Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fare thee well

It saddens me to announce this, but life goes on..... But first off, a HUGE thank you to all the folks that we have worked with since 1994. Sure, I had the idea, but it took an enormous effort to get these shows off the ground and I could not have done that without help from so many people. In the coming months, I will try to put up photos and info on all the shows we have done... and Thanks Again everyone... including my fabulous board of diretors .... for all the work you have poured into BPP over the years. I am humbled by the fact that we've been around for so long.

Beyond the Proscenium Productions (BPP) will not be producing its quirky style of theatre anymore in Sacramento. After a series of unfortunate occurrences, the board of directors has decided that BPP has already served its mission to enrich the cultural climate of Sacramento. Personal matters coupled with dwindling arts funding expected in the near future sealed the deal to close the tent.

“We have done much to encourage new talent in the region”, said BPP Board President Greg Chow. “We feel good that we have given many young actors, directors, playwrights and designers the opportunity to grow artistically and to gain experience.”

Founding artistic director Ann Tracy agrees with Chow saying that since she founded the company back in 1994, BPP has been at the forefront of contemporary theatre - staging many new world and regional premieres by authors who may not have had work produced in the area. However, the audiences for new work, especially dramatic work, has not always been there.

“I had two goals when I started BPP”, Tracy said, “one was to expand the styles of theatre produced in town and the other was to pay the actors and other artists at least a small stipend. Now we’ve got new theatre companies, that weren’t out there in ’94, staging provocative new works by up and coming playwrights.”

In 1996, BPP brought an original one-act performance piece called Dancing with Desire: A Poetic Fandango with the Erotic and the Bawdy, based on erotic poetry from ancient Sanskrit to modern Latina writers, to the 50th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. The balancing act between bringing new ideas in theatre and performance to Sacramento and keeping the doors open has always been a tricky one for BPP.

Some notable examples of world and regional premieres would be BPP’s productions of Reckless by Craig Lucas (’97), Hamlet ESP by Paul Baker (’98), Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (‘98) and Part Two: Perestroika (‘99), Orestes 2.5 - Tracy’s adaptation of Orestes (02), The Al Hamlet Summit by Sulayman Al-Bassam (06) and Symphony of Rats by Richard Foreman (08).

Tracy added that her personal life was becoming more hectic in helping to care for her 90-year old father-in-law and in the way her visual art career was becoming busier. She hopes to continue to direct for local theatre companies, as well as work in the Sacramento “indie” film scene.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Variations on Betrayal opens to rave audience reviews! offers audience reviews - these are a few that we have received!

Review: What a tour de force for these five actors! (not to mention the director/playwright)One of the actresses, Kellie Raines is fabulous, her characters are a range of American clowns all played to the hilt with astonishing brilliance. The rest of the cast is equally as talented and will give you a show you won't soon forget! I saw this show in previews and I only expect it to get better

Review: Good show, Ben Ismail was great, and held the show together. Go see this show, you will not be dissapointed.

Review: This show is a romp, plain and simple. The actors begin in hilarity and they just don't stop. The energy that these five colorful clowns posess is undeniable. The women in this show stood out for me. The array of characters that were played by the three actresses was staggering. From the hilariously erotic Andre, played masterfully by Jessica Goldman, to the playful and endearing Philip, portrayed by Kelly Raines, to the sarcastic, two faced, social climber yet delightfully charming Horatio, played by Alicia Krumm - the ladies worked hard to bring together a truly ensemble cast. Go see this show!

Review: I saw the show on opening night and was blown away! The performances were brilliant and the history lesson was superb! I truly didn't know the true story of Benedict Arnold and I can now appreciate more fully the position he found himself in. It was both a laugh out loud experience and a tragic tour de force wrapped into one! If you love good theater don't miss this show.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In Season Finale, Beyond the Proscenium Continues Commitment to Produce New Work by Local Playwrights

Have you ever wondered what it would take to drive a man to betray his country? or a woman to betray her company? Ever laughed at Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, or Lily Tomlin? Ever wondered what it would be like to have Robin Williams or Steve Martin as your history teacher? Well, now's your chance to let five colorful clowns tell you a story of corporate corruption and good ol' American individualism run amok.

