Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to make a year-end contribution to the Hippodrome!
Like all non-profit arts organizations, the Hippodrome relies on community support to make up the difference between ticket sales and programming expenses. Even taking into consideration the past 10 years of funding cuts, today we fear that the relatively small amount of funding we receive from federal and state grants will be cut even further. As a community, we cannot sit back and wait for Washington or Tallahassee to make funding the arts in Gainesville a priority.
If the Hipp’s home in the heart of our historic downtown is important to you, then please add your name to our growing list of supporters! Every dollar counts! All contributions are leveraged back into our community through the programs we fund and create in our building.
Get the hottest ticket in Gainesville, FREE! If you haven’t had the chance to see The Elephant Man– THIS Wednesday at 7pm is your chance! The Hippodrome Theatre is celebrating their 35th anniversary on their current mainstage in a BIG way and want YOU to be a part of it!
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play, this compelling story recently enjoyed a sold-out Broadway revival. The Elephant Man is based on the real life of Joseph Merrick, a 19th century British man on the traveling freak show circus, who was later rescued by a caring doctor and went on to become the darling of Victorian high-society. This production celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Hippodrome’s first production on our current mainstage.
$30 savings! Tonight only. Call the Hipp Box Office at 352-375-4477 to reserve your tickets ahead of time or walk up to the Box Office for first come, fist served seating.
Standing in the spotlight can be thrilling, nerve wracking, an adrenaline rush, but standing behind the spotlight, can be just as fascinating.
You may not know Bob or give him a standing ovation on a Saturday night, but you have seen his work scattered across Gainesville for the last 35 years.
Robert “Bob” Robins is the Hippodrome’s lighting designer and also designs lights for the Ocala Civic Theatre, Dance Alive National Ballet, Florida Repertory Theatre, and other places across the southeast region.
Bob lives by an organic process, and it’s one of the reasons he fell in love with the Hippodrome 31 years ago.
Bob asks himself, “How can I help shape the director’s vision? How does lighting help create the story?”
“Before designing the lighting, the physical world has to be created; the costumes, the set, the props. I let everyone else create the world first, and then I illuminate it,” says Bob.
For The Elephant Man, he looked at what the play was trying to convey to the audience. Joseph Merrick lived in a sterile world and was restricted by his deformity. Everyone saw him as an outcast and Bob captured that through the lighting.
“Merrick had a harsh, sharp existence. He was always on display and my lighting design goes along with those themes,” he said. “I use bright light and effects that sculpt the actor’s bodies since there is a simple set.”
Bob said capturing the actor’s voice and the story was his main goal and the design was about restrain.
The first step to designing light for a show is to create a light plot, which is similar to an architectural blueprint. After a technical dress rehearsal, he picks and chooses every light and configures them. There‘s a lot of algebra and geometry that goes into this and no two shows are ever the same at the Hippodrome.
The next step is sending the information to Jed Daniels, the Hipp’s Master Electrician, and people come to set all the lights in place. A Hipp show can utilize up to 150 light bulbs, and each one takes anywhere from three to 10 minutes to set up.
“Every blub has to be touched, and since every show is different, it can take a good amount of time to get them just how I want them,” says Bob.
Bob’s love of theatre started when he was a little kid who enjoyed acting. His passion later turned to behind the scenes when he was a teenager.
“I walked into my high school auditorium and saw all the really cool lights. I thought to myself, I could do that,” he said.
He pursued a theatre production degree from the University of Florida, and before he could even graduate, he had a job at the Hippodrome Theatre.
He ran spotlight for the 1981 Hipp production of The Revenge of the Space Pandas.
35 years later, Bob still has a love for his life career.
So the next time you’re standing in the Hippodrome audience, take a second and look up.
This new exhibit features four local Gainesville artists who collectively bring a dark, macabre whimsy to the Hipp Gallery space for the Halloween season. Brooke Madsen’s exhibit “one less bell to answer,” represents the plight of the housewife prior to the 1970s women’s movement. Cindy Steiller blends old doll parts and archival photographs. Lindy Mumade’s “Dark Shadows Barbie Dolls” includes crafted wardrobes and dolls which reenact scenes from the television series. Finally, Celino Dimitroff’s “Post industrial Highlights” features light assemblages made of found familiar objects.
Join us for the Artwalk, Friday October 28th 7-10pm
Rusty Salling, one of Gainesville’s greatest and best loved talents, took his final bow early Sunday morning, June 12, after bravely and fiercely battling cancer for more than a year. Rusty graced the stage of the Hippodrome Theatre from its earliest years, wowing audiences with some of the best performances in the theatre’s history. Rusty starred or was featured in 99 Mainstage plays from 1973 on, and was the author and guide of the Hippodrome’s legendary Ghost Tour, but was best known for his brilliant portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Hippodrome’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol.” From the first offering of the show in 1978 to his last performance in December 2014, Rusty brought joy to thousands of theatre patrons. He initially played Bob Cratchett, but for more than 25 years his Scrooge was the face of the holiday season for countless loyal fans.
