Tag Archives: Herberger Theater

Arizona honors arts & culture volunteerism

Step Raptis and fellow dancers integrate vintage luggage into movement art. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Step Raptis (front/center) and fellow dancers playfully integrated vintage luggage into movement art for last year’s festivities. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Since 1981, 152 artists, individuals, arts and cultural organizations, educators and businesses have received Governor’s Arts Awards in Arizona. The list will grow again come March, as this year’s winners are recognized by peers, patrons and arts professionals attending the 2013 awards ceremony.

Sixty-two nominations from 18 Arizona communities were submitted in six categories for the 32nd annual Governor’s Arts Awards for individuals and businesses who’ve made “substantial and outstanding contributions to arts and culture statewide.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards are presented by Arizona Citizens Action for the Arts in partnership with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Office of the Governor. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges and will be announced on Wednesday, March 6 at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix.

Balcony view of folks enjoying last year's pre-ceremony auction. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Balcony view of folks enjoying last year’s pre-ceremony auction. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Nominees are noted below by category and hometown…

Artist: Lee Berger, Phoenix; Charles Bruffy, Phoenix; Daniel Buckely, Tucson; Michael Christie, Phoenix; Bobb Cooper, Phoenix; Barbara Dahlstedt, Glendale;  Maria Isabel Delgado, Chandler; Shawn Franks, Phoenix; Deb Gessner, Mayer; Kristine Kollasch, Phoenix; Bruce Marion, Chandler; Fredric Myers, Apache Junction; Monica Saldana, Goodyear; Mike Vax, Dewey; Jim Waid, Tucson.

Arts in Education – Individual: Annica Benning, Scottsdale; Kathryn Blake, Phoenix; Dennis Bourret, Tucson; Simon Donovan, Tucson; Patti Hannon, Phoenix; Marion Kirk Jones, Phoenix; Sherry Koopot, Paradise Valley; Barbara Nueske Perez, Gilbert; Charles St. Clair, Glendale; Joshua Thye, Phoenix.

Arts In Education – Organization: Arizona Dance Education Organization, Phoenix; Copperstar Repertory Company, Chandler; The Glendale Arts Council, Glendale; Lovena Ohl Foundation, Scottsdale; Marshall Magnet Elementary School, Flagstaff; OpendanceAZ, Phoenix; Phoenix Conservatory of Music, Phoenix; The Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix; Sonoran Glass School, Tucson; UAPresents, Tucson; West Valley Conservatory of Ballet, Surprise.

Business: BMO Harris Bank, Phoenix; LDVinci Art Studio, Chandler; Southwest Ambulance, Mesa.

Community: Alwun House Foundation, Phoenix; Contemporary Forum, Phoenix; Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts, Wickenburg; Flagstaff Cultural Partners, Flagstaff; James E. Garcia, Phoenix; KXCI Community Radio, Tucson; Mesa Arts Center, Mesa; Release the Fear, Phoenix; Scottsdale International Film Festival, Scottsdale; Virginia G. Piper Charitable Foundation, Phoenix; Warehouse Arts Management Organization, Tucson; Young Arts Arizona Ltd., Phoenix.

Individual: Marco Albaran, Tempe; James K. Ballinger, Phoenix; Richard A. Bowers, Phoenix; Ted G. Decker, Phoenix; Faith Hibbs-Clark, Phoenix; Kaitlyn Mackay, Glendale; Constance W. McMillin, Sun City; Nichole Newman-Colter, Litchfield; Hope Ozer, Paradise Valley; Rebecca Taylor, Yuma.

Artists and art lovers gathered during last year's awards ceremony. Photo: Lynn Trimble

Artists and art lovers gathered during last year’s awards ceremony. Photo: Lynn Trimble

In addition, the eighth annual Shelley Award will be presented to an Arizona individual who has advanced the arts through strategic and innovative work in creating or supporting public policy beneficial to the arts in Arizona. The award is named for Shelley Cohn, who spent more than 25 years as executive director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Last year’s shindig was a glorious affair — featuring pre-show performance amidst John Waddell sculptures gracing the Herberger Theater Center outdoor pavilion, and a lovely assortment of on-stage performances during the official ceremony. I’m eager to enjoy another creative take on volunteer recognition and celebrating the arts.

Ticket prices are $135 for members of Arizona Citizens for the Arts and $150 for non-members. Sponsorships are available. Click here for event and reservation details.

— Lynn

Note: Americans for the Arts is accepting applications through Feb. 15 for its “BCA 10” awards honoring businesses what support the arts. Click here for details.

