Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating Jim Chervenka!

Celebrating Jim Chervenka!
Our Technical Director Jim Chervenka retires today after 40+ years of service to GRCT!

(Click image to enlarge and read)

Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 GRCT Grand Award Nominations

Grand Awards Nominations for the 2010-11 Season are out and we received 27 nominations—one of the highest totals for any theatre at any time! Congratulations to the 900+ Volunteers, guest artists and Civic staff for creating such a wonderful season.

Ms. Notter, receives special accolades for her productions of Hello, Dolly; Hairspray and Blues Clues Live; Mr. Len and Mr. Fowle locked in both their categories by garnering all three nominations!

Thank you all for making this possible and join us October 16 celebrating local theatre achievement, but more importantly, scholarships for students. Grand Awards and its participating theatres award over $5000 in scholarships every year. Tickets will be available soon online or through our box office.

2011 GRCT Nominations

Outstanding Production for Theatre for Young Audiences: Blue’s Clues Live!

Outstanding Production for Theatre for Young Audiences: Fame

Lead Actor in a Play: Rob Thomasma (Otto Frank), The Diary of Anne Frank

Supporting Actress in a Play: Eva Switek (Mrs. VanDaan),The Diary of Anne Frank

Outstanding Musical: Hello Dolly

Outstanding Musical: Hairspray

Lead Actress in a Musical: Jolene Frankey (Tracy), Hairspray

Lead Actress in a Musical: Nancy Wagner (Dolly), Hello Dolly

Lead Actor in a Musical: Scott Mellema (Hook), Peter Pan

Lead Actor in a Musical: Todd Avery (Edna), Hairspray

Supporting Actress in a Musical: Lisa Butler Whitley (Motormouth Maybelle), Hairspray

Supporting Actress in a Musical: Aubrey Talbot-VanAntwerp (Velma), Hairspray

Supporting Actor in a Musical: Richard Carnegie (Seaweed), Hairspray

Supporting Actor in a Musical: Mike Frankey (Link), Hairspray

Director of a Musical: Penelope Notter, Hello Dolly

Director of a Musical: Penny Notter, Hairspray

Music Direction: Wright McCargar,Hairspray

Music Direction: Charles Hutchins, Hello Dolly

Choreography: William Schutte, Hairspray

Scenic Design
David Len, Hello Dolly
David Len, Peter Pan
David Len, Hairspray

Costume Design
Robert Fowle, Hairspray
Robert Fowle, Hello Dolly
Robert Fowle, Peter Pan

Lighting Design: Keith Oberfeld, Hairspray

Lighting Design: Catherine Marlett Dreher, Peter Pan

Saturday, September 17, 2011

GRCT 2011 ArtPrize Artists!

Maria R Schneider

VOTE for American Dream: 55821
Artist bio

A native of Madrid, Spain, Maria Schneider moved to the Unites States to study master. From a Law Degree and an MBA passing through the corporate world, she jumped into art attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine arts and the Art Student League of New York... She has shown in New York and Philadelphia. She is currently showing at the Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg as part of the Art of the State.

She infuses her canvases and sculptures with ideas and modern symbols that get intertwine into the work. In her sculptures, the viewer becomes the participant. The work becomes interactive.

Title: American Dream

Description of work:
American Dream. This sculpture made out of wood boxes is the symbol of socioeconomic turmoil around us. Some of the boxes are Full, some are EMPTY. For me, and many artists before me, the American Flag is a very powerful symbol. It represents all Americans. All over the world, it symbolizes the American Dream. But what is the American Dream? WHAT IS YOUR AMERICAN DREAM? IS YOUR DREAM FULL OR EMPTY? I want you to TWEET your dream. All the tweets are unified under a tag, YOU are now part of the art. All of us are now unified under a flag. The Tweets will be collected to create a log of the American Dream...What happened to your dream?

To learn more:

Itibere Silveira

VOTE for BLACK HOLE : 55811

Artist bio

I built a multi million dollar corporation with over 350 employees from an initial capital of US$100 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Created 50.000 sq feet self sustained solar/wind eco friendly training center totally from salvaged materials where top corporate executives came to be trained in creativity and problem solving techniques I developed. Restored two 150 year old run down buildings being used by drug dealers at the time, and created a non profit center for community work there, where children and adults learn skills which help them build new careers and stay off crime and drugs. Fund raised US$ 250K from the IDB in Washington DC (Interamerican Development Bank) and the Brazilian Cultural Ministry so as to develop social sensitive projects.

In 2010 I bought a 12.000 sq feet warehouse where I built my artist's studio and am also preparing to provide space for other artists looking for good studio space to develop their artwork.

Title: BLACK HOLE (Work In Progress: Picture shows sculpture in its initial stage to be finished on May 31)

Description of work:
Life = Death / I chose this concept because our connectivity with life is enhanced when extinction becomes evident. The conceptual bridge I utilized is the Chemical Periodic Table which when exposed to the Biophysical forces of nature (Wind, Rain, Sun, Snow...) spins the elements perpetually into either life or death.