Rusty was smart, kind, and extremely loyal. He worked so tirelessly for the Hippodrome that he had to be forced to take time off, and even then he would never refuse to take phone calls from colleagues in need. He would do anything for anyone and would do it well. For years he ran the box office, and when that ceased to offer him enough of a challenge he became the Information Systems Director for the theatre. With the help of interns, which he supervised with paternal patience, he devised, designed and ran the entire computer network for the theatre. He designed and operated the website and performed countless other tasks, never giving up until a solution was found to the problem at hand.
Rusty was born in Wilmington, North Carolina on October 17, 1948. His family moved to Jacksonville when he was a teenager, and he left to attend the University of Florida in the late 1960s. English was his major, but he soon discovered the theatre department and developed a passion for the stage that never faded. He fell in love with Gainesville and lived there for the rest of his life except for a life-broadening three-year stay in Manhattan in the mid-70s. After college, Rusty joined with friends in forming a theatre touring company known as Bacchus Productions. The most significant piece performed by that company was a year-long tour of “Waiting for Godot” throughout the southeastern United States. Rusty mesmerized audiences, including the inmates of 12 Florida prisons, with his enchanting performance. After Bacchus, Rusty moved to New York and then back to Gainesville in 1978 to join the Hippodrome, where he remained dedicated to the theatre for the rest of his life, becoming an icon in the cultural history of the city.
Rusty is survived by his sister, Susan Pfahler, her husband Randall Pfahler, and his nephew Cameron Pfahler, all of Neptune Beach, and his beloved step-dad, Leon Clark, of Jacksonville. In lieu of flowers, Rusty’s family requests that contributions be made in his memory to the Hippodrome Theatre.
Bill Paine and Susan Nash: LOOK WHAT WE FOUND!
The Hippodrome Art Gallery features local artists Bill Paine and Susan Nash. The longtime Gainesville locals specialize in found-object art created using vintage and household items, inspiring the name for the gallery “Look What I Found!” Susan, who discovered her passion and imagination years ago, says she and Bill inspire each other and help one another when pieces need a second opinion. The married couple has been together for 20 years, sparking a life full of creativity and imagination. They redefine the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and they say that most of their material comes from junk shops, antique stores, or from friends who drop unwanted items on their front porch. The gallery features 16 lamps created by Bill, a former IT tech which beautifully illuminate the room. It also features 31 of Susan’s sculptures which use the repurposed items to bring new meaning to the things they were created with. Items used in their art include old colanders, painted tuna cans and the leg of an old piano.
The unique collection will run from January 5-February 5, and will celebrate with an Art Walk reception on Friday, January 27 from 7-10pm. Pieces are available for purchase at the Hippodrome Box Office.
Do you want to take your writing or public speaking skills to the next level? In this six week class, students will strengthen these skills and challenge their creativity by exploring found and improvised texts in the forms of monologues, scenes, storytelling, poetry, and free association. Hippodrome company member Nichole Hamilton will teach various vocal and physical techniques, text and actor intent, and guide the class in creating a collaborative piece which will be performed at the final session. This class is intended to be accessible to all skill levels. Register by calling Education Program Coordinator Gabrielle Byam at 352.373.5968 ext 230 or online here. $149 for 6 sessions.
Nichole Hamilton is a self proclaimed gypsy – having lived, worked, and studied in over seven states across the country.
She is an actor, director, stage manager, and instructor currently teaching adjunct at the University of Florida. Nichole holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Montevallo, an MFA in Acting from the University of Florida and is a company member at the Hippodrome Theatre where she has been seen on stage since 2008. Nichole is also a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
This August, the Hippodrome honors outstanding local artists in our gallery and celebrates the launch of our 44th theatrical season at the August Art Walk. Sara Morsey, Lorelei Esser and Marilyn Wall are three of our area’s most renowned artists, and together they form a powerhouse trio of imagination and creativity. The Hipp is honored to display new works by the award-winning theatrical performers and designers. Stroll through their new exhibit in the Hipp Art Gallery, and watch the sunset over downtown Gainesville while local musicians Jason Hedges and Sarah Darden perform live acoustic music on the front porch.
The historic Hippodrome building will be open for tours on August 26th at 7:30pm and 8:30pm by Hipp Managing Director Jessica Hurov, along with special pricing one-day pricing our mainstage season passes. Come meet the artists, musicians, Hipp staff, share a glass of wine or two, and join us in celebrating the new season of artistic excellence at the Hipp! The event is free and open to the public.