Synchronicity’s New Ambassador Program: The Synchronizers!

To all of our Smart, Gutsy, Bold friends:

Synchronizers help promote the visibility of new works at Synchronicity Theatre by engaging with various communities to expand and diversify audiences.

The quintessential Synchronizer has a passion for theatre, specifically new works, and is highly motivated to share that passion with others.  Ideally, a Synchronizer has active personal or professional connections within diverse communities throughout Atlanta. Applicants should be familiar with Synchronicity Theatre, and have genuine interest and respect in the work we produce and the principles of our mission:  to uplift the voices of women and girls and spark community conversation.

Synchronizer membership would be for the entire 2019 – 2020 Season. Synchronizer membership is completely free!

DETAILS

Synchronizers will have the following responsibilities:

  • To help promote new works at Synchronicity Theatre to their personal and professional networks and make new connections through outreach
  • To update the Synchronicity staff on personal progress, including, but not limited to, the successes and challenges of their own promotional efforts
  • To increase the visibility of Synchronicity Theatre by assisting staff in promotional marketing efforts and opportunities throughout the season
  • To consistently meet all of the above requirements for the entirety of the Synchronicity Theatre season in which they participate

PERKS

  • A complimentary pair of tickets to each new work throughout the season
  • Access to special events such as exclusive script readings, pre-show happy hours, invitations to rehearsals, tickets to opening night new work performances
  • Personalized discount codes for tickets to extend to personal or professional networks
  • Networking opportunities with the Synchronicity staff
  • Networking with fellow Synchronizers, periodic check-ins, and brainstorming sessions to share ideas for ways to improve outreach

Synchronizers assist Synchronicity in a volunteer capacity as a condition of their membership. These are not paid positions.

APPLY HERE!

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 AT 11:59 PM.

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ANNOUNCING OUR 2019-2020 STRIPPED BARE ARTS INCUBATOR PROJECTS

Atlanta’s Synchronicity Theatre is pleased to announce the four works that will be produced as part of this season’s Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project. They are: The Unbound trilogy by Shernā Ann Phillips with visual art by Dr. Lisa Whittington (September 17 – 18, 2019), What the Woolf Wore by Abraham Johnson (November 13, 2019), The Gun Show by Elizabeth Dinkova (January 15, 2020), and I’m a Motherf*#%ing Super Star: So Where Are My Babies? by Valeka J Holt (May 13, 2020). All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at Synchronicity Theatre. Performances are free and open to the public, but require reservations. Please go to synchrotheatre.com to reserve tickets and for more information. Complete project descriptions are below.

Stripped Bare focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages artists to think about the essentials of theatre “stripped of” intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes. The focus is on actors, words, passion, and ideas. Each selected project will get up to three days in Synchronicity Theatre’s performance space. The participants will receive a technician, producer and/or facility manager, house manager, and a box office staffer for each performance. Each project will also receive marketing support and mention on Synchronicity’s website.

Learn more about Stripped Bare experiences and projects here: https://synchrotheatre.wordpress.com/category/stripped-bare/.

 

The Unbound trilogy

By Shernā Ann Phillips

Visual Art By Dr. Lisa Whittington

September 17 – 18, 2019

7:30 p.m.

Description:

The Unbound trilogy features short African-American slice-of-life stories set in a controversial visual art gallery:

Play 1: Ebb & FlowAn unrefined slam poet pursues a sophisticated philosophy professor on opening night, and a battle of the sexes “ebbs and flows.”

Play 2: Tison Tucker When a 17-year-old activist confronts the gallery’s owner, she uncovers secret ties to slain visual artist Tison Tucker.

Play 3: As Purple is to Lavender As they reflect on the controversy behind a white woman curating the visual art exhibit of a black man slain by police, a feminist and womanist unleash blistering honesty that tests their decades-long friendship.

About Shernā Ann Phillips

Shernā Ann Phillips (“Sher-nay”) is a writer and performer from Baltimore, Maryland and based in Atlanta, Georgia. An instructor and scholar, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Morgan State University and teaches English 1101 within the University System of Georgia. A screenwriter, her first feature-length script, Induction, advanced to the second round of the 2016 Sundance Screenwriters Lab and placed in the Top 15% in the 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. As a playwright, her work has entertained audiences in festivals, universities and black box theaters in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. In June 2019, she directed and produced a Southeastern tour of her award-winning, all-women, multicultural choreopoem, Double X, with stops in Atlanta, Birmingham and Chattanooga. She is a communications officer at Atlanta Public Schools and a board member at Strand Theater Company, Baltimore’s only women-centric theater devotedly solely to promoting women’s voices on the stage. More information is available at www.shernation.com | IG: @Shernannigans

