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DAC Stage Presents Wordsmith

posted Feb 6, 2017, 2:51 PM by Darien Arts Center

Playwright Rocco Natale is performing in his latest play, a comedy and one-night staged reading, Wordsmith, on February 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the DAC Weatherstone Studio.

Rocco's comedy is about life, love and the pursuit of a dog. Main character Phillip Bosch is many things: a professor of English Literature, renowned waffle expert, and cross-word puzzle award-winner, but he’s not what you would call a “dog person.” Then Houdini, an orphaned bulldog comes into his life. Phillip comes to notice strange coincidences and becomes convinced that his beloved dog is sending him messages through the daily crossword puzzle.

Rocco, a Greenwich resident, shared his enthusiasm for his latest work, "I am excited to share Wordsmith with theatergoers at The Darien Arts Center. It will be the first time that this one-man play is presented in front of an audience. That's an exhilarating prospect, but also terrifying. It’s a great opportunity for our creative team and patrons to hear the play for the first time. Most people go to the theatre and never realize how many readings and workshops plays go through before production. I'm thrilled that audiences will get a look at how new plays are created."

Wordsmith is directed by New Canaan’s Claire Kelly, who also works as artistic director of Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton. Tickets are not necessary to attend the performance; a donation of $10 is suggested. DAC Weatherstone Studio doors open at 7:00 p.m. for seating and refreshments.

Coming Soon: Baby, the musical

posted Feb 6, 2017, 2:27 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 14, 2017, 1:41 PM ]

DAC Stage is happy to announce that we have cast the principal roles of Baby. We can still use 2-3 men for the ensemble. If you are interested, email director Carin Zakes at czakes@me.com.

Here are the roles we've cast:

Danny Hopper - Billy Shubeck
Lizzy Fields - Hilary Webster
Nick Sakarian - Jeffrey Aldana
Pam Sakarian - Danielle A.Valdes
Alan Mcnalley - Peter Green
Arlene Mcnalley - Lisa Spielman

Ensemble:
Beth Brandon
Michele Salustri
Alison Soderquist
Julie Thaxter-Gourlay
Regina Elliott
Jonathan Hall

 

DAC Stage 2016-2017 Season

posted Oct 3, 2016, 11:12 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 11:13 AM ]

DAC Stage, the Darien Art Center’s community theatre group, has two remaining shows in its 2016-2017 season, a comedy, which is a one-night staged reading by a local playwright, and a musical. “We are very excited to build on the momentum that DAC Stage has recently gained as a noteworthy theatre group,” said Amy Allen, executive director. “There is something for everyone in the upcoming season.” 


The next production of the DAC Stage season is a quirky new comedy that takes place on February 25, 2017 at 8 p.m. Wordsmith is a one-night staged reading by local playwright Rocco Natale about life, love and the pursuit of a dog. Phillip Bosch, is many things: a professor of English Literature, renowned waffle-expert, and cross-word puzzle award-winner, but he's not what you would call a "dog person." Then Houdini, an orphaned bulldog comes into his life. Phillip comes to notice strange coincidences and becomes convinced that his beloved dog is sending him messages through the daily crossword puzzle. 

Rounding out the season in the spring of 2017, is Baby by Richard Maltby, Jr and David Shire. Carin Zakes directs this production with performances on April 21, 22, 28, 29, May 5, 6 at 8 p.m., and April 23 & 30 at 2 p.m. The musical examines how parents-to-be experience the emotional stresses and triumphs, as well as the desperate lows and the comic highs that accompany the anticipation and arrival of a baby. Three couples work their way towards parenthood under three very different circumstances. There are college students, barely at the beginning of their adult lives; thirty-somethings, having trouble conceiving but determined to try; and middle aged parents, looking forward to seeing their last child graduate from college when a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started.

Beatles Night is Sold Out

posted Sep 22, 2016, 12:22 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 5:58 AM ]


If you are lucky enough to have tickets for Beatles Night, this Saturday, September 24th at the DAC, you will have the opportunity to have your photo taken with John Lennon's 1972 Chrysler prior to this one-night event. Photographs with the car will be taken for a fee of $20, from 7-7:45 p.m. For an added Beatles experience, and with a $1000 donation to the DAC, transportation to and from the event in Lennon's car, weather permitting, can be arranged. For photos or special transportation in John Lennon’s car, please call (203) 655-8683.

DAC Stage Presents Beatles Night, September 24th @ 8:00pm

posted Sep 2, 2016, 11:35 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Sep 19, 2016, 10:57 AM ]


Paul Block, Gary Kristoph, Claire Kenny, Lou Patrick, and Frank Riccio rehearse in the DAC Weatherstone Studio for Beatles Night.

Paul Block, Gary Kristoph, Frank Riccio, Lou Patrick, Mike Conin, Claire Kenny, Chris Balestriere and Darien resident Robert Schaffer comprise the band that will perform two sets of Beatles hits sure to inspire avsing-a- long atmosphere from the crowd. Schaffer, a life-long Beatles fan, and Regina Elliott, DAC Stage committee chair were part of the decision process that led to the event at the DAC. Schaffer shared their enthusiasm, “When Regina had the idea to bring the ‘Beatles Night’ experience to the DAC Weatherstone Studio, we couldn’t have been happier. We are all big Beatles fans.”