Starting with the little-known story of America's best-known turncoat and how he went from a celebrated Revolutionary hero to our most reviled villain, Variations on Betrayal plunks the whole history of Benedict Arnold smack in the middle of modern corporate politicking. And if that weren't funny (ironic) enough, it's a clown show with five of the funniest (ha-ha) performers around! Don't think big red noses and floppy shoes, but, rather, slapstick physical humor and a cream-pie fight. And all this is in the service of expanding a well-worn American-history factoid into a full-blown exploration of how a person struggling to get by could end up achieving legendary status -- albeit for treachery, betrayal, and treason. How far could you be pushed before you pushed back?

Variations on Betrayal: An Allegory for Five Colorful Clowns is written and directed by p joshua laskey. It also stars Jessica Goldman, Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly, Benjamin T. Ismail, Alysha S. Krumm and Kellie Yvonne Raines.

The show will play Fridays and Saturdays, at 8pm. Sundays at 2pm. The show plays from June 19th - July 19th, with no show on July 4th. The show will have two preview dates: Wednesday June 17th and Thursday June 18th.

Tickets are $15 general admission. Seating is extremely limited so reservations are advised. Please email or call 916-456-1600.

There will be NO July 4th performance. A THURSDAY EVENING performance on July 2nd will be in it's place.

There will be NO July 17th performance, a SATURDAY MATINEE on July 18th will be in it's place at 2pm.

Wed. June 17 - 8pm ($5 preview price!!!!)
Thurs. June 18 - 8pm ($5 preview price!!!!!)
Fri. June 19 - 8pm
Sat. June 20 - 8pm
Sun. June 21 - 2pm
Fri. June 26 - 8pm
Sat. June 27 - 8pm
Sun. June 28 - 2pm
Thurs. July 2 - 8pm
Fri. July 3 - 8pm
Sun. July 5 - 2pm
Fri. July 10 - 8pm
Sat. July 11 - 8pm
Sun. July 12 - 2pm
Sat. July 18 - 2pm (added performance!)
Sat. July 18 - 8pm
Sun. July 19 - 2pm

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Name is Rachel Corrie opens May 15th!

Beyond the Proscenium Productions (BPP) joins forces with the Jewish Voice for Peace ( and the Palestinian American Congress ( in presenting My Name is Rachel Corrie for the first time in California community theater. Director Karen Nylund will present this controversial play beginning May 15th at the Threepenny Theatre at the California Stage Complex at 25th and R. Local favorite Tygar Hicks, last seen in the critically acclaimed Blackbird, will portray the title role in this one woman, one act show.

My Name is Rachel Corrie is a play based on the diaries and emails of Rachel Corrie, edited by Katherine Viner and well known actor Alan Rickman, who directed it. It was originally performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London, where it went onto win a Theatregoers' Choice Awards for Best Director and Best New Play.

Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003) was an American Evergreen College student and member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who traveled to the Gaza Strip during the Second Intifada. She was killed by a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during a protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the IDF in the Gaza Strip where IDF had designated a security zone and claimed contained a network of smuggling tunnels used for weapons smuggling and as guerilla hideouts which is necessary for them to destroy while Palestinians claim the tunnels are for "food, gasoline, and household treats'" trade under Israel blockade. (

Tickets are $18 general admission and $15 students, seniors, military and SARTA members. Seating is extremely limited so reservations are required. Please email or call 916-456-1600.