About Lisa Whittington

Dr. Lisa Whittington, a product of Harlem, NY, believes she has been called and pursued by the spirit of Art to serve a divine purpose in humanity. Her artwork heals, educates, narrates, and moves people to reflect, analyze, testify, and act. Her studio is full of cultural and biographical stories she is developing and waiting to share. Her work is fervidly truthful and weaves together a deep historical narrative on a seemingly colorful canvas. Yet still, like the sun revolves around the earth, her passion for creating and the power of art upon her revolves from studio to classroom. Teaching and speaking are just as much a beloved art to Lisa as painting. She has over 25 years of experience teaching art in public school and college classrooms. She believes her first mission is to help students to use their eyes and understand “why art?” Dr. Whittington is currently teaching at Drew Charter School in East Atlanta, diligently working to help put the “A” in their STEAM program. Her TED talk “What Does Art Want With You?” motivates other creators to think about their purpose in art. NBC News called upon her to shed light on a very controversial protest at the Whitney Museum in NYC. As an artist and an educator, she has stirred up discussion all around the world about black art and who should create it. Her works have been featured in juried exhibitions and museums around the country, creating additional healthy and necessary discussions about race. Several of her paintings are in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s permanent collection. Her collaged painting, “I Am A Man, is currently hanging in the Marietta Museum of Art Metro Montage Exhibition. www.lisalovewhittington.com

What the Woolf Wore

By Abraham Johnson

November 13, 2019

7:30 p.m.

Description:

After Harold’s Halloween party is abruptly cancelled, two couples – Marti with Georgia and Nik with Hon – have to fake smiles, finish their guacamole, and avoid the breakup conversation hanging over them – until drinks start flowing and the games begin. Will the shattered glass and ghosts of their pasts tear apart their current relationships? Is “The Monster Mash” the queer anthem we need for 2019? Come find the answers to these questions and more in this remix of the queer theatre canon.

About Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson is a Georgia playwright who writes about modern queerness, spirituality, and how being a person is hilariously, wonderfully terrible. He has been named a two-time Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow, a two-time finalist for residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a resident at the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and an undergraduate Research Fellow at the University of Georgia. Around Atlanta, their work has been developed or produced with Horizon Theatre, Out of Box Theatre, Essential Theatre, Lionheart Theatre, the Classic City Fringe Festival, and now Synchronicity Theatre. They have also published works with the Howlround Theatre Commons, Hello Mr. magazine, Athens Playwrights’ Workshop Press, and the Lambda Literary EMERGE Anthologies. Abe loves libraries, long showers, and uses any pronouns. 

 

The Gun Show

By Elizabeth Dinkova

January 15, 2020

7:30 p.m.

Description:

The Gun Show is an unnerving look at American culture through the buying and selling of firearms. Two outsiders from Atlanta journey to one of the South’s largest gun shows. There, they encounter a spectrum of beliefs and stories that make up America’s obsession with guns. In this participatory theater experience, audience members will encounter a curated presentation of views on gun legislation, and attempt to find common ground and solutions to a national crisis. 

About Elizabeth Dinkova

Elizabeth Dinkova is a director and writer from Sandanski, Bulgaria and a graduate of the M.F.A. Directing program at the Yale School of Drama, where she received the Julian Milton Kaufman prize for Directing. She was the 2017-2018 Yale Directing Fellow at the Alliance Theatre. Upcoming projects include TIT co-written with Jesse Rasmussen at the 7 Stages Home Brew Festival; Rage, adapted from Stephen King’s novel at Quinnipiac University; and BULGARIA! REVOLT! co-created with Miranda Rose Hall at Single Carrot Theatre. Since moving to Atlanta, Elizabeth has directed a BRAVE New Works Festival workshop of Road to a Dream, Mark Valdez’s Alliance-commissioned new play about Buford Highway, and her adaptation of The Seagull at Serenbe Playhouse. Other recent productions include the opera Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck at Bel Cantanti Opera, and The Congresswomen inspired by Aristophanes with original music by Stew (Passing Strange).

I’m a Motherf*#%ing Super Star: So Where Are My Babies?

By Valeka J Holt

May 13, 2020

7:30 p.m.

Description:

An ambitious D.C. stage actress with dreams to take over Hollywood and Broadway is finally starting to see the fruits of her labor. After several years of trying to conceive a baby with her loving husband, and blaming herself for the unsuccessful attempts, her dream of motherhood is tick-tocking away. But, during an exploratory appointment, one doctor makes an eye-opening, life-changing observation: “Maybe it’s not you.” Pushed to the extreme, will Valeka trust herself and choose her career, or will she have faith that God will deliver it all?