Schaffer, Riccio, and Patrick play guitar, with Block on keyboards, Conin on drums and Kristoph on bass. Kristoph, Riccio, Kenny, Balestriere and Patrick share vocals on various tunes. The group will play numerous hits such as “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Help!”, “Hey Jude” and many more. “Our hardest job right now is narrowing down our playlist. There are so many Beatles hits that the audience will love, plus we all have so many of our own favorites. It’s a good problem to have,” added Schaffer.

Beatles Night, a fun-filled evening produced by DAC Stage, promises to deliver a trip back in time to re-live the Beatles frenzy of 1964. The one-night event takes place on September 24th at 8 pm in the DAC Weatherstone Studio and features a live band of local musicians performing favorites made popular by the Fab Four.

Tickets
 for Beatles Night on September 24th in the DAC Weatherstone Studio, at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall, are $30.

Beatles Night is the first production of the 2016-2017 season for DAC Stage, the community theatre group of the Darien Arts Center. Popular productions of past seasons include, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, God of Carnage and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. 

DAC Stage committee members Donna Wyant and Regina Elliott, and Amy Allen, DAC executive director pose with John Lennon’s 1972 Chrysler station wagon. 

The vintage car, owned by Darien resident Hank Goiella, will be available, weather permitting, for photographs prior to Beatles Night. 

Photographs with the car will be taken for a fee of $20, from 7-7:45 p.m. prior to the one-night event. 

For an added Beatles experience and with a $1000 donation to the DAC, transportation to and from the event in Lennon's car, also weather permitting, can be arranged. 

DAC Stage Announces Its 2016-2017 Season

posted Aug 5, 2016, 8:18 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Sep 2, 2016, 11:35 AM ]


DAC Stage, the Darien Art Center’s community theatre group, has announced its 2016-2017 season, featuring four shows: an original production featuring Beatles music played by a live band, a comedy, which is a one-night staged reading by a local playwright, a musical and a drama. The works will run in the DAC Weatherstone Studio from September 2016 through May 2017. “We are very excited to build on the momentum that DAC Stage has recently gained as a noteworthy theatre group,” said Amy Allen, executive director. “There is something for everyone in the upcoming season.”
The new season will begin with Beatles Night, a DAC Stage original production, on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 8 p.m. Audience members will be transported back to the Beatles frenzy of 1964 at this fun-filled event featuring a live band performing the band’s popular favorites. There will be a brief history lesson and audience sing-alongs included in the family-friendly evening that is all about the Beatles.

The second production of the DAC Stage season is a quirky new comedy that takes place on February 25, 2017 at 8 p.m. Wordsmith is a one-night staged reading by local playwright Rocco Natale about life, love and the pursuit of a dog. Phillip Bosch, is many things: a professor of English Literature, renowned waffle-expert, and cross-word puzzle award-winner, but he's not what you would call a "dog person." Then Houdini, an orphaned bulldog comes into his life. Phillip comes to notice strange coincidences and becomes convinced that his beloved dog is sending him messages through the daily crossword puzzle.

Rounding out the season in the spring of 2017, is Baby by Richard Maltby, Jr and David Shire. Carin Zakes directs this production with performances on April 21, 22, 28, 29, May 5, 6 at 8 p.m., and April 23 & 30 at 2 p.m. The musical examines how parents-to-be experience the emotional stresses and triumphs, as well as the desperate lows and the comic highs that accompany the anticipation and arrival of a baby. Three couples work their way towards parenthood under three very different circumstances. There are college students, barely at the beginning of their adult lives; thirty-somethings, having trouble conceiving but determined to try; and middle aged parents, looking forward to seeing their last child graduate from college when a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started.

Charlie Brown Receives 5 Nominations

posted Jun 13, 2016, 11:39 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Jul 27, 2016, 11:30 AM by Amy Allen ]



You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, production of Darien Arts Center Stage, the community theatre group of the Darien Arts Center has received 5 nominations for the 2016 On Stage Critics Awards. They include Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Principal Cast in a Musical (Matthew Casey, Jenifer Condon, Chris Meindl, Billy Shubeck, Ben Noam Yakir and Melinda Zupaniotis,), Outstanding Director of a Musical (Peter Green), Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Billy Shubeck), and Outstanding Music Direction (Dwayne Condon). The public may vote for their choices until June 19th at onstageblog.com

DAC Stage’s You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown Receives Critic's Accolades

posted Apr 28, 2016, 12:27 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Apr 28, 2016, 12:30 PM ]

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the family-friendly musical produced by DAC Stage, received standing ovations on its opening weekend and a glowing review from OnStage. The light-hearted show directed by Peter Green is a collection of short scenes and songs based on the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip, originally created by Charles M. Schulz in 1967. It runs through May 7 in the DAC Weatherstone Studio.

