Our next door neighbors BOCA FIESTA has planned a KEEP GAINESVILLE HIPP benefit show this Sunday, July 15th in The Backyard at Boca Fiesta & Palomino, featuring live music from the Post Teens, OOF, Sunshine State & Routines!
They wrote “Our neighbors at the Hippodrome Theatre are being impacted by budget cuts from the Florida state legislature, decimating funding for cultural grants. Thanks to these cuts, Florida now has the dubious honor of being ranked 48th in the nation for funding for the arts, as the total investment represents just 0.003 percent of the Florida budget.”
8 – 11 p.m. this Sunday, 7/15
$5-20 sliding scale
Gainesville theatre artists exhibited their talent to a sold out house at the Hippodrome Theatre on Sunday for the 24 Hour Play Project, a Hippodrome Company Member Project created by Stephanie Lynge. Local playwrights had a night to write, before diving into rehearsal the next morning on Sunday, June 10, with their directors and actors. Despite the time constraints, their words shined light on such topics as the importance of listening, tyrannical apocalypse, LGBTQ themes, growth under duress, mental illness, nature and family in a stage production of 8 diverse plays.
This project integrated artists from across the Gainesville community, including the University of Florida School of Theatre + Dance, Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, Actors’ Warehouse, Gainesville Community Playhouse, Santa Fe College Theatre Department and the Hippodrome Theatre, and the actors ranged in age from a middle school student to actors in their 50s and 60s. The previous night, the playwright picked their director at random, along with their cast size and gender ratio of the actors.
The project opened with Esteban Alvarez III’s play “What’s Up, Doc?” — a comedic hit in which a patient with suspected STDs and a patient with a sprained toe were confused, and the med student gave switched care advice accordingly. The cast starred Bill Eissler, Rachel Jones, Laura Palacio and Kareena Wallace.”Exist, Pursued by a Bear,” a play on a famous stage direction in “The Winter’s Tale”, came from from the Shakespeare-inclined mind of Chuck Lipsig, naturally. The bear’s entrance was a crowd-pleaser, indeed. The play was directed by Matt Lindsay and starred Bryan Cespedes, Ruth King, Megan Poole, and Amei Soleyn.
“A House Divided” written by Michael Presley Bobbitt and directed by Sara Morsey, featured four women on lock-down in a tyrannical apocalypse, and starred Tereva Crum-Stauffer, Stephanie Norman, Lauren Robinson(an understudy for the Hipp’s current mainstage) and Katey Sands. A favorite line included, “It’s the end of the g-dd–n world and their ain’t a single vibrator in the whole camp.”
“My Pear Lady,” written by Sloane Henry and directed by Lola Bond explored the significance in recognizing things for what they are – not what they are not, through the premise of fostering a plant after the death of a beloved pet, Pickle. Meanwhile, dog up for adoption was nearly euthanized. Fortunately the significant other to the protagonist adopted him in time, and he could be loved for who he was — not for not being Pickle. “My Pear Lady” starred Rowan Housden, Kristina Johnson and Katie Pankow.
Channing O’Halloran, 16, nearly stole the show with her role in “The Lydia Effect” by Jane Arrowsmith Edwards with her line, that also worked for fulfilling the required Tony’s reference, “I’m sorry you have cancer but you have a better chance of recovery than becoming a Broadway actor.” The show was directed by Susan Christophy and also starred Quil Cauchon, Daniel Perea and Katryna Richter.
One play even verged on exiting the atmosphere, as in Gregg Jones’s “Genesis Recall,”– “Actually he is not my father. And I am an alien.” Directed by Gabrielle Byam and starring Aryana Himle, Lizzy Lance, Mandy Fugate and Carly Rubin.
“Rolling on a River” by Deborah Dickey, had a theme of overcoming fear in more ways than one — with one character’s fear of the river, or anything really, and the other woman’s fear that the boy-in-question didn’t like the her back. The play was directed by Mikell Pinkney and starred Amanda Edwards, Adam Lishawa and Kate Osborn.
Charlie Mitchell’s “Rom-Com” took a lighter perspective with some break-up zingers, “I haven’t been with a lot of guys but I’m pretty sure you’re not very good at sex,” and “If you wrote the kamasutra, it would be a pamphlet,” and probably the mosts brutal– Woman: “I told you I loved you.” Man: “I didn’t.” The play, directed by David Young and starring Kayla Caslow, Ethan Ellis, Kaitie Graves and Harold Kennedy, lightened up as the break up passed with lines such as, “Am I the gay friend? … Girl you better wash that man right outta your hair!”