About Valeka J Holt

Valeka J Holt, affectionately known as “V,” is a critically acclaimed actress, director, professor, playwright, socialite, producer, casting director and digital content creator. “V” stars as Eileen, and is the lead casting director, in Dewey Ortiz Jr.’s The Runaways, the awardwinning short and 2019 official selection at the BronzeLens Film Festival. Her one-woman show, I’m a Motherf*#%$ing Super Star: So Where Are My Babies? is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Her workshop performance at the Barbican Center in London received seven out of five stars. The show has an upcoming staged reading this fall in Philadelphia as a part of The Bridge PHL Festival. As a recent Atlanta transplant, “V” has become a member of Working Title Playwrights, has screened her award-winning film First Love at Screening Room ATL, and has participated in workshops and readings at True Colors, Alliance and Horizon Theatre Companies. More information at @valekajholt.

* * *

ANNOUNCING FIVE NEW HIRES AT SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE

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ATLANTA – Producing Artistic Director Rachel May and Managing Director Celise Kalke are pleased to announce that five staff members have joined the Synchronicity Theatre team. They are Lindsay Eisold, Technical Director; Sarah Kelley, Marketing Director; Jennifer Kimball, Stripped Bare Program Director; Dalyla McGee, Development Director; and Vallea E. Woodbury, Production Manager.

 

A complete listing of names, titles and responsibilities are as follows:

 

LINDSAY EISOLD, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

After joining Synchronicity for three shows in the 2018-2019 season, Lindsay Eisold will step in as Technical Director for all of Synchronicity Theatre’s main stage productions. She will oversee all technical elements of each show, including the building and installation of sets, and ensuring all design elements are implemented properly and that design work is completed safely and efficiently.

Lindsay is a graduate of Washington University in Saint Louis. Since 2009, she has served as a scenic carpenter, scenic designer, and technical director – with brief stints in costuming and stage management. ​

 

SARAH KELLEY, MARKETING DIRECTOR

As Synchronicity Theatre’s Marketing Director, Sarah Kelley will design and implement strategies to generate all ticket revenue for the theatre. She will play a leading role in creating the Theatre’s strategic planning initiatives, which currently include increased brand awareness, new individual ticket campaigns, expanded group sales, and higher-level customer service.

Most recently, Sarah was the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Emory University Alumni Association, where she curated digital campaigns on behalf of the organization. Prior to this role, she was a Marketing Intern for Peachtree Publishers, a children’s book publishing company in Atlanta. In 2016, she was the Literary Intern for the Alliance Theatre, working under the Director of New Projects. She graduated from Emory University in 2018 with a B.A. in Creative Writing/English and Film.

 

 

JENNIFER KIMBALL, STRIPPED BARE PRODUCER

Jennifer Kimball will oversee the annual application process, coordinate all production needs, run the technical elements, and manage the distribution of grant funds for Synchronicity Theatre’s Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project. Designed for early-career artists, Stripped Bare focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages artists to think about the essentials of theatre “stripped of” intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes. Each selected project gets up to three days in Synchronicity Theatre’s performance space. Artists receive a technician, producer and/or facility manager, house manager, a box office staffer for each performance, marketing support, and mention on Synchronicity’s website.

Jennifer has been involved in various aspects of local and national theatre organizing and executing festivals and performances. She also works with Essential Theatre, 7Stages Theatre, Theatre du Rêve and several other Atlanta-based dance and theatre companies. From 2013-2016, she served as the Student and Artist Engagement Coordinator for the Office of the Arts at Georgia Tech. She is currently on staff at the Schwartz Center for the Arts at Emory University.

 

DALYLA MCGEE, DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Dalyla McGee will be responsible for implementing all fundraising activities to meet annual development goals for the Company. This includes developing an annual plan, coordinating special events, cultivating individual donors, shepherding corporate sponsors, and writing/managing foundation, corporate and government grants.

Dalyla was born and raised in Atlanta, and has a B.S. in Anthropology & Human Biology with concentrations in Theatre Studies from Emory University. She has worked with 7 Stages Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Theatre Du Reve, and Horizon Theatre as an artist, teacher, director, playwright, and overall theatre-maker. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of Admission for SCAD, Career Ambassador Program Director at the Emory Career Center, and has had professional ventures in Haiti, Holland, and Australia.

 

VALLEA E. WOODBURY, PRODUCTION MANAGER

Vallea E. Woodbury will serve as Synchronicity’s season Production Manager. She will oversee all elements of production, including coordinating all designers, schedules and production needs, while facilitating communication between the director and design team, and managing the production budget.

Vallea has managed theatre productions for several years in Chicago and Atlanta. Most recently, she produced Hands of Color at Synchronicity and the Fall Battle of the Sexes season for Impulse Repertory Company. She is also a familiar face on Atlanta stages, having performed in Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, as well as in notable productions at Actor’s Express, Theatrical Outfit, Aurora Theatre, Out of Box Theatre, and the Alliance Theatre. Vallea holds an M.F.A. from the University of Georgia, is a Northwestern University graduate, and trained at the School at Steppenwolf and The Second City Chicago Improv Conservatory.