According to Chris Peterson, founder and editor-in-chief of OnStage, “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown…is receiving an absolutely charming production at the Darien Arts Center.” Additionally he commented, “The cast here is excellent. A small cast of only 6, each one perfectly embodies each of these characters.” He went on to praise the spot-on cast: “As the title character, Matthew Casey is a simply wonderful Charlie Brown,” “Another strong performance is given by Melinda Zupaniotis as Lucy,” “Giving the show a fantastic shot of energy is Billy Schubeck as Schroeder. Mr. Schubeck delivers one of the better vocal performances I've heard in this area this year,” “Additional praise for strong vocals must be given to Jenifer Condon as well. She also shares some fantastic moments with Chris Meindl's Snoopy. Mr. Meindl is a delight to watch as the famous pup, even nailing his iconic laugh at a couple of moments,”and “Finally, Noam Ben Yakir is a picture perfect Linus. Smart yet innocent. He's every bit the blanket hugging future philosopher you would hope for.”

Director Peter Green received accolades as well, “For a show about connection and love, Mr. Green abandons spectacle and concentrates on relationships and it really works well.” Green, who is a performing artist and school social worker, has been performing, directing and teaching theatre in Fairfield and Westchester counties since 1996. He performed in and directed the 2014 DAC Stage production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Along with Carin Zakes, who is producer of the Charlie Brown show, Green is founder of LawnChair Theatre, which brings outdoor productions of Shakespeare to parks in Westchester County.

Praise was also lavished on Dwayne Condon, musical director for the DAC production in the OnStage review, “Dwayne Condon's music direction is spot on. Leading a four person pit, the music sounded great with a mix of piano, various and brass instruments, drums and a stand up bass, everything sounded perfect.” Condon is currently the Director of Music and Fine Arts at Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien. He has accompanied the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and has sung on more than 150 major motion picture soundtracks.

In conclusion, Peterson had this to say about the DAC production, “All in all, this is a wonderfully constructed show with a positive message. Children will absolutely love seeing these characters live, as proven by the amount of children who ran up to the cast for autographs after the show. But this show appeals to all ages and adults will find it quite moving as well. I couldn't recommend it more." To read the review in its entirety, visit onstageblog.com



You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown cast announced

posted Feb 17, 2016, 7:26 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 17, 2016, 8:30 AM by Amy Allen ]

DAC Stage is pleased to announce the following cast members for their upcoming production.


Charlie Brown - Matthew Casey 

Snoopy - Chris Meindl 

Lucy Van Pelt - Melinda Zupaniotis 

Linus Van Pelt - Noam Ben Yakir 

Sally Brown - Jenifer Condon 

Schroeder - Billy Shubeck

Thanks to all those who auditioned

Critically Acclaimed Director Returns for One-Night Staged Reading at Darien Arts Center

posted Feb 11, 2016, 1:31 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 11, 2016, 1:39 PM ]

In recognition of the 400-year legacy of Shakespeare’s work, critically acclaimed director Mark Graham returns to the Darien Arts Center to portray a stunning tale of intrigue based on real political events involving Shakespeare in a plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I. Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire, written by Mary Jane Schaefer is being produced for the first time by DAC Stage and marks the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death. The one-night staged reading takes place on February 27 at 8 p.m.

Mark Graham has received glowing reviews from critics and audiences, as well as a nomination for Best Director of a Play in the On Stage Critic Awards, for the recent DAC Stage production of God of Carnage. He has directed over 100 plays and musicals, has an MFA in directing from the University of Connecticut, and has extensive experience directing in both Manhattan and throughout the country. He has partnered with Schaefer over the years, developing characterization and plot structure in her Shakespearean plays. “It is very gratifying to direct this exciting work. It is full of surprises and romance, while capturing the political climate of the time. And, it gives us an inside look at an unknown side of Shakespeare, his life and his loves,” said Graham.

Graham has served on the boards of Playhouse on the Green and the Westport Country Playhouse, and is a former president and board member of The Theatre Artists Workshop. He was long-time producing partner of the late Tony Award-winning producer Lester Osterman, and was general manager of Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theater in Westport, CT. He is also one of the founding members of the Downtown Cabaret Theater in Bridgeport.

Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire, the third part of a trilogy by Schaefer, explores the little known life of Shakespeare, the man, his love and his politics. It uncovers his political side and tells of an amazing and true event: his dangerous involvement in a plot to overthrow the Throne of England. We get a peek at the power and magic hidden in his plays, which were strong enough to shake the foundations of the British Monarchy, to incite riots and inspire a revolution. Schaefer’s previous works in the trilogy have received critical acclaim with the first of the series honored by the New American Playwrights Project and produced at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in 2014. Both were performed at Manhattan's prestigious National Arts Club.

Regional veteran actors join the stellar cast of the DAC production: Larry Reina, John O’Hern, Damien Langan, Tom Zingarelli, Allan Zeller, Joe Maker, Richard Weidlich, Scott Bruno, Betty Jinnette, Emilie Roberts and Marca Leigh. Reservations are not necessary for the performance, which has a suggested donation of $10. The DAC is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall. For more information call (203) 655-8683.

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