Director Karen Nylund is an Artistic Associate with Beyond the Proscenium Productions and recent Masters graduate from Sacramento State University’s Theatre and Dance Department with an emphasis in directing and post-colonial theatre. Karen spent the last four years writing her thesis on Western Representations of the Middle East and immersing herself in research for the forthcoming Longman Anthology of Drama's chapter on Middle Eastern Theatre under the mentorship of Dr. Roberto Pomo. Her last production with BPP was the successful Nine Parts of Desire.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Women's Wit Coming to the 3-Penny


Beyond the Proscenium Productions (BPP) presents Women’s Wit, an evening of two original one-act comedies by women playwrights: Does this Show Make my Butt Look Fat by Rocklin playwright Joni Hilton deals with middle-age spread and chocolate and Reasonable Doubt by Sacramento playwright Katie Chapman deals with female archetypes in a game show format and. Women’s Wit, opens Friday, April 3rd and plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm until May 3rd, at the Three Penny Playhouse, 1725 25th St. (behind the gray fence at 25th & R Streets), Sacramento CA. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 students, seniors and SARTA members. Seating is extremely limited so reservations are advised. Please email or call 916-456-1600.

BPP Founder and Artistic Associate Ann Tracy directs Does this Show Make my Butt Look Fat and Artistic Director Nick Avdienko co-directs Reasonable Doubt with playwright Chapman. Cynthia Burdick and Margaret Morneau will share the solo show Does this Show Make my Butt Look Fat. Reasonable Doubt cast members include BPP alumnae Justin Muñoz and Carrie Joyner.

The season ends for BPP with “My Name is Rachel Corrie” edited by Katherine Viner and Alan Rickman. This play based on the journal entries of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while working in Gaza as a “human shield” protesting the razing of Palestinian homes, opens May 15th at the Three Penny Theatre. It is directed by Karen Nylund, who last staged “9 Parts of Desire” last season.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What They're Saying about the Show Already

Even though they saw the show on opening night, people are not being shy about speaking their minds about it. Here's what they're saying on the See-a-Play website (

audience reviews

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Beyond the Proscenium Productions

Review: Simply amazing. From the first monologue to the fading of the lights at the end, it is an emotional roller coaster. The director has pulled together a great cast to give us the laughs and the tears of this production. The language can be on the rough side, so I would recommend this for mature theatre-goers. I will be seeing this production again.

Review: Unforgettable-- if I should surmise the content of the writing, the caliber of the performers, the impression this corroboration has imprinted on me into a single word. I am not faint of heart nor am I easily moved (however, my taste may be somewhat out of sync with the rest) yet I limped out of the theatre raccoon eyed and in undeniable need of a Costco sized box of Kleenex. There is such bona fide humanity in this ensemble: using simple, common and everyday words one's eye lids may be slit open to reveal another aspect of people, morals, perspective and (that socially infamous heading) Christianity. Hailing from any creed/religion, I genuinely believe that this production shall stir something awake within you.

Review: I saw "Last Days..." on opening night. The theater was small, yet personable. While waiting for the show to start, two of the actors sat and remained motionless until the start of the play. The monologues by each of the actors help provide the factual information to set a strong foundation for the coming character exchanges. The other actors were very skilled, taping into my emotions consistently. There wasn't really "One Actor" that stood out because each of them was very strong and professional. While the play, at times, seemed to drag on (some of the exchanges seemed too long) it is well worth anyone's time to see this amazing play. It's thought-provoking, emotional, and an absolute necessity to experience!

Review: I enjoyed this show very much! The actors were able to draw me in from the first scene and keep me enthralled completely. I loved how the religious figures are modernized in a way that makes them accessible without diminishing the root of their characters. With the information given and projection of energy, I was on a rollercoaster of emotions the entire time. Standout performances were given by each actor, but I will have to give props to the fabulous St. Monica who played up the comedy in her role without harming the meaning of the words, and the monolog from St. Augustine bringing a tear, a smile, and the deep understanding of their friendships was strongly received. And to all Thank You for an Excellent Performance, I look forward to your next production

Review: An overwhelming experience of an amazing play made more memorable by fine acting. From the poignant comments by Judas' mother, the powerful depiction of Saint Monica, the smooth yet diabolical Satan, the tragedy of Judas, the comments by Freud and the gentle passion of Christ, I was deeply moved: to tears, to laughter, to hightened awareness and finally, to the direct experience of love's healig power. This is a unique, well directed, not to be missed play.
- E.