Synchronicity seeks Full-Time Marketing Director

About Synchronicity

Synchronicity is a nonprofit theatre company founded in 1997. Since bursting onto the Atlanta scene, Synchronicity has produced gutsy, high-quality and entertaining plays that resonate with our audience, our community and our lives. Our mission is to uplift the voices of women and girls, and build community through theatre.  We produce great plays.  We take artistic chances to make our audiences think about important issues. We partner with community groups to deepen the relationship between our audiences and the work. Synchronicity makes its home on Peachtree in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

Synchronicity is hiring a new full-time Marketing Director to build on 21 years, and to take the company to the next level.

MARKETING DIRECTOR | *FULL-TIME POSITION (40-50 HOURS/WEEK)

The Marketing Director supports the highest strategic priorities of the theater.  He or she will focus on growing new audiences while retaining and deepening relationships with current audiences. Through effective communication of the mission, vision and programming activities, the Marketing Director develops and executes strategies to generate all earned ticket revenues for the theatre. The Marketing Director also plays a leading role in the Theatre’s strategic planning initiatives which currently include increased brand awareness, new individual ticket campaign planning, expanded group sales, and higher-level customer understanding and service. This position collaborates with the Producing Artistic Director, and reports directly to the Managing Director.  This position also works in parallel with Synchronicity’s public relations specialist and social media content director.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:

  • Collaborate regularly with the Managing Director and Artistic Director to ensure a clear and accurate interpretation of the organization’s vision and direction.
  • Supervise the planning and implementation of all marketing, public relations, publications, and sales programs to raise earned income through single ticket, group and season ticket sales annually.
  • Shape public perception of the theater through execution of brand identity through digital and print communications, publications, public events, and physical spaces.
  • Manage annual expense budgets to run all marketing, publicity, sales and graphic design efforts and operations.
  • Coordinate with Social Media Content Director to ensure cohesive messaging through electronic media relations;
  • Coordinate all communication and negotiations with vendors and consultants to achieve annual and long-range goals.
  • Cultivate an innovative working environment that enables growth in new technology and marketing practices to ensure the Theatre’s vitality.
  • Develop community ties and serve on committees to further develop the profile of arts within the city and state.
  • Participate in arts marketing roundtable and other networking/learning opportunities.
  • Oversee cross-promotional trades with other theatres.
  • Lead initiatives to achieve goals defined in the Theatre’s strategic plan, and further develop long-range audience development goals and strategies.
  • Support initiatives to increase the capabilities and revenue of the theatre rental program.
  • Collaborate with other departments to improve the patrons’ experience of the theater.
  • Collaborate with the Development Director to integrate organizational strategy and customer relationship management in marketing and fundraising efforts.
  • Handle all back end set up in Spektrix, our ticketing and donor database, including inventory management, integrated mailings and promo code development.
  • Oversee box office staff and handle daytime box office service.
  • Manage the booking and contracts of all school field trip groups for our Family Series, and be the point of contact person for all school matinees.
  • Serve as staff liaison to the Business & Brand Relationships Work Team of the Board.
  • Oversee registration and promotion for after-school program.
  • Keep website and blog up to date.
  • Manage and negotiate any advertising in digital, print, radio or other.
  • Oversee the creation of season collaterals, including posters, postcards, bookmarks, etc.
  • Oversee the booking and execution of photo and video shoots for promotional and archival purposes.
  • Layout and design small ads and social media graphics (using Canva, etc) and playbills (using InDesign).
  • Oversee direct mailings and poster and bookmark distribution.

SKILLS

  • Effective communicator
  • Good collaborator
  • Computer and internet proficiency
  • Strategic and analytical skills
  • Ability to work at the conceptual level as well as the implementation phase
  • A genuine interest in and knowledge of the theater
  • Proven organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Strong writing skills
  • Basic design skills a plus
  • Experience with Ticketing/Donor software. Spektrix knowledge a plus
  • The successful candidate will have significant career experience in marketing, communications or a related field. He or she will have proven initiative and will be a goal oriented innovative thinker. The ideal candidate will be flexible with the ability to work independently and as part of a team, and will be able to work successfully under pressure and meet deadlines and goals.

COMPENSATION

Salary is in the 30’s with benefits.  Start date: July 8. Resume review and interviews will start May 30.

To apply, send cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and two writing samples to Celise Kalke, Managing Director at hiring@synchrotheatre.com.  No phone calls please.