Coming up: Unplugged, Foreign fim four-pack

“Opus” tales

Spencer Dooley (Elliot), Pasha Yamotahari (Alan), David Dickinson (Carl) and Kate Haas (Grace) in Michael Hollinger’s “Opus” for Actors Theatre. Photo by John Groseclose.

In common parlance, an opus refers to a major life work — often musical in nature. But opus means something more in a pair of works exploring life in string quartet land. It’s the sum of one’s life — the choices made and their lasting impact on others. An opus is never created alone. Even the most magnificent opus has flaws. In some ways, one’s opus is the sum of sacrifces made for someone or something beyond self.

It’s the supreme and stunning sacrifice of a cellist gripped by the early stages of Parkinson’s disease that makes “A Late Quartet” so moving. He’s one of four musicians in a string quartet that’s been together for more than two decades. Though embracing cynicism would be a perfectly rational choice, the cellist ultimately exudes the hope fellow musicians rarely muster.

A Late Quartet” stars Christopher Walken as cellist Peter Mitchell, Daniel Lerner as first violinist Daniel Lerner, Philip Seymour Hoffman as second violinist Robert Gelbart and Catherine Keener as violist Juliette Gelbart. Imogen Poots is Alexandra, daughter of the two married musicians. It’s directed by Yaron Zilberman, who wrote the screenplay with Seth Grossman.

“The performance is heartbreaking, and a master class in the craft of acting,” writes Peter Travers for Rolling Stone. That pretty much nails it. Four words pierced my thoughts over and over again after seeing “A Late Quartet” this weekend — beautiful, exquisite, real and true.

Ian Christiansen (Dorian) in “Opus” performed by Actors Theatre. Photo by John Groseclose.

Arizona audiences can enjoy two quartet tales this week by seeing both the film and the Actors Theatre production of “Opus,” a work by violist-turned-playwright Michael Hollinger. It’s being performed at the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix through Sunday, Nov. 18. It’s directed by Robert Kolby Harper.

“Opus” lacks the partial nudity you’ll find in the R-rated film and involves a man facing cancer rather than a neuromuscular disorder. Harper delivers an opus that speaks eloquently to the taut tensions between musicians. Zilberman achieves a beautifully biting reflection on what this quartet’s quarrels say about not only music, but life. One feels humorous, the other haunting.

Both “Opus” and “A Late Quartet” offer a telling, tantalizing look at life behind-the-scenes for musicians who’ve chosen a sometimes painfully collaborative art form. Defining and achieving individual perfection is a monumental task, but reaching the same goal as a group is more difficult by far. Personalities clash. Power struggles ensue. Lofty goals get waylaid by lust.

“Opus” performed by Actors Theatre imagines the changing dynamics as a female violist becomes the first woman to join the Lazara String Quartet. “A Late Quartet” imagines three male quartet members of the Fugue String Quartet whose lives intersect with those of their female violist, a college-age woman studying classical violin and a female fan.

Consider the way themes repeat in varied forms throughout the film and you’ll appreciate the choice for this quartet’s moniker. The medium of film better conveys musician backstories and tangled webs of relationships — leaving us to wonder why those with such reverance for the bow can hold such disdain for self and others. Still, there’s plenty to ponder as the Actors Theatre performance unfolds.

“Opus” for Actors Theatre stars Ian Christansen (Dorian), David Dickinson (Carl), Spencer Dooley (Elliot), Kate Haas (Grace) and Pasha Yamotahari (Alan). They’ve got less to work with than the film cast in the plotline department. Think extramarital affair and mother/daughter issues. Still, they deliver a solid performance that was highly praised during Sunday’s post-matinee talkback.

Violinist Jim Apperson served as strings consultant, working with the Actors Theatre cast on bowing techniques since each appears to play an instrument during the play — though the music you’ll hear was performed by The Vertigo String Quartet (formed at Curtis Insitute of Music in Denver) and recorded by Jorge Cousineau for the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, where the play was first produced.

The film’s take on Beethoven’s Quartet in C sharp minor (Op. 131) is performed by the Brentano String Quartet, ensemble-in-residence at Princeton University. A soundtrack released by Decca Records features a 2010 performance of the work, music composed for the film by Angelo Badelamenti and two additional pieces.

Experiencing both film and play is lovelier by far than taking in just one or the other. Seeing similar scenarios treated differently in script and screenplay is intriguing — as is witnessing the work of different actors and directors. But the real take-away is time spent reflecting on one’s own life work. Got opus?

— Lynn

Note: BBC Films releases “Quartet,” which is directed by Dustin Hoffman and based on Ronald Harwood’s play of the same name, on Jan. 4, 2013.

Coming up: Reflections on Rodin