The cognitive thought process utilized to create Black Hole into an aesthetically powerful image is derived from what I choose to call "Industrial Archaeology". Pre-existent industrial elements are projected into a novel means so that they can stimulate new connectivity and thus new concepts in the viewer's mind.
Black Hole is a chemical matrix coded to speak directly to the viewers' intuitive minds so that they can access it permanently as an actual problem solving tool whenever and wherever they might need it to be used for.

To learn more:

Lee Lamberts

VOTE for "It's Personal": 55801

Artist bio

I started doing photography when I was in junior high and, even with my little Kodak Instamatic, I had some of my pictures published in my ninth-grade yearbook. The hobby has grown into what could almost be described as an obsession to the point where I take "senior pictures" for the Special Education program I'm in and my wife and I have dozens and dozens of photo albums filled with pictures of children, grandchildren and vacation destinations. I'm 59 years old and a lifelong resident of West Michigan. I like sports, birds and fighter jets. My wife, Ileana, and I have three sons and four grandchildren. I saw enough of ArtPrize last year where I decided I wanted to enter my own project so that when people were pondering my work I could, as other artists did to me, say: "I did that."

Title: "It's Personal"

Description of work:
Since ArtPrize ended last year, I have been taking photos of Michigan-only personalized license plates, the so-called "Vanity Plates," that I see wherever — in mall parking lots, parking lots where I work, parking ramps at airports, heck, I've even had my wife take photos of the license plates while we were driving down the street. I will be displaying photographic reprints of close to 400 personalized license plates I have seen all around the state.The images will be displayed inside an outline of the state of Michigan and will be titled “It’s Personal,” showing the many personalities and/or quirks of drivers in our state. The fun part of this display will be attempting to figure out what message the driver is trying to get across. Some are simply a person’s initials. Others convey a theme or some type of message. Mine is “CSI FAN,” a tribute to my favorite TV show. Is your's part of my display? Take a look. I hope it is.

To learn more:

Teresa Thome and Patrick W. Ziegler

VOTE for Backstage Drama: 55831

Artist bio

Teresa Thome and Patrick W. Ziegler are co-founders of Fubble Entertainment, LLC. The company is committed to creating "contemporary media with nostalgic appeal." While serving as Executive Producers for Enthusiastic Productions, the team helped secure 13 regional Emmy's for their work in children's television and have been nominated for a national Daytime Emmy Award. They formed Fubble Entertainment, LLC in Dec. 2010, to focus on developing sitcoms, a web series and a made for TV movie. The pair believe that the talented West Michigan community can make quality media that entertains national audiences... all with a commitment to fun and a philanthropic vision. Backstage Drama will be a fundraiser for community theatres. Enjoy!

Title: Backstage Drama

Description of work:
Sandy Mezzini, an unassuming bartender from Camden, New Jersey just wanted
to take out the garbage. Unfortunately, the Russian drug cartel was taking out
some “garbage” of its own at the same time and in the same place. Sandy
reluctantly becomes the key witness in the murder and is placed in the witness
protection program as a janitor in a community theatre in Grand River, Michigan.
Despite his best efforts, Sandy, living his life as Shawn Malloy now, is having a
hard time keeping his head down. Each time he looks up, his eyes fall on
Maggie Brooks, Grand Rivers’ newest ingĂ©nue. Sandy finds himself with a
growing attraction to Maggie and increasingly enamored with the eccentric, yet
wonderfully talented cast of characters that share her stage. Will Maggie look his
way? Will the drug cartel find him? This delightful romp is a smidgeon of
Sopranos, a little bit of Waiting for Guffman and a whole lot of Glee.
Filmed almost entirely on location at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, the shows
Producers, Fubble Entertainment, LLC plan to sell subscriptions to the series –
which will, in part, support community theatre.

The website, launching September 21, will feature the pilot episode. Additional
episodes will begin airing on-line after October 5, 2011. The website is . Producers, writers and directors Teresa Thome and
Patrick Ziegler can be reached at

To learn more:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Sunset Limited - Special Reader's Theatre at GRCT

(Click image to enlarge)

Please join us for our Special Reader's Theatre production, during ArtPrize.


September 30, 2011 at 7pm

About Sunset Limited: The Sunset Limited is a play by American writer Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy's second published play, it was first produced by the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on May 18, 2006, and it traveled to New York City later that same year. The play was published in a paperback edition about the same time that it opened in New York. Some consider it to be more a novel than a true play, partly because its subtitle is "A Novel in Dramatic Form."

The play involves only two nameless characters, designated "White" and "Black", their respective skin colors. Offstage, just before the play begins, Black saves White from throwing himself in front of a train, the Sunset Limited. All of the action takes place in Black's sparse apartment in urban New York, where the characters go (at the behest of Black) after their encounter on the platform. Black is an ex-convict and an evangelical Christian. White is an atheist and a professor. They debate the meaning of human suffering, the existence of God, and the propriety of White's attempted suicide.

The play was adapted for film by the playwright for a version directed and executive produced by Tommy Lee Jones; it began airing on HBO in February 2011. Jones also stars, opposite Samuel L. Jackson.

Order Your Tickets for the Show NOW!