Synchronicity Theatre is committed to recruiting and fostering a diverse community of staff. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE

Synchronicity Theatre seeks Full-Time Development Director

About Synchronicity

Synchronicity is a nonprofit theatre company founded in 1997. Since bursting onto the Atlanta scene, Synchronicity has produced gutsy, high-quality and entertaining plays that resonate with our audience, our community and our lives. Our mission is to uplift the voices of women and girls, and build community through theatre.  We produce great plays.  We take artistic chances to make our audiences think about important issues. We partner with community groups to deepen the relationship between our audiences and the work. Synchronicity makes its home on Peachtree in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

Synchronicity is hiring a new full-time Development Director to build on a strong 21-year reputation for creating great theatre and building community in the Atlanta area.  In a staff of 5 full-time and 4 part-time people, this position is highly collaborative and will work closely with the Producing Artistic and Managing Directors to take Synchronicity to the next level.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR | *FULL-TIME POSITION  (40-50 hours/week)

The Development Director is responsible for implementing all fundraising activities to meet annual development goals for the company. Annually, this includes developing an annual plan; running 1 major and 4-5 smaller special events; cultivating individual donors;  implementing our annual giving campaign (including 1-2 crowd funding campaigns, 1-2 mailing campaigns); developing and shepherding corporate sponsors; and writing/managing 45-50 foundation, corporate and government grants.

Key competencies include outstanding writing and verbal communication skills, grant management experience, organizational skills, and advanced computer skills, including experience with fundraising database programs and Microsoft Office suite of programs and basic understanding of crowd funding platforms. Experience working closely with donors and board members required. Experience researching and cultivating prospective funding sources required.  Proficiency with Spektrix a plus. Event management experience with events of 150+ people strongly encouraged.

At least two years of fundraising experience and four-year degree required. Experience in the arts preferred. The ability to work both independently and as part of a highly collaborative team is key. Ideal candidate must be a great communicator, organized, creative and detail-oriented.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:

  • Grants – research, write and manage private, corporate and government grant proposals
  • Design and manage detailed grants calendar and tracking sheet
  • Proper acknowledgement and management of all donor gifts
  • Tracking and communication of board giving/contributions
  • Manage donor database and work closely with Finance Manager to tracking funding throughout the year
  • Annual tracking of demographics, program evaluations and scope of services
  • Oversee the annual Women in the Arts luncheon, as well as season kick-off party. Coordinate 3-5 smaller donor cultivation events throughout the year.
  • Design and run the annual giving campaign which includes end of year mail out campaign, 1-2 crowdfunding campaigns, and season launch party for high end donors.

COMPENSATION

Salary is in the 30’s with benefits.  Start date: July 8.  Resume review and interviews will start May 30.

To apply, send cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and two writing samples to Celise Kalke, Managing Director at hiring@synchrotheatre.com.  No phone calls please.

Synchronicity Theatre is committed to recruiting and fostering a diverse community of staff. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE

Synchronicity Theatre seeks After-School Drama Instructors

Final SPfK logoSynchronicity Theatre seeks experienced, talented, energetic lead and assistant instructors for its expanding Playmaking For Kids after-school program. Instructors guide participants age K-8 through how to transform their bodies and voices to create characters and tell stories on stage as an ensemble through creative play, with a focus on empowering children’s voices and building ensemble. Each session ends with a presentation for friends and family. Classes are held primarily in DeKalb County on-site at various locations, between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30 pm. Experience in theater education is a plus; junior and senior theatre majors are welcome to apply. Please email your resume, cover letter and 2 references to Program Director Taryn Carmona – Taryn@synchrotheatre.com.

Synchronicity is an equal-opportunity employer. More information: www.synchrotheatre.com.

10 Thrills & Chills About Mac | Beth

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The ensemble cast of Erica Schmidt’s Mac | Beth.

By Elliott Folds, Dramaturg for Mac | Beth

“A deed without a name.”

Erica Schmidt was inspired to adapt Macbeth into this new version, Mac | Beth, after hearing about the violent stabbing that occurred in the Wisconsin woods in early summer 2014. The so-called Slender Man stabbings were perpetrated by two 12-year-old girls who planned to sacrifice their friend to the Internet-based urban legend Slender Man, eventually stabbing her 19 times. The victim mercifully survived, but the incident shocked the nation. Looking deeper at the surrounding details of the case, however, it becomes apparent that instances of young girls committing violence in the woods have happened more frequently than may initially seem.

 

Just two years before the Slender Man stabbings, a 16-year-old girl was brutally killed by two of her friends who claimed they did it because they “didn’t want to be friends with her anymore.” This case in particular featured a somewhat infamous tweet from one of the perpetrators: “we really did go on three.” Going further back through the centuries and you’ll find similar cases, such as the Parker-Hulme murder in 1954 and the genesis of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. In her program notes from Mac|Beth’s original off-Broadway production, dramaturg Akiva Fox wrote, “By giving audiences the unfamiliar experience of seeing young women act out a very familiar play, this production of Mac|Beth seeks to rekindle something of the original shock in the work. Just as the real-world violence carried out by these modern girls jolted observers, so this production jolts its audience by restoring the primal wildness to Shakespeare’s tragedy.”

 

“Fire burn, and cauldron bubble…”

Building off of Shakespeare’s original spooky tragedy, Synchronicity Theatre’s production of Erica Schmidt’s Mac|Beth is perfect October viewing. Most people know the name of the Scottish Play is cursed, but there are many dark legends that led to the creation of this specific Mac|Beth. Here are just a few of the many chills and thrills that have encircled this play for the last four centuries.

