The Victory Theatre Center has worked with emerging playwrights to dramaturge their work for the past 30 years. The process includes selecting materials based on submissions from literary agents and referrals - and polishing and refining the scripts with numerous staged readings and workshops.
Founder of the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, Rick Delaup, directs the spotlight toward a scintillating trio of former "Queen of Burlesque" titleholders as they strut their stuff in an eye-popping stage show that packs aural oomph with a live jazz band. Vanquishing her feathery foes and prevailing as victor in 2009, Perle Noire evokes a gymnastic Josephine Baker as she blends high kicks, splits, and flips into her energized, yet elegant act. Dancer and pin-up model Coco Lectric from Austin, Texas earns applause with classically trained maneuvers that won her honors in 2010, while 2011 winner Ginger Valentine teaches the audience how to whistle with her steamy stock of beguiling strip-tease tricks. A superstar cast of performers joins the champions on stage for added flair, including sultry chanteuse and burlesque "scene queen" Athena and lively duo Nathan Kepner and Morgan Tsu-Raun, who thrill tawdry inner-children with circus tricks and bravura juggling.
The Acting Corps, a school endorsed by Oscar winner Sydney Pollack as well as Rainn Wilson of The Office, takes a modern approach to acting instruction. In classes with an average of 16 students, creativity flows unimpeded and students overhear the whispered names of Hollywood’s best agents quite clearly. Actors with MFA degrees lead programs that help acting students find an authentic style, and also pilot advanced classes with mock auditions that challenge experienced actors. Four- or six-week acting boot camps incorporate aspects of the Meisner technique and the Michael Chekhov technique. In classes engineered for international acting students, teachers elucidate methods for developing a convincing American accent or faking a convincing cheeseburger craving.
Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.
Up On Stage Productions develops the stars of tomorrow with coaching from a team of industry professionals, many of who have appeared on Broadway and in international touring productions. To sharpen the techniques of young performers, the company's dance and theatrical programs emphasize stage fundamentals, from movement and voice control to character development and improvisation. All programs at Up On Stage come stocked with the necessities, including set design, costumes, and instructions for breaking a leg without actually breaking a leg.