Responding the success of the project, Lynge said, “The Hippodrome has always been supportive of new work and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring together all of the community of Gainesville. We have a wonderful, amazing theatrical energy in the center of Gainesville, we couldn’t have done it without every single solitary group that joined us — absolutely everyone was represented and we could not be prouder of bringing everyone together, especially at a time like this when the state has cut support for the arts. We could not be prouder of all the work from everyone, from every theatrical group here in Gainesville, and we look forward to being able to do it again.”
Stephanie Lynge and Cameron Pfahler were the producers, Neil Bearden was the technical director, Earl McKee was the stage manager, Franka Perez was the assistant stage manager and Laura McNeill was the production assistant for the 24 Hour Play Project.
To keep up to date with new projects, mainstage productions, cinema screenings and education opportunities, follow @hipptheatre on Instagram, Twitter and @HippodromeTheatre on Facebook and check back on thehipp.org!
Congratulations Emily and Nicholas! This lovely couple had a gorgeous ceremony at the Baughman Center and then celebrated their reception here with us at the Hippodrome. Before the reception, they used all the photo opportunities of Downtown Gainesville.
At the end of their special day, they had a bubble send off with all their friends and family. We were so lucky to celebrate with them! Find out more about how you can rent the Hipp today at thehipp.org/rentals. | Sworhacz@thehipp.org | 352-373-5968 X 217.
Photographer- Emily Staubus Photography
Andrea and Aidan had a small, intimate wedding at their family’s Antebellum house in Madison, Georgia. However, when they came back to Gainesville, they shared their special moment with us here at the Hippodrome too. Andrea got her hair and makeup done again, got back into her wedding dress, and Aidan got into his suit. While they kept the ceremony private, they utilized the buildings facade to take photos that they could use to share with their loved ones, recreating their first dance and other special moments on the steps of the Hippodrome. Andrea is one of the Hippodrome’s most valued employees, and she and Aidan enjoy spending date evenings at our plays and special events.
Find out more about how you can rent the Hipp today at thehipp.org/rentals. | Sworhacz@thehipp.org | 352-373-5968 X 217
Photographer: Rachel Jones
“What I like about this play is the conflict is unique. Its not about domestic conflict completely. It’s obviously about the conflict of Hell, but inside of that there’s so much,” said Lauren Warhol Caldwell, Director of “The Christians” and Artistic Director of the Hippodrome Theatre. “The main thing I like about it is that there are no answers.”
The Christians is a critically-acclaimed drama by award-winning playwright Lucas Hnath. Currently one of the most-produced plays in the nation, The Christians is a thought-provoking and timely play which poses philosophical and theological questions about faith in America. The Hippodrome Theatre had a talkback Sunday after the 2 p.m. show with the director and the cast to continue the conversation with the audience members.
“I hope if 10 people walk out and I ask them how it was, I get 10 different answers,” Caldwell said.
The Christians centers around Pastor Paul, who started a church in a modest storefront. Over the past 10 years, he grew it into a mega-church with thousands of devoted parishioners and a newly paid-off mortgage. Everything changes one Sunday when Pastor Paul preaches a divisive sermon that shakes his congregation to the core. The Christians is both epic and unexpectedly intimate, an unflinching look at religious faith in America – and its power to unite or divide.
One audience member said, “The play doesn’t give answers. Faith isn’t answerable.”
When asked if “The Christians” is the same play it was on opening night, Warhol said, “Tonight’s show had a texture, richness, a pace that I dreamed about, the play was different. There’s a growth that happened. I commend them[the actors] and the Stage Manager [Amber Wilkerson] for allowing that growth.”
Renata Eastlick says the play comprises and struggles with, “how to be a good, kind and responsible community of people who love each other.” As in any play, each person who sees “The Christians” will have a different visceral reaction to it, Eastlick said.
An audience member said that there is a healthiness about the play — because of the respect the characters have for each other.
“The fact that we’re all here, having this conversation, is optimistic,” one audience member pointed out.
Call the Hipp Box Office 352.375.4477 or visit thehipp.org for tickets.
Showtimes: Tues. 7 p.m. | Wed. 7 p.m. | Thurs. 7 p.m. | Fri. 8 p.m. | Sat. 5 & 8:30 p.m. | Sun. 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 seniors and students and $15 general public.
Spring Break Camp at the Hippodrome was so much fun! We had special guests, including the Barber Gators and Hula GAINESVILLE, workshops like costuming, and so much more!
The different age groups even created and performed their own rendition of Dr. Suess’s “The Lorax,” as you can see in the following links!
To look into our summer programs, click here!
The Hippodrome and the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding present a groundbreaking new six-week adult course at the Hippodrome called “Theatre and Self-Discovery.”
Sign up here or call Gabrielle at 352.373.5968 x230 for more information.