  • 1606: Legend has it that Macbeth was cursed from the beginning. According to folklore, a coven of witches were wary of Shakespeare pulling from real incantations, so they placed a curse on the play. Allegedly, this resulted in Hal Berridge, the first actor to play Lady Macbeth, suddenly dying, prompting Shakespeare to step into the role.
  • 1703: On December 7, 1703, a revival of the play opened at Drury Lane, the exact same day that the Great Storm of 1703 struck England, eventually leading to over 8,000 casualties.
  • 1849: May 10, 1849 saw over 22 people killed in riots at the Astor Place Opera House in New York. William Charles Macready was set to star in a production of Macbeth at the Opera House, while his well-documented rival, Edwin Forrest, was scheduled to star in a different production of the play a few blocks away. The American Forrest was seen as a hero for the working class, while the British Macready was vocally supported by the upper crust. Between Forrest’s supporters, Macready’s audience members, police, and militia, as many as 10,000 people were crowded around the streets of the theater. As the riot broke out, soldiers fired into the crowd, killing up to 31 people, including many innocent bystanders.
  • 1865: Macbeth was reportedly Abraham Lincoln’s favorite play, and the one he chose to bring with him onboard the River Queen on the Potomac River on April 9, 1865. He is reported to have been reading passages from after Duncan’s assassination. Within a week, he himself would be assassinated.
  • 1936: After panning Orson Welles’ famous “Voodoo” Macbeth, theatre critic Percy Hammond died less than 48 hours later of pneumonia.
  • 1937: A 1937 production at the Old Vic had multiple issues: the theater’s manager Lillian Baylis died of a heart attack two days before the play’s first performance. Laurence Olivier, who had wrestled with losing his voice for much of the rehearsal process, was nearly killed when a heavy weight fell mere inches away from him in the wings.
  • 1988: A Broadway revival starring Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson supposedly went through a blizzard of replacements. Though the numbers vary depending on who you ask, allegedly, the production went through three directors, five Macduffs, six changes within the ensemble, six stage managers, two set designers, two lighting designers, and 26 cases of flu, torn ligaments, and groin injuries.
  • 2012: Skylar Neese, a 16-year-old from West Virginia, was killed after being stabbed more than 50 times by two of her best friends, Rachel Shoaf and Shelia Eddy. Shoaf and Eddy claimed they did it because they “didn’t like her” and “didn’t want to be friends with her anymore,” and planned to stab her on the count of three. On April 1, 2013, Eddy tweeted the infamous “we really did go on three.”
  • 2014: Payton Leutner, a 12-year-old from Wisconsin, was stabbed 19 times by two of her friends, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, who claimed they planned to kill her as a sacrifice to the fictional Internet character Slender Man. Leutner successfully recovered after six days in the hospital.
  • 2019: Synchronicity’s production of Mac|Beth had some creepy power surges occur right before two of the opening weekend performances. It was probably nothing. Unless…?

 

Goodbye to Jerrilyn

Today, the world is a little less bright… and there are fewer fierce full-body hugs.
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Jerrilyn Levetan.  Jerrilyn served on the Synchronicity Board for six years, and then joined our Advisory Council.  Even in the past year of her illness, she remained a stalwart supporter of our mission to uplift the voices of women and girls.  Jerrilyn’s true passion lay with our Playmaking for Girls program.  Every year she and her wife Linda would bring dinner to the girls during our summer program, and with Jerrilyn’s trademark giant grin, she would talk to the girls about their dreams and plans for the future.

Jerrilyn’s family has chosen to honor her love of the girls and our program with a special fund, which will support Playmaking for Girls this summer and into the future.  We are deeply honored by this gift and will work hard to uplift Jerrilyn’s legacy.

We hope you will join us in honoring Jerrilyn by attending one of our Playmaking for Girls summer program performances at 2:30 and 6:00 pm on June 15.

Please see below for a message from Jerrilyn’s family about the fund.

The Jerrilyn Levetan Fund
During the 8 years of Jerrilyn Levetan’s involvement with Synchronicity Theatre, she became passionate about the work this local theatre company does with at-risk and refugee girls in Atlanta through the Playmaking for Girls program.  Her love for this unique program inspired and elevated Synchronicity’s work during her tenure as a Board Member of the organization.

In honor of extraordinary service and life, Jerrilyn’s family has established the Jerrilyn Levetan Fund, to endow Playmaking for Girls participants during the summer program each year.  During the program, each girl signs a contract and is paid $100 for her work as an actor, which empowers the girls to value their time and teaches real-world skills and responsibility. Each dollar raised by the fund will be used to pay each of the girls during the program and they each will receive a letter with their pay every year, with Jerrilyn’s story and photo.

