Premiere of new production PROJECT ELAN next on stage at Arkansas Rep

Project êlan small2Project Élan is a brand-new, original, culture-current musical that seeks to shed light on the individual and universal needs of the millennial generation. Digital and uniquely undefinable, this generation seeks to find answers in an unpredictable world. And although they may appear to be an age overrun by technology and isolation, their dreams are timeless. The millennial generation still longs for the most basic of human needs – safety, hope and love.

Conceived and directed by The Rep’s Resident Director and Director of Education, Nicole Capri, Project Élan is written by Capri and seven SMTI alumni and staff including. The production, which opens on the 10-year anniversary of The Rep’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (SMTI) program, features approximately 50 of the best past and present alumni from the last decade of the program.

Project Élan features a diverse musical score with original songs from almost every genre of music – contemporary-alternative, acoustic-folk, urban-rock, indie-pop, jazz-fusion, Nashville-sound, progressive-Broadway and sunshine-pop.

The word “élan” – is defined in several ways — “to live in the moment,” “to live with reckless abandon and enthusiasm,” “confidence,” and “spirit.” The writers of this piece seek to produce a relevant and relatable musical that speaks to the heart of all generations.

Public previews begin tomorrow with the official opening night on Friday, May 8. The production runs through May 16.

The creative team includes:

  • Nicole Capri – conception, director, choreographer, writer
  • Mark Binns – writer, musical director
  • Bobby Banister – writer
  • Conly Basham – writer
  • Sam Clark – writer
  • Robert Frost – writer
  • Jimmy Landfair – writer
  • Charity Vance – writer
  • Marisa Kirby – choreographer
  • Stephen K. Stone – choreographer
  • Drew Posey – set designer
  • Shelly Hall – costume designer
  • Dan Kimble – lighting designer
  • Lynda J. Kwallek – props designer
  • Travis Mosler – video designer
  • Beth Thiemann – stage manager

LR Film Fest: Made in Arkansas Awards

IMG_5408There are four awards presented to films in the “Made in Arkansas” track.   This year there were fifteen shorts and five feature films in contention for these awards.

Liza Burns won the Best Actor award for her performance in the feature 45 RPM.  (Note that actor is used as a gender non-specific term.)  The other nominees were Jeff Bailey for “The Discontentment of Ed Telfair,” Jeffrey Fuell for “Blood Brothers” and Graham Gordy for “Mary.”

The Charles B. Pierce Award for Best Short went to “The Discontentment of Ed Telfair” which was directed by Daniel Campbell.  The other nominees were “Diamond John” (directed by Travis Mosler), “Last Shot Love” (directed by Nolan Dean) and “Mary” (directed by Zach Turner).  Interestingly, the latter two and Campbell’s winning film were all grouped together in the “Heartbeats” block.

The award for Best Feature went to 45 RPM directed by Juli Jackson.  The other nominees were Last Summer by Mark Thiedeman and The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain by Matthew Wolfe.

Mark Thiedeman won Best Director for Last Summer.  This is the third consecutive year Thiedeman has had a film at the Little Rock Film Festival.  The other nominees were Amman Abbasi for “Bad Water,” Zach Turner for “Mary” and Juli Jackson for 45 RPM.