blackaller sit at separate computer screens in a basement office. A passing eavesdropper would find their conversation impossible to follow because it’s part spoken, part typed and all about a fictional world evolving somewhere between their two brains and two keyboards.

Andy Lawless / Boise Contemporary Theater

Boise playwrights Matthew Cameron Clark and Dwayne Blackaller have a little more than three months to curtain on their latest work-in-progress.  The Uncanny Valley, mixes science fiction with Idaho's landscape.

Co-writer Blackaller says most people will likely think the title refers to where it takes place, a valley in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. But it’s actually a reference to the themes in the play, not the setting.

You can listen to Blackaller explain what the title means by clicking on the audio player.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) has earned respect producing works by nationally-known playwrights. The company is also demonstrating it can create strong original work in-house.

Early in 2013, BCT debuted A Nighttime Survival Guide. It was written by Artistic Director Matthew Cameron Clark and Education Director Dwayne Blackaller, and it was a hit for the theater.

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