If you would like to make a gift in honor of Jerrilyn and this work she loved so dearly please contact Synchronicity by phone (404-484-8636) or by email at emma@synchrotheatre.com.

You may also send a check to 1545 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 102, Atlanta, GA 30309.  Please put Attention: Jerrilyn Levetan Fund.

 

Please make check out to Synchronicity Theatre and in the memo line note: The Jerrilyn Levetan Fund.

 

 

 

TAKE 5 … with ‘The Hero’s Wife’ playwright Aline Lathrop

AlineLathrop2018BPhoto: 16th Street Theater

THE HERO’S WIFE began for Chicago playwright Aline Lathrop when she read a 2013 Esquire magazine piece headlined: The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden … Is Screwed. It talked in depth with the retired Navy SEAL, then unnamed, credited with eliminating the al-Qaeda leader two years earlier in a Pakistan compound.

His post-SEAL life wasn’t going well.

“I still have the same bills I had in the Navy” he said, “but no money coming in from anywhere. I just want to be able to pay all those bills, take care of my kids and work from there. I’d like to take the things I learned and help other people in any way I can.”

THE HERO’S WIFE  had the first half of its world premiere in July at the 16thStreet Theater in Berwyn, Ill., outside Chicago. The second half, runs April 12 – May 5 at Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown (tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636). It follows a retired Navy SEAL named Cameron (Joe Sykes) and his wife, Karyssa (Rebeca Robles), as they try to find their way back to each other after a long time apart.

Aline, who gives her age as “grown,” lives in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood with husband Ben, a molecular engineer, teenage daughters Viviana and Isadora, and a Labrador retriever. She’s a 16th Street Theater artistic associate, a Chicago Dramatists resident playwright alumna and a Dramatists Guild member.

hero 2Joe Sykes as Cameron and Rebeca Robles as Karyssa. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Her kind of theater, Aline says, is intimate, whether in a small or large house. “I need to feel connected to the action onstage,” she says. She took time from rehearsals of her own intimate play to share some insights with dramaturg Kathy Janich.

 SYNCHRONICITY: How would you characterize your work?

ALINE: When I first started writing plays, I was driven by a desire to know and explore my own identity. These days I’m more interested in understanding others, the connections I can draw between us, the compassion I can find and the possibility of sharing that compassion with an audience. All my plays are intensely personal. But unless you’ve ever slept beside me, you probably won’t guess how.

S: Do you come from an artistic family?

A: I’m the only child of language teachers who are musical. My mother danced and played flute. My father could play any instrument, though, he said, not well. Language and music are basically the same, in my opinion. Interestingly, my father’s father, who was a wholesale bottle-cap salesman, was also a playwright published by Samuel French. He wrote short and clever “competition plays” for his daughter’s drama club.

For me, the experience of writing a play is rooted in my love of the vernacular, which I inherited from my father. It’s also like composing chamber music. I think my parents were disappointed when I didn’t turn out to be musical like they were, but it turns out that I am. It just comes out in dialogue.

S: What was your very first theater experience?

A: Other than ballet, it was a mime performance my father took me to when I was 3. I still remember parts of it. That night, on my instructions, my father used typing paper and staples to craft a white top hat like the mime’s, so that I could perform for my preschool the next day. For years, my ambition was to become a mime.

S: When did playwrighting become your career path, and why?

A: When I went to college majoring in theater, I had been acting professionally for many years. I even had some points toward an Equity card. I had also been writing – mostly poetry and some fiction. But something was changing in me. I didn’t crave being onstage anymore. I didn’t want to touch people I didn’t want to touch. I didn’t want to be the vehicle of someone else’s vision. My second year of college, I took a playwriting class, and as soon as I managed the shift to storytelling through dialogue, I was home.

I remember the electrical connection I felt with the audience as the conduit of a story when I was an actor. It was a high I didn’t believe could be matched. But when I started writing plays, I felt the quiet thrill of sitting in the dark, watching my vision unfold onstage, feeling the audience’s response no longer focused on me but all around me.

S: What playwrights, past or present, influence your work?

A: When I first started writing plays, I was also discovering Georgia O’Keeffe. One day, leafing through a book of her paintings and writings, I came upon some words of hers that reflected my own artistic ambitions: “I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any color until it was impossible to do what I wanted to do in black and white. I believe it was June before I needed blue.” The sentence “I believe it was June before I needed blue” became my mantra. It helped me hone a discipline of economy for which I hope my work is known. Also Chekhov, for all the desire and yearning that propels his characters so often to nothing at all.

S: Bonus question … What’s next?

A: I’m developing The Benefit Committee, a play about the dark side of the culture of achievement. It takes place in a school cafeteria where seven places are set for six women to fold 1,000 origami butterflies for a benefit to raise $250,000 for an organic kitchen garden and butterfly conservatory. After that, a play inspired by a classic and a film inspired by fear.

 

Synchronicity is Excited to Announce Our New Managing Director . . . Celise Kalke!

Celise Banner

ATLANTA – The members of the Board of Directors of Synchronicity Theatre are pleased to announce that Celise Kalke has been selected to be the Company’s new Managing Director. Her official start date will be October 22, 2018.

On the heels of its Managing for Excellence grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Ms. Kalke, alongside Producing Artistic Director Rachel May, will usher in the next phase of the Company’s strategic development. She will direct all aspects of financial and business operations of the organization, from both a strategic and operational perspective, including long-range and annual planning. She will also be pivotal in working with the Board of Directors as it creates and executes fundraising and growth strategies. She will demonstrate a commitment to Synchronicity’s mission to uplift the voices of women and girls, and inspire confidence in stakeholders, artists, and patrons.

Since 2005, Ms. Kalke has been the Director of New Projects/Artistic Programs Manager at the Alliance Theatre, where she managed the development and production of world premiere new works, and discovered and mentored artists new to the field of American Theatre, including Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and Laurents/Hatcher-winner Jiréh Breon Holder. She also developed and grew the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab, which have launched the careers of multiple emerging playwrights and theatre artists.

From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Kalke was the Director of the Literary Department at the Public Theater in New York City, where she developed projects, managed playwright commissions and mentored emerging playwrights under producer George C. Wolfe. From 1999 to 2003, She was the Resident Dramaturg at the Court Theatre in Chicago. In the late 1990’s, Ms. Kalke was a Staff Dramaturg in the Julliard Drama Division, where she worked part-time with the Juilliard Playwrights program headed by Marsha Norman and Chris Durang, and with students such as Adam Rapp, Brooke Berman, David Lindsay-Abaire, Jessica Goldberg, and Michael Winn. She was a Dramaturg for Michael Kahn, Garland Wright, and JoAnne Akalaitis.

In the 1990s, Ms. Kalke lived in Prague, Czech Republic, was a member of Misery Loves Company a Czech/English company, and worked with the Narodni Divadlo and Divadlo Pod Palmovkou while a student at DAMU, the Prague Theatre Academy. She speaks Czech and German.

Mentor, teacher and invaluable resource to the Atlanta Theatre community, Ms. Kalke has worked with the Emory University Theatre Department, Creative Writing Department and Center for Ethics; Kennesaw State University; Atlanta Women in Theatre; Working Title Playwrights; and Actor’s Express.

“It’s an honor to join Rachel May, the Synchronicity Board, and this great staff in the work of uplifting women and girls,” says Ms. Kalke. “I am humbled in this historic moment to support Synchronicity’s mission, and so excited to assume a leadership position in the Atlanta theatre community. Synchronicity is poised for growth, and I’m honored to grow my strategic thinking and management skills with this wonderful company.  I’m excited for the opportunity to closely work with Rachel May, whose taste and artistry I’ve admired since I saw The Long Christmas Ride Home (2005).”

“As one of Synchronicity’s co-founders, I am so proud of our company’s growth in the past several years,” said Producing Artistic Director Rachel May. “Having Celise join us at this pivotal time in our history, as we move into the next phase of embodying our mission, is the perfect step forward. Celise’s smarts and reputation are un-paralleled, and she has deep collaborative roots in both the local and national theatre community. Beyond that, she is a strategic thinker, a visionary and a bridge-builder; the exact qualities we need in our new Managing Director. I cannot wait to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with her as we work with our stellar board of directors to get smarter, gutsier, bolder and bigger.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Celise Kalke as Synchronicity’s next Managing Director,” said Geneva Gross, Chair of Synchronicity Theatre’s Board of Directors.  “Celise has not only been a supporter of Synchronicity over the years, but is excited to help fulfill the mission with innovative and strategic thinking that will help elevate and expand our outreach in the community.  Her leadership and business acumen, coupled with her deeply-rooted experience within the national theatre community, is exactly what we need during this exciting growth stage of the organization. We see the partnership between Celise as Managing Director, and Rachel as Producing Artistic Director, as marking an exciting chapter in our development.”

In June, playwright Lee Nowell stepped down as Managing Director of the organization in order to focus on a variety of creative projects. She remains an Artistic Associate for the Company. Since June, Virginia (Gin) Nugent has served as Interim Managing Director.

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ABOUT SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE

Founded in 1997 by four women with a desire to work collaboratively and bring challenging, meaningful theatre to Atlanta audiences, Synchronicity Theatre produces smart, gutsy, high-quality theatre that sparks community connections and uplifts the voices of women and girls. Synchronicity supports women artists, forges long-term and effective community partnerships and develops new work. The Company reaches nearly 14,000 patrons a year through its season of plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series); community outreach; educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after school programs, and the award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. An intimate theatre in the heart of midtown at Peachtree Pointe became Synchronicity’s home in the